Raise your hand if you’re feeling pressured to blog all the time.
Blogging is fun when you first start out. Then, for some people, blogging starts to get old. Writer’s block sets in. You learn that your 300-word posts won’t cut it in today’s Brave New Google World, so you have to write more. Your posts go up to 500 words. Then 700.
You start to get tired.
You read that it’s not enough to just blog anymore. You have to create standout content that truly differentiates yourself from the competition. Now, the magical blog post length is over 1,000 words.
And you don’t know how you’re going to do it (or pay for it) all.
My contrarian advice: Quit blogging so much.
I did. And it didn’t hurt my conversions one bit.
I went through the same blogging burnout a couple years ago. Once upon a time, my blog was publishing four days a week. My blogging editor was finding sources to interview and curating content, while I was writing posts, recording videos and developing the editorial calendar.
Suddenly, everything stopped. My blog editor quit and I realized I had an opportunity. I could stay on the content creation hamster wheel. Or I could jump off and try my own thing.
I took the leap.
About that time, I discovered Derek Halpern and read about his 80/20 blogging rule. Derek says, 20 percent of your time should be spent writing, 80 percent should be spent on promotion.
So I gave it a try. I sliced the blogging schedule down to once a week, I wrote longer, more in-depth posts and I spent more time on LinkedIn Groups and Twitter promotion.
The result: My conversions have actually increased.
For me, blogging less is actually better than blogging more.
I think this is happening for a couple reasons:
- I think the extra time I’m spending on content creation is paying off. The content is higher quality and clicks more with the reader. People enjoy reading it. It makes them want to sign up for my newsletter. It’s working.
- Extra promotion time means I’m driving more traffic to the site.
I mention my experiences to you, because you may be feeling the same blogging burnout. You may be cranking out blog posts for clients that fit their magical “write 750 words on X” requirements…but you know the posts won’t convert.
Or, you may work in-house and feel stuck. You may not have the budget to hire a full-time blogger, but you feel the pressure to blog constantly.
I’ve been there. If blogging less and promoting more sounds like a smart idea, consider these steps.
– Check your analytics
You need to know exactly what to slice if you’re going to drastically reduce your blogging schedule. For instance, I’ve worked with firms that got a great response every time one of their engineers blogged. On the flip side, posts written by their PR department would fall flat (surprise!).
The results you find may be surprising. For instance, my content curation posts drove great traffic, but they didn’t help with any conversion goals (for instance, getting people to sign up for my newsletter.) They were also extremely time-consuming to produce. My decision: get rid of them.
– Figure out a realistic blogging schedule
Now that you have a “do-over” chance, figure out what blogging schedule works best for your company. For my company, blogging once a week was perfect. For yours, you may need/want to blog more often. It’s OK to slice your blogging schedule down in baby steps to see what works.
– Consider how you can reallocate your time/resources to make your posts even better
Now that you have the additional blogging time, use it to create spectacular resources your readers need. Take a hard look at competing sites (whether local or national,) and consider how you can step up your blogging game. Can you write in-depth reports? Can you interview industry experts? This is a great time to check your keyphrase research, plus look at Quora and LinkedIn groups for content ideas.
– Build promotion into your editorial calendar
It’s not enough anymore to upload a post and watch for the Google results to roll in. Think about where you can promote your posts to get the biggest bang for your buck and set up a promotion schedule.
For instance, I post on various LinkedIn groups, Twitter and my Facebook page within a couple days of publication. If I cite an industry influencer, I make sure that I’ve mentioned her on Twitter or Google+. That way, she’ll (hopefully) share my post with her audience — and, yes, drive traffic to my site.
– Obsessively track your analytics
Confirm what’s working, what’s not and tweak your campaign accordingly. For instance, I like to track my weekly newsletter subscription stats and see how they relate to a blog post topic. If I get a lot of newsletter signups based on a blog post, I know I have a winner.
A special note for freelancers…
If a large part of your income comes from blogging, you may be thinking, “I can’t write fewer posts! I’ll lose money!”
That’s a fair point.
Instead of blogging more often, blog better. Consider offering your clients longer, more in-depth posts and pair those posts with some promotion. That way, your clients will see better results, and you’ll maintain your blogging revenue stream.
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