January 2017 Blog Traffic Report

The tips and tools that generated 5,344 pageviews my first month blogging

My first full month as a blogger is officially in the books! Let me tell you, since going live on December 18, 2016, it has been a whirlwind!

Things are moving so fast I have decided to document my results each month and share it with my readers. I will share the strategies I tested, tools I used, investments I made, and results I experienced each month. I will also provide you with resources and tutorials so you can apply my best strategies to your own business.

Since I started this blog in mid-December, I’m going to report on my first 45 days; December 18, 2016 – January 31, 2017. I will also break down my results from the first 30 days; December 18, 2016 – January 16, 2017. I want to show you that instant growth is possible!

January 2017 Blog Traffic Report_Pinterest

Please note this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase.  This is, of course, at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.  Please read my disclosure for more information.

If you’re pressed for time click here to skip to the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) summary.

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GROWTH TRACKING SPREADSHEET

In a rush? Click to swipe my growth tracking spreadsheet.
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Before I dive in and share the results, I want to provide some context around the amount of time I spent on the blog and the help I received. First, I have a full-time job with a commute and two small children. This means my time is very limited and I am in hyper-hustle mode right now. I wake up at 5:30 a.m. every morning (including weekends) and maximize every second of time I have throughout the day.

I still get 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night and I refuse to trade time with my kids for time building my business. That’s a deal-breaker for me.

I don’t have a virtual assistant and I don’t pay for a bunch of fancy tools or software to make me more productive. What I do have is Trevor!

My husband, Trevor, is a stay-at-home-Dad, which means I don’t have to drop kids off at daycare or spend my entire weekend cleaning the house, doing laundry or running errands. Trevor handles all of that.

Even more, Trevor is a technical genius and extremely business savvy. He handles all the technology, SEO, and behind the scenes stuff for this blog. That allows me to focus on creating great content and visuals for the blog and all my social media channels.

Yep, I pretty much hit the husband jackpot!

Ok, now let’s dive into the results and then I’ll walk you through the strategies I tested and what worked best.

First 45 Days (December 18, 2016 – January 31, 2017)

  • Traffic & Subscribers
    • Page views: 7,817        (First 30 days: 5,344)
    • Users:   3,840              (First 30 days: 2,493)
    • Subscribers: 807        (First 30 days: 543)
    • Conversion Rate: 21%
  • Traffic Sources
    • Social: 75%
    • Direct: 19%
    • Referral: 4%
    • Organic Search: 1%
    • Email: 1%

January Blog Traffic Pageviews

Having a system to track your weekly and monthly traffic is crucial! Why? You can’t improve or fix what you can’t measure. Tracking your results allows you to easily see what’s working well and what’s not, and alter your strategy accordingly.

To save you time and energy, I’m sharing my growth tracking spreadsheet with you! You can download it from my Freebies Library. Complete the form below to gain access to the freebies library and swipe this spreadsheet.

GROWTH TRACKING SPREADSHEET

Now that you know my numbers, let’s talk about the strategies I used to drive traffic and generate leads. Keep reading, because I’m going to share resources and tutorials to help you replicate the same results for your blog or online business.

TRAFFIC DRIVING STRATEGIES

Anyone who says social media doesn’t drive traffic isn’t doing it right! Social media drove 75% of my traffic which translated into 3,088 unique users! When I break the social traffic out by channel, Pinterest generated 78%, Facebook 18%, Twitter 3%, and Instagram 1%.

Pinterest

Pinterest was my workhorse! I reviewed my Pinterest and Tailwind analytics and I can attribute most of my Pinterest traffic to two group boards and Tailwind Tribes. Check out my post How to Explode Your Traffic using Tailwind Tribes for a video tutorial on how to get started with Tailwind Tribes.

I’ve also created a video tutorial on how to find and join Pinterest group boards.

Facebook Groups

Facebook was my #2 traffic source, and I attribute all that traffic to groups. I have not shared the blog with my personal Facebook network and I have around 50 “likes” on my business page. Also, Facebook’s model is pay-to-play, so those 50 people likely won’t see my posts since I’m not paying Facebook to “boost” them.

I actively participated in about eight different groups this past month. That activity was responsible for 14% of my total traffic. Groups are amazing and I can’t recommend them enough. To get started with Facebook Groups, read my post, 5 Facebook groups to join to grow your business.

Twitter and Instagram

Twitter contributed 2% and Instagram contributed less than 1% of my total traffic. However, I’m not discounting those channels for my business yet. The amount of time Twitter and Instagram users spent on my blog was significantly higher than Pinterest and Facebook users.

Social Traffic breakdown

This could mean Twitter and Instagram users are more engaged or it could simply be a sample size issue. I’m going to give these channels a few more months before I disengage.

