**** This post contains affiliate links ****
One of the posts I like to read on other blogs are the monthly blogging updates people post on how their blog did, what changes they made, and what goals they have for the month. I have gotten some great tips as I have read those posts. I started keeping a monthly spreadsheet to track my numbers, increases, decreases, what I want to focus on, what has worked, what hasn't worked, and what my goals are for the month. I decided that there were probably other bloggers out there that might get some tips from my notes, so here's my monthly blogging update. I am planning on doing this every month. It's a great place to write out my goals....I'm much more likely to stick to them if I actually write them down.
Month 4 stats (April) Month 5 stats (May)
Monthly Pageviews 900 2018
Facebook followers 295 322
Twitter followers 85 119
Pinterest followers 245 271
Instagram followers 98 118
Wow! My page views jumped a lot during the month of May. The other numbers were a slow climb like I've had each month since I started. So what did I do differently during the month of May to draw a larger number of people to my blog? Well there are a few reasons.
1) Content was my main change for the month. In my previous months, most of my posts had about the same amount of views with one that stands out with a significant number more. For May, I had 6 posts that had over 175 views (I know that isn't a lot of views, but as a small blog that is growing it was quite a leap). My most popular post for May was my Patriotic Wreath tutorial with 302 views and I found it pinned on 127 different Pinterest boards. That is saying a lot considering it was only on my blog for 3 days before the end of May. My second & third most viewed and shared posts actually tied - Summer Reading Programs and Summer Fun List. What those three posts showed me was that people gravitate toward what seasonal/holiday themes.
2) Link Parties was another thing I focused on last month. I follow quite a few blogs that have link parties and I started consistently posting to them. When you do that, it increases your visits each month in a few different ways. First, the hosts of the party comment on your blog and most of them generally pin your post to the party Pinterest board. Second, most of the parties have a rule that you need to visit and comment on or pin 2-3 of the other link-ups. If your picture and title is good, it will get more comments and visits. Third, if your post is the most visited the host will feature you on the next weeks link party. For the month of May, I was featured on 2 of the link parties I submitted my link to. So not only did I have an increase in visits when I linked up to the party, but I had an increase the next week too when the host spotlighted me.
3) Pinterest referrals grew in May for me as well. I had quite a few pins that were popular and people re-pinned, and also new people visited from Pinterest. Part of that had to do with joining a few group boards, some were referrals from the link party boards, some was from my increase in pinning, and part of it was from my planning of pictures for the blog that would be more attractive to Pinterest. That took some studying other blogs and I have quite a bit of the information pinned to my Blogging board on Pinterest.
4) The giveaway I joined up with for Mother's Day increased people coming to my blog and following on Twitter. The thing about giveaways is that usually a percentage of them drop off with visits or unfollow after the giveaway is over. Some of the people still visit and comment on my page though, so it's definitely not a total waste. I think doing a large giveaway every month wouldn't be cost worthy to me, but it has helped new people find me so I figure every once in a while is an okay idea.
5) Support from other bloggers has helped me grow each month. I was consistently active in 3 different blogging groups on Facebook where I asked people to boost my post by either commenting, sharing on Pinterest, re-tweeting some of my posts, or re-pinning some of my pins. Quite a few of those people have started following my blog or Facebook page. They comment on my posts (even when I don't ask) and share my content (again without being asked). I do the same with some of the blogs that I really like. I visit them and comment because I genuinely like what they write about, not because I'm hoping that they do the same for me. When I share links to recipes, articles, videos or crafts on my Facebook page, it is because I like it and because I think my readers will like it as well. A friend that is a blogger has shared my page with her Facebook followers and that has increased the likes of my page. I'm still trying to figure out the mystery of getting my posts in front of people that like my Facebook page, but that is a whole other topic.
Income Report for May
Passionfruit Ads - $1.00 for a small ad on a blog
Giveaway - $22.00 that includes items for a $50 giveaway
Postage - $12.00 Shipping for the giveaway box
IZEA - $2.50 for my first ad posted on Twitter!
Google Ads - $.45 (no, I did not confuse where the decimal goes....it's just lame!)
Products - $109 ($65 canvas, $20 book, $12 samples, $12 products from Expo)
Total - Expenses -$35
That isn't too bad! I won't have the expenses of the giveaway every month, but I also don't have a guarantee of getting free products either. So we will have to see how it goes.
Goals for June
- post at least 3 times per week
- increase my social media shares on Twitter & Instagram
- find out what my readers are interested in
- continue to join link parties
- see about co-hosting a link party
- apply for more affiliate programs
- apply for more ad opportunities on IZEA
- Create more seasonal posts to catch attention
- submit posts to craftgawker and see if any get accepted
- work on images to be more pleasing
- increase email sign ups for my newsletter
- try out a blog swap or guest post
- look into setting up a Passionfruit account so I can sell ads on my blog
- find more opportunities to review products that are relevant to my blog
- spend time with my family during the summer!