If I had a fairy blog-mother the one thing I'd ask for is pageviews. (Side note, I'll ask the Instagram Genie for authentic followers). This is the lifeblood of your bad ass blog. I know you've heard from the experts that you need a pretty layout, a newsletter, and a social media strategy. While that helps boost your blog and I agree, those are tips to improve your blog. But think about it: all of those things just don't matter unless you're bringing home the bacon. And that metaphorical bacon is, of course, pageviews. I'm going to share the exact strategies I used to double my pageviews on my blog in 6 months. I went from 60,000 a month to now over 150,000. And yes, that is more than double but let's just go with it.
I believe the proof is in the pudding, so here are my pageviews.
These are my pageviews in November, via Google Analytics:
These are my pageviews in March:
*A precursor here: my pageviews since moving abroad were already up. So I thought, well that's all I can do. NOPE. I was wrong. I was able to double them using these tips and I hope they help you!
How I Doubled My Pageviews in 6 Months
I focused on content that counted
Let's get real. I was looking through some of my past posts and some of them are shit. Plain as day. They are boring. They are 200 words. They have ABSOLUTELY no point. If you read them, sorry, and thank you for sticking around. I love writing. Why did I throw out shitty posts? Because I thought it was necessary to crank out the content. That meant blogging 5-7 times a week (sometimes more.) If you can do that, you're incredible. Sincerely, congrats and you are a mythical unicorn.
But if you are like me… you just cannot. If I had it my way I WOULD blog every. single. day. But if I want to put out kick ass blog posts I'm more of a 2-3 times a week person. And that also means scheduling and planning out posts. I dug deep into my analytics and saw what worked. I looked at what was getting re-pinned and shared. This one went viral. Why wasn't I writing more like this?
On top of that, I wasn't going to write boring how to posts. I still wanted to infuse my personality so that you knew the post was coming from ME. I think many bloggers forget that. They get on the gravy train of writing blog posts that are bathed in SEO, P sized images, and they forget that the reader is human. They forget their personality. If you do ANYTHING, stick to your voice, please. How? By writing and reading as much as you can. (Here's how I read a book a week).
If you want to know my thoughts on creating awesome content, read: How to create foundational content. This is a solid take, in my opinion, on how to write content that counