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Welcome to my series, Mom to Mompreneur Blog Growth Update! Wow! that was a mouthful.
For those of you who are new, my name is Elna Cain and I’m a freelance writer and a mama to twin toddlers.
I started TwinsMommy back in March as a way to blog some more – because I just love blogging 🙂 – and engaging with a new audience.
It wasn’t until about a few weeks later that I really wanted to grow this blog.
I wanted to start a new blog and grow traffic, readers and income and share my story because I know a lot of you are struggling growing your blog too!
I also want to help mamas go from being a mom to being a mompreneur.
Blogging just for the sake of blogging isn’t going to earn you income. Turning your blog into a biz and then creating products, well that’s where all the money is. And I’m chronicling that journey with you!
If you’re reading this and don’t have a blog, but want to start one, I have an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog using SiteGround!
Are you with me?
But, before we get into the post, I’ve compiled a list of over 60 Facebook groups and Pinterest group boards to help you grow your blog. These groups helped me go from 0 to 4k pageviews in only a month. So grab that free list and grow your blog with me!
Last month I gave you my analytics and plan to grow my blog. Let’s see how I’ve done.
1. On My Site
Yikes! I can’t believe this happened in only 30 days!
This is what my pageviews looked like last month:
And that was after a month of blogging! 7 pageviews 🙁 I know, it’s depressing right?
So you can see that when I checked my analytics for the end of this past month, I was floored!
Over 4,000 page views! How the heck did that happen?
Before I get into all that, let’s see if I accomplished what I wanted to do for my site:
- Decrease my bounce rate with a related post plugin – I did put in a related post plugin, but my bounce rate is still a high as heck! Not sure if it’s because some of my posts have been stumbled on StumbleUpon or people aren’t reading my posts (which I doubt due to all the comments on my posts). It could just be I don’t have enough posts on the site for people to go to!
- Optimize my sharing buttons to only have three options. – Yes I did this and it’s working well. I’ve been getting more pins and even Facebook shares.
- Put in CommentLuv – Done!
During this month I updated my brand and included a secondary image – a teal blue color. I wanted to symbolize that I have girl/boy twins!
As for content, this is where it gets good.
After my grow your blog post, I surprisingly created some popular posts. A few of my posts received high shares and people enjoyed it so much that they commented and even subscribed to my list!
These are the posts that generated a lot of “buzz” on social media:
- 18 Blogs to Help You Succeed as a Work From Home Mom – over 2.4k shares and 60 comments. What’s great about this type of round-up post is that I featured many bloggers in my niche. This puts me on their radar and by networking and highlighting others, you can effectively reach more people.
- 22 Freelance Services You Can Offer as a Stay-at-Home Mom – over 1.4k shares and 20 comments. I had to do some research to find 22 freelance services that would be well-suited for stay-at-home moms. Because of that, I posted on a popular Facebook group and asked people for some help and generated buzz around this post.
- Upgrade Your Blog Comments By Doing This One Traffic Generating Tip – Over 2.6k shares and 106 comments! Fur realz mamas! For some reason I didn’t think this would be such a popular post, but it is!
Another cool thing that happened was that I have been asked to be an affiliate for two products. The first is from FeminineStock and they have feminine style photos. The second is Kristen from Practical Mommy for her new and awesome course for moms who want to start a blog.
I declined both of these offers, but that doesn’t mean I’m NOT going to be an affiliate one day. Just not right now. I really want to grow my traffic organically and build a tribe of followers first before I monetize my blog.
Having list posts and content that’s relevant for bloggers helped me increase my traffic overall.
But, maybe you’re wondering, well I’ve published posts like these and I never got that many comments, shares or pageviews? What gives?
It’s all in where you promote your content my friends!
And this is where it gets interesting. I mentioned I’m working on a Pinterest marketing strategy to help me grow my blog. But I found another way to grow my blog.
But, before we get into that, here are my goals for my site (you can adopt these goals too!):
- Continue to write two posts a week of at least 1,000 words
- Create more round-up posts, but have collaborators too
- Talk more about TwinsMommy on my other blog to extend the reach
Now, let’s talk about Pinterest.
2. Pinterest Marketing
One of my goals was to increase my followers to 1,000.
When I started I had around 600 followers.
A month later + 1 day and I reached my goal. I have 1k followers 🙂
What did I do to gain around 400 followers in 30 days?
