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6 Reasons Your Blog Traffic Might Be Declining [And What to Do About It]

Posted By Darren Rowse 28th of April 2022 Blog Promotion, Featured Posts 0 Comments
6 Reasons Your Blog Traffic Might Be Declining [And What to Do About It]

Photo by Luismi Sánchez on Unsplash

I’ve read a few comments here on Problogger from bloggers who are feeling low because they’ve noticed a plateau or even a decrease in the traffic coming to their blog.

While we all want to see our traffic rise the reality is that every blog has days, weeks and even months where traffic levels out or even decreases. This can be quite distressing for bloggers who have big hopes and dreams for their blogs.

Today I’d like to look at some of the reasons a blog’s traffic might decrease and suggest some ways forward for each of them.

1. Seasonal Traffic

If you’re still in the first year of your blog you are yet to see what a full calendar year looks like in terms of traffic for your niche. Most niches have natural rises and falls in traffic.

For example (see below for a chart of visitor numbers) on my photography tips blog we see spikes in traffic in December and January. December’s traffic boost is generally to do with people researching new cameras to buy and January is generally associated with people working out how to use cameras that they got for Christmas. On the flip side we often see dips in traffic over August to October.


What to Do: The first time you see a seasonal rise or fall in traffic it can be quite confusing – however the key with it is to not panic when you see a dip but to identify opportunities to maximize the rises and to minimize the falls.

For example it might be that you need to tailor your content for certain times of year and what people are doing in relation to your niche.

For me on my photography blog this meant writing content in November-December on how to buy a digital camera (to capitalize on the Christmas buying trend), writing beginner photography tips in January (to capitalize on the trend of people looking for tips on how to use their new cameras) and during low seasons (like July when it’s summer in the US) writing topical tips like Beach Photography Tips or How to use a camera in the Bright Sun.

Another Tip – one great free tool for looking at seasonal traffic is to use Google Trends to analyze what people are searching the web for. For example if I type in ‘digital cameras’ I get this chart:


There’s lots of interesting stuff in this (the downward trend for starters) but it clearly shows what I’ve observed above – more people are searching the web for that term from November-December each year. This information could confirm a suspicion you have or help you identify a trend to capitalize on in your niche.

Further Reading: Seasonal Traffic and How to Capture it for your Blog.

2. Topical Interest

6 Reasons Your Blog Traffic Might Be Declining [And What to Do About It]

Chris Rock and Will Smith | CREDIT: ROBYN BECK/GETTY

At other times of year traffic events can be triggered by other current events. For example I know one entertainment blogger who has had a lot of traffic this past few weeks simply because they’d previously had a lot of content that ranked well in Google on Will Smith. Of course in coming months as the news of Will Smith’s bad behaviour at the Oscars subsides it’s likely that they’ll see some declines in traffic.

What to Do: The key with topical rises and falls in traffic is to try to capture as much of the rush of traffic as you can so that when the decline comes you’ve got new subscribers/readers to your blog (see further reading below on ‘sticky blogs).

It’s also important to be aware of upcoming events in your niche and writing content in anticipation of that. This can be hard in predicting the death of a mega pop star like Jackson but in different niches it’s possible to predict events.

For example – before the Athens Olympics I was involved in running a blog where we wrote a post in advance of the Olympics for every single event in the games. The posts included athletes names and any information we could get on the events. We updated the posts with results once they events had been run. As a result we were consistently ranking very highly for ‘Event name Results’ when people were searching for winners of events in Search Engines.

Further Reading: How to Create a Sticky Blog

3. Posting Frequency

6 Reasons Your Blog Traffic Might Be Declining [And What to Do About It]

Photo by Egor Vikhrev on Unsplash

One common reason for lulls in traffic is that a blog has had a lull in new content being published. I saw one blogger writing a post recently about how their blog was failing to gain traction and in the comments of the post a reader pointed out that the blogger had hardly been posting. The reality was that the blogger had produced very little to be read and so people were not visiting.

What to Do: Posting more doesn’t guarantee extra traffic but it can be a factor to consider. Chart your last few months of posts and see if there’s any correlation to rises and falls in your traffic – you might identify a trend!

Worth noting is that some bloggers report that when they post LESS that they actually get more traction with readers. I know of one blogger who was posting 10-20 times a day and when he dropped things back to 2-3 posts a day he noticed not only increases in comment numbers per post but that his posts were being shared more on social media sites. At 10-20 posts a day posts were coming off the front page of his blog so much that readers hardly had a chance to read and share them.

