Here’s the 7th installment of the Blog & Traffic Report. Think of it as a Cliffs Notes for blogging. Sign up for my blogging newsletter to find out when the latest reports are live.
I hit 6,000 followers!! Wow. This is BIG. It was just over a month ago (August 23) that I hit 5,000.(affiliate link) Board Booster continues to be worth the investment. I believe I have a solid strategy with Board Booster that’s working. I’m getting more traffic from Pinterest and am steadily growing my Pinterest followers.
I followed a thread on the Blog + Biz BFFS Facebook group that talked about how many pins you should pin per day on Pinterest. Here’s the original question, “For Pinterest to bring traffic to blog they say you should pin about 50 images per day with 25% of those images being your own (leading to your blog). I post to blog 2-3 times per week which means I have a maximum of 10 pictures per week to pin. How can one pin 10 pins per day leading to their blog?”
There were a few creative answers:
– Create more than 1 image for each post.
– “Do a mini post- basically an image with a quote, some one liner you write, a meme – and # with your blog name. You can post those on your blog as in between filler content on days between your blog posts with a caption, or just a mini-post- a one paragraph thing, a journal topic prompt for your readers to explore, or an inspirational idea to share with them. I’m not sure your niche, but you could do this in any category really. For instance, a Mommy blogger might have an inspirational quote or a “Keep Calm and Mommy On, It’s almost FRIDAY!” meme or something like that. This will get your pins up, give you something you can share directly on your Facebook and Pinterest and other social media, and help you keep engaged with your audience.”
My Pinterest following is going gangbusters, but I’m trying to get to 5,000 Facebook fans. It’s not easy, friends. But I’m not giving up! Eventually I want 50,000 and onward, but I have to start with more attainable goals right now.
I took out a FB ad for a video that I did. I boosted it for one week ($20 spend) and got several new followers. I got several likes, comments, and shares too. But this ad type didn’t generate as many page likes as my like campaigns have in the past.
Social Media Scheduling
I spend a lot of time scheduling my social media, but have neglected to really promote my own content. I’ve heard about Meet Edgar and that it contains “libraries” of your own content, by category, that you can reuse over and over again. None of the other social media schedulers I’ve used do this. You have to manually reschedule each piece of content like they are new posts. I don’t have time for this. Meet Edgar is pricey: $49/month and the price went up (as of September 26) so I had to make a decision. I started researching options of what to use. I also heard to look into RecurPost because it recycles content.
I was also directed to this article about how to schedule repeating social media posts for free. It’s a great tutorial, but frankly it looks like a lot of work. More work than I have time for. I need quick and easy. But free is always good. And, let’s face it, sometimes free is what we can afford.
For now, I’ve decided that I can no longer do free or time consuming so I’m diving into Meet Edgar, mainly because I started with it and wanted to lock in the rate. It’s good, but not perfect. I’ll probably switch to something else in the future that’s less expensive. But for now, I just need to stop doing research and start getting my evergreen content out there. It’s a lesson in paying for something and just moving ahead. As bloggers, many of us have tendencies to research, research, research, take a webinar, ask others, research some more … and it paralyzes us from action. So, I’m taking my own advice and sticking with the more expensive tool and digging in.
I haven’t talked about building an email list yet. I have one, but it’s small because I haven’t spent time building it. I realize I need to do this because it’s the only thing you own. You know the drill – Facebook or Pinterest could change their algorithms and traffic would take a huge hit. But with email, we can always message those on our list. I listened to a webinar about LeadPages and lead magnets (giveaways to build your email list) with Beth Anne Schwamberger and Tim Paige. Tim says the best lead magnet might be something that doesn’t take a long time. I like the sound of this!
“Content upgrades will grow your list faster than anything else.” – Tim Paige.
So, what do I do with this information? I create an 7 page ebook! I couldn’t help myself. I had a great idea and was able to execute it quickly. My most popular post is the donut post and after listening to this webinar I realized (or, rather, I was reminded) that I NEED a content upgrade on this post. Hundreds of people come to this single post and I need to capture their names. The best idea I have is to offer them free dessert recipes that they don’t know about from my site. All in a beautiful, and easy to use download. Now I just need to create a landing page and link it up to my site!
I only posted three new posts this month. I’m making a goal to rectify this issue and become consistent with number of posts.
I came up with a template to do food-related videos from still photos. Facebook likes video and I need a process to get some of my popular posts in video form. I’m currently using Adobe Clip on my iPad. It’s not perfect, but it’s simple and easy to use. Check out a video I did for my Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls.
Another tip that I have to share: When you’re doing live video you need to have it transcribed. You may know this already, but when you have it transcribed you can create a blog post with the text, add screen shots from the video and embed the video into your blog post (Google loves this!). But the amazing tip that I hadn’t thought of is to use Google Docs to do the transcription.
