I started blogging over 8 years ago to boost my SEO and it's worked well. Initially the blog was all about cartoons and cartooning, but after a few years I felt like I was running out of material. So I switched it up and began writing lots of short posts (often just an image with a sentence or two) on a wider variety of topics. For a good while I was posting every day:
Then I started hearing about Google Panda and how it was devaluing sites with thin content and I got nervous. Not only had I created a lot of almost content-less pages, many of them had little or nothing to do with cartoons. (Don't bother looking for them, they're not there anymore.)
So in 2012 I decided to blog longer, richer, cartoonier content just once a week to see what happened. I added a monthly How To Draw feature, some video, some inside baseball on cartooning, and kept the occasional LEGO project. And now that we're moving into 2013 I thought it would be fun to check back in and see how it went:
When you compare 2012 to 2011 for all pages containing "/cartoon-blog/", total pageviews increased 23%, and unique pageviews increased 19%.
And when you look at only the blog's home page it gets better:
2012 pageviews up 33%, and uniques up 34%. Not bad.
Now, to be fair, changing the length and frequency of my blogs wasn't the only blog-related change I made. I also began tweeting about my weekly post once a day (thanks, Buffer & Tweriod!), and I emailed other relevant sites I thought might be interested. (Neatorama, you're the best!)
And it seems to be working. Traffic from Twitter jumped 1189% (!) over 2011 and I also increased my total number of referrers by 15%.
I think what I've enjoyed seeing most is the change in the kinds of popular content.
The top blog posts from 2011:
That's very little real cartoon content, and, unless you count the home page, no content about Andertoons. (And the last six aren't even posts from 2011!) Now let's look at the top blog posts from 2012:
There's a lot more there that highlights me as a cartoonist, and only 2 posts aren't from 2012. (Thanks to Ian at Portent for the HTD idea!) That's a definite improvement!
So to sum up, blogging less often but more deeply, and reinforcing posts elsewhere helped traffic on the blog and business overall dramatically. Good job, me!
But 2013 is just about here! What will I do with the blog this year? You'll just have to come back and see!