Awesome! I’m doing my very first (for this blog, anyway) monthly blog report. Actually, it’s the first 3 months. One of my goals for March is to just get (excuse my french) shit done, so I’m doing this. Action, action, action!
Originally, I planned to do these separately. I was writing up my February post and then decided I would just knock all three out at once. Unfortunately, I don’t have much available in the way of social media stats for December and January, but I’ll post what I have. I really wish I had posted these on time because part of what I want to do with this blog is to show growth from the beginning.
Okay! Here we go! Let’s see what’s been going on behind the scenes here at Blogging Butterfly.
- Just one. Launch.
I knew if I didn’t set a date I would just spend months and months and months on preparing to launch, and I didn’t want that. I told myself I would launch my blog on December 1st no matter what and I DID.
What Didn’t Work
I spent a lot of November working on building up my Twitter account, but honestly, that probably wasn’t the best idea. While I had fun with Twitter while working on my lifestyle blog, in retrospect, I probably should have written more posts, got my Instagram going, or focused more on Pinterest or Facebook.
I also decided I might as well use the Google AdWords credit that came with my hosting from 392408392 years ago. It actually still worked, wow!
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t want websites that talk about blog strategies to be advertised on AdWords, or maybe there was something about my site in particular that they don’t like. I never really got a clear answer, unfortunately. I’ve given up on that effort.
- Visits: 1,331
- Page Views: 1815
- Email Subscribers: 54
Social Media/Promotion Used: Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Flipboard, Bloglovin’, AdWords
- Release a good freebie
- Get more subscribers
How I Did It
In January I really focused on Pinterest and releasing my free e-course, Successful Blogging for Beginners. The course is not only an outline for other bloggers to get more of a grip on what they need to create and launch their own blog, but also a map of what content I want to create for my blog.
My focus is to create around the stuff I’ve done a million times, so my first paid course related goal was to create something to help people set up self-hosted WordPress blogs. I finished writing all the content, but I need to record video, create a sales funnel, and all the good stuff. January was a big month for writing.
What I learned
I think what I got most out of January was finding some direction. Before then, I was just writing things. In January, I started to plan out series of posts based on feedback from the survey I have on my homepage. Learning what people want to know is a huge help for your content creation process!
I also scheduled out a series of posts with the content from my free course. I split it up into 5 parts and released 1 part a week. If people weren’t up for waiting, they could subscribe/join my Teachable school and get all the content at once.
I think this content model might actually become a recurring thing for me. I got a good amount of subscribers from it and I still get more every day. It’s kind of a great way to reuse content. I do, however, want to sort of upgrade the course with more add ons that you can’t get if you just read the blog posts, like worksheets or videos or whatever.
I also need to find a way to convert more course people into email subscribers, as I found once I was able to automatically add people from Teachable to MailerLite, a lot of people are signing up for the course, but not confirming the email subscription. Since my goal for creating the course is getting email subscribers, this is obviously something I need to address.
- Visits: 1,391
- Page Views: 1,817
- Email Subscribers: 105
Social Media/Promotion Used: Flipboard, StumbleUpon, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, Scoop.It
February was an awesome month for several reasons. My traffic started picking up, I revisited my branding and blog theme, and I made my first sale! I also started actually emailing my list every week instead of just at random times when I had something to say.
My efforts in January were really starting to pay off. One of my pins got relatively popular and started bringing in more visitors which resulted in more subscribers. I went from maybe 10-20 people per day to a peak of around 150 by the end of the month.
While I promoted on less platforms, I really killed it on Pinterest. For March, I’m going to try to push more platforms so I’m not totally dependent on one source.
Also worth noting that I started to receive more search engine traffic. While still not much, maybe about 5 per day or so, I am seeing that my pages are showing up in search results for the right things. I just need to start ranking higher for those keywords. Definitely need to work on my off page SEO!
When I first started this blog, I knew there were going to be some things I would have to compromise on if I wanted it to be popular. Unfortunately, one of those things was personal aesthetic.I’ve always had a thing for using black and pink as colors for just about anything.
I’ve always had a thing for using black and pink as colors for just about anything. Rather than let my personality shine through, I tried doing something different. It got old to me pretty fast.
If you’re a regular visitor, you’ve probably noticed that over time I started replacing graphics, templates, and eventually my theme which now reflect more of my favorite graphic themes and colors. Awesome!
It feels so much nicer, and I’ve actually received a compliment on my branding. It’s nice to finally feel like I’ve got it right. Especially hearing that someone else likes it too!
Lesson: It’s okay to change
If something doesn’t feel right, change it. Don’t keep going with it until it’s way too late. Plus YOU will be more confident and others will pick up on that. That’s always a good thing!
