Hi everyone! Today I am sharing my blog progress report. As you might know, I started this blog February 2015. Since May wrapped up, I have had my blog for four months now! I previously wrote about things like link parties, social media and Facebook ads. Now I want to update you on what’s been going on my with blog and my stats. I am doing this so you can be part of my blogging journey, and I also hope to help any newbie bloggers out there.
My Blog’s Look
I’ve noticed that I have been slowly finding my blog’s style, but I’m not quite there yet. I want to eventually get to the point where my blog has a certain style for things like headers and photographs. A style that remains consistent. I guess I want photos and headers that you can associate with my blog just based on how it looks. This means I will have to figure out a logo, a consistent font, etc. Do I want my photos to be bright and light? Or do I want more colorful photos like how I used a yellow background for my anemones? It’s so hard to just choose one “style” or “look”!
Now I want to talk about the progress I’ve made. My numbers are definitely very low compared to established blogs out there. In fact, my monthly view is less than what some blogs get in a day! But I am still happy with how my blog has been growing.
Above is a chart of my monthly views from the JetPack plugin. I know the numbers diff a bit from Google Analytics, but they’re close enough and I think this simplified view is easier to understand. I went from 400 views in February to over 20,000 views in May*! While I was researching how to start a blog, I read a lot of blog progress reports with super high monthly views, but I didn’t see much info from newbie bloggers. Now that I’ve gained a little experience, I would like to share what worked for me. *Yes, I know that numbers aren’t everything and I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others, but for me, I need to be able see stats and numbers. If my numbers are low, it tells me that I might be doing something wrong. Maybe I am not promoting my posts enough. Maybe people don’t really like my content. Maybe I’m not writing often enough. These are problems I may not realize until I see actually see my blog’s progress in numbers.
The following are posts I have previously made about blogging:
How to Start a Blog
Gaining Views: Link Parties
Gaining Followers: Giveaways and Pinterest
Three Tips to Boost Your Facebook Page
One Easy Way to Gain Instagram Followers
Here’s an update on what’s still working for me, what I’ve changed and how I’ve gained views:
I’m still slowly building my social media following, except on Twitter. I’ve noticed that I don’t really use Twitter to talk to people; I mostly use it for sharing links. I haven’t done anything to try to gain followers on Twitter, and I think it shows. Of all my social media accounts, my Twitter has the lowest following. Although others have had luck with Twitter, I haven’t been focusing on it because I haven’t really noticed many page views coming from Twitter, and I don’t really like to use Twitter. 140 characters?! I talk way too much for that!
I am very slowly gaining followers on Facebook, but I also haven’t been doing anything to actively gain new followers either. To be honest, I really dislike the way Facebook works. Although I have 900-something people who have liked my page, my organic reach is so low because Facebook only shows posts to about 15-30 of them. To increase my reach –have my posts show up in the newsfeed of people who have already liked my page–Facebook wants me to pay to “boost” my post. This is not a viable option for me. I can’t pay to “boost” my post every time I make one.
However, I am gaining followers on Pinterest and Instagram. For Pinterest, I signed up for Tailwind, which is a pin scheduler. I like Tailwind more than the other options because it allows me to collect pins from the Pinterest app on my phone through email. The way it works is that instead of clicking pin on the app, I click share and email it to my assigned Tailwind email. Then when I log onto the Tailwind site later, I can designate which board to pin those drafts to and then they will be scheduled. I believe pin scheduling has helped me gain some followers, because instead of my pin showing up all at once when I have time to pin, they’re scheduled throughout the day. Since they are pinned throughout the day, there is a higher chance people will see my pin and my profile.
In addition to scheduling pins, I have also tried Pinterest’s Promoted Pins with great results. Pinterest hasn’t fully rolled this out yet, so if you want to be able to promote pins, you have to get on the waitlist here. A promoted pin is just a paid ad on Pinterest. They look just like normal pins, except it says “Promoted by:___” . You’re paying for your pin to show up in newsfeeds and in relevant searches. This works really well because let’s say you paid to promote your pin and it shows up on X’s newsfeed and X repins it. Then X’s follower Y sees the repin and also repins it. This means that although your ad money directly resulted in a “paid repin” (from X), you also have an “earned repin” (from Y) that you didn’t pay for. So promoting your pin is a great way to get your pins seen! If your image is eye-catching, you may end up getting tons of repins and clicks!
I have been gaining a lot more followers on Instagram. I think part of it is because I actually like using Instagram, so I check on it more often. Instagram is a great platform for craft bloggers because it is based so much on visuals. I think it is a great way to show off your craft and gain attention for your post. Although I haven’t seen a lot of visitors from Instagram, I feel like it is still helping me promote my blog/”brand”. However, I haven’t been using my own Instagram tip lately because I have been too busy. I think if I did use the tip more often, I would have even more followers.
Pinterest is still my top referrer, and my second highest is Craft Gawker. Whenever I make a new craft post, I make sure to pin it and then submit to Craft Gawker and Craft Gossip. If you’re lucky and your craft lands on the front page of Craft Gawker once it has been approved, it is a great source of viewers. You can get all your posts on Craft Gawker, as long as your images meet their standards. For Craft Gossip, each section has an editor who posts one submission at a time to their column, so not all your posts will make it to the site.
I guess that’s all I have to say about my current progress so far! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and I hope some of you find it helpful. I’ll be back to posting new crafts soon!