I just want to briefly talk about the amazing rollercoaster of emotions I, and others, experience when we pay attention to our website. I have 10 websites or blogs and a few I don’t have much time for lately. One is really annoying because I can’t be at HOME to review the web traffic. (That is a long, boring story.) I was at a coffee shop this morning and decided to take a few minutes and see what the web traffic was. This is a blog that I all but ignored after launching my surgery blog (to deal with all my emotions and learnings before and now after.)
I think I’ve posted twice in 3-4 months on that blog. So I almost gasped to learn that I have a steady stream of more than 200 VISITORS A MONTH! I gasped because that is a lot for an ignored blog, and I gasped out of guilt that I should be updating that puppy more since there are clearly people reading it.
While I should be excited, and I am a little, I’m feeling mostly GUILT about what I view as a pretty successful blog! (Success is extremely personal. People who blog full time and make good money have 25,000+ readers a month, so 200 is nothing.)
Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss. You can love or hate your website but don’t have to see the real facts to back up your emotion. I have had more run ins with bad webmasters and their victims (people like you.) Sometimes the victim doesn’t even know they’re a victim. Sometimes the interpersonal relationships with the webmaster are already so tense when I come in, things get worse. I validate the issues the therapist or educator has with their website and now the webmaster feels even more ganged up on and frustrated. Nobody enjoys having their work critized and webmasters aren’t fans of redoing everything they’ve already done. It’s not fun and it’s not a good use of their time when they could be building a NEW website and expanding their portfolio.
I also reflect on how people try to brag. Some people are amazing at keeping up customer emails and blasting out newsletters to their customers, drawing them back to their website. That’s fine but it’s cheating a little bit to say you get 1,000 visitors a month if 800 of those visitors are people you just came back because of a newsletter! If you need to entice people to come back that is a certain TYPE of traffic. It’s useful, it’s necessary, it’s great. But if I want to advertise on your site, am I getting roughly 1,000 new visitors a month, or am I getting the same 800 visitors every month? I’d make my decisions carefully. For YOU as the website owner, it may be awesome because you have 800 loyal customers who pay attention to everything you say. For you that is worth more than 1,000 unresponsive ‘web surfers’ who never return.
In the end, an email I get from a couple who loved a therapist on Marriage Friendly Therapist, or a therapist who just got a fabulous referral or their first referral as a new member of our website, or an email from someone glad to have found The First Dance and feels validated, those emails make all the work worthwhile. It’s a huge honor that my work is resulting in stronger marriages and helping therapists and educators trying to make a living helping others.