Article

Sharon McElwee
Sharon McElwee 12 April 2016

What I Learned from a Month of Not Blogging

Some of biggest content marketing myths are that you need to blog consistently and constantly in order to succeed online. My one-month experiment proved this is no longer true.

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t posted anything on my personal blog in over a month. And contrary to my belief, my business did not die a quick and painful death. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.

As a blogger for hire, it seemed like suicide to not post to my personal #blog for an entire month.

not-blogging-(1).png

The most basic content marketing advice suggests posting more content on a consistent basis will help your business. In order for this to work, you have to be posting relevant information based on popular keywords and optimizing every post.

But I believe this information is outdated. With 2 million blog posts going live every single day, the chances of people finding your little blog are almost zilch.

In order to cut to the chase and save everyone some time, let’s examine what happened to my website and business during my month of unblogging.

  1. My website traffic dropped by 50%. Even though my numbers have never been very high, I was surprised to see that I got half the amount of visitors this month than usual. I know from my Google Analytics that most of my visitors come from social media or direct, so I think this is more about my lack of promo posts than anything else. I originally thought that my cold emails were driving traffic, but now it seems to be something else. Unfortunately, I haven’t put enough effort into my metrics to really understand where my traffic is coming from.

2. My income increased by 100%. I billed twice as much last month as I ever have.  I think I discovered my greatest time vampire. I’m almost afraid to commit to blogging regularly for fear my income will go back down.

3. Interest in my business did not decrease. Not convinced? Reread #2.

4. I felt better about my productivity. Not one time this month did I feel like I was spending a disproportionate amount of time on non-billable work.

5. I had more free time. Even though I had twice as much paying work in the past month, I actually was able to do more fun stuff without having to work extra to make up for the time.

6. I’m more optimistic about my business. Some of you may know this is my side hustle and I have a full-time real estate marketing job. This year I’ve challenged myself to leave my full-time job by the end of the year. Even though it’s still early in the year, last month I felt more confident in my ability to do that than ever before.

7. My experiment proves that what I thought was the best content marketing advice is no longer true. The things that worked for me to get traffic ten years ago no longer have the same effect. This little experiment debunked some classic content marketing myths.

Content Marketing Myths Debunked

Myth #1: More Content is Better

When blogging was a new concept and no one was doing it, publishing more content was an easy way to make it to the top rung of the Google ladder. It didn’t even have to be good!  As long as you used the correct keywords you’d be on Page 1 of Google.

But Google got wise to the Black Hat SEOs who scammed their way to the top of SERPs and changed their algorithms.  They started using more sophisticated factors to determine what pages should sit in the top spot.  To this day, no one knows exactly what ranking factors Google uses to rank pages.

Many content marketing industry leaders have declared that more is not better. SumoMe employee Nat Eliason recently published a case study showing how he grew his blog to over 50,000 visitors a month with only one post.  Clearly more is not better.

Myth #2: To Make Money Blogging, You Need to Start Posting on Your Own Blog

This myth doesn’t seem like a myth at all, until you remember that over 2 million blog posts are published every day. You can’t write a post and wait for people to come to you.  They’ll never find you!

A better way to start is guest posting. If it worked for blogging legend Jon Morrow, it can work for you too!

Myth #3: No one will read your emails

Though email marketing seems old-fashioned, it’s still the most profitable marketing channel around. Automated emails are necessary to keep eyeballs on your content. There’s always someone around the corner looking to steal your readers away.  Don’t let them!

Sharon McElwee
Sharon McElwee

Update: Google has revealed their top ranking factors: http://searchengineland.com/now-know-googles-top-three-search-ranking-factors-245882

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