How You Can Kill Your Traffic In One Easy Step

thinkingMany people like to think running a blog is a free venture but they neglect to think about the value of their time and or ignore the costs for hosting and other services bloggers use to make their cyber sandboxes into something more than pixels on a page.

I control costs by conducting a periodic audit of the services I use and if I determine a service has become superfluous I stop using it.

Most of the time this serves me well but every now and then I discover I have made a mistake.

How You Can Kill Your Traffic In One Easy Step

A month or so ago I canceled a service I had been using for email and RSS. I didn’t do it because it is a bad product but because it wasn’t meeting my needs.

Here is where I made a mistake.

I forgot to deactivate and delete the plugin.

It is not the sort of mistake I make often but life was exceedingly busy and I was pulled in a million different directions so the personal blog had to take a back seat.

Because I was so busy I also forgot to run a quick check of the blog to make sure it was functioning as it is supposed to be.

The net result was the readers who used that service to stay informed about new posts didn’t receive the electronic notification to come visit and my traffic took a hit.

Initially I didn’t think much of it because the drop coincided with summer break and there is a natural drop that comes with this time of year, every year.

But then I received a couple of emails from people asking if everything was ok because they hadn’t seen new posts and that made me take a harder look at what was going on.

When Dad Bloggers Don’t Heed Their Own Advice

I tell my children that a good project doesn’t happen by luck.

It is based upon effort, good content and a willingness to double check your work. If I had followed my own advice and double checked the blog I would have avoided this problem and you would be reading a different post.

Except this time I didn’t follow my own advice and I got burned.

Mind you if this is the biggest challenge I face this month or for the rest of the year I will be quite happy because as challenges go it is minor.

It is unlikely to be the reason why I am not discovered by a big Hollywood agent who is anxiously searching for a blogger he/she can present to the world as the greatest writer ever.

Nor will it likely be the reason why some patron of the arts does not choose to pay me $100 million to do nothing but write stories.

But just in case you are that person who move either of those unlikely scenarios from fantasy into reality please know I am still happy to speak with you about how I can help you help me. 🙂

And with that my friends it is time to end this post so I can go watch the season finale of Game of Thrones where winter is no longer coming because it is already here, er there.

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15 Comments

  1. Yasin Rishad June 20, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Joshua,

    This mistakes happen with many blogger and loose traffic. I also lose some traffic while i changes some plugin and after this i see suddenly my visitor dropped. And i am lucky to recover faster. Blogging is an smart job while we use any new plugin we need to know detail about those product carefully. Thank you for your pointing on how new product can reduce traffic without concern

  2. Tim Bonner June 17, 2015 at 8:42 am

    When I moved from GetResponse to Postmatic I lost a lot of email subscribers. I hadn’t realised that I could get them imported rather than ask them to subscribe again.

    I didn’t mind so much. I wanted to start over in any case. Sometimes a new start is a good thing. I knew if people wanted to follow me they’d move across to PostMatic in any case.

    I’m thinking about trying Feedio. I’ve never used anything other than the default RSS feed on my blog. So it’s worth experimenting.

  3. Justin Butlion June 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    One of the tough things about blogging today is the large number of pieces which make up the blog puzzle. RSS, email, analytics, social, links, community, the list goes on and on.

    I enjoyed reading the post and as a blogger I can relate to this.

    One idea we are thinking about implementing in Feedio is smart feed alerts. The idea would be that if we fail to crawl a user’s feed more than 3 times we would automatically reach out to the user to let him know. There are a number of these types of alerts we are considering to try and help our users avoid missing out on engagement opportunities with their users.

    • Danny Brown June 16, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Now that’d be a very cool feature to see. One thing I’ve found with a lot of vendors is they’re happy to take your money, but less proactive at making the experience a good one for their customers.

      Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with, mate.

    • Joshua June 16, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      That is intriguing. You are right about there being multiple pieces. There are lots of different things for us to pay attention to, sometimes it is hard to keep track of everything.

  4. Danny Brown June 15, 2015 at 5:52 am

    Hehe, just goes to show we’re all human, eh mate?

    I recall when I switched RSS options, and didn’t put a redirect on. Lost several thousand subs overnight and, unlike email, you can’t really get them back. One of the key reasons I prefer email over RSS for subscriber options.

    That being said, I’ve noticed that since switching my RSS over to Feedio, the engagement from RSS is far higher than I had with Feedblitz, my previous provider. So, at least anecdotally, it’d appear the ones I lost were the “dead zone” RSS subs – changed readers, changed reading habits, used out of date feed services, etc.

    So, I guess it was a win in the long run. 🙂

    • Joshua June 15, 2015 at 11:47 am

      I am very curious to see what sort of impact Feedio has on my numbers too.
      Part of me hates losing anyone but in theory the people that really value our content will come looking for us if they don’t see our content and figure out that something has changed.

      The net result is we end up with people who are more interested in our content, or at least that is what I am hoping for. 🙂

      • Danny Brown June 15, 2015 at 11:50 am

        *”…but in theory the people that really value our content will come looking for us if they don’t see our content and figure out that something has changed.”*

        Exactly, mate. I had some folks tweet me asking about the feed, and I directed them to the new one. As your examples of those that emailed you show, these are the advocated we truly want to continue supporting and providing content for.

  5. Gina June 15, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Enjoy your summer, Josh! Kids finally out?

  6. jens June 15, 2015 at 4:26 am

    I can relate. I test too many new plugins and service, and from time to time I forget to deactivate and I forget to cancel. Other times things don’t work, and I don’t notice until some of my readers emails me. The last time was when my commenting system didn’t work. I just thought that nobody wanted to comment…

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