I've always loved looking at my blog stats. I won't deny it. I love seeing the GFC followers grow and I love seeing my page views spike. I love what I blog about, but I won't lie and say that I could be one of those bloggers who writes just for the fun of it and doesn't give two hoots about who's reading (or in my case not reading). Call me shallow, but for me half the fun of blogging is knowing that people are reading, and seeing the interactions between reader and writer.
So you can imagine how I felt when my stats looked like this:
I started thinking "What if I'm a has-been? Like those old athletes at the Olympics or...or like a grown up child Disney star? You know they do say that blogs are only supposed to last a year or two, and I've been around longer than that...Is the content drying up? WHAT IF NO ONE LIKES MY BLOG ANYMORE?!!!"
See what I meant when I said I may be a bit dramatic?
I fell into a blogging slump. I just didn't feel good about A Splash of Ink anymore, and I didn't feel like writing. I know that I shouldn't see the value of my blog in the view-counts, but I still do (at least partially). After a few weeks though, I managed to pull myself out of the slump, and here's how I did it:
1. I took a closer look at the view-counts.
I realized that in that "high point" my view-count was slightly inflated with page views from web crawlers. You know, those random sketchy websites that you see in your traffic sources. Those page views weren't from real people. The crawler websites stopped...crawling (terminology??) the month after the high point which contributes to some of that seemingly drastic drop. Realizing this made me feel a lot better.
2. I looked at blog posts that were getting the best responses.
I looked at what blog posts were getting a) lots of comments and b) lots of page views. Usually these posts tended to be the ones that enjoyed writing the most. These posts were often on the shorter and lighter side. They were tighter and frankly more entertaining, in my opinion. With this new knowledge, I committed to writing better quality posts.
3. I made changes.
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. Take a second to wrap your head around that statement. If I wanted to see that upward trend again in my view counts, I was going to have to shake things up a bit. That was when I introduced the twice a week posting schedule. I started working harder on commenting on other people's blogs and just being around in the blog-o-sphere, which I had been neglecting.
I didn't come out of the slump right away, but as I started to implement some of those changes I saw results. Comments started flowing back in and the view-count started climbing again. It took a couple of months to return to that high point, but this time the high point view-count was free of the "fake" web crawler views, which made it that much sweeter.
If you're in that blogging slump, I encourage you to keep going. Keep learning and keep blogging; it doesn't last. I wrote some more about the insecurities of blogging awhile back; if you're interested in reading them click here. Are you in a blogging slump? What are your tips for getting out of the slump? Thoughts and comments, let me know below!
Reading: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
Listening: Rufus Wainright
Watching: Covert Affairs