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January Blog Traffic Report + Stats and Goals
Back in August, I started keeping track of my blog traffic, stats, and goals for the next month. I may be adding income reports at a later date, but for now, the only way to see my income reports is to subscribe to my email list. If you’re wondering why I would share these numbers at all, that’s a great question. There are actually two reasons. The first is that it’s a way for me to see my own progress. I also find blog traffic reports and income reports from other bloggers to be helpful and inspiring. My goal is to be helpful and inspiring to new bloggers someday.
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January Blog Traffic Report
Oh, January, you were so good to me, and then you were not. January was my fourth month of taking a more “full time” approach to blogging. I am not technically full time because I still run other businesses, but I am working as hard as possible toward making an income from blogging.
January was good, really good! In the beginning of the month, page views were up, life was good. Then something happened. After doing some investigating, I may have figured out the problem.
Here is what happened:
I finally changed my theme to the Genesis Framework. I’ve been using the Genesis Framework on my other blog for a while but finally made the switch here. My traffic appeared to immediately tank. I did some research and while I’m still not 100% sure on the cause, it looks like changing a theme is indeed something that can temporarily affect traffic. Who knew? Not me.
A piece of solid advice: start with a good theme from the beginning. You can watch my video about installing the Genesis Framework here (it’s less intimidating than it sounds.) I wish I would have done this when I started my blog instead of waiting until my traffic was the highest it had ever been.
Secondly, Pinterest went through an update right around the exact same time. Some people had more traffic as a result, and some had less. I was part of the latter group. Fortunately, things seem to be moving back up, slowly, but January’s blog traffic was still much lower than I anticipated.
Upon digging further, my actual sessions weren’t down that much but my page views were way down and my bounce rate is way up. I’m not sure if it’s a loading time issue but I am working on it. Either way, things appear to be on the upswing at this point.
I didn’t set any monetary goals this month, thankfully. Starting in 2018, I will be sending my income reports to my email list, but I may consider adding it here at some point.
I didn’t have any sponsored posts this month, and I don’t want to ever have too many. I am very open to sponsored posts, but only for products that I really love and would bring a lot of value to you. I made a small amount of money through affiliate marketing and a very small amount from ads. I learned what I know from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. I’ve been using affiliate marketing since I started my blog, but I only started seeing income after completing the course.
The actual numbers
I like to set goals because whether or not I meet them, it’s an opportunity to learn.
Blog Traffic Goals
AmyFillinger.com: 25,000 page views in January.
FAIL-not even close:
If you missed the traffic fiasco story, scroll up to check it out. I had 10,940 page views. Ouch. That is my lowest since September. During our move, I scaled back on manual pinning (using strategies found in this book) and added some content on Tailwind so that I wouldn’t lose my mind during the move. I still have some things scheduled on Tailwind, but I have been manual pinning again and plan to continue for now. Manual pinning seems to drive more traffic to my site from Pinterest.
New posts for the month of January
I had 6 new posts in December, my goal was one new post per week, so that was a success. I have realized that while new posts are important, it’s even more important to continue sharing popular content and going in and updated older posts that are still doing well. I continued to update older posts in January. I highly recommend doing this, particularly if you have season content. I noticed that my Non-candy Easter basket ideas post had some traffic (and it was awful) so I re-wrote it and created new images. Here are the January posts.
Popular posts in January:
8 things I stopped buying to save money was my most popular post in January thanks to a huge spike at the beginning of the month. 10 things you need to know before going to Hawaii was number two, which was great since it was a new post.
I’ve wanted to get back to making videos for YouTube. We took a break for a few months but we are back. You can check out the channel here.
We moved! I feel like I say that in every life update. The last few months have been chaotic, to say the least. We’ve been back in Florida for a few weeks and we are so glad to be back. Another huge life update is that I am now homeschooling all of the kids.
I planned to homeschool my oldest (9) and casually do preschool with my youngest (4) but send my daughter to public school. It’s a long story, but that ended up not working out. The school was year-round anyway, which wouldn’t have worked with our lifestyle at all. It’s been a huge adjustment having all of the kids home, but it’s going pretty well. I am looking into sports, clubs, and activities to ensure that they still get to socialize with people. 😉 I’ve already had my first semi-rude comment on homeschooling which is why I added that in there. Enough on that, I write more about life stuff in my newsletter or you can follow us day-t0-day on Instagram stories, back to the post!
What worked and what didn’t
- Manual Pinning: I am a firm believer than manual pinning works. However, life can get busy and sometimes using a scheduler helps keep life a little less chaotic. I did a combination of using Tailwind and manual pinning in January. I purchased Pinteresting Strategies months ago, but it felt like too much work at the time. Once I started actually trying it, I saw results. I continued to see traffic slowly improving, despite the holidays. I have noticed that I’ve gotten a lot quicker at manual pinning, and I really don’t mind doing it.