LEAD GENERATING STRATEGIES

For details on how I grew my email list so quickly and generated 807 leads in 45 days, check out my post How I went from 0 – 100 email subscribers in 10 days.

TOOLS I USED

Social Warfare

I spent $116 to launch this blog and $29 of that was for the Social Warfare plug-in. Social Warfare is a WordPress social sharing plug-in. This plug-in is easy to use, looks great on my website, and has proven to be a very wise investment.

One of the most popular “free” social sharing WordPress plug-ins on the market is SumoMe. We debated using SumoMe, but decided the investment for Social Warfare was worth it in the long run since SumoMe charges a monthly fee once you hit a certain number of monthly visits.

Thank goodness we made that decision because Social Warfare proved to be well worth the investment in the very first month!

SumoMe is free with limited website visits, $29 per month for 5,000 monthly website visits, and $59 for 50,000 visits. We had 5,433 visits our first month, which means we would have had to pay SumoMe $59 in our first month! We paid $29 for an entire year of social warfare and, it’s a much better solution.

Do yourself a favor, and invest in Social Warfare. While you’re at it, follow Dustin Stout, one of the creators of Social Warfare. He’s pretty great and shares amazing tips and resources.

Tailwind

Tailwind is, in my opinion, the best Pinterest management and scheduling tool on the market. My favorite feature is Smart Scheduling. Tailwind tracks the engagement of my pins and then recommends the best times to pin content. They remove all the guesswork and I can schedule hundreds of pins to go out throughout the week in about 30 minutes using Tailwind.

MailerLite

I am in love with MailerLite! It is the most affordable, robust, and user-friendly email management tool I have ever used. It’s completely free until I hit 1,001 subscribers and after that, prices are still ridiculously cheap.

Not only can I manage subscribers and easily create gorgeous behavior-based automated email campaigns, but it also allows me to create landing pages, popups, and embeddable opt-in forms.

Seriously, MailerLite is amazing.

Social Warfare, Tailwind, and MailerLite – those are the three main tools I used this month to drive traffic and generate leads. I used a lot of other free tools to manage my social media, design images, and curate content. Check out How to Schedule Your Social Media Content Like a Boss, Without Spending a Dime, to learn about the other tools I use.

LESSONS LEARNED

Social Media

Pinterest was the big driver for me so I’m going to continue to focus my energy on Pinterest. I plan to create more pins for each blog post and pin content to my group boards more often. I also plan to participate in more Facebook groups.

I know I’m just scratching the content promotion surface and need to diversify my traffic sources. I’m going to double-down on Pinterest, but I also plan to explore a couple other channels this month. I don’t want to put all my eggs in the Pinterest basket. Check back in March to see what I tested and how it went!

Video Tutorials

When I started this blog, I knew video was going to be “my thing.” Trevor has a mild learning disability, making it very difficult for him to comprehend content he reads. Growing up, this made him feel stupid, but he’s actually extremely intelligent. He just needs hands-on demonstrations and tutorials to learn.

I think the majority of people learn best from hands-on demonstrations and tutorials. So, instead of telling my audience how to do something, I plan to show my audience how to do something.

This month, we launched my YouTube Channel and I produced five tutorial videos. These videos have performed really well and I’ve received amazing engagement and feedback. I definitely plan to produce more video tutorials and my goal is to produce a tutorial video for every single blog post.

I might also create a video alternative for every blog post. Instead of reading this post, you could choose to watch a video of me “teaching” the post. Let me know in the comments below if you would prefer to watch a video instead of reading a post.

Most Popular Posts

The hardest lesson I learned this past month stemmed from my most popular posts. I watched the performance of my posts very closely and discovered that my audience wants specific, step-by-step training on social media. Here are my three most popular posts:

Using this insight, I made a drastic shift in my content strategy. Instead of focusing on email list building, I’m going to focus on social media training for beginners.

Over the next few months you’re going to see very detailed “how-to” posts with tutorial videos. I’m going to address how to select the best social media channels for your business and how to get started using Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Summary

First 45 days as a Blogger (December 18 – January 31, 2017) 

Traffic & Subscribers

  • Page views: 7,817       (5,344 the first 30 days)
  • Users:   3,840             (2,493 the first 30 days)
  • Subscribers: 807       (543 the first 30 days)
  • Conversion Rate: 21% 

Traffic Sources

  • Social: 75%
  • Direct: 19%
  • Referral: 4%
  • Organic Search: 1%
  • Email: 1%

Having a system to track your weekly and monthly growth is crucial! This allows you to easily see what’s working well and what’s not, and alter your strategy accordingly.

To save you time and energy, I’m sharing my growth tracking spreadsheet with you!

