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What happens to your website statistics when you drop the ball with your blogging?

27 Dec

When you have a professional website with a blog attached, what happens to your reader stats if you stop blogging? I did not do this experiment solely for this blog, but I thought it would be interesting to have a look at what happened when I had a blogging hiatus.

I haven’t updated this blog for six months. How did that happen? I’ll explain below. What am I going to do about it? Start blogging again, I hope …

Why did I stop writing blog posts?

Back in the summer, I made the decision to stop working at weekends. Working in this case included both paid editing, proofreading, localisation and transcription work and the additional marketing tasks like blogging, writing articles, responding to blog comments, etc. I did have to make the odd exception when work levels were high or I’d taken time off during the week (or had a holiday) but by and large I’ve stuck to this and am happier, less tired and more balanced as a result. OK, I took up a new hobby as an Endurance (cross-country and road relays) running official and lately a Track and Field official, which has involved weekend training courses and time standing around in muddy fields or boiling hot infields, but that’s a healthy, outdoors hobby.

However, the anticipated drop in paid hours didn’t happen. In fact, in 2018 I have brought in around 12% more revenue than in each of the two previous years, on average, I’ve worked the same number of hours per week, and I’ve in fact had fewer low-paid-hours weeks this year. So what had to give? Blogging.

This was exacerbated by the fact that, while my blog still obviously displays my knowledge of Word, language, business, etc., and channels people to buy my business books (still going just as strong as ever), I have been fortunate enough to have sustained my customer base through a lovely set of regular clients and through their recommendations to others. Added to this, over the nine years I’ve been self-employed, I’ve moved from a model of working with lots and lots of small jobs, editing Master’s thesis for overseas students, etc., to longer-term projects working with regular translator clients and writers / ghost-writers, so work has been more predictable, and I haven’t really needed my blog to funnel customers to me like I once did.

So it slipped. Should I just let it go?

What happens when you stop writing new posts on your blog?

Because December is always a low-traffic month anyway, I’m sharing stats from July 2016 through to the end of October 2018. Although there are peaks and troughs always, with March always being busy with those students and their Master’s dissertations searching how to put bibliographies in alphabetical order, you can see the drop-off in the latter few months of the cycle. That’s when I stopped blogging.

It’s pretty well-known that Google and other search engines like regularly updated content to index. That’s why I and others tell people to keep blogging and/or updating their website regularly. So I knew this, and the stats show it.

What am I going to do with my blog? Should I give up blogging?

Although I don’t feel at the moment that I NEED to write and publish lots of blog posts, I’m going to get back into it. How, I will share below. There are a couple of reasons WHY:

  • Although I have sufficient clients now, especially with lots of them being in Europe and the threat of Brexit looming, I can’t assume that will continue to be the case (small independent sole traders like me have had no advice from the government or HMRC). So it’s good to keep marketing yourself even when you’re busy. I am fortunate enough to have lots of lovely colleagues I can pass work to that I can’t take on at the moment.
  • I enjoy helping people. I get a buzz when I receive a comment saying I sorted out someone’s problem, or one of my Small Business Chats interviewees thanks me for a referral they received from my site. I do my job because I like helping people, and the blog allows me to help more of them while I’m doing other things!
  • I loved finding out what my Small Business Chat interviewees were up to and how they were getting on, and learning from their journeys. I don’t want to lose those connections.

What’s the plan?

I’m going to use my time wisely. Over the festive break, I’m going to add the flesh to the bones of a load of ideas I’ve put in my blog post drafts and get them all ready to schedule through the year (the plan there is to see how many I can get written and then distribute them evenly through the next year, keeping an eye on what’s about to publish as I go through the year in case there’s some awful clash between a light-hearted Troublesome Pair and a horrible news item).

I’m going to get in touch with my January 2018 Small Business Chat people as normal for their updates, but I’m also going to contact all the June-December 2017 ones I never got back to, see if they want to continue to take part and slot them in until I can spread them evenly through the year again. I will point them here and hope they appreciate my honesty and openness and continue to take part.

Over to you …

Have you paused your blog (especially a professional one) and started up again? What did you learn or change? Are you one of my abandoned Small Business Chat folk? Would you like me to continue featuring you again or has that series run its course? Have you enjoyed reading those posts? Have you, well, missed me?

 
21 Comments

Posted by on December 27, 2018 in Blogging, Business, Marketing, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

21 responses to “What happens to your website statistics when you drop the ball with your blogging?

