Blogging Chat: Ebbs and Flows in Blog Traffic

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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?

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33 thoughts on “Blogging Chat: Ebbs and Flows in Blog Traffic”

  1. I had some definite slowdowns in traffic around December and the holidays, which I expected. I’ve also noticed the mental health reader to be slower lately.
    It’s definitely hard not to personalize it, but it just is what it is. Though it can be hard to write and push yourself to get things out there when you feel like “no one cares anyway”. Even though you should be writing for you, and not necessarily an audience.

    1. Yeah, motivation is harder to find when it seems like no one is looking.

      I’ve gotten better about not personalizing it the longer I’ve been blogging, but it’s still an easy trap to get sucked into.

  2. My views have declined a TON! I had loads per week when I hosted 3 Things, and I still had a lot when I allowed anyone to follow me. Now I have a third to a half of that (3K/month now : 7K/month in 2019). But what’s interesting, even after I deleted 90% of my “followers” for being non-participating, is that I have the SAME number of likes and comments per post (~30/15) as I have had for years! Yep, 300 vs 3000 followers makes no difference when it’s only a core readership that interacts with you. I smile when I see blogs with huge numbers of followers and few comments. Idk why they don’t delete the slackers, but hey whatever 🙂

    1. If it keeps going at this rate, my WordPress Reader traffic for 2022 will be half of my Reader traffic in 2020.

      It would take me ages to delete my 10,000 slackers, and I don’t care enough to bother.

        1. My search engine traffic has increased enough that my overall my numbers have gone up. But it does seem like there’s been a more general shift to platforms consistent with a short attention span.

    2. I’m sure I could cut 90 percent of my followers without a change. It’s mostly affiliate marketing ‘experts’ that probably never read my blog. Yet, I’ve had some that have followed me since the first post years ago, and still like or comment every now and then.

      My first year readership was almost all from social media, but WordPress took the number one spot soon after. These days WP is down, and search engines are up, although it’s beyond me what they would search for to end up on my blog.

        1. Thanks Ashley! I always learn interesting stuff on your blog, and I love the effort you out into the posts and the comment section! I will certainly look into that. Big question is, do I really want to know?

  3. I notice slowly periods. There does not appear to be a pattern. I really dont pay enough attention to the stats; therefore I do not question the reasons be hind the change.

  4. 🤔 Ashley, figuring out the reason why the traffic to one’s website can be tricky.

    In my case, topics that pertain to “Blogging Tips” tend to do rather well for me (It may have a lot to do with people’s interest in the topic; hence attracting lots of incoming views).

    Also, it is no huge secret that the person who publishes content on their blog regularly would have more views than one who publishes content on their blog once in a while.

    Another important factor to also consider is that a large percentage of our followers may be inactive; thus resulting in a drop in website traffic.

    Hopefully, additional traffic (the kind that is directed to our blog via search engines) would help to make up for the added loss in incoming traffic to our blog.

  5. As you know from my post a couple of weeks ago, my own blog has been on the slow side lately. I usually immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s a me thing. Judging from your post and the comments here, that assessment is at the very least incomplete. It’s a normal, but incomprehensible phenomenon, AND a me thing. In my head at least.

  6. I have a small readership, especially since I started over. That being said, I definitely do see changes in the blogosphere. Sometimes people are prolific writers, other times they may not have much to say. I’m not as concerned with views as I view my blog as something mostly for me, that other people happen to read.

  7. I never really look at the stats. I’m writing because it’s a good outlet for me, so that’s my priority. If people like and engage, then those are very welcome. I always try to visit their blogs as well to see if I’d be interested in following… 😊
    I have noticed that my reader has not shown me all new posts by people I follow lately. Or maybe people disliked me and have dropped me as a follower?
    I have many empty followers but I can’t be motivated to detele the empty ones…. It’s not about the numbers for me.
    Thanks for this insight! I always enjoy your posts and often learn something new. 😊

    1. The issue of posts not showing up in the Reader is a WordPress bug that’s been an issue for a few months, I think. It seems to affect some blogs more than others, although I have no idea why that is.

      1. I have no idea either. I sometimes wonder why I don’t see new posts by someone and they just didn’t show up in the reader. 😔 Even had people thinking I didn’t follow anymore while I just didn’t see their posts.

  8. I have noticed a slowdown recently and at first I did take it personally, but now I just see it as a sign to slow down, myself, and focus on other parts of my life. Blogging is an outlet first, and it will always be there when I need it.

  9. Do you ever notice slowdowns in blogland? If so, do you tend to personalize them or look at them as a broader blogosphere issue?

    I notice them and I do not ever take them personally. It’s an annual thing like getting your tires rotated or turning on/off your furnace or A/C for the summer/winter. I call that trend “blogging ennui’ (ennui is defined as a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement), and usually it shows up towards the end of summer (in America and Canada) but it was real early this year and showed up mid May. I just think people get restless (during Covid this didn’t happen. I think blogging was a lifeline for many who would be out and doing if they could), want a change of scenery or some new thoughts. Occasionally (more often than I like) it’s WordPress messing with unbroken things that need ‘fixing’. Some people get frustrated enough with WP to actually leave.

    1. I’ve also noticed that in past years there seems to be a late summer slow-down, but it definitely happened early this year. It makes me wonder if WP is declining in popularity more generally.

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