Month 2 Blogging Report: November 2017

Welcome to our second monthly blogging report!

I always found the transparency of income reports helpful, but the traffic reports were even more motivational. The downside was, a lot of bloggers didn’t start documenting from the start of their blogging journey.

Seeing their success 6 months to several years down the line was cool, but what was it like in the beginning? What were their feelings and thoughts? Successes and failures? Expectations vs reality?

Another frustration was all the blogs that grew super quickly but didn’t disclose the fact that they had already run very successful blogs in the past. Or were helped along by professional bloggers, that everyone else doesn’t have access to.

Why do I care that they got 10,000 page views during their first month, with the help of backlinks from their other successful blog or pro blogger cousin? That’s not something most can replicate, just by reading their content.

This is why I wanted to create reports documenting those first crucial months where everything is new and confusing. Also, when most bloggers give up and fail with their blogging dreams.

Note*** My first blog report documented our analytics from September 17-October 16. I quickly realized that was going to get frustrating to track, so going forward all of our blogging reports will be monthly starting from the first of the month.

If you’re interested in seeing our reports from the beginning check them out here:

Blog Report Month 1: October 2017

So now on to the report. I’ll start with a little background.

My husband and I started building this blog site on September 3, 2017. We actually launched our blog to the public September 17th.

During our first month, we didn’t know at all what we were doing so we picked some random blogging goals to aim for. After blogging for a month, we were quickly able to create a list of monthly goals that made sense for us.

Blogging Goals

  • Join 7 more related Group Boards on Pinterest (10 total) —  success! we are currently in 11 group boards
  • Get at least 1 backlink —success! My husband handled this but we contributed to at least one other blog this month
  • Learn more about Facebook Ad’s– success!
  • Run our First Facebook Ad to grow email list– failed! See, what happened was… lol. But seriously, we were in the process of creating our first Facebook ad, we were working on the copy and everything, but then I had to take some time away from the blog to focus on my midterms (accounting student here) and I just finished the last of my midterms this past week.
  • Create a new freebie —success! My husband decided to get creative this month and made our second freebie! I was so proud of him and it’s pretty nice. You can check it out here if you’d like: Are You a Shopaholic?–QUIZ. 

November was a pretty difficult month. I was pretty busy with exams, projects and the never-ending attempt to “figure out my life,” so Andreaus ran most of the blog this month. I haven’t gotten around to teaching him to use Canva, Pinterest or Tailwind so things kind of fell completely off the last two weeks of this month. Especially once our Tailwind queue was emptied.😓

Speaking of Tailwind. The website went through a lot of changes in the last 30 days. Some really good and some not so good. They finally added a search function for Tribes. So I found as many interesting personal finance Tribes as I could and requested to join.

But one of the not so great updates is the limit on how many times you can post within the Tribes. Once you hit the limit, you have to “purchase an upgrade.” We’ll see how this goes, but as of right now I still have unlimited posting ability. I’m still loving the power of Tailwind Tribes and continued my Tailwind hustle from last month, before getting crazy busy with school.

I’m currently in 11 Pinterest group boards, and 9 Tribes. It’s getting a bit overwhelming, so I’m going to just focus on sharing within these groups for a couple months and see if we see any growth in traffic.

I still contribute the majority of our traffic to Pinterest, and I know we wouldn’t have gotten as many page views and visitors without the help of Tailwinds.

We’ve also started submitting some of our content to RockStarFinance.com. I didn’t know you could submit content until recently, but if you so happen to get featured it can bring in a surge of traffic. I’m not exactly sure what they are looking for in a feature, but perhaps, one day they will see the value in our content and give us a feature on their site.

