Here’s the 11th installment of the Blog & Traffic Report. Think of it as a Cliffs Notes for blogging. Be sure to sign up for the Blogging, Business + Balance newsletter where I share updated tips about blogging and business. Sign up here:
I write these as a way to collect information that I’m learning and I’ve decided that it’s too good not to share! So, you get the benefit of everything I find in a month … all right here. Plus, I share things that worked on my site.
I began using Tailwind Tribes more, in conjunction with all the pinning I’m already doing with (affiliate link) Board Booster. Still not reached 10,000 followers yet, but oh so close! I think I’ll hit it in February. Win!!
Promoting a FB ad to my Valentine’s Day printable. I created a landing page and have been tweaking it for better conversion.
I continued with a FB ad to gain likes. The ad I’m running is gaining likes every day so I’m not stopping the ad at this point.
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING
Started using Post Planner and my engagement has gone way up. I’m getting more likes and shares than I ever have before. One of the benefits is that it feeds you content that already does well, so when you use it, your fans are more likely to like it as well. It’s a win win.
Then I found Recurpost!!! I feel like I need to shout to the rooftops about Recurpost (and, I’m not being paid to do so and I don’t have a referral link). This is going to be my replacement for the expensive Meet Edgar. I’ve been testing Meet Edgar for about 4 months and frankly, and underwhelmed. Meet Edgar is almost an industry standard for its ability to share evergreen content. It’s the only reason I decided to spend this kind of money on a social platform. I need to get my old content back out there!
If it were cheaper, I’d have no problem keeping it, but at $49/month (they now sell it for $79/month) I can no longer justify it’s monthly cost — that is, ever since I found recurpost.
Let me explain. I want to have buckets of content that I can schedule to post at certain times. For example: a bucket of Valentine’s Day posts from the past. I create social media posts for each Valentine’s Day blog post I have. Then I put them in the Valentine’s Day “bucket” and shedule that bucket twice a week until Valentine’s Day. Every Monday at 3:30 and every Friday at 1:00, one of my Valentine’s Day blog posts will be scheduled onto social media. I can have as many buckets a sI want too … I can create a bucket for each holdiay, a bucket for recipes, a bucket for affiliate links… you get the idea. The purpose is to constantly get MY content in front of my audience. UP until I found recurpost, the only tool that would do the buckets was Meet Edgar. (PostPlanner has a reschedule option, as does Buffer, but neither is as robust).
This is a goal of mine this year: to grow my email lists. I have a list for BalancingMotherhood.com and one for my blog training BloggingBusinessBalance.com.
Did 2 optins to grow the list. I gained 77 email followers in January. This is a record for me. I haven’t paid any attention to my email list until now. I attribute the growth to two things: switching from Mad Mimi to Convert Kit, and having the two new printables.
Because I was experimenting with Convert Kit, I also needed to update my popups and email optin forms.
I cancelled my trial of PopUp Ally Pro in order to try Bloom popup. Bloom is a plugin from Elegant Themes. I use the Genesis framework and Restore 316 theme, but bought the elegant themes just for the one popup. I got it at a 10% discount and it’s cheaper than a year of PopUp Ally Pro. So, I’m trying Bloom popup and have 30 days to get my money back if I don’t like it.
Here’s why I’m doing the bloom trial. I watched a video from Krista Rae using the Bloom pop up and realized the user interface to create optins and popups is so much simpler than what I’m having to do in PopUp Ally pro.
Then I want to pay for ConvertPlug because it’s only … get this … $18. The Bloom popup is $80 – on SALE. So, I’m testing ConvertPlug (already pretty much like it better than Bloom because it has an integration with Covertkit!!!)
Why I’m paying for a nice optin instead of using the ConvertKit free plugin. With PopUp Ally Pro I’m able to target my optin by WordPress category. So, for a menu planner download, I can target it to all of my recipe content and it won’t show up on my lifestyle or blogging content. For a blogging optin, I can target it to all of my blog-related content and not on my recipe content. Nice, huh? Yeah, it’s invaluable if you plan on having multiple optins. But, my issue with PopUpAlly Pro is the interface to create the optin. It’s just slightly clunky. And, since I’m going to have to pay $97 a year to use it, I want to make sure I have the best one.
This is all to say that there might be an even better popup plugin. Yes, there is probably a better one, but I don’t have endless time to test them all. I have to pick one that works really well and stick with it, implement it and move on. Don’t get caught up in the details of things like finding the best or the cheapest. Find something that WORKS and go with it. Bloggers have a bad habit of testing the life out of something and never getting any blogging done!
Email Marketing Tip of the Month
Here’s a tip about email marketing that I got from Sandi Krakowski:
Don’t write like a grammarian in your emails. Use short sentences. Break up your sentences.
