We’ve officially reached 1 million readers in the last 2 years on HookAgency.com, and most of the content was written by yours truly.
You best believe that getting to 1 million readers and 800+ blog posts, means I’ve failed A LOT. I want to share those failures with you, and I believe sharing failures, in general, can be insanely valuable.
1. Sheer quantity has failed
I’ve blogged every day for a year, and the most useful thing that happened was that we gathered very time-expensive keyword research. I saw what worked – and then doubled down on those things, but there are A LOT cheaper ways to do keyword research than just doing sheer quantity.
2. Self-focus has failed.
Every time we blog about something that is just purely self-interest – those blogs seem to slip into oblivion and never get any traffic.
3. A terrible user experience has failed.
Any time we clutter our content excessively with ads, (and we have tried this to try to get more conversions) it has negatively affected our Google search rankings.
4. Only focusing on Google and not on other content promotion opportunities has failed.
Diversification becomes super important, particularly if you ever see a rankings drop. For us, it’s been social – LinkedIn, Facebook Ads, and Pinterest with visual content. But the point remains, when you lean too much on one acquisition strategy – you’re setting yourself up for pain.
5. Not updating old content – and always creating new posts has failed.
Always pushing into new content and not updating old content – is missing opportunities.
We used to create yearly posts with these kinds of URL’s – /2019-color-schemes
Now we just do /color-schemes, and update the posts every year – this strategy seems to be significantly increasing the authority of these pages and helping push up traffic (on average) a lot. I suggest waiting till the actual year change to update – as I’ve done this too early (this year.)
6. Creating only ‘thought leadership’ content and not creating ‘basic’ content that actual-ideal customers would want has failed.
Random content that doesn’t cater to what users are ‘saying they want’ has failed. Yes – every once in a while we need to do ‘thought leadership’, but not every post should be random, very few bloggers and companies have enough traffic to create articles that their only distribution strategy is people finding them randomly on the site.
Every piece of content needs a ‘distribution strategy.’
Your ideal customers are usually not you – basic is great if you understand that.
7. Only creating basic content, and not focusing on interesting things other thought leaders and blogs would read has failed.
The only problem with not creating thought leadership – is that you’re much less likely to get links back to your site naturally from others.
Either way – creating ‘thought leadership content’ or things that may be more oriented at your industry is really good for the folks writing it. It solidifies new learnings and helps us consider where surges in the market are, and where we may want to pivot offerings.
If you – like me, often learn and clarify your thoughts from writing – mixing this kind of content in on a regular basis can help you in more ways than one.
How about you?
Do you learn more from failures than you do successes?
What hasn’t been working about your content marketing efforts?
Was 2019 a higher traffic year than 2018? Did you have more leads from organic search?
Thanks for reading!