Concerning Blogs, Websites, Hosts, Search Engines, SEO, Subscribers & Email
A Message To Our Blogging Followers
If you are a blogger, and I know a number of our followers are, this is information that you may find interesting. Our life is travel, it’s what we do and our hope was to share insights with friends and fellow travelers. From the very beginning of our blog we were very frustrated by search engine results. It never seemed right that a specific travel topic search on Google would return three or more pages of nothing but Trip Advisor results with maybe a Frommers, Travel and Leisure or Lonely Planet thrown in (lately things seem to be changing a bit for the better with Google). If we could find our site in the results it was way back after page thirty or more.
I know we are only drops of water in an ocean but I believe the ocean is growing exponentially lately.
OUR BLOGGING STORY
For the past few years we have been sharing our travel experiences and ideas on this website. In that time we have been fortunate to acquire a few followers and are encouraged by the support we’ve gotten. This site is first and foremost a hobby and we used WordPress.com as our hosting service starting out with a no cost plan. The one area that has caused us problems is their policy on information regarding “followers”. Currently we have hundreds of followers without access to their email addresses. We believe that this WordPress policy is to prevent customers from changing hosting services after using their free service and taking their followers list with them.
While we have now started using an email service (Mailchimp) to take charge of our subscribers and followers there is still a major problem. We cannot gain access to literally hundreds of followers email information from the past few years. Without that access we cannot consolidate followers and subscribers into a single directory and will not be able to switch to a new hosting service without leaving many behind.
A HISTORY OF FAILED ATTEMPTS
About a year ago we tried starting a web site with a paid service and completely duplicated our Wordpress.com site on this new hosting service (Bluehost). We did this with three goals in mind. First it offered us a large selection of tools (plugins) for creating web pages. Second, it promoted a suite of SEO tools that we thought would be useful in further growing our family of followers. Third it gave us significant room for growth (over 20 times more storage).
Over a few months we made a number of attempts to get our blogger followers on the original site to subscribe on our new site. A couple of months later we had only about a dozen out of a few hundred follow us. Additionally, the new site, with its SEO support, after almost a year, never exceeded traffic reached on this original site at only three months and this site continues to grow.
I had an independent service examine the two sites and they reported that this, our original site, had literally thousands of search terms registered with Google and Bing search engines while the new fully indexed and “search optimized” site had less than thirty after eleven months. This resulted in an average of only one or two search referrals in a week on the new site compared to the free site currently having hundreds of search results in the same period.
I had a number of discussions with experts and they all said that these results made no sense. I have my own theory but the bottom line is, in my opinion, the internet is still growing exponentially and it is becoming increasingly difficult to duplicate even last years results today.
Growth in visitors and page views gets more search results producing more visitors and page views and a growing feedback loop. How do you get the loop started. During those first two years of editing this site and posting we had no SEO options except reading articles and adding words to the tags box. A year with the Bluehost duplicate site with getting consistent high marks for SEO produced literally nothing?
I COULD USE YOUR HELP
I’m really interested in your experiences with traffic and if you have similar results? Please let me know by commenting or emailing us at Intend2Travel@gmx.com and if you could, we would greatly appreciate you following us below so we can rebuild our mailing list outside wordpress.com.