I could say it's been a while since my last post but not only does that sound terribly cliché, it's just a poor way to describe that it's been 7 months since my last post. Here is the part where I'm supposed to say I was busy, the kids were sick, things are hectic at work, blah, blah, blah. Well, I won't say all that. There have been a lot of things – very trying things – going on in my personal life and blogging has simply not been possible. I'm not sure how long it will be until things will settle back into a normal routine but, in the meanwhile, blogging will perhaps provide a pleasant distraction so here I am. I'm back.
During my absence, I have checked in every now and then just to publish any comments that visitors may have left and to keep an eye on my blog traffic. It's a little discouraging to see how bad things have gotten. After a lot of work and several years of blogging, I had built a site that was consistently drawing over 5,000 visitors each month. After so long a period of inactivity, that number has dropped to just over 3,000 per month (3,337 in the last 30 days). I could look on the bright side: over 100 visitors each day still sounds like a decent amount of traffic but I guess I'm just a “half empty” kind of guy. I want more people to hear my word (that is, God's word) and I maybe could have been at over 6,000 visitors by now if I had continued blogging. Now, no matter how much longer I might blog or how much I might grow my traffic, I will not be able to stop myself from thinking, “what could it have been if I hadn't taken seven months off?”
There are some people who regularly visit blogs. Once they find one they like, they will keep returning and reading new posts. After a while of no new posts, these regular visitors stop returning. I'm sure I've lost many of those. But even more than that, most of my visitors are people looking for specific information using search engines. These search engines (like Google or Yahoo) use the date of the material as one criterion to determine the order they display their results. That's why a search on something like “plane crash” shows recent crashes first as opposed to plane crashes from 5 years ago. By not posting new content, I lose visitors on the grounds of timeliness. Unfortunately, the amount of traffic is another criterion that search engines use so, as less people visit my blog, the less likely it is to show up on future results. It becomes a vicious cycle. Finally, the more content I add to my blog, the larger a target it becomes for search engines. Let's face it, the more I write about various topics, the more likely it is that I will include something that someone is looking for. My strategy then, is to write as often as possible. Hopefully, more content means more hits, more hits means more traffic, more traffic means better results in future searches, and more opportunities for people who stumble on to my blog to become regular visitors.
I've found that writing, like most other things, becomes easier with practice. For the last seven months, though, I've been out of practice. Even these few short paragraphs have been a struggle. I hope that it won't be long until I'm able to regularly post 2-3 times each week. Also, I'm not sure how good of a writer I've ever been but I would like to at least get back to the same level I was.
But I see that I'm saying, “blah, blah, blah.” I'm sorry to ramble on. Please keep me in your prayers. Please keep visiting. Thank you all in advance.