Further Reading: What is the Ideal Post Frequency for a Blog?

4. Shifts in Search Rankings

Many blogs see the way that they are ranked by Google (and other search engines) rise and fall over the years.  search-traffic-fall.png

A Personal Example – Back in 2004 (just before Christmas) I woke up one day to find that my main blog at that time had all but disappeared from Google. I’d not done anything to the blog that wasn’t allowed by Google and hadn’t made any major changes to the site – I just disappeared. My heart sank (actually I felt quite sick) because that blog was the main source of income from my blogging and 75% of my traffic had vanished.

The lull in traffic lasted about 6 weeks before it magically reappeared. In that time I got myself another job and diversified my blogging and learned a lot.

What to Do: Sometimes search engines change their algorithms and occasionally they seem to lose sites from their rankings for no apparent reason. The key with this type of loss of traffic is to not panic, make sure you’re abiding by Google’s guidelines (not selling text links or doing anything else considered to be black hat) and then  apply for re-inclusion using Google’s webmaster tools.This has happened to me a couple of times over the years and each time the traffic came back – it wasn’t quite as good as when it disappeared but things seemed to right themselves.

Further Reading: Search Engine Optimization for Bloggers

5. Poor Quality Posts

6 Reasons Your Blog Traffic Might Be Declining [And What to Do About It]

Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

Of course another factor to consider when looking at the traffic to your blog is whether you’re actually building a valuable site for readers and producing high quality, engaging and useful content.

This one can be a little confronting to think through and might take you getting an outsiders critique or feedback (sometimes it’s hard to be objective about something you’ve put so much work into). As I look back on my own blogging I know there have been definite times where traffic has suffered when I’ve struggled for inspiration as a blogger and where this has impacted the quality of what I was able to write.

On the flip side there have been times where I’ve been inspired to write series of posts that have connected with readers and helped them in practical ways which has driven a lot of traffic to my sites.

What to Do: Ask yourself (and others around you):

  • Are You Being Relevant and Useful to Readers?
  • Is your blog helping your readers by providing them with value, solving their problems, entertaining them or giving them a sense of community?

If the answer is no then it is likely to impact the number of people reading it.

Further Reading: How to Write Great Blog Content

6. Promotional Activities

6 Reasons Your Blog Traffic Might Be Declining [And What to Do About It]

As I look at some of the rises and falls in traffic to my blogs I know that some of them can be directly tied to my own marketing and promotion of my blogs (or the lack of promotion that I’ve done).

Writing great content doesn’t guarantee a blog’s success. You can’t just build it and expect that ‘they will come’. Sometimes you need to get out there and promote yourself.

Perhaps the lull in traffic on your own blog is partly to do with taking your foot off the accelerator in your own marketing.

What to Do: This means different things for different blogs but could include investing into social media sites like Twitter, promoting your posts to other bloggers, networking with other bloggers, running a competition on your blog, leaving comments on other blogs and forums, guest posting on other sites, doing promotions in main stream media, doing some giveaways….. etc

Further Reading: How to Find Readers for Your Blog.

Keep Moving Forward – Don’t Give Up

There are many other potential factors that could be at play (I invite you to share others below) but the key is to not be paralyzed by the declines and plateaus in traffic that you experience but to spend a little time trying to identify the reasons and then keep on motoring on with your blog.

You can see from the first chart above that my photography blog has had quite a few months where traffic has plateaued and dipped – but I’ve kept to the vision that I have for the site and continued to keep working. A decrease in traffic from one month to the next is not pleasant but it’s not the end of your blog. If I’d allowed the dips to determine whether I’d keep blogging or not I’d probably have lasted 2-3 months on that blog and failed to see it grow to the point that it has.

If you’re serious about building an audience for your blog and want to supercharge your traffic ProBlogger’s Find Readers Course will give you the roadmap and guide you through 6 clear steps to find readers.

How to Use Advertising to Promote Your Blog

This article was first published on July 15, 2009 and updated April 28, 2022.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Great advice as always. I have been maintaining my blogs with fresh and valuable content so that my audience will not dwindle, also, I will certainly incorporate your advises and tips. Thanks!

  2. Off topic but I like the way Darren has the bottom of his posts set up with the social media buttons on the left and the related posts on the right.

    Does anyone know where I can get a plugin like that?


  3. I am struggling to get good traffic to my Racing Social Network and blog site. Thanks for this good information and I’ll put it work.

