Blog Report: March 2017

Blog Report: March 2017

Hi all! It’s the beginning of a new month, so I have some numbers to share again! I am so impressed and just blown away by the growth I have seen, even though A Funny Thing Happened Today is still considered even less than a small blog. Baby steps! I think, maybe more for me than you (though I hope you find it interesting, too), it will be really helpful to show a blog report of what I’ve done so far, and what I’m going to do next. As always, I welcome your opinions with open arms. Let me know what you have liked, what you haven’t, what you’d like to see next. If you want to compare to last month’s report, you can read that here.

march 2017 blog report, blog report

Numbers

I’ll start with some numbers, because I’m a numbers kind of gal.

Page views 3/1/17-3/31/17: 3,050. That’s double last month’s views!

Social media followers as of 3/31/17:

  • Facebook: 125 (+1)
  • Twitter: 973 (+590)
  • Instagram: 422 (+259)
  • Pinterest: 1,010 (+731!!)

Income: $13.82

  • AdSense: $5.65
  • Amazon Affiliate: $8.17

Expenses: $0



What Worked

Pinterest.

So much Pinterest. Of those 3k page views, over 1,700 of them came from Pinterest. I’m on several group boards which gives my pins more exposure, and as I showed above, my Pinterest following like tripled last month, which helped too!

Having a schedule!

I’ve used Hootsuite to schedule my Tweets and Facebook posts, and it makes it so much easier to just sit down on Mondays and plan the whole week out than to try to think of 5 interesting things to Tweet at 1 pm every day. I also plan my posts on Monday, with a plan to write and publish a post every Tuesday and Thursday. I’ve been pretty consistent with publishing my posts, though I did miss one the last week of the month because I was away from home for several days after our furnace broke! Not fun.

Fixing those dang graphics, which was a goal last month.

Pinterest is a really visual place, and people don’t click on ugly pins, a category that mine were previously falling into. I’ve made my graphics more consistent and started using high quality stock photos, mainly from Pexel.



What Didn’t Work

Instagram.

OMG. I struggle with it a lot. As a platform, it just honestly isn’t my favorite. I don’t take beautiful pictures, I take pictures of my kid making a mess or my dogs doing something naughty. And truly, it doesn’t drive a lot of traffic to my blog, which is ultimately my goal. I don’t want to be a famous Instagrammer (is that a word?), I want to be a moderately successful blogger. I got 14 referrals from Instagram last month versus, like I said, 1,700 from Pinterest.

The difference between the two platforms in my mind is that I enjoy using Pinterest, it’s not something I have to spend all day on, and it drives traffic enormously. Really, even Twitter, which is considered not to be that valuable for bloggers, sent me 16 views, and I don’t have to spend all day every day there trying to promote myself. I think that a lot of bloggers use Instagram to specifically get sponsored posts on Instagram, and that’s not my goal at all. BUT to be fair, I did not give Instagram 100% of my effort, so I’m not ready to give up on it just yet.

AdSense isn’t my favorite at this point.

$5.65 seems pretty undervalued for the amount of advertising space I’m ultimately giving them for a month. I had applied for it because there’s a lot of talk in the blogging world about it, and they will accept a site in its infancy, but I think we might have to break up.

Some of my networking with fellow bloggers hasn’t been as high value as I had hoped.

I use a lot of Facebook blogger groups that have share threads where you share someone else’s content in return for them to share yours. There’s one group that I’m in that is enormously beneficial, but there are several others where I will jump through hoops for other people, but some people don’t return the favor.

Still not having an e-mail subscription list.

I think I have a pretty good plan for what I’m going to do when I get it, but I need the site to earn a little cash before I pour more money out of my pocket back into it.



Next Month’s Focus

Instagram.

It’s the 4th of the month already, and I haven’t started giving it my all yet, but I have to do it. It’s starting to really irritate me that I am not seeing the growth I want to see. I’m taking it personally, and I must ‘win’ on Instagram this next month. I’ve got a handy guide from one of my favorite bloggers that I am going to focus on using this month. I know I can do better, I just have to give it more effort.

Finding a different ad network.

I’m not sure if I’ll follow through with this simply because my blog is still really in its infancy, but if I can get accepted into something other than AdSense, I am going to give it a shot.

I’d really like to do some more tweaking to my site.

