In November 2011, this website reached its peak with over 95,000 unique views. In fact, the exact number is 97,075. Just a tad under 100,000 views. Up to that point, I had been blogging about T-Shirts religiously. I’d blog about as many new tees as I cold keep up with. I did monthly lists that were designed to drive in traffic (one of these lists has nearly a million views). I’d do posts whenever there was a T-Shirt sale. I was earning good affiliate income, gaining ad revenue, and receiving tons of free tee swag. Getting 10 free T-Shirts in the mail a week was not an unusual thing for me. And then I stopped blogging.
I was fairly erratic with my blogging in 2012, but was still able to average about 40K of views per month. Not bad, for not blogging much. The real drop off came in 2013, when I stepped away from this blog for much of the entire year. Views quickly dropped to under 10K a month.
So why did I stop blogging? Simple answer: It started to feel like work.
When I first started blogging in 2008, there was an initial curiosity that led me to start my own blog. I used it as a way to distract me from all of the work that I was doing in graduate school. I was working on my PhD at the time. This blog was a way to “get away from it all,” so to speak. It worked. What started as my lifestream, eventually turned into a niche blog. I blame Gary Vaynerchuk for that. He told me (and the rest of the Internet) to blog about something that I was passionate about, and so I did. My initial love for Threadless T-Shirts spread to encompass all indie tees and designers. When this happened, it was a whole new world, with a whole lot of T-Shirts.
I pushed, and pushed, and pushed for three years, until it was basically myself and Hide Your Arms at the top of the T-Shirt blogging food chain. Then, just as I was about to break the 100K mark in monthly unique views, I took a step back, and stopped. I’m not even sure exactly why I stopped, other than…it started to feel like work. My passion for T-Shirts had dried up. It would have been disingenuous for me to continue blogging about T-Shirts. I simply didn’t care about tees as much as I had. I over consumed. I was over it.
And so I took a step back. My burning passions now include traveling the world, and exploring Hawaii. My new website (now almost three years old), recently peaked a 30K month. Not bad, but far from my 100K days. But, as I’ve come to realize, it’s not entirely about the numbers. It’s about the passion.