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The Blog Waiting Game

So something weird happened with my sites in April.

Actually, it's not really weird to me because I've seen it happen a number of different times.

In April, I had my highest combined month of traffic across my blogs which led to my highest revenue month of the year.

Why is this weird?

It's weird because I didn't touch my sites. I did a BBC launch at the beginning of April and that was the extent of things.

I didn't write new blog posts.

I didn't send out emails (after the launch) or to ANY of my other mailing lists.

I didn't add new links.

I didn't create new pins.

I didn't change my pinning strategy.

I was barely on the computer due to life.

But things didn't skip a beat.

Some sites had less traffic while others had more.

I don't bring this up so that you think "screw you, Scrivs, my traffic TANKED".

First, let's get rid of that phrase "my traffic tanked". Many of you experience less traffic than a previous period but rarely is your traffic tanking.

What many of you experience is your traffic normalizing and reaching its floor.

Because most of you have the majority of your traffic coming from Pinterest you can't always expect consistency with traffic unless...and you'll get this have pins that are consistently sending out the same amount of traffic every single month.

Most of you don't have that.

You have a couple pins doing well one month and then those pins drop off meaning your overall traffic drops. If you don't have other pins taking their place your traffic "tanks".

I used this analogy in Slack this morning. All of your pins are on a team for tug-o-war. They are all pulling and kicking ass.

Suddenly, the strongest puller lets go of the rope because their hands hurt so you have fewer people pulling on the rope.

So what happens? You start to lose a bit.

You can't have people letting go of the rope and still think you are going to get the same results.

The reason why I do 6 pins per post with different descriptions isn't because I love to pin. I hate this task.

It's because I have no idea what's going to catch on this month or next month so I'd rather give myself a number of chances for things to catch.

Over time you start to build up a cache of pins that seem to consistently bring in traffic as they go through your pinning cycle.

Eventually those posts start to bring in SEO traffic as well which can become more stable for months on end until Google makes a change.

The point is sometimes you just have to let the stuff work itself out after you've put the work in. That means just letting it be and doing things consistently.

I understand the urge to always want to tweak things. I talk about experimenting all of the time but often times you want to make a change IMMEDIATELY once something doesn't work.

I try to teach you how to build up traffic pretty quick but to get a lot of consistent traffic it takes time. I can't teach patience or speed things up.

I wish I could.

A BBC Member went on vacation for a whole month and that meant most of the time she wasn't going to be on the computer. She was worried about her blog and what would happen and I told her if she had all of the systems in place (mostly just automated pinning) then her site would survive.

In March, her site did 67,415 pageviews and in April while she was gone enjoying life it did 57,601.

That's not bad at all. I know some of you consider this tanking but the point is that by doing nothing she only lost 10,000 pageviews and she knows she can get it back once she jumps back on the computer.

Some of you want it all right now. It ain't happening. Sure there are always small things you can do to improve your site for the long term but rarely do those changes produce immediate results.

When you're on a diet one of the best things that you can do is forget about the scale. This is hard to do because the main reason to diet is to lose weight, but if you focus on that scale daily and you see the weight fluctuations, it feels like nothing is happening.

Same goes for constantly looking at your numbers or comparing your traffic to others.

I know me saying this won't stop you but understand that if everybody's blog traffic only went up every single month then nobody would ever quit blogging.

Sometimes you just have to let things take their course.

I'm sure this won't help most of you but I figured I'd share some thoughts on traffic.

I understand that not every post I write will be a homerun and therefore it might not bring in the level of traffic I want. Sometimes it takes me a dozen or more posts before I finally nail something.

Other times an old post will catch on (finally) and I'll realize I have a hidden gem.

Yesterday, I found out that one of my blogs ranks in the top 10 for "how to make money online".

I haven't touched that blog for months!

Now I need to give it some love to build upon this. But it only ranks because the post had time to marinate.

Write great content. Build up a library of awesomeness. Continue to promote that awesomeness.

If this strategy isn't working then rarely is it because of Pinterest or Google.

I'm just saying.

- Scrivs