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When I first started thinking more seriously about starting a blog, I spent a lot of time reading various income and blog growth reports. I find them very interesting for some reason. They also gave me a lot of ideas on possible blogging strategies and I started believing that I can do that.
But it’s been almost two years since I bought a domain and started writing. I took a lot of blogging courses that were supposed to make me a successful blogger almost overnight. I’m exaggerating here a bit, but I surely believed that I’ll reach 50,000 page views during the first year. If others can, then I should be able to achieve it too, shouldn’t I?
When I look at everything I’ve done, or maybe I should say I haven’t done, during that time, I’m not surprised I didn’t get results I expected.
- I didn’t post consistently.
- I didn’t share my blog on Pinterest or Instagram. Fear of being criticised blocked me from growing these platforms altogether.
- My strategy was non-existent – I was writing only when I felt like it and tried to write for Google instead for people.
- After a couple of attempts at building my email list, I just forgot about it completely.
Why did I expect to get any results when I was too ashamed to share what I do, kept it a secret, and didn’t put in almost any effort?
Since 2023 is the year when I want to take back control over my actions and socials, I want to start a series documenting my journey of growing my blog.
I remember how inspired and motivated I felt after reading similar posts and I hope that at least one post will feel similar after reading this series. December was the first month when I tried posting every week since my 2-month break and had some kind of plan, so let’s look how statistics looked like for this month. It will also give me an idea of where I am right now.
I don’t know how everything will pan out and if any of my strategies will help at all, but we’ll see. Let’s make sure that we’ll do everything we can to improve and don’t worry about the results right now.
Navigate to where you want to go:
Let’s start from the beginning…
Even though I’ve had this blog for less than two years, I pivoted many times. At least two, maybe more. It first started as a productivity blog to build a base of potential clients for my digital planners I was creating at that time. After a while, I felt suffocated and couldn’t force myself to write about anything productivity-related.
That’s when I started organising my huge photo collection and I had a lightbulb moment – I should write about travel! I’ve been moving around England every year since 2015. I’ve lived in four different counties, 8 towns, and visited even more, so it looked like a fab idea. But writing became boring after a while… I wanted to touch on many topics which I wasn’t able to, while blogging solely about travels. I was afraid to pivot so soon again, and write more authentic and relatable pieces.
But I did. It took me a while, but I changed my vision and direction I was going once again.
Now, my aim is to share with you my journey to creating the life I love and write about finding yourself and chasing your dreams even when they’re completely crazy and you feel like no-one supports you. Because I feel the same way about wanting to make a living from blogging and I know how hard it can be to follow your desire to do something different from everyone else you know.
Analytics & social media report
Let’s start with the most important one, probably. Google Analytics. This is something every blogger tracks and measure their success this way.
I’ve been posting fairly regularly for the most of the year, so honestly I expected my page views to reflect on that. To my surprise, content that brings the most readers is still travel-related, so page views dipped immensely in late autumn / early winter.
In December, I had just 949 page views. I had between 11-45 readers every day coming to my blog, which isn’t so bad, but it could be much better. During one of the summer months, I had over 5,000 page views, so I’m confident I can do a lot better!
Bounce rate was as high as always, 91.02%. That’s bad. Really bad. Bounce rate is basically the percentage of visitors that view only one page on the website and then goes away. Over 90% of people didn’t check other articles after coming to my blog. In the ideal world, this number should be somewhere between 26% – 40% so there’s a lot of room for improvement.
I made almost no effort to interlink my posts – not my smartest decision.
89.12% of people came from organic search so at least my SEO isn’t completely bad.
Pinterest, my dear Pinterest… I have pinned nothing for over a year. It’s the only “social media” platform I don’t really understand, no matter how much time I spend on it. I know how beneficial it can be to grow quickly an audience, so I most definitely need to up my game a bit here too.
In December, Total audience equalled 424. I had 649 Impressions and 14 Engagements, meaning pin clicks and saves. All those stats aren’t really that important, though, because the percentage of people that would actually engage with the pin is tiny.
I had only 7 Outbound clicks, meaning that only 7 people actually went to my website.
Pins that got any Outbound clicks were related only to my posts about things to pack when moving abroad, moving away from family, reasons to visit Liverpool, and the cost of living in Liverpool. One of them went also to a digital planning post, one of the very first ones I ever posted on my blog.
Since December was also the month when I started posting a bit more stories than usual and I want to focus on growing that platform too, let’s quickly check Insights.
I reached 166 accounts, and 5 of them engaged with my content in any way. My stories reached 151 people, posts 35, and reels 4. I’m surprised to see how detailed Insights are by the way – I’ve never really looked at them since they changed the way they are displayed.
Posts published in December
It was the month when I got back into publishing new posts more regularly. I shared four of them, one a week. I wanted every blog post to go out on Tuesday, but it didn’t work out.
Strategies I used in December
Publish one blog post a week
That’s basically my strategy from the very beginning, but sometimes it hasn’t been working out as it should. Since I wanted to get back to blogging, I knew I had to at least post consistently.
Share each blog post on my Instagram Stories
I’m scared of Pinterest and something blocks me out from pivoting on Instagram and sharing new posts. So, Stories were the only way I came up with to tell anyone about new posts I’ve been writing and hoping to get some readers this way.
Yup, that’s right, no Pinterest, no real strategy, nothing. I just knew I want to get back to writing even if I don’t have everything figure out yet. Because, truth be told, you’ll never be ready, so start now and figure out everything else as you go.
Strategies & goals for January
Publish 2-3 blog posts a week. At least half of them need to be SEO to the best of my abilities
I know I’m going bold at this one, but I feel like it’s something I can easily achieve this time. One of my yearly goals is to publish 100 posts this year, so it makes two posts a week throughout an entire year.
Figure out how Tailwind works and join 10-20 Communities
I hope that this will help me up my Pinterest game.
Create 1-2 pins for each blog post and pin consistently
I need to work on my Pinterest and even though creating 1-2 pins per post are definitely not enough; I feel like I have to start small, otherwise I’ll get stuck again. Ideally, I’d create anywhere between 10-20 pins per post, but it’s not something I even want to think about right now.
Add Instagram Stories every day
I’m not sure how everything else pan out so I don’t set any goals related to static posts or reels. I know it would help me a lot to grow my account, but I don’t feel anywhere near ready to tackle this challenge.
Start thinking about creating a challenge and blog post series
I’ve been wanting to create a challenge for a very long time. I’ve come up with an idea months ago, but I’ve never come around to actually make it a reality. Now, it fits exactly into what I want to write about on my blog and I believe it would help both me and you to become a better version of myself.
As for the blog post series, I’ve been wanting to create a series on How to start a blog for ages but there’s so much content about it I didn’t think it would make much sense. I believe it might be worth to give it a try anyway and see how it’ll go.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
There are a lot of misconceptions about having a blog. For a very long time, I believed it’s childish of me to put my time and energy into writing it. That’s also the reason I tried to hide the fact I’m working on it, share nothing on Instagram, and I’d never admitted to anyone that this is something I take seriously.
I know you can be successful as a content creator or a blogger. You just need to believe in yourself and stop worrying about what others might or might not say.
I hope you found this blog growth report helpful and maybe inspirational or motivational. If you’re also a blogger, let’s connect! Blogging is lonely, and it’s difficult to get through this journey on your own.
Let me know in the comments what strategies you’re using this month. Have you found something that works best for you, or on the contrary, something that’s not helpful at all?
See you soon!