So, here’s a challenge… I have a site where I’m sharing all the lessons I learned about traveling to and from Paris. It’s called Paris – In and Out.
I used to have a job that took me to Paris, France, a couple of times a year. I learned a whole lot about how to get in and out of Paris “with minimum pain and maximum gain”, in the space of a few years. After I left the company, my thought was to get the info out there, so others can benefit, as well. I also didn’t want all that knowledge to just evaporate.
What a waste that would be.
So, I started blogging about it. And then I had some ideas for books. And courses. Life, of course, is always interesting with the spanners it throws in your works, plus I have a ton of interests, so my real-life travels took me in different directions over the past nine months — with the net result being this:
I started out relatively strong in July of 2014, and I seemed to be picking up steam… then things tailed off in August, for some reason. September through November were slooow months, with things at work getting very hectic. Then traffic picked up in December, for some reason. January was a big month — perhaps because I not only posted a bunch of content, but I also cross-posted to Facebook and LinkedIn.
February I got seriously sidetracked by the constant storms and snow — that mess ate up a bunch of my time and energy and left me pretty wiped out after all the shoveling and roof raking, so I didn’t have much energy left to blog about flying to Paris. Then I got back into the swing of things in March. April is lagging again. The month is half over, and I’ve gotten all of 14 views. Woo hoo.
I would very much like to jump-start this again. Honestly, I need to bump up my traffic, get the word out there, so on and so forth. 319 visitors in a month as a high point is obviously not stellar — I know better, and I’ve actually done better in other web situations. But that experience is not showing up in my stats here.
So, let the lessons commence. Boosting traffic to your site is not rocket science. It’s really more about consistency, than anything else. That, and knowing where to put your attention and efforts. And my Paris travel site is probably an excellent test case for figuring out the details — finding what works, and what doesn’t.
I do know this: Building a solid web presence takes discipline and consistency, and if you don’t choose the right path, right off the bat, you can end up spending a ton of time and energy on something that doesn’t pan out in the end. The online world is rife with stories of people who chose the wrong path, from the get-go. They decided to make and sell something that nobody actually wanted. They thought in terms of “Field of Dreams” — so long as they built it, people would come.
But they never checked if what they were building actually met a need, to start with.
I’m guilty of the same sort of thinking. I’ve done it myself, a number of times over the past 20 years. And I learned very quickly that if you don’t produce something that people actually want, your efforts aren’t going to pay off nearly as well as you expected them to.
So here’s the reboot of my approach. Targeted content. Informed choices about what to write and publish. Data-driven. A continuous learning experience which I hope benefits others as much as myself. Despite my background in all things web, I’m as human as the next person and I always have a lot to learn.
So let the Paris Travel Site re-boot commence.