It happens, when you're a startup offering Online Marketing services, that you become so busy working on your clients' websites you forget about your own. Such is what happened to this blog right here, and we're first to admit that for the past three months, we haven't really been *cough* practicing what we preach.
And because this blog is our way of educating ourselves and our readers, even our lack of blogging has given us some valuable lessons on how corporate blogging can potentially benefit your business, and what you're missing out on when you neglect your blog.
Here are a few noteworthy things that can happen when you stop blogging for three months (or for an unusual length of time). Our basis: these happened to us:
1. Some people will wonder if you're still in business
Rumor has it that Spiralytics is going out of business, and our unupdated blog did not help prove otherwise.
As one of the resident bloggers of Spiralytics, I just want to make this one clear: Yes, we are still alive, and yes, we are still very much in business. In fact, as I've mentioned in my intro, we've been so busy that we didn't have time to blog here. We've expanded our team over the past six months, and are expanding further as 2015 kicks off. No signs of slowing down, yo!
Pardon the tangle of cords on the desks, but here we are. Meet the Spiralytics gang! Add a couple more writers who are not in the picture, and ME, since I'm the one who took this one. As you can see, we're too busy we don't even have time to take a better group picture!
Anyway. Rumor out of the way, consider your blog as your living room where you entertain guests. You want them to feel welcome, to get to know you a little better, and to keep visiting you. Not updating your blog, especially when you used to update it quite often before, will make regular visitors wonder why you stopped "inviting them in", or first time visitors to think that maybe you've abandoned your property.
An abandoned blog is akin to an abandoned house with an unkempt front lawn, dusty porch, and without anyone answering the front door. And surely you don't want that for your site. You want people to freely come in and enjoy what you have to offer, and eventually trust you enough to do business with you.
That being said, Spiralytics is still alive and kicking, and we're working very hard to "welcome guests" around here again.
2. On the upside, your blog will continue to gain subscribers
One of the many goals achieved through blogging is lead generation. People don't mind giving their email addresses if they're getting something in return like, say, free content. Having a blog attracts your readers to hand you their email address if the content is valuable to them.
We've built a significant amount of content on this blog over the past year, with topics that revolve around our areas of expertise. And because all of these are readily accessible and visible through the search engines, the blog still gains 3-5 subscribers a week, even though we haven't updated it in a while. How much more if we updated the blog more regularly, right? (Which we should really do. I know.)
3. Old content can still go viral
There's this one piece of content that our graphic designer, Jevie, published at the start of the year. She entitled it "9 Annoying Things Every Designer Does" and it eventually became the most successful post we've published on this blog so far. It had all the ingredients of a successful blog post—it had a lot of graphics, it had the right amount of humor and sarcasm, it was a list, it had an accompanying slideshare deck, it was entertaining, and it talked about a group people (designers) who are active in social media.
You're likely to be familiar with the article I'm talking about, and it's probably how you found out about Spiralytics too.
When we first published this piece of content, we earned traffic, interaction, links and leads for a good number of days. Over time, the post became even more successful. Time and time again, some influencer would find the article and share it on his blog or social network, and the post would go viral again. Last September, our traffic went up the roof because of the aforementioned article.
The most hits we've gained from this post was close to 18,000 in just one day, and this happened 7 month after the post's publish date. Because or this post, our best month ever in terms of traffic was September, a month where we didn't publish anything at all, not even a single post.
Not bad for a blog that was not updated for 3 months, yeah?
4. Site stats will naturally decrease
Naturally, site traffic will decrease when there are no site activities. Although some existing blog pages will continue to gain traffic organically, you will lose a significant amount of social media activity and referral traffic.
Taking out of the equation that one blog post that went viral, our site traffic the past 3 months was stagnant, if not totally dismal. It really did feel like an abandoned ship around here, both from the front end and from the back.
5. You may lose potential clients
I don't have data to prove this, except the assumption that lead acquisition and conversion are directly proportional to the site's traffic; therefore, with less traffic and social activity, the chances for potential clients finding your site also decreases.
Sure, your client base will continue to grow through other means (word of mouth referrals, for one), but you know that your website has the potential to gain you even more.
On a personal note, the blog is the first thing I check out when I browse corporate websites. Maybe it's just me because it's my job to study blogs, but how many times have we felt like we can trust a person or a company when their blog has shown some level of expertise or passion about a subject we happen to be interested in? Exactly.
By not updating your blog for months, you could be turning potential clients away.
6. You will realize what you're missing out on and come back strong
Abandoning your corporate blog for a long period is not good for business, but stepping away from your blog for a while to recharge and reassess your goals may be the best thing can do for your blog.
The fact of the matter is, corporate blogging is serious business. It requires resources, creativity, time, passion. Without the proper motivation and team work, you might find yourself feeling burned out and uninspired to blog. And without the right mindset and culture, it would be tempting to dismiss your corporate blog in favor of other seemingly more important tasks.
So step away and come back strong. But don't step away for too long.
In light of looking at the brighter side of things, the silverlining in every cloud, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (ok ok, you get the idea), blogging and content marketing as a whole, is an investment that will bring you long-term gains, even long after you stopped blogging.
Then again, if you're gaining so much, why stop?
So blog on, you guys. Blog on!