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Did Sandy Affect Your Blog?

Last week’s Hurricane Sandy really had am impact on those in the United States.

Sea

Image courtesy stock.xchng user piuse

While obviously it affected those in the East most of all (thankfully, I was holed up, safe in my hotel in New York City; so many others were not so fortunate), the connectedness of the US to the rest of the world meant that the implications of this storm stretched not just across the country, but all over the globe.

This was particularly true for industries that rely on technology—from Wall Street to the blogosphere.

Here at ProBlogger, we noticed a significant flattening of traffic in the days leading up to the storm. This, I expect, was the result of readers in areas expecting the storm heading offline to get prepared.

Sandy traffic

Ordinarily,  we’d have seen an upswing on that day. Here’s what the same days in the previous week looked like:

Typical Monday

Whilst we all know that the web brings us closer together, it can come as a surprise to see that your little old blog is impacted by a weather event on the other side of the world. If this is how it impacted my blog, I can only imagine how it affected local businesses in those areas—even those who managed to survive the storm physically, and keep on serving customers.

These kinds of traffic blips are something we might be used to seeing around festive times of year, though. Here’s what happens to ProBlogger traffic in a typical December, as most of our readers (in the US, the UK and Australia) gear up for Christmas and New Year:

December traffic

We might be tempted to think that the Web soldiers on regardless of what’s happening in the world, but the truth is that the web is a critical part of the world. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Events like these can impact traffic, sales, signups, social networking opportunities, and so on.

The good news is that as the events pass, and people’s lives return to normal, they’ll want to get back into their old routines—including seeing what they’ve missed online.

Depending on where you’re located, and where your target readers live, a range of events—local or global—could impact your blog. It’s important to remember that sometimes, our readers have more important things to worry about.

Did Sandy affect your blog—either because your readership is located in the Eastern US, or because you were one of the millions caught in its path? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Jeremy Bray says:

    I was rather surprised that I didn’t notice any effect on the traffic of my sites. I was really expecting a big hit with people being without power and such but there was no dip in my traffic at all.

  2. Ben Troy says:

    I am glad that this topic was written about. I think that it is very likely that Sandy could effect the blog trafic. Some states that were up in there might end up swaying one way or the other just because readers turn out will be low.

  3. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Almost 60% of my readers are located on those areas where the Hurricane Sandy had impact, but I didn’t notice any affect on the traffic of my blog on those days.

  4. Since my market is boaters, I definitely noticed it . . . but also planned for it. I have a number of evergreen posts about preparing for a hurricane that I highlighted on FB in the week before, as well as “what to do after the storm” articles. Lots of readers on those posts, not so many on the “new” posts.

  5. Jon Stolpe says:

    Sandy definitely had an impact on my blog as I was without power for 85 hours due to the storm. My posting was not as timely as normal and the focus was somewhat off-balance. But I can’t complain.

  6. Derek says:

    I live in South Jersey (New Jersey) and was online during the storm as I was communicating with family around the state through social media with updates on our current conditions in our area…etc

    Next thing I know I lost all communications with them online as there power went out. Still got 3 family members house’s with no electric right now. That’s 7 full days with nothing but a generator and ton of money on gas. My other website’s traffic went down very low as it’s geared towards my local community and hasn’t really been the same. People are still trying to get there homes and lives together and repair things so yes, I have 1 website effected by this storm as it’s for my local community.

  7. I did see a drop to my traffic, but it wasn’t significant. This is a very interested topic. What I found interesting is how many people stayed connected on Facebook via their phones. Many people charged up everything before the storm hit just to stay in touch with friends and families.

    Kimberly

  8. It was tough to think about blogging in the midst of power outages, downed trees and horrendous winds. I would suspect that most of the readers in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York struggled to find power and an internet connection even if they wanted to surf the web.

    It was crazy here in Bucks County, PA. I know it was worse in NJ and parts of NY.

  9. It was hard to think of blogging during this time. anyone affected could never think of it and definitely traffic had to get affected.

  10. Sandy has had a definite impact on many blogs. I am hoping everything gets back to normal soon.

  11. Reed Nixon says:

    Darren, it is such a good thing you are actually talking about this. Sandy had an effect on not only bloggers, but other business people as well. It’s effect was so great it caused a lot of damage.

  12. Sameer says:

    Yup. A noticed a downfall in traffic for those couple of days. Hoping that it would get normal soon.

  13. Larry says:

    First off, glad to see you home safe Darren. I also noticed an impact. Where I normally have somewhat of a bell curve each week, Monday – Friday, traffic was flat. I didn’t see that normal surge during the week.

    While certainly interesting, not even close to the top of my worry list. Just hoping and praying that all of the those impacted can get back to life as usual as quickly and safely as possible.

  14. I don’t want to be rude but I find it selfish to worry about my traffic stats while people suffer… It’s not “your blog being affected” – wake up people! It’s the readers of your blog being affected by a natural disaster, and they are real PEOPLE and some of them may have suffered real tragedies. At least this time don’t treat them just like simple numbers in your statistics.

  15. Kabenah says:

    I don’t see how I was going to be affected since I was more than 2 million miles away on the shores of my country Ghana. But did it affect my site? I would say no. I rather saw my one week old site move from 17million on alexa to 9million.

  16. My home, office, and most everyone on my blog’s team lives in Lower Manhattan, so while on Monday the traffic was the highest it had ever been, the rest of the week was low because we were unable to post or use social media channels with our normal regularity until late on Friday.

  17. Daisy says:

    I’ve been affected more by the presidential campaign. Many of my regular readers were busy volunteering over the weekend.

  18. I was without power for two days. My site didn’t suffer much. I used ky battery backup to publish my post on the second day.

  19. 3D says:

    Just the people was not up to it..

  20. piyush says:

    I did see a drop to my traffic, but it wasn’t significant. This is a very interested topic. What I found interesting is how many people stayed connected on Facebook via their phones. Many people charged up everything before the storm hit just to stay in touch with friends and families.

  21. Kathleen says:

    Yes, my blog was affected most on Monday of the storm and leading up to it. Then on Thur. I posted an infographic, and had an all time high day on Thur. and Fri. So now I am not sure if it was the effect of the infographic, or people catching up.

  22. Light Within says:

    Well to be true Sandy did’t caused any real problem except a small drop of traffic.