  1. Ranee Tomlin

    December 27, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I’ve missed your unique blend of friendly knowledge about many things, and I look forward to hearing more from you again.

    Like

     
    • Liz Dexter

      December 27, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Thank you so much: that’s lovely to read and very encouraging. Do you have any particular topics you’d like to see me address?

      Like

       
      • Ranee Tomlin

        December 28, 2018 at 3:10 pm

        I enjoy your writing overall but especially appreciate your expertise in general business issues, Microsoft Word, and language (because I’m an over-the-top logophile myself). I’m also an Anglophile trapped in the middle of the United States, so I love getting your perspectives on life and business in Britain.

        Liked by 2 people

         
        • Liz Dexter

          December 28, 2018 at 3:23 pm

          Fabulous, sounds like I’m getting it right for you then!

          Like

           
  2.  

    December 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    I am working on a book. Each chapter is a separate file. You’re guidance on assembling them is very helpful. Thank you. Can you help me with creating running chapter titles that will appear in the combined manuscript? Is there a way to tag the title in the chapter files for automatically creating a running chapter title after the manuscript is assembled? Ditto re creating a table of contents?

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Liz Dexter

      December 27, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      If you set the header in each file to be the chapter title and then make sure you have section breaks between chapters when you combine them, this should give you running chapter titles. The TOC can be done at the end of the process using the instructions here: https://libroediting.com/2012/03/21/creating-a-contents-page/ – I hope that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      •  

        December 27, 2018 at 5:46 pm

        “…set the header in each file to be the chapter title…” How does one do that? I notice you said, “each.” Should it be done in the individual chapter files? What will control the formatting, placement, font, etc? The chapter files? or the combined document?

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • Liz Dexter

          December 28, 2018 at 12:28 pm

          Click in the Header section in each file and add the header. Edit Header will allow you to select it for only odd or even pages or however you want it. When you combine, make sure there’s a section break between each file so they stay correct within each chapter.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  3.  

    December 27, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Very thoughtful. Could you please explain the source of your statistics?

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Liz Dexter

      December 27, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      The statistics image is from the stats page of my WordPress.com account, I just did a screen shot from that back in November.

      Like

       
  4. Sophie Playle

    December 28, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Interesting post, Liz. I’m glad you’ve managed to have a more balanced yet just-as prosperous year. Welcome back to the blogosphere!

    Like

     
    • Liz Dexter

      December 28, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you. I have been blogging over at my reading and running blog, just not on this one, so have been in the blogosphere personally but not professionally.

      Like

       
  5. Rebecca Foster

    December 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I do a lot of my writing on the weekends; I’m impressed that you managed to give it up and still grow your business! I feel like I’m still piecing together a bunch of little gigs, alongside my major one proofreading science journal articles. I’d like to try to move towards fewer, higher-paying and more secure jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Liz Dexter

      December 30, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      I’m going into my tenth year so things have really settled and I’ve been able to arrange things as I wish; it has been hard not having the weekends sometimes and I still do if I have a day off in the week. My book reviews have got shunted into hurried evenings and weekends, too!

      Like

       
  6. Sheila Murrey

    February 10, 2019 at 6:02 am

    I’m new to your blog, and found this article interesting because when I don’t Like or post a comment to at least a few other articles each day (i.e. stay active within the WordPress community), my readership stats drop to nearly zero. 🤯

    Like

     
    • Liz Dexter

      February 11, 2019 at 6:35 am

      That’s interesting – so you get most of your traffic from people clicking on your url by your comments? Most of mine comes from Internet searches although I get Facebook and Twitter surges when I share my posts.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Sheila Murrey

        February 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm

        I am following SEO best practices now, but had not been until a few months ago, so perhaps my stats will increase for Internet searches soon. But, yes, the majority of my readers come from within the WP community. Some surges from FB or Twitter, but unfortunately, most of my FB friends do not read or follow me on WP.

        Liked by 1 person

         
  7. Tim Campsall

    March 4, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Wow quite the drop off. Thanks for sharing. I’m just starting out blogging part time and it’s a lot of work figuring every out.

    Like

     
    • Liz Dexter

      March 4, 2019 at 5:54 am

      I’m keeping an eye on it to see if it’s coming back up again yet. Lots of posts on here about blogging that might help you though. Enjoy!

      Like

       
      • Tim Campsall

        March 4, 2019 at 5:58 am

        I’m sure it will rebound. Good luck. Thanks. Yes I’ve reading everything I can find.

        Like

         

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