People don’t like change. And in the online marketing world we definitely don’t like change. Over the last 10-15 years things have been moving fast. Blogging used to have all kinds of opportunity from organic search. Then that started going away, but social media came along with more organic traffic opportunity. But now that’s gone entirely away for the most part.
These changes happened fast. It was a free for all for a few years. Then these platforms turn on the advertising engine and that is even cheap for awhile. But then they mature and it becomes all about advertising. And that’s fine too. It can still be a great paid opportunity.
And with blogging there is still some great opportunity. Long tail search traffic is great for blogging. And there seems to be a trend that should be very appealing to bloggers and companies that maintain a business blog.
Direct Traffic To Blogs
Back in the early days of the Internet search was pretty bad. So people would just type in the URL of their favorite websites. And some browsers allowed you to create shortcuts or bookmarks so you could just click a button and go straight to those favorite websites.
This practice seemed to go away a little bit as Google got better and better. And when social media was really all about organic people would go there to get through to their favorite websites. But now that you can’t really do that anymore people are going back to directly visiting their favorite websites.
This is obviously incredibly valuable. But getting these types of followers isn’t easy. It’s a real commitment from someone to come back to your blog regularly.
You want to make it easy for them. That’s where subscriptions comes in as very important.
Subscription CTAs, Obvious But Not In-Your-Face
Blog owners have struggled for a long time with finding the right balance of getting subscribers and not doing it to the point of annoying readers. This applies to all the types of subscriptions, browser subscriptions, email newsletters and notifications and all of it.
The number one thing you want to focus on is content that attracts people. I remember an episode of Bar Rescue where the host said the goal was to get a person to come to the restaurant three times. By the third time, they’re a customer for life.
Great content gets people to come once. Likely through word of mouth. If they like it, they’ll come back to see if it was a fluke. If they like it again and come back a third time, you’ve pretty much got them hooked even if you don’t have any subscriptions setup.
So focus on the types of subscription calls to action that are obvious when someone wants to subscribe and not so in your face that it takes away from the content the reader actually wants.
Weekly is about the limit you can do it seems and still keep a direct visitor’s attention. I remember back in the days before YouTube really took off that I would visit a website that published videos every week for their weekly episode. It was like waiting for the weekly sitcom episode or Saturday Night Live.
Consistency is important. You want a consistent schedule so visitors can rely on you. But it you get much past weekly they are going to lose interest. And more is probably better in today’s world where it’s easier to create content and the expectation is going up a bit.
Obviously the trade off is quality. So there is that point for every producer. Don’t overlook the option of bringing in people to help create the content. It’s a big process and spreading it out can be the way to create quality and quantity.
One person didn’t work on the best sitcoms of all time.
There is an opportunity with blogging right now. The main focus is on creating the best content you can. Maybe not to the point where the search for perfection paralyzes your ability to produce. But the more you create the better you’ll get and that will attract repeat visitors. Directly to your website. The social media platforms and search platforms are great. But they have rules. These rules push creators away. And if you have free branded content you can really win in the online world.