Monday, August 13, 2007

I need helpful feedback....

Note: I am playing with the site a lot as people are offering me suggestions offlist. Colors, backgrounds and suchlike. I am not a visual person so if any of these changes are difficult or do not show up on your screen well, please let me know. I'm grateful for the help.. and will not be offended if someone tells me one of these changes completely suck! :)

And one more thing.. to my regular readers: I Value You! Please don't ever think otherwise. I believe that any person wants to grow their site and it doesn't diminish anyone at all.

So. Please. Hear! Me!

I Value All Of You...

...probably more than you can know or I can explain.

I'm just trying to improve the site. Really. That's all!


Okay. I can see this site is going down the tubes fast.

The truth is that my knowledge about this kind of thing is simply not present. I don't know what to do to generate more interest. I don't know what to write that will make people want to interact with me.

And I don't know if I have the energy to attempt to rebuild it without help. Well, I know I don't.

When I noticed the decline, I wrote to a guy who often posts about this kind of thing on his blog and he gave me "I'll get back to you" but didn't.

So I'm putting this out to anyone who reads here.

What is it you want from me? What would it take for this site to become lively again, for people to find interest in it?

Or... is it simply not possible?

Up until two weeks ago, my traffic wasn't bad (around 100 visits a day) and comments were over 20 a day.

Now it is down to 65 visits a day.. and 6 comments.

Maybe I don't have what it takes to do this anymore... but I sure do need some help and some input from others! Maybe there was some discussion about this at BlogHer? How are others doing it? I don't see anyone else experiencing this, not among the blogs I visit anyway.

It's not that I don't value those who come here. I DO! Truly! But I also value active input. There is no insult intended when I address this issue. I just know there must be someone out there who can educate me.

So.. if you are out there.. please? Help?

If you would feel more comfortable talking to me privately, please feel free to do that. Any way... I just need the input. Seriously.



Snoskred said...

I'll send you an email, I have a few thoughts. But for anyone reading this publicly, I suggest taking a look at the blogs about blogging, is great and running a 31 day improve your blog thing right now.

There is a LOT to be learned from the "make money online" type of blogs which can be useful in blogging even if you don't want to make money from it.

Bloggers DO have to be openminded, and willing to give new things a try, otherwise there's no point even looking at such blogs. If bloggers want to do things their way and not listen to people who know what they are talking about, that's going to be an issue for any blogger wanting to improve their blog. I'm serious, ya'all. I have not built my blog to where it is without SERIOUS effort at getting better at blogging, at changing what I'm doing in order to improve. I am willing to make changes each and every day with my goals firmly in sight. If you as a blogger are not? That's your choice. Each blogger gets to choose that.

There's two Bumpzee communities that have really helped my blogging. Make Money Online is one of them, plenty of useful and helpful blogging tips in there to grow your traffic and grow your site. The No-Nofollow one is the other, also with a lot of helpful blogging tips and info on how to grow your site. They do have a bit of crossover, so I'll try and dig out the better blogs for ya'all.

You could also look at my weekly wrap ups, for the last few weeks I have been including the better posts on blogging that I've found - I think there was recently a list of 75 ways to increase your traffic from one of the sites..

You could join stumbleupon, get the toolbar, and stumble people because they'll stumble you back.

Those are just a few suggestions. I'll also put together a new sidebar when I get a chance with the best blogs about blogging in it, you're not the only one wanting answers to these questions. There are people out there who can help - and do help - for free!

I have about 10 sites I read daily about blogging, and I'll ask other bloggers who do the same for their favourite sites.


thailandchani said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Snos, and I will definitely read the blog you mentioned.

In my ignorance, I thought just commenting to other people would be enough... but all too often, they never return or they do once or twice and I never see them again.

It's just time, you know, if I am going to keep this site.. to stop experiencing these lags. They depress and demotivate me.

If I can fix it, I'll do what it takes.

I'm willing....

...but I need education.



slouching mom said...

Gawd, I wish I knew. I am a blogging neophyte. I don't understand commenting patterns at all. They remind me of the analysis of traffic (I mean vehicle traffic) patterns. It's pretty inscrutable, at least to me.

jen said...

I don't know, but I do know I come here every day. I wish that felt like it was enough, your regular readers, but I know this is an ongoing struggle with you. I hope you realize the value those of us who are here place on your writing. Because we do.

