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Confession: I haven’t published a blog post in 6 months.
Second confession: It didn’t matter.
There is a lot of hype from bloggers that you have to publish quality content on a regular basis.
Some bloggers say one post per week. Some bloggers say two per week. Other bloggers say 5.
But, in actuality, what's the real answer? How many blogs per week should you be creating? How often should you publish blog posts on your site?
When I asked a mentor that question a few months ago, he said, “Publish as many blogs as you need so that your audience doesn’t forget who you are.”
So, let me ask you. Did you forget me in my absence?
No, you didn’t.
And that’s because of one simple truth: your blog followers don’t necessarily wait every single day for a new blog post. They don’t necessarily read your blog posts in the order that you publish them, either. That’s just not how things work.
How often and when people land on your blog posts depends in large part on the promotional tactics that you implement on a regular basis.
A blog post you published a year ago might very well still be the blog that drives the most traffic to your site, for example.
It all comes back to how you promote your content.
For me, I have a strong Pinterest game and I rank on the 1st page of Google search results for a variety of different search phrases. Because of these two things, not publishing a blog post for 6 months didn’t really matter all that much.
Here are a few things to note during my 6 month blog writing hiatus:
1. My traffic dipped slightly but not significantly
As bloggers, we claw at those page views, hoping like hell to increase them every single month.
But much to my surprise, going from publishing a blog post 1-2 times per week to 0 times per week did nothing significant to my page views.
My page views dipped slightly, but not significantly.
But I really don't care about my traffic too much, if I'm being completely honest. It's not how much traffic you have that counts... it's what you do with your traffic.
For me, number 2 is the most significant realization from this blogging hiatus.
2. My subscriber growth remained constant, and actually climbed in January and March.
I did not see a decline in the number of new subscribers added to my list each month during the time that I wasn’t publishing new blog posts.
Actually, my subscriber rate increased in both January and in March by around 85%. I attribute this due to several JV webinars that were hosted during this time frame.
Seriously, if this doesn't make your eyes go wide and nearly pop out of your head, I don't know what will.
My email list CONTINUED TO GROW even when I didn't publish new blog posts... for 6 MONTHS!
3. My profits increased
During the time that I didn’t publish new blog posts, I developed a brand new membership site for bloggers who want to monetize. This meant that I added a new stream of recurring revenue, boosting my estimated yearly income by 40%.
You’re probably wondering how I managed to launch a new product/service without publishing a single new post on my site to help promote the new venture, am I right?
Here’s the general gist: I just pitched the program through webinars to my email list. I only used my email list to promote the new program.
This just goes to show how powerful email lists really are to bloggers.
If you're not actively growing your email list, you're basically stabbing yourself in your own back.
4. My affiliate commissions remained constant
By now you're probably thinking that I'm full of shit and just straight up lying to you. How could I go so long without creating new content and not see a decline in the stuff we never want to see decline... like profits and pageviews and subscriber growth. Hey, I don't blame you and your doubt. I'd be skeptical myself.
But it's the truth. My affiliate commissions strangely did not take a hit during this blogging hiatus. But I know WHY.
The WHY behind this mysterious realization is that my high traffic blog posts with affiliate links still ranked in Google and still brought in a lot of Pinterest traffic.
Here's the lesson: you write a new blog post but you'll never really know if your blog post is going to takeoff, drive traffic, and bring in money. But you DO know that your existing blog posts that have already brought in great traffic and made money have the potential to continue to do so!
During my blogging hiatus, I continued to "work" the profit generating blog posts. I updated them, republished them with new publication dates, shared the pins on Pinterest some more, added more keywords in there, and so on. In sum, I took care of the posts on my site that mattered. And it paid off in the end.
My blogging hiatus meant that I wasn't producing NEW content... it did not, however, erase all of my existing content that already worked well for me. That's important to remember.
#1: Your blog won’t implode if you don’t publish on it regularly.
Now, of course, I don’t mean to suggest that a brand new blogger can get away with rarely ever publishing a new post. That’s not true. When I took time off from blog writing, I had 18 month’s of content already that was still driving traffic on the search engines and Pinterest and I had a killer SEO and Pinterest strategy already in place.
What I do mean to suggest is that your website will still function if you take some time away from blog post creation and focus it instead on a project that can help you reach your long-term income goals.
If you have a few dozen blogs (or even just a handful) that are driving traffic to your site regularly, you’re not going to go out of business if you take some time off. Trust me.
#2: Prioritize your focus – your time is limited, use it wisely
The reason why I stopped publishing blog posts was because I needed to direct all of my energy and focus into Bread & Butter Blogging U.
- I needed to create new courses and educational materials (since the membership includes dozens of courses, it took quite a bit of time as I’m sure you can imagine)
- I needed to configure the technology and stand up a brand new website to host the membership (this includes buying new tools, configuring a payment gateway, testing everything to ensure it works)
- I needed to plan out my launch and create new webinars (which takes a whole bunch of time)
It took me about 90 days start to finish to create Bread & Butter Blogging U to be the sophisticated, successful membership platform that it is today.
It would have taken me much longer had I also forced myself to publish new blog posts. It wasn’t worth it to me at the time. Creating the best possible membership site was my goal.
#3: Capturing your leads onto an email list will always pay off in the end
My email list was the only reason that I was able to successfully launch a new membership site without promoting it on my website through new blog posts.
I had spent 18 months growing my email list and building a relationship with the subscribers that trust me with their email addresses. This provided me with a strong platform to launch.
It didn’t matter whether or not there was a new blog post on my site. It didn’t even matter that Facebook had just thrown a wrench into Facebook group and business page reach. It just mattered that I had an email list to launch to.
I use ConvertKit to grow my email list and to keep my email list engaged, I setup automated series of emails to be sent to them based on their interests.
#4: Long-term success is always better than short-term success
I guess there are going to be a handful of people that argue me on this point. But here’s what I mean.
Could I have grown my page views during this time if I had published more blog posts? Perhaps.
But that would have been a short-term success.
Instead, I focused all of my attention on growing something that would help guarantee my success long-term. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have increased my revenue by 40%. Long-term goals should always take priority.
Stop asking, "How often should you publish blog posts?"
The question shouldn't be "How often should you publish blog posts?" The focus instead she be on what you do on your blog regularly to ensure that you get traffic coming to your site on auto pilot and that you're capturing that traffic onto your ever growing email list.
I didn't write a new blog post for 6 months and I lived to tell the tale. And I know I'm not the only one in this boat either. My good friend Emily McGee over at MyAdaptableCareer.com also didn't publish any new posts for an extended period of time, and she, too, lived to tell the tale!
I hope you got something out of this post! Don't forget to share the post if you enjoyed the read and learned something new. And leave me a comment to share your thoughts!
Have you taken an extended blog publishing hiatus? If yes, tell me your story in the comments below.