Here’s the fourth installment of the Blog & Traffic Progress Report. Think of it as a Cliffs Notes for blogging where I share everything I’ve learned in the last month and share how it’s impacted my blog. Be sure to SIGN UP for the newsletter to get notified when the next report is live.
BIG NEWS! I used the money I made last month to improve the blogging section on the site! Bloggers can come to a separate home page that has all of my blogging content. This is where I’ll write about blogging, Pinterest, and Facebook without having to have the content show up on my home page where I showcase lifestyle and food content! WOOT! I have to tell you my thought process. I was going to wait to do this because 1. Didn’t want to spend the money, and 2. Didn’t know if I was ready to write more blogging content. But you know what? It’s what I do and write about the most. It’s the content that comes naturally for me. It’s what my day job is all about. And, my goal is to create courses for bloggers to learn how to make money with a website.
I also launched my first FREE DOWNLOAD for bloggers! Super stoked about this too. I use a spreadsheet to track my page views and income all on one page. After using it for several months and realized how much it’s motivating me to be a better blogger. I’m MORE SUCCESSFUL now that I’m tracking everything in one place. Amazing how that works! Then, I downloaded another bloggers spreadsheet because I wanted to see what someone else was keeping track of their information. You know what? I wasn’t missing anything. My spreadsheet was SO MUCH BETTER! I’m not bragging here. It really is better. Yet, it’s still simple and easy to use. SEE for yourself. It’s free!
I’ve also created a private Facebook group just for bloggers. I was hesitant to start another Facebook group but realize that my blogging content has a different, although similar, demographic, than my main Balancing Motherhood content. And, the decision maker was that I want to be able to do LIVE videos where I talk about what I learn. I use Periscope, but I’m not convinced that Periscope is here to stay. There, I said it. I’ve heard a few influential people say they believe Periscope might not stick around, and the ones that haven’t said it, I’ve seen more and more on their Facebook pages. It’s just too hard for people to stick with two platforms for live videos. Now I have a Facebook community that is interested in learning about blogging and social media. If that’s you … hop on over and join us!
I signed up for a free 5 day Pinterest power course from Lady Boss League that was great. This is the most powerful free course I’ve done in a long time. It’s good stuff! It’s video based and you get one lesson at a time, but you can do them all in one sitting which I loved.
I also read a great blog post about how a woman went from 1,000 Pinterest followers to 4,000 in just 3 months. One of her strategies is to look at popular pins and then see the “what others pin that also pinned this.” Then, pin those pins to your boards. It’s a way to get more great content for your profile. This has been working great for me. I’m still using (and LOVING) Board Booster and this helps me find relevant pins to put in my secret boards. Then, Board Booster pins them to my boards at peak times. This has helped me gain more Pinterest followers by having better content to share. I gained 505 followers in one month using this strategy!
We reached 1,000 FANS on the BalancingMotherhood Facebook page!! WOOT! Such progress feels amazing. Engagement is up and my posts are getting seen. I’m getting traction that I can work with to promote content that I want to drive my readers to. I’m continuing to use the strategies I learned from Strategies Worth Sharing: How I Grew My Facebook Page from 2,000 Likes to 100,000 Likes In Five Months. It’s written by a blogger who organically grew her Facebook fans in only 5 months. The tips in this book are making a HUGE difference in my Facebook traffic and engagement. You can get a copy here – it’s worth the price!
I also took out a few more Facebook ads – read about that below in the investment section.
Continuing on my strategy that I talked about last month. It’s working and my feed looks great. I’ve received a few unsolicited comments that people like my feed and they followed me because of it. Yay! I’m still not putting a lot of energy into Instagram yet so that I can be laser-focused on Pinterest and Facebook.
Read an excellent article from Olivia Derby. She talks about the power of StumbleUpon and gives a great step by step system on how to double your traffic in just 15 minutes each day. She even goes as far as to tell you exactly how to spend each of the 15 minutes. This seems very well worth the time, and I did it for a day, but got sidetracked and didn’t get back to doing this. I need to try again because I think there’s value in StumbleUpon.
I attended our local WordCamp conference in June and gave a lightening talk about the Power of Pinterest. There will be a video available in a month or so that I’ll be sure to share with you. (Sign up for my blogging newsletter to find out when the video is available). Let me give a quick plug to WordCamps … they’re amazing! It’s your local community coming together to share knowledge about the use of WordPress, and also things that surround the use of WordPress. SEO and social media are two of those surrounding topics. The conferences usually have different tracks so that it doesn’t get to techie and they’re a variety of experience levels in attendance. They go from 2-3 days and are usually very affordable. In Asheville, we only charge $40 for two full days of sessions and it includes a lunch. Find a conference near you. Every year I’m amazed at how much is new in SEO. A big take away for me was that we need to start thinking about SEO voice search and key wording based on how people ASK, not type, questions. WOW! This is eye opening. SO, the advice was to post questions with, long, detailed answers. Now, this doesn’t exactly work for a blogger, but it’s something to think about how to incorporate into your site.
