If you know me at all, you probably just fell over reading the title of this post. For those of you that don’t know me, I’m notoriously sporadic in my blog posting. Mostly it’s due to the fact that I currently write for about 3 or 4 blogs and have another 5 or so that I SHOULD be writing for. Anyway, as you can quickly tell by looking back at the last post, it’s been 10 days since anyone posted to this blog. While I won’t lie to you and tell you that was on purpose (it’s crazy how easy it is to NOT update a blog… more on this in a minute), I will tell you that because of that lull in activity, I was able to gather some interesting data that I hope will serve as “Blogging Metamucil” for those of us who suffer from blogging irregularity(B.I.).
Before you cure any disease, including B.I, you first have to know what causes the disease. The first and most obvious cause is time. Writing quality blog posts takes time. It’s as simple as that. Whether it’s researching, writing, or finding topics, it just takes time. Add into the equation the fact that most people are busy with their day to day lives and you’ve got a recipe for a B.I. disaster.
Another common cause of B.I. is the age old “I don’t have anything to write about” excuse. I’m pretty sure this excuse is about one day younger than writing itself. This is my personal favorite and to be fair, it really can be tough to come up with something original and worth writing. In industries such as this one that are saturated with bloggers and news sources, most of your topics have been covered at least once and probably covered well. However, I’m willing to bet that if you tried hard enough, you could come up with an original and worthwhile take on one of any number of topics. This highlights the single true underlying symptom to every diagnosed case of B.I. on record… you don’t see the value in it. Now, before you all start protesting and pleading your case, let me ask you this. At any given moment, if I offered you $10,000 to sit down and write a 500 word blog post, would you at least give it a shot? Yeah, I thought so. You’d be a fool (or very very rich) not to! So you see, the true cause of B.I. is that we simply don’t place a high enough value on it.
Now that we’ve figured out the symptom, we can go about curing the disease. As I said, over the past 10 days we’ve not posted to the blog. The previous 10 days we published 4 new posts. Using Google Analytics I compared the traffic stats from both time frames and was amazed at the difference.
As you can see, our overall traffic was down considerably over the last 10 days. Now I’m sure you noticed the huge spike in traffic on day 4. That was due to one of our blog posts making it to the front page of Digg.com. Even if we were to throw out the Digg traffic (although to be fair, it’s tough to get Dugg if you’re not posting), there’s still a significant difference in the numbers. Here’s a breakdown of the traffic by referring source over the same two time periods.
Hell, I’ll even throw out the StumbleUpon traffic since massive amounts of Digg traffic often leads to an increase in those Stumbling to your page. Even so, the percentages are staggering! Our direct traffic (type ins, bookmarks, etc) was down 48%! Even more surprising, our organic traffic from Google was down 15%! I’ve long suggested that there is a link between regular, fresh content and Google rankings, but even I was surprised by that large a shift. We’re not even discussing the increased exposure in the search engines (SEs) via new content or the increased SE rankings due to hundreds of new links possible if your posts are high quality or linkbait!
So, how do you cure Blogging Irregularity? It’s simple. Place a value on regular posting. Would you like to increase your direct traffic by nearly 50%? If you’re making money off your website, how much would an extra 50% in direct traffic increase your sales or profit? Do you want at least a CHANCE to be featured on Digg.com’s home page or get a couple thousand people Stumbling to your site? The answer is simple. Write! When you find yourself suffering from a bad case of Blogging Irregularity, sit down and think about the increased traffic, the extra links, and ultimately, the extra money you can make if you manage to keep posting. That should be the perfect dose of “Blogging Metamucil” to get you going again.