Is your blog on life support?

(This post originally appeared on the Aartrijk blog.)

Do you have a blog that you haven’t posted to in a while? You’ve been meaning to write something, but you just haven’t gotten around to it. Or maybe it’s a company blog, and no one has taken ownership. There are a few posts from that marketing guy who left last year, but nothing much since.

You’re not alone. Every once in awhile, I stop by The Wayward Journey to check on it. I’m still getting visitors, even though I haven’t posted anything new in about 18 months.

When I got the blogging fever about eight years ago, I was a regular writing machine. I would sometimes post two or three times a week. I kept it up for a good six years. Then things started to peter out. Lately, I’ve been embarrassed to give out the link. I keep telling myself I’m going to get back to it. Soon.

Here’s the sad truth: an estimated 95 percent of all blogs are abandoned. That’s an oft-cited statistic from a 2009 New York Times article, and not much has changed in the intervening 10 years — although I would guess even more bloggers have given up with the advent of newer social media tools.

It means if you recently started blogging, the odds are you won’t be doing it for long. You’ll lose interest. You’ll discover it’s a lot of work. The top reasons given in surveys for bloggers quitting usually include lack of time, not making any money and not enough followers.

Some social media watchers say blogging is dead anyway. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn are more immediate and easier for building a following. So goes the reasoning.

Except that companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without blogs, according to Demand Metric. In addition, marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy a positive ROI, and companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website.

The folks at the content firm Codeless compiled “101 Blogging Statistics for 2019” earlier this year. Here are a few other attention-grabbing facts about blogs:

  • 60% of consumers feel engaged/positive with a brand or company after reading custom content on their blog.
  • 47% of B2B buyers read 3-5 blog posts or content pieces prior to talking with a salesperson.
  • 59% of B2B marketers consider blogs the most valuable channel.
  • 2% of companies say content marketing increased their lead quality and quantity.
  • 69% of marketing professionals say content marketing is superior to direct mail and PR.
  • 70% of consumers prefer learning about a company through custom content than through paid advertisements.

Okay, so blogging is a good thing. But how do you resuscitate a blog that’s on life support? Here are a few helpful tips:

Planning is key. It starts with creating an editorial calendar and setting firm deadlines. I have to give kudos to the Aartrijk team for keeping the Brain Food blog going, especially Roni Acord, who gets on our case to contribute to it and stay on schedule. So make sure your blog has a calendar, and then stick to it.

Post consistently. Pick a day and time to post that works for you (e.g., every second Tuesday at 9 a.m.). Readers reward bloggers who keep to a schedule. Followers especially appreciate receiving posts on time. Not every post needs to be written by the same person. Many blogs lighten the writing load by featuring guest bloggers or curated content.

Add photos, video and infographics. Including images and infographics can increase your traffic. They also make your blog more interesting and more likely to be shared with others.

Use social media. You should definitely be integrating your blogging with your other social media platforms. It’s easy to share posts on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. You can also post content to LinkedIn. Use quotes or excerpts or push readers to your blog. As marketers like to say, amplify your content!

Measure your results. Make use of the free analytics that come with your site or set up Google Analytics. Over time, you’ll start to see trends and can tailor your content to what your readers respond to best.

With my own blog, I’ve seen steady growth in traffic through what are called compounding posts. These are posts that continue to bring more traffic to your site long after they are published. HubSpot says one compounding post generates as much traffic as six regular posts combined. In fact, they generate 38% of all blog traffic.

Last year was my best year ever for traffic, yet I didn’t post a thing. It turns out that several compounding posts have become the gift that keeps on giving. Most of my traffic now comes from just two or three posts that date back to 2012! It’s one more reason to take the long view when it comes to blogging. Even if you’ve been on an extended break, it’s never too late to fire up that blog and get it going again.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

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