How do you feel about your blogging strategy?

If you just sighed, you wouldn't be the first marketer to do so. For most of us, creating high-quality, engaging content is a chore. It's something that we must do regularly to maintain relevant website traffic, to keep leads coming in, to nurture opportunities—oh, and to keep search rank up.

In fact, you likely have your next pieces of content planned, proofed, and ready to post—and crossed off this month's list.

But wait.

What if, rather than thinking of your blog as a chore on a to-do list, it's better to think of it as a savings account, with each post a long-term, growing investment that generates traffic and relevant leads.

Compounding Blog Posts as a Long-Term Traffic Investment

When you publish a blog post, typically you'll see traffic volume do one of two things over time:

  1. It will level off after publication/promotion, and slowly decline; that's a decaying blog post.
  2. Or, traffic can go the other way, with visits continuing to increase beyond initial publication traffic; you guessed it, that's a compounding post.

Only 1 in 10 posts is typically a compounding post, but can account for around 38% of total blog traffic, research has found. Clearly, creating compounding posts is the way to make the most of traffic and lead generation potential of a blog in the longer term.

Four Tips to Boost Traffic and Leads With Compounding Blog Posts

1. Recognize the traffic and lead value of compounding posts

If traffic to compounding posts steadily increases over time and therefore boosts the potential for lead generation, how much traffic are we talking about?

Based on HubSpot research that monitored 2,000 compounding and 18,000 decaying posts...

  • After six months, monthly traffic to compounding posts increased, on average, to 2.5 times the initial traffic received, whereas decaying posts drew less than one-fifth the initial traffic received.
  • After 22 months, compounding posts' monthly traffic increased again, to an average of 3.4 times the level of original traffic.
  • A single compounding post can produce the same level of traffic as six decaying posts.
  • In HubSpot's own case, compounding posts made up just 10% of its total blog content but drove 34% of overall blog traffic.

Relevance is the secret to achieving results like those. Evergreen posts—which offer long-term useful advice on a common challenge—are more likely to do well in search, and therefore more likely to become compounding posts. Evergreen content is also more likely to enhance your thought-leadership reputation. In contrast, short-lived articles, such as news items, typically fit into the decaying-post category.

2. Understand how to create compounding posts

Ready to increase your monthly traffic by creating compounding posts? At a top level, a well-written compounding post...

  • Addresses topics, pain points, and challenges that resonate with your ideal audience and customer personas, and retain long-term relevance.
  • Uses a title aligned with how people use search engines. Titles should ask how, what, or why, and they should be 6-13 words long.
  • Consists of clearly structured text, with marked sections, making use of imagery and formatting (such as bullet points) where possible.
  • Offers practical tips and advice as clearly and concisely as possible, appealing to an audience that skims text. Ideally, B2B blog posts should be 500-1,000 words long.
  • Avoids being overly niche-specific; though posts should address specific issues, they should ideally remain widely accessible.

You may already have published content that fits the profile of a compounding post, or you have pieces that just need a little adjustment. It's wise to audit and monitor current content to assess the traffic levels you're already achieving, and to look for quick-win opportunities.

3. Create content regularly

If you're involved in any aspect of marketing content creation, you know that regular publication is at the core of the most successful blogging strategies.

How frequently should you publish posts? To achieve the optimum level of traffic growth, a B2B best-practice guideline is to publish 16+ posts per month.

Per HubSpot, companies that publish at that frequency register traffic increases that are 3.5 times more than those publishing up to four posts per month.

4. Understand how compounding blogs fit into your content strategy

Of course, although compounding blog content is a great way to enhance the volume and lead potential of your traffic, it's not a magic bullet for securing instant leads and customers.

For best impact, keep in mind how blog content integrates with your wider content and lead-nurture strategies, not forgetting each post's position within the buyer's journey (moving from awareness of a problem, to consideration of solutions, to making a decision to purchase a solution).

The tone and substance of all content you create, compounding or otherwise, should be mapped back to appeal to your ideal buyer personas, and should address a specific stage in their purchasing journey. Creating content assets for each stage allows you to nurture your audience toward a conversion and decision.

Typically, blog content targets the awareness and consideration stages, and provides educational insight into the early stages of solving a problem your potential customers are trying to resolve.

Plan Your Posts for Compounding Success

With competent planning, creating regular, relevant compounding posts that achieve runaway traffic growth is an achievable goal.

As your starting point, to find your angle, map upcoming blog content to buyer-challenge-related themes. Then, to nail relevancy, consider the purchasing stage that your content needs to address. Finally, to secure long-term traction, make your titles and content as optimized as possible to fit the profile of a compounding post—as laid out in this article.

The only way to go is up!

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Four Tips to Boost Traffic (and Leads) With Compounding Blog Posts

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image of Lucy Jones

Lucy Jones is head of content at Strategic Internet Consulting, a full-service inbound marketing agency helping businesses achieve B2B lead generation, nurture, and sales goals.

Twitter: @LucyJones_SIC

LinkedIn: Lucy Jones