Here’s the 5th installment of the Blog & Traffic Report. Think of it as a Cliffs Notes for blogging: all the things I’ve learned this month, what’s working, what’s not working … all in a handy report. Why am I sharing? Because it’s other bloggers who’ve gone before me and shared their knowledge. I want to help others to have an income and be their own boss.
Paul Scrivens of Obstacle.com says “one of the keys to Pinterest growth is the number of pins you pin each day.” It’s true. You need to be pinning to get pinned. I’m experimenting with how many pins I pin a day. In June I gave a presentation about the Power of Pinterest and in it I casually mentioned that I pin at least 30 pins per DAY. There were gasps in the room. Gasps! But, it’s the truth and it’s what’s working. I’m using Board Booster to schedule all my pins, and then I usually pin 10 – 20 pins on my own throughout the day. This is growing my Pinterest following like crazy. So much, that I’m working on an ebook about every strategy I’m using to grow my traffic.
Another blogger says in “How to Get Lots of Pinterest Followers,” the way to growth is “by pinning 25-30 pins a day which is 900 pins a month. Nope, not kidding. It might sound crazy but that’s actually what I did by simply spending 1 – 2 hours per month!”
I guess one of Paula Deen’s photos is the most pinned on Pinterest. One blogger breaks it down as to why it works. Great tips on color:
- Bright and balanced
- Images with warm colors like yellows perform better than images that are cool, blue colors. I.E. orange, yellow, brown = good. Blue = less engagement
- No faces
- Crop your photo close
One of our Blogging, Business + Balance members, Carolyn from FennellSeeds.com, says that Pinterest close up photos work better. She’s got a great point and has tested the theory. I’m going to look at some of my new recipes and do close and regular shots and test it out too.
OK, here’s a big Pinterest discovery. I just learned this tip on the second to last day of the month so I can’t attest to any success with it yet, but … here it is:
“As you’re sharing your pins to other boards, make sure that the pin you’re repinning is the one with the HIGHEST repin numbers. The higher the number, the better the chance that this pin will get pulled into the Pinterest ranking program.” from Inner Social Medianess.com.
My strategy for using affiliate links on Facebook is:
- Post no more than 2 affiliate links on Facebook a week
- Only products that provide value and I know are helpful to busy moms
- Have an 800 x 800 pixel graphic to go with the post that clearly shows the product
- Disclose that it’s an affiliate link (ok, that’s not a strategy, but something you have to do!)
I watched Tracie Forbes of Penny Pinchin’ Mom as she gave a Facebook Live on the Mom It Forward Group. She has 600,000 followers on your Penny Pinchin’ Mom’s Facebook page and posts 15 times a day. Only 5 of those are her posts. I’m posting 5 times a day and need to consider if I need to post more often. She also says to not post at the top or bottom of the hour. By posting at the :05, :15, :22, etc. “makes a big difference.” I’m going to start testing this and see if it makes a difference! She also saves great posts (ones she believes will get a lot of likes) then posts her own post right after that one. This way Facebook sees that the one post did well and they will show her next post more. I’ve started to implement this.
Experimented with photographing some flatlays. If you’re not familiar with these, they are the photos taken from straight above a surface. Stylists get very creative and those who use this technique (look at instagram.com/flatlays) look awesome!
I’ve been preaching this for a few months now, but this article. says it best in regard to Instagram photogrpahy, “First and foremost, unless the photo is breathtaking, don’t even bother. That needs to be your mentality. Now, will they all be breathtaking? Probably not. But that’s the standard you should hold for yourself and your brand. Every photo matters and contributes to the larger portrait you are trying to paint. With every photo you are competing against all the other millions and millions of photos out there. Stage it right. Craft it right. Edit it right. Do it right.”
Here’s a great video on how to make flatlays – and they’re not just for Instagram.
I’ve realized that I’m not engaging the reader enough with Pinterest images and strong, clickable headlines.
Here’s a great article about the power of headline writing. There’s a 3-step process to writing a clickable headline, and they don’t have to sound spammy.
Longer is Better
Wow, and look at this one: “I began writing longer posts that had more value. My average length of a post on Frugal Fanatic is about 1,000 words. On this site I normally write about 2,000 – 3,000 word posts but have gone upwards of 4,000.”
