What is a compounding blog post – and how can you write one?

Most of us understand the importance of writing a business blog, blogging is an effective way to help direct traffic to your website and is a very effective content marketing strategy.  If you only do one thing in terms of content marketing, we would probably advise you to maintain an informative and entertaining blog.  Blog posts can be even more effective at directing traffic to your site if they are compounding posts. 

So, what is a compounding blog post?

Broadly speaking, a compounding blog post is a post which see an increase in traffic over time.  The opposite of a compounding post would be a decaying post, which – you guessed it, sees a decrease in traffic cover time.   According to HubSpot, only 10% of blog posts are compounding, yet they generate 38% of blog traffic – so, mastering the art of the compounding post is a goal worth pursuing.

Why is that important?

If your content is compounding it will continue to perform for you in the longer term – this means that your blog writing efforts are rewarded with more views over time, leading to better site authority and better online visibility – which will attract more visitors to your blog!, therefore adding to the compounding effect over time – a virtuous circle. 

Whilst there is no magic formula for crafting a compounding post, there are some characteristics which appear to have an influence in whether a blog post continues to attract and increase traffic over time.

Create Evergreen Content…

Another one of those phrases which marketers often use, evergreen content is content which stays relevant over time and does not date.  An example of evergreen content from our own blog would be the post ‘Why is Fresh Content Important for your website?’  This is a post that will continue to be relevant into the future and, can, if necessary be updated to keep it current.   Even though it was written over a year ago, it continues to attract visitors.  Conversely, a post like ‘Business Blogging in 2017’ is now much less likely to keep attracting visitors – who wants to know about blogging in 2017? – that is so last year!

Answer Questions

Posts which start with words like ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ are more likely to be compounding in nature.    Also posts which promise to show the ‘Best way to…’ or offer advice are good at maintaining traffic over time.  Part of the reason for this would be that the post titles of this type mirror the types of searches which people actually perform.  Think about the questions your customers or potential customers may ask you ‘How can I sell my house quickly?’, ‘What’s the best type of camera for a beginner?’ or ‘Why is Fresh Content Important for my website?’ .  People use the internet when they are searching for information and according to studies, spend up to 75% of their buying journey online, before they have ever spoken to anyone. 

Offer Actionable Advice

Sharing your expertise, whatever your field, and offering your audience practical advice and takeaways which they can apply to their business or their life are a great way of making sure your blog content gets read and hopefully shared.  

Avoid being too niche

To maintain a longer term relevance and a wider audience, try to keep things fairly broad if you can, to make sure your posts appeal to as wide an audience as possible.  Of course, there is a place for posts which appeal to a narrower, more niche audience but in terms of compounding content – the wider the audience the better. 

It goes without saying that your blog should also follow the usual rules such as keeping your posts in an easily digestible format, using clear heading and sections which can be scanned, use images and other visual media like infographics, charts to make your posts visually appealing and make sure your stuff is easy to share.  

Summary and Action

It always helps to round up your post with a useful summary and some actionable advice.  So here goes…

  • Make it evergreen
  • Keep it relevant to your audience
  • Answer questions
  • Avoid ‘newsjacking’ and time sensitive topics
  • Keep it broad to maximise audience

If you have an existing blog, it is worth having a look at how your existing posts are performing – identify those which are compounding and see if there is any existing content on your blog you can modify, applying some of the points above.  Of course it is not necessary to attempt to create compounding posts every time you blog – but you should aim for them to be a key part of your planned content.

For more information on Pure Systems Digital Marketing Services and to download our free guide 'top ten tips for digital marketing success' visit our website.