It’s a new year, and even though my blog is in its ninth month, I want to start a new traffic and income series. I’ll still relate back to my older traffic series and tell you all about my eighth month since I didn’t publish a report for that month.
Aaah! This month was amazing for blog growth…and I made money!! Stay tuned…
For those of you who are new, my name is Elna Cain, and I’m a blog & biz strategist and a mama to twins (they just turned 4-years-old!).
I started Twins Mommy back last year as a way to engage with a new audience of mommies.
It wasn’t until April that I really wanted to grow this blog.
I wanted to start a new blog and grow my traffic, list, and income and share my story because I know a lot of you are struggling to grow your blog too!
Blogging just for the sake of blogging isn’t going to earn you income. Turning your blog into a biz and then monetizing your blog, well that’s where all the money is. And I’m chronicling that journey with you!
**If you want to start a money-making blog, check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog in only 10 minutes!**
Before I get into my traffic and income report, I just wanted to give you a little snapshot of what happened last year. I started with 0 pageviews, and within three months, I tripled my traffic, subscribers, and followers!
My email list took off during that time, and after 7 months of trying to grow my list, I had over 2,000 engaged subscribers!
This leads me to my eighth month of trying to grow my blog on Twins Mommy – December 2016. If you look back, I never did a traffic report. Why?
December Recap – Eighth Month Blogging
Well, for the entire month of December, my whole family (and I) got the stomach flu, regular flu, colds, fevers, and a whole bunch of other sicknesses too.
We missed a lot of the holiday activities like visiting Santa and our Santa parade in the city.
Because of this, I wasn’t focusing much on Twins Mommy. I had to focus on my family.
My traffic suffered. Here is a snapshot of my traffic for December.
Most of my traffic didn’t grow much after the summer.
While my email list subscriber rate kept growing as well as my Pinterest followers, I needed to do something.
So, I decided that I wanted to do a 12 Days of Giveaway series in December. For 12 days straight, I would write a blog post about some amazing freebies. Luckily I wasn’t really sick when I did most of these blog posts!
I created holiday inspired pins for the 12 days and scheduled them in Tailwind.
Then, I had a brilliant idea!
I decided to make a lead magnet based on these awesome freebies.
I then changed the holiday images and wiped out the “12 Days of Holiday Freebies” on the images, so that it can be an evergreen series. Here’s an example of what I mean:
Christmas rolled around, and during this time I didn’t blog on Twins Mommy after the series ended. So, when everyone was finally better, and I could actually focus in an upright position I made a new strategy for Twins Mommy.
So, let’s see how I did for January.
January Traffic and Income Report
My Big (hairy audacious) goal for traffic is: To get 100,000 pageviews by the end of 2017 – ON TRACK
At the beginning of January, I was at around 24k pageviews.
By January 31st I grew by 10k pageviews! Wh-what?
34k pageviews! This has NEVER happened to me on any of my blogs. I’m shocked!
How did this happen? Well, I have some ideas.
1. I Started Putting my Updated Date on My Blog Posts
Have you ever noticed that when you go to some blogs, instead of it having the date it was published, it has the updated date?
It looks like, “Last Updated 1/12/2017.”
I wasn’t sure why bloggers did that until I did it myself. I started adding the last updated date on all my old blog posts, and soon enough I was getting traffic and comments to my old posts.
It also helps with your Google traffic since the last updated date shows that your blog post is fresh and new.
2. I Joined More Pinterest Group Boards
I belonged to over 60 before I started to join more group boards. That’s a lot mamas! But, I felt I was sort of in a rut and pinning to the same audience over and over again.
I thought maybe that was one reason why my traffic wasn’t growing. So, I decided to join more group boards and have noticed that I’m reaching a bigger audience. I even created a new group board!
While my “new visitors” from December to January is about the same (23%), I am hoping to see the percent increase next month.
I’m also using Tailwind Tribes and trying to schedule my pins on relevant tribes. This does take a little more time out of my schedule, so I pin to my tribes when I’m scheduling my pins, and I try to go into Tailwind Tribes to pin other people’s pins.
Finally, I updated my Pinterest title and changed up my boards!
3. I created multiple Pin images
Goal: I’m going to try to create up to 10 pin graphics for each post – FAIL!
I didn’t create ten graphics for each post last month, but I’m working on it! I have about 5 for my popular posts and will continue to make new images for them and my new blog posts.
When I work on graphic pins a lot, I get RSI (repetitive strain injury), and my hand and wrist hurts. I have to lay off the mouse and change up my task like typing instead of using my mouse. This leaves me less time to create graphics and makes it hard to batch all my graphics for a post.
As for the alternate pins, I’m using different sizes and sometimes a different font. Here is a snapshot of some alternate pins I recently created (the first two are long pins):
I don’t want to go too much out of my brand, but it seems like my alternate pins are picking up. I’m also playing around with my headline and seeing if one type of headline gets more traffic than other types.
I think those four ways – BoardBooster, updated old posts, Pinterest group boards and alternate Pin graphics helped me grow my traffic this month.
There are three more strategies that will help me grow my traffic: guest posting, my Facebook group, and blog commenting.
Goal: Guest post/podcast on 2 blogs – Partial SUCCESS!
In January I guest posted on a mom blog, and I was featured on another blog. I consider that a partial success! I do have more guest posts, and podcasts lined up for the next couple of months, so hopefully, that will help me reach a new audience of moms that want to be successful mompreneurs.
