Blog Abandonment, or How I Got More Traffic without Writing a Damn Thing

Posted: November 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Relevant Wit site stats

Visits this year compared to last year. Way to go backwards, Ryan.

TL;DR version – Even when I wasn’t putting out new content, I actually attracted a solid audience of new visitors by authentically engaging in new communities.

This blog site is an amalgamation of the last ~8 years of my life, with content migrated from multiple previous forms (my apologies for old posts with broken images, just charge it to the game). It wasn’t until I got my job as a Web Analyst that I started apply common sense and science to my hobby, and put Google Analytics on the site.

Coincidentally, with the new job also meant a lot more self-directed learning, and less time sitting idly at my desk, which was the method I most commonly used to think up things to blog about. If I were a data scientist, I could probably make you a chart showing how my learning path as an inbound marketer correlated negatively with my output on this site. (I put up 2 posts in my first 14 months as an inbound marketer, hardly practicing what I preached).

RelevantWit Visits - Last Two Years

RelevantWit Visits – Last Two Years

What was very intriguing, though, was what I discovered when I started to get the bug to write again this past summer.  Looking into the stats for this site, I noticed something pretty remarkable.  I actually had a surge in visits during the time (late 2012 and 2013) when I wasn’t writing.  My first thought was that this was only accidental traffic, but when I did put out fresh content, I found that I wasn’t able to meet the same levels of traffic as I had during the “hibernation” period. (If I call it hibernation it sounds more natural than if I said “laziness” or “neglect”.)

The best I can correlate, while I wasn’t putting out new content on the site, or overtly marketing existing content, I was doing one thing very right.  By engaging with others on their sites, reaching out and meeting other folks in the industry, and in general participating the communities others had built, I ended up directing some folks back to my site completely unintentionally.  If I were Mack, or someone else great at community building, I could probably tie it back to a principle of reciprocity or tell a story about how I engaged as an actual person across a spectrum of sites and was able to occasionally attract some love back to my little corner, but I didn’t capture any specific referral data for that. (Damn you “channel data not available before X date” message!)

The lesson I take from this is that while we’ve all been told to find our niche and serve a specific, highly-passionate community, it can pay massive dividends to branch out, listen to lots of sources from divergent parts of the web and always engage as a real person. You just might find new fans/friends/readers/etc.

Next up, to figure out how to get a mentor.

(PS: included the first link below because I couldn’t believe that in late 2013 we still have to publish articles like that.)

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One Comment on “Blog Abandonment, or How I Got More Traffic without Writing a Damn Thing”

  1. 1 RyanGPhx said at 10:10 am on November 25th, 2013:

    New on RelevantWit – how I got more traffic w/o writing a damn thing.