If you’ve been blogging for a few years, you’ve probably noticed that traffic to your blog will sometimes drop off for no apparent reason. It can be easy to personalize these ebbs and flows, especially if you’re new-ish to blogging, so I think it’s good to chat about it so we can see that we’re all in the same boat.
The likelihood of seeing these ebbs and flows will depend on who your readers are and where they’re coming from. Because I get a fair bit of my traffic from search engines, a slowdown in WordPress activity isn’t always noticeable unless I look a little more closely at my stats. If you’ve got a small core group of readers that don’t tend to take blogging breaks, you may not notice much change in your traffic at all.
One way to get a sense of whether slowness is an issue with your blog or with the blogosphere more generally is to cruise through the WordPress Reader. Is your feed a lot sparser than it usually is? What about if you browse posts in the Reader under your preferred tags? Are there fewer posts under those tags than usual, and are those posts getting much activity? Mental-illness is one of my top tags, and at times it can be quite busy. Lately, though, it’s been slow as molasses, which is definitely a blogosphere issue rather than a me issue.
If you’re ever feeling like it’s slow and you’re wondering if it’s just you, try mentioning it in one of your posts. Chances are you’ll have readers responding about how they’ve noticed the same thing.
I’ve never been able to identify a particular pattern or any rhyme or reason to the ebbs and flows; it’s just one of those things that seems to be part of the blogging experience.
Do you ever notice slowdowns in blogland? If so, do you tend to personalize them or look at them as a broader blogosphere issue?