One of the questions I get asked a lot as a web designer is “how much content do I need when starting a blog?”
It’s a good question. One that you’ve probably asked yourself when getting started.
And depending on who you ask, you’ll likely get a different answer.
That doesn’t exactly help though, does it?
Unfortunately I’m here to burst your bubble: there is no correct number of blog posts you need to have ready when starting a blog.
However, depending on your goals and your website’s unique situation, there is probably an answer that’s better than the others.
Let’s take a look at the various options so you can determine how much content you need to create when starting a blog.
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t actually need a bunch of blog posts right off the bat. Back in the early days of blogging, people didn’t launch with a site full of articles.
Instead, they published one single blog post and they were off! It really was that simple.
If you’re putting off making your blog live due to not having enough content, then give yourself permission to write one post and be done with it. Then just stick with a schedule and continue to publish posts consistently.
One Post Per Category
While in theory you only need one blog post to start a blog, there are times when more than one makes sense.
For example, let’s say you want to have a menu that lists all of your blog categories. Well if you want that menu to be visible from the beginning, you’re going to need content for each of those categories. Otherwise those menu items will just link to empty pages.
Of course, in order to get around that, you could simply leave the category menu off of your blog and publish posts one at a time. Then when you’ve published a post for every category, you can add the menu back.
That may or may not work for you though. In some of the sites I design, the category menu is an integral part of the site so eliminating it isn’t an option.
Several Posts Per Category
Just like how your layout might require you to publish one post per category, your blog’s layout may dictate that you publish several posts in one (or more) categories.
For example, if your homepage has category grids (like in Studiopress’ Foodie Pro theme), you’ll want to make sure the grids are filled out. Of course this isn’t essential, but from a design standpoint, it’ll look a bit off.
Now I don’t know how often this will be an actual issue, but I wanted to point it out anyway. And if you’re using a theme like that, I would actually advise that you set the grid to have less squares (at least just to start) or you can completely eliminate the category sections all together as they’re better suited for blogs with a lot of content.
A Few Posts
My go to answer when asked how much content is needed is a few posts.
I like to think of it like this: when people land on your newly live blog to read a post, they will likely click around and see what else you have to offer.
Now if you only have one post published, there’s not a whole lot for them to go off of. They’ll likely leave and not come back.
But if you have a few posts available for them, they’ll click around and be able to get a good feel for the type of content you create and how it’ll help them. And if they like what they see, they’ll stick around for future posts.
That’s why I suggest you start your blog off with 3-4 posts. It’s just enough to show what your blog is about, but not too much that it’ll delay you from going live.
Plus a Few More
Okay, now that you’ve decided how many blog posts to have published at launch, it’s time to write a few more.
I’m a fan of getting ahead when it comes to your editorial calendar. It makes posting consistently a lot easier, especially because, you know, life.
Having a few extra posts written and saved as drafts means you can keep your blog active even when you’re facing writers block.
Consistency is key when it comes to blogging. You don’t want to start you blog, only to fall off the face of the earth 3 weeks in because you couldn’t think of something to write (or because you didn’t have the time). So get ahead and have a few posts ready to go.
The amount of content you create is up to you
Whether you launch your blog with one blog post or have an archive full of posts, you’ll be fine. I know you want to get your launch perfect, but don’t stress over this. As long as you publish content consistently, you’ll be on the road to creating a successful blog.