Blog Growth

  • 3,000 page views per month–failed! 🙁 1,911 Page Views this month. We got a few more than last month, but I didn’t do any promotion at all for two weeks.
  • 10 more email signups (20 total)–success! We have 31 email subscribers now! I’m always appreciative and surprised every time I check out our list. Thank you, guys!! 💗
  • Get 200 total Pinterest Followers– failed! We now have 143 Pinterest followers.
  • Get to 300 IG Followers– failed! **real tears** I honestly suck at Instagram. Always have. I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to taking photos, and I struggled with coming up with interesting daily photo ideas. Also, I’ve hated the idea of having a “personal finance” IG account. In my opinion, the app is for pretty photos and staged authentic tidbits of life. So I’m in the process of changing the name and returning it to a personal account.
  • Get to 500 Twitter Followers–success! 737 followers! The hubs handle’s all things Twitter, and clearly, someone set out to meet their goal this month! 👏🏾
  • Get FB Page up to 100 Followers–failed! We only gained 3 more followers this month. Totalling 46. In late October we were fooling around with our Facebook Page and did something wrong. Now it’s a struggle to view what’s happening on our page as the owner. The hubs manage’s this account, but honestly, I’m at the point where I just want to keep Facebook for ad’s only. Such a small percent of your followers actually see your content, it doesn’t seem worth the hassle unless you’re running ad’s for something special.

This month we started to create more content that would hopefully lead to more e-mail signups. For all those experienced bloggers out there, I believe you call it some kind of “funnel.” This month we had more e-mail signups via our site popup. While this is totally fine by me, I want to give people more reasons to subscribe to our blog. We plan to continue this going into the new year, by creating more freebies and writing content especially for them.

This month we also managed to double our Pinterest impressions. That didn’t seem to result in more clicks to our blog, but that may be because we went pretty cold on promotion halfway through.

Our top three traffic sources this month were: Pinterest (including Tailwind), Facebook and Twitter. However, Facebook and Twitter trailed very far behind.

I also noticed that Jetpack reports a higher number of page views and visitors. I’m not sure why, but I’m going to stick with Google Analytics for the bleaker looking numbers.

Most Popular Posts This Month:

  1. Why Some People Never Get Out of Debt.
  2. How We Paid off $30,000 of Debt in One Year.
  3. Should You Really be Following Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball Method?
  4. Discount Hacks for Expensive Items.
  5. How to Stick to a Budget Mentally.

What We Published This Month:

  1. 11 Budgeting Myths You Should Ignore.
  2. Why Some People Never Get Out of Debt.
  3. Where Should You Spend The Holidays?
  4. How to Organize Your Bathroom Closet and Save Money.
  5. Why I Hate Buying Gifts.
  6. How to Stay Safe Shopping Online.
  7. Is Retail Therapy Good or Bad

Personal Thoughts on Blogging

For our third month, we are going to try hitting the goals we missed last month while also focusing on fewer goals. I notice some bloggers put in a lot towards their blogs in terms of promotion and getting their name out there. I know the importance of this, but at the same time, I feel like you have to know your strong suits. We’ve tried commenting a lot on blogs, and some of the “recommended” methods of growing your social media. But I didn’t feel comfortable with most of these things, and they seemed like huge time sucks.

I’m creative. I’m a busy college student. I like making pretty things. Pinterest brings us traffic even with a small time commitment. Therefore, Pinterest will be my sole promotion focus going into December.

I think a lot of people get caught up in all the different things that you can do to grow your business/blog and get overwhelmed. It’s important to “fail fast” and move on. No need for continuously struggling with a method that gives you very little reward. Double down on what IS working for you and/or try out some new methods.

December 2017– Month 3 Goals

Blogging Goals

  • Run our first Facebook ads
  • Create a new freebie
  • Create at least 3 pins for every post this month
  • Get a sponsored post during December

This month, we want to focus on increasing our traffic. I’m working on bettering my Pinterest game. While my husband will focus his attention on Facebook ads. One of our other big goals is to continue growing our e-mail list.

Blog Growth Goals

  • 3,000 page views during December
  • 19 more email signups (50 total)
  • 200 total Pinterest Followers (total)

We’re very excited to see what the next month has in store for us, and we can’t wait to share our next month’s results.

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Naasira

Hi! I'm Naasira. The other half of The Blue Pants Budget team! Together my husband and I run this personal finance blog as a way to share our debt free journey and to help inspire and motivate other millennials to pay off their debt and become financially independent.

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