Happy August, guys! It’s almost time to start school, which means I have to get serious about my organization on here if I’m going to continue. Since I’m a high school teacher, my time is REALLY limited during the school year, and I want to make sure I don’t let this little hobby of mine slide. I really enjoy it, and it pushes me to get things done! This was also the first month that I really committed to blogging, so I’m interested to see how I did on my goals. Without further ado, here’s my August blogging goals and income/traffic report for July 1st-31st, 2017.
I had a lot of work to do in July to really up my game. My total page views in June were only 479, with a 79.85% bounce rate. People were spending 1:23 on average on my site, but only 223 users had visited. I spent a lot of the month trying to figure out how to optimize my time blogging, automate a bunch of things, and tried to grow my social media. Let’s see how I did.
Sessions: 268 -> 1,276 (376% growth!)
Users: 223 -> 1,012 (354% growth!)
Page views: 479 -> 2,604 (443.6% growth!)
Pages/Session: 1.79 -> 2.04 (13.96% growth!)
Avg. Session Duration: 1:23 -> 2:04 (49.3% growth!)
Bounce Rate: 79.85% -> 75.71% (5.2% reduction!)
% New Sessions: 79.85% -> 76.80% (3.8% reduction!)
Wow. I guess when you put your mind to something, good things happen. I’m super proud of what I did, but I know I can do even better. I’m most proud that even while increasing my page views, I managed to reduce my bounce rate and increase my session durations. That means more people are coming to my blog and staying longer!
Last month, I talked about how if I stayed on track with the changes I had made in the last week of the month, I would see 1,524 page views. That was completely blown out of the water! Here are some things that I did to get page views up and the bounce rate down.
- Joined Tailwind and got active in a bunch of tribes. This accounts for a lot of my traffic since I’m seeing more sessions than ever coming from Pinterest. I still see a lot coming from the various Facebook groups too, though, which I’ll touch on in a second.
- Posted more. My goal was to post three posts a week on a schedule, and I mostly hit my target. The last week of the month, I injured myself and couldn’t blog, but I couldn’t have predicted that. That broke down to 13 posts, and I managed to eek out exactly that many. There was a bit of a break in the last week, but again…life happens.
- I talked about being more active in my Facebook groups, but I decided against it. I just don’t see the real engagement that I crave. I don’t care if 10,000 or 100,000 people read my blog if nobody actually cares. I would rather have 10 loyal readers than fake ones. I actually left all but one of my Facebook groups – the only one left has 4 people in it, and they’ve become my friends. We’re all home bloggers, and all of the ladies are so sweet. I hope I can continue to grow with them!
Domain: GoDaddy $1.26
Hosting: DigitalOcean $5.00
Scheduling: Tailwind $113.38, but I’m only counting $9.44 since it’s monthly (I went ahead and sprung for the yearly plan)
PO Box: $4.66 (For safety so our email list has a real address, but it isn’t ours)
Guys. I made some money!
Amazon Affiliates: $11.57 😱
Awin (Etsy): $1.73
July: -$7.06 At least it’s going in the right direction!
- In July, I wanted to hit 4,000 followers on Pinterest. Since I was starting out at around 3,200 followers, this was a little bit more than ambitious now that I know how growth on Pinterest works. It’s HARD to gain followers, and I feel proud of my growth. I’m now sitting at 3,355 even after I reorganized my boards and lost a few followers. My new goal for August: Grow to 3,455 followers on Pinterest.
- In July, I wanted to hit 500 followers on Instagram, growing from 151. While I didn’t hit that mark, I learned a TON about it. Loyal followers are so much more important than follow/unfollow followers that just don’t care. I’m proud to say that even without employing the evil follow/unfollow technique everyone seems to use, I still grew my Instagram to 217, adding 66 followers. My new goal for August: Grow to 250 followers on Instagram.
- I only had 33 followers on Twitter last month, and I wanted to hit 200 by July 31st. I’m gonna be honest, I don’t see very much engagement on Twitter yet, and I would rather put my time into Instagram for now. Even with that, I’ve seen modest growth here. I’m now sitting at 145 followers, which I’m ok with! My new goal for August: Grow to 175 followers on Twitter.
- Oh my goodness, I was so scared to tell the world about my blog on Facebook. I finally did it, and invited a ton of my friends and family to like my page. I wanted 100 likes by July 31st, and I came close. 79 likes! Want to help me out? Come like my page if you are interested! My new goal for August: Grow to 100 likes on Facebook.
- Get my page views up to 2,000 views a month. I surpassed this goal by over 600 page views! Yay! My new goal for August: Grow to 4,000 monthly page views.
I talked last month about how I’ve rebranded my blog about a billion times. I’m happy to say I’ve finally found a look I like and am sticking with it. I’m still trying to find an on-brand pin style, but I’ll get there. A few things I did this month: redid my header, sidebars, and Pinterest boards, added read-more cuts to lower bounce rate, and streamlined graphics and fonts on old posts.
I’ve learned SO MUCH about blogging this month, a lot of which is thanks to podcasts. I’ve really loved the Influencer Podcast, which has opened my eyes to so many strategies and tools! It’s a little fashion blogging focused, but I can adapt a lot of what they talk about into my niche. I’ve also dedicated a lot of time learning about Instagram. You’d think it’s a simple photo sharing app, but it is so much more. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface.
Overall, I’m happy with how my blog has grown in the past month. I’ve learned how to make more realistic goals, where to spend my time, and a little bit more of the behind the scenes stuff. I’m proud of the work I’ve put in, and I’d like to think I’ll continue to do well if I work hard. We’ll see! I’ll be back September 1st to see how August goes!
Want to see all my traffic and income reports?