One of my favorite things to do is write. I love consolidating the jumble of thoughts in my head into something coherent that I can come back to whenever I want. Unfortunately, once the acquisition was announced I just stopped. I was busy, the acquisition was stressful, and I started doing a lot more writing internally on p2s (what Automattic uses to track projects).
From January through July I wrote 19 posts. And then from August through the end of the year just one. And this has had a significant impact on my traffic. I've always wanted to know how important it is to Google to consistently publish content and now I have some numbers to share. So if you're thinking about scaling back your content marketing reading on.
What Consistent Writing Looks Like
I've been writing in this blog for years and once I started writing consistently it just exploded. Two and a half years ago I had 380 people visit my site in a month and this past June it hit 28,000. Pretty big difference right?
By the way in case you're wondering about that giant bump – it's from a major WooCommerce release. As soon as that came out all of my WooCommerce articles got a huge surge in traffic.
When Writing Drops Off
The last month where I was really on top of the blog was this past May where I put out 4 posts. In June only 1 post and in July just 2 posts. The drop off in traffic is obvious.
In May I had 28,000 visitors and in December (the most recent full month) I had 13,000 visitors which is less than half.
When you look at the graph there's a relatively steep drop off right away. Even though I published something in June and two things in July it went down 4,000 visitors, another 4K in August, and 2K in September. And then it stabilizes.
November sees a very small increase from the one post I put out and then it continues to decline in December.
As soon as you stop putting out content Google immediately starts sending you less traffic and it's going to continue to send you less and less traffic.
To lose all of your traffic would take a very long time. Even now there are still two posts getting thousands of visits a month and many more getting hundreds. I imagine these will continue to get traffic until someone else writes a similar article and Google sends people to that post instead of mine since their site appears more up to date.
If there's anything that's plain to see it's that you have to be consistent. You can't just take a few months off and expect to get the same traffic. While bloggers do talk about evergreen content nothing is truly evergreen. You have to maintain that content and make sure Google knows that you're keeping your site up to date and it's the most useful resource for Google's users.
If you do need to take time off from writing then it's worth writing a few posts and scheduling them out ahead of time.