How I’m Rebounding from a Major Business Setback

How I Rebounded from a Major Platform Setback

I’m honored to be guest-posting on Michael Hyatt’s blog today. I’m sharing a really recent major business setback we experienced and what I’m learning through the process. I hope that my story and struggles can encourage you in your journey — whether in your business or personal life.

Here’s a snippet from the post:

A friend emailed me recently asking for counsel. He’s been working really hard growing his online business—putting in lots of time and effort—and he’s discouraged.

While he had seen some really significant growth for a few months, it now feels like it’s at a standstill or even dropping off. He’s frustrated because he’s put in so much effort and it feels like he’s just not seeing the results he’d like to see.

I could relate to him in many ways, because I’ve had a similar major setback in my business in the last few months. For months, my Facebook Page had been growing like crazy—to the tune of thousands of new followers every single week!

I’d experimented with a lot of different things and found a system for how and when to post that was working incredibly well to keep engagement and click-throughs really high.

For months, this system produced amazing results: our Facebook followers grew by over 200K in 2013, our traffic numbers doubled, and our unique visitors almost doubled. The growth was phenomenal and it was all organic, without us spending any money out of pocket to advertise on Facebook.

And then, in February of this year, we had a Facebook post go viral unlike anything we’d ever experienced before. It was insane—and I was so excited!

But about five days later, something weird happened and it was as if Facebook decided to no longer show any of my posts to anyone. I’m not kidding…”

Read the full post here.

How to Rebound from a Major Platform Setback

Also, at the bottom of the guest post linked above, I put in a plug for the Platform Conference. You know that I am very careful about what I wholeheartedly endorse — because I know your time and money is limited — but I asked Michael if I could include this plug on the post because I believe in this conference so very much.

You see, I went to the Platform Conference last year and it completely shook up my entire business plan from the ground up. I came home not just re-energized and re-inspired as a business owner and blogger, but most of all, I realized that I needed to make some major business changes if I wanted to be in this for the long haul.

Without a doubt, I can say that the money I spent to attend the Platform Conference was truly the best money I’ve ever spent on any conference in my life. Yes, it’s that good!

Do yourself a favor and go sign up for the Platform Conference. I’d LOVE to meet you there!

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  1. Karen says

    What a great article. I read it and I am continually amazed at how honest and upfront you are with your life. Thank you for sharing.

  2. says

    I read your whole article and it was very good. I think social media has some strong points but people need not to depend upon social media so much. Just as you mentioned, when blogging was first becoming popular, there was no such social media outlets available and people had to really focus on their content to draw readers in. I think that it is still the content that will ultimately bring visitors to one’s site. I have researched sites in the past that hardly do anything with social media (have very few “fans” and hardly ever post on social media outlets) and yet because of the nature of their sites (resource sites for example), their monthly traffic was still incredibly high. I “like” MSM on FB but honestly I don’t visit due to something I saw on FB, I visit the site daily because of the content. Keep up the great work!

  3. says

    I loved your article on Michael Hyatt’s website. It reminded me to stay content focused and not numbers focused. You have a great site and I know the numbers will return to where they were before because your content is awesome.

  4. Catherine says

    “No, it was so I could help people find practical ways to save money and ultimately, experience the freedom and blessing that comes from living with intention.”

    I’ve not commented before, but reading your piece prompts this question: In addition to wanting to help people, wasn’t the main reason you began your blog was to help contribute to the family income? Furthermore, isn’t your husband now involved in your business? I’m truly not being rude, but I’m not even sure that I understand the “freedom and blessing that comes from living with intention” part of your statement. I don’t see any reason to cloak wanting to make money from your blog in altruistic terms. Isn’t the “freedom and blessing” part about being free from money worries, and debt? From my perspective, these euphemisms makes what you write sound disingenuous.

    • says

      Such a great and valid question! Thank you for asking it! I absolutely began this blog to (hopefully) bring in a side income for our family. But the WHY behind it wasn’t to make money, but to *help* people.

      As I talk about on my disclosure page, yes, I do make a good income from this blog (far beyond what I could have ever dreamed when I first started it!), but that’s not the end game for me. If it were, I wouldn’t turn down multiple earning opportunities on a daily basis that are great $$ opportunities but don’t help my readers.

      My readers are always my first priority. Helping you all, encouraging you all, and (hopefully) inspiring you all to save money, give generously, and live lives of intention and purpose… That’s what it’s all about to me.

