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In June my goal was to get to 10,000 sessions. Well, I hit 10,000 with a week left and ended the month at 18,520 sessions. I couldn’t believe it. While I intend to do income reports soon I felt this blog growth is more important to report especially because this is a new blog.
For new bloggers the hardest part of blogging is checking your stats daily and wondering if you will ever make money. Being a brand new blogger and pouring everything you have into your blog in hopes that you can make money from it can be exhausting. Especially in those first few months when you don’t have a lot of traffic.
When I first started my blog in February I was extremely focused on content. Working full time, running an Etsy shop, and starting a blog meant the blog was extremely slow to start. However, when I quit my full time job in May I started devoting 50-60 hours a week to it.
In April I had 179 sessions. In May that went up to 1,564 sessions with the majority of that traffic coming after implementing my new marketing plan. That marketing plan lead to over 18,000 sessions in June. You can see screen shots of my stats for May and June below.
Getting organized made marketing easier and faster so I could focus on writing more. Let’s face it, without quality content a blog doesn’t survive. I’m covering some of the ways I increased my traffic and got organized in this post.
Marketing Plan Changes
First at the end of May I finally nailed down my marketing plan. Focusing mainly on Pinterest while I figured out other area’s to market.
I joined several group boards and started pinning to them daily. In between pinning to group boards I would spend 10 minutes here and there between other tasks pinning things that were in my stream. My average time pinning is about an hour daily. I’m upping that in July.
I had several pins go viral in June, thanks in part to adding keywords in the description. One pin got over 10k repins. My pinterest reach grew massively, what’s great about it is I only have a little over 2,000 followers.
On May 1st my Pinterest reach was 37,376. By May 31st it was 218,011 people reached. Most of that growth was in the last week of May when I started following my pinning schedule.
June’s number’s however blew May out of the water. I started June with 233,784 people reached. By the end of June I was at 1,310,320 people reached. I grew my reach by over 1,000,000 people. Which is why I had the blog growth I had.
Other Places I Marketed
On top of Pinterest I started working on my Twitter. Commenting, sharing, retweeting, and mentioning people. My twitter following is slowly growing but I see this taking a lot longer and in need of a lot more patience than Pinterest.
At the beginning of June I scheduled out an entire month worth of content to share on Facebook. I scheduled two posts a day and then, from time to time, posted video’s that would show up in my stream.
I had an awesome surprise in June with something I never thought could produce results. StumbleUpon came in number three in my list of traffic sources. Three times a week I would add my posts to Stumble Upon as well as stumbling on the site to find content to share out on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
For more about marketing your blog check out my post The Other Places to Market your Blog.
Traffic Source Numbers
Pinterest came in as my number one source of traffic in June. With 14,503 sessions coming from Pinterest it made up 78% of all of my traffic. I hope to get that percentage down by the end of the year. I’d like to see more repeat traffic as well as new traffic coming from SEO and social media. It’s never good to have all your eggs in one basket.
Direct traffic was at 2,198 sessions which made up almost 12% of all of my traffic.
Stumble Upon made up 6% of all of my traffic. The remaining 4% came from link backs, clicks on comment links, and other social media.
How You Can Have Explosive Blog Growth
First, make sure you figure out where your audience hangs out. Focus your marketing there. During the first few months of a blog post it takes a while for the SEO to kick in and for your blog to show up at the top of searches. Finding your audience and focusing your marketing there will drastically increase your sessions while you wait for all your SEO work to kick in.
Next, make a marketing plan. Figure out what you will post and when, create a schedule, and stick to the schedule. After some time you can change up that schedule as you see fit to better market your blog.
Do your research and find out what works for other people. Test it out. I don’t believe there is a one way fits all when it comes to marketing blogs. So test out things, figure out what works, what doesn’t and mix and match to find your ultimate marketing plan. Then share it on your blog so others can pull something from you.
Finally, do not give up. Keep tweaking your schedule and the platform your are on. Test out other platforms too. You may find out you have quite a following in an otherwise untapped area, then you can write the book on how to market there.
What July Holds
In July I’ve upped my Pinterest game. I’m actively researching, finding, and requesting to be a contributor on more group boards. I’ve been in a few facebook groups as well and I’m dedicating time daily to being active in those groups. I hope that with the addition of more group boards, activity on facebook, and a few follow strategies I’ll see more blog growth.
Check out these posts to see more about starting a blog and marketing:
Do you have strategies for blog growth that work? Share them in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this to your blogging boards or share. Remember to subscribe for exclusive content.