My Mom to Mompreneur Facebook Group
I’m so happy that my FB group is growing. When I took over the group, there were around 300 members. We almost have 950 members and it it’s only been a month!
Because of the rapid growth, I changed our promo schedule to one day a week instead of twice a week. I just found more promotions on the feed than questions and helpful advice. Both Miranda and I have some plans for the group and can’t wait to tell everyone in the group about it! Make sure to check my sidebar to get access to the group!
I also have a Facebook page, and that’s growing for sure. This isn’t a goal of mine, but reaching more people is. I have noticed that bloggers that do a Facebook Live on their FB page reach a much bigger audience than doing one in their group.
I have two FB pages – one for Twins Mommy and one for Elna Cain – and I’m thinking about doing some live sessions for Elna Cain to funnel more sales of my course (and upcoming course for freelance writers).
Goal: Comment on 10 blogs a week – Partial SUCCESS
I finally have a system in place to comment on at least 10 blogs a week – more like 6-8 blogs. I find one day a week (mid week) and spend around 40 minutes checking out mom blogs, reading their posts and commenting on them.
I have a list I go by, but I also go to Pinterest to check out some pins on my downtime!
Making Money With My Blog
My Big (hairy audacious) goal is to generate at least $1k/month from promoting products by April 2017. – GETTING THERE!
My mini goal for reaching my BHAG is to convert at least 1% of visitors that come to an affiliate post. So did I accomplish this goal?
January 2017 Income:
- Affiliates: $217
January 2017 Expenses:
Mamas! I made over $200 this month!
My mini-goal is to convert 1% of my visitors into sales. Right now, I have one affiliate post (for SiteGround), and the bulk of my sales comes from that post.
I generated 4 sales, so I had a .4% conversion rate for that post. – But this is raw traffic. This just means people were looking around my blog and not necessarily interested in how to start a blog.
When I go into my affiliate platform, I can get a better picture of my conversion rate overall. Since SiteGround is my biggest affiliate commission this month, I’ll dive a little deeper into this conversion rate.
For the month of January, I sent 75/1304 people to my start a mom blog post. Of those 75 people, 4 of them converted to a sale. So, I’m sending around 6% of my traffic to my affiliate post, and 5.33% of them are converting.
Not bad mamas! I’m hoping to come out with more tutorials for some products that I love and hoping to grow my traffic to convert them.
I know this sounds all technical and a lot about marketing, but when you see the numbers, you can get a better picture of what you actually need to convert to fulfill your goals. And I hope these tutorial posts are helpful to my audience.
I know when I first started blogging, I always looked for tutorials on Tailwind or MailChimp or any tool or service I wanted to learn. I really want Twins Mommy to be a resource for mom bloggers, and I’m excited that it’s turning out that way!
So far I’ve done the following to help me get more eyes on my SiteGround post:
- Created a sidebar graphic
- Interlinked to relevant and popular posts
- Created multiple pins
- Put a link in my welcome series for my new subscribers
I still want to add a link to my menu, and I might create a video, but for now I’m happy with how everything is going.
My Goals for Last Month:
- Become an Affiliate for more products – YES!
- Create a “Start a Blog” Post – YES!
- Create Tutorials for My Affiliate Products – FAIL! I’m still working on my second tutorial.
My Big (hairy audacious) goal is to grow my email list to 10k by September 2017 – ON TRACK!
My subscribers for December was around 2702.
This month: 1,067 new subscribers!
I can’t believe that – to generate over 1k subscribers for January is insane to me!
Psst…I’m writing a post on the steps to growing my email list, so stay tuned for that.
Let’s look and see if I accomplished my goals:
- Create more opt-in forms – YES!
- Create landing pages – FAIL! I haven’t had time to create a landing page
- Incentivize my affiliate leads – FAIL! I pivoted this goal for now
So the big BIG news is that I moved from MailChimp to ConvertKit! I’m so happy that I did. One of the things about MailChimp is that it’s difficult to create multiple opt-in freebies for your visitors.
It’s great for one lead magnet (or one offer), but creating more means customization and some coding. This slowed the creation of content upgrades that I had for my blog posts (these are within post offers that relate to the post you are reading).
But, with ConvertKit, it takes minutes to create an opt-in form and place it on your blog. So, I’m happy!
I’m generating at least 30 subscribers a day, which is what I need to generate 10k subscribers by September. I plan to create another series, and I may make a new freebie based on that series.
I also created sidebar graphics of my popular freebies, and I created an announcement bar with OptinMonster that shows up on top of my site. I’ve generated 110 subscribers for January from that opt-in form alone.
My plan is to keep making more forms on my blog, find time to create a landing page for my opt-in forms and create more offers.
Recap of January
January was an exciting month for me. I have plans for four courses for both my blogs! I know, that’s a lot but one course is a collaborative course with another freelance writer, and another one is a collaborative course with my husband!
So all month I’ve been looking at course platforms to host my courses. Since I have two blogs with two different audiences, I’m just having a hard time figuring all this out. If I go with a course platform like Teachable, then all my courses will be there, whether they are for Twins Mommy or Elna Cain.
I’m going to have to figure this out soon if I want to have four courses this year!
I’m excited I made $217 this month. I’m hoping to double that next month.
My goal for traffic is to get another 10k pageviews for next month.
For email, I will continue to get at least 30 subscribers a day for next month.
So, tell me mama, how did you do with your blog goals for January? Go ahead follow my goals, and we can do this together!