Hi, everyone! You may not realize this, but websites and blogs are one of the many industries that have been affected by the pandemic over the past year and half+. Behavioral changes around internet use (working from home more instead of an office and a decrease in web surfing after getting vaccinated and wanting to get out more and make up for lost time) as well as a decrease in ad spending from companies tightening their belts have combined to make these especially lean times for bloggers and website owners who monetize their sites.
(This is a graphic that my ad network shared that shows the traffic trajectory of the thousands of blogs in its network. There was a huge spike in Spring of 2020 for cooking, entertainment, and home improvement blogs. Not so much for relationship advice sites though! And as you can see, traffic declined pretty dramatically across the board in 2021 – Dear Wendy was no exception to that).
I’m lucky in that my family doesn’t rely on my income to survive, but it’s still been a bit of a punch in the gut and a financial adjustment. When I hear from other bloggers that they are going through the same thing, it feels a little better. At least this isn’t all my fault, like some might want me to believe. Still, I’ve spent nearly 11 years running this site, I still enjoy it, I think there’s still value in it for others, and I’m not ready to let it go. If you aren’t ready to see it go either and you’d like to lend some support, it would be super helpful if you’d do any or all of the following:
1. If you’re on Facebook, please “like” the Dear Wendy page and then occasionally “like” and/or comment on my posts (or even better, hit the “share” button to re-post on your timeline). This boosts my rankings in the algorithms and gets more eyes on my links and on the site. Often this is how new readers find Dear Wendy. This is really a big deal and I appreciate it so much!
2. If there’s ever a post that particularly resonates with you or you think would resonate with someone you know, please feel free to send the link along.
3. Comment, post in the forums, and send me questions I can post and respond to on the site. Increased engagement not only fosters community, but also it boosts traffic, which translates to increased revenue (which makes it possible for me to continue dedicating time to running the site).
And that’s it! I know I have a lot of ads, but I don’t do sponsored posts, I no longer include affiliate links, I haven’t asked for donations in years – I don’t ask for too much. But what I do ask for is really important, and as always, I appreciate your support. Some of you have been around since the very beginning and it means more than you know that you’ve stuck around all this time. It’s been a thrill to share milestones with each other, to transition through life stages together, and to support one another through what has arguably been one of the most challenging periods of our collective history together. Thank you for everything, and I hope we can keep this up for a while longer.
ETA: You can also show your appreciation for Kate, long-time moderator of the DW forums, by voting for her pup’s doggy daycare Halloween costume contest. He’s the third one from top, dressed as the Pope.
000 October 26, 2021, 8:55 am
Feel free to disregard this suggestion if it isn’t helpful.
Have you considered allowing comments to post in real time? (Or maybe you used to do that?) I am much more active on commenting platforms when a live discussion can happen. Obviously if this has led to chaos in the past, I can see why you don’t do it. Just a thought.
Dear Wendy October 26, 2021, 9:03 am
I’m not sure what you mean? Comments have always been posted in real time although comments from first-time commenters (or IP addresses that the site doesn’t recognize) have to be approved first. And now that my kids are back in school, I am able to moderate much more closely and catch first-time comments and approve them pretty quickly. Am I misunderstanding your question?
000 October 26, 2021, 9:10 am
Interesting. I always post from the same place and device, but often my comment doesn’t show up for hours or even until a day or more later. I wonder if the platform isn’t recognizing repeat IP addresses or has other screens happening? (If this is happening to others too)
Dear Wendy October 26, 2021, 9:14 am
I see that this happens to you. There’s at least one other longtime DW readers I notice this happen to as well and I’m not sure why this is. Let me look into it some more and see if I can figure out the cause. In the meantime, know that I am moderating more closely now and hope to catch/approve comments pretty quickly.
Dear Wendy October 26, 2021, 9:17 am
I tweaked a couple things. Would you do me a favor and post a test comment so I can see if it is automatically approved?
000 October 26, 2021, 9:18 am
Thanks for considering! I love your content. Not sure if this is related, but the commenting platform doesn’t seem to ever remember my handle either. Maybe some kind of “save” or “remember me” option would fix that. Thanks again.
Dear Wendy October 26, 2021, 9:21 am
I’ve got a small list of things I’m going to have a developer look at soon so I’ll add this. Thanks for letting me know.
