The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Does Cutting Back on Blog Posting for Summer Hurt? (#!WSG)

Insecure Writer's Support Group

      It's the first Wednesday of the month which as most of you know means it's time again for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the monthly event hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.   This is the time when writers from all over the globe discuss writing and all of the conflicting good and bad feelings that come with the pursuit of the literary arts.  This is a forum for commiseration and encouragement.  Maybe things aren't going quite like you'd like or maybe you're a bit nervous about what the future holds.   You might even be riding the high horse of success and feel like you're winning the race.   Whatever your circumstance join us and tell us what you're thinking.

Summertime Blogging Schedule

      Most of us would probably acknowledge that our blog traffic tends to drop some during the summer months.  In fact, a good many of you might even cut back during the summer months or even go so far as to put your blog on hiatus until about September or so.  I've seen this and it does make sense in a lot of ways.

         Every year I tend to do some traveling which interferes to some extent with my blogging activities.  I've tried experiments such as focusing on using guest posts to minimize my own energies on blogging.   Last year I cut back on posting days and tried to keep my posts shorter.   That approach worked well for me and when something works it's probably not a bad idea to stick with it.

         So for the summer of 2015 it's gonna be less posts and posts that might be a bit shorter than normal.   My schedule plan will be to essentially post Mondays only.  However there will be a few times when this will vary.  Since I will still be participating with Battle of the Bands posts on the 1st and 15th of each month and also the #IWSG posts on the first Wednesdays of the month there will be a couple of Wednesday posts in July and two Saturday posts in August that might essentially replace my normal Monday posts.   I might throw in a couple odd posts now and then, but for the most part my schedule will be as I've described.

          There will be summer cutbacks on my other blogs as well.  On my spiritually themed blog A Few Words there has already been the post Temporary Hiatus announcing my summer plans.  Since this is like my mission blog in a sense, I almost feel like I should keep that one going over the others, but averaging less than 50 visitors per post and typically receiving only a couple comments at the most, I feel like taking a break on that site won't be a drastic loss to the blogging world.  

           Tomorrow an announcement post will appear on my dream blog A Faraway View telling readers about my intentions for the summer vacation season.  That blog too has a small number of visitors per post, but it does have a loyal readership who regularly leave comments on every post.  Last year I posted dream song videos which didn't do too badly, but still it took time to compile that.  This year I'm going to save the time and not post on that blog at all until September.

           My memoir blog Wrote By Rote will continue to post each Saturday as long as I don't run into complications doing so.  That blog does have a more solid reader base and I'll do as I did last year and tie in my summer travels with the topics I will be sharing on that blog.  I also often tie in my Battle of the Bands contests with posts on Wrote By Rote.   

           Now, some of you might point back to my A to Z Challenge Elements of Blogging post "UpDate!".   I stirred a bit of controversy by chastising "slacker bloggers" who didn't maintain their blogs regularly.  Take note though that I am following my own guidelines about announcing my intentions ahead of time and I will still be posting regularly unless some circumstance prevents me from doing so.  

         Of course, here is where the insecurities develop.   It might be argued that less posting might lose some of my existing audience.  I think anyone else who has cut back on posting days can vouch that all it does is give them more time for other things and give each of their posts more time for other bloggers to visit and leave comments.  I think Alex J Cavanaugh might agree with this point.

         A complete break like I'm doing on my lesser visited blogs might cause me to lose some of my audience so that I have to go back to build them up, but considering the few that could be lost I don't guess that's much building to worry about.  I've got minor insecurities about these blogs but I always do throughout the year.

        The biggest problem with the summer schedule is that I have less time and opportunity to make the visiting rounds that are required to keep visitors coming to my blog.   I have my regulars who I can usually count on--I thank all of you--but there are always those who need to be reminded to visit me by my visit to them.   If I use the past summers as an indicator, I know my comments will drop which is something that would happen whether I was keeping a summer schedule or not.  The fact is that a lot of people are busy doing non-blogging activities like I'll be doing.  If I don't visit your posts as much during the summer, I hope you will understand my situation.

       Really it's not a big issue--just a little nagging insecurity.  It's the old out of sight out of mind conundrum of marketing and maintaining a public image.  But it's only a blog.  But it's my blog and I've worked hard to keep it active and to have a relatively high profile.  It's my baby and I worry about my babies.   

