Blogging Blunder


I bet there are a lot of blogging blunders out there…

but one I did last year set GWGT back for a few months. When I took time off from blogging for almost two months due to health reasons and then some travel, it put a small dent in readership. Only since February, has readership gotten back on the upward swing. Even when not blogging, quite a few views were tallied, but from September (down by 50%) through January (only 80% of the previous year) GWGT was on a slight decline. 😦

Part of the reason was not being searched as often. Google must forget about a blog if new content is not happening frequently. Come February, GWGT and Nature and Wildlife Pics gained upward momentum again, surging far head. Google was back on my side! Now both blogs are doing better than any month last year which really is quite a surprise.


A lot of bloggers when facing illness or surgery, post about every detail all the time. If they face depression, the posts make the rest of us depressed as they describe the ordeal. I really preferred to stop posting until most of my multiple tests were completed and I was feeling well enough to get back in the swing of things. I really was trying to get healthy for my travel to Eastern Europe.

To each his own I guess, but to stop blogging was not a great idea either since viewership decline went well past my return to blogging.

It took a lot of work to get back the momentum I left in August 2014. Better option would have been posting some of the more popular posts – a “best of ” series. If I take another break come September, I will surely keep content uploading.

I did like the break though, even though there was loads to post, I just did not feel like saying it. When one is sick, not a lot else matters.


Anyway, speaking of blogging and now that GWGT is again raking in the searches, some really strange ones have been popping up. This week:

  • do teasels take over in Maine gardens
  • south florida small black bird with yellow beak
  • plants suited for hell strips in texas
  • common birds of manitoba
  • grden clubs lewiston idaho (their misspelling, not mine)
  • Wisconsin bird speckled long beak funny walk
  • what british bird has a call that sounds like ‘okey dokey’?

Just to name a few yesterday. They must think I garden and bird everywhere!

I have to admit getting ideas from what people search to find GWGT. No, I am not hopping a plane to Wisconsin, but it does perk my interest what bird they could be looking for since many migrating birds will hit both states. Sometimes I wish I could just answer their questions since I know some of the answers. This sparks a new post because there will always be people making the same searches.


Since GWGT is doing well – (better than me for the most part), I hope that means readers like what they are reading and are finding pertinent information when searching. Thanks for reading.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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42 Responses to Blogging Blunder

  1. You have a great blog and wonderful photographs!

  2. Beautiful photographs!

  3. It’s tough being a one-person enterprise. I’m trying to have a few timeless posts on hand in case an emergency comes up so I don’t have to skip an issue. But I like your idea of doing a best-of series. You could write an introductory paragraph and then link back to three posts on migratory birds, or three posts on taking pictures in your garden, or three posts with inspiration for autumn gardens. Even if readers have seen those posts before, they don’t have them memorized. And grouping posts on a certain topic that you might have done in different years can be very helpful to readers. Great idea!

    • I always have posts in the hopper, but when I am away on travel I use them. I never thought about when getting sick. I had that horrendous upper respiratory illness that kept me in bed for a lot of that time. So many people got it on the cruise I was on and then I got it again. My friend had it for over a month too. Tests were for another issue I have and I could not even get to the doctor’s office for them because the flu-like illness with high fever was so severe. No medicine helped either, nor did trips to a doctor for it. I figured out how to have posts for next time something like this happens. Your suggestions are very helpful. I thought it helpful to others to know just dropping the blog for that long was not such a good thing to do. Getting readers back became a wait and see kind of thing. I thought I really made a big mistake, but it worked itself out.

  4. alesiablogs says:

    I think Connie above has a great suggestion! I do wonder about that WI bird too!! Hum

  5. Ha! That’s a great reminder to view what people search for on your blog. Believe it or not, that Wisconsin bird search wasn’t me (at least I don’t recall searching for that). 😉 I’m glad to hear things are going well for you, Donna. GWGT will always be one of my favorite blogs. 🙂

  6. Cathy says:

    I had to take a health related hiatus and experienced the same thing…. I also found it hard to get back into the groove of things once I started feeling better.

    Donna, I’m wishing you well and hope you are feeling better. I surely did miss your biog while you were away!

