I have taken a bit of a break from actually building websites in order to make money with other work that doesn't require my constant self-promotion. Sure, I'll offer a website in lieu of payments for household improvements, but companies seem to have the same arguments as ever about not wanting too many customers or not wanting spam phone calls. So I plug away at other work, still maintaining quite a few websites. And maintaining my family, as I now have two kids in high school who need rides to various activities. Making a consistent amount of money and my kids matter more than the dream of building better websites for local churches, schools, and businesses, so that's what I have done for a couple of years.
But then my own websites don't get the weekly content (like on this blog) that they need in order to stay relevant, and the chance of getting new clients fades with each day that I do other things. Eventually, I'll either have to get back into writing a lot in order to keep Google happy, or kind of give up on working for myself. And another thing, I started getting more and more clients who ignore my bills. I suppose they don't think their web presence is that important or their own bills (or kids) take precedence over paying their debts. It's kind of a downward spiral, but I'm fine with it. Or I was, as long as I could publish a post like this and be seen immediately in searches.
However, I seem to have lost out because I haven't been posting. I haven't allowed others to write content for my blogs, either. And I haven't used AI to create content on a daily basis like the competition. For example, when I decided to use my blog about Jacksonville to promote my kid's high school play, I couldn't get it to register on searches. I submitted the article over and over, and it must have gotten flagged as somehow not what people wanted to read. Since the school doesn't promote the play and all the local theatre promotion is for expensive off-Broadway or family-dining-theatre, I can't even help my kid fill the auditorium to see some really good acting. Sure, the one Youtube video I posted about it seems to have gotten some traction, but my normal method of posting to several of my blogs seems to have fallen on deaf search engines.
I hate to have to use Youtube or social media when I have real websites with real content that answer real questions that no one is asking, like "Where can I see a high school play in Jacksonville?" But, again, family is more important than ego, so I'll start using whatever means necessary to promote my son's acting, even if I have to log into Facebook and post something. I guess that's the point, too. If your website isn't getting you the traffic you want, then use it as a business card and use the other tools available to you in order to get the word out. Don't blame the website or web designer. You probably can't compete with AI writers or get Google to acknowledge your authority on whatever it is you do, but the website is still a good, static tool to showcase to those who finally find it what you can do.