Laurie said...

I've been struggling with some personal issues lately and so I've not been visiting as often as I'd like to. I hope to remedy that soon. I always find your posts interesting Chani, though I don't always comment.

Thanks, too, for the award, dear lady. It means the world to me.


Laurie said...

Oh, by the way, I have no clue what draws people to a blog. I'm clueless as can be in life and in blogville apparently. Hey, that's an idea for a post! No, too personal. I'm babbling aren't I? I need sleep. And love.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I don't have any answers, Chani. I always read your posts, and have no intention of stopping because they are always worth my time and energy and add immeasurably to my day and my life.

Your writing makes me think about issues, and since I only feel alive when I am doing so, it's a good fit for me.

I don't have a site meter, but I've noticed that I'm not getting as many comments as I did before I was away for 10 days in July.

I think that maybe people come and go except for a small core who stay with a blogger because they are looking for entertainment and are easily distracted.

Don't take it personally. As some move out, others move into your sphere. It all balances out.

flutter said...

^what she said, honey.

Anvilcloud said...

I know that this is a perpetual problem for you, but you have a very active blog compared to my stats. I guess it all depends on how you measure success and how much validation you seek. Oddly enough I have sometimes felt that you are so big that you don't require my visits anymore. It's all about perspective, I guess. Although I have always been a small fish, my blog is not as busy as it was in times past, but I'm fairly content with the relatively few folks who keep coming back.

mitzh said...

I love your blog and I treasure your words and most of all YOU...

I'm sorry if I haven't been able to pay a visit for quiet some time..

I think people are making most of the summer and surely they will come back. I'm thinking it's not the "peak season" in the blogging world.

I actually don't know what to say since I don't have that much reader, bu I'm quite happy with the few that I have and those people who take time to leave a comment.

You have a great blog going here and surely it is not going down the drain.

I love the new page look! Much easier to read.

Don't be sad...(((hugs)))

liv said...

As boringly usual :) as it is, I agree with jen. And as maddening as it sounds, I think that when you stop caring and sort of give it over, your more natural self comes out. It reminds me of interviewing for jobs-- if you need a job, the desperation comes through. If you have one, and stumble into an interview, you'll be a star. Give yourself a break, and keep writing from your heart.

Amy York said...

I'm a TG virgin so I don't have any helpful feedback for you... I love reading other peoples' blogs and use mine as a creative outlet as well as so people I am close to can keep up with our family as we are 1000 miles away from most of the folks we love. The site looks great to me from my brief stay here and I intend to return. :)

River said...

I like this new colour scheme, it's much easier on the eyes than the yellow on black was. I've read your blogsite everyday since I first found you, the first post kept me coming back, and I gradually worked my way through your archives. Most posts are interesting but I don't always comment, usually because when I've read through others comments they've covered everything I wanted to say. But please keep writing, if only because it's good to get things "off your chest" as my mum used to say, and putting your thoughts and feelings out there leaves the way open for others to help if they feel you need it, or to comfort, or even to agree/disagree, thus paving the way for further learning curves for all who participate.

Anonymous said...

I have javascript turned off, and that means I don't show up in most counters. You might be getting more hits than you think.

Cecilieaux said...

I bring several handicaps to offering feedback: I am colorblind and I don't blog as my central writing task.

Nonetheless, I very much like the greater contrast between the white background and dark letters (of some color I won't venture to guess).

As to blogging, to me it is a bit like Pascal writing down his thoughts. People read his "Pensées" now, but he was a mathematician and his thoughts were unknown.

If you think you have something to say, an essay to write that is pleasing to you, something that is shorter than a treatise or a novel, then by gum, post it. And if people don't like it, they shouldn't look. It's for you.

If, by fluke, some people do like it and keep coming back (this has happened) count yourself lucky and be done with that.

Snoskred said...

Here's that 75 ways to increase traffic article -

75 Ways to Increase Your Site’s Traffic

By the end of today I hope to have a small sidebar with links to good articles I have found about blogging. There's so many excellent articles out there.

I do recommend that problogger site and the 31 days to a better blog he is running right now is almost exactly the challenge you need, if you're willing to grab it with both hands. It has homework, too. I'd suggest starting at the beginning, seeing as it is halfway through and do one a day till they're all done. He is also collecting many great articles over there written by other bloggers.


capacious said...