    • Exactly! I was lucky though I had taken a few trips that provided easy to do posts until I started in on the gardening posts which take more time than travel posts generally. I have been feeling better and my doctors are all ones I like and I think they know what they are doing. One made a diagnosis that was right on and after thirty years of having this issue, I was grateful for now two pieces of my health puzzle. One more to go, then the medicine they prescribe will do wonders for me.

  7. bittster says:

    Donna I hope your health is on the upswing and you continue to feel well enough to blog for a long time! I always enjoy your photos and posts.
    Interesting observations about the numbers. Im always checking out the view numbers for my own blog since I think it’s fascinating that people are actually curious about the same things I am, but I don’t think I’ve ever done a post specifically to draw searches or keep the blog active. It’s strictly a hobby and a log of whatever strikes my fancy garden wise. I’m pretty sure I’m my own blog’s number one reader, especially during the months of January and February!
    So what drives the numbers game in blogging for you? Is it a bigger audience for your photography or just plain old competitiveness 🙂

    • It is finally. It took many years for them to find out what was wrong, so now I am in the homestretch. The numbers on GWGT just plummeted. Not at first in September, but after that it was a downward slide. I thought January would be good because every year it is one of my best months. People just like those snowy photos. This year with eagles I thought it would jump right back, but not really. February came and it was like a miracle happened. I did not do anything different, but it just got better. February usually is a crappy month.

      I don’t do posts to pander to searches either, but some of them just get clicked on constantly. If I would know that ahead of time, I would have made those posts even better. You just never can tell. It is funny you said you are your blog’s number one reader. I know that is not true. I don’t think I miss many of your posts. Many are funny and entertaining.

      I guess I like to see an increase in readership. I am one that would not be blogging if I did not have readers. I know some say that does not matter, but to me it does. I like connecting with people. A couple bloggers are good friends now, people I visit. You can’t beat that! As for the photography, I do like that viewers like my photos, but sometimes it can be frustrating when the images get stolen. I just started using watermarks on better images. Stealing has gotten out of hand. I am competitive in sports and was at college, but not in blogging. Even though GWGT does well, it is so different than other blogs in its content. I started out all design in gardening, but got bored too quickly. I always said GWGT is eclectic and that is what drives its success.

      • bittster says:

        What a great response Donna!
        I am surprised by your ups and downs of readership. I suppose new posts drive so many of the views and it would seem there is a big drop off when these are missing, but when you think about how many people still visit to look at past material and enjoy what you’ve posted previously, I know you must feel good about that!
        I used to be one of those who say I don’t care about views, and actually when I first started I got nervous that anyone would look at what I thought were too-personal posts… but I got over that! Now I think I’m like you. I really enjoy connecting with people, and treasure the friendships I’ve made. I used to garden alone, but now it’s such a nice experience to have people to share and bounce ideas off of, and I’m sure it’s a similar experience with you and your larger range of topics.
        I just wish I had more time for it all!

  8. ha.. ‘a hell strip’ ? it is interesting to spend time on the search page!

    i enjoy every post you make on both blogs, and it’s my loss that my internet drags unless i’m staying at hostals… you find out who the true pals are for sure, but it is strange how some times the readership is mysteriously low…

    maybe they’re all in the gardens admiring flowers and birds!

    • Thank you, Z. WP shows the searches right on the site stats page so it is easy to see. I just look at the ones that show there and don’t look at the long list under other sources. That would be time consuming. I always click when readers leave comments, but I get to your blog through the reader quite a bit. I try to check it everyday, but not always. Most days the viewership is pretty consistent on GWGT. It never gets less than 500 views and I consider that a very bad day. In September, that was around the daily numbers. I am just glad to have bounced back. I am out admiring birds quite a bit. We are so far behind in the season and I am waiting for the migrating birds to pass through. I hope I don’t get so into the gardening that I miss it.

  9. The poppies are astonishing!

  10. I love your photos especially the birds cos they are so different from ours and love your gardens too! Hope you feel better soon, I’m sure people will come back to read again… 💐

  11. Annette says:

    I always enjoy popping in here, Donna, and why would you care if numbers drop slightly. I have reduced my blog posts because I just don’t have enough time and I feel my hubby, family and myself do come first. Blogging is about fun and not martyrdom 😉 Keep up the good work – we love your work!

