Last updated on July 21st, 2018 at 06:43 am
Growing a blog takes a lot of hard work. This is the reason that I’ve started paying attention to my blog growth stats on a monthly basis.
We all want to work smarter, not harder right?
I don’t claim to be an expert in stats or generating blog traffic, in fact, I’m NOT very good with either one. It’s all a learning process as I grow my blog. However, I have learned which stats are important. Every blog is different and we all have different goals of what we want to achieve with our blogs.Starting a blog is half the battle, focus on growth #WordPress #freetraining at susanvelez.com Click To Tweet
Yours may be different from mine. Today, I’m going to share my blog growth stats and what I personally pay attention to each and every month. Remember, what I focus on may be totally different than what you’re focused on.
My blogging journey may be slower than yours. So it’s kind of like comparing apples to oranges. I can only share what I am doing and what I’m learning.
My Monthly Blog Growth Stats
April is over and May is now here. This not only means that May flowers are blooming, it also means that I’ve almost been blogging for 7 months.
As you know, I’ve now been blogging for over 6 months and heading into my 7th month. Wow time flies when you’re having fun.
Related: My 6 month blog update
As you know, I created this blog to share my WordPress experience with you, so you can start, grow and monetize your own blog.
I’ve also decided to share my own personal experiences on my blog. I am moving away from working as a WordPress freelancer to a full-time blogger, you can read more about my journey here.
Yup, I’m tired of being a freelancer. So here I am on another online journey.
What I Focus On For Blog Growth
When I first started this blog, I was just blogging. I didn’t really focus on growth until maybe 3 months into my blogging journey.
However, I didn’t really have a strategy in place to help me determine what was actually working on growing my blog or not.
I basically just wrote a new blog post and added it to my blogging schedule. I never took the time to check my Analytics to see what my readers wanted.
Now when you first start a blog, you have to just start writing. You really don’t have a lot of data to work with to see what your readers like.
However, now that I’ve been blogging for almost 7 months, I’ve finally got some data.
Now I make it a point to check what my most popular blog posts are and see if I can write more content based around those.
After all, if the content was popular the first time, I’m pretty sure that I can write another popular post based around my popular posts?
Well, I can only hope that I can. After all, writing my blog posts takes a while. I sure don’t want to waste a lot of time writing content that no one wants to read.
Although I’ve got several blog posts in my archives that I thought were going to be popular. When in fact, they never got more than a handful of visitors.
My Monthly Strategy
I’ve actually just adopted this strategy at the beginning of March. Before that, I never paid attention to any of my stats. So it was impossible to see how fast or slow my blog was growing.
I think it takes a while to get a rhythm going of what you want to focus on to grow your blog.
Now what I do, is I write down my blog stats at the end of every month on Google Drive. This helps me see how my blog is growing.
I actually created a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of my blog growth. It’s nothing fancy, it just helps me keep track of all my numbers.
Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like.
As you can see, I am now keeping track of these numbers on my blog. Growing a blog is new to me, I am learning as I go along.
Yes, I’ve had a blog before, but I never actually put forth the effort to grow it. With this blog, I am actually setting goals and working towards them on a monthly basis.
What I’ve realized is that starting a blog is easy, the growing part takes time.
March Blog Goals
I actually started setting blog goals so I wouldn’t feel like I am spreading myself too thin. Before I started tracking my blog growth, I found myself trying to be everywhere.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that we need to be on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Live, YouTube and everywhere else.
I’m here to tell you that it’s impossible to do this and see growth on your blog.
I am no longer trying to be everywhere. I now make it a point to focus on 1-2 areas per month for growing my blog.
I set one main goal for marketing my blog and make sure that I focus on that the entire month. I also set a goal of what I want to achieve with my blog. Last month, I made it a point that I wanted to finish writing my first eBook and I did it. You can check it out here.
After the month, I’ll see how my traffic strategies and focus panned out. This will help me determine my new blog goals for the next month.
If you still don’t have a traffic strategy for your blog, I highly recommend this traffic guide.
What was my blog goal for March?
So last month I made it a point to start blog commenting on other people’s blogs. Not so much for the backlink or traffic, but in hopes of being able to build some relationships.
I made it a point to comment on at least 5-10 blogs each and everyday, excluding the weekends. I was pretty successful on this.
