What Happened When I Almost Abandoned My Blog

I’ve been hardly logging in to my WordPress dashboard enough for the past two months. It’s been a tricky time for me and I have been unable to maintain the momentum that I thought I had created. The last time I published a blog post was the first day of March.

I think it’s criminal not to publish regularly. How can a blog, and a relatively new one, survive and thrive if nothing is published for forty freaking days!

It happened due to multiple reasons though. Traveling, domestic commitments, a budding relationship, connectivity issues, and a deteriorating eyesight caused the pause.

Well, I’m not done with blogging yet. So, I decided to share my not-so-great experience of staying away from my blog.

Here’s what happened.

Loss of Focus & Momentum

I had a laser sharp focus for the best part of five months. Invariably, I used to publish four times a month; averaging once a week which was the goal for me.

When I stopped publishing, the focus was lost. The momentum created by regular posts and promotional efforts was lost. Apart from writing and promoting blog posts, I used to give a lot of time to improving my site for my visitors.

The most significant part, I think, was losing the learning streak. I have been an outrageously active learner since the time I stepped into the blogosphere. I have been reading super long blog posts and pdf guides. I’ve done blogging, SEO and content marketing related courses from Udemy.

All that seems to have paused. It’s the biggest loss of focus and momentum in my opinion because learning is my number one priority.

Decrease in Number of Visitors

The decrease is but natural. When we start a blog, usually the only regular reader is our mom or maybe the best friend. As it gains momentum, social media traffic comes in. And that is essentially the only traffic we get initially.

When I stopped publishing and promoting blog posts regularly, the number of visitors came crashing down for obvious reasons. SEO takes time. Initial traffic is always the hardest to get.

No. I’m not going to attach a screenshot of Google Analytics here. The decrease was huge. Visitors matter and imagine not having many.

Disappointing Analytics

The number of visitors is just one of the metrics of Google Analytics. Those who are into blogging know that there are more important metrics than the number of visitors.

Let me list down a few of my observations to give you an idea.

  • Bounce rate increased. I had worked hard to keep it between 30 and 60. When I stopped working on my blog, the number invariably touched 1oo. The higher the number, the worse.
  • Average session duration went down. When I was active, people came to my blog, clicked a few links, read till the end and leave comments. When I wasn’t active, all that disappeared.

For me, session duration and bounce rate are the most important metrics. They show how much my visitors like or dislike my blog. I had great numbers before. It’s sad I lost them. It’s temporary though.

Wastage of Hard Work

Starting a blog, making it user-friendly, creating quality content, doing SEO, and adding all the best plugins is hard work. It takes a lot of effort. In my case, it took a bite off my eyesight too. I had to put on glasses.

Failing to keep the blog alive ruins all that hard work. That’s what happened here too. Despite posting quality content and setting up a genuinely good blog, the lack of activity halted all the progress.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Lack of activity on your blog halts all the progress.” quote=”Lack of activity on your blog halts all the progress.”]

At the start of this year, I was pretty close to becoming part of the top 10 blogging helpers on Quora. It was an amazing feeling to be there in the up and coming bloggers. That was lost too.

The Innovation Block

Running a blog isn’t easy. It’s fun but not easy. You have tp constantly innovate. You stop, you lose. What innovation are we talking about though?

  • The design and features of the blog need constant upgradations. You keep adding the essential elements through themes and plugins to keep your blog competitive. I did that regularly until very recently.
  • The page loading speed is a big concern because it affects the user experience and SEO. Bloggers constantly try to bring the loading speeds and page sizes down. I did that too and with success. It’s one of the things that stopped happening.
  • Content creation is a process which you learn more by doing. My content creation strategy kept evolving until I stopped creating content.

These are just a few of the innovation blocks that happened in my case. Again, there’s a lot that I could have learned and done. Missing out on that makes me feel sad.

Reduced Blog Reading

A big big part of my blogging journey has been to read from other blogs. There are some bloggers I’ve read extensively from. Hassaan Khan is one of the bloggers I never miss a post from. Ever since I came to know about the amazing Adeel Sami, I have read whatever he has published.

Neil Patel is, of course, my favorite. I read a lot from him. Sue Dunlevie’s blog, which teaches how to make money to new bloggers, has received a major share of my comments. Adam Connel’s blog, which makes blogging easier, is one of my new favorites. Ryan Biddulph’s blog, the blog from paradise, has added fun to my blog reading. There are a lot more.

All these blogs are related to blogging. I have been reading some posts but it’s nothing when compared to reading 30-40 blog posts per week. I’m a reader and I read more than 25 articles per week even now. But these articles are not about blogging or SEO.

Entrepreneur, Success Magazine, Business Insider, Tech Insider, Pro Pakistani, and Being Guru etc. are the kind of blogs I have been reading.

Strong Procrastination

I feel accomplished to reach this point in this post. It took me more than 40 days to write this article. One of those days, today, was enough to write, finalize and publish it. The majority of remaining 39 days were spent procrastinating.

I think procrastination is directly proportional to the amount of time. The more you procrastinate, the harder it is to come out of it. While I type these words, I am realizing that writing a blog post was something I could have done four times in the last month despite all the problems.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The more you procrastinate in blogging, the harder it is to come out of it.” quote=”The more you procrastinate in blogging, the harder it is to come out of it.”]

Over time, the procrastination got strong and it caused me a lot of trouble in the blogging sense. All the problems highlighted in this article originate from procrastination. It’s a killer. Let me help you with it. Here’s a TED Talk you must

It’s a killer.

Let me help you with it. Here’s a TED Talk by Tim Urban that you must watch to understand procrastination better.

Conclusion

I’m glad to be back. It’s fulfilling feeling to be writing a conclusion after a long long time. I certainly had some limitations to cater for so I had to abandon my blog for a while. I think it was good to see the results of not making an effort after having seen the results of working hard.

Here’s a summary of the advice I wanted to cover through this article.

Do not abandon your blog for long periods of time because: –

  • You will lose focus and momentum. Focus and momentum are key to progress. Don’t lose that key.
  • You see a steady or steep dip in the number of visitors on your blog.
  • Your analytics will be disappointing and the worst part is that Google knows all that and it affects rankings.
  • The hard work that you have put in for months and years will be wasted.
  • You will stop innovating and upgrading while others will keep going ahead. Don’t lose that competitive edge.
  • The interest you have in reading and learning from others bloggers will be gone. This is a fatal loss in terms of blogging.
  • Strong procrastination will catch hold of you and you won’t be able to come out of it easily. That monkey in the video needs to be kept away from the wheel of your brain.

I would like to thank the bloggers I mentioned in the blog reading part for keeping me alive and motivated. When I see and read blog posts from you guys, it acts as a stimulus for me to get back to the dashboard and publish. I have published at last. Thank you!

Ilyas Tarar
 

My mission is to ‘make a positive difference in lives of people’. I love writing content and I hope I can use this passion to fulfill my mission.

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