Bloggers new to the field may wonder just how many articles they should launch their new blog with at the beginning. Is there a hard and fast rule as how much content a new site “should” have when it goes live?
There are plenty of suggestions floating around online as to how much content you need to start a blog, but in reality there is no hard and fast rule as to how many articles you need. You can start a blog with one article or thirty; at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter since organic traffic in the early days will be very small either way until Google begins to trust your site.
In general the goal should be to get your site, and any content you have, live as soon as possible so it can start ranking on Google.
However, when first starting your blog, here is a good rule of thumb for publishing content:
Start your blog as soon as you have an article published. Ideally, have 5-10 articles ready to publish immediately when starting a blog. Keep up a reasonable pace of publication in the early stages of a blog, to make sure Google starts to take notice of your site, and keep this pace up until you reach at least 30 published articles on your blog.
This whole process takes time no matter what, so don’t worry about the number of articles you have at the start. Publish what you have and keep publishing and you will be fine! Let’s look at the issue in more detail below.
Should You Launch Your Blog Right Away?
Some people in this field do recommend that you try to have at least 5-10 articles ready to publish straight away when you launch your new website. This may help but the reality is that there is going to be little or no traffic to your site in the early days no matter what you do to begin with.
It won’t do any harm to put your site live even if you have just one article published so far, since it will take time to build traffic no matter what. The Income School guys recommend you put your site live ASAP and publish the content as you go. See the video above.
If you have some articles already drafted when you launch the site then great. It gives Google a whole bunch of content to start indexing from the off. However don’t worry if you haven’t. Just publish what you have and keep adding to it.
There can be a vanity factor here in that people are a little self conscious about launching a site that they don’t feel is fully “finished” in terms of design or the amount of content. Again there is no need to worry about this, since traffic in the early days of a site is almost always very small anyway.
Google takes a long time to trust content from a new site. In fact the Income School guys looked into this and found that it takes an average of 35 weeks, or basically 9 months, for content from a new site to bring in 90% of the traffic that it ever will.
This emphasizes how patient you have to be in waiting for new content to rank on Google.
Having a new site looking a little “bare” in terms of content in the first few weeks while you are producing more content is not going to do any harm, since there is so little organic traffic in the early days anyway. It often takes months to build serious traffic to a new site so there is no need to worry about it looking unfinished in the early days.
Keep Up A Quick Pace of Publication in the Early Days of Your Blog
This is another crucial point that the Income School guys especially have emphasized several times. Once you start you blog, it is important to keep publishing content regularly until you reach a bare minimum of 30 articles posted.
Conversely, the mistake to avoid here is to publish only a few articles and then drop the website, only returning to it months later. This isn’t giving your site enough chance to really gain traction and trust with Google.
One of the factors in the Google algorithm that allows it to give more trust to a site is link velocity, or simply the amount of new content being produced on a site that Google can index. If Google sees that a site is publishing content on a regular basis, it sends a signal that something is happening in this corner of the internet, and your site will be crawled and indexed more often by the search engines.
Keep publishing content on a brand new site to get some link velocity and let Google know something is happening in that corner of the internet
It is generally considered good practice to keep up this quick production of new content in the early stages of a site, simply to get a good batch of articles indexed and ranking on Google. If you just publish a few posts and then leave it, Google doesn’t really have enough to trust your site, or even really know what it is about.
As a good benchmark figure, aim for 30 articles published in the first few months of a website.
There are a number of ways you could do this. Here are a few examples:
- Start publishing one article at a time, right away, one each day, for 30 days.
- Start publishing right away, one post every other day – you’ll get there in 60 days.
- Have 5 articles already drafted and publish them right away on your new blog, then publish another 4-5 posts a week for 5-6 weeks.
- Have 10 articles already drafted and publish them right away, then just publish 3-4 a week for 6 weeks.
- Draft all 30 articles beforehand and then launch your blog, scheduling out to publish 1 post a day for 30 days (you can do this on WordPress)
So you can see that you can cut this any way you like it. As long as you are sure you have enough free time and un-distracted attention to be able to keep publishing, then you can start your blog right away with just one article, and just keep posting more.
If you are not so sure of your day to day availability, then you may want to publish a small batch of articles right away on your site, and then post at slightly more spaced out intervals after that (don’t leave it too long though – keep up some kind of regularity of maybe 1-2 posts a week until you hit 30 published articles).
