Here’s a case study about my blog I learned the hard way. I lost 50% of my RSS feed subscribers in one day. 50% – ONE day. For absolute numbers that was a loss of about 197 subscribers. But at the same time my site visits are up 30% from a month ago. Go figure. I am getting a lot of new visitors and my existing audience (community centric) is probably leaving is my guess at this point.
What changed and some possible explanations (still digging for details)
1. Focus on the audience: This blog primarily use to cater to community managers and interested observers in social networks when I started. Over the last 2 months it has tried to expand too quickly to people in marketing, social networking and about anyone in technology for that matter. I think I forgot I was writing for an audience as opposed to writing for myself and a few very good friends.
2. Lack of strong editorial oversight: Since I control the blog, I pretty much talked about what ever I wanted to. Not sure when my subscribers decided that was not they signed up for originally. Posts on marketing, Google phone and other things that interested me were all game for me. My audience probably felt otherwise.
3. Frequency of posting: Has increased significantly since when I find good information and I post it. That has meant the # of posts went from one a day to close to 2-3 including del.icio.us tags. For a lot of people that’s too much to digest in a day. I used to think this is a positive (frequent posting), but you can use this reason both ways is what I learned.
4. Lack of “attention span” among readers: There are way too many options now: facebook, twitter, other very good and well written blogs, so I really doubt anyone is able to keep up. Something’s gotta give.
5. Not good enough content: I hate to admit this to myself, but I may have to look at it again. At the end of the day I firmly believe that if you have great content, you win. If not, people will ignore it. Compared to some of the excellent content that exists on other blogs, I may have to admit, this blog is a nice to have.
6. Turned off comments: Not sure if this had an impact, but I turned off then on again comments a week ago. I have heard from several folks that a “blog” is not a blog without comments. So for the record, comments are back on.
Not sure of other reasons, but I’m sure there are others. Drop me a line if you unsubscribed so I could learn why. firstname.lastname@example.org
Update Nov 4: 8:30 PM Pacific. Here’s why my subscriber count went down. Thanks for all the email’s of support BTW.