Now I really don’t start the morning off and say I have to comment on 5-10 blog posts. Somedays I didn’t do 5 I just did 3.
I just made it a point to start commenting on other people’s blogs.
During this process, I was able to build a relationship with another blogger and she allowed me to write a guest post for her blog. You can check out my guest post here.
As you can see, I don’t focus on the backlinks or the traffic. While I have noticed that my traffic has spiked because of all the comments I left on other blogs. (which is nice)
So How Much Did My Blog Grow
Now I am NOT trying to brag. Believe me, I don’t have anything to brag about. I am only posting my monthly blog growth stats because I am hoping that they’ll help you.
If not they’ll at least be my personal journal of how my blog is growing. This way I can look back and see what is actually working for my blog or not.
About 2 months after starting my blog, I created a video walk-through of my Google Analytics stats of my new blog. I keep that video on my computer.
I look at it whenever I feel like my blog is growing real slow or if I am not making progress. I’ve learned that I am really hard on myself when it comes to growing my blog.
Plus it’s easy to get discouraged whenever you read how much faster other people are growing their blogs. Unfortunately, we’re all on your own blogging journey. You will grow at your own pace and it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing.
February Traffic Growth
In February, I really didn’t keep track of the things that I did. I was pretty much just trying to find a strategy that I liked and would help me grow.
March Traffic Growth
In March, I made it a point to start commenting and trying to start networking with other people. I commented on well over 100 blogs, if not more. I also started trying to learn more about Pinterest.
To tell you the truth, Pinterest is NOT my biggest traffic referral. Nope, Facebook is my biggest traffic referrer. I only got started with Pinterest because I hear so many bloggers saying it was awesome for traffic. (guess I need to drill down and learn more about using it)
I really don’t know what I’m doing on Facebook, this month I am going to spend time trying to learn a little bit more about how to use it effectively for business. I won’t be paying for Facebook Ads, as I want to make the most of it using free methods before I consider paying.
Right now, I am just using the Facebook Groups that I am a member of.
My Email Subscriber Growth
The main purpose of my blog is to build my email list and try to build a good relationship with my email list. I’ve always been terrible with growing an email list.
So this time around, I am actually taking it more seriously. In February, I started the month with 18 email subscribers.
Actually, this is the main thing that I look at each and every month. After all, that’s the main goal of my blog. I want to turn my visitors into subscribers.
February 2017 – 18 Subscribers
March 2017 – 30 Subscribers (slow growth, but at least it’s positive)
How Do I Get More PageViews?
As a newbie blogger, we all want to get more page views. After all the more eyeballs on our blog, the more likely someone will subscribe to our email list.
As long as it is something that will benefit them. Oh, I also improved my 7 Day WordPress Crash Course that I offer as my freebie. You can enroll here.
Basically, for the month month of April all I did to get more page views is:
- Commented on Blogs
- Interlinked my content together whenever I wrote new content
- Wrote 8 new blog posts in March
- Pinned all my new posts to Pinterest and the tribes ( I really haven’t started using Groups yet)
- Focus on properly optimizing my blog posts for SEO (although I am NOT getting a lot of organic traffic yet)
- Shared my posts on Facebook Share days in Groups
This is everything that I did for the month of April to increase my page views. As you can see they did increase from February.
Most Popular Post
I’ve also started trying to focus on writing more content based off the popular posts in Google Analytics. If you haven’t installed it on your blog, here’s a step-by-step tutorial that will help you get it installed.
As for my most popular post in April, it was the Social Warfare Plugin blog post. Your most popular post will change from month to month.
In March my most popular post was What Is A WordPress Plugin. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what people are reading on your blog.
I am making it a point to write more content that people have already told me they like. When you’re first starting a blog, you don’t have a lot of analytics to work with.
So you basically start writing content, you hope your audience will love. This is why so many people say it’s important to know who your audience is.
Now that my blog is almost 7 months old, I am actually able to see what people like on my blog. It’s kind of nice because it helps me know what I should write about without having to do a lot of keyword research.
Speaking of keyword research, I use Long Tail Pro to help me find keywords for my blog.
Learning More About Pinterest
Pinterest is a huge game changer for a lot of bloggers. I did take the Pinning Perfect course and implemented everything in it. However, when I started the course, I had maybe 7 of my own blog posts.
