Your business blog is a crucial part of your company’s content marketing strategy.
It brings in traffic, builds relationships, and bolsters your site’s authority.
But have you ever noticed that not every blog post performs the same way? Most have a big initial splash of views but then trail off to next to nothing.
However, you may have a few posts that continue to draw in increasing numbers of visits for months or even years after publishing.
Posts that increase in traffic over time are called compounding blog posts, and they can make an outsized impact for your business.
We’ll guide you through the process of learning about compounding blog posts by addressing these topics:
What are Compounding Blog Posts?
Compounding blog posts are those posts that gain more and more traffic over time.
They stand in contrast to decaying posts, which may have a large initial spike in traffic but don’t pull in many views months after publication.
To phrase this another way, compounding blog posts see an increase in visits over time, while decaying blog posts see a decline.
It’s normal for most businesses to have both types of posts.
Very time-sensitive blog posts can generate a lot of interest and do genuine good for your business, but they are inherently going to decay.
Very few readers will care about this week’s breaking industry news 27 months from now.
Depending on your content marketing strategy, it’s possible that you have very few (or no) compounding blog posts published thus far.
That’s OK, too, though we think you should work to change it.
According to a wide survey conducted by HubSpot of its own customer base, roughly one in 10 blog posts being published is a compounding post. That’s not very many, all things considered.
What are the Advantages of Compounding Blog Posts?
This distinction between compounding and decaying blog posts matters for a few reasons, all related to the reasons why your business is blogging in the first place.
More Lifetime Traffic
If your goal is to grow blog traffic, then a type of post that consistently gets higher levels of traffic is valuable to your business. And compounding blog posts certainly get higher levels of traffic.
Typically, within a single business or business unit, most blog posts get a fairly similar initial exposure. Not identical, but fairly similar.
You won’t typically have a post that gets 20 views in the first week followed by one that gets a million.
If it’s true that your business gets a fairly predictable amount of initial traffic on every blog post, then the difference between compounding and decaying posts becomes clear.
If both post types get 10,000 visitors in the first week, they’re both performing well — for now.
But consider what happens next.
The decaying post quickly drops down to just a few dozen per month. But the compounding post keeps growing, reaching more and more readers and consistently generating traffic.
To be clear, this doesn’t automatically mean that your decaying posts are broken.
Some posts — if you choose to publish them — are always going to decay.
Still, the more you can do to intentionally create posts with a high potential to be compounding blog posts, the greater effect you’ll see in your efforts to grow blog traffic.
Do More with Less
Compounding blog posts allow you to do more with less, as well.
HubSpot also found that one compounding post gets as many visitors over its lifetime as six decaying posts.
That’s a massive difference in lifetime reach!
Being able to do more (and reach more, and convert more) with fewer overall posts would be huge for most businesses, especially those with a top-line goal to grow blog traffic.
Here’s another way to look at the value.
Blog posts aren’t free: you have to pay someone to write them, right? So any opportunity to get more traffic with less work is an opportunity you should pursue.
Not Every Compounding Blog Post Actually Helps
Here’s one more thing worth noting before we get into how to create compounding blog posts.
Not every type of compounding blog post actually creates value for every business.
For example, a post that generates repeat traffic from people not interested in your product or service is of limited value.
It may help to build authority and increase site visits, but it won’t convert.
Here’s a simple illustration: if your business sells accounting software, an evergreen post on tire tread depth or how to change your car’s oil might grow blog traffic. But it won’t create customers.
That’s a far-fetched example, but it gives you the basic idea.
Not every compounding blog post that you could publish will actually help achieve your goals.
Make sure as you begin working to publish more compounding posts that you keep your top-level content marketing strategy goals in view.
Is There a Formula to Create Compounding Blog Posts?
No, not exactly.
What we mean is this: there is no set formula that will guarantee your next blog post will compound.
As with anything and everything organic, there’s always a bit of an unknown factor in the mix.
You could follow every tip and trick you can find, building a seemingly perfect blog post — only for it to fall off within a couple of weeks of posting.
That said, there are certain principles you can follow to greatly increase the chance of a post compounding.
1. Don’t go time-limited
First, if your goal is to create compounding blog posts, don’t prioritize highly time-sensitive content.
To be clear, you probably shouldn’t completely dismiss time-sensitive content, either. Anything time-sensitive can feel urgent in the moment, and there’s certainly a place for writing about those things.
