Welcome to my month 2 income and progress report! In case you missed it, you can check out the results of my first month HERE. July. was. CRAZY! My traffic has grown tremendously over the last few weeks and so has my social media following. I also started a freebie sign-up campaign for my e-mail list, added AdSense to my site, and tried a few new tricks over on the Etsy shop. I’ve become much more active in the blogging and Disney communities which has helped not only my traffic, but my sanity as well. While all that’s been booming, I’ve also been driving back and forth to Las Vegas every weekend this month for various reasons. I’ve been pretty busy – and I LOVE it. Oh ya! and in the 5 seconds a day of free time that I find, I’ve become obsessed with this show called Reign on Netflix. Highly recommended if you’re in the market for a new show..BUT that’s not what you came here for – so let’s get down to business!
Google AdSense: $3.40
Blue Host: $4.95 (while this was all paid up front, I’ll be allocating it appropriately to each month to see how it is offset by income. If you are thinking about starting a blog of your own, I highly recommend BlueHost. They offer great introductory rates for your first 3 years and are the gold standard for bloggers)
Tailwind: $0 (Thank you referral credit!)
Etsy Fees: $14.17
TOTAL INCOME: $4.89
TOTAL EXPENSES: $19.12
NET INCOME: -$14.23
- 1,000 page views
- Pre-schedule social media 2 weeks at time
- Add 10 new products to each of my 3 categories on Etsy
Total Page Views: 4,341
Facebook Followers: 37
Insta Followers: 210
Twitter Followers: 29
Pinterest Followers: 108
E-mail Subscribers: 20
Holy Hell. My page views increased from 257 to 4,341, surpassing my goal of 1,000 views 4 TIMES OVER. This was far and beyond what I imagined I would reach before the end of the year – let alone my second month in, so I’m absolutely over the moon ecstatic about these results. I hit goal on the 15th, while I was standing at the barricade in front of the stage at a Goo Goo Dolls concert in Vegas. Let’s take a second for you to soak that image in; it was over 100 degrees, I’m like 15 feet away from Johnny Rzeznik (ya he’s been on my celebrity list since I was like 15), beer in 1 hand, phone in the other, they’re playing Black Balloon, the whole crowd is swaying and singing (and pushing to take my spot up front) – and I’m hitting refresh on my site’s dashboard for 15 minutes straight. My boyfriend jokes he’s going to start a blog about the misery of dating a blogger. I think I was more excited about my 1,000 views than the concert I’d wanted to see for 15 years. and then, the views kept climbing. :0
So how did I do it?
Pin like your life depends on it…
I stopped using Tailwind. Go ahead and re-read that; I. Stopped. Using. Tailwind.
I know that everybody uses Tailwind, and everyone talks about how it changed their whole game and rainbows poured from the skies as soon as they used the program. Well, what works for one doesn’t always work for the rest. I used Tailwind in June and the first few days of July, but it wasn’t until I stopped using it that my Pinterest anayltics blew up.
It does take a couple days for the algorithm to realize you’re still there and a real live person, but once it does – BOOM! Check out this graph from my account. The dip shows when I stopped using Tailwind and started doing manual pinning. Don’t delete your Tailwind account just yet though, there are some advantages which I discuss below.
Pinterest Group Boards and Tailwind Tribes
Instead, I manually pin 100+pins everyday. It sounds like a lot, but it really only takes 20 minutes or so. Within those hundred make sure to re-pin your own content and to re-pin from all your group boards. I try and re-pin 5-10 from each group board, and re-pin at least 2 of my articles to each board. This makes the board appear more active which causes the Pinterest algorithm to present it’s content to followers more often. It also provides me with most of my 100 pins for the day, I also re-pin from my blog board onto all of my relevant boards everyday. Not all of your followers will receive your re-pins in their feed every time you pin them, so re-pin often. As long as you are pinning other content as well it isn’t spamm-y.
Although I stopped using Tailwind for scheduling my pins, I still use Tailwind Tribes. You do not have to have a paid account to use Tailwind Tribes. The concept is essentially the same as a group board, but it’s another means of putting your content in front of people and reaching a broader audience through re-shares.
Get Social and Make Friends!
