Writing & Blogging

The Mistakes I Made That Made Me Lose Blog Traffic

Heyo! Like I said on Tuesday, I have a couple of wrap-up posts about 2020 things and then it’s onto the future. I think this is the last one about 2020, and it’s the December blog traffic report. After this, 2020 is over on the blog!

That being said, let’s look at the numbers, and then let’s talk about the mistakes I made.

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I've been blogging for a long time, but I can still make mistakes ... like in December 2020. Don't do these things unless you want to lose traffic!

Traffic Report

Google Analytics Statistics

Page views: 5373 (-35% from November, -51.3% from last year)

Bounce Rate: 4.87% (+27.82% from November, -76% from last year)

Sessions: 5281 (-33% from November, +5.81% from last year)

Users: 3550 (-40% from November, -16% from last year)

Email subscribers: 706 (-0.5% from November, +0.14% from last year)

How I keep my bounce rate so low | How to track blog traffic in Google Analytics

Webhostinghub.com Statistics

Page views: 224,806 (-8.6% from November, +132% from last year)

Sessions: 22,400 (-11.9% from November, -43% from last year)

Users: 9,601 (-26.3% from November, +367.42% from last year)

Social Media

Facebook: 1170 (+0.8% from November, +8.13% from last year)

Twitter: 3669 (-0.1% from November, +0.08% from last year)

Instagram: 3187 (+1.78% from November, +10% from last year)

Pinterest: 11182 (+18% from November, +22.27% from last year)

Tumblr: 3992 (+0.1% from November, +0.3% from last year)

How I manage social media for my blog | How to get followers on Pinterest

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Top Sources of Traffic

  • Pinterest (68.16%) – Look, if you only buy 1 blogging course in 2021, let it be Pinterest with Ell. She knows her stuff! Her course made me change how I used Pinterest in 2020 overall, and I already knew a lot about Pinterest. This is just another indication of her knowledge.
  • Search engines (9.43%) – This is the one area that I really succeeded in in December! I worked on a lot of the SEO side of things in December
  • Twitter (3.9%) – This is the highest this percentage has been in a while, and it’s definitely due to Missinglettr! Missinglettr is a tool that lets you set up an automated set of social media posts, and I learned about this resource from taking the Ramp up your visibility by getting your blog posts in front of waaaay more people course. Missinglettr’s free plan gives you 1 social media network and 50 scheduled posts at any given time. The posts look like this. I set up a campaign for a new blog post; I accept or reject different quotes, hashtags, and images from the post; I review the posts; I decide if I want the posts to be scheduled over the course of an entire year or over less time; and I approve the campaign. Then I don’t think about those posts any more!
  • Facebook (2.29%) – This percentage is definitely due to, in addition to my Facebook page, my high usage of Facebook groups for bloggers.

This does not include direct traffic.

How to use Pinterest for blog traffic | How to use SEO to stand out

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Traffic Analysis

What I did

  • How I promote my blog posts
  • Big Thing: Holistic blog content plan (from The Hot List, which I’m currently working through)
  • New freebie (100 inspirational quotes)
  • Ebook sale started 1/27/2020 – lots of emails to my subscribers!
  • Participated in a giveaway at AChronicVoice.com (gave away a copy of the ebook)
  • Updated 5 older blog posts
  • Took over the Clara Instagram account for a day
  • Posted more blog posts than usual
  • Went 1 week without adding any pins to my Tailwind Communities off of something Ell said in her Facebook group
  • Trying blog preview images specifically for Twitter and Facebook (optimized for those networks)

How to get the most out of Tailwind for Pinterest

I haven’t seen results from

  • Writing more blog posts – If anything, I think this hurt my blog traffic. I wrote more blog posts than usual (by my current standards) because I wrote gift guides, and I don’t like publishing only gift guides. This also meant, though, that a lot of my blog posts were “expired” or not relevant by the second half of the month. And as always, I lost a bit of blog traffic in the week around Christmas, but this year I had a big traffic drop for the whole week around Christmas. This is partially because of the holiday, but I think that it’s also because most of my December blog posts were applicable only for a few weeks.

What I can learn this month

  • For me, Tailwind Communities make a difference for my blog traffic – I trust Ell and her strategies, which is why I decided to take a break from adding my pins to Tailwind Communities (aka Tailwind Tribes) after she suggested it in her Facebook group. But for me that was a bad choice. I get a lot of blog traffic from Pinterest, and while Tailwind Communities is just one part of that, it is a part of it. I’ll be sticking with it for the future!
  • Having a holistic content plan made me feel more than one unified brand – The idea behind a “holistic content plan” is making a theme for the month, a theme for each week that fits into that month’s theme, and making most of your content on all platforms fit into that week’s theme. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy doing this! On one level, I liked it because it made it a bit easier to decide what to post on a variety of platforms. But on another level, doing this made my content overall feel like a unified brand and not like a bunch of jumbled posts.

I also want to talk about the actual numbers of my blog traffic this month. Regardless of the source, I lost traffic in December. That’s not up for argument. It’s how much traffic I lost that’s the question. According to my hosting statistics and WordPress statistics, I lost around 8%. On the other hand, Google Analytics says I lost 35%. While the actual numbers can vary a lot from source to source, the fact that 2 of the 3 had the same percentage makes me believe the 8% is more accurate, as well as the fact that Google Analytics recently rolled out a new algorithm.

But I don’t want you guys to think that I am blaming my failure(s) on a new algorithm! I’m definitely not. I messed up. I knew what works for me and my blog (4-6 blog posts a month, most of them evergreen in topic, and adding pins to Tailwind Communities) and ignored that. I’m just saying that if all 3 statistics had the same percentage decrease I would believe that 35% loss more.

Why isn’t my blog getting traffic?

Don't do these things if you want to grow your blog! Click To Tweet

December Goals

  • 6 blog posts – Success!
  • 10,000 monthly page views – Big failure

January Goals

  • 5 blog posts
  • Grow blog traffic

What blog mistakes have you made?

Like this post? Share it! Then check out these posts:

50+ Incredible Free Blog ResourcesHow To Track Blog Traffic in Google AnalyticsWhat Blogging Platform Should I Use?The Best WordPress Plugins: The Plugins I Use And Love

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  • Reply Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    Wow. Good for you! I’m a lover of Tailwind, and i use a lot of Facebook groups, too. Always working it!

    January 8, 2021 at 9:20 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    I’ve heard amazing things about Ell’s Pinterest course! I plan on taking it soon. 😊

    January 9, 2021 at 8:50 am
  • Reply Emily Bendler

    This is such an informative post. I definitely love the idea of doing monthly themes. I think I’ll put it into action. I also love Pinterest and Tailwind Communities.

    January 9, 2021 at 11:18 am
  • Reply Summer

    Dang girl! I LOVE how detailed this is. Usually, when I read traffic reports or any kind of blog round-up report, they’re never this detailed and helpful. So, major kudos there! Keep on pushing. I personally need to find new Tailwind communities to join.

    January 9, 2021 at 11:54 am
  • Reply Brandi L Brown

    I’m such a numbers person, and I’m just starting to analyze some of my own numbers like this on my blog, so this was such an interesting post to me! It’s super helpful – thanks for sharing.

    January 11, 2021 at 4:27 pm
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