- Started using Tailwind (I used up my free trial and now have a monthly plan) to schedule my pins – I generated tons of repins and generated more followers. I first started with scheduling around 30 pins a day, but soon moved that up to 60-80 pins a day.
- I have a group board and in the write up added, “to join this group you must first follow me.” This helped add more followers to my list.
- I made sure to follow people who repinned my content as long as they were in my niche.
- I added my Pinterest profile on Facebook social media threads.
I know that the number of followers doesn’t equate to more traffic. Monthly audience views tells you how big of a reach your pins are generating. When I started I had around 60,000 monthly views.
A month later, it’s around 90,000! Not bad.
I am a bit concerned at how long it took me to gain only 400 followers. I hear stories of gaining 1k followers in a month so my small number doesn’t seem to be a big accomplishment. But I’m still stinking happy about it.
I have a feeling , though, the low number might be due to the fact that I’m sharing my Pinterest profile with my other site. This can be confusing to people – it’s confusing to me now!
I might end up making a whole new account and starting fresh, but not sure if I’m going to really do that and, if I do, which site to start over with.
Another goal I set was to be more pin-centric on my blog. I feel I’m accomplishing this, but a commenter pointed out that they had a hard time sharing my pin image so I made it easy by putting a Pin-it button on the image. It’s stationary so that mobile users can pin it!
Next Month Goals (feel free to steal these goals too!)
My goal is to generate at least 1500 Pinterest followers and 200,000 views.
I’ll continue to schedule my posts and drop my Pinterest link on Facebook groups that have a share your Pin profile day.
They make two images on pins that have high repins as a way to generate even more pins.
Pinterest Isn’t Generating Much Engagement on My Blog
Pinterest is my #1 referral for traffic.
Pinterest became my #1 referral easily since I have Tailwind doing all my pinning. Some other things I did to bring traffic to my site are:
- Enabled rich pins. This made my pins appear more credible and they stand out in the smart feed.
- Joined a TON of group boards. Before I started my Pinterest marketing strategy, I was probably on less than five group boards. Right now, I’m on 56 group boards!
While Pinterest is my #1 referral, it isn’t my number one source for engagement, i.e. comments. I don’t know about you, but if you have a blog with a lot of traffic but low engagement, to me that doesn’t equate success.
But, having a tribe of loyal followers and new visitors that like your content so much they leave a comment, well that’s proof of a successful blog, right?
I started joining more Facebook group boards as a way to tell everyone about my pretty awesome new site here!
Some of the group boards I joined are:
- Savvy Business Owners – no need to sign up to a newsletter. Just request access on Facebook.
- The Badass Business Mums Club – You do need to sign up to Laura’s list to gain access to her private Facebook group.
- Blog + Biz BFFs – this is Melyssa Griffin’s private group and you do need to sign up to her list to gain access.
I found the more groups I joined, the more opportunity I had to share my posts on promo days.
What I didn’t know, though, was that the bloggers in these groups were super supportive and totally engaged on my blog.
These kick-ass bloggers would come to my site, read my post, comment and then go back to FB, tell me and then say how great the post is!
Wh-what? I was shocked by how awesome everyone is in these groups are!
So, even though I’m focusing on Pinterest to really help me generate the most traffic, I have a feeling Facebook may help out a lot – or at least, generate a loyal tribe of mamma-bosses!
3. Growing My Email List
Last month when I started growing my blog I had 0 subscribers.
It’s been 30 or so days and I currently have 54 subscribers and I still don’t have a lead magnet!
But, let me tell you, getting to this point was extremely frustrating.
I’ve been using MailChimp for the longest time. I use it for my other blogs and really haven’t had much of an issue except for the fact that it’s hella hard to do content upgrades with one list, and when a subscriber opts-in to a new freebie of yours, MailChimp makes you pay for them twice if you use a separate list.
When I started TwinsMommy, I figured I would try ConvertKit. I keep reading about how great it is and practically every blogger’s list I opt-in uses ConvertKit.
So, I signed up and I’m testing it out. So far it’s pretty impressive and definitely much easier to use than MailChimp. Unlike MailChimp, they show you your subscribers, but they also show you who opted-in but didn’t confirm.
I quickly learned that I was getting a lot of unconfirmed. This meant people weren’t getting my content upgrade.
I practically had 50% unconfirmed! That was insane! This happens with every list, but it was just unnerving to see all those unconfirmed.
For now, I’m mostly using MailChimp paired with OptinMonster to deliver my content upgrades because it’s what I know, but I’m testing out ConvertKit – I love how easy it is to do content upgrades! – and also Drip.
