Confusing Your Blog Traffic by Way of Clutter

Picture 070This is my desk. See anything wrong with it? If you said no, then you’re right where I was. It would be more accurate to say, “right where I am,” but I’m trying to move in a more efficient direction. By the way, my wife sees much wrong in the picture.

If you said, “Hey mt, your desk is so cluttered and messy that I can’t make heads nor tails of what’s there,” then you’ve begun to move in the direction this post is carrying us.

Have you ever stepped back and pretended you are personally visiting your blog site for the first time? I know it’s hard because you’ve become so familiar with it, but remember, very few others spend even a fraction of the time there that you do.

This is why many successful bloggers suggest using a minimalist approach toward choosing what’s there when visitors come by.

By all means it’s very important to present content for consumption, but our tendency is to overload visitors with too much to do. As a matter of fact, one veteran blogger says, “If you give them too many options, they’ll choose none.”


Because WordPress gives us the ability to monitor what visitors are “clicking” on most, it’s relatively easy to weed out what’s not being hit on.

For instance, at our own personal site, we had a few “pages” that just sat there dormant averaging a “click” about once a month. Our primary purpose in added pages was to offer access to information about missionaries who the writers here  prayerfully support. We had to ask ourselves if these mission-oriented pages which are very important to us were suffering because of pages that were basically meaningless.

Another area to consider cleaning up is our beloved “link widget.” At one time, mine was growing so large with links to other blogger’s sites that you would think the only purpose of my site was to be the phone book of WordPress sites. Here’s the kicker. No one ever clicked on them to go visit these linked sites.

The other side of the link problem is that no matter how large the list grew, we always felt guilty because there were more who could be added. In the end we made the decision to replace all of these links with one imaged link to ChristianBlessings, a site where we also periodically post.

Some will think it mean spirited to have removed the links to all of our friend’s sites.

The truth is, this isn’t a cold and methodical action, but an effort to clean up, structure, and make a more accessible site page. It is to make a page inviting so that visitors can stop by and get a quick grasp of what we’re doing here, and hopefully not be overwhelmed by too much clutter. Links are a good thing (I’m pretty sure we’ll revisit them), but can easily get out of hand, don’t you think?

How do you make use of the space at your site? Does much activity take place on your added pages and links to other’s sites? For non-bloggers, any input as to your visits to sites with and without clutter? I’m told the right creation of a blog site is much more like an art than a science.

The cleanup seems to be coming together pretty well at RIHG. As for my desk, that’s another story all together.

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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20 Responses to Confusing Your Blog Traffic by Way of Clutter

  1. isaiah43123 says:

    Since I am a visual learner with a brain that operates like a library card catalog, I greatly appreciate a reader friendly site. Thanks for sharing the wonderful bits of advice on this topic and thanks to may commenters for their questions and suggestions. I’m beginning to look at my own sight from a different perspective.
    Keep the Faith!

  2. Pingback: Increasing Blog Traffic the Old Fashioned Way: It Still Works | Resting in His Grace

  3. Lyn Leahz says:

    BTW, I’ve never seen twenty ten look soooo good! Wow!

    • mtsweat says:

      You are very gracious… there’s a really funny reason why we’ve ended back at 20-10, but I figure it’s the makings for a post one of these days… once the dismay has passed. 🙂

  4. Lyn Leahz says:

    I always try to tell people that not only is content important, but readability. If you’ve got flashy colors, clutter, and glitz..well, many people don’t want to read. And when they allowed me to assist them and re do everything, their blog traffic increased.

    • mtsweat says:

      Wow here also Lyn! Thanks for the confirming word that these are valid suggestions. I trust that successful bloggers give us good information, but as the saying goes, proof will be in the pudding. We are very appreciative of any advice you offer along the way, good friend. Many blessings!

      • Lyn Leahz says:

        Well you’re so sweet! Thank you. Readability is the way to go. After all, what are people coming to your page for? To read. So you’re doing great! God bless you! And again, love the new look!

