I had an interesting discussion with a client last week about when and how to implement a new blog design. She wanted to warn her readers that a change was coming, and take a few months to implement the changes step by step.
We talked about the process and created a timeline for the slow unveiling of the site design, a smart decision for those with a large audience, especially when making dramatic changes to the site’s navigation and content handling. Some audiences can handle it, and love design changes, but some can’t. They just don’t respond well to change.
We talked a little more about her readership, covering some basic web analytics such as where her readers come from, how they access the site (through the front page, single pages, tags and categories, or through aggregators, email or feeds), and I stumbled upon some stunning facts that shifted the entire game plan.
While her site gets a steady stream of visitors, several thousand a day, only 10% return. Of those, only three percent return to the blog at least once week. Honestly, that’s about 9 people a week.
This changes everything. [Read more…]