How To Grow Your Traffic And Increase Blog Publishing Without Going Mad
As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
If you’re publishing content, you’ve asked the question: how many times should you post every week?
Some people will tell you the more content you publish, the better. And that can be true. For us, when we've increased our blog publishing, we've seen a steady increase in organic traffic. And according to HubSpot, companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get about 4.5X more leads than companies that publish between 0 - 4 monthly posts.
However, digital influencers like James Clear and Mark Manson post around one post per week, and still generate a ton of traffic. They’re pretty well-known for that. And because of outliers like Clear and Manson, it can be challenging to decide what balance your company should strike.
Many startups and B2Bs settle for about two to three posts a week. In my experience, if you want to drastically increase your organic traffic and generate more leads, as well as build influence in your space, you should publish high-quality content every day. It’s a difficult, but not impossible thing to do.
How To Grow Your Traffic By Increasing Blog Publishing: The Process
If you’re successfully following an editorial calendar and managing to post at least three high-quality blog posts and videos per week, you know the amount of time and effort that goes into it. That’s why publishing every day is so intimidating.
But in truth, there are only a few small adjustments you need to make to your systems, and some initial resources you need to invest upfront to make it happen. The steps are similar to our Customer Centric Marketing approach, which you can read more about here.
You can use that process to build an inbound marketing machine, but if you also want to hit that one post a day, here are the tips that have helped our team.
Image via wpinitiate.com
Create A Backlog
The first step to writing a blog post each day is creating a backlog of content. That means you have enough blog content to schedule every day for the next month (or the following month, if you need more time to catch up.) If you don’t post on weekends, that can be between 22-24 posts. If you post on the weekends, obviously the number will be more like 28-31.
The key to creating a backlog is to learn how quickly you can create a month’s worth of posts without sacrificing quality.
When you break it down, creating 24-31 blog posts in a month means you need 5-8 articles written per week. While this isn’t impossible to accomplish using one writer, I’d recommend hiring an additional writer (or writers) to accelerate the process. Additionally, you can use your writers to edit each other’s work.
Plan Out Around 20 Blog Post Titles
After you decide to create a backlog, you’ll need to start planning out your blog titles. As a best practice, you should map out your blog posts, so each one promotes or links to a pillar or key page. If you don't have pillar pages planned out yet, it may be worth going back and creating one or two before moving forward.
In this very post, I mentioned our Customer Centric Marketing page, which is one of our key pages. It’s in line with the subject matter for this post, so it’s a natural fit. You also want to ensure that every single post has an intended keyword it's going to rank for. And although it's tempting, try to stick to keywords or phrases that have a 30-50 competitive score, using a keyword tool such as SEMrush.
Plan For Different Post Types
A lot of blog articles follow the same four or five-point structure. But you don't need to write the same style of a blog post every time. It’s actually better to have a variety. You can mix it up.
A few popular styles for longer articles, between 1,200 - 1,400 words, that we use for meatier posts include:
- Skyscraper Posts
- Mini Guides
For shorter posts, between 1,000 - 1,200, you can try formats such as:
- Q & A
- Video Transcriptions
- Podcast Recaps
By selecting a blog post template to use, you can effectively outline the post, stay under your word count, and stick to the topic. As a bonus, if you share the same style of content on certain days, such as Q&A posts on Tuesdays and videos on Wednesday, you can train your audience to look for them.
Once you write your posts and your backlog is built up, you’ll schedule the posts. If your CMS doesn’t have an auto-publisher, you’ll need to do this manually. For my own site, Driftyland, I use WordPress, so I have to publish articles and share them individually across channels automatically.
With a tool like HubSpot, however, which is what we use at Lean Labs, we can automate all of this.
The advantage of scheduling ahead is that you can set it and forget it, and keep a consistent schedule going. If you want an additional boost of traffic to your content, you’ll need to be active on channels like Quora and Twitter, of course, but scheduling content out means there’s one less thing for you or your team to worry about.
Let Your Content Bake
The trick to publishing every day and growing traffic is patience. It can take a while for your blog content to rank and for that traffic to come in. Because with blog content, you're playing the long game.
That's why it's important to give every your blog post your best effort. They need to be optimized, well-written, have catchy titles and clever meta descriptions, as well as an obvious appeal for your audience. I like to think of content creation and blogging like making cookies. You can't skip any of the ingredients before they go in the oven.
Use Your Content At Key Conversion And Engagement Points
It's easy just to let your content sit there and wait for Google to do the work. But if you want to get content ROI while you're waiting for organic traffic to come, you've got to do a little legwork.
The tactics that I find can help get short-term lift include:
Answering 1-2 Quora questions a day. Quora has a lot of good contributors, but a majority of the answers aren’t very good. I like to provide really thoughtful, but concise answers and link to a post I’ve written. It’s self-promotional, sure, but if you’re putting in the effort to help someone with your expertise, people don’t mind. I also share a link to my response on Twitter.
Consider sending a post a week via email. A lot of companies do a weekly newsletter or blog subscription, which is a great way to keep subscribers engaged. If you know enough about your customers, you can also send a weekly email that matches their interests. And not only linking to the content but discusses the topic and naturally leads the reader into clicking on it. Marketers like Noah Kagan do this really well.
Make a repurposing plan. If you get creative, you can get more mileage from all of your assets. A blog post can spin off into a video. A podcast transcript can turn into an article. While you don't want to regurgitate the same content, but you can find ways to repurpose material and bring even more value to your customer.
Link relevant blog content on your website. If you used a buyer journey to build out your website, you can go back and look for opportunities to link blog content from your website. It shouldn't be overkill, but if there are natural opportunities to add additional context and round out your site.
Share your blog content with your sales team. Blog content that explains your approach can show the differences between you and competitors. It can also answer frequently asked questions during the sales process.
Get Your Team Invested In Thought Leadership
Everyone on your team should have a voice on your blog, even if you merely quote or interview them. Then, they should share that content on their networks. While you don’t want anything to seem forced, if you're writing about compelling topics and involving your team in the process, there's no reason they shouldn't be sharing and promoting your material.
At a minimum, they can also answer 1-2 Quora questions or share their articles on Twitter for even more reach.
Getting The Most Value From Blog Content
Content is an investment. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Every post counts, every little bit of effort pushes you forward. When you consistently post a new article each day, train your readers, get your team energized and involved with the process, and stick to a distribution schedule, you’ll gain traction and get even more value from content.