Bloggers stress a lot on generating website traffic and they should put their efforts in increasing their traffic sources. But beside increasing traffic sources, one should also take care of maintaining the website traffic.
If a blogger just starts adding traffic sources and keeps on constantly losing the same number, then obviously in totality the net gain in the number of traffic sources is zero. That is why maintaining website traffic is a must for bloggers.
Important Steps for Maintaining Traffic
- Be consistent on a particular traffic source and make an effort to grow it rather than just adding new sources.
- Prevent any problems that could affect the traffic seriously.
- Fix problems (as soon as possible) if they are occurring and are affecting the website traffic adversely.
I recently lost almost 50% of my traffic and was not able find out the cause.
The possible causes behind traffic loss:
- 404 errors – Page not found errors due to change of permalinks
- Feed Errors – A lot of errors occur if you change the php code of your wordpress blogs and leave blank spaces in between. There are can be other errors as well.
- Inconsistency – If you market your blogs on social media or via blog commenting and if you are not consistent, then you lose on a lot of traffic because you are slowly diminishing your presence.
I hunted down the cause of the problem and it turned out to be due to a RSS Feed error which occurred because there were many blank spaces in my template. This is was due to that fact that I had edited the template to add some features to it. But unknowingly, I made a major mistake.
When I saw my feed in firefox, it gave the following error:
error on line 2 at column 6: XML declaration allowed only at the start of the document
When I troubleshooted for this error, I found that it was Blank line before XML declaration error.
It basically occurs if an XML declaration () appears in your feed, it must be the first thing in the feed, before any whitespace.
Unfortunately, with WordPress it seems all too easy for a plugin, a theme, or for your configuration file to contain a blank line. Further compounding this problem, some — but not all — feed readers compensate for this common error, allowing the error to go undetected for quite a while.
- First, Deactivate all the plugins and see if the error is occuring again.
- If the first one is not the reason, then you need to remove blank lines in theme files. This is a very tedious process, if it is done manually. To avoid any hassle, you can use the Fix Rss Feed wordpress plugin which removes all the blank lines in all php files.
- To update the feedburner feed. Go to Feedburner account > Troubleshooting > Resync Feed. And the Feedburner feed started working instantly and the error was removed.
Haave you faced similar problems with your feed?