Here’s the 6th installment of the Blog & Traffic Report. I cant’ believe I’ve been doing this for SIX months already! My traffic has continued to grow each month and it’s in part because I’m doing these reports. I’m tracking my progress and keeping myself accountable – all while helping others do the same! Feels pretty awesome! Be sure to sign up for my blogging newsletter and get future reports via email.
(Affiliate links are used in this post which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commissions at no additional cost to you.)
Let’s just start this report off by saying my traffic is the highest it’s EVER been. Steadily improving. It proves that the time I’m spending is working.
On to the list of what I’m doing, what I’ve learned, and all the great tips and tricks from August! One of the things I attribute to most to my success is using my page view and income tracker. Every month I update all my stats from my blog and social media accounts, and add my income. In one quick glance I can see my progress. I’ve set it up to automatically calculate percentage increases which is motivating me to keep moving forward.
The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is an Ultimate Bundle that’s going on sale October 26 – Nov. 1. Take a look to see what’s inside – 62 ecourses, ebooks, printables PLUS 17 BONUSES all for one low price! It really is an amazing bundle. I bought it and have been using the resources for several weeks (I love the Facebook Ads course that it comes with!) Sign up to become an affiliate and earn commissions on every sale you make.
I added a new pin for my Bento Box post. I made it taller and used Amazon images that were more colorful than the photos I took for the review. I also included the word “leakproof” on the pin to entice mom’s who are looking for a leakproof lunch box for their kids. This helped increase opportunities for this blog post.
I created a new pin for my Christmas printable Free download. I used the download last year to gain email subscribers and I’m going to give it away again this year. The difference? I’m starting it earlier and I have 5 times the Pinterest traffic I did last year!
A great tip from Melyssa Griffin is that when you pin your blog content, pin it to one board. Then click the see it now button and pin that to another board. Take that pin and “see it now” and pin to another board. Keep doing this until you’ve pinned it to all of your relevant boards. This immediately grows your repin count.
Social Media Examiner did a great, quick post about 4 Ways to Improve Facebook Ads. A great take away from this is how to do targeting. When you target a Facebook ad you might want to segment to moms, for example. You can actually target FB ads toward interests that moms like. Or magazines that she likes. The last ad I did targeted women who like Working Mother magazine.
And, something new in Facebook ads is that you can do exclusions. In the audience section of ad creation, you can add interests, and choose EXCLUDE. Example: you can target women, but exclude moms. Facebook ads is a really affordable way to advertise online.
OK so I sucked at Instagram this month. But, I’ve been saying for a few months now that it’s not my priority. Facebook and Pinterest are what I’m focused on, but I didn’t expect to lose followers. I’m actually down by 5 followers this month. It goes to show when you put effort behind a social platform it will grow. When you don’t, it’ won’t. You can quote me on that!
I quickly realized that I needed to get moving with creating new holiday content. The month is flying by and if I don’t start baking right now I’ll miss the holiday window. On August 1 (truthfully, I saw this in July) I started seeing more and more Halloween Pins on Pinterest, and on Aug 1 I started seeing Christmas content! Make a note, my friends, for next year – put it on your calendar – to start pinning Christmas content in the summer!
GREAT tip from BeckyandPaula.com that I posted in my Blogging, Business + Balance Facebook group earlier this month. Wow! This one is a doozy. It’s one of those easy tips that when you hear it, you slap yourself on the head and say, “duh!” Here it is: post new holiday content NOW, and backdate it to LAST year. An example: I put up a new Christmas post but don’t want it showing on my home page in August, so I’m going to put the publish date as December 25, 2015! This way it won’t show up on your home page, but you can put it on Pinterest and start getting traffic! Then, when you’re ready to have holiday content on your home page you re-date it and republish. Brilliant!
My failure this month is only posting two new posts. I revamped my Bento Box post and relaunched it on the home page so that could be considered 3 new posts, but in terms of new searchable content, it’s only 2. Van I get real here for a minute? We had a lot going on at home in August that prevented me from doing more content. My husband was ill and we were worried for several weeks. It’s hard to blog and write fun content and bake cute things when you’re worried about bigger things. But, I have learn how to navigate real world and blogging in order to make this a full-time business.
I’m sitting in on a webinar with Trena Little, a video strategist. Within her first minute of speaking she gets right into the details of the importance of video to Google. She talks about how Google is looking for quality content and how it sees video as just that.
Later on a private Facebook group Trena mentions this stat about video,
Just by having video on your site you can increase the chance of showing up on a front page Google search result by 53 times!
OK, whose ready to incorporate more video?
Got this gem from Caitlin Batchers private Facebook group,
Don’t stress about tiny things like whether your Facebook group has 10, 100, or 1,000 people in it. Focus on giving so much value in there that the only possibility is growth.
This is such great advice, especially for pages that are just starting out. My goal with my Blogging, Business + Balance Facebook group is to provide value and to share everything I know. I want a robust group of people who all want a better life.
On the second day of August I had 40 clicks to Amazon, mainly from my Bento Box Pin, and a post I put on Facebook going directly to Amazon (12 of the 40 came from Facebook). I only had one Bento Box affiliate sale from this day, but had 8 other random sales (vitamins, and a kitchen wire basket system that I don’t promote). I decided against paying to promote the Bento box pin after I did some math:
I would need to spend at least $20 for the promoted pin to get some traction which means I’d need to SELL at least 20 bento boxes just to break even. I don’t think I’d sell 20 so I’d rather spend money on a pin that would get more traffic to my website.
I made $75.00 from Amazon sales this month. This is a monthly record for me. Most of the sales were from the Bento Box. They either came from my blog post, or my Bento Box You Tube video where search works great. I sold other items, some random and strange that users purchased once they got to Amazon. It solidifies my thinking that I just need to get people clicking to Amazon. They may not buy what I have a link for, but once they get there they might buy something else and I’ll get the commission.
This month I got a random email from Target asking if I wanted to become an affiliate. I waited a week and then got a second email, this time saying that it was a limited time invitation so I went for it. I haven’t implemented anything from Target yet, but plan to incorporate it into some holiday gift guides and other key areas.
I also put up my first affiliate link Pinterest Pin. There is no blog post, no email message, nothing to click to except to go straight to Amazon. Interesting. I think this could actually generate sales, but I think it’s going to be about carefully vetted products and moderation.
I read a blog post from Suzi from startamomblog.com about how she makes $1,000 from Amazon a month with less than 10,000 PVs. OK, that made me perk up and take note. One of her strategies is to use Amazon Native Ads. These are ads that show products based on a keyword or phrase you choose. You get the code and place it on a particular page. For example: I put donut baking supplies on my popular donut post. This isn’t something to do for all blog posts, but for your top 10 or 20 for sure. I have examples here and here.
Traffic is up 86% this month from July and is up 591% from last August. OH, man, traffic is up this month! WAY up! I had a second pin go “viral” this month and now have two pins that are bringing traffic to my site in a big way.
INVESTMENT IN BLOG
I purchased Ruth Soukop’s new course that is in beta, “daily Productivity Guide for bloggers.” Time management and organization is my biggest blog weakness. Since I still work full time and try to have family time, blogging ends up last on the list. So, I decided to invest in Ruth’s course on productivity. She’s a master at this since she started her business when her kids were young and at home with her. She gets up early (I think 4:00 am) and puts her work in first. I’ll let you know what I think of the course once I’m through.
GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER
- Get holiday content up!
- Complete Ruth’s productivity course
- Promote a holiday pin on Pinterest
Read July’s report
Follow my Pinterest Blogging board
Learn about all the blog resources I rely on.