For me, it's that you write too much! I am usually able to visit other people's sites once a week - on yours this sometimes means 7 new posts! I end up rushing through them and not having time to leave comments, or else reading everyone else's comments and not having much to add. So I don't know what to say except be less prolific? I'm joking here.

I blog to keep a record of what my life is like right now (like I always did in a journal), and it's great when other people stop by and enjoy it, but that's just icing on the cake. If no one read it, I would still do it for myself. I wish this for you. It's much more peaceful. There is no pressure. At the same time, I understand that it's different for everyone and once you have readers, you WANT readers.

The new format is way easier to read. Bravo!

Magpie said...

I think everyone is on vacation. It's August, after all.

Julie Pippert said...

I agree with Jen and Magpie.

I also agree with suggestions about driving traffic. I will share what I've learned: commenting *might* drive visitors and reciprocal commenting (one for one). It occasionally develops a loyal reader. But not everyone views commenting the same way, as in same sense of obligation some have. Also, commenting doesn't per se drive traffic the way a lot of people mean it: as in droves.

Social networking through commenting can be time-consuming. I've had to cut way back. But, if you enjoy it, it's not a chore and is instead a pleasure. But the means have to be the point, KWIM? Not an expected end.

Driving traffic can also be time-consuming. I'd only worry about traffic and rankings if you are blogging for profit (aka problogging).

On my paid-to-blog site I can't even tell you how much time I spend working to build traffic and ranking. No, I can, I just don't want to. LOL

But that's another consideration: how many additional obligations visitors have.

I think you value the conversation.

So I think you prefer the comments. Visiting other sites can bring them, but it's not required and there is no obligation to keep coming.

Did you see Mrs. Chicky's post about comments and commenting?
It reminds me to keep my perspective. I'm happy to get two comments. Anything above that is gravy. :) If you can't find it I'll try to link.

I do prefer a white background with black or dark letters. Jen said, you've built a good site here and get a lot of good feedback and reinforcement. I know you still struggle with it not being enough so I hope you find the balance you need.

Best, Julie
Ravin' Picture Maven

Snoskred said...

Julie, I'd like to see that post, if you have a linky. :)

I still feel a bit like a blog isn't going to achieve what you're wanting to achieve - you sometimes seem to be looking more for discussion among likeminded people?

If that is the case, I have one thought for you which might be worthwhile - maybe try starting a bumpzee community. Then you can start discussions there and it is a lot easier for people to keep track of them. Then people just have to go to one page to see the discussions and what has been most recently updated.

I'm just not sure a blog is ever going to achieve what you're looking for as far as discussion. Perhaps a wordpress one might because they have plugins where people can follow the comments and anytime someone new comments it gets emailed to them. With Blogger the only real option you have is something like encouraging your readers to use co.mments because that way they can keep track of the discussion better.

Maybe even you're not sure what you're looking for? If that is the case then it's probably time to have a think about that..

What I think I will do, because there seems to be some demand for it, is spend a week on blogging soon - and Julie, for that week could we have blogging as a hump day hmmm topic? Either sharing tips, talking about how you blog, how you write, what works for you, etc?

What do you think of that idea? :)


Julie Pippert said...

This is the link to the comment post:

A comment on comment by Chicky Chicky Baby

Hump Day metablogging...let me think about it. I might do a cross-post with BlogRhet. Let me check the fourteen schedules I need to consult. LOL!

KC said...

I think of it this way...people come and go, lives get busy, try not to take it personally. I think you'll lose something if you try to write for an audience and "better stats": the authenticity that makes you you. I'd much rather have a small, dedicated readership with people I can develop relationships with than an unwieldly, random one.

Pam said...

My life has been a bit upside down these days and I have not been on my computer as much as usual. It will probably be a while before things become a little easier. But I always stop by here when I am visiting my blogging friends.

As for visits on my blog, I'm happy with a small community of friends, I like all the people who stop by and it is enough.

Demotivated Soul said...

I found your blog and thought it was interesting. I am sorry if you are a little demotivated. I have just started a blog and have very little traffic at all. In fact I don't know how to find out how muchtraffic I get. Bless you and keep your chin up.