  5. Thanks for such an informative post! That makes me think – could it be that 3 of the pages I have should be taken out? I mean, they are for a good cause (Prayer Corner, a recovery page, and my poetry-writing business), but they don’t get many hits at all. Maybe for the prayer requests I post, should I just not post them anymore but pass them on to my friends in person, perhaps? I really would appreciate your help with this. Thanks! Debb

    • mtsweat says:

      Hi and a very hardy thanks for the interest in my post good friend. I must admit though, it’s difficult for me to answer for a couple of reasons. One, and the most important is that I’m also learning from some experienced bloggers, so I’m really passing along information as I read from some published works on traffic and also the help that the great people at WordPress offers. Second, because it really depends on what you’re going after… what you want to accomplish with your blog. What I mean is this. Our primary purpose for this blog has evolved into an opportunity to share how God is working in our world to carry the good news of His Son to lands where His name isn’t even known. For you, however, if prayer is of great importance, then you will want to have a prayer page available. Maybe a couple of suggestions. Remind your readers the page is there in posts you write. In the end, if I am following what these successful bloggers are saying, as traffic increases, we may be able to offer multiple attractions, but initially we need to decide what is most important to us and focus our attention there. Hopefully this is of a little help, more is to come. Many blessings to you and your efforts for our Lord!

  6. Marie says:

    If there’s to much on the site people will choose not to look at all. So true. I have created a separate page on my site for the blogs and blog hops I follow. It really cleans up the site and makes my posts readable. Nicely written. Thanks Marie

    • mtsweat says:

      That’s a fantastic idea! You have offered an answer to a dilemma that plagues me and I know others… to remove the links, takes away access for me to quickly hop over. As we progress, your advice will be used here also. Thanks and many blessings.

  7. shepherdscott says:

    Thanks for the very helpful information. As I begin to get more into blogging I am realizing that less IS more.
    I like the desk! A bit envious though in that you actually have some of the surface showing!

    • mtsweat says:

      Ha ha! Oh it was filled fully shortly after the photo. Hope some of these prove profitable for you good friend. Thanks for swinging by and blessings.

  8. Great Ideas, MT
    yes there are so many great blog out there praising the Lord and we want to share
    I love Christian Music and want to share the great songs
    Gotta Go and Clean up my site!
    God Bles

    • mtsweat says:

      Thank you greatly for the encouragement good friend! I have to confess some of these ideas are difficult to swallow, like removing links to places where friendships have developed. But, as your music is your passion, missions is ours over here, and we hope to encourage others with our words to prayerfully support this Christ-commanded action expected on our part. We’ll see where things go. Many blessings to you!

  9. “By the way, my wife sees much wrong in the picture.”

    My friend, methinks we must be married to the same woman! My desk, my entire office, my garage… in general, much of my personal life… is filled with clutter. While the central message of your blog deals with our websites, there is a much bigger message here… our cluttered lives.

    A simple example… In early February I started our tax return. I nearly finished. But… well, a few things got piled atop all my tax information. Then a few more. Then… well you get the picture. Most of it was junk!

    After a severe berating from my wife, I “unpiled” and finished our tax return in about 10 minutes… 2 months after beginning it.

    I have dozens of topics about which I want to write. In fact, I keep getting messages from “The Boss” that He wants me to cover this or that. Why haven’t I been writing? Well, you see, I had these taxes to do. And my notes were all mixed up in a pile with my tax materials. And looking at the pile was just overwhelming…

    This is just a small example… though important… of what happens when we allow our lives to become cluttered. “ALLOW” is an important word here. Each of us can make choices, do things to simplify and unclutter… and to both focus on what’s really important AND actually DO things.

    So, my friend,, using your desk as an example…. I’m uncluttering and simplifying… and focusing. Next step…. DOING!

    Your message here helps keep my on track.

    Shalom, Art
    Alive in The Word

    • mtsweat says:

      It is really great to hear from you my good friend Art! It is an answer to prayer to see you about and contributing again. We look forward to your inspiring words of our Lord and our Savior! Yes, the key term “allow” must be admitted here. The clutter is always our personal investment into an already overwhelming world. Can’t wait to see what comes from your pen. Blessings and Shalom!

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