        I may be slowing down for the summer, but I will be here.  I hope you'll be here with me.

        Do you see your summer blog traffic slow down in summer?   Do your blogging activities tend to slow down during summer?    What will you be doing this summer?

*************************

Arlee's A to Z Summer Road Trip

        I wonder if I might be able to meet up with some of you during my travels this summer.  I'm going to be all over the country and bound to have some time on my hands.   If we could set up some summer meetings that might be fun.  If you're interested, be sure to visit Wrote By Rote in my post upcoming Saturday June 6th and I'll give you some more details.    

Don't forget to vote on my current Battle of the Bands 

If you have not voted yet then visit Battle of the Bands and cast your vote.   I'll be adding votes up tomorrow Thursday June 4th to announce the winner on Friday June 5th.





68 comments:

  1. Usually I have an upswing with posting b/c I am able to take more day trips. Unfortunately due to a chilly spring, weather that's not cooperating and our real life which has taken on a great deal of stressors, I am way behind on everything I wanted to do this spring. So no photos have been taken, hardly any crafts made. I'm hoping things get on an even keel soon.

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    1. JoJo, you've been putting up some cool photos nevertheless. If you're like me you're always playing catch up.

      Lee

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  2. Hi Lee - you do so much for us ... you deserve a break. How you keep track of more than one blog - I've no idea.

    I am taking my first break - 3 months off - starting when I've tidied my blogging life up! Shortly in other words ... but I can't help but chime in ... I've announced I'll be off, but also said I'll be back in September with Denise Covey's on the Couch ... and I'll start commenting again .. so I'll be seen around ...

    I need the break, and I'm sure commenters will return ... and the wonderful A-Z will help ... cheers to everyone - Hilary

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    1. Hilary, two of the blogs are lightweights and one much lighter than Tossing It Out so not too much work involved in those, but enough to make a summer cutback helpful.

      Enjoy your break!

      Lee

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  3. You stated the key point for me - time to visit other bloggers. That is what I want more than anything, which is why I only post once a week. Of course, that is my regular schedule outside of the Challenge.
    I think a summer break on some of those blogs will turn out all right.

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    1. Alex, you probably have it right in being able to spread yourself around the blogosphere. Maybe I should keep the cutback schedule on Tossing It Out in order to comment like you do.

      Lee

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  4. Hey, if you're coming to Albuquerque, let me know!

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    1. Karen, when I used to go directly to Tennessee we'd always take I-40 and make Albuquerque our first stopping off point. Now we go to Houston first and take I-10 so we miss Albuquerque. But who knows? Maybe sometime in the future. You are on a major west to east thorofare.

      Lee

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  5. I don't think cutting back hurts. I've cut back and while I lost a couple of "regular" commenters, most still pop up on every post I write. *cough" Alex *cough*. Writing the posts a bit shorter is a great idea. People tend to want to rush through things in the summer to get to the fun stuff :)

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    1. Elsie, yeah Alex seems to manage that. If he's not the first commenter on blogs he's usually near the top! My problem with writing short posts is being able to keep it short. I like to ramble sometimes.

      Lee

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  6. Breaks are always dangerous, but you did give notice and let people know when you will return.

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    1. L.Diane, I try to keep readers informed rather than just suddenly disappear and keep people guessing and eventually forgetting.

      Lee

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  7. I agree shorter is better during a busy season like summer, but a good subject is always a draw.

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    1. Yolanda, a short post with good subject is my ultimate quest.

      Lee

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  8. Breaks are good and also good to announce the break. Took a six month break one time and was surprised I kept the amount of readers I did when I got back. Lost some but I didn't mind. I think readers can be fickle; if one doesn't tend to comment on their blogs, they might be less likely to come back after a break to comment on yours.

    betty

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    1. Betty, I'm going to try to comment as much as I can during the summer, but it might be difficult on some days.

      Lee

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  9. There is a lull in the summer, but taking time off shouldn't lose readers. As long as they are in you feeds they will return. :) There is a drop in ranking, but piffle! It comes back.

