stop publishing blog content

What happens when I stop publishing content?

leonie waldron
Leonie Waldron
Head Strategist


  • There are several reasons you might need to stop publishing content, such as reduced staff resources in the business, temporary cash flow issues, or simply prioritising other marketing activities within a small team that is already stretched too thin.
  • A long-term, ongoing approach to content is the gold standard, but if that’s not possible you need to work with what you’ve got. Some content is better than none.
  • The 3 examples below show that good, relevant, helpful content does continue to perform over time – even when there is absolutely zero SEO or maintenance happening on your site.
  • On the flip side, the kind of traffic you can see when you approach your content marketing with structure and consistency simply blows this out of the water (take a look at the final example!)

So, what happens if I stop adding content to my website? 

There are reams of reports written on the importance of publishing regular content on your website.

Even industries such as manufacturing that have traditionally been more cautious in their uptake of new marketing tactics are now becoming publishing powerhouses, delivering educational content in all different formats in order to help their customers. 

However, there’s very little said about what happens when you cease to create content.

Does your traffic go downhill fast?

Does your website fall off the face of the earth, lost in the wastelands of page 50 of Google’s search results?

Or, does your existing content continue to deliver, bringing new people to your website for months and years after it was published? 

Although there are LOADS of benefits to creating content on an ongoing basis, there are also several reasons you might need to stop writing content. These include reduced staffing or resources in the business, cash flow issues, or simply prioritising other marketing activities within a small team that is already stretched thin. And, when you don’t know if all the hard work you’ve already put into publishing will be undone, it can be quite anxiety-inducing to consider stopping, even temporarily. 

In this article, I’m going to share an example of how a website can be created, then almost completely abandoned, and yet still continue to deliver a small amount of organic traffic. 

It’s a great illustration of how good content delivers extremely long-term results – over years, not months – and how marketing managers with very limited resources can still reap the benefits of content marketing, even if it is only done for a short time.  

Of course, we’re always going to recommend a long-term, ongoing approach to continue delivering valuable information to your customers, but if that’s not possible you need to work with what you have. 

A quick look at how content keeps on giving

In this example – let’s call them ACME – the client created their website to support a new business offering. Not long after launch, this company quickly pivoted to focus on other revenue streams, leaving this website fallow and untended (but still live in case they return to it in the future). 

A few caveats: 

  • ACME is an incredibly niche site offering a service that is only relevant to a very specific audience, in a specific geographic area. It does not have broad appeal and is unlikely to ever deliver huge amounts of traffic.
  • The site was built from scratch starting in late 2020 and going live in early March 2021.
  • 10 articles were written as part of the website project, targeting long-tail keywords relevant to the company’s main offering. Most of these were low search volume due to their specificity. 
  • The website was last logged into and the last of these 10 articles was published in May 2021.
  • There are no Google Ads running for this business, and the business is not actively marketed anywhere else. 
Content writer at work

What happened when ACME stopped creating content?

Let’s take a look at the overall traffic to the site, then break down how individual posts are performing over time. 

Let me say straight up that these are not big numbers, and that is by design: I don’t want to showcase a business getting 10,000 visits a month because our clients typically don’t see these kinds of jaw-dropping results. It can lead to a false sense of what is actually achievable, and then inevitable heartache when the big numbers don’t materialise. 

This is because we work with highly specialised, niche businesses that sell products to a very small subset of the population. A massive audience is simply not always available, however writing content gives you the ability to talk with confidence and professionalism about how you can solve problems for this small but very relevant audience.

It is this trust-building, deep-dive, highly specific content that we specialise in, and this is reflected in the numbers you see here. 

Example article A: performance over time

  • Article A was published in April 2021
  • No distribution via social media or email marketing took place
  • The article has not been edited or updated since being published
  • Article A has delivered 298 organic page views, with people spending an average of 4.5 minutes on the page
  • 94% of these visitors were new to the site

Example article B: performance over time

  • Article B was published in May 2021
  • Like the above example, no distribution strategy was employed to promote the article, and it hasn’t been edited or updated since
  • Article B has delivered 137 organic page views, averaging a little over a minute on the page, with 86% of these new visitors to the site

Example article C: performance over time

  • Article C was published in March 2021
  • Like the above, no distribution strategy was used, and it hasn’t been edited or updated
  • Article C has delivered 71 organic page views, delivering 87% new visitors to the site who spend a little over 2 minutes on the page

What Does This Illustrate? 

Again, these aren’t big numbers – but they are a clear indication that good, relevant, helpful content does perform over time, even when there is absolutely zero SEO or maintenance happening on your website. 

ACME may have this business on ice for the moment, but the content on the site is helping it to gain momentum slowly and surely. 

And, if these results come from an unloved ‘sleeper’ site, imagine the kind of traffic you can see when you approach your content marketing with enthusiasm and consistency!

Here’s a great example.

The flip side: the long-term effect of great content (and thoughtful distribution)

In the example below – for a different company with a bigger total market, but still relatively niche – a blog post was published in September 2020. However, it didn’t start to rank until January 2021 (that’s 4 months – content takes time to work!)


  • It was promoted on several social media platforms and used in a few emails (distribution is vital!)
  • This article has delivered 21,309 organic page views, 96% of which are new users (sometimes big numbers can be achieved!) 
  • Visitors spend on average just 16 seconds on this page (they may not be reading it word for word – but it’s a foot in the door, and they then go on to explore another 2.5 pages of the site!)

Here’s the kicker: we charged around AUD$500 for this article back in the day. The article has since driven $4000 worth of traffic every month to this site (compared to Google Ads cost for the same keyword).

At the time of writing, it’s been live for 21 months. 

$84,000 worth of traffic.

For a $500 investment.

And it’s continuing to deliver… even 12 months after we stopped working with this client! 


Want to find out more? Take a look at our case studies to see how great content can deliver consistent website traffic over the long term. 


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