Did you think that being a blogger meant being anti-social? It’s a fairly easy assumption to make, we spend most of our free time researching our niche, writing, designing graphics, perfecting photography skills, and creating marketing content – all from the comfort of our laptops right?! Sure you can do it that way, but it never hurts to have some friends. One of my most popular posts in July was coverage from the D23 Expo in Anaheim, and a good portion of that traffic came from my good friend at Magic, Memories, Mayhem sharing that post. (Thanks Girl!!) You would be amazed at how much extra traffic you get when someone else shares your articles, it makes you look credible and helps you reach a broader audience.
Facebook Group Share Threads
The fastest way to get your content shared by multiple people through multiple channels is through Facebook Groups. There are tons of groups to join, some are niche specific, some are just generic. (Check out THIS POST, for a step by step guide to finding and joining Facebook Groups) Usually these groups will have a thread for the group members to post a recent article, FB post, pin, insta profile, etc and there will be rules for how many you need to re-share, comment, re-pin, etc in return. The really good groups will have a different thread each day and ask that you re-share at least 3-5 pieces of the other content contributed to the thread. Some even ask that you share everyone’s contribution. Sounds painful for you right? But that means you instantly have 50+ people re-pinning your new article to all of their followers. This is a key component to how I grew my blog traffic this month. I’m currently in 6 groups that are for either Disney Bloggers or just bloggers in general, so on any given day I instantly have 6 different groups of people sharing my content to their audience.
I found that it can become a mess to keep up with all the groups, especially if like me you work full time or have multiple responsibilities in your life that take up your time. So I created a great printable to keep track of it all, which you can download by signing up below. This is a great tool to keep you on track and accountable. My Facebook Group Share Thread Tracker works as a reminder to not only post your comments to the threads each day, but also to ensure you complete the response required as well. This is so important because some groups will kick you out for not reciprocating the re-shares.
Instagram Comment Pods
I love my instgram pod girls, they’re fabulous. Not only are they amazing at leaving comments and likes on everything I post, they fill up my feed with more great Disney photos that add a little magic to my days. If you haven’t heard of these pods; its basically a group of people who are committed to liking and commenting on all of the posts that everyone in the group posts. It can be done for any social media platform, but is most common for instagram. The communication can take place in a FB group, group text, or within the instagram app. When you have a new post, tell your group and they’ll shower you with affection. The more likes and comments your post receives the more followers will see it in their feed, and higher up in their feed at that.
In July I grew my followers from 21 to over 200. While some of this occurred completely organically, a fair amount came from an open follow loop. An open follow loop is a a group of people who all agree to follow each other. There is generally a photo and hashtag that you post to indicate that you’re in on the loop. Then you search the hashtag, follow everyone else who posted, and they all follow you back. Once you start to get a spike in followers, Insta will present your account as a recommendation for other organic users to follow. So – yes, some of my followers are basically click-for-click, but not the majority. AND having those click-for-click followers means they understand the importance of liking and commenting. It’s kind of like 1 big mega pod.
E-mail List Growth and the Ever Popular Freebie.
Another accomplishment for July was growing my e-mail list from 9 to 15. It’s not a HUGE jump but, since the original 9 were basically my mother and her friends, I’m happy with the addition of subscribers who are organically interested. All of the new subscribers came from the freebie I offered in THIS POST. Freebies are a great way to grow your e-mail list, but you have to make sure that the product you offer is something people will want. You can check out this post for more information on how to set up a freebie list using MailChimp.
I did not complete my goal of adding 30 products to my Etsy shop. In fact, I only added 1. What I did add is a massive planning bundle, but unfortunately has not yet sold. Through the research I’ve done related to promoting Etsy, I’ve found that traffic and sales start to ramp up when you’ve listed around 40 products. Which is what I set my goal around. However, between work, school, blog promo, and all the road trips – it didn’t happen this month. Chances are it probably won’t happen in August either. This is kind of a bummer, because I have the materials and designs for some awesome Halloween products – but I’m not sure that I’ll have the opportunity to put it together. There is some excitement in my personal life lately, which is the reason behind the road trips and, that will probably take up a good bit of my time in the next 2-3 months but it’s all good stuff. I’ll be sharing this announcement with you guys probably later this month so stay tuned!
Goals For August
- 7,000 Page Views
- Positive Cash Flow
- Send 5+ E-mail Newsletters