- Open your video in a separate browser or on your phone
- Open Google Docs (only works with Chrome)
- Go to Tools in the navigation and click “Voice Typing”
- Start your video
- Hit the microphone icon on the Google doc. It will start typing what it hears!!
I did a test and it was pretty good. It may not transcribe perfectly, but it’s a great way to get the bulk of the work done and just have to clean it up a bit.
Every once in awhile I read Reading Pinch of Yum’s Income Report. I don’t read it every month and I don’t read it to find out how much money they made. If you’ve never read one, they make a LOT of money each month. It’s a ton and it can be depressing if you start comparing yourself to their success. But, besides the money data, Bjork puts a ton of information and inspiration into the reports. They are long and full of wisdom about how to be successful. The latest one from July (they are a few months behind) has a great nugget of wisdom – that Bjork talks about how they were laser-focused on a few key things (photography, recipe development, and posting consistently) which made them NOT be able to focus on other things (like video or being active on a few social media channels).
“I’m convinced that deciding what you’re not working on is one of the most important considerations for entrepreneurs.” Bjork Ostrom
Great piece compiled by Tiffany of Beautiful Dawn with top bloggers (those who make a living blogging) and what’s their #1 productivity tips. Worth reading all of them, but I really like this one from Dawn Nicole of Dawn Ncole Designs:
“I often get asked how I “do it all”. I don’t. It’s not possible! One thing I do is make the most of Mondays. They are a “sacred” work day. As a general rule, I never plan anything on Mondays. No appointments, no playdates, no errands. This is my most productive day of the week since I don’t spend time on the go (and it also usually means I work in my PJs all day. Yay!).”
Another gem I found this month came from Susan McDonald in the For Love + Money Facebook group.
“Never Make the mistake of making your wallet your customer’s wallet.”
How powerful this is. It was a comment on a FB Live about selling and not feeling salesy. I’m terrible at underpricing myself and my products, but this turns the conversation around!
Overall, Amazon sales are down this month. I sold a lot of Bento Boxes last month which attributed to the $75.00 income. I have a Christmas tree stand blog post and video that does will in December and this year I’m getting it up earlier. Hoping that picks up in late October and in November.
Last month I mentioned using Amazon Native Ads and how I put one on my most popular post about donuts. This month I sold a donut baking pan from that ad. Only .60 cent commission, but it’s about getting people to click. I don’t know that this person wasn’t the one that also bought other items.
Great information from Tasha at Designer Trapped.com. She says that you need to include affiliate links to all things that you think your readers may not be familiar with. Her example is Modge Podge. This is a simple, readily available craft item but she links to it anyway. Some people may not know what it is and it’s about getting people to click.
- Link to items even if they are inexpensive — it’s about getting people to click.
- Don’t say too much about the product. You want the reader to be curious enough to click through. They may not buy that item, but may buy something else
Read the whole article.
Big news about Google AdSense ads is that it removed the 3-ad per page limit. This is pretty big! Although they are allowing more ads, they are going to review sites to make sure they aren’t to ad heavy. So, penalties can still come.
Blog Her is also making changes. Their ads don’t have to be the first one anymore, but they also are requiring exclusivity. This is huge. I can tell you right now that I don’t make enough from Blog Her ads to have them as my exclusive ad units. They say that once you go exclusive with the new contrac you’ll earn more, but I still don’t think that will compensate for the lack of Google Adsense ads on my site. As soon as I get enough traffic I’m going to switch to AdThrive or a network like it that used DFP technology to make sure I’m delivering ads that are earning the most money. Now that I’m seeing more revenue from ads, I want to make sure they are in the right places and earning the most money
Traffic is down 21% this month from August. This is the first down trend I’ve had in about four months. I’m not sure what to attribute the drop except that back to school really boosted my traffic last month and i don’t have anything seasonal right now. However, traffic is up 370% from last September. This is what drives me. All the work I’m doing is working. Last year my traffic was dismal and now I’m growing!
- Asian Noodle Bowl Recipe
- Walmart Grocery App Review (also put the video on You Tube)
- Blog Traffic & Progress Report – July 2016
INVESTMENT IN BLOG
Boosted two Pins to see what will work for a fall campaign. Neither of these pins did well. I was hoping to get a boost for two Halloween-themed pins. They did OK, but there isn’t a comparison between calls to action on Facebook ads versus Pinterest Pins. I have to do more experimenting.
I did invest in more Facebook ads. These work for getting likes to my Facebook page so I’m going to continue to invest in these every month.
GOALS FOR OCTOBER
Participate in Choctoberfest (will boost my Pinterest traffic)
Post Halloween content
Post Christmas content
Find all my favorite blog tools.
Amazing Chocolate Dessert Recipes!
Subscribe and download your FREE chocolate dessert recipes ebook!