Anyone else with me on this seemingly lonely island?
This summer was an explosion of growth for this blog. Both in terms of social media followers, daily/monthly page views and a massive jump start in income generation from this blog. I started to feel like I had "made it" as a blogger! I was thriving off the positive energy, building business relationships, signing up for my first big-time official blog conference, kicking ass, taking names and making moves.
And then the "back to school effect" hit. On Monday, Aug 24 I opened my laptop (coming off a record setting Friday page view day) to the lowest numbers I had seen in months. I desperately texted my closest blogging friends. "Hey, are y'alls numbers down too?!" "Yes!" They reassured me. "It's because the people are going back to school and everyone is getting adjusted to their new lives."
Cool, I thought. It will bounce back next week then!
It did... a little. But then the next wave of back-to-schoolers hit. The following Monday I opened my laptop again to the saddest, lowest traffic numbers I had seen - worse than Aug. 24! Labor Day was coming up and I knew numbers would stay low. Following that, the final wave of colleges would return to school. I decided to hunker down and ride out this back to school time traffic effect and implement some strategies to save my Type A brain from going crazy!
It's really easy to get upset. You wonder if it's your content, you wonder if it's your photos, you wonder if you've run out of relatable posts to share. After many discussions with other, more "seasoned" bloggers I can assure you (as they assured me) that it's not! It's just the negative effects of back to school time! These same bloggers
So what do we do during this relatively depressing time as bloggers, website owners and entrepreneurs?! Here's how I've decided to spend the few weeks until a sense of normalcy is replaced, so that I don't obsess too much about my traffic:
ONE - FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE. Did you get a comment that really made your day? Did you see growth in a particular social media channel? Did you find a new blogging group to belong to? Good things ARE happening, so focus on those when people are too busy to send traffic to your blog. Even if they're "little wins" it's worth noting and appreciating. Even if it's just one thing, take note of something positive that happened every single day.
TWO - USE THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH. Many, many bloggers I usually read aren't even posting consistently right now, since they too have back to school effects on their OWN blogs to worry about! So I've taken a lot of time to do some outside reading. Specifically, I wanted to learn about creating a newsletter and about optimizing Google AdSense. When traffic is slow, use your time to investigate new methods of improving your site! Because web-based businesses and blogs are technology-based, there are always improvements you could make to keep up with or be an early adapter of.
THREE - SET SMART GOALS AND TAKE CHARGE. I did this last Friday, but it was all inspired by my terrible traffic numbers and wanting to do something to feel productive and like I was growing as a blogger and entrepreneur. Sharing them with your readers also holds you accountable to them! I wrote them on a post-it and put them where I can see them every day. I've already made great progress towards them and am excited to set new goals in October - even after my blog traffic (hopefully) returns.
Back to school time really does do a number on your blog or website traffic, and not in a good way! It's challenging to stay motivated and keep producing great content on your regular posting schedule. But consistency in blogging is essential, and these tips for what to do during the back to school low traffic times can help you through it!