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Publishing regular blog content is essential for audience growth and search engine traffic.
But so is keeping content up to date.
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After speaking with huge publishers who are managing hundreds or even thousands of posts, I learned that updating their content and maintaining content freshness is often considered one of their most important tasks.
So let’s look into this in more detail to decide how often you should update your blog.
Consider how much time you have for updates
One of the most important factors to think about when determining your blogging frequency is your available time.
Blogging consistently requires dedication, and for most people, time is in short supply — especially if you’re doing this on the side.
Before over-committing yourself to an updating schedule, ask yourself:
- How much time can I realistically devote to updating content each week or month? This includes not just writing time, but also research, formatting, finding images, re-promoting on social media, etc.
- What is my daily and weekly schedule like? Identify windows of time where blogging improvements could become part of your routine.
- What other priorities and obligations do I need to balance? Family time, your day job, and other activities also require time.
- Am I willing to wake up earlier or sacrifice other activities to make time to keep my blog fresh?
- Do I have help, or can I afford to pay for it? Hiring an editor to focus on updates could be a huge advantage when time is short.
If you can answer these questions for yourself, then you should be able to start planning an update schedule.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of different schedules next.
Choosing your content updating schedule
It’s key to determine your updating schedule and be consistent.
This is how you’ll attract readers to keep coming back for more. If they can be confident that the information you provide is very fresh then that’ll build trust.
This might just convince users to do things like search Google for your primary brand name, find your website, and look for a topic beyond just simply searching for the topic itself.
If they care about what you have to say, then they’ll come to you. And actions like this convince Google to trust you more anyway, thus, better rankings.
Aim to establish a blogging routine that works for both you and your audience.
Here are some potential options:
- Daily – Publishing daily content provides maximum value for readers and helps you dominate search rankings. Updating daily would give you insane levels of freshness, but it can be very difficult to keep up this rate even with help.
- Weekly – If you can dedicate once or twice per week to updating your content, then you’re likely to be very up to date with how trends may change in your niche. But even this might not be necessary where topics can take months before they’ll change on search intent.
- Monthly – I reckon monthly is a good place for most publishers in keeping content up-to-date. If you can set aside a few days at the end of the month to commit to updating content that is ageing, then you’ll likely be in a great spot.
- Quarterly – I feel that this is the ideal minimum for updating content. Your blog posts usually meet their best ranking potential with 3 months on the SERP, so if that isn’t position 1-3 then it’s probably a great time for a complete review.
- Twice per year – Every six months might be a good idea for certain content types, especially those that are very evergreen and rarely need changing. Let’s say, a post about the history of a subject might be a good example. History isn’t changing too often, it’s in the past, but has a good place on your site for relevance.
- Annually – Now we’re hitting the absolute minimum of content updates. You should absolutely update (or at least review) every piece of content on your niche site once per year.
These schedules might be different for everyone because of the type of content you produce.
It could be affected by the niche itself, the type of content (e.g. news or history or product), and your ability to balance this task.
Niche and content type for updates
The niche or industry you blog about should also inform your ideal posting frequency. Certain topics warrant more frequent content than others.
For example, blogs about current events, news, and trends often require daily posts to stay relevant.
But they might only require updates within a few weeks after publishing, and then sent to the archives.
Readers expect up-to-date information on developing stories or the latest innovations.
This means there’s often a good reason to write a whole new post when it’s about a trending topic because the search intent has changed massively between stories.
Let me lay out how I envision content prioritization for updates based on these factors.
Your niche or content type could affect content updates in different ways:
- News blog – News sites have the benefit of focusing on new information and writing new blog posts dedicated to the developments of a topic. They rarely update past content and eventually send it to the archives or delete altogether. If you have a news focused blog, you likely don’t need to prioritize updates quite as much.
- Hobby blog – A hobby blog for let’s say an activity like golfing, probably has a mixture of updating needs. Some content like “how to do the perfect golf swing” probably has a ton of evergreen potential, if it’s already the best article on the topic then it may only need updating once a year to keep up with competition. Whereas there could also be product roundups and reviews in a blog like this, which I’ll cover next.
- Products/affiliate focused blog – Niche sites that focus on products, or have product roundups/reviews in them, will likely need to be fairly regular updating this content. Sites like Forbes and Wirecutter sometimes have even daily schedules for updating their product focused content in order to keep it constantly tweaked, fresh, and at the top of the SERPs. I’d say at least once a month this content should be reviewed for improvements because it’s likely to drive a ton of revenue.
- Tutorial blog – A blog with tutorials could be a mixture of updating needs since tutorials that are specific to topics like “how to reboot windows into safe mode” would generally be evergreen if the modifier is “on windows 10” but if it’s broader, then it’s going to need to reference all windows versions and stay updated whenever new ones come out. Tutorials can sometimes be evergreen, and sometimes not at all e.g. in tech where specifics are critical pieces to the usefulness of the article.
- Visual blog (e.g. travel) – A visual blog in a space like travel often may not need as much updates since the content will often be about an experience of the author. It’s a moment captured in time, and with visuals and video to support it, and if the specifics of “how much I paid for this boat ticket” change, it likely doesn’t hurt the experience as much because it still gives the reader a reference point. Having said that, you could likely dominate even better by being the most up-to-date, too.
Think about the shelf-life of your content when deciding how often your niche requires fresh and regular updates.
Avoid posting just for the sake of more content and use the updating review process as a reason to consider what to get rid of.
Remember quality over quantity
Your blogging efforts should prioritize quality content over quantity.
Updating your blog posts doesn’t just mean trying to trick users or Google about how “up to date” the content is with a newer last modified date appearing on the post.
Putting aside the “republish” tactic for now which seems to work for some.
What you should be doing is looking for how you can actually improve the content.
This often means looking at competition on the SERP, but also crawling around in communities like Reddit, Quora, or other socials to find what people are saying about the topic.
This is usually where you’ll find the real juicy bits that can add a complete new angle to your content and make it more entertaining.
As time passes, you’ve probably made a lot of progress in your own ability to write, edit, and research.
You can use those new talents to improve the content, rank better, and attract backlinks.
So, whatever schedule for updating you’ve decided on, ensure it’s wide enough to give you the time for research and quality editing.
Don’t make it a pointless activity. Make it really count for something.
Use your data and analytics to prioritize
A great way of identifying what needs some love is to be in touch with your analytics.
That means checking out your Google Analytics and Google Search Console data as the starting point for your new updating schedule.
Look for posts that have dropped average position in the timeframe (e.g. last 30 days or last 3 months).
Also look at how the clicks have changed and the impressions over time.
The impressions can be a powerful identifier for additional topics that are worth having in your article.
You might have missed several keywords/topics that are generating lots of impressions but not the clicks for your page.
And you can jump ahead of the pack by including these keywords (if they are relevant) or use that data for a new post later.
The more you understand your content’s performance, the easier it will be to apply your energies to publishing new content as well as prioritizing the updates.
To sum it up
So to wrap this up, updating your content is really important.
But exactly how often you update your content depends on your niche, the topics you’ve covered, and the type of content it is.
Certain types of content that include affiliate links are very likely to be high on prioritization and have a more regular updating schedule than, say, news posts.
Once you have your schedule down, use that time to give your full attention to refreshing the content with new quality additions.
So how often should you update your blog? It should be as often as possible in most cases, but prioritize based on your niche, content type, and the developing nature of the topics you cover.