You create more content. It’s funny how there’s usually a very simple answer to the questions that everyone has. The problem is that very simple answer typically requires some very hard work by you.
But if we are talking about building traffic for your blog, more content is the way to go. It doesn’t matter if your blog is your business, if you are writing it for your employer, or if you are writing it because you are the world’s biggest Game of Thrones fan. More content = more visitors.
The Search Effect
Here’s my monthly traffic to this blog from June 2009-December 2014:
Tough to read, but you can see that blue line consistently going up to the right. Also notice how low the blue line is in 2009? This is where most blogs die, because traffic is so low and they invest a few months and really don’t see a meaningful increase. But as you can see, it wasn’t until January of 2011 that traffic here really jumped and started moving up. That’s about 18 months of work put into creating content before the first corner was turned. Like I said, it’s a lot of work but if you stick with it, the results speak for themselves.
Now, here’s something really interesting. After I’ve made the case for more content equaling more traffic, let me shoot a hole in my own advice:
Monthly traffic here in 2013 averaged over 21,000 visitors and monthly traffic in 2014 averaged over 37,000 visitors. That’s a jump of about 80%. Here’s the kicker: The number of new posts I wrote here actually fell in 2014. Sharply.
I wrote 159 new posts in 2013, and only 87 in 2014. Almost half, yet as you can see, traffic surged anyway.
So how did this happen? It mostly happened because of an increase in search traffic.
In 2013, 60% of this blog’s traffic came from organic search. In 2014, that percentage had increased to 78%. This is a byproduct of blogging here for 5+ years. As I create more content, that content gets indexed by search engines, I collect more incoming links, and my posts start to move higher up search rankings. The cold, hard reality is that if you start a new blog today and write a post about brand ambassador programs and I write a post tomorrow about the same topic, my post will almost assuredly show up much higher in search rankings. Which means I will get the search traffic and you won’t. Even though I was creating less content in 2014, overall traffic went up versus 2013 in large part because organic search traffic increased. If I had written the same number of posts in 2014 vs 2013, that percentage of search traffic would have likely been lower, but the overall volume of traffic from organic search would have still increased.
I started off the year writing about how we needed to stop listening to people that tell us not to write unless it’s perfect. I did so because if we follow this advice, we will write less often, which ironically means that it will become more difficult for us to improve our craft. You should be writing new content to your blog every single week. I’ve said in the past that you should pick a schedule that works for you and stick with that, but too many of us will pick a lax posting schedule like once a month and not even adhere to that.
Growth requires regular work. If you want your blog to grow then you need to work on it every single week.