Nobody knows about this, I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling or what I was thinking, but after a little bit of time to think, and have some clarity I’m going to share with you guys why I was seriously considering to stop the 31 days of blogging a few days ago.
31 days straight, is tough at times but the reason I was about to stop, wasn’t because it was tough, I do a lot of things that are “tough”.
Why I Almost Gave Up
I wasn’t going to give up just because I didn’t feel like blogging one day, I can easily put something up just to say I completed the challenge.
The problem was a chain of events that happened and started getting in my head, having doubts, and becoming my own worst enemy.
An Adjustment Of Traffic
I guess this is a different way of saying I lost a ton of traffic.
Some would say they lost rankings, or were penalized, hit by an update, but that wasn’t the case. I studied my analytics and noticed a lot of my traffic from search was coming from being ranked for “Thank you note”, “Thank you latter” and also getting a lot of Google Image traffic for “thank you images” and various phrases due to this post I wrote a while back.
I made a couple fixes because this traffic was useless to me. I don’t know how to monetize Google Image traffic, and overall the traffic was of very very low quality.
I also added some referral exclusions in my analytics because of referral spam showing up, messing up my stats.
Last month, in the month of June my organic traffic accounts for 52% of my total traffic. 71% of my organic traffic came from junk search terms that made no difference.
So why did this effect me?
Going from a record day in traffic at 556 visitors in a day, to around 150, and then having my first day with under 100 visitors since April, it was pretty disappointing.
Even though now that I look at it logically, it changes nothing. The traffic I had was crap traffic, it wasn’t anything that made a difference. Nobody clicked on affiliate links, nobody subscribed to the blog, it was just garbage traffic that made the blog seem more popular than it really is.
After no longer getting the garbage traffic, and the addition of me excluding some referral spam this lead to at least a 50% drop in traffic.
If I would have excluded these last month, I wouldn’t have had a total of 9800 unique visitors, I would have had about 5,000.
I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t anticipate seeing such a large drop. This kind of got me down a little bit…
It also got me thinking about the next problem…
I Should Be Getting More Comments
Even with the reduction in traffic, the quality of traffic I have overall is still good.
The problem I have is I post a lot of content but very rarely get comments. When I was posting on a less regular schedule I was getting more comments. Now that I’m posting every day I don’t get comments.
Am I publishing too much content for the current traffic?
This lead me to think that I need to just call it quits on the 31 days of blogging so I can focus more on promoting content and traffic generation. Whether I had comments or not, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to focus more on content promotion than content creation.
Before making a decision to quit the 31 days, I decided I would give myself time to not think emotionally, and think logically.
In business, sometimes the biggest mistakes are made by people overreacting to a certain situation or circumstance. They try to steer things in a different direction, which only makes things worse. I didn’t want to make that mistake with the blog.
I came up with a few logical reasons why I wasn’t getting as many comments on blog posts.
1.) I added a related content plugin – I may be over analyzing but I think it makes sense. I had 30% more comments before implementing the related content plugin. I have it displayed under the CTA/Lead Magnet under each post. This could explain why I have the reduction in comments due to the extra second it would take to scroll underneath. It also makes sense that people are getting distracted by the related content, and they’re clicking through to something else when otherwise they would have made a comment.
Is this a reasonable theory? I think so. What do I do about it? I’m not sure… I like having related content because I feel like it is more engaging and keeps people on the site longer which allows me to convert more of that traffic into subscribers. However, having comments shows active engagement and community which can also convert more traffic and keep people coming back.
I’ve considered moving my lead magnet/opt in to the middle of the content but I’m not sure if that’s something I should do or not.
I’m open for suggestions on this one… if you dare to leave a comment.
2.) I have an off-blog community – For those that purchased Ice Cold Email Gold or my Ultimate Blueprint to Start a Web Agency, I have a premium skype group. Lots of things are discussed, like SEO, Sales, Positioning, different marketing related topics, all kinds of stuff. Most people in the group read the blog, but instead of commenting on the blog posts, they’ll usually comment in the skype group.
If there was no skype group, I would probably get a few more comments on each post.
3.) Perhaps I AM creating too much content – I can’t deny the possibility that maybe it is because I have too much content for the current traffic load, however, history says more content will bring more traffic.
Maybe there are other reasons as well but these are the most obvious to me, and deserve the hardest look.
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I Started Doubting The Content Quality
Sure, there are days I slack on content, for example my most recent example is a video I shared that was an interview of Gary Vaynerchuk. I like Gary, and I think it would be useful to hear what he has to say and where he came from, however… it isn’t unique content for me, it’s just curated. I, personally didn’t add any value so that was just an example of how I feel like the content quality isn’t up to par.
I think I was looking at it too harshly though, because the same week I posted that, I had a break down review of the direction the Warrior Forum is headed, which had a lot of social shares and sharing through facebook groups.
So while I was getting down about myself, thinking I had poor content quality, that really wasn’t the case.
Looking At It Now… My Traffic “Correction” is a GOOD Thing.
Honestly, I was getting a little too comfortable with the growth of the blog. I let a few opportunities go to waste with guest blogging, as well as a few roundups I could have been a part of. Instead of using those opportunities, I let them pass.
I was seeing an increase in traffic, but that increase in traffic wasn’t an increase in traffic that I wanted. I chose to ignore that since on the surface the stats and metrics looked okay, but there was no true growth.
If this traffic correction didn’t happen, I could be much further down the road with no true progress.
It’s interesting how certain things can affect your thinking. If there’s something you can walk away with here, is to always be objective and have a level of clarity in your thinking.
Everyone has bad days, or even weeks. Myself included. It’s no excuse for making irrational decisions that will also take you to a downward spiral.