In the last quarter of 2013, we were averaging about 10 blogs a month (2-3 blogs per week) This was great for a company that started blogging on a regular basis about 6 months prior (in June 2013), but I had a new goal in mind. If you know me at all, you know that I am huge on goals and constantly setting new ones to challenge myself personally, as well as the rest of our team. My new goal was to blog at least 16 times per month. This was about 6 more blogs per month, with a plan of 4 blogs per week. This made the goal seem very manageable, because we had previously been setting our sights on 3 blogs per week.
Why This Goal?
Why did I want to produce 16 blogs a month? I based this number off the research in HubSpot's Marketing Benchmarks Report. HubSpot is a marketing automation software provider, and they provide a great deal of tools and information related to inbound marketing. As you can see below, at the mark of 16 blogs per month, there is a significant spike in inbound leads, according to HubSpot’s research. Attaining this increase in leads definitely seemed to be worth the effort, but I also thought that since this was a small change in the number of blogs we produce, we could still maintain quality content, which is always my main concern.
How Blogging Changed Our Traffic
With this goal in place, we worked the increased number of blogs into our content schedule and made sure to track the progress throughout the first quarter of 2014. You can see how this change has affected our traffic in the images below. Comparing our website traffic from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, our overall traffic increased by 25.21%. Although this was great to see, this increase in traffic could have been a result of many factors, and it wasn’t necessarily directly related to our increase in blogs. What I found even more interesting was the 222% increase in contacts from organic traffic (depicted as lime green in the images below). This was huge, and it was obviously more directly related to our efforts in creating new quality content on a consistent basis.
2013 Quarter 4 Metrics
2014 Quarter 1 Metrics
How Blogging Changed Our Leads
The main reason why I decided to try this experiment was because the statistics from HubSpot have shown a significant increase in leads when you hit 16+ blog posts a month. The real question is, did this prove true for us? Drumroll please.... We saw an increase of 116% in our inbound leads! I think it is safe to say that we will continue to reach for this goal in the coming months.
Reaching this goal on a consistent basis does take a lot of planning and teamwork from our marketing team. Looking back, it was a breeze some weeks, with 4 blogs coming hot off the press like magic, while other weeks, it was a struggle to reach the goal. But each month, we pumped out at least 16 blogs, some months by the skin of our teeth, and the results show that the effort was worth it. As we continue to reach and exceed these goals, I am sure that the payoff will continue as well.
We Don't Just Blog
Now I realize these stats are impressive, but we must take some of the numbers with a grain of salt. At WSOL, we don't just blog; we have several other marketing activities, and there are several goals we are constantly striving to achieve. Some of the changes in traffic and leads may not have been simply due to blogging, but could have resulted from these other marketing efforts. Also, even though we have found our blogging formula, and it matches the findings from HubSpot's research, that does not prove this is a golden ticket. Every company has a different audience and must find the best strategies to meet their goals. This process can come with lots of ups and downs, but I believe it is absolutely vital to inbound marketing success. I cannot stress enough the power of testing your efforts and tracking all metrics to see what is and is not working.
There are many pieces to the inbound marketing puzzle, and we will continue to readjust as we grow and learn from our past experiences. Have you found that certain marketing practices work best for your company? Are you still trying to find that the formula that works best for you? Let us know about your trials and success in the comments or get in touch with a Marketing Specialist to find the best strategy for you.