How I Lost 60% Of My Blog Traffic

November 19, 2008

What would you do if you lost 60% of your blog traffic? It happened to me last week. Ok, so I didn’t lose 60% of my total blog traffic.

But I lost 60% of the traffic for a keyphrase that usually brings me a decent amount of traffic to my blog.

It was my own fault and I want to share my mistake with you, to help you avoid losing blog traffic too.

Blog Traffic: Why The First Page Of Google Isn’t Enough

If you’re on the first or second page of Google for some less popular longtail keyphrases, that get a reasonable amount of searches; they’re probably not bringing you much blog traffic. So when you’re optimizing a blog post for those type of searches, you really need to try your best to get the number one slot, at the top of the first page of Google. It’s not that difficult and it’s worth the extra effort.

I was at the top of the first page of Google for one of those type of keyphrases, so I was getting quite a lot of blog traffic for that keyphrase each month. Trouble was, because I’d got quite complacent about staying at the top of Google for that particular keyphrase, I never noticed something was amiss. Then the Google traffic I received for that keyphrase took a huge dive.

Being 2nd On Google Means A Massive Drop In Blog Traffic

I checked to see why my blog traffic had dropped for that keyphrase. And I wasn’t surprised to find that I’d been pushed to the number 2 slot. What did shock me was the amount of difference that one position made - I’d lost around 50% of my blog traffic for that keyphrase. A couple of days later, I was pushed to number 3 position, resulting in a traffic loss of around 60% for that keyphrase.

So When That Happens - Can’t You Just Tweak Your Blog Post To Get The Traffic Back?

You could tweak the particular blog post, to get your number one position back. I did that and Google already crawled that page and moved my post back up to number 2. But it’s far easier to stay on top, once you’re already there. So, it’s better to keep an eye on the blog posts that are bringing you the most traffic.

And at the same time, you can keep an eye on your competitor’s posts, directly beneath yours and keep tweaking those posts, so they can’t push you off the top.

You Really Do Get A Lot More Blog Traffic By Doing This

It really is worth tweaking your posts to get a number one postion on Google for particular phrases. The difference it can make to your blog traffic is significant. For just one fairly unpopular keyphrase, linking to one blogpost, you can get hundreds, or even thousands of visitors, to your blog each month, if you’re in the number one position.

But if you were at the bottom of the first page, or the top of the second page, you’d probably only get a handful of visitors to your blog as a result.

Optimizing Your Blog To Get More Traffic Isn’t Complicated

Optimizing your blog to get more traffic isn’t complicated - if it was, I couldn’t do it, as I probably have the learning capacity of a 3 year old when it comes to technology. It isn’t even hard work. To be honest I do far less than I should.

In fact, I would normally recommend a product I used a good while ago, because I was too lazy to read another thing about SEO.

But some of my readers kept harping on about how great SEO School is and eventually I was forced to read it. And I’m glad I did. The other SEO book I recommended was good but it read more like a textbook. Also, it is no longer available in book form - you have to pay a monthly membership fee and at $100 a pop, it may not be worthwhile unless you intend to become a full time SEO, or your job is in SEO.

So I believe that SEO School is a better option. It has great information on search engine optimization and it’s a heap more fun to read. Also, it is around the same price as a regular hardback book.

If you want to get more traffic to your blog and attract visitors who will actually click on your ads, you’d be an idiot not to check out SEO School and learn how to optimize your site properly.

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Is Blogging Dead?

November 9, 2008

Is blogging dead? According to this article by Paul Boutin of Wired it is: Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004.

So Who Killed Blogging?

According To Paul, blogging isn’t as personal as it used to be. He claims that underground marketing campaigns and journalists are drowning out the voice of the personal blogger. It just isn’t as easy for a blog to rank highly on Google for popular keyphrases anymore.

Also, Paul claims that blogging made it easy for non techie types to publish their thoughts. But they’re now turning to applications like Twitter instead.

But Isn’t All This A Bit Deja Vu?

A few years ago, it used to be easy for your blog to rank highly on Google for popular keyphrases. But this was also the case for the earlier websites. When I built my first website in the nineties, there was little competition. In fact, it was so easy to get a heap of traffic, I didn’t even bother to learn SEO. I just wanted to write and have fun.

To give you an idea how simple it was, I remember searching “Disney World” on AOL one day and discovering that I ranked number one. The Disney Company ranked below me. No wonder I had thousands of newsletter subscribers. And folk were quite happy to mail me cheques from the other side of the world and wait for their digital product to be delivered.

Could you see that happening now? I couldn’t. Things change and if you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to change too.

Is I Still Worth Starting A Blog To Promote Your Business?

If you have a business, or you want to start one, it’s essential to bring it online. And I still think a blog platform is the easiest way to do this. Using other forms of social networking, such as Twitter, is going to be just as important. But you still need a home on the Internet to bring your Twitter traffic to.

And you need to work hard and smart and learn as much about marketing your business online as possible. Then, when things do change, you won’t get trampled on by the competition.