      I’m grateful to be able to earn a good income in the process so that I can bless my family, pay for the blogging/business expenses, provide jobs for the wonderful folks who are apart of the team, and allow us to give generously to needs in our community and around the world, but at the end of the day, the why behind what I do goes much deeper than earning a paycheck from blogging. And that’s what gives me so much passion and excitement — even in the midst of the setbacks and struggles!

      I hope that clarified things for you! Thanks so much for being a reader here!

      • says

        Very well said. I think that’s why we all love your business so much – it’s clear that making money is not the first priority. That, and that we readers matter to you.
        Thank you for the post and for your replies to comments.
        I am super excited to see what God does next in your life and the life of MSM!

  5. says

    I’m a frequent MSM reader and I’m curious- can I ask which post went viral in February? I visit every few days and have a small blog of my own, so I’m interested to know which post resonated so well with Facebook followers.

    • says

      Um, it was a cartoon type post… of a shirt with a funny running saying on it. Totally nothing I wrote, but somehow it got shared on some huge pages and went viral. We pulled the post awhile back to see if that might fix things on Facebook… to no avail.

      Another friend of mine had a similar thing happen to her shortly after this happened to me. I have no idea if it just happened right as Facebook was making major changes or something, but because the nosedive happened right after that post going crazy viral, I’ve had to believe there is a connection of some sort.

      Who knows, though! :)

  6. Ruth says

    That is a gracious response. As a reader, I did feel when the blog took a more ad/ less content turn last year, that maybe the blog wasn’t for me anymore. (I just didn’t need an infinity scarf, no offense to those that do) and I wasn’t “connecting” to what first brought me here years ago. Now I see your heart and focus is back full force. I know sharing comes with a price, and I appreciate your personal content you share. Your family SHOULD benefit from your work on your blog, and you’ve never hidden the fact that it is a business. But it is not only a business, and you’ve never hidden that fact either, and that is why we all read here at MSM. Blessings to you!

      • says

        Thank for you posting this. As a blogging building-up her own business, I commend you for being so honest in your online shortcomings. One problem I have faced, that you may agree with as well, is that people misinterpret what whole living and whole intention mean; so many wish to place bloggers in the niche they deem them to belong, as to what their websites actually stand for. To me, whole living entails family insights, fitness, positive stories, but also shopping deals and online promotions as well. As well, being that we are the same age, and may have similar ideas of how the internet plays roles in our families may explain this as well. I think some people mistake money-saving blogs with counselors, per se. As a legal student, who is paying her own way, a blogger, and an online business owner as well, I commend you on your piece.

  7. says

    I appreciate so much your candidly sharing some of your blogging tips! As a busy mom with 9 still at home, trying to build a travel blog (that is still our passion without becoming a cold review/tips site), I really like to read about your experiences. I really struggle with facebook as they are so controlling. After your viral post, they were probably trying to get you to boost your posts (and pay for it) to keep your numbers high going.
    Thank you for sharing your journey back to your passion, it helps me to remember to keep mine there when there are other temptations for my site and outside activities. I love your heart and your family, thank you for sharing your life with us!

  8. Amanda says

    I have followed your blog for a couple years now, and while I have always enjoyed it, I really love it now. I find myself recommending it to friends and even people I meet in line at the grocery store, bank, or post office on a regular basis! And I never use facebook. I personally can’t stand facebook, and just check your blog daily just because I like it! Thanks for all the great changes!

  9. says

    This was so encouraging to read! My own FB page has definitely had it’s ups and downs, but I’m still able to connect with my readers there. Some bloggers I know threaten to just give up FB, but I love the connection with my readers. Plus it still does bring in traffic.

    I’m so interested in the conference you shared! I sent the link to my husband, we are waiting to see what happens with his job, but if he ends up staying home and working on family businesses then we will pray about coming!

    I’m also one of the excited fans to see you coming back to the blog instead of the deals. I know it’s hard to keep fresh content coming, but I love reading about your everyday life. :)

    • says

      Thank you so much for your encouragement! And I’m like you, I still love the connection on Facebook, even though it’s had its ups and downs. I’m thankful that Facebook exists and still shows posts to *some* followers! :)

      Let us know if you plan to attend the Platform Conference… Jesse and I will both be there and it’d be great to get to see you again after so long!

