Updated: Sep 3, 2021
Average Session Time (AST) spent on a website or blog is an important metric. In my opinion, it shows how much value you are providing for your target market and of course, it shows how much time of their life your target market is willing to spend on your content.
So, let's get right to my story.
I am blogging for 4 years now and I had lots of ups and downs when it came to running my blog.
Initially, I was just targeting CIOs (Chief Information Officers) and even named my blog "CIO Rocks". However, very soon I found that my main passion is to serve startups and early stage tech founders in B2B SaaS space.
So, immediately I rebrand my blog and website into my own name and I started to write about everything startups.
Since I have tech engineering background, I am still fascinated by the technology as well. So, I started to write about impact of different technologies such as AI, blockchain and data analytics in different industries.
On the other hand, I was fascinated by growth strategies as well, so again part of my brand includes writing content about sales and marketing strategies that can impact everything startup.
Fore few years, I did not had any keyword research, so I did not get much attraction.
Until, I get to this podcast: The blog Millionaire podcast has a lot of good nuggets of wisdom and I started to become a fan and slowly implementing what has been discussed.
One of the mistakes I did was to not focusing on my niche and drifting into different other spaces as well which is coming from my ADHD.
Long story short by April 2021, I could improve my Average Session Time to 1m 32s.
This looked very good.
Until I lost focus again.
I did not get time to update on my routine pace which is once a week.
And also, I was targeting some other keywords.
This hurt all my KPIs including average session time as well.
As you can see, in May 2021, it significantly dropped to 38 seconds.
This was horrible and I could not believe this is happening.
I was thinking by myself that the value that I bring to my readers has dropped a lot and started to blame myself.
I tried to figure out what just happened.
I started to bring back focus on B2B SaaS early stage startups immediately.
I tried to bring my perspective into the blogs as well vs. outsourcing to a ghost blog.
Ghost blogging is a good strategy to scale blogging, but it may hurt your brand and also since it is not me, if not implementing properly, damage the content.
So, in June, things are still flat as you can see in the following photo.
So I started the following step by step actions to improve the situation and the result was significant.
Let's not forget, this might not result into more sales. However, this simply shows how much time my readers are happy to spend on my content.
I was so happy for this milestone so I decided to share steps that I have taken to achieve this milestone.
Here we go:
1. Sharing my opinion and personal perspective in my content
For quite sometime, I was afraid of sharing my personal perspective and opinion in my content.
There were different reasons behind it. But I think fear of judgment, losing a percentage of my readers because they might not share the same insight, was the main reasons that I could not share my own perspective.
So this made my content more and more generic.
Now, in the content space, nothing will damage your brand than being generic.
The lesson learned here is always add your opinion and insight to the content. There might be people that may not like it or even attack you for your insight. However, there will be people that appreciate you sharing your ideas and personal touch to the content.
This makes things unique rather than being generic.
2. Keyword research
I started to bring more focus in some specific keywords and pushing my content in that direction.
This helped my SEO and bringing more people from different channels and also bring more focus on my targeted persona as well.
3. Making my blogs more reader-friendly
I tried to add more illustrations and infographics to the blogs and adding more visual elements. This made my blogs more visually appealing and helped readers to easily navigate through content.
4. Share my content in relevant Facebook Groups
One of the other steps was to share my blog link to different Facebook Groups that are relevant to startups and marketing and then to test different titles to see which ones get more attractions.
This way, I could iterate on different forms of content and get better in choosing relevant titles.
5. Adding my podcast to my blog posts
The other effective strategy was to start my own podcast, Startup and Strategy and added the relevant episodes to each blog post.
This was giving more dynamics and different form of content type for readers and enabled them to consume another for of content.
6. More meaningful post summaries
I started to think how I can write better post summaries and making my objective more clear for my target market.
This is important from marketing perspective because it encourages people to go deeper into the content.
7. Using "Heading 2" in my paragraphs
Surprisingly, I was not using any H2 in my content. However, in the last month I started to use Heading 2 in my content and blog so that SEO engines can understand what I am trying to cover in my content.
8. Promoting my content without promoting my content
One of the interesting strategies I used was to promote my blog without promoting my blog. This means I started to share my ideas and perspective in different groups and communities without sharing any links to my blog.
Instead, I focused my energy to give rather than getting.
The result was massive. Because more and more people come to my blog organically and that will drive them to stay and read my content without any pressure.
9. Talking about things that matters
This is an extension to the keyword research strategy. So, this means that I was talking about subjects that startup founders are interested to hear about.
I was validating this with Reddit discussions as well to see which discussions are getting more attraction and what people wanted to talk about every week.
10. Sticking to my publishing schedule
For quite some time, I could not stick to my weekly schedule to update my blog. In some cases, for about a month, there was no content update.
This is an important part as consistency make a huge difference.
11. No call to action
My personal take on CTA or call to action is that it may seem to be pushy or a strategy to take instead of give.
Instead, I put my focus on giving and giving as much as value as possible.
I decided to leave CTA post for another form of content that I will publish soon in future.
There you go. So this was I I could make more engaging content.
Feel free to share your experience with me and feel free to ping me if you have any questions.