  4. Great post! I’ve had my blog since 2006 and posted daily for a full year. When I decreased my posts, I definitely saw traffic decrease as well. I went back to daily posts on Jan 1. I think people form habits around visiting their favorite blogs and like knowing there will consistently be a new post whenever they visit. Thanks for the insights!


  5. Great Review and explanation, sometimes i targed hot topic to get traffic for my blog, i will try google trends.

  6. Hi great blog! I read quite a few of your postings.
    I have heard of Google Trends before.
    I haven’t try it yet. I just started my first blog, and that totally skipped my mind. Anyway I guess my blog topic shouldn’t have any seasonal trend.

  7. I only make post in my blog which may be helpful for my blog reader. I can not post in forum frequently as I do not get much time.

  8. Moving out to promote one’s site can be challenging. Maybe it would be easier to do that online. I also have 2 other blogs that experience seasonal traffic but it’s understandable since the site is based on seasonal niches.

  9. Trends are great to follow especially when big news hits, although sometimes traffic from various events aren’t your targeted traffic, would you say that is good or bad?

  10. You have done it again Darren,another quality post.Seasonal traffic is very important to consider as you say you see more traffic in december due to people researching on cameras to purchase.

  11. Overall….

    it’s summer. Folks are on vacation and out enjoying the sun. The kids are off for summer. And, the mommy bloggers are busy.

  12. Content matters more than the frequency of posting. Your survey is great and I hope it will surely help the bloggers.

  13. Yes you are right mike, content is matter than frequency of post, When I post some useful and long content, google rank me for that post.

  14. Decline & rise in traffic is very normal but the most important thing is to go on & on blogging with unique & latest content. Thanks Darren for a great blog.

  15. I think its very important to be updated about the world to write a blog, you can insure a regular flow of traffic to your blog as readers will build an interest in your blog. As you are giving your readers what they want. Thanks Darren

  16. Thanks for a really informative article! Your content rarely suffers in my view.

  17. Great post with some great ideas into why traffic could be disappearing. One trend I notice with my blog is that most my readers come at the beginning of every week. Knowing this, I have tried to concentrate my best posts on Mondays and Tuesdays. Trends and metrics are very important to notice for every business, especially online businesses since it is so easy to see exact numbers for everything we do. Thanks for the great ideas.

  18. 123Triad says: 07/24/2009 at 11:48 am

    One of the reason is , there are just too many blogs

  19. Hi Darren,
    Thanks for the information on how to increase traffic to my blog. It was quite helpful.


    Dee Davis

  20. Nicely said there.Never thought in that angle. Made a point for myself today reading this post. Thanks for writing this.

  21. Mine low traffic levels are usually in times when my latest content was posted 48 hours ago. Content freshness is something readers are after.

  22. What people talks about more each day can be your subject too. To bloggers, traffic is a need because it declares your power as a writer and soon it drives you into business. And like what was posted in here, there are choices and reasons on how to increase your traffic of do something about your readership.

    Check this site for more information on traffics.

  23. Hey,

    I have been reading your tips for increasing traffic on one’s blog and other marketing and promoting tips.

    But, I have not been able to understand one thing here. How can one increase traffic (or increase visits) if the blog is new and most of the people actually do not know that my blog exists. I have lots in terms of updating search engine, getting ping-shots, etc.

    My only question is how to let a the traffic know that I also exist on the blog.

    With I also want to say that your tips really work, at least with me they worked very well. But I only see one disconnect, as I have already described above.

    Do let me (and all of us) know how to tackle this.

  24. Maintaining a blog is a tedious job! it s like holding a stone with a long rope hanging doen, you stop pulling it up, it will stall and then will go down.
    so as far as my blogging experience is concerned, i have to update it daily, on a regularly basis, if i miss a day, it really goes little down next day!

  25. Thank you for your valuable tips, i am newbie in the world of blogging, i am working on your given lines, will update you soon, how much they work for me, wish me luck.

  26. Thanks for another informative post Darren. Completely agree with your comments about Seasonal Traffic – my blogs usually have big dips during August. This August I hope to reverse the tide by posting more and generally post better quality (i.e spend more time on researching and developing each post).

  27. I know there would be up and down with the traffic and I do all I can to make sure that the gap isn’t too wide. The truth is I get a lot of seasonal traffic from time to time.

  28. Bang on! Point 3 is the most crucial point.

  29. Fantastic ideas to take precautions before the website traffic drops. I appreciate problogger!

  30. Amazingly, came over to Problogger.net specifically because I was worrying about a drop in traffic and an absence of reader comments–though nothing so drastic as other commenters here have noted.