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OK, I have video on the brain. I think and really believe that video is where it’s at. Also, I think that video is going to be my strength. I’m not perfect, but I love how engaging video can be. I’m working on a strategy to incorporate video on a regular basis. My problem? Time. My husband helps me immensely with video and he’s working on his own business and trying to get more clients. I’ll write more about video, but wanted to say something here that showcases that I think it’s an important medium to focus.
I have 23 You Tube subscribers – up from 18 last month. I don’t spend a lot of time on my YT channel, but in July I started putting some of my Snapchat episodes (ie Snapisodes) on it. It’s a great way to cross pollinate content. I do the Snapisodes because it’s an easy way to do video, gets content on Snapchat, and I can download the snaps and put them together as a video and repurpose it in a blog post, as native video on Facebook, and evergreen content for You Tube. I got a comment last month from a viewer, “your video is awesome! I’m surprised you don’t have more subs :)” That made my feel great! Which makes my content about video even more appropriate: that I need to concentrate on it.
Two years ago I went to a conference and listened to a seminar about small family businesses. The speaker was a blogger and talked about how she was doing it alone for years and it nearly destroyed her marriage. Then she said something that clicked, her blog was a family business and so her husband had to get on board. It was after this conference that I told my husband about this and it really clicked with him. He started helping me. And once he started helping, my traffic increased. And, he realized how much work it really is to run a blog. I was reminded of this memory from an article from Caitlin Batcher where she gives tips on how to get your spouse on board with your business. Important stuff!
I got a big kick in the pants the other day when I opened my email from XO Sarah and read this,
“You can’t expect to take a big step forward by cramming an hour of work into your lunch break or pursuing your passion only on Sundays. You must adjust your life to dedicate time to what you want to accomplish.” She’s right. Absolutely, 100% right. This is what I struggle with the most. I work full time and have two young children, plus a husband that I need to spend SOME time with each day. It’s a hard place to be, but I know I need to kick it up a notch and really laser focus on my site content again. Thanks for the reminder, XO Sarah!
I finally created an official, private Facebook group for bloggers. I have so much information to share and I keep track of it all in these reports. (I take notes all month long on what I’ve learned and what’s working) but realize that I should be sharing the information as I learn it. That’s where Blogging, Business + Balance comes in. It’s all about bloggers who want to make a living with their site, who are small business owners realizing they need a blog to grow, and of course, how to balance that with life and a family! Come join us!
Here’s a great tip to increase your Affiliate sales: “Every month, go and look at your outbound links. While many of these will probably be to other sites that aren’t selling something, you can occasionally find links to products or services.” Go to their site and see if they have an affiliate program you can join.
Amazon sales for July were the pits: $6.15. I had a ton of clicks, but only a few purchases. Makes me wonder about the product review videos/posts that I do. I get people to click to Amazon, but they don’t buy right then and there. I’ve also know that it’s the summer slump in general so I shouldn’t be hoping for an increase in affiliate sales right now. But, it’s coming in the fall/holiday time. (Sneak peek into August results…. I’m at more than $30.00 in commissions so far!)
Traffic is up 4% this month from June and is up 311% from last July. Not a huge month over month increase, but at least it’s not negative. And, over 300% from last July is what’s keeping me going. I’ve read multiple times that you just need to keep getting 1% better. As long as you’re moving forward, keep going.
INVESTMENT IN BLOG
In July I didn’t invest directly into the blog which is a mistake. I should be putting all my earnings (albeit small) into growing my platforms. I’ll have to correct this in August.
I did purchase Webinar Ninja from AppSumu for a lifetime fee of only $49. Couldn’t pass that one up. Even if I hate it, it’s only 50 bucks and i don’t have to worry about a monthly expense when I start doing webinars. I call this an investment in the future. But I don’t have plans to do webinars until later this year, so not sure that is helping grow right now.
GOALS FOR AUGUST
- Get prepared to start promoting holiday content. – pay for promoted pins in September. Here’s a great article about updating your holiday content for Pinterest.
- Develop holiday editorial calendar and start baking
- Promote Blogging FB group
Read the June report
If you want to see what resources I use to blog, visit my Blogging Resources page!
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Do you have a traffic and monetization report? Drop me a link in the comment. I’d love to see what you’re doing!
Disclosure: Some affiliate links are used in this post which means if you make a purchase from one of the links we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Opinions are my own.
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