Grow your blog’s traffic – by publishing less4 min read
Hey, busy people. In this post we’re looking into a blogging trend that could help you save time, grow your blog traffic, and even help you stand out. It’s called ‘slow blogging’.
Before you ask, no: this doesn’t mean typing at a snail’s pace. What it does mean is fewer blog posts, fewer brainstorming sessions, and (here’s the best bit) better results for your business.
What is slow blogging?
In essence, slow blogging is to blogging what home cooking is to food: generous, hearty, and always satisfying. The idea is to create longer, meatier posts that stick to your ribs.
This kind of content is more substantial than your average blog post. It has something so useful and interesting to offer that readers pin it, bookmark it, or Pocket it. It is not just a blog post, but rather a resource – one that people use again and again.
This is basically the opposite of what many blogs try to do. For years, it was considered good practice to churn out as much new content as you could to attract readers. But now that Google’s algorithm focuses much more on quality, you’ll be relieved to know this is no longer the case. Today, it can be just as effective to write ‘less, but better’.
What are are the benefits of slow blogging?
Slow blogging is catching on for several good reasons.
Firstly, a ‘slow’ blog post is more valuable than a ‘fast’ one. It has more to say, more to give, and therefore more to entice readers to click on it. In today’s noisy world, that’s incredibly important.
Secondly, by producing a few excellent posts, rather than lots of not-so-excellent ones, you concentrate all your time, energy and money on those, giving you better results. Why waste time planning, writing and promoting ten blog posts when you could focus those efforts on one? The payoff would be huge.
Finally, while creating a few really useful resources sounds like a lot of work, once it’s done that’s it – there’s no ‘more is more’ mentality. Instead, you can use your time to really promote your content, or simply get on with another project.
Of course, some blogs have made their name providing fresh, ever-changing content: there is nothing wrong with that. It works for many businesses. But, if it isn’t working for yours, keep reading.
When slow blogging works
1. The Guide
Slow blogging is all about the idea – once you have a really great one, you stick with it and explore it in-depth.
INTO MIND is a fashion blog aimed at women, but one that has a very particular niche: helping readers find their ‘personal style’. The entire site is designed to achieve this, containing a select number of high-quality posts that explain the process step-by-step. This tactic is completely different from most lifestyle blogs, and it works: the author now has over 20k followers on Pinterest, and a book deal. Not too shabby!
This blog-as-a-toolkit approach works really well for professionals that offer a service, like consultants, coaches or teachers. Offer a useful resource for free, and readers will realise that you really know what works.
2. The Academic
One of the best ways to practice slow blogging is to create well-researched, insightful posts that display your expertise. A great example of this is the blog on 80,000 Hours, a project helping talented people use their careers to do good.
Their blog explores all facets of effective altruism, from the skills you’ll need to interviews with people who have actually made the leap into new careers thanks to the project. Though the blog isn’t updated very regularly, each post is packed with trustworthy and interesting information. As a result, 80,000 Hours has built an honest reputation – incredibly important if you’re going to take career advice from some website!
This approach is really useful for data-driven businesses, NGOs and freelance professionals that want to create discussion, gain trust, and show some ‘thought leadership’.
3. The Explorer
Like many blog topics, travel is incredibly competitive. It’s very difficult to stand out in industries where it seems like every path has (quite literally) been trodden. However, slow blogging offers a way to cover congested areas in a new way.
The idea of the ‘off the beaten track’ travel blog is almost a cliche, but The Slow Road pulls it off with authenticity. They cover destinations in detail, avoiding done-to-death attractions in favour of all things local: scenery, restaurants, the way of life. Their posts are evocative, like a well-written travel novel, but still informative. And, of course, they have big, beautiful photographs all over the place. Much more appealing than a quick list of travel tips!
If you’re marketing an experience (like travel, food or luxury) slow blogging allows you to appeal to all the senses, truly immersing the reader in what they could have while giving them valuable information. What’s more, this approach hardly ever sounds salesy, which can put readers off your content.
These are just a few examples of how slow blogging can work, but in time, I’ll think we’ll see growing demand for less frequent, but better quality, blog posts.
Do you agree? Let us know your take in the comments below.
This is a refreshing change of perspective and makes so much more sense than churning out new content multiple times a week. Thanks for sharing!
S. J. Pajonas
I follow a few blogs that are like this. While I like the idea, it's often harder to find the time to sit down and read a really long blog post than it is to read something shorter. I often bookmark them and forget them. :(
I am happy to hear this. Because for some time I have been hearing this thing about how people can't even read a few 100 words of good content. I started my site on food culture called Clay Pot (http://inaclaypot.com) and so many people discouraged me saying no one has time to read. But I am feeling hopeful that there are still some takers for long-form, evocative writing.
Seems like there are a few sites called Slow Road - which one are you referencing in the article above @Amy ? The Butterfield and Robinson one?
Yes, I think there is opportunity here, and it's one of those things that it really depends on your needs and goals. I have found the sweet spot by pushing out tons of content while still doing these kinds of posts every so often. I do think it's important for any blogger to not jump on a bandwagon for the very same reasons, whether you are thinking daily blogging or slow blogging. Again, there are so many variables and thanks for the post.