I messed up this blog from the beginning, when I chose a domain name for it. Originally conceived as a home for my CV, why didn’t I include my name in the url? After that little oversight, I decided to add a blog to my pages and see if I could generate some traffic. That’s when I started compounding my errors.
I’m not sure what compelled me to add dates to my blog urls, but that’s what I did. I do know why I started trying to generate referral traffic by writing on Hub Pages, though. I didn’t like Ezine Articles, but fell for the line that article directories were the best way to attract traffic. Well, they aren’t.
Blogging on what was meant to be a site reserved for potential clients never sat right with me, either. I always had them in the back of my mind when I wrote blog posts, but at the same time, clients weren’t my intended readers.
Adding affiliate links wasn’t a mistake, because I like the products I advertise here. However, I’m not trying to sell anything but my writing services to my potential clients, so having ads on the same site I had my CV on made me feel like I was sending mixed messages.
In a nutshell, my website was depressing me, so I decided to do something about it.
I started by going to my permalink settings and changing them from date and title to just title. I knew that was going to make a mess of things, so I followed up by installing a 404 Redirect plugin.
The next thing I did was head over to HubPages for the first time in nearly a year and go through the long process of unpublishing all my “hubs” and requesting to close my account. It was a liberating experience. I don’t care whether they call themselves “communities” or not — article directories exist to sucker people into giving them free content while they reap the lion’s share of the financial rewards.
Next, I went to Bluehost and created a subdomain — rob-schneider.writing-resources.org. After copying and pasting my CV and related pages on there and updating them, I went back to Bluehost and created redirects from their pages here to there and then deleted them from this blog. The experience was somewhat akin to seeing the clouds part and a choir of angels sing. Not quite, but it did feel good.
Finally, I changed my theme. There’s one I want to buy, but I have a rule: I only pay for things that my affiliate revenue earns and this month, my revenue went towards renewing my hosting account. I like the Mantra theme I switched to, though. It’s not as busy as the old one and makes reading my blogs easier.
For a few days, I was getting a lot of “page not found” traffic, but that’s already leveled off. I’m no longer getting referral traffic from Hub Pages and hopefully my bounce rate will improve this month. To my surprise, my traffic has only dipped slightly.
So that’s how to mess up a WordPress blog and how to get over it. If you have a niggling feeling something’s wrong with your blog, I highly recommend fixing it sooner rather than later. It’s given me a new lease on blogging life and really didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would.