You write a post. You publish the post online. You promote the post on your social networks. And you keep coming back to check how many people have already read it, shared it online. Sometimes, even only minutes after you updated your blog. And you keep returning and checking. Sometimes you’re excited by the numbers you see, most of the times you are puzzled. “Only one retweet? Only two Facebook likes in the first half hour?”
Whoever does this, please stand up. I’m sure many of you have recognized yourselves. It’s a natural response. We all want to be loved/read. Indeed, the audience/your readers make you a blogger. “A blogger, if he/she’s not already a known columnist or journalist, has to work hard to attract readers to the blog and to keep them coming back,” I wrote.
What about the following scenario? You write a post. You publish the post online. You promote it on your social networks. After a day or two you stop coming back to check how many people have read or shared it. You move on to another post, though wondering why this one isn’t as popular as you thought it would be. A week, maybe weeks and months pass by. Suddenly you notice something’s happening with that already forgotten post. In the meantime, after you moved on, it has gained traction. The numbers have suddenly begun to rise. What you dreamt the first hour and the first day after you updated the blog with this post it happened much much later, when you already gave up and moved on.
There are so many reasons why the above scenario happens from time to time. It depends on each individual case; sometimes it is just a small thing (usually a perplexing one) that triggers a ripple effect. But it does say something about a long lasting power of great online content.
Most if not all advice online about what to do after you’ve written a new blog post aim at teaching you how to get immediate results, that is on the day you publish the post.
Don’t discount the possibility of getting large spikes of traffic from old blog posts weeks or even months after you actively promoted them.
Don’t think that when you updated your blog with a new post it was the only perfect timing for it. That perfect time may come later. Something may happen that brings people to that “already forgotten” post. Isn’t that one of the reasons why blogs are open archives of your content? It doesn’t make sense to think a blog post deserves attention only days after it’s been published online. Then why don’t we just delete them after a few days, right?
Some would say, Bostjan, but there is a correlation between when I update a blog and an increase in traffic to it. Yes, for the most part. But you should always have in back of your mind an expectation that maybe the perfect time for an individual blog post is yet to come. You can reap the awards of writing weeks and months later. I don’t know about you, but this makes the whole blogging thing even more exciting, because it just isn’t the case of “what’s hot today is old news tomorrow”. Not at all.