It’s been a good four months since I tossed caution to the wind and decided the thing to do about my disappointing blog traffic would be to narrow this site’s focus and guarantee an even smaller audience.

Well, traffic went down, my sitemeter.com account tells me, but it seems like it’s starting to rebound. I’m seeing more new names in the comments, and I’m still getting plenty of comments. Folks I lost when the site went local are being replaced by folks from around here, though it appears lots of non-locals continue to mill about.

You’ll no doubt notice the Google ads have returned. Originally I felt like they were too much trouble/distraction but lately it seems like leaving cash on the table if I ignore them completely. Google ads are imperfect but they require very little maintenance once installed, and they do ad content that I don’t have to generate. If it works out to a six-pack of Gordon Biersch a month, well that’s six beers I don’t have to pay for — it’ll be like all of you buying me a round. So, thanks. Just word to the wise: if you put Google ads on your pages, be prepared to become helplessly hooked on checking your revenue numbers; this’ll only drive you batty; avoid the urge.

As for the future, I’m wondering what I should be doing to increase the site’s traffic and get more local folks to stop by (hence buying me more free beers). Suggestions are welcome. Though bloggers tend not to be hikers and hikers tend not to be bloggers, people who hike must use the Internet. The Bay Area has more hiking trails than just about any geographic region on the planet, so it stands to reason there’s a potential audience out there. How to hook ‘em, reel ‘em and keep ‘em on the line is the issue.

So what do you say, folks, keep up with the same ol’ stuff and hope it catches on? Or try some new stuff? What should there be more of, and less of? (other than, of course, “state of the blog” updates).