Now I have several more posts and am able to share more of my own content. However, I still haven’t seen huge traffic growth from my Pinterest efforts.
I am not sure if it’s because my images are not that great? I’ve seen some amazing pins on Pinterest and while mine aren’t terrible, they sure aren’t amazing.
Even though I am not seeing the huge growth others are seeing, I am still pinning my new blog posts each and every week. (I am going to start digging deeper into Pinterest and see if I can improve my traffic results.)
As you can see, I am not getting a ton of traffic from Pinterest. Maybe, it’s because I am not a member of any huge group boards yet?
There’s definitely a learning curve to learning how to use Pinterest. Although, I’ve only been using it regularly for about 3 months now. I would think that I should be seeing faster growth?
It is my 2nd biggest traffic referral after Facebook. However, as you can see from my stats, there’s a lot of room for improvement.
I only have 211 followers on Pinterest. But then I’ve heard so many people say that followers don’t really matter that much? You can base your own opinion after you read this.
This tool has definitely helped me with my Pinterest game. Although, there’s a lot to still learn, I don’t think I could have accomplished everything without it.
Tools for Success
These are the tools that I use in my business and couldn’t imagine trying to run a blog without them.
Tailwind: This tool helps me automate my Pinterest efforts. My favorite part of Tailwind are the Tribes. They are kind of like Groups, but anyone can join without having to wait days for a response. I’ve recently started using Board Booster to help me with the looping feature.
So I don’t really know how much of a positive or negative effect it’ll have on my account?
SiteGround: I am on the GrowBig plan and I love it. If you’re looking for a reliable hosting account for beginners, I highly recommend this hosting account. You can easily start for just $5.95 per month. Although, I recommend paying for 2 years in advance. This will give you enough time to grow your blog and start making money before another hosting bill rolls around.
Related: How to Start A Blog On SiteGround
GetResponse: I use this email service to build my subscribers. It makes it easy to send out my 7 day WordPress course as soon as someone signs up.
ShareSale: This is the affiliate program that I work with for most of the products that I promote on my blog. I make it a point to only promote the products that I use and love.
Social Warfare: This social sharing plugin has made it easy for me to get people to share the images and content I want shared. I started off with Monarch, which is another good one. However, my favorite is the Social Warfare plugin.
The main thing to consider when shopping for a social sharing plugin. Does it make it easy for others to share your content? No one is going to spend time trying to find your social share icons.
Next Month’s Blog Goals
Stay tuned for my next month’s traffic stats to see how they improve. I feel like I have some Big Goals for May and I am going to work hard on reaching them.
- Continue blog commenting and networking with other bloggers. I’ve never really been a great networker and I am working on improving that.
- Write more content based off of my popular blog posts. If I take the time to piggy back off my successful posts, that should mean more traffic and hopefully, more subscribers.
- Keep learning more about how to use Facebook and improve my Facebook marketing.
- Spend time trying to improve my Pinterest marketing strategy
- Increase my subscribers from 30 – 60 (that’s double of what I have right now)
- Focus more on my email subscribers and actually start building a relationship with them.
While I know that page views are NOT everything. We want to reach our targeted visitors. Otherwise we’re just getting a bunch of traffic and people don’t really care what you’re saying.
They’ll will never sign up for your email list or buy your products or services.
Why It’s Taking Me So Long to Grow
My blog is slowly growing and it seems like so many other bloggers are growing at a much faster pace. I’m not sure if it’s because I chose a competitive niche.
I probably could’ve grown at a faster pace, had I started a lifestyle blog. However, I chose to go with a niche that I know.
Hand Picked Articles For You:
Since I work with WordPress on a daily basis, I chose the start, grow and monetize your blog for beginners. I felt like I know a lot about WordPress and Genesis, enough to share my tutorials and experiences for beginners.
Along the way, I can share my own blogging experiences in hopes of helping someone improve or start their own blog.
I didn’t want to make the same blogging mistakes I’ve made in the past. Where I chose a niche that I knew nothing about and didn’t have the desire to learn anything more about it.
That’s it, now come back next month and see if I can reach my traffic goals.
So that’s what I’ve been busy working on in between working on my freelance work. What’s your best blogging tips? Share them with me in the comments below.
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)