Welcome to the seventh monthly report here at Think Traffic. If you’re new to these, each month I recap how many visitors this site attracted and what I did to grow the audience here.
This report covers the period from September 16 2010 to October 15.
This site is meant to be a case study on building traffic. I try to be completely transparent about everything I do to attract and retain visitors. If you have any questions at all about this site or growing website traffic in general, please feel free to ask in the comments.
You can follow these reports from the time I launched this blog to see exactly how it has grown from 0 to over 12,500 monthly visits in just seven months. Check out the new summary page for a full list of monthly reports.
In each report, I also try to tackle a topic on traffic building (say that seven times fast) that relates to what happened here over the past month. In the past, we’ve talked about whether spending time on twitter and blogs is valuable, how I created a thriving business around this blog in five months, and how to maintain traffic while taking time off.
Why Posting Less Frequently Can Drive More Traffic
This month, we’ll be talking about the elusive question of how frequently you should post new content to your site.
Conventional wisdom usually says you need to post frequently (3+ times per week) to a blog to be successful. There are two problems with assuming that’s true. First, conventional wisdom is often wrong, and second, it depends on your topic, your audience, your goals and your definition of success.
When I started this blog back in March of this year, my intent was to publish 2-3 posts per week. I managed to do that for the first six months. During that time I published a total of 55 posts, or an average of over 9 per month.
Last month, I decided to scale things back considerably and see what happened. I mentioned in the previous monthly report that I might publish less frequently and cited one important reason why: I want to consistently say things that matter here.
Pushing out a constant stream of posts no matter if you have something to say or not can result in some low-value posts. I decided to focus on quality over quantity.
I published just 4 posts last month. One of those was a simple announcement post for my new manifesto. One was a monthly report, and the other two were super in-depth, value packed posts weighing in at an average of over 2,000 words.
Obviously this isn’t a scientific sample. This is merely anecdotal evidence, and as they say, the plural of anecdote is not data. But the results of this experiment were interesting enough to share and continue experimenting with.
So, what happened when I posted 56% less times than average last month?
Traffic was up by 24%.
Where Did the Extra Traffic Come From?
Two particular pieces of content drove the majority of the extra traffic this month.
First, the post 5 Extraordinary Blog Post Types that Will Grow Your Audience Faster became very popular and drove nearly 2,500 pageviews itself.
Second, the manifesto I released through my other blog Free Pursuits ended up sending a lot of traffic to this blog from links at Free Pursuits, on Twitter and within the manifesto itself.
Would the blog have attracted more visitors this month if I had published 8-12 “regular” posts and not pushed out the manifesto? It’s impossible to say. Realistically, it could have gone either way.
I’m not trying to prove that posting less frequently by itself will drive more traffic to your site, but it is a strategy worth experimenting with.
When you post less frequently and focus on quality content, you have a better shot at creating something that rises above the typical blog / social media noise. Your average blog post has a hard time standing out from the crowd.
By packing more value into fewer posts, you’re more likely to create something worth sharing and something worth linking to.
Sharing and linking are the lifeblood of building an online audience.
This is a strategy you might recognize from some of the biggest, most successful bloggers on the web.
Tim Ferriss of the Four Hour Workweek and Glen Allsopp of ViperChill are two excellent examples. Each posts just 3-5 times per month on average and yet both command huge audiences and attract hundreds of tweets and comments every time they post.
Will posting higher-quality content less frequently drive more traffic to your blog? It’s a question worth exploring if you ask me. I’d love to hear your experience or results in the comments.
Full Results from This Month
Here are the overall visitor numbers for this month:
We had 2,466 more visits than last month (+24% month over month).
- New subscribers: 432 (+52% month-over-month)
- New comments (including my replies): 183 (-46% month-over-month)
- Retweets of new posts: 193 (-25% month-over-month)
Note that comments and tweets were both down even though visitors and subscribers were up. No doubt publishing fewer blog posts will have that effect.
4 posts (vs. 8 last month) published here this month:
- The Blogger’s Guide to Unleashing a Manifesto (or, How to Attract 7,986 More Visitors to Your Blog in 5 Days)
- 18 Months, 2 Blogs, Six Figures
- 5 Extraordinary Blog Post Types that Will Grow Your Audience Faster
- Think Traffic Monthly Report #6: How to Maintain Traffic While Taking Time Off
Top Traffic Sources
Top Search Terms:
- think traffic: 291
- thinktraffic: 110
- most popular blogs: 99
- unique selling proposition: 85
- unique selling proposition examples: 71
- most popular blog: 37
- corbett barr: 30
- lady gaga has a positive influence: 17
- examples of propositions: 14
- thinktraffic.net: 12
As you can see, the 5 Extraordinary Blog Post Types post was a big hit. It has already become the #5 most popular post of all time here.
Goals for This Month
I like the direction I set last month. I chose to focus on two specific things:
- Use this blog to connect with and highlight other excellent related blogs. Linking out to other blogs is a great way to spread the love and get on people’s radar. It’s also a great way to provide even more value to your audience. I’m going to work to share more great content from around the web this month that will help you grow your own audiences.
- Say things that really matter. Quality over quantity.
Let’s continue to push that agenda and see where it takes me next month.
Questions? Feel free to ask anything.
Once again, if you have any questions about this report or about growing website or blog traffic, ask me anything in the comments below. I’m happy to help! I hope these reports are still useful.
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