So let’s talk about what happened here in September. I committed to relaunching this blog and boosting my writing schedule for two main reasons:
1 – More of us are going to be spending more time at home, and more time with our desktops and laptops. Covid is changing work schedules, leading to many of working remotely, and for some workers, those changes will be permanent. More time spent with laptops and desktops means, in theory, that we will be reading blogs more.
2 – Distrust in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter continues to grow. I honestly think that both sites will reach a point over the next few years where users will leave in droves. Additionally, both sites could be facing government regulation in the near future as they seem to be shifting from platforms to publishers. I think the migration from these sites will lead to an increase in blog readership.
So around August or so I decided to double-down on blogging. Looking back, I honestly should have made this move in May or so, but live and learn. I discussed this on August 31st when the blog relaunched, but I came back with a commitment to have 6 new posts a week. My only goal for September was to get 6 new posts a week up. A pretty ambitious goal when you consider that I had only published 12 new posts in the first 8 months of the year.
I met that goal, so for October the goal is to keep writing at the same pace, but also focus more on adding visual elements to the posts and work on implementing good SEO practices. Really for September I just wanted to prove to myself that I could meet the new posting schedule. I did, so let’s improve more for October.
Here’s what happened in September:
Traffic up 21.49% from August! I’m very happy with those results. As I continue to post more, search traffic in particular will grow very quickly and continue to push overall traffic levels up.
I started this blog in June of 2009. The traffic for the blog grew consistently every year. So much so that by early 2015, I was getting almost 1,700 visitors a day. The blog was starting to really take off. I decided in February of 2015 that I needed to get serious about the blog and take it to the next level. I made two changes; The first is I switched from ‘shared’ hosting to a dedicated WordPress host. This was a great move as it immediately cut the loading time for the site in half.
But the second change I made ended up having disastrous affects. Around this time, I read an article on an SEO site that said if you wanted to increase search rankings for your site, you should drop the www from your blog. For instance, instead of wwwDOTmackcollierDOTcom, have the site’s URL be mackcollierDOTcom. So I made this change, I switched it to mackcollierDOTcom. But what this article failed to mention was that this change should only be made if your site is NEW. Because making the switch screws with the SEO rankings you have already established otherwise.
Which, unfortunately, is what happened with this blog. My traffic for January of 2015 was 48,385. I made the changes in the middle of February of 2015, and my traffic started dropping immediately. Almost all of the drop was attributed to a decline in search traffic. By April of 2015, traffic was already down to 36.481, and it continued dropping every month. for 5 years. By August of this year, I was averaging around 50 visitors a day, where I was getting around 1,700 a day in early 2015 before I made the changes. Needless to say, it was incredibly disheartening to see my traffic going down for 5 years, despite everything I was doing, and not know why.
So I really see this as my blogging ‘rebirth’, a chance to rebuild the blog to where it once was, and even surpass it. Yes, starting over sucks, but I’ve learned so much about writing and blogging that I didn’t know in 2009. So the process will be much faster.
I appreciate everyone who has read, subscribed and left me nice emails and comments on social media.
So the goals for October are:
1 – More emphasis on visual elements. I’ll have to dig back into Thrive Architect and see what I can come up with.
2 – More emphasis on good SEO practices. This will mostly be on the backend and really won’t impact the actual content here.
3 – Traffic goal of 3,000 visitors. That would give me an average of roughly 100 visitors a day after averaging almost 80 a day in September.
Onward! Thanks again for reading and letting me know what you think, it is greatly appreciated!