It was 17 December 2004 and my dream was falling apart, right before my eyes.
I had just celebrated the 2nd anniversary since I started to blog and I was on the tipping point of my part-time earnings becoming a full-time income.
I’d quit my only other employment to devote 100% of my time to blogging and had recently started ProBlogger to share what I knew about blogging for money. I had just been interviewed in a national paper about my business and all in all, I was pretty happy with how my dreams were progressing.
Then it happened. Most of my traffic disappeared, almost overnight.
I had been averaging 12,000 visitors per day to my main blog (a camera review blog that no longer exists) – around 80% of which came from great Google Search Engine rankings.
That level of traffic was enough to make a living from using the Google AdSense program (which accounted for 95% of my income).
I woke up on the morning of the 17th December 2004 to discover that my blog’s healthy Google rankings had disappeared overnight.
The result was that I was dropped to 2000 visitors a day (from nearly 14000) on my main blog and my other blogs lost even larger amounts of traffic.
Here’s how my traffic looked on my main blog at that time.
Of course, with only a sixth of the traffic I previously had I also saw my income from AdSense take a similar tumble. Rather than a full time income, I was looking at earning enough money to call it a 1 day per week job.
I was devastated.
I was confused.
I was angry.
I was also deeply embarrassed.
Not only did my friends and family know that I’d quit my job to become a blogger… so did the world because I’d talked about it here on ProBlogger.
Falling from the rankings in Google was the single biggest challenge I faced as a blogger. I didn’t understand why it had happened and I came very close to giving up blogging altogether.
Thankfully I didn’t give up.
I’m glad I hung in there because just under 2 months later I began to rank in Google again and saw most of the traffic that I’d lost return. I’m also glad because that that really tough period taught me a lot about blogging, and about business.
The Biggest Lesson Learned: Diversification
That experience taught me many things but one of