I’ve been blogging, in many different forms, for a very long time. I really do enjoy blogging. I always have. I think every twenty-something needs to be writing a blog for reasons I’ll explain at another time. Let me make one thing very clear: I blog for me. Because I find it fulfilling. And cathartic. Because I want to. And when I don’t want to any more, I won’t let it feel like an obligation.
Nonetheless, like with any project, I want to see it grow and flourish. Blogging has been an exciting adventure- one I’m extra blessed to be able to share with my sister. I would love to see our little space on the internet continue to grow.
I started off by analyzing my current metrics. I rarely- yes, rarely– take a look at Page views and Unique Visitors so I sat down and figured out what my averages exactly were. With the domain transfer and rebrand, some of our data was fuzzy to say the least, so I looked at the conglomeration, as well as the September through December numbers. I have to say, I was blown away by our number of unique visitors. God is so good! And so are you.
I plunged into our five most popular posts:
- Stitch Fix: October
- 4 Tips for Saving Money While Moving
- Creative Closet: Fall Dress
- Dear College Senior
- Banza Mix Up
Well two of these posts are fashion, one is a recipe, one is practical advice, and one is financial. None of these had giveaways attached to them, but by looking at their stats, I can tell that the vast majority of their traffic came from Pinterest and these all had pretty decent pinnable images (which I’m pretty proud of). Most importantly, these were all posts that were practical to write because they matched who and what we were and what we wanted to do. For example, Laura’s moving post (#2 on that list) was written right after we moved her to Miami! I’ve gotten so many referrals from the Banza post that I don’t even know what to do with it!
My takeaway: Stay true to you and keep writing only about things you know.
What worked and what didn’t work this year:
|What Worked||What Didn’t|
|Blogging ahead of time||Trying to do any blogging during the week|
|Using the social media tools we pay for effectively||Trying to have a presence on every social media|
|Laura handling our Instagram||Trying to do everything alone|
The thing I dislike most about blogging is social media scheduling. I really really really really don’t like it. Isn’t that terrible. With the help of a VA, I’m freeing up parts of my time to focus on the things I like doing (writing content) to do the things that need to get done (post on social media).
Setting Goals for 2016
These goals are reaches. They’re stretches meant to make me uncomfortable. If your goals aren’t something you have to actively work towards, than they’re not goals at all.
- Page Views: 8000/month
- Unique Visitors: 2000/month
- Average Monthly Income: $250
- Average Monthly Expenses: $50
- Post 3/week on average (160 posts for the year)
- Launch Newsletter once the blog is making more in income
- Get an ad network up and running
- Find one or two affiliate programs that work for me
- Establish a blog sponsorship program
- Write an e-book that I can sell
- Do at least 1 sponsored post per month
Changes I think the blog needs:
- Deactivate the home page temporarily, make the blog the main page
Turn off the shopand evaluate a plan of action for it. Completed 1/21/16 Find a plugin for the read more page,Completed 1/21/16.
- Blog with others more
- Engage followers on Twitter more
- Finish the Blog Business Plan thoroughly and truthfully
- Get to be 2-3 months ahead in posts
- Make enough of an income for the blogging things I don’t want to do
- Not be tempted by giveaway followers
So that’s my plan. What do you think? Anything you think I should add?
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She is a contributor to many open source projects including dbt, Meltano, and GitLab. She lives with her husband Casey, their son RJ, and their pup Bo in Columbus, GA.