Start a sentence with:
Guess What????? …
Don’t forget!!! …
She actually said to start a sentence with and dot dot dot. But dot dot dot. And, look at this page. It stands out. I’d read that. Something to consider.
And then I found this Inc.com article about email subject lines.
These are trigger words that get people to click open to read what you’re talking about. Phrases like:
“I’ll be honest with you”
And my favorite, that I’ll be using soon:
“I have an answer for you.”
This last one is brilliant. Everyone wants answers. We’re busy and want people to do the work for us.
I watched a video about the top 4 list-building strategies by the Femtrepreneur. Good stuff. Here’s the top four things they use to grow their list:
- Content upgrades
- Webinars (including. Pitch-free webinars)
- Email course (text only)
- Viral giveaways
Wow. So much great stuff this month. I know, I’m swimming in all this blog learning. Here some more …
Let’s chat a minute about viral giveaways because this is a new term to me in just two days I’ve heard it twice. This is where you give away something of value that is specific to the type of subscriber you want on your list. Ex: if you sell a course about webinars you might give away a webinar kit that includes a microphone, recording software, etc. The point of the viral giveaway is that the user has to subscribe to enter to win, and they get more chances to win if they share the giveaway on their social media. So, it can go viral. Software that does this is a bit of an investment, but I’m thinking it might be worth it:
KingSumo ($197 lifetime fee)
Rafflecopter ($89/month for the viral option)
Gleam ($0 if you’re willing to have the Gleam branding)
Pretty Link Tool
I found a great plugin called pretty link that let’s you create unique URLs on your site that link somewhere else. For example: I have an ugly convert kit url for a landing page
and was able to turn it into this:
Been posting more content this month, yay.
I bought a recipe from a VA. Total time saver. If you’ve never bought a round up from a VA, do it. Do it now. Easy and cheap way to get more content onto your site. The VA will go to other bloggers and “round up” great posts on a particular topic. They get permission from all the bloggers to use their images and link to their content. The VA then sends you a graphic and all the links. You just add your intro and the links and voila, new blog post.
I’ve been using a print planner this year (this one) and am using it ONLY for blogging to dos. This is helping me realize all that I need to do for the blog and see, visually, how many posts I’m getting up in a month. I know, simple, right? But it’s working. I got more posts up this month than I have all last year in a month.
No new videos, but I have one recorded that needs to be edited and posted.
When launching a new product, think of it in phases. There’s phase 1, and then you’ll have phase 2, and maybe a phase 3, etc. The point is to do your best to launch it, but if you get stuck in a rabbit hole thinking you can do better, remind yourself that you need to get it launched, then you can come back later and refine the product. If you wait until it’s perfect you may never launch it. This is so true! I love this.
I had a new product download this month that the conversion rate was pathetic. I was spending money on ads to promote it and only getting a 1% conversion. For real. No joke. One freaking percent. My inclination was to stop the ad, but them I decided to continue the ad and learn from it. Learn and refine, but don’t stop.
Amy also talked about blocking off time to focus. She calls it Tiger Time: this is the time you are fierce! LOVE THIS! She blocks out time on her calendar for Tiger Time and includes breaks to be specific. She gave out a free printable.
My Amazon sales are down this month, but that’s to be expected in January. Typical buying habits rise at the end of the year and trail off in January.
Last month I realized that BlogHer was doing exclusive ads meaning I couldn’t have other ad units on my page. This saddens me. As soon as I hit 100,000 PVs per month I’m outta there with BlogHer and going to move to Media Vine.
I also dumped MediaNet ads … these were bringing in about $2.00 per month. Yes, per month. I’d rather give up the money and not have as many ads on my site. Done. Done and done.
Traffic is up 28% this month from December! This is great news. Most bloggers report a dip in traffic starting in January, so I’m glad with this increase percentage. And traffic is up 99% from last January.
I did great getting a total of 5 new posts up this month. This is pretty big. Last year I struggled all year to post content.
INVESTMENT IN BLOG
Continued running a Facebook ad for likes to my Balancing Motherhood Facebook page. And I also ran one to promote the Goal Setting Workbook, and I started another one for the Valentine’s Day printable.
Updated my colors on the BalancingMotherhood.com to be pink instead of green. Yay pink. And I paid my developer update the ad code to remove the MediaNet ads.
Set up Vault Press (I receive a year free from a bundle I purchased) and quickly realized I should have done this years ago. I manually back up my site when I remember to do it, or before I do an update on the blog. Now, VaultPress will do this automatically for me. It’s less than $100 a year — totally worth it!
GOALS FOR FEBRUARY
Push the Valentine’s Day free printable. Continue the FB ad through Feb. 13 and do a big push on Facebook.
Launch a Facebook Live printable for bloggers.
Join is in the Private Facebook group Blogging, Business + Balance where we have a Wednesday share day!