How did I grow my email list from 0-54 subscribers in 30 days?
I haven’t put up a lead magnet yet. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a free incentive you have on your main page of your blog and maybe in your side bar. It’s the one thing that your blog is known for.
Instead, I’ve been using content upgrades to grow my list and it’s working. Actually, for most of the month I’ve only been using one content upgrade – the grow your blog checklist.
Once I found that a post of mine had over 100 pins, I immediately put my content upgrade in that post, but I treated it like a lead magnet and just tacked it on the end of the post.
It looks like this:
From that point on, I started putting it on practically any post I had.
I also updated the graphic I used for the post. Originally it looked like this:
As soon as I changed it to what it looks like now, I immediately got four new subscribers! I knew my new graphic converted much better than my old on and it’s gonna stay!
While this is awesome news, it’s not on target to reaching my goal of 10,000 email subscribers in a year. I would need at least 800 new subscribers every month! While I don’t want to call it quits on this, it will just make me work harder!
Next Month Email Goals (join me and set your own goals or copy mine!)
- Create more content upgrades and create pages for each of them so I can promote them on social media. I will be able to convert more people if I direct them to a page that just talked about the freebie in the content upgrade.
- Create specific pins for my content upgrades as a way to generate more subscribers.
- Create a lead magnet or pool my content upgrades and create a library + private FB community (maybe wait until I have enough subscribers to unlock community).
5. Blogger Outreach
Some pretty amazing – excuse my word here – shiz has happened with blogger outreach.
In the beginning of the month, I wrote down all the sites I wanted to leave comments on and whenever I had a chance I would leave a comment.
This sparked a traffic generating tip and now I’m using it all the time whenever I comment.
Because of my commenting and joining Facebook groups, I was asked to collaborate on three blogs!
- Laura from The Bad Business Mum invited me to contribute to her post on 9 Things that Will Surprise You When You Start a Blog.
- Suzi from Start a Mom Blog compiled a list of 100+ Mommy Blogs and included mine!
- Alissia Haggard of the Stay at Home Mompreneur does regular contributor posts and I’m on her list for future contributions!
OMG, then the next big thing was getting a personal email from Dre Beltrami! The Branded Solopreneur is a freaking badass branding boss!
I belong to her private Facebook group, often write about her on my freelance writing projects and listen to her Blabs.
So, you can say I’m pretty much a loyal follower for anything Dre does. So, when I received this email I almost choked on my water!
Of course I said hell ya to doing a blab in the summer! I can’t wait.
I’m excited to tell a new audience about TwinsMommy and building a mompreneur biz! Look, I’m building cred here!
another amazing thing…
If you don’t know, Twiniversity is THE site for anything twin related. They have over a million annual visitors and gains an average of 400 new Facebook followers a week!
This is perfect exposure for TwinsMommy and I can’t wait to start writing for them.
Goals for next month (if you’re a mommy blogger, comment and I’ll be sure to check you out!)
- Continue to comment on blogs related to my niche
- Join more Facebook groups and Pinterest groups to extend my reach
- Ask other bloggers to contribute to a round-up post or two
Is This Success Attributed to My ElnaCain Platform?
My other site, ElnaCain is more established than TwinsMommy. I have all my social profiles linked to ElnaCain.
When I started TwinsMommy, I decided to piggyback on my social profiles for ElnaCain.
Now, I don’t know if this is the reason why I had a pretty good first month growing my blog or not.
I suspect not. Why?
- There is practically no overlap between my TwinsMommy subscribers and my ElnaCain subscribers.
- The commenters on TwinsMommy aren’t freelance writers (that I know of).
- The audience of TwinsMommy comprises mostly moms, mama-bosses and other creatives/freelancers. ElnaCain mostly has aspiring writers and freelance writers or bloggers interested in freelance writing.
I actually think using my social profiles for my other site to promote TwinsMommy is hurting my traffic and growth.
In any case, I’m totally shocked and happy about the growth of TwinsMommy!
Follow my growth month-to-month here!
Now, I hope I didn’t discourage you by telling you all this! My hope is to inspire you and get you motivated. I want you to try the tips I explained here and see if it will help grow your blog.
I’ll be doing blog growth reports every month and eventually when I monetize my blog, I’ll be sharing my earnings in income reports.
Over to you – what things are you doing to grow your blog? Share your tips and support other bloggers!