The benefits of regular business blogging are vast and varied, but it must always be remembered that blogging isn’t a quick fix. You won’t see huge increases in traffic a day after you publish your first blog post, nor will you rocket up the search engine rankings a week or so later.
Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to blogging and we always recommended our business blogging services are utilised for a minimum of 12 weeks – this is the amount of time our experience has shown to be the minimum required before you start to see results from blogging. Of course, you’re likely to see improvements before this, but a three month period allows for the blog to become established, a good amount of content to be produced and a decent, basic presence on social networks to be developed.
If you’re six months into your blogging and social media strategy and you’re not seeing the results you expected, however, it’s time to start asking questions why, with these five being a great place to start.
1. Are you expecting too much?
One of the most common reasons why you’re strategy isn’t delivering the results you expect is because you’re expecting too much.
At the start of any blogging and social media strategy, we sit down with our clients and talk about their expectations. We look at what they’re wanting to achieve and give details of how this relates to blogging. Often we can develop strategies to deliver the results exactly as the client first wishes, but other times we have to tweak the expectations in one way or another.
For example, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to say that a properly maintained business blog could help you see at the very least a 10% increase in website traffic month-on-month, even from the start of the strategy. However, we’ve seen it be considerably higher than this (over 100%) and always mention this to clients, so to explain the possibilities and potential – yet a lot of clients take these higher figures as standard, when the truth is they are achievable, but only over time through continuous development.
2. How many blog posts are being produced?
It’s understandable that some clients don’t want to invest heavily in blogging to start with. It’s still a relatively new resource in the commercial sense and as results often aren’t seen for at least 12 weeks, it doesn’t give an immediate return on investment.
However, generally speaking, the more blog posts that are produced, the quicker the results are going to be seen.
Quality must always come before quantity, but if you’re only publishing one blog post per month, you’re not going to see results in the same timeframe as you are if you’re publishing a weekly blog post, which in turn isn’t going to produce results within the same period as two weekly blog posts.
3. What’s happening after your blog posts are being published?
If blog posts are published on a blog and simply left, the blog will naturally develop over time. People will visit, they’ll return time and time again to see what’s new and your blog will be active.
However, by promoting your blog posts in a variety of ways – such as via social media or e-mail – you’ll find that the results appear considerably quicker than if the blog posts were just left on the blog to develop on their own with no assistance.
As with the number of blog posts produced, quality should always come first to quantity, but even a basic amount of social media activity should see your blog posts put in front of an audience that they simply wouldn’t have been if they were just left on the blog without any promotion.
4. Is social media being properly utilised?
We mentioned above that through social media, you can promote blog posts and raise the awareness of them, driving more visitors to your blog.
The problem that we so often see is that people fail to stick by the quality over quantity rule in various senses.
For instance, rather than working on developing a fantastic following on one or two popular and industry suitable platforms, they try to have a presence on half a dozen platforms, believing the more channels they can promote their content through, the better.
And yes, this is generally a great idea – but only if you can have a high quality, active presence on each platform. No one wants to see updates from a company who are just promoting their blog posts and the occasional bit of company news. They want to see a company who is regularly engaging with others, providing content of all types and interacting with their audience.
When this happens, you develop loyal followers, followers who are waiting for you to talk again, essentially giving you another established audience for your blog post content.
5. What do your statistics look like to date?
Whilst you should generally see great results from blogging by the six month point, the simple fact is no one can guarantee this. Just like SEO agencies can’t guarantee they’ll get you in the first position on Google for your chosen keywords, no one can say for definite that after six month’s of blogging, you’ll be seeing an x percent increase in traffic, y amount of top of funnel leads or z new clients – it’s an impossibility.
For some clients, the results of blogging are seen earlier than expected and for others, they take slightly longer. It really does vary from organisation to organisation and industry to industry and so it’s important that if you’re results aren’t as expected yet, you check your statistics so far to see if you’re heading in the right direction.
Are unique visitor numbers rising? What about returning visitor numbers? Does your ‘average time spent on site’ figure look healthy? Is your bounce rate decreasing?
If things look like they’re moving forward, chances are you’ll start to see the results you expect soon and it’s just been a slow start, as it can be.
Business blogging is still new. Yes, it’s been around for a few years and blogging itself has been available to utilise for over a decade, but compared to other digital resources, such as search engine optimisation, business blogging is still in its infancy (and there are plenty of people out there who don’t fully understand SEO – it’s just the nature of the resource).
And because of this, we – understandably – see people getting frustrated as the results of their blogging strategy aren’t being seen as quick – or to the extent – that they expected.
If this is the case, it’s important that you don’t simply give up on blogging, but instead take the time to work out why the expected results aren’t showing – there’s a chance it’s because of something to do with the blogging strategy itself, but there’s also every chance that the strategy is working perfectly and you simply need to reevaluate your expectations.