I am back from vacation (in sunny Mexico–wish I were more tanned and less freckled, but there you go), and very excited about my first post of 2015!
As you know, for the last few years, I’ve been writing a blog for pleasure called Cooking by Laptop. It indulges my love of food and cooking and travel. Now, the traffic on that blog has never been even near the traffic of this one, but to be fair, I’ve been writing this blog now for 7+ years, so I’m sure that is a factor.
I have always believed that if you write more, your traffic will be higher. If you look at, for example, multi-author blogs like Vancity Buzz (to whom I am a contributor), which post multiple times per day, and have 50-100 writers, you’ll see that they get traffic in the millions every month.
Clearly, when there’s just you, multiple posts per day is a big challenge. Miss 604, however, is someone who posts pretty much every day–sometimes multiple times per day, and rocks it–mostly on her own. VancouverScape is another example in this category.
So. I decided to do an experiment. For the month of December, I’d post every weekday on my blog–brand-new, original content, five times a week for a month. I’d measure my traffic at the beginning of the month, and then I’d measure it again after, and compare to see how daily blogging affects your traffic.
I enlisted the help of some friends with this challenge–a group of friends also committed to posting, some only once or twice a week, some more, for the month of December. I thought having someone to be accountable to would really help me. I carefully mapped out what every post was going to be, and I even wrote a few posts in advance and banked them for December.
Normally, I post 2-3 times per week on that blog, which means an average of 8-12 blog posts per month. In the month of December, I doubled that output, publishing 23 blog posts.
|December, 2013||November, 2014||December, 2014||Percentage of Growth|
In the month of November, 2014, I had 2,400 visits to my CBL Blog, and 1,421 unique visitors.
In the month of December, 2013 (exactly one year ago), I had 1,762 visits, and 1,000 unique visitors.
In the month of December, 2014, I had had 3,565 visits, and 2,033 unique visitors.
So–that’s pretty cool, eh? I was happy with the spike in traffic, but honestly, at the end of the day, I’m not sure the work was worth it. It was a lot of work keeping it up every day. I had hoped that by doubling my output, I’d double my traffic, but it didn’t really work out that way.
Having said that, if you want to be a professional blogger, I think you do need to make the effort to blog consistently, and often. Because I write for two other blogs (and am starting a new one soon–stay tuned!), I do write and publish almost every day, it’s just that my content is spread across several platforms.
I asked a few of my colleagues how the experience was for them, and here is what they said:
I confess to being a bit technologically challenged and I don’t even know where to find my stats! Doing this challenge made me realize that the stats matter. If I work that hard, it should be measurable, otherwise I might just be tap dancing in the wind for nothing.
The blog challenge really grounded me. I’m now asking myself hard questions- How does social networking serve to get my word out? Is the bang for the proverbial buck there? I’ve left the challenge examining how I spend my time instead of just feeling like I ‘should’ be on twitter/facebook etc all the time.
In terms of what I noticed- It was really surprising how many more followers I got on twitter that were connected to my kind of work. That was heartening and told me my content was valuable. The FB page views were off the charts from the tiny single digits of the months before. I went from 5 to 8 views to 150 views. For me a big leap. The greatest value for me honestly was in learning to work my business seriously, committing to posts and quality in a way I had really let become haphazard.
–Rebecca Hass, RebeccaHass.ca
December was a busy month: business trips, offering support to graduating and prospective students, shopping for the holidays, cooking, celebrating. I was afraid of not being able to stick to the initial plan, but it worked out fine. I learned a lot during this intense month and I am grateful for the opportunity of sharing moments with the fellow bloggers who participated in this challenge proposed by Rebecca.
I was not able to post to my blog during the months of September, October and November due to a series of business trips. However, during the month of December I saw an increased traffic coming to my blog (and was very happy about it), even though I was only posting three times per week.
It was also very clear how important it is to have an editorial calendar. I knew about its importance from before, but I feel like I was underestimating this amazing tool. The editorial calendar I created for December helped me to stay on track and on time. It also gave me room to make changes when they were much needed without compromising the whole plan. I am definitely sticking to it for this year.
Pinterest really surprised me. I had never dedicated so much time to this amazing tool. We even created a collaborative board for the Blogging Challenge. And having material uploaded everyday proved to significantly increase the number of pins, likes and followers.
It was a fun experience and it made me realize how much I like being able to share experiences that can be valuable and useful to like-minded people.
Fabiano Maciel, BizGlobeTrotter.com
The first two weeks were amazing for me. By the 15th I had passed the amount of traffic I had last month, but last week was really slow. I think it was partly because I wasn’t doing as much social media promotion, and also because of the holidays. I will probably do a challenge like this in February or March again to see how I do with numbers.
Raj Thandi, Pink Chai Style
Have you tried increasing your blogging output to increase your numbers? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments section below.
UPDATE: Turns out, this daily blogging had residual effects on my traffic. Read more here.