I’ve always been very open about my blogging journey—whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. This post is no exception. Today, I’m getting a bit vulnerable and sharing something I’ve been struggling with.
It’s an issue that’s stumped me for a while, and I’ve decided it’s time to make some changes. But don’t worry—I’m not going anywhere, nor is Eat Sleep Breathe FI! (I just paid for three years of hosting, so I’m in it for the long haul!)
I’ll share all the details below…
The good news
I’ll start by saying things are, overall, going well at Eat Sleep Breathe FI. Based on nearly all metrics, the blog is slowly and steadily growing. Also, the response to my How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life interview series has been amazing (both from interviewees and readers).
Finally (and most importantly) I still love blogging—even after nearly 2.5 years! It’s hard to deny that things are moving in the right direction; I really can’t complain! But, as mentioned, there’s one big problem I haven’t been able to solve…
My big problem
It’s embarrassing for me to admit this (especially since I’m no longer a new blogger). But I’m sharing it anyway: despite my success in other areas, there’s one nut that I can’t seem to crack… and that’s my pageviews.
No matter what I do (post regularly, engage on social media, improve site speed, work on SEO) my traffic continues to be inconsistent and lower than I’d like. Frankly, it’s a bummer and I’m tired of it!
Why pageviews matter
Some people say: don’t worry about the pageviews. Just keep blogging, and the traffic will come. And, whether that happens or not, just enjoy blogging for blogging’s sake.
They’re right, and for the most part, I live by that last sentence. (If I didn’t, I would’ve given up a long time ago!) BUT I want more than just to have fun. I want a challenge.
Increasing my pageviews is an aspirational goal for me. I want to try and get there—if only to prove to myself that I can.
Additionally, working to grow my pageviews will also benefit you, my readers. That’s because the things that bring more pageviews also lead to a better visitor experience:
- Clearer navigation.
- A faster-loading site.
- More detailed and helpful content.
So, I could merrily blog away, ignoring the pageviews. But that doesn’t necessarily serve my readers best. I’m happy to put in the effort and give you a better reading experience—while also trying to reach my pageview goal. 👍
How will I get there?
I’ve shared my ‘what’ (increase my pageviews). And I’ve also shared my ‘why’ (to better serve my readers and achieve a personal goal). Now, I’m going to share the ‘how’.
After lots of research, learning, and advice from other bloggers, I’ve come up with a list of high-impact tasks to start with:
- In-depth keyword research.
- Write longer, more detailed and helpful articles.
- Additional site speed improvements (beyond what I’ve already completed).
- Install a lighter-weight blog theme.
- Update and improve my old posts.
- Add more internal links throughout my site.
While my brain dump list includes many more items, I’ll focus on these big to-dos first. Once I’ve completed a few of them, I’ll tackle the other tasks as time permits.
How will I find the time?
Finding time has always been my biggest blogging frustration! I’ve been trying to get to this list for months—and I’m failing. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get to these tasks while also trying to:
- Publish a new blog post every week.
- Release a new podcast episode every other week.
- Reply to blog and podcast comments and emails.
- Manage blog and podcast social media.
- Maintain and manage affiliate and sponsor relationships.
- Read, comment on, and share other blogger’s content.
- Manage and care for my household and its inhabitants (and the rest of the ‘stuff’ in my life).
Clearly, my time is very much spoken for—there’s no squeezing blood from this stone! So, what now? How in the world am I going to accomplish my big pageview goal?
Time for tough decisions
This leads me to the main purpose of this post. I’m sharing the tough blogging decisions I’ve made… and how they’ll affect the future of Eat Sleep Breathe FI.
I’ll start by outlining what’s staying the same. Then, I’ll share the changes I’m making. And finally, I’ll share how all of this will benefit you.
What’s staying the same
Fortunately, many things will be staying the same at Eat Sleep Breathe FI:
Aside from the occasional guest post, I’ll still be the lead blogger here. I have no plans to outsource my writing to anyone else.
Interacting with you in my comments section is one of my favourite things about blogging. I’m definitely not changing that! I’ll continue to read and reply to every new comment.
My FIRE life interviews
As mentioned, the response to my How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life series has been amazing. I’ll continue to publish these interviews bi-weekly until they run out… but that could take a while!
Currently, I’m scheduled out to interview #20 (I still can’t believe this). An additional 17 interviews are in the works, and new interviewees join every week. I love it!
For those who prefer to listen to me, I won’t be changing a thing on my podcast, Explore FI Canada. I love chatting with Money Mechanic and our guests and will continue to appear there bi-weekly on Fridays.
In the coming weeks and months, you’ll start to see the following changes:
This was a really hard decision. I’ve loved sharing my monthly(ish) FI updates because I can get personal and share a slice of my life with you. And the feedback from you, my readers, has always been warm and enthusiastic.
If I had all the time in the world, I’d continue posting these updates every month. However, to free up more time to work on improving my site, I have to change how often and/or how I share these updates.
I still haven’t decided how I’ll proceed, but here are a couple of ideas:
- Quarterly or random updates (instead of monthly).
- Shorter, but more regular updates in emails or social media.
I’ll give this more thought and will likely have to do some tinkering to figure out the best solution. Apologies in advance for the inevitable changes and inconsistent delivery!
New content frequency
As mentioned, I’ll continue to publish my FIRE life interview series on a consistent, bi-weekly basis. But there may be weeks (or even months) where I’m unable to publish other new content.
This was another hard decision. For one thing, I hate being inconsistent—in real life, I’m a stickler for consistency and reliability. For another, I’m also genuinely worried that I’ll lose subscribers and readers.
However, this one change will free up the most time for me to work on my pageviews. As uncomfortable and scary as it may be, I’m taking the plunge. Hopefully, it’ll pay off.
*Over the next month or so, I’m going to make a liar of myself! I’ll be posting weekly right into June… so pretend you aren’t reading this until then, LOL.
I know you get more than enough emails, so if I don’t have a new post to share, I won’t email. (Well, maybe I will. But if I do, I’ll have a darned good reason to do so.)
Moving forward, if you don’t receive a weekly email from me, you’ll now know why: I’m working hard on improving the blog!
What you’ll get
This isn’t all about me and my blog—the biggest motivation to improve my site is you, my readers. I want you to have an enjoyable experience when you visit my blog. So, here’s what I hope to eventually give you:
To better serve you, my readers, I’m going to focus more of my time on helpful, quality content such as:
A faster, cleaner theme
As mentioned in my to-do list, I’m planning to switch to a faster blog theme. While I love the look of my current theme (and the amazing developers behind it) it’s not the fastest out there.
When I move to the new theme, you’ll notice speedier load times (especially on mobile) and an even cleaner look.
Overall speed improvements
While I’ve worked hard with my Fiverr WordPress developer* to speed up my site, there was only so much we could do. Further improvements are reliant on a lighter, more customizable theme.
So, when I switch over to my new theme, I’ll also be able to implement more site speed improvements. Hopefully, you’ll see a noticeable change when it’s all done.
*See my recent Random Blogging Tips post for more on this.
Reaching my pageview goal isn’t going to be easy. Progress will be slow, but I’m in no rush—I’m going to do this properly. If I’m lucky, all the time and effort will be worth it and I’ll finally see steadily growing traffic.
I hope this post has helped you to understand why I’ve had to make some tough decisions for my blog. Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts to share. Have you also struggled with pageviews? Or, have you found any surefire tactics that have helped? I’d love to hear from you!
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