      • Tara says

        I am not a blogger, but recently had an issue with FB. I had “liked” and was “following” several companies/organizations on FB. As I check FB every day, it was great to see that the Nature Co. I was following was having a “hike the _____ Trail” event or that the local theater co. was putting on a play that I wanted to take my kids to see or that the local venue that had free summer concerts would have a daily list of who was playing that night. At some point, a “friend” posted that FB was now going to charge businesses a fee and if they didn’t pay the fee, not all of their followers would see their posts. And that the only way for someone to mostly guarantee that they would see the posts of the companies/businesses/organizations they were “following” was to “like” the posts. That’s when it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen that post from my gluten-free organization in a while, that I had missed the sign-up for a high school event cuz I hadn’t seen it on my FB page, that I hadn’t read about any free concerts lately.

        What I learned is that if you “follow” or “like” an organization/business/company on FB, when that organization posts something, if you click on the like button of that individual post, FB will remember that you “like” reading those posts and will “let” you see them. So I started “liking” every post I saw from my high school alma mater, gluten-free organization, nature conservancy, summer concert series and now those daily posts do show up on my FB wall.

        While I understand that FB needs to make money too, it’s frustrating to “like” something and then not be able to see their posts. Seems like FB had to change the rules 1/2 way through the game (which is their right to do so) and didn’t tell anyone what the new rules were.

  10. says

    I love this post. I really needed to this post today. As a long time reader I have to say that I’m glad you are “back!” To be honest, I don’t use Facebook to visit your site. As much as I love social media, and from experience, I have to say that Google+ has surprised me with how useful it can be to a business. I do too was upset a last week with my Facebook page and the numbers. I didn’t know what to do and felt that I was done. After reading this and taking a break I think I can go back to why I wanted to do this. I thank you for your honesty.

  11. says

    I am one of those Facebook followers who have quit receiving your posts on my timeline, which is very disappointing! I thoroughly enjoyed all your posts. I still visit your blog a few times a week (especially to check out the free ebooks featured and/or new recipes) but I do hope the Facebook issue gets cleared up soon. Best of luck and thanks for all you do!

  12. says

    I have yet to ever understand facebook and why it shows anything to anyone, but we’re only had our blog a few months and our facebook page even less. Thanks for sharing struggles you’ve had. I don’t know if God will ever choose to grow our blog to anything huge, but my husband and I decided to we take it on as a family project and a hobby that we could do together. We’ve enjoyed it for our marriage and our family. At least twice when we have had incredibly low blog stat weeks, someone has shared with me how much something we wrote meant to them or helped them. As my husband says, “if we encourage one person or if we help one homeschool family learn something about God’s amazing world, then that’s good enough, and if the blog never makes money, we still enjoy it.”

  13. donna wigley says

    After I read this post, I went to Facebook to find your page, since I had not been getting your posts there anymore. I clicked on the following button and now your posts are showing up again. Maybe that’s what your other readers need to try. Love your blog and your books!!

  14. Jennifer says

    I have heard so much recently about the ups and downs of Facebook- about how posters are at the mercy of FB as to whether or not their content is shared. It is really very discouraging, and, honestly, I rarely bother with FB anymore.

    I really, really dislike the idea that FB has the power to withhold your helpful information from me. And I don’t have time each day to go running back to FB to see if your posts are finally coming through.

    So, there is a silver lining to this (at least for me). Email and blog posts may be considered dinosaur-ish, but they are solid and dependable. I would much rather connect with you this way- without always wondering if I am missing something, which is so frustrating.

    And can I put in a vote for more You Tube videos? They are awesome and so helpful.

    Thanks for all you do!

  15. says

    I think so many of us Facebook page owners can relate! They recently changed something around so almost no one was seeing my posts, either, and even though I have almost 6,000 followers I was beginning to wonder if I was wasting my time on Facebook. It seems that in the last week things have picked up over there (I think they changed something again!) but I know not to get too excited about it because they might just change it right back to no one seeing my posts.

    Anyway, with my Facebook traffic dropping, I started increasing my efforts on Pinterest, Google Plus, and Twitter and it has paid off. So overall something good came from the drop in Facebook reach. I learned not to ignore these other valuable platforms for traffic! They are so worthwhile if you put the effort in. Google Plus in particular has been fun to learn to use.

  16. jessica says

    I think this post rings true to life in general…remember what to focus on! I just ran a half marathon and never thought I’d do that. I “hated” running a year ago. Then I decided to stop focusing on the trivial numbers of how fast I ran and comparing my success based on faster runners. When I let that go I realized how much I love to run, and I loved every step of what felt like an easy 13.1 miles. Life makes it easy to get hung up on tiny details that get in the way of our happiness or our goals. If we can let that stuff go, life is so much better.

    I’m loving that you have gone back to your old style in blogging. I was really missing it and to be honest I wasn’t loving the blog like I used to. I’m happy that you are back :)

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