I’m trying to figure out what’s going on with my blog traffic. A year ago, on my self-hosted blog, I had awesome traffic and I was on an upward trajectory. Because of this, I was invited to join the Patheos Progressive blogging community. Lately, my traffic has been in a funk and I’ve noticed from my google analytics that search engines are driving the majority of my traffic even on days when I post a fresh post. Noticeably missing in action has been facebook.
I’ve had a few semi-viral posts recently, but I’ve been shocked at how tepid the response has been to my lower volume posts. Two years ago, I was getting more shares on posts where I went super-nerdy and included completely inaccessible things like Hebrew words written in the Hebrew alphabet. On the last couple of posts, I’ve shared them multiple times with excerpted portions, and several times, these posts haven’t generated any facebook likes at all, which makes me suspect they haven’t been seen by anyone. At least a third of my facebook friends became friends with me solely because of my blog so that doesn’t make any sense.
So I’ve been getting suspicious that facebook has mischievously set up its algorithm to hide content that it thinks I ought to be paying facebook to promote. I feed my blog through a facebook blog page in order to promote that page and then share from there to my personal profile and several groups. I noticed recently that facebook recently restricted sharing from a facebook page only to your personal profile, which got my suspicions up. I need to figure out a way to make facebook think I’m sharing cat pictures instead of semi-professional content. When I share goofy photos of my sons, I get hundreds of likes.What are other bloggers experiencing? Is the golden age of facebook blog-sharing a thing of the past? I suspect that a much higher percentage of readers are using smartphones now than a year ago. I’ve heard some grumbling in the past about the Patheos smartphone interface. Is that still an issue? Do any of my other readers have insights? I’m really puzzled about what’s going on. I used to bombard people with 4-5 posts a week. Now I’m down to about 2-3. I’m all ears if anyone has any suggestions for what to do when posts that seem accessible and timely just won’t get off the ground at all.