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    1. HR, I don't know what my ranking is anyway so I guess it won't affect me much.

      Lee

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  10. There always seems to be a lull in the summer, as well as during late December and part of January. I tend to use those slower times to post thing more geared towards people doing research, not my regular readers. These posts tend to show up fairly regularly on search engines, even if they don't get many or any comments. Right now I'm planning a series on The Birth of a Nation turning 100 this year, inspired by my recent revisiting of the film, and not sure yet if I should put these posts out during the summer for the researchers, or save them till the fall, when more of my regular readers will likely read them as well.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, that's a good plan, but since I don't do posts like that I don't guess this approach would work well for me.

      Lately, I've been thinking about silent films and all of the ones that are 100 years old or even older. It's pretty amazing to watch these are realize how far back into history we can now actually see actual movement with people and places. It's great that these films have been kept restored, but sad to now the many more that never made it to our time.

      Lee

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  11. Your regulars will stick with you, no matter what, Lee. There's more to life than blogging and we all need a break, sometimes. Summer is prime vacation season and most people spend a lot less time online, so I wouldn't worry too much about losing ground. Besides, you'll still be posting on a regular basis, by the sound of it. ☺ I took a 4 month break from last Sept. to January, but kept the "brand" going by Tweeting old posts (which I still do, using a Wordpress plug-in - it's automated), plus I made a landing page with links to all the best material on site. Thanks for the reminder about your other blogs; I keep forgetting! :( Must check out Wrote by Wrote again. I love memoirs.) Have a great summer and happy trails!

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    1. Debbie, you offer some good suggestions. I should do some of these--I probably won't, but I should. Vacation time is a hit or miss for me depending on what I'm doing and who I'm with. If I'm in a stationary place for a good while--which I will be for a good part of the time--I can usually find an hour or two in the mornings when I can do online activities.

      Lee

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  12. Summer traffic creeps and that's ok. I think it's important to do things outside this little bubble we live in and that's why I'm cutting back, too. I was already thinking along the same line as you posting one day per/week, but I may do it three times instead except make my posts short and sweet. We'll see how this goes, but I'm not going to worry about it too much. I think everyone understands and those who don't then whatcha going do about that? It's not worth losing sleep over or giving up time for other passions, so I'm just going to roll with the punches! Have a good day, Lee!

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    1. Cathy, yeah, no point in worrying about things like blogging. We do what we can and let it go at that. I went for years without blogging and survived pretty well.

      I used to do 7 days a week and then cut back to 3. Now I sometimes do less than that. It doesn't seem to matter much and each post seems to get more hits and more comments so that's a plus.

      Lee

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  13. Lee, I take time off during the summer and post far less. I do the monthly IWSG post, an occasional Weekend Follies, and guest bloggers. And I do visit other bloggers. But that's about it. After Memorial Day Weekend, I crank things up again.

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    1. Stephen, I understand how summer can be a busy time for many of us and I tend to do traveling during that time which can keep me very busy.

      Lee

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  14. I find if you write interesting, original content which you do Lee, then bloggies will come back for more.

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    1. Spaceguy, well thank you for saying so and I'm not too concerned about losing too many, but I can't help but think it a bit.

      Lee

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  15. BOIDMAN ~
    I just wanted to check in and make sure you received the E I sent last night. That "E"agle landed?

    ~ D-FensDogG

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    1. STMcC, got it, thank you. I'm going to send a reply soon--if I can manage to stay awake long enough.

      Lee

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  16. I think people get busy in summer even if they are not traveling, they are out in their garden, mowing the lawn etc... I think it's fine to do less and since I post when I post (bad girl, bad girl) I see no problems. If people have a problem with it, they need to enjoy life more. I hate the stifling heat so I end up being inside then also. My hubby and I are travelling to Quebec to visit his Aunt and Uncle and I want to visit the Art Gallery in Toronto (The AGO) so not much else and that suits me fine

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    1. Birgit, have a nice trip to the Great White North. Summer is so nice in Canada. I'd love to go to the AGO--Toronto is one of my favorite cities.

      Lee

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  17. I'm going to skip most Fridays during this summer. I usually do MWF but I have a lot of thinks going for the next three months including some travel. I don't know if it will hurt or not. We'll see.

