As I’m sure you know by now, I recently had a baby. I know, I’ve talked about it everywhere But, because I had a baby, my blogging schedule was disrupted. Check that. My blogging schedule went out the window, crashing to pieces on the street 37 stories below!
I literally didn’t write or post a new blog post for almost a month!
If you know me and my dedication to blogging, you know this is sacrilege for me. I am always preaching consistency and the value of posting new, fresh content on a regular basis. I have consistently shared at least two blog posts a week for 2 and half years. Until this current situation happened. And I violated all my own blogging rules.
BUT… I had to focus on me and my growing family. And I still had consulting and training clients and other business projects that required my attention. So I made the decision to suspend my blogging activities.
I knew my blog traffic and website visits would take a hit. I mean, it had to, right? I stopped blogging for a whole month! And it was during the summer (August) when blog traffic is notoriously slower anyways since everyone is on vacation or enjoying other aspects of their lives, rather than reading blogs.
But, to my complete shock, when I checked my analytics at the end of the month, my traffic was almost identical to the two previous months!
I honestly thought it was a mistake and had to check both my Jetpack stats in WordPress and Google Analytics to make sure it was right
And it was.
So, I had to sit back and think about this. What was it that allowed me to maintain this kind of traffic given the circumstances?
I have to admit that a large majority of my website traffic actually comes from organic searches.
I’ve spent a long time cultivating a wealth of blog posts that come up in top positions in search queries. I have written over 100 blog posts dedicated to Instagram and if you search for anything related to a specific Instagram question, there’s a really good chance you will see one or more of my blog posts on the first page of results.
Therefore, even though I wasn’t posting anything new, search engines were still putting my content at the top of their lists – driving thousands of visits daily to my site still.
But here’s the thing. This didn’t happen by chance and it didn’t happen overnight.
It took me a long time to write all that content that shows up in searches. And I had to write quality content that people actually cared to read about when they found it via searches. And I had to consistently write new posts to keep the search engines crawling and indexing my site.
So, in all reality, all the things I’ve preached about good blogging strategies actually paid off for me!
I know, it really isn’t that shocking. Hard work and dedication will pay off in the long run. Even if you don’t see it right away, it’s there, working for you, and it will be worth it.
Sharing Old Content
I honestly wish I had done more of this and planned ahead more strategically. But you live and learn.
One of the major sources of traffic for me over the month long hiatus was Twitter. And this is partly because I use one favorite little plugin on my site – Revive Old Post (previously Tweet Old Post). This one plugin ensures that one of my older blog posts gets shared to my Twitter account every 4 hours (my choice for time interval).
This meant that even though I wasn’t creating new content to share on Twitter, my Twitter followers were still seeing regular content shares from my site. And while some of these posts may be a little dated or less relevant today, a lot of the content is evergreen and still valuable to my audience.
So, even though I wasn’t blasting them with something “new”, they were finding posts I had written that were still new to them and drove traffic to my site regularly.
As I said, I wish I had done more to prep this mentality. I wish I would have scheduled Facebook and Google+ posts to share older content too. But, now I know for next time… although I’m hoping that won’t happen for a while!
Social Media Traffic
Beyond just the Revive Old Post traffic from Twitter, I also maintained a steady stream of traffic from Pinterest. While Pinterest isn’t usually all that high on my referral traffic list, when all things otherwise slowed down, I was super grateful to see how many people found my site from pins generated recently and from months ago.
I’m also sure I generated residual Twitter traffic from people retweeting my posts that started from the Revive Old Post shares. Plus, people who were finding my content from search engines were sharing my posts to their social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and more), again driving more traffic back to my site.
And this is why, no matter what, I will always love social media for blogging! Because, even when I’m not there, social media is working for me, driving new visitors and readers to my blog.
And finally, just because I stopped, no, temporarily suspended, my blogging schedule, it didn’t mean I stopped promoting my brand.
Amid all the craziness and changes and things I had going on, I never stopped being me. I never stopped posting to social media. I never stopped talking about my blog or letting people learn about me.
I still did interviews. I had syndicated blog posts that went out during this time. I was quoted in popular and well-shared articles. I was working with clients. I continued to share other content to my social media sites, providing value and education to my audience.
Online marketing never stops. Even when you do. So, it’s important to keep that aspect of your business alive and fresh. Your audience is your life line and you can’t let them get lost. On this note, when I knew I was going to slow, and eventually suspend, my blog posts, I made sure to inform all my readers via email and social media. Because I believe in honesty and transparency with my audience.
And now, I’m working back to a regular blogging schedule… and planning to increase blog traffic!