Updated April 6, 2016
In May 2015, my traffic plummeted. When I say “plummeted” I mean it dropped almost 40%. That’s significant. Traffic always fluctuates but I don’t remember a time when it dropped that much.
The bulk of our income comes from this blog and related projects. Our income is not tied only to traffic, but it’s tied nonetheless. Traffic’s down, income’s down. It’s a cause for concern.
There’s a fine line between concern and panic. My usual self leans heavily in the direction of panic.
What to do when your traffic drops
It’s important to act and make smart decisions. I tweak things and make changes, but a lot of the battle is in my mind.
The fact is, ultimate control is an illusion.
I tell myself what I tell my kids.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine generally freak out when something unexpected happens or things don’t go according to plan—a dish breaks, someone sees a little blood, a favorite toy gets lost or an anticipated event is cancelled. Oftentimes, various levels of weeping and wailing ensue.
I get that. As a parent, it’s a hiccup. As a kid, it feels huge.
Here are three things I tell them and when traffic tanks, I tell myself the same three things.
1. Most things in life are fixable
It’s not true of all things of course, but the majority of things can be repaired, replaced, revamped or redone. This is especially true in blogging.
2. Panic often leads to frantic
When I feel out of control or don’t know what to do next, it’s overwhelming. When I’m overwhelmed, it’s easy to panic. When I panic, it’s easy to become frantic. When I’m frantic, I often do things that are rash, reactionary and sometimes completely unhelpful. Take a step back.
3. I might be out of control, God never is
God is never shocked. He’s never taken off guard or thrown for a loop. He never says, “Oh shoot, I didn’t see that coming! Now what?” He never has to go back to the drawing board.
Use your brain
Given how much I say it, this phrase might be incorporated into my epitaph: “Use your brain.”
My kids have all gotten the same speech explaining that sometimes things happen in life that aren’t what we anticipate or expect. It’s perfectly fine to have an emotional response, but don’t let your emotion overwhelm your good judgement.
Encouraging them to “use their brain” means, “I hear you. You’re scared and that makes sense. Take a step back. Now look for a way out.”
So, note to self: Use your brain, Aim. Use your brain.