- Switching to Mailerlite: I switched to Mailerlite from Mailchimp in the middle of October. I am very happy with the switch. My email list was up again in January, although not quite as much as December. I am going to continue to create
- Re-writing and making new images for old posts: This has been going very well. I have noticed older posts that have really picked up after re-writing and creating new images.
Social Media Goals
Social media is probably something that I need to work on, but it isn’t high on my priority list, yet.
GOAL: Not set
Twitter followers are down. I don’t get much traffic from Twitter, so I don’t worry about it. I wasn’t on Twitter at all, and I kept forgetting to schedule anything. I’d like to grow my social media followings in order to work with more brands, but honestly, that is the only reason I have to work on Twitter. For now, I use Buffer to schedule my latest blog posts. I plan to work on Twitter later in the year.
Not yet, but I expect to be at 2500 next month. Honestly, 2500 was a big goal! My following on Pinterest is up, my “reach” is up, but my page views from Pinterest were DOWN a little bit. It all goes to show that followers are a vanity metric and reach means very little!
GOAL: 700 subscribers
I still gained almost 100 email subscribers, but I also lost some. That’s okay, I’ve realized that offering incentives to subscribe is great, but a lot of people unsubscribe after they get them. That’s just fine, they weren’t “my people” anyway.
I terribly neglected Facebook again this month. Again, maybe later in the year. I need to start using the strategies that I learned from Strategies Worth Sharing. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day.
I plan to put a lot more work on Facebook later in 2018, but it will probably be whenever I can get into the Massive Growth Strategies by Moolah course. I really don’t want to waste any money on ads until I have a better guide.
Let’s talk about Instagram for just a minute. Our Instagram grew by about 600% this month, yes, really! Why? Well, regular posting, following hashtags, following people, and stories. We have really loved doing Instagram stories. If you want a peek into our daily (crazy) lives, make sure to follow us! The account isn’t really for this blog, but I still wanted to share it here.
My other January Goals:
- Post 1x per week: I had 6 posts, so I this was a success.
- Accept at least one guest post per month. Nope. However, I had two guest posts in December so it all worked out.
- Send the email newsletter every week. Check! I sent emails at least once a week.
- Switch to the Genesis Framework. Check. Although it was a disaster, it’s done.
- Keep up with the editorial calendar. Umm about that. I should probably work on February.
- Finish free blogging course. Finally! It’s done, and I am happy with it! You can check it out here.
- Work on Pinterest ebook. Kind of. It’s not ready yet, and I didn’t have a chance to work on it much, but it’s coming along.
One more goal that I didn’t write down was to start my Facebook sharing group. I did that in January. We have a small but very engaged group of mom bloggers, I’d love for you to join! Overall I am happy with my progress in January, I learned a lot.
Goals for February
Traffic and Social Media
- Post 1x per week. Yes, only once. If I post more than once, great! If not, that’s okay.
- 2+ YouTube videos per week.
- 30 YouTube subscribers (yes, 30. Please help. 😂)
- Continue to send the email newsletter every week.
- Continue to work on my Pinterest book.
- Start working on a free Pinterest course.
Yes, I am working on a Pinterest book! I am so excited about it. I plan for it to be a comprehensive guide for using Pinterest for business, and I am absolutely loving the process. One of my “bucket list” items, since I was a little kid, was to write a book! This will be an ebook, but it’s still a book and a big thing for me to cross off my list!
When I started blogging, I wish I would have found one guide to walk me through the whole process. Well, that might not have been there for me, but I created one. It’s pretty easy and straightforward. You can check out the free course here (bonus, it has videos!) This is for newbies who have no idea where to start.
Thanks for checking out the January blog traffic report! If you are trying to increase your blog traffic, I highly recommend giving manual pinning a try. What have you done to increase your traffic? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
My Favorite Blogging Resources
These are some of the blogging resources that I’ve been using, and can honestly recommend to anyone.
Traffic Transformation has been an AMAZING resource for me. I can’t recommend it enough. I’m finally seeing traffic from Google as a result of her strategy.
Making Sense of Affiliating Marketing is my favorite course for figuring out how to make affiliate marketing work for you. No matter what your niche, affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with a blog.
Facebook Strategies Worth Sharing. I mentioned this course earlier, and I learned so much in a short book. I’m saving for the Facebook Strategies Course by Moolah, but this book is a great and inexpensive tool to learn the ins and outs of Facebook.
I use Creative Cloud (Lightroom and Photoshop) to create all of my graphics for my blog and social media platforms. I highly recommend it, especially since many free companies like PicMonkey have started charging.
If you got this far, thank you again for reading the January Blog Traffic report! I hope that my little blog will inspire you if you’re thinking about starting a blog yourself.