You just don’t want to do that if your goal is to create compounding blog posts.
Think about it: at the time that I’m writing this, a new iPhone has just been released.
If I tell you which one, and you’re reading this a couple years down the road, you’ll immediately sense that this post is dated.
Now, it shouldn’t be.
Editors on this site should keep this post fresh if anything has fallen out of date. But whether they do or don’t, those dated references still hurt the post.
A bunch of references to then-old movies or devices, all described in the present tense as brand new, would turn you off, right?
2. Focus on evergreen topics
Next, if writing a topical post, focus on evergreen topics. There are two ways to do this.
First, you can focus on something that is generally always relevant.
“Best accounting software for midsized businesses,” for example, is an evergreen query. The results may change as the years go by, but people will keep searching for this kind of phrase.
But also be aware that evergreen doesn’t mean ever-present.
A topic that becomes relevant at regular frequencies, like “best windows for cold winters” or “when should I pretreat my lawn” can still qualify as evergreen.
Your compounding visits will be really spiky, concentrated in specific parts of the year, but the ongoing interest is still there.
3. Keep topics broad
Keeping topics as broad as you can will also help to compound interest in the post over time.
This might seem counterintuitive since broader content strategy best practices include being specific and detailed as you work to build authority.
But these two ideas aren’t as contradictory as you might think.
Your post should still be specific and detailed once you get into it. However, the subject or topic itself shouldn’t be too niche.
You want to capture as much of your potential audience as you can, and you want the topic to be general enough that people will keep searching for it month after month.
4. Answer common questions
The posts that seem to compound the most are the ones that answer directly questions that people are searching for.
Whatever your industry looks like, work to find the questions your customers and potential customers are asking search engines.
Then write posts that answer those questions with quality, well-written, authoritative content.
If you can add rich content — graphics, video, interactive content — that’s even better in terms of conversions.
But the main thing driving such posts to become compounding blog posts is the quality of the answer to whatever question sparked the post.
Not sure what those common questions might be?
Some bootstrapped SEO investigating might help. Find one question and ask it to Google. If you see a “people also asked” box, pay attention to those results.
You can generate quite a long list of potential blog topics just by investigating these questions.
Of course, for deeper or more involved help, consider consulting with an SEO or content experience agency.
They can help you craft a more strategic approach for your content calendar — including a tighter focus on compounding blog posts.
Compounding Blog Posts: Best Practices
In addition to the strategies we outlined just above, follow these best practices to continue increasing the likelihood that a blog post will compound in terms of visits.
Pay attention to blog post titles
The title of your blog post needs to reveal that the post itself is all the things discussed above.
If it’s highly technical, too long, or narrowly focused, readers are less likely to click — even if the content is a gold mine.
So keep blog post titles broad, keep them centered on common questions related to your industry, and avoid time-sensitive or overly technical topics.
Stay in your lane — but be confident within it
There are so many questions being asked online, but you can’t — and shouldn’t — try to answer all of them.
Stick to the things that your business knows well. Not every post has to directly tie into something you offer or sell, but many should.
Think about the questions that you and your team regularly answer for customers and prospects in real life.
If you can shed light on the things that people consistently aren’t sure about in your industry, do it. You’ll build trust and authority, and you’ll pull in additional visitors in the process.
Use a content-focused project management tool
As you continue growing your content marketing and blog efforts, it’s easy for content to somewhat spiral out of control.
Without the right tool to keep all your assets and assignments organized, you end up chasing stuff down right and left.
One platform that could help you is Studio.
It’s a content-focused project management tool that keeps your content organized and your team members on task. Check out Studio now to see how it can help your team.
Convert older posts
Some compounding posts might stop performing over time.
Usually there’s a reason, and sometimes you can fix it.
Revisit older posts that performed well for a while and update them if you can. Dust off the content that now feels dated, or add newer model years or devices to the post.
Doing this is much easier than crafting a brand-new compounding blog post, and you should see a renewed interest in the updated post.
Wrap Up: Generating more Compounding Blog Posts Should be your Goal
Doing this can be challenging and is never a sure thing.
But by implementing the right strategies, you can greatly increase your odds of a post gaining real staying power.
Looking for even more strategies to help you grow blog traffic?
Check out our interactive lead capture checklist!
Not only will it help you find new ways to grow blog traffic, but it’s also a perfect example of the kind of interactive content that could turn an everyday blog post into a compounding one.