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    1. Susan GK, actually I think it helped me to cut back last summer so skipping most Fridays for you would probably not be noticed much if you're still doing M & W. When you say "most Fridays" really that will only amount to missing 10 or 12 days at the most?

      Lee

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  18. I don't typically take breaks from blogging, but then, once a week isn't much to break from. I do notice a dip in the summer months though.

    Enjoy your summer!

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    1. Loni, I have always seen a summer lull. A lot of people take big breaks during summer.

      You have a great summer as well.

      Lee

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  19. Ha! It was the A to Z challenge that finally got me into blogging once a week! I'd hate to lose pace now but summer does get busy with camping, fishing and kids around the house. I have to agree with other comments, you're certainly not going to lose any readers - your content is too interesting! :-) I'm Heading over to Wrote by Rote!

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    1. Diedre, thank you as well for your kind comment. Be sure to check Wrote By Rote this coming Saturday especially for a special announcement.

      Lee

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  20. Taking a break once in a while is a good idea, especially if it's during a time when most people are going to be busy. Or in my case, if you're temporarily out of ideas and need time to think of something.

    I need to remember to check where you'll be and when.

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    1. MRR, another insecurity is that I have so many post ideas in the hopper right now that I don't know how I'll ever get to all of them.

      Lee

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  21. I don't think dropping down to once a week should hurt too much. You could encourage people to subscribe and that way they will get an email to remind them you're still around.

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    1. Patricia, I'm not overly concerned, but it made for something to talk about for #IWSG.

      Lee

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  22. Hey Lee, dude,

    Actually, my blog gets about the same amount of attention no matter the time of the year. Then again, you will have figured out I couldn't give a stuff and rather like being a well-kept secret.

    I do think it's a good idea to take it easy and not spread yourself out too thin. Personally and though I respect your outlook, I think you have way too many blogs.

    I do, however, admire you confidence, actually. For I would never dream of asking folks to visit other blogs of mine if I had any. I reckon people are busy enough as it is. For instance, I have been commenting for eight hours and have barely made a dent.

    Take care , good sir.

    Gary

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    1. Gary, I have different blogs for different topics so I don't post 7 days a week on this one like I used to. And actually I don't often mention my other blogs here. It's pretty obvious judging from the lack of track on those..

      Why do you spend so much time commenting on blogs anyway?

      Lee

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  23. No, take some time off, catch some photons.

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    1. ESBB, Now that you're back I guess I can take my time off and let you take over. Nice to see you! Well, see your words and avatar--not exactly you.

      Lee

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  24. I, too, have made some cutbacks. I used to post daily, but now I post M,W,F and have a guest post on Sunday. Of course, like yourself, BOTB will still take place on the appropriate dates. I don't want to cut back too much, because that might make it difficult to get back into the swing of things for my upcoming Rocktober and 2016 A to Z, both of which will be daily posts.

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    1. Mary, that's another good reason not to cut back too much--staying in blog shape. I've found when I have taken a break it was somewhat difficult to blog regularly again. I like some regularity so I don't get too out of shape.

      Lee

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  25. Have a great break Arlee! While you're in the swing of summer we're being bitten by the cold in South Africa.

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    1. Susan, as summer progresses I may wish we had some of your cold weather.

      Lee

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  26. Stop by my place on your way through. I'll take you to the Dam and we can try to find Lake Oroville behind it. Pretty low right now. Could use that El Nino.

    You have a lot of blogs to keep up with. Wow. When I take breaks I make a point to check in with my blog roll occasionally. Good to comment to keep my memory alive, and most will reciprocate when they see a new post pop up. It is a risk, to go on break. But sometimes necessary.

    I hope you come through my town on your summer tour. You would be a treat to have a face-to-face conversation with.

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    1. Dolorah, I don't see that we'll be in Northern California at this point, but I'll keep that in mind. See my post on Saturday where I'll be including a map.

      Lee

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  27. Traffic is definitely down when I don't post, but will readers will still visit even if you haven't posted for a while. I wouldn't worry about it and enjoy some time off :-)

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    1. Vanessa, it would be nice if visitors might return to older posts when there is no current new activity, but usually this doesn't happen. I'm not going to worry too much.