I also participated in a blogger “event” called #cookoutweek. It was a combined effort of nearly 50 bloggers. I made an amazing grilled pizza and lemon cupcakes with lavender buttercream. This is how the event worked. We all agreed to make at least one blog post about grilling out. There were several sponsors working with the group, but you didn’t have to use a sponsor in order to participate. There was no compensation, but free products were mailed to participants. OK, so why would you participate if you didn’t get paid? Good question. I’d like to not do sponsored posts unless I get compensation, but I’m not at that point – yet! Soon, soon! So, I participated in order to get exposure from the group. For every post you did that week (and you could post each day if you wanted) there was a link up, and daily sharing threads from a private Facebook group. And, there was a giveaway for users. As part of the entry they had to like you Facebook page or Pinterest profile. I chose my Pinterest profile. So I grew my Pinterest profile by more than 100 during the cookout week promotion. Do I recommend these types of blog events? I would recommend it only if you understand that it’s a lot of work and you still have to claim the post as being sponsored since you received the product for free and are part of the overall group event. But, it’s a great way to learn how to work with sponsors as well.
How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
Another gem that I’ve been learning is that length matters. For years I’ve kept the standard that 300-500 words is best for a blog post. But, that no longer follows what I’m reading. I found an excellent infographic about SEO. It says that “length is strength” and gives an example of a post length that is 1,890 words. That’s a long post! I’ve also read from Sarah Titus about how long posts are better on her site. She writes really long, but informative posts. So, lesson is that long may be better. I’m trying it right here on my monthly Blog Progress & Traffic reports. I’m trying to pack these updates with EVERYTHING I’m learning so that you can learn and improve along with me.
Life is busy in my house right now. School’s out for summer and my husband and I are juggling child care and our work schedules. We also have a few weekend getaways planned to rejuvenate our creativity. So, it’s really hard to get blogging time in there. Just keeping it real.
I’m struggling to sell one affiliate item that I really believe it. I wrote to the author and asked what her return is per click. I’ve sent over 140 clicks to her landing page, but not one person has made a purchase. I’m not converting the sales. She wrote back to say the highest conversions are coming from bloggers who have an email list. Although I have a list, it’s not target to bloggers right now. BUT, it has taught me a great lesson and now I’m building a blogging email list. I signed up for the paid version of MadMimi (my email provider) and have created drip campaigns. Sign up for my blogging newsletter where I’ll be sending out great tips as I find them. And, it’s where I’ll announce when the latest Blogging Progress & Traffic report is up.
I’m really pleased with my Amazon affiliate sales for June. I made $37.03 which is the highest amount this year. Last month, to compare, I only made $1.33 from Amazon. I can’t see a correlation to determine the reason for the increase except that I’m sending more people to Amazon for a variety of reasons. While they may not be buying the product I send them for, they end up buying other, seemingly random, products and I benefit from the sale.
Traffic is up 24% this month from May which I’m happy about. As long as I can keep it going higher I’ll be in a good position for continued growth. Traffic is up 288% from last June. I’m pretty pleased with that number too. It means all this work I’m doing is working. While my numbers aren’t where I want them to be yet, they are growing. A lot.
My top posts remain nearly the same every month and I’m trying to change that. I need to make sure that I have a variety of top posts and that my new content is getting traffic. Something I have to work harder on.
INVESTMENT IN BLOG
Facebook ad – we ran another Facebook like campaign (read about the first one we did here). For this one, I upped the spend from $30 to $70 and ran it for more than 2 weeks. It resulted in more than 200 new likes to the page. I’m now over 1,000 fans on this page which is great.
I paid my developer to fix a popup that I’m using (Pop Up Ally). As I mentioned earlier I separated all my blogging content into its own channel. Now, with Pop Up Ally, I have a targeted popup just for people interested in blogging! It offers the tracking spreadsheet that regular BalancingMotherhood users may not be interested in.
GOALS FOR JULY
- Begin back to school promotion (Bento box promoted pin)
- Post 2 times per week for a total of 8 posts
- Continue to experiment with affiliate links on Facebook
- Gain new followers on my business Facebook page
- Grow email subscribers by offering free download on main site
Read the May 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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