    Suspected the problem had something to do with the dog days of summer — two known “loyal readers” have said on their own sites that they’re vacationing; a third is selling her house and moving across the country. But that doesn’t explain no comments from several thousand readers/day, or the dropoff from June traffic.

    So many links and links to links here–I will take the time to read as many of these as possible. Already found several good ideas. Thanks so much!!

  31. Hmm..thank you for your tips, and i must keep moving.. to make better blog. :D

  32. person should use other keyword tools to see the seasonal hike or drop in the keywords

  33. Some great information here. It can be frustrating when you see your traffic decline.
    Thanks for the tips


  34. HI

    That has to be the best blog post I have ever read! I have taken so much from it, that I can apply to my new blog!

    I am just starting out, and although I am tryign to make a living online, this blog is more about social proof, and branding myself!

    Do you think a blog can achieve those goals?

    Again, great post!

    David Chamberlain

  35. Thanks for the insightful posts, I really love reading what you provide and it’s great because my blog goes up and down depending on what’s happening in the world so its good to know how to deal with it

  36. these are all great tips. I think there are times of the year where traffic is not going to be as good as other times.

  37. I think that the key to all of this is consistency. This post contains some very useful strategy for keeping traffic coming to your blog. However, if you are not doing all of them consistently, over a long period of time, you will not see results. Always be consistent in your efforts and monitor your progress. Adjust as necessary, but be consistent!

  38. Its sounds so true and one wonders why one forgets. Quality seems to be the name of the game. I am sad to hear about Michael Jackson, and there has been a slight temptation to include his name somehow in my blog, but I avoided doing so, I thought it would be best to let the King of Pop rest in peace. I guess I focus on feeling passionate about what I do in my blogs. I try to deliver the same quality of content that I would like to read myself. So I really enjoyed reading this article as it helped me to see how much further I can do.

  39. Hi
    My blog traffic is at zero at the moment, but reading your post is encouraging. I will follow your tips and try to make a better blog. Thank you for all the useful advice


  40. Very interesting. What mostly made me a bit curious is the sudden loss of traffic. I’ve suffered such a thing at one of my websites but it was mainly due to topical interest(second point). It really seems that once you do get traffic by google and search engines, news really count on how fresh they are and i’ve confronted that.

  41. This was a very timely post for me. I am definitely having a summer slump. My primary business always slows down in the summer, I just had not thought about the fact that my blog would too.

    Last summer was my first year of blogging, and I was on a steady rise, so I didn’t experience the dip. This year, i had such a strong spring, especially when I was doing your 31DD program, that the summer dip was really frightening!

    Now I just have to figure out how to get those small busienss owners, with major summer fever to start reading again.

  42. Amazing tips !!

  43. good post really this is full of knowledge and practical ideas

  44. I do not get what all of the hubbub is over text link ads. Selling text links is a form of advertising, a way for websites to advertise themselves, and for website owners to earn advertising revenue. Website owners have to make money somehow, and selling “ads” on their website is one such way. Does Google not want people to make money?

  45. More competition pulls away users/pageviews too. There is a lot more competition in the blog-o-sphere than there was 5 years ago. And thanks to Darren, they know what they are doing ;-)

  46. I keep finding little nuggets of wisdom to apply to my sites. Thanks for the help, Frank from Panic Away and The Linden Method

  47. I have found when my blog is updated daily there is almost an increase in search traffic as if google appreciates the fresh new content. When I am updating my blog just a few times a week I notice a drop off effect.

    What stood out for me is the posting of more than 2-3 times a day. First, I realize I could not post enough meaningful content to have enough to say more than 1-3 times a day. I would imagine that if I were sending out 20 posts a day they would be poorer quality.

    One rss feed I subscribe to though has about 40,000 readers and small frequent posts are sent out. I have a feeling it is solely to gain adsense clicks.

  48. Excellent summary and great tips!

    Kristine Maveus-Evenson

  49. Nice tips. I also find that sometimes time needs to go by where search engines start to recognize your increased blogging. Definitely blogging within your niche (what you want to be or are an expert at) helps.

  50. Shifts in Search Rankings

    My blog is 5 months old and i update it with every European competitive game ( Posting highlights of the game)

    and just 2 weeks ago i started getting traffic from google.com but after 1 week i lost all my traffic from google its almost two 0……because my new post are not getting ranking……

    i hope that is just a “shift in search engine” and traffic will be back soon……..

    but im not sure what i do wrong to loss all the traffic…..All about the beautiful game

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