Last month, I set myself a challenge to try and write 30 blog posts in 30 days. It actually turned into 20 days of blogging instead.
I posted the launch of it on this blog after not blogging for nearly 6 months. It was high-time that I practiced what I preached and started writing again ,especially since I have so much to say about how to drive traffic to your website as a small business owner!
My blog posts have performed really well in the past for my website as I think I “get” what my ideal customer likes to read after studying the Google Analytics data for so long, so it seemed crazy that I wasn’t taking advantage of the good standing my site already has with Google.
I have also found that I have a new and information hungry-audience built up over the past year containing the people from my Supercharge Your Website 5-Day Challenges. I wanted a place to put more of the information that they learned from the week and give them something they can come back and refer to but talking about the various techniques discussed in the challenge.
If you’re wondering whether writing for your website blog is a good idea, then read on…
Why I set myself this challenge
Essentially, I wanted to see whether writing content on an ongoing basis would be beneficial for my website marketing.
I talk a lot about the power of content to improve your SEO standing but it’s been a while since I did that and I started to feel like a bit of a fraud when talking to my members and clients.
I have worked as a blogger and a content writer for the various marketing agencies that I used to work at and I’ve also run my own blogs too. I’ve implemented techniques for my own travel blog (and later a “mummy blog” as kids and travel didn’t quite mix!) to improve my organic search traffic, and used those on this blog when I first launched, but then it tailed off.
I’m only one person trying to write as much content as I can on an ongoing basis (I have no one helping me with that side of the business – I love writing too much) and quite often I’ll focus on the short-term wins to bring in traffic and leads, so quite often the blog has to wait.
My thinking was if I declared my intent to write a blog post every day in June then I’d have to do it – no excuses.
I would show up and share each day’s post on my free Facebook Group – this way if I missed a day, I was positive the members in there would be chasing me up.
Being accountable is a great way to get things done that you’ve been putting off.
20 days of blogging
OK so let’s cut to the chase – in the end I wrote 19 published posts and one (finished) unpublished post.
In total it was 20 days of blogging, which is not bad considering that I recommend to my Supercharge Your Website members and clients that they should write a blog post weekly.
If you can get into the habit and the muscle memory of writing weekly you can then repurpose that content.
You can use it in your emails and you can split it up put it into your daily social posts for the week too so it shouldn’t (in theory) add to your workload.
Writing regularly also helps you refine your offer. I hear from so many of my Members that they don’t know what to write about. I have found in the past that the more content that you write, and the more that you analyze that data, the more you can see what resonates with your users and they’ll tell you from what articles, pages and posts they spend the longest on.
If I had written 20 posts once a week, then I would have written nearly half a year’s worth of content, so I was quite pleased with the results.
I managed to write a really varied collection of posts, brain-dumped things I had meant to write about for along time and even took the time to throw in a few experiments.
So what did I write about?
01. I started with news.
The news within your business right now is always a great blog post to write.
If anything’s changing in your business or you’re doing a promotion then you definitely should be writing in down and letting your customers know about it via your website.
My news was that I was launching the 30 days of blogging challenge! ( I know…meta right?)
If you’re thinking, “I don’t have anything new to say” I think you’re not looking hard enough at your business.
Maybe you have a new product to sell? Or a new service to provide?
Maybe it could be a new tool that you’re using, or that someone’s featured you on their blog?,
You’re probably sharing this stuff on your session media profiles, but can you turn that into a blog post first.
02. Then I wrote a lot of useful content about the things that I know about.
I know this appeals to my website users because I have done blog post writing sprints before on my site.
By doing so, I’ve been able to analyze my Google Analytics data and see what type of content resonates with my users and they love useful articles – especially about Google tools.
I decided to write about things that I had been asked about a lot recently either in The Supercharge Your Website Challenge or by my members about what makes a homepage convert and an article to explain email marketing for beginners.
You might have a commonly asked question that you’re always getting asked. Having it available as a quick blog post that you can share can save so much time.
I had every intent to write these first-thing in the morning each day to get ahead of myself, but found myself writing late at night so that I could make the “deadline” of posting daily.
This is when I decided to try and batch-write as many posts as I could for the following week so that i could go to bed at a reasonable hour without writing through bleary eyes.
03. Then I turned the process into a blog post!
How to you do things, apprack your work and run your business is just as an important topic as writing about the products or services that you sell, so I turned mine about how to batch write blog posts into a blog post.
I wrote about more useful things that I thought that my readers would be able to learn to apply to their own website marketing such as the difference between websites and landing pages (I get asked about that a lot) and how to find cool stuff about your customers using Google Analytics.
Then I moved back to writing about process by talking about why I use Medium.com to help me hone my writing skills and I had just decided to go back to using Acuity to schedule my consultancy calls, so wrote about that too.
You might have decided to change the way you work, adopt a new process, work with a new supplier or use a new tool Tell your readers about it – you would be surprised at how much they would love to know about how you work.
04. I also adopted some tried and trusted blog post types.
One of the members I was talking to said that it can take her 4+ hours to write a blog post.
It doesn’t have to as you should be experimenting with different sizes of blog posts to see what resonates with your user.