    • Thank you. I too feel family comes first, just like my health. If viewership drops it is fine when it is not the posts being written, it is just that Google plays a big part. For instance, my eagle posts should have brought the numbers back to normal, but did not. Now the eagle posts are being searched which tells me it was much to do with not being searched at that time. Plus it is better to go up rather than down.

  12. You do have some fantastic photos. And your information is really interesting. I now schedule posts which you helped me with, so that if for any reason I can’t post that day, at least I do have something going live. And yes, I do check to see what the top searches are. It just keeps me on the right track. Take care

    • The searches are really helpful. Good you are scheduling. Mine always are on schedule, so I may not see a post for a day or so. I try to schedule every 2-3 days. I read that somewhere a long time ago that that is a good frequency. I go longer when I am out of town though.

  13. Donna, I do hope you are feeling better and your health continues to improve. You are smart to have posts scheduled while you are away. Since I started homeschooling my youngest two boys I haven’t had the time to dedicate to blogging as I had in the past as a result my readership has plummeted significantly. Partly because I don’t have time to read other blogger’s posts and I don’t have new content on a regular basis. I always enjoy your posts and make it a point to visit here when I get time. I know you have a different platform for your blog but I am curious where you go to see what key word searches people do on your blog.

    • I am improving quite a bit. The Flu-like problem that lasted almost 2 months is finally gone. Now dealing with a problem i have had for over twenty years, so they can get the meds right. I do visit when a blogger comments, so I could easily miss a post of yours if I don’t see you in a while. I know how it is, not with kids, but work and taking care of the house and garden. Time just slips away so fast. WP has it on the stats page. A click gives a very long list for the day, but the part they show changes during the day, so if I see the Stats page more than once, I get quite a few to see.

  14. Victor Ho says:

    Gee I hope all is well. I knew and followed your travels. But I was not aware you were not well. All the best.

  15. Those are some odd searches. I am still a little mystified by what generates views. I should look more regularly at the searches in order to come up with ideas for posts. However, yours is unquestionably one of the outstanding garden and nature blogs out there.

  16. debsgarden says:

    You don’t know the Okey Dokie British bird? Your blog is wonderful, always full of great content and fabulous photos. I enjoy checking out searches that end up on my blog. You are right in that bloggers must keep rolling out the content to keep up viewership. When I had my hip replaced and had a very bad complication, I tried to continue to post regularly. I have my own rule: Don’t complain! (which I have broken on occasion!) I like your idea of posting a “best of” series!

    • They got to a post I had that in the title. I never thought it would drop so fast because views were great into September, then it went down. So there must be a period of time for inactivity to start losing ranking in search. I learned a good lesson. It must have been difficult posting after a hip operation – so much pain. I would have stopped then too. The best of series should do the trick, next time. You are right not to complain. I read one blogger that did a lot of complaining and blamed the viewers. How crazy is that? It was my fault and no one else’s so there was no blame on viewers, plus with an average of 500 views a day at that time starting at the end of September, there was nothing to complain about. It just dropped quite a bit and I am glad to be back again with good numbers.

  17. I wondered what the fall out might have been, but really your health is most important and people should understand….glad things have gotten better with stats since coming back and folks finding you again….you were missed.

  18. A.M.B. says:

    I missed your posts back then, but taking care of your health is so important. Yours is one of the most prolific blogs I know (and you have more than one blog!). It’s hard to put out new content all the time. I don’t post nearly as often as I used to, but I try to have at least 1 new post per week. It’s been too hard to blog actively with everything else going on in my life right now.

  19. Glad you are back in the blogging world. It is amazing that a few months can make such a difference.

  20. Jennifer says:

    I had a similar page views “crash” when I took a month off (October 2013) when my husbands parents were sick. Both his parents passed within a month and blogging seemed so unimportant. Traffic came back to then normal levels by January, but the graph of my stats has a deep gully in October 2013.
    Hope your health issues are sorted. Are you looking forward to Toronto? I will have to watch your camera work in action. I am sure I could learn a thing or two.

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