Over the past 3 months, I’ve made a concerted effort to post more often here. During #Blogchat on Sunday night, a few people were asking me about my experiences, and I promised to do a recap post here, detailing what I have learned. First, as you might expect, traffic is up sharply. Here’s how traffic here has done over the past 6 months. As you can see, a huge spike in traffic starting in January when I started posting more. In fact, I found that the percentage increase in traffic almost exactly mirrored the percentage increase in number of posts.
From October through December, I averaged 8 posts a month.
From January through this month, I have averaged 21 posts a month. That’s a 163% increase.
From October through December, my average traffic was 6,363 visitors a month.
From January through this month, I have averaged 15,570 visitors a month. That’s a 145% increase.
Feed subscribers increased as well, here’s how my number of subscribers tracked over the past 6 months:
October 1st – 1,970
November 1st – 2,074
December 7th – 2,218
January 1st – 2,242
February 1st – 2,577
March 1st – 2,768
Today – 2,991
There you see the same thing, feed subscribers were growing at about 100 a month before I started posting more, since then, it’s up to 200-300 a month. So obviously, posting more often here has greatly increased my traffic, feed subscribers, and visibility. I really noticed this a couple of weeks ago when I was in Austin for SXSW. In my prior two visits to SXSW, a few people were kind enough to stop me and tell me they enjoyed my writings. What I noticed this time was that far more people were mentioning they enjoyed my writing, but they were also referencing individual posts I had written. Additionally, over the past three months I’ve seen an increase in work and speaking requests as well, so it’s obvious that by simply creating more content (that hopefully hasn’t fallen in quality), that I am getting on more people’s radars.
Now, the big question for you is, should you try to post more often? The big problem that many of you have (as referenced again by feedback from the last #Blogchat), is that most of you don’t have time to post more. Personally, my biggest problem was finding ideas to post about. What I did up till January was shoot for 1-2 posts a week here. So basically, my method for finding ideas was to basically wait for inspiration to strike, and hope that it hit at least once over the course of a week.
But when I made the commitment to post 4-5 times a week, it meant I had to start looking for new post ideas EVERY day. That changed how I looked at my interactions and the other blogs I was reading, and I realized I was leaving a LOT of post ideas on the table. In fact, at least one post I write here a week now comes directly from a conversation I have either participated in or observed on Twitter.
So what about the time issue? The other big surprise to me has been that my time spent writing each post has been slashed. Before, I would spend a couple of hours writing each post. Now, I spend 30-45 mins. The end result is that my output of posts has increased by 163%, but my overall writing time is the same as before, or slightly lower!
So if you want to try this experiment, here’s what I would suggest. Take the number of posts you are writing now every week. If it’s 1 a week, triple that to 3. If it’s 2 posts a week, double that to 4. If you are writing 3 posts a week, increase that to 5. Then whatever your new number is, commit to writing that number of posts next week on your blog.
This will FORCE you to do two very important things:
1 – Come up with more ideas for posts
2 – Write faster
Try that experiment for one week, and see what your results are. Then at the end of the week, you can decide if you want to commit to doing it for another week. And you really won’t begin to see big changes in your traffic, subscribers, etc, until you’ve stuck with it for at least a couple of weeks. So the longer you can stick with this method, the better results you’ll see. And also, pay close attention to the quality of your posts. You don’t want to increase your posting output if it means that your overall quality of posts falls. As I’ve already said, I found that ideas for posts were easier for me to come by, so I don’t think my post quality has fallen too much, in fact I’ve had many people tell me it’s higher now than it was last year.
So give this a spin, and see what you think! If you have any questions about what has worked for me, or how it do this yourself, please leave a comment or email me.
UPDATE: The key takeaway for me from this experiment hasn’t been the increase in traffic and other metrics, I expected that. What’s surprised me is that the content creation process has become much easier. This totally blindsided me, and this is why I think you should consider trying this as well, to see if you have similar results.