If you fail to keep up a decent regularity of new content on a new site, then it can fail to take off in the way a site with more regularly published content would, simply because it doesn’t quite gain the traction and credibility with Google in the early days.
Make sure you can devote enough time and energy to any blog project you start to keep up a decent rate of new content to get a good “seed in the ground” in terms of a decent batch of content that Google can start ranking.
How Many Articles Do I Need On My Blog to Make Money?
A related question is how many articles you need on your blog to start drawing in enough traffic that you can make some decent income on your site after some time.
Again there is no hard and fast answer to this as it depends on so many factors like the niche of your website, the quality of the content, competition in the field and so on.
The Income School guys recommend posting at least 30 articles for passive income niche sites before leaving them to rank on Google. Over their portfolio of successful sites they have seen that even this few articles can bring in 30,000 page views per month in the first year, provided you did a good job researching the keywords for the articles and filled in nice gaps in the market on Google.
This is an absolute bare minimum recommendation though and many blogs will likely need more articles than that to start driving serious traffic. It depends largely on the competitiveness of the niche and how many search terms there are in that niche which you can rank for on Google.
If you pick a really good niche which is not very competitive and desperately needs some good content producing for it on Google, then you have some low hanging fruit there and 30 articles can do very well. If the niche is more competitive you are probably going to need way more than 30 articles to get good traffic to your site.
The idea is to just produce as much content as you can to give your site the best chance. If you draw up a hit list of possible articles, run through the hit list and produce content for all of them. If this pulls you up closer to 100 articles or even past it, then you have a great platform there that can draw in thousands of pageviews a month once you give Google time to rank the content.
It is important though to make sure you research your article titles properly to make sure the terms are ones you can realistically rank for. If you try to rank for competitive terms already dominated by big sites, you will struggle to rank and your time will be wasted.
See our article on a methodology for producing good content.
You are also best focusing on one site in the beginning until it is successful. You can always draft ideas for content for other sites you have though. See our article on whether to have one or multiple sites when starting out blogging or affiliate marketing.
Content is king for making money online and the more content you can produce for your blog the better.
More Content = More Lines in the Water
To use a fishing analogy, more content equals more lines in the water to catch more traffic. Each article is a chance to draw in unique traffic to your site from Google searches.
This simply means that the more content you can produce answering different search terms on Google, the more widely you are casting the net and more traffic you can potentially pull in. We are going big on the fishing metaphors today!
This does mean that 30 articles is an absolute low side minimum and ideally you should aim for 60 articles or more to be more confident of getting traffic long term.
Having more articles also acts as an insurance against some articles not ranking because you underestimated the competitiveness of the term or because someone else came in and outranked you.
If you produce 60 articles for example, and after one year, 45 of them turn out to be good posts and 15 turn out to be weaker ones which don’t rank, then you still have a good safety net of 45 articles to provide you with good traffic.
With only 30 articles posted you have much less of a safety net there is case some articles for whatever reason don’t rank.
Of course researching the keywords and article titles thoroughly and picking out articles with less competition does help with this, but even doing this some articles can still struggle to do well on Google. Simply having more content up on your site is a good buffer against this and means you can have traffic from multiple sources.
A Process For Writing Good Content
Getting content to rank on Google basically requires producing a resource that is better than other resources that currently rank for that search term. This mean producing more helpful content that provides more information, better options and is better presented than the competition.
We have gone through this process of creating good content in our full article on the subject. However, we will summarize the main points again here in producing article that ranks well on Google:
- Go for longer tail search terms with less competition that are not already covered by the bigger, more authoritative sites.
- Word length is an important factor; try to produce longer content than the competition for that search term.
- Make sure your content is properly formatted with small blocks of text, H3 subheadings throughout and images and videos where appropriate.
- Insert product comparison tables, infographics, videos, bulleted lists and other features to make your content really useful and easily consumable.
- Anticipate and answer closely related and follow up questions to the main question in your subsections to make your article a more comprehensive resource. Cover the topic from as many different angles as possible.
- See our articles on keyword research and writing content for more information.
- See the video from Income School below for an excellent guide to ranking at the top of Google.
- See also their Project 24 program for their full program for earning money from blogging online.