000 October 26, 2021, 9:19 am
Test! (I think my last one was also auto-approved)
Dear Wendy October 26, 2021, 9:21 am
Ok, seems to work now!
MPS October 27, 2021, 10:41 am
Hi Wendy! Commenting to boost your site! Also, I don’t really need any advice but I’m looking for books to read so maybe I’ll write you to ask for book recommendations haha. I know you’re a well-read, badass lady so I trust your opinion!
Dear Wendy October 27, 2021, 12:49 pm
I was planning to do a post on book recs soon!
MPS October 27, 2021, 2:28 pm
Yesss Wendy’s book club!!!
ktfran October 28, 2021, 8:37 am
When you do your book rec post, could you possibly do one for dudes too? Maybe what Drew likes or what you would gift him? I like to get the husband a book for Christmas every year and am always interested in what other men are reading. Maybe that’s sexist, but I do find that the husband and I don’t read the same kind of books.
Dear Wendy October 28, 2021, 9:00 am
Vathena October 28, 2021, 9:16 am
I love the book rec posts! I’m always adding to my list, although I think I lean more to novels and less to memoir and nonfiction, sorry Wendy. 😉 I have done much better with my reading in 2021 than I did in 2020. @ktfran, I don’t know what your husband is usually into, but mine really enjoyed “Caste”, by Isabel Wilkerson. I read “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride earlier this year and really liked it, and I think it might also appeal to the dudes. Except not my husband because he prefers nonfiction.
(…maybe I should have saved this info for the book post, lol!)
Dear Wendy October 28, 2021, 9:33 am
I’ve heard great things about ‘Caste’!
ktfran October 28, 2021, 9:41 am
The husband def leans non-fiction, which is prob why our tastes don’t mesh.
I’m fiction. Mostly suspense, but nothing supernatural. I’ll read the occasional memoir.
Copa October 28, 2021, 10:23 am
I loooove memoirs. I like some fiction. My book club decided on a vampire book for this month — a “spooky” read to fit the month — and I’ve never read a vampire book in my life, so maybe this is common, but it got weirdly sexual at end and I was like WTF.
My bf isn’t a big reader but when he reads it’ll be, like, historical non-fiction or recently he bought one of James Comey’s books after we watched The Comey Rule on Netflix.
MaterialsGirl October 27, 2021, 10:55 am
I saw something in my feed from a post you made years ago.. read through and got a little excited because I saw some long ago ‘faces’ and thought they were back! then realized it was a few years old. In the eleven years you’ve been blogging and probably 8 or 9 years I’ve been following you (the frisky days!), I’ve really grown up alongside other commenters. Your advice has been there along the way!
I need some ideas on small things to do to be more interesting. And maybe use my brain? I feel like the work/kids/life crap is slowly eating away at my personality. I’ve always made time to run or workout (in shorter spurts now), but the reading, puzzles, etc have been missing.
ktfran October 27, 2021, 10:58 am
MG, I thought of you yesterday while listening to NPRs Pop Culture Happy Hour about Wes Anderson’s new movie. You’re a Wes fan, if I remember correctly?
MaterialsGirl October 27, 2021, 11:00 am
INDEED I AM!
speaking of interesting things.. back when I had some free time, we had our “Wes Andersonville” party. It was a hoot!
I’m trying to figure out when to go and see the new movie and get french food (prolly Mon Ami Gabi since it’s near the Century)
ktfran October 27, 2021, 1:09 pm
I’d like to go to a Wes Anderson themed party and figure out a Tilda Swinton character to dress as.
anonymousse October 27, 2021, 3:42 pm
I was once a stand in for Tilda Swinton on a photo shoot (long story) about 20 years ago and I had the pleasure of eating lunch sitting across a table from her. Definitely one of the cooler stories from my youth.
ktfran October 27, 2021, 7:03 pm
Oh my god. Love!!
I want to dress up as her because I have a blonde pixie and I could do a fun swoosh bang thing like she has. My hairdresser, who gave me the pixie but has since moved, used to style my hair similar to hers. Or I guess La Roux too. Actually, I think La Roux was his style inspiration, but with the blonde hair and narrow face, I can look more like Tilda.
anonymousse October 28, 2021, 9:08 am
I was and continue to be a huge fan of hers. She was very nice and chatted happily with everyone.
I remember you have had a pixie because over the years sometimes I have, too. Right now it’s grown out long though.