How Many Blog Posts Before Traffic Starts Coming In?

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This is a great question. And it is hard to answer definitely, because the ‘traffic’ each blog post gets is going to depend upon many factors including:

  • the age of your domain
  • the specific keyword you’ve chosen for your post(s)
  • the competitiveness of the keyword(s) (meaning how many other posts out there exist that target or utilize that keyword)
  • how many backlinks your site has
  • other ranking signals google doesn’t tell us about or hints at (social shares, internet/external links, etc)

This isn’t everything. But for a beginner who is starting with the basics, this is what you need to know.

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The Google Sandbox (no traffic time)

When I referenced the age of your domain, this is in part about the calculation Google does in determining your domain’s authority, and partially because of the sandbox.

Yes, I know that people have differing opinions about the sandbox, and whether or not it exists.

Some people say that a brand new domain/website will get no traffic at all until somewhere in months 4-6 from Google.

To some extent, this is true, but not just because the domain is brand new.

I have had the personal experience of starting a brand new site with a brand new domain (instead of an older aged domain) and seeing no traffic until month four.

I have also had the experience of starting a brand new domain and starting to see traffic within a few weeks after submitting the site for indexing with Google Search Console, meaning I started to see some visitors from Google as early as month 2.

I think the sandbox exists because the site is brand new, and because most keywords are at least somewhat competitive. Thus, until your site ages a bit and gains at least a little authority in the eyes of Google, you’ll have no chance of ranking on the first page for anything, and thus get no traffic.

I think the reason I was able to get traffic on the new site fairly early was because the keywords had so little competition, basically no competition at all, and thus my site was the only possible result for Google to show in response to the query.

In general though, it won’t matter how many posts you put up in the period when your site is in the sandbox. I have posted hundreds of new posts in the first few months and gotten no traffic on a site. I have also posted very few posts on a new site and gotten traffic.

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But won’t more posts mean more traffic?

Theoretically, the answer to this question is yes. But again, this comes back to the factors that we discussed above. Putting aside the question of your site being in the sandbox, let’s talk about keywords.

When you have a new site, and assuming you have passed the sandbox period, you will be ready to get some traffic. Assuming, that is, that your posts can rank for the keywords that you’ve selected.

Let’s say that you target SUPER competitive keywords, like the big dog sites with tons of backlinks. Only, you don’t have any backlinks, or any other authority. No social media. Nothing.

I don’t care how many posts you put up, or how long those posts have been there. You can’t compete, and you’ll get no traffic whatsoever.

Now, if you target low competition, long tail keywords, instead of shorter super competitive keywords, you will start to see some traffic rolling in in months four to six in most cases.

And in general, the most posts that you are able to publish that are going to be competitive, the more traffic you are going to see after the site exits the sandbox period.

So how many posts should I post to get traffic?

There’s only one response I can provide to you here, and that is this:

Post as many posts as you can that are of sufficient quality to rank on page one, taking into consideration your low domain authority and ability to compete with more established sites.

Pretty much just as many as you can.

I do recommend that you focus on high quality content rather than on just posting any kind of content (See my recent post: Should You Blog Everyday?) If you focus on just publishing words without taking into consideration the SEO on page aspects, creating good titles, and making the article a good one, then you probably won’t get the traffic numbers you are seeking.

Big sites with lots of content will get lots of traffic. But in my experience (and in general I think) the lion’s share of traffic ends up being from a small percentage of the site’s posts, while many blog posts fail to really garner any significant amounts of traffic.

This is why I really think it is important to focus on making your post the best it can possibly be, so that you don’t waste a lot of time (or money in the case of outsourcing) on a post that never sees any traffic.

don't compare yourself written on a notebook page

How do I know if my keyword is a good one?

When you have a very young blog, the goal in general is to target low competition, long tail keywords. That is, unless you already have tons of skills building links and launching a piece of content.

There are many free and paid tools tools to look for keywords. There are tons of free instructional videos on youtube to check out, so I won’t spend a lot of time here going through all the various ways you can find longtail keywords to target.

In general though, once you’ve settled on a potential keyword, I recommend that you just do the Google search and see what pops up. Ask yourself these questions as you review the search results:

  • Do the first page results give you articles that actually answer your question or give you the information that you are searching for? If not, that can be a sign this is a good keyword to go for, as there won’t be much competition.
  • Are there any recent articles published targeting the keywords? If the only results you see are years old, this can also be a sign that there is not a lot of competition for your keyword.
  • Do you see Pinterest, forums, or Quora in the results on page one? This isn’t definitive, but can be a sign that there aren’t many articles available targeting the keyword, and these are the only options for Google to pull from.

Want to learn more about blogging?

I have started blogging more about my years of blogging, and you can check out the blogging archives page if you are interested in learning more about what I know, all the mistakes I made, and growing your own unique website property.

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