Month 1 Retrospective: The Blog Challenge
Today is the end of the first month in our 6-Month Marketing Challenge! If you’re going to be technical, they are 4-week challenges but that’s partially for consistency but also because I initially set out for 16 blogs and now I’m ready to celebrate.
As a refresher, this month was our Blog Challenge. This started with a blog a day for a month and since we have an M-Th week at UnderBelly, this would equate to 4 blogs a week. By week two, I adjusted the schedule to Tue-Fri because my Mondays are always filled with meetings so fitting in a blog just didn’t make sense.
4 blogs a week is in fact A LOT. But it did help to set a foundation.
I would not recommend this schedule to anyone, especially if you are adding it on top of your current workload. However, if you are looking to jump-start your blog or create a foundation of content, this challenge will absolutely do that. There is a 0% chance that I will continue posting 4 blogs per week, however, posting so frequently forced me to create a system to make the process faster and more effective. This is something I am immensely grateful for and will continue to use moving forward.
We did not get more LinkedIn engagement but all of our website numbers are up.
While I thought posting more on our LinkedIn would grow our engagement, it turns out LinkedIn is like all other social media platforms; it takes more than just posting to see increased engagement. Since so much of my spare time was dedicated to actually writing the blog, it was hard to actually engage with other people’s content.
However! All of our numbers are up on our website.
Site Sessions: Up 94%
Unique Visitors: Up 77%
Ave. Session Duration: Up 55%
Overall traffic: Up 55%
LinkedIn Traffic: Up 24%
Google Traffic: Up 62%
Instagram Traffic: Down 4%
Also, our SEO is up!
Impressions: Up 10%
Clicks: Up 62%
Goal Search Word Impressions:
Design Agency for Startups: +53
Design Agencies Milwaukee: +12
Underbelly Design: +8
Milwaukee website design agency: +7
On the negative side of things, ‘underbelly’ specific phrases are down
I didn’t really see any trends within the content topics.
I thought we would see a trend in what kinds of blogs were gaining the most traction, but that wasn’t really the case. Two of the top three blogs got boosts from being included in newsletters or email blasts. And the third was included as part of an Instagram post.
This reinforces the fact that it’s not just about creating the content, but you need to have a distribution strategy. This also reinforces the importance of owning your own email list because distributing content through newsletters still works.
It got me out of the writing rut.
Writing a consistent blog has been on our list of to-dos for years but it’s only ever stuck for stints. Part of this was the fear of putting something out there. Part of this was not knowing what to write about. Part of this was trying to bite off more than we could chew with each blog post.
But having to write a post a day provided that necessary push to just start doing. Writing one blog would lead to another blog idea or two. And because I knew I had so much content to write, I didn’t try to tie the new ideas into whatever I was writing about. It just got added to my ongoing list of blog ideas.
Now, I know I can go deeper into specific elements and simply link back to previous posts for a higher-level overview. For instance, we wrote about the engagement analytics startups should be paying attention to. And one we discussed was ‘Bounce Rate’. As I was writing I had a million ideas for what I could include about that one specific data point and in the past, I would have included it in the piece. Instead, I added “Bounce Rates” as a future blog post idea.
Talking about it publicly helped to hold me accountable.
As I mentioned above, writing for our blog has always been on our list of to-dos. But was also always the one that got pushed to the back burner the moment we get busy. And with everything in marketing and branding, consistency is the most important thing. Not to mention this on-and-off system meant we were never able to get into a flow.
By publicly announcing this challenge, I removed the question mark intrinsically attached to the task. It was no longer, ‘blog?’ but rather, ‘write blog’. As small businesses, we don’t often have anyone holding us accountable to tasks, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. So any opportunity to create that imaginary boss is helpful.
I wouldn’t recommend this cadence to anyone but it absolutely was helpful in creating a foundation of content.
Posting so much content had fantastic results for our website traffic and increased our desired search engine queries.
Creating content is not enough, you need a real distribution plan.
Put pen to paper and just start writing.
If I view content creation as a non-negotiable in my to-do list I will actually do it.
Up Next! Videos!
We are continuing the content train with our second month challenge: Posting two short-form videos a week for 4 weeks.
Up until this challenge, we have created exactly zero videos and that is not for a lack of trying. But we understand the increasing importance of video, especially with juggernauts such as TikTok and YouTube.
So we are off to see how adding videos to our social media calendar affects our engagement as well as if we can get TikTok famous. Wish us luck!
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About The Author
Olivia Wisden is the Founder + CEO of UnderBelly Creative. She has worked with dozens of brands over the years ranging from city initiatives to product launches and beyond. When she’s not fan-girling over the design team’s illustrations she can probably be found reading a novel or attending a boxing class.