I made my first $60 in February and I’m SO HAPPY about it! This was thanks to an affiliate sale for a web host and getting another friend (who I didn’t even know was a blogger at the time) to sign up for Tailwind’s February special.
I’ll be able to cash out the $30 or use it as a hosting credit (which let’s be honest, considering how many domains I have, I’ll probably do that) and I now have 2 free months of Tailwind. Awesome!
So how’d I do it?
Well, the first one was simply just by having a useful blog. The second was a share on a social media platform I’m on called Plurk. Most people I’m friends with there I know from my SecondLife work and they’ve been really supportive of my new blogging efforts. Thanks guys!
Pinterest was obviously a huge factor in bringing traffic to my blog, so I’m going to chalk it up that $30 to Pinterest. You can read my Pinterest for Bloggers guide here to learn how I’ve been running my Pinterest account to bring in traffic.
Lesson: Don’t wait to monetize!
It’s really important to note that I’ve set up my blog to make money from the beginning, not after waiting until I had a certain amount of traffic. If I had waited until I was getting 10,000 page views per month, I never would have made that first sale.
Making sales isn’t about how much traffic you have. It’s about connecting 1 on 1 with someone through your content. That’s why I think for new blogs, affiliate marketing is so much better than trying to earn with ads. You can start right away with affiliate programs, but getting enough traffic to be accepted into ad networks may take awhile.
Also, don’t think this is just because I’m showing people how to do blogging stuff. This can work for anyone if you position it right for your niche. What you see here is two examples of monetization: how writing informative content can sell a product and how talking about something on social media can make a sale.
- Visits: 1,980
- Page Views: 2,955
- Email Subscribers: 205 (going to trim soon though since over half have never opened)
- Pinterest: 2,007
- Facebook Page: 71
- Instagram: 162
- Twitter: 781
- Google+: 1
- YouTube: 0
- DreamHost: $30 (on 97 day hold)
- Tailwind: $30 (2 month credit)
Social Media/Promotion Used: Flipboard, Facebook, Pinterest, Scoop.It, Bloglovin’, Email, Push Notifications
March Goals & Strategy
While I’ve enjoyed a temporary boost thanks to that one pin I mentioned earlier, it looks like traffic is starting to level back off around 50-70 daily visitors. I’m basing this month’s goals on that.
- Secure more people for interviews (sign up here if you’re interested)
- Finish my WordPress course
- Create video previews for important posts
- Actually use Instagram. SERIOUSLY GET ON THIS, STEPH.
- Be more active in my Facebook groups
- Package my Pinterest post into an e-course and get it out on Skillshare or Udemy as well as Teachable
- Release my resource library
- Think of a way to convert more Teachable students to email subscribers – I’d rather not just be auto-confirming them just because they signed up for the course
- Get ahead with my posts again so I can schedule in advance
- Attempt some Facebook Lives
- Find a good solution for presentations using my PC and tablet together
- Host a webinar – ooo, scary!
- Re-signup for the full Creative Cloud so I can edit videos and make more worksheets, yay
- Start using Google+ more
- Start itemizing my monthly expenses, lol.
- Unique Visitors: 3,000
- Income: $50 (though yeah, totally gonna go for more)
- More Facebook & Instagram followers. Maybe Pinterest too!
Seems like a LOT OF GOALS woo. Let’s see if I can actually finish it all. I don’t really have specific number goals for followers cause that’s not my focus right now. I want to make sure my content is awesome and available for those visitors I do get.
To help me achieve my goals this month, I’ll be using the following tools:
- Creative Cloud Apps – Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects
- Scoop.it – Gonna be using this to help me share to Google+ and Twitter
- SmarterQueue* – Evergreen social media scheduling made easy and cheap. Grab a free month with this link.
- ViralTag – There’s a special going on thanks to Stencil for 2 free months, so I’m gonna try it!
- Loom* – Easy video recording that I can share or download to upload on YouTube, Facebook, etc.
What YOU can do
Do you have a plan for this month? If not, get started! It doesn’t have to be super complicated. Even if it’s just one or two things, you’ll have a clear focus for the month.
Here are some ideas for you to try based on my plans and what I’ve done so far.
- Re-evaluate sections of your blog you’re feeling unsure about. Are you making too many compromises that you’re not comfortable with? How can you improve?
- Check your focus. Are your blog posts truly in line with your goals?
- Finally do that thing you’ve been saying you’re going to do for months now.
- Try a new tool to help you save time and focus on content creation.
- Try creating some video content.
- Join the Blogging Butterfly email list for awesome updates and tips. ? (ew, I hate that I just used that emoji!! hahah)