When I launched this blog 30 days ago, I honestly had no idea what to expect. Of course, I had a game plan in mind and did a lot of work before I even launched the site, but it’s impossible to guess how many people will actually read your blog and how much engagement you will have with your readers until you jump in and put it out there.
I officially hit “publish” on October 17th, 2016 and I have to admit that I am pretty happy with the results so far. I love to learn, and there are SO MANY amazing bloggers out there that I like to follow and learn from. Everyone has a different technique and a different goal in mind, so it’s nice to see what’s working for them and what isn’t.
I started this blog with the goal of helping others start their own blogs, reach their ideal audience, and make money online. Every post I write is written with the intent of helping others reach their goals so I believe in being 100% transparent. I in no way claim to know everything (I learn something new every day!), and I won’t recommend something unless I’ve tried it and it’s actually beneficial. This post may contain affiliate links; however I only promote products I love, from companies I trust.
So here are the juicy details for those of you who want to see the real facts and numbers. In the past 30 days this blog has had 4,325 page views, 2,122 active users, and 1,606 unique users. Readers are staying on my site for an average of 2 minutes and 31 seconds, and they are viewing an average of 2 pages per visit. Since my blog is just 30 days old, I am attracting 75% new readers and 25% returning readers, which is to be expected.
So where are all of these readers coming from? According to my Google Analytics, it shows that 78% of the blog readers came from a social media site. Yes…social media is important and is the number one driver of website traffic!
How Exactly Did I Do It?
Before I launched my blog, I spent several weeks customizing my WordPress theme, I bought stock photos that represented my brand and the overall style I was trying to achieve, designed my logo and picked my color palette and fonts so everything would have a cohesive look. I also installed Google Analytics so I could know my stats from day one (Google Analytics is the industry standard, so be sure to use it; it’s 100% free. Oh, and be sure to change your settings so it doesn’t track YOUR visits as part of the stats; you only want it to track your actual viewers, not every time you visit your own site.)
When I launched my blog I had six blog posts already written and posted on the site. I did this on purpose so readers would have a few things to read and get a feel for what the blog was about. I also had all of my essential pages up as well (the About page, Services page, Contact page, and the How To Start A Blog page). Do you have to do all of this? NOPE. I’ve seen other bloggers launch their blog with just one post, and that’s perfectly alright. There are no rules when it comes to blogging so you have to find a strategy that works best for you.
I set up all of my social media pages about two weeks before I launched the blog so I could start building up a little audience. I posted a “Coming Soon” photo, a couple posts about what the blog would be about, and a few motivational quotes that related to my blog. I also joined several Facebook Groups and started actively commenting in group boards, linked to my social media pages (when allowed and appropriate), started following and supporting other bloggers.
I have been writing and posting about 2 posts per week. This frequency works best for me because it works with my schedule, and I strongly believe in writing a great post and then promoting it for a couple of days. Write and then promote, promote, promote.
Over the past 30 days, I’ve spent an average of one hour per day on social media either posting on my pages or participating in Facebook Groups. That hour a day has been a huge driver of traffic to this site, so don’t underestimate the power of social media. It is the single most effective way to reach a wide audience from all over the world!
Once the blog launched I jumped right in to using Viraltag to schedule my Pinterest pins. This has been a HUGE time saver as I am able to take about 30 minutes to schedule ALL of my pins for the entire week.
For those of you who are interested, here are my current social media follower counts (as of November 17th, 2016):
Instagram: 725 followers
Pinterest: 660 followers
Facebook: 275 followers
Twitter: 140 followers
I can honestly say that I put 99% of my time into growing my Instagram and Pinterest followers, and very little time promoting my Facebook and Twitter pages, so the numbers above reflect the effort that I’ve put into it over the past month or so.
Lastly, I do want to mention that I have spent absolutely no money on ads or sponsored posts. Zip. Zero. Nada. All of the growth over the past 30 days has been 100% organic and a result of the effort that I’ve put into it. Moving forward, I am considering setting a small budget for Facebook ads or Pinterest sponsored pins to drive more traffic to my site. However, I’m not sure if I should focus on this now or wait until the New Year, so I will keep you updated on that in a future post.
The biggest thing I have learned about blogging is that you can’t compare your blog to other blogs. Every single blog is different (even if they are about the same topic), and every blogger has a different goal in mind. Some bloggers simply enjoy writing and do this as a fun and creative outlet, while other bloggers do this full-time and it is a legitimate business for them. While I am personally very happy with all of the numbers shown above, I am still hoping to continually increase all of them. But hey, we all have to start somewhere right? Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle and you will be just fine!
If you’re thinking of starting a blog be sure to check out this step by step guide, and whether you’re a new blogger or seasoned pro, I have a list here of all of my recommended blogging tools and resources.