And there’s nothing unfair about it. Millions of blogs are being launched each month. Many of them will only write a few crappy posts, then quit. Can you imagine what a mess the Internet would be, if they could easily rank at the top of the search engines for popular keyphrases?

What If You Don’t Have Time To Put In All That Work?

If you don’t have time to put in much effort, wouldn’t it be easier just to use social networks? Social networks are becoming more sophisticated. Imagine if your Twitter profile was more like a blog. It would probably be easy to forget about blogging and keep everything on Twitter right?

I’ve thought about that a lot. It seems like a great idea and it would eventually bring social network owners a lot of money. But what about you and your business?

Social Networks Could Become The Free Hosts Of Tomorrow

The trouble is, many of todays social networks remind me a lot of the old free webhosting services. I had one, so did many others. Obviously, social networks are more sophisticated but you’d still be hosting your web presence on someone else’s space.

And today, nobody in their right mind would dream of hosting their business website on a free webhost. So if you relied on one social network to promote your business, what would happen to you, if today’s social networks became yesterday’s free webhosts?

What do you think? Is blogging dead? Or can those who make the effort still thrive? And will social networks become the freehosts of tomorrow?

I’d like to thank John Hoff of EventureBiz for passing the Wired article along to me. John provides a personalized webhosting service for bloggers. And he takes some of the headaches out of setting up your Wordpress blog, including free installation of Wordpress on your domain name.

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I’m Happy To Be A SOB

November 4, 2008

I had a pretty unproductive week last week. So I was delighted when I discovered that I’ve been made an official SOB. Not the type of SOB you’re thinking though - Liz Strauss of Successful Blog has chosen me has one of her Successful And Outstanding Bloggers.

This is brilliant news for me, as I often struggle with the various different aspects of blogging - especially trying to write for the different types of people who drop by here.

Liz Strauss is the Queen of conversational blogging. And I’ve learned heaps from her, through her blog and also, from her excellent book - How To Be A Successful And Outstanding Blogger. You can check out my review of Liz’s book here: The Blogging Advice That Kept Me Up All Night.

Speaking of successful and outstanding blogs, I’d like to share some excellent things I’ve been reading recently.

First up is Betsy Wuebker’s “Ghosts”. If you’ve had enough of Halloween, don’t worry, this is no ordinary Ghost story. Betsy shares her communications with a loved one who died. It’s an astonishing story.

Next is Artur Urbanksi’s, “I Met Stalin”. This a true story about the hardships one family went through, as a result of communism. Artur’s mother took extraordinary risks to help other members of her family and Artur shares this in his amazing story. I first read, “I Met Stalin” on a blog where Artur had guest posted. But the post has now been removed and Artur has moved it to his own blog.

If you’ve had some disasterous past relationships and keep meeting “the wrong type of people”, Getting A New Relationship Story by Anna Conlan is just what you need. A friend of mine keeps making the same relationship mistakes over and over, so I found Anna’s post at an excellent time. She explains why people keep attracting folk who are wrong for them and what they can do about it.

Small Things Can Still Eat You

October 25, 2008

Ants are pretty harmless little critters aren’t they? Ok - they bite but a little ant isn’t going to cause you many problems. Thousands of the bloody things could eat you though.

When I first moved to the place I live now, it was infested with ants. After a couple of days, I went swimming, plonked my bag on the changing room floor and a whole army of the little buggers crawled out. They had temporarily taken over my life.

Small things are like that aren’t they? At first they seem harmless, but they have the ability to drown you, if you don’t keep them under control.

Email is a bit like that. When you first get it, you just love getting those little messages - even the spam. Then you reach the point where replying to them becomes a full-time job.

Blogs are the same. I love reading what my friends have to say - but you get to the point where you just can’t keep up with reading every single post. But I read so many things on how to improve my life, that it’s become all reading and no improving. And it just isn’t do-able anymore.

So, I’ve started laying out some longer posts differently, to benefit time starved readers, beginning with this one: You Can Overcome Lack Of Self Confidence. The idea is, that if you’re in a rush - you still get the main points of the article from each headline.

More Ways You Can Stop The Little Things From Eating You

Cut down on reading blog posts and stick to the posts that benefit you most.

Set up a draft email message to acknowledge messages that you don’t need to comment on.

Time every task you do in a day, to identify the trivial time suckers.

Set up a daily “to do” list and stick to it. If you do it the night before, you’ll feel less stressed in the morning.

Switch off things like Instant Messaging and Twitter while you’re working.

If you’re struggling, get expert help, or advice. If you’re starting a business, check out the Business Discovery Group. And if you’re a new blogger, or thinking of launching a blog, I recommend the 8 Week Power Blog Launch.

What do you do to stop the small things eating you? Please share in the comments section.

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Related Reading On Other Websites

At Least I Don’t Have Zits
- A guest post by Rita, comparing blog commenting to High School.
Is There Such A Thing As A Commenters Burnout: Or Why I Sometimes Close Comments - Vered of MomGrind discusses commenting burnout.
Time Management For Creative People - Free e-book by Mark McGuinness
Not Productive Enough? Turn Off The Internet - Robert Scoble

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