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When it comes to what we ‘should’ be doing as bloggers, there’s roughly around a million different opinions (I said roughly….). One blogging expert might tell you that you should focus on creating content and that should always be your number 1 goal. Another blogging guru might tell you that promoting your existing content is more important.
I’m not going to tell you either… but I am going to tell you what I have done, and what seems to be working for me.
When I first started my blog, I knew that it was going to take a bit more than simply hitting ‘publish’ to get people to come and read what I had written. But I also knew I wanted them to come to a site with more than a handful of posts on it. So for my first few months in particular I focused heavily on content creation.
During this time I also set up my social media accounts (everywhere… then realised how I couldn’t possibly keep up with it all) and promoted my posts as I wrote them.
I had a number in my head. I wanted my blog to have 100 posts on it. Considering my posts average around 800 – 1200 words (with a few around the 4000 word mark) this puts me in the vicinity of having written somewhere around 80,000 – 120,000 words by the 100 post mark. That’s a whole lot of writing.
But I also didn’t want to produce content for the sake of producing content. So I set my goal. I wanted to publish around 4 posts per week until I reached 100 posts. And I did. 6 months after I started blogging, I hit publish on my 100th post. I knew then it was time to change up the way I approached my blog.
One of the ways I was able to do focus so intently on creating content was by using a content calendar. It’s not easy coming up with fantastic blog post topics on the fly, plus it adds way more stress to the writing process than is needed. I researched my blog topics, came up with hundreds of different topics I could write about, and put them all into a content calendar.
I didn’t stick to the calendar 100%, after all, writing is a creative process and for me, sometimes the mood to write about a particular topic just hits and I have to get the words out. So I allowed myself some flexibility with it. However, having that content calendar there to fall back on was amazing. It meant I was able to always have a topic on hand and never stress about what to write next.
When it came to content production and promotion, I had been spending around 80% of my time focusing on content production and only 20% on content promotion.
I decided to swap this around and see how it would turn out. So I started writing less, spending around 20% of my time writing and spending 80% of my time promoting my work.
What a difference it made. I started promoting my content more in May and you can see the incredible growth my traffic has had since then.
While I did reduce the number of times I post per week from 4 to 3, I have also taken measures to streamline my writing and publishing process in order to maximise my time.
I time chunk – meaning I don’t just write a post, create the image, publish the post and then promote. When I write, I write multiple posts, when I create images I do so for 3 or 4 posts at a time.
I also have started to pay for stock photos so I’m not wasting time searching and searching for images. And I have a certain look that I use for my images with consistent fonts and styles, which makes the whole creation process a lot faster.
I can’t tell you why exactly 100 posts was the ‘magic’ number for me. It was my goal and I am quite happy with how it has worked out.
It is clear that while content creation is important, for the purpose of driving traffic to your blog, it is also important to promote that content. You could be writing the most amazing posts daily but if you aren’t letting people know they are there, then no one will be coming to read them.
How do you divide you time between creation and promotion for your blog content? I’d love to hear what strategies work for you.