If the goal with your business blog is to boost organic rank, develop a readership and cultivate a one-to-many relationship, then consistent blogging matters. A lot. And for several reasons, which I’m happy to share here. But there’s something that matters even more.

Lay it on me

First, the cold, hard facts: There is a direct correlation between how often you blog and how much traffic you get. The inbound marketing pros over at Hubspot explain it like this:

“When it comes to business blogging, there’s no doubt that consistency is key … just consider the fact that companies that increase blogging from 3-5x/month to 6-8x/month almost double their leads.”

This makes sense – consistent blogging builds trust and it makes you reliable. People like that. Your readers begin expecting (and even better, looking forward to) another thoughtful or useful post when you stick to a publishing schedule (whether it’s weekly or bi-weekly or every single Monday, come hell or high water). So it follows that the more you blog, the more often people will stop by to see what you’re doing.

BUT (and it’s a big one)

You’ll undo all your hard work if your focus is on frequency alone. If you’re throwing up boring posts just to meet your blogging goal, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Quality matters. We know this. Just think about what draws your attention, which blogs you make a point of reading regularly. There’s a reason you subscribe, a reason you hit that like or share button. And to back me up on this, enter Hubspot’s words of wisdom:

“…consistency must also be applied to the quality of your content, not just the quantity… Quality and quantity must go hand in hand…”

and get this

There’s another benefit to being consistent, aside from the relationship nurturing you’ll be doing. You’re honing your blogging expertise when you do it regularly. You’ll start seeing which topics really shine for your readers, and how you can continue to improve your ability to communicate your unique expertise. That’s the point of business blogging, after all. You’re the expert, and you share that expertise with people who want to hear about it. The benefit for your readers is a bit of that wisdom. And when they’re actively seeking it – plugging in search terms and bingo, your post pops up answering that very question, which can be the start of a beautiful relationship – all the better. But figuring out how to best share it (maybe with a bit of humor, maybe with fun promotions and giveaways) is the hard part.

For many business bloggers, publishing schedules look something like this: enthusiasm right out of the gate with one or two “I’m blogging now!” posts but still randomly in the beginning – maybe two or three a month tops. Then they decide to get serious and start blogging once a week. But life happens and there are fires to put out, and the blog is on the back burner for a time, until they realize it’s been six or eight or ten months since their last post. Oops. No surprise that your only subscribers are your mom and best friend, right? And back to the cold, hard truth: most blogs fail in the first three months. Blame that on blogging consistency, entirely.

So how often should I blog?

So now that we’ve unequivocally established that blogging consistency matters, how often is often enough? That depends on your business and who you ask, but in general, blogging at least weekly is a good rule of thumb (and particularly so for small businesses). There’s a fine line between sharing useful info and badgering people, and social media makes it much easier to get in front of people who like your stuff. Remember, you blog for people just as much as you blog for robots. Yes, we want to keep content fresh so there’s a new reason for search engines to crawl it, but no, we don’t want to post so often people are sick of hearing from us.

Oh, and remember

One other thing – blogging isn’t instant. Don’t stare at your analytics after hitting “publish” and expect to see things skyrocket. Blogging is the slow-and-steady route to building traffic. It’s about connecting with people, and you just can’t rush that.