You might think that they need to read your 2000 word article on your expertise but actually, just sometimes, they want to read about the cool things that you like.
This is where the “blog round-up” posts comes in.
It’s a collection of links to your favourite blog posts form the week with a brief summary of each.
I did a blog roundup that week with all of the posts from the Facebook Group members who had decided to keep me company and blog along over the 30 days.
The following week I had so much cool stuff come through my inbox. I thought I’d link out to articles of other people I follow.
What that does from an SEO standpoint is tell Google who your peers are and the sites that you like to be associated with. From what we know about site linking, you linking to other useful websites is a good thing to do for your own website SEO.
05. I then picked a topic for the week which related to something I was already working on in my business.
I wrote why you need Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your website and how to create a Facebook Business Manager account because that week was all about Facebook Ads over in my paid membership group and I was already in the mindset of talking about it.
After writing them I then had snippets to pull down from and use my social media posts and it made the social content creation that week a dream because I didn’t feel the despair of “What am I going to post about today??”
Instead I just pulled a couple of snippets out to use – a stat one day, a line another day. It was great and made the whole week come together by being able to keep to that theme.
06. I updated old blog posts for 2020.
I reviewed an old post on why small businesses need a digital marketing strategy written back in 2018 that does quite well on the site in terms of bringing in organise search traffic, and updated some of the content and stats to make it relevant for today. If you update old articles you put yourself in a place where Google considers them new content when it crawls your site and is a tactic adopted by many SEO content writers.
I then wrote about my method of how I updated my old articles…and why. Well, I was writing about my processes too after all!
07. I planned a “big” post of 2000+ words.
Neil Patel has a great post with data, to explain why you should house “big” long-form content posts on your website and why they are so useful.
I had a few ideas in my head and wanted to try and tackle a couple during this challenge.
I think that’s where it was the beginning of the end for me in terms of trying to hit the 30 posts in 30 days target.
I had started to move back to writing daily as I had a 5-day Challenge coming up and it was falling behind in the week before that meant I just couldn’t get ahead of myself and batch write content as I had done earlier in the month.
I wanted to write a big series to end the month about how to build a membership website site using WordPress and MemberPress.
Why it was 20 days of blogging (and not 30)
I thought I could write about it in a couple of hours, yet it took me three days fitting it around the onboarding process of my 5-day challenge…and that’s when things just started to grind to halt on the blog.
It was such an ambitious post and I should have planned it better. That’s how to tackle 2000+ blog posts (well the one you’re reading right now is 25000+ words but I planned it quite carefully).
It took me absolute ages and the follow-up to that post that I wrote still isn’t published as I need to fact-check and add images for it to work.
That’s when I just had to put my hand up, hands up and just say, “OK, I’m done!”
I’m very happy with where I got to.
There are still have a lot of posts ideas in my head, but what has come out of getting those 20 posts written in 20 days is that I was able to refresh my perception about what my users prefer to read by looking at my Google Analytics data.
What were the benefits for my website?
Aside from solidify the concept that I should pick just a handful of topics and posts types and just repeat these over and over in a cycle, I was also pleasantly surprised at the uplift in organic search traffic.
Compared to the previous period, my site has seen an improvement in traffic from search engines by 208%.
There’s a decrease in the amount of time spent on the site and a slight in increase in the bounce rate, but this can be attributed to the extra variation of content found on the site.
You can see a clear uplift in traffic from search compared to the previous period below:
I was running a 5-day challenge towards the end of June and was worried that the search traffic had simply increased because people were searching for my name.
As you can see here from the Search Console data, it’s my name that result sin the most clicks:
However when viewing the Google Analytics data from a previous time when I was running a 5-day challenge and it’s promotion, there was barely any search traffic to the website at all:
A quick look back to the Search Console shows a steady increase over the month (and since I officially moved my blog over to this domain).
You can see that so many of the new posts have been provided in search engines results and received at least one click each:
The conclusion is that even just in matter of a couple of weeks since I ended the blogging challenge early, I have seen an incredible uplift in Google Search traffic.
There’s no big viral posts that have emerged yet from doing this, like I got with the second post you can see listed above when I did this type of blogging challenge back in 2008, but it’s a start.
It only takes one of those clicks to become a lead.
So if you’re thinking about the benefits for your own website having previously asked yourself the question “Why am I a bothering to maintain a blog?”, then hopefully you can see that it’s all about feeding Google with content so that you can be shown in front of more users for more search results over time.
Writing 20 posts in 20 days isn’t for everyone but it definitely was the shot in the arm that my own blog needed. If you can’t commit to writing daily then showing up at least once a week will mean a sustained growth on your blog – providing you are linking out to other blogs, writing useful content that you know your ideal customer wants to know about.
Thanks so much for reading!
I hope that this provided some much needed advice on why you need to continue to blog on your business website. even when you think it might not be worth it.
Let me know in the comments below…
After that, feel free to head on over to our free Facebook Group: Online Marketing Basics for Busy Website Owners to continue the conversion. We do a weekly website share plus I’ll be going live this week to talk about why Pinterest is amazing for SEO.
Don’t miss it!