Stopped blogging for 30 days. Here’s what happened…

I’ve talked about The Redwood Strategy many times. It is my personal approach to blogging. In short…

Instead of cranking out new stuff all the time, you slow the heck down. You begin circling back and updating old posts and making more of what you have.

There’s more to it, of course. And you can read about it on this blog post about the Redwood Strategy.

But, it’s one thing for me to tell you about it. It is another when you see a large and popular blog like Buffer try it.

The Buffer Blog is quite well done and quite popular. They came out several years back with quite a revolutionary approach to company blogging (at the time). Craft seriously great content, be fully transparent about all their numbers, and do it alot.

It worked quite well. When they started this in 2013, they doubled their traffic in the first month. It continued from there, although their growth rate did slow down. But, in the last quarter of 2017, they reported just over 4 million user sessions on their blog – roughly 1.3 million per month.

But, back in 2015, they ran an experiment. They simply stopped blogging for 30 days. Mind you, this is after close to 2 years of high-volume publishing to their blog where they posted multiple times per week.

Buffer reported their results after this 30-day stint. In short…

After 30 days of no new original content on their blog, they saw only a 4% dip in traffic numbers.

What they did instead was to find ways to repurpose what they already had. Things like…

  • Expanding their email campaigns
  • Updating older posts with new info
  • Creating slideshares
  • Republishing to other platforms like Medium

Now, if you look at that 4% dip a bit further, you actually see that their organic traffic from search actually WENT UP. This isn’t much of a surprise since one of the positive effects of the Redwood Strategy is better SEO because you’re essentially doing exactly what Google wants – updating, maintaining and continuing to make your content better.

But, their social and referral traffic dropped. Again, this makes sense, too, because social media can be like a hungry bottomless pit for “new!”. But…

Search traffic is more important than social traffic. Social traffic is made up often of people who are overwhelmed and in a non-intentional mindset. They click because it looks interesting. Google traffic, though, is intent-driven. They were LOOKING for it. So, that traffic is always better. For that reason, I personally would take an increase in search traffic anytime and wouldn’t even care about a drop in social.

You can check out their post for the full deets. It’s actually a helluva post.

But, it goes to prove that it is safe to challenge assumptions.

You don’t have to post original content all the time.

In fact, it’s often a good idea NOT TO.

I call it The Redwood Strategy. It is called so as an analogy on the redwood trees out in California. Huge trees. But, like all trees, they grow slowly and over time. New rings added to the tree each year.

We can do the same on our blog.

For Buffer, it was an experiment. For me, it is my standard practice.

Because, I want to work on my business, not spend all my time blogging.

And, I want to go camping and travel. 🙂

You know – priorities. 😉

– David