Hello! Every month I like to review the last month and see how things are going. Where can I improve? What worked? What didn’t? My goal for this blog is that it starts to supplement our income while I decorate my house on a budget and I teach you to do the same. I hope and pray that one day I can make enough so I can stay home when we decide to add a second child to our family. I would also like to do more giving. My goal of giving is going to slowly start now that we are pretty much out of debt (!!!). I am happier when I can make the world a better place. I have big dreams, and I can see it happening! I believe in the mantra “if you can dream it, you can achieve it.” Every second I spend on this blog I am trying to achieve the dreams above! Thank you SOOOOO much for reading and helping me on what I believe is my path and calling :). Let’s dig in- here is November Traffic and Income:
- Amazon Affiliate $0
- Etsy Affiliate $0.64
- Ebay Affiliate $1.27
- Google Ads $0.30 (my RPM- page revenue per thousand impressions is $0.34. A blog that makes about $25,000 per month has an RPM around $10.00)
$0- nothing this month. So I made $2.21 this month- getting better!
- Instagram 178 (up from 152 last month)
- Pinterest 605 (up from 564 last month)- this is huge growth!! I really focus on growing this number because most of my clicks come from Pinterest, so this is exciting to me!
- Bloglovin 3 (same from last month)- I need to see what other blog feeds there are out there and make sure my feed shows up. I only use Bloglovin, but I think there is Feedly. Add it to my goals!
- Mail Chimp Subscribers 1 (same from last month)- I have an idea of how to grow this. I want to create a PDF of “my top 10 designing on a budget tips” and have that be an opt-in for subscribing. But that means that I actually have to make it and then figure how to do an opt-in. It is important to me because I think it’s the first step to creating my own product and selling (which is where the money is at with blogging). Also, I have some good designing on a budget tips and I would love to give these to my readers!
Sidenote, I am no longer tracking my followers on Facebook. I have chosen to focus on Pinterest and Instagram and not spread myself too thin.
So this month was a little rough with Instagram. I didn’t see the growth I wanted and it was frustrating. I stayed around 165 followers for most of the month and was in a real slump- I’d gain a few, I’d loose a few. I kept reading that you shouldn’t use more than 3 hashtags per photo, so I did that. My engagement and followers really fell with less hashtags, so I went back to using as many as I could think of and that helped. Instagram changed their formatting on captions so you have to click to see the whole comment so I just put my hashtags in the comments. My sister texted me to stop :), so I did. I think she was right and it has helped. When I was in the thick of my Insta slump and really discourage I watched a free webinar on growing your Instagram following by Hilary Rushford. I left feeling inspired and rejuvenated! With her help, I redid my bio to show my readers what is in it for them. My bio used to be all about me and more generic. I also just changed the link in my profile to a short link so that it is trackable what traffic comes from Instagram (I had heard before that short links are spammy, but that webinar disagreed, so we will try it out). Here is my profile currently:
Another really helpful tip from the webinar was to look at the most recent 9 photos in your profile and ask yourself if they show your brand? Here are the things I like to Instagram about and these can help if I am not sure what to post:
- my house
- wise words (a quote)
- my dogs
- my baby
- myself with my baby
- styling photos from work
- Anything in my brand colors- pink, white, grey
Another suggestion was to experiment with your photos. Don’t get too predictable! Try different angles. Take pictures in different locations- be creative and awakened by your own work!
Something else I am trying to implement is giving the reader something- a tip, inspiration. Making it so they have a reason to stay in addition to pretty images.
I would love to pay for her whole class, but $197 is a lot of money to my family right now. I am looking at buying this book for $15. The author is in my genre and has the MOST beautiful feed and she has 42k followers. If I do buy it, I will share a tip or two next month 🙂
Here is my most liked and most commented on photos from Instagram last month. So the chubby baby leg photo and the flat lay with the Advent tree were the overall winners 🙂
This is my most like media in November
Every morning I repin my most popular pins to group boards. I was randomly added to a new group board, so that was nice! I have requested to be added to three baby boards, but haven’t been added yet (so annoying to put in my precious time and not have any results to report back on). Pinterest is so important to my blog so I will keep on keeping on with it 🙂
Last month I had a goal of getting 1000 pageviews and I got there! The annoying thing is that I think a bunch of them were spam :(. I have no clue what to do about that…
You can see that these are my top pages and lines 3, 9, and 10 all look spammy. I looked into line 3 and it was for a suspended ad.fly user, so that is good news (that it is suspended). I’ve taken off one email subscription box that I wasn’t using that was sending is a ton of spam emails, so hopefully it’s fixed.
Here are the top sources sending visitors to my blog. Again, lots of spam. I have been trying to comment on three blogs a day (blogs that I love and are somewhat similar to mine) in the hopes that I would get more traffic. It worked, but was not the top ways I got traffic. Ps, Pinterest I love you. Last month I had 151 referrals from Pinterest and this month it is up to 232! The longer you are on Google, the more it recognizes you. It has gone up from 18 to 27 organic searches!
Improvements I made to my blog last month:
One of my goals last month was to create a new blog header. I did it! Here is the old one (I really hated that font!):
Here is the new one! It wasn’t too hard once I had a little time to work on it. I created it with www.picmonkey.com (a free service). I used the same fonts I use on my pinnable photos to create continuity through my blog. Much better, right?!
One thing that I really struggled with when I first started my blog was resizing photos. If you use the big photos right off your phone, it will slow down your site. If you manually resize your photos one by one, it takes forever. I downloaded a free software called Light Image Resizer 4. It is super easy to use! And quick! I create a folder for the images for that blog post. I then copy the images into that folder. It takes less than 10 seconds for them all to be resized!!! I then rename them all (so when someone pins them, they have a relevant name. This also helps with SEO) and upload them into my post. This is by far the fastest way I have found to deal with large photos!
This month I purchased a subscription to a Pinterest scheduler called MassPlanner. Guys, it sucked. I had it all set-up and then I went to schedule some pins and I couldn’t open the program (like, I would click on it and nothing would happen). I emailed and emailed about it. They sent me some super complicated steps to fix it, so I just asked for a refund. I am a little discouraged about this. Also, something I didn’t know is that to schedule your pins your desktop needs to be connected to the internet and running. My husband hated it because it slowed down our computer because it was always running. I am putting this on the back burner for now. The subscription was $10 a month and right now that isn’t worth it for me.
Another thing I did was work on my sidebar. I added two affiliate links to Amazon. I also added some more functionality: a calendar, a list of my top categories, and my most recent Instagram images.
Last month I was able to achieve 2 of my 5 goals- I got 1,000 pageviews and I created a new header! To be fair, I worked really hard to schedule pins.
I know these posts are a total departure from my normal posts and seem a little self-involved. I hope they are helpful to someone. They really help me to focus on my business and be more self-aware of what is and isn’t working. If you want anything else included in next month’s post or any questions, please let me know! Thank you for reading!