DOWNLOAD

GROWTH TRACKING SPREADSHEET

In a rush? Click to swipe my growth tracking spreadsheet.
DOWNLOAD

Best traffic driving strategies:

  • Pinterest group boards
  • Tailwind Tribes
  • Facebook groups

Tools I used:

Most Popular Posts:

Lessons Learned:

  • Double-down on Pinterest
  • Beef up my YouTube channel with more how-to videos
  • Focus my content on social media training

What promotion strategy works best for your blog? Comment below and let me know!

About the Author:

Angie Gensler teaches online business owners how to use Pinterest to drive traffic, generate leads, and increase sales. She is a seasoned marketing professional focused on keeping it real. This means real simple tutorials and resources that cut out the confusion and provide actionable tips. She is passionate about her family, dance parties, and creating a life worth living!
  • Jennifer Morrow

    Great tips! I adore Tailwind and I really need to spend more time promoting on Pinterest.

    • Thanks Jennifer! Yes, Tailwind is awesome and the Tribes feature has made a huge difference for me. What promotion strategies have you found to work best for your business?

  • Natasha Lynn

    Wow excellent read! Lots of great info! Thank you!

    • You’re very welcome Natasha! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Kelly Ann Duhigg

    Thanks so much!! Such great ideas for a newbie like me. Will definitely be saving this post for later. Thank you!!!

    • Hi Kelly! You’re very welcome. I’m so glad you found the post helpful! If you have specific questions or things you want to learn don’t hesitate to reach out!

  • Crystal Coffee D

    Will be book marking to read later for sure! I have yet to get into the world of Pinterest and need a step by step tutorial for sure!

    • Hi Crystal. I’m so glad you found the post useful! Yep, Pinterest is game-changing. My plan is to have a post up next week addressing how to pick the right channels for your business and the following week post a step-by-step video tutorial on how to get started with Pinterest. Hopefully that will be helpful to get you started!

  • I have no idea why I haven’t gotten my Pinterest strategy together, let alone building my email list. My traffic does come from Google, Instagram, and Facebook groups for the most part. I get some from Pinterest, but not as much as I would like. I think I’ve read enough blogs about its benefits so I will go and get my life together now! lol Great read! Thank you for sharing.

    Natalie

    • Hey Natalie! Your comment cracked me up. Thanks for bringing some humor to it! Blogging and marketing an online business is so hard. There are too many balls in the air to juggle them all. I try to take it one day at a time and tackle one new thing. It’s a journey, right? Check back in two weeks – I’ll have a post dedicated to getting started with Pinterest. Hopefully that will help and you can start kicking butt on Pinterest!

  • Ashley Frank

    I love this article! So helpful for a new blogger. I’m definitely going to be using these tips.

    • Hi Ashley! Thank you so much for commenting – I’m so happy you found the post helpful!

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  • I admire what you’ve done and want you to know that you’re doing what I want to do! I want to help online business owners specifically by learning to use pinterest/social media, to market their businesses. I want to work with a particular demographic, my peers, baby boomers. I’m so glad I found you so early in this journey as our timelines are very similar! You have more to show for your work than I do, especially with blog posts. For only being at it a month, you have quite a body of work! Very impressive! I’d love to ask you some questions about where and how you find the inspiration and content for your blog posts, which is one of my challenges. Have you decided how you’re going to monetize your blog yet? They say begin with the end in mind so I know that you’ve already thought about it and have a plan, right? I’d love to follow in your footsteps and repeat your success! I’m primed and ready to be your first success story! 🙂 Much respect and all the best!

    • Hi Char! Thank you so much for all the compliments. I’d love for you to be my first success story! If you’d like to connect and stay in communication head on over to my private facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamOfOneBizOwners. That’s a great place to ask questions and learn not just from me, but from other business owners as well. Best of luck on your journey!

      • Thanks and will do!

  • Wow Angie! Well done on your first month! You’re KILLING IT out of the gate! There’s so much you’re doing right that I wish I knew when I first started blogging. You actually got more email subscribers in your first 10 days than I got in my first YEAR of blogging. lol

    Keep it up! Excited to see how you continue to grow!

    • Thank you so much Dustin! I’m learning it takes some serious mental fortitude to be a blogger and your comment fills me with encouragement!

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  • Miranda Johnson

    This post is phenomenal! I love the take on what drove traffic as opposed to the income reports I usually see, although both are extremely helpful! Thanks for sharing your secrets to success!

    • Hi Miranda, thank you so much. I’m so glad you liked it and found it helpful!

  • Jamie Fisher

    I have done a TON of research over the past two months as I start my blog: http://www.keeponrollingwithjamie.com. I lost count, somewhere around a million, of the number of articles I’ve read on this subject. This is by far the most helpful article I’ve read. Thank you for taking the time to put together a very clear plan of action for us to grow our traffic!

    • Wow, Jamie, that is such a huge compliment! Thank you so much, I’m so glad you found the article helpful!