I have thought about changing the layout completely, but I don’t think that’s the kind of HTML nightmare I want to deal with right now. What I am hoping to do, though, is at least change the header image for the site, maybe with some kind of logo specific to my site. I had someone tell me I needed to add images to my posts at the index, so I’m going to give that a try. Basically, I just want to make it prettier.

Start working ahead.

I have some changes coming up with my “real job” that are going to change my schedule and availability pretty significantly, so I won’t be able to focus on the blog as much. That’s totally okay because I think I’m spending too much time on it, honestly, but I need to have posts pre-written and extend my social media plan past just a week to the future.

Focus on high-quality interactions with other bloggers.

This is a nice way of saying I’m not going to do crappy Facebook threads with crappy people where I know they aren’t going to return the favor. At this point, I’m like twenty times bitten, zero times shy, and that’s got to change. Ten page views aren’t worth the hours I spend sharing 100 pieces of content. It just doesn’t make sense; it’s not a good use of time.

 

So there you have it! There’s my third report. I’m honestly just delighted with how this month went. I learned so much, and saw a lot of growth, which was heartening. As always, if you have any thoughts, feedback, comments, threats, whatever, I would love to hear about it! Did I miss anything? What did you love or hate? Any suggestions? Stay tuned for next month’s report!

10 thoughts on “Blog Report: March 2017

  1. Hey there! I see that you don’t have an email list. I highly recommend starting one, even at this early stage!

    The email list is the only thing where you’ll “own” your subscribers, so you won’t be at the mercy of social media allowing your followers to see your content.

    You can start a list for free at various sites – I use Mailchimp. Then, if you get bigger, you can go to a paid version or switch email providers.

    Great job!

    1. Thank you! I know it’s so, so important to have an e-mail list, and I feel awful; it’s like I can see people slipping through my fingers. The only thing holding me up is getting a PO Box; I’m not sure how comfortable I feel about putting my home address on Mailchimp for everyone to see! I just want the blog to make enough just to support the PO Box rental, which hopefully will happen this month, and then I’m ready to rock and roll on the e-mail list!

  2. I know it sounds stupid and possibly a waste of time, but what about trying to stage some of your Instagram pictures to mix in with your candid ones? Like for your book of the month, you could take a picture of the book or something in a cozy place and mention the blog post… If you make a meal, you could plate it and do the same thing… I saw you posted the title from one of them all fancied up once; I wonder if that helped drive any traffic. Probably all things you’ve thought of, but I figured I’d mention it 🙂

    1. Yes! That’s honestly exactly what I need to do but I just…don’t 🙁 It still doesn’t drive tons of traffic, but it definitely helps to at least mix stuff like that in. I think I struggle with feeling like I’ve found the right balance, too. I don’t want to be like “link in bio, link in bio, link in bio, look at my blog” with every IG post, but then I end up not promoting the blog at all because I’m like “look at my kid, look at my dogs, look at this pointless picture of what I’m having for lunch”! I’m just a mess over there, but like I say, I’m going to buckle down this month! The next report will just blow you away; I’ll be an Instagram icon! …or something 😉

    1. Thank you! Right?! The one group (I’m not sure if I can mention it outside of the group?) is incredibly useful, but some other ones are such a drain on productivity with no results, but I keep going back! Lol I will eventually learn my lesson…I hope 🙂

  3. I felt the same about the email newsletter. Call me cheap but I think P.O. Boxes are so expensive in some areas. When I moved last year I was able to secure an affordable P.O. Box so I’m pretty happy about that!
    The funny thing is that I’m actually writing this comment because I follow you on Instagram! lol
    One thing I have started doing lately is paying for stock photos. I’m hoping to buy a DSLR soon so I can invest in more high quality photos for my site. I want to make my blog more personal but nothing irks me more than my LG’s camera quality.
    Good work on your blog report! I’m looking forward to more!

    1. P.O. boxes are pretty reasonable here, like $50ish for a year, but I just don’t want to throw money at my blog, which I suspect is not going to get me very far! You came from Instagram?! Welcome!! 🙂 I will say, what views it does refer are high quality, i.e. people that actually want to be there and will, for example, leave comments 😉 Oh, the camera dilemma. I have an LG G5, and it takes some really awesome photos sometimes, but not all the time. Paying for stock photos is a great idea; I always see so many really, really great ones available. Thanks for stopping by!

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