      Lee

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  28. My traffic is down and my writing is up. Why? Last year I was completely without work and this year I'm working many hours a week (45?) and also revising a novel, getting a play up, and so on. What gives? Well, I just blog better when I have to mush it in around other stuff. Since you called some of us slacker bloggers out I made some changes too. I stopped one of my blogs 'Living the so-called Simple Life' as I wasn't being visited there and I was repeating stuff that was showing up on my Sojourner in Labrador blog. That was a good thing and I thank you for giving me arse a boot! I do not promise to be posting on any days cuz it ain't true. It isn't my style and if that's what folks want they have plenty of bloggers to pick from. My blog isn't the boss of me - I'm the boss of it. I have enough responsibilities in my life without that. I know when you and my other blogging friends post because I check my side bar daily. That's all I need. I can't remember my own schedules let alone those of a zillion bloggers! I think we get the garden we tend - if we want a hugely productive one then we have to do a lot of tending! Mine is a manageable size for my needs.
    Thanks as always Lee, for getting out on those skinny branches and saying your truth.

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    1. Jan, I'm glad you didn't take my "slacker blogger" comment the wrong while and used it to your advantage. That was my intent. I like what you say about what we choose to have as the boss of us. We shouldn't be a slave to our blogs, but let it lead us where we need to go. Sounds like you are under control.

      Lee

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  29. Honestly, it never matters when I take a break on my blog. The same few people who even notice my absence are the few who care about my return (and the word "few" is an optimistic one). I've tried everything recommended by other bloggers...

    If you leave, I sincerely believe most of us will be here upon your return. I would be. I hope you get a chance to do more outside of blogging this summer!

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    1. Jennifer, Thank goodness for our core groups of followers!

      Lee

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  30. I'm actually really trying to think less about blogging and, therefore, do less blogging. It doesn't seem to be a good investment.

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    1. Andrew, I think the investment can be worthwhile if done the right way and in the right places. I won't yet say I've squandered my time blogging. And think less? I'm trying but I'm in such a habit now.

      Lee

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  31. You get more comments than you can shake a stick at.

    I now visit after a day. The comments are great reading. Anyway, have a good summer. I'll check your summer route. If you are Rving, you can park in my yard. Must like dogs, they will all want to meet you. lol

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    1. Ann, just so people are shaking sticks at me and not hitting me with them.

      We will be hoteling it and staying with family. Just have a van for comfort. Haven't gone the RV route yet. Thanks for the offer!

      Lee

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  32. I think that as long as you let people know that you won't be visiting as much, you'll be fine. People will understand. I've been focused on my writing and many other things so I haven't been able to blog or visit as frequently, but I just try not to stay away for too long. Sometimes you just have to take a break.

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    1. Quanie, yeah, and I get tired of just staying home all the time and never seeing my family. Living so far away like they do means I've got to take long breaks once or twice a year.

      Lee

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  33. Over the last two years my blogging has taken a back seat as my life has changed in so many ways, at it's height my blog was attracting 22,000 page views a month, right now with minimal posting I'm around 16,000 so yes it hurts to cut back but those who like your style of writing will continue to read. Out of interest is 16,000 page views good or bad?

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    1. Caravan, I'm thinking that 16,000 page views per month is not bad especially if your posting is minimal.

      Lee

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  34. I did not really have blog traffic before the A to Z Challenge, but it makes sense that it would slow down in the summer. I think that's why I decided to use the summertime to test some different kinds of blog posts although I haven't really started that yet. Knowing that others are taking a break or slowing down is useful to a newcomer to the blogging community like me, so I can figure out my blogging schedule without disappointing my new followers who are also taking it easy.

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    1. Elizabeth, I tend to experiment a lot no matter when it is. If the crazy idea comes to me, I'm anxious to try it out. I think you're wise to test the experimentation out with the knowledge that you might not get an accurate reading as to how much it works.

      The main key is to visit other blogs to draw some traffic back to yours. It depends on how much traffic you are aiming for at your site, but visiting three blogs to get one reciprocal visit in return is probably accurate until you've established a regular community of readers for your blog. If you don't visit other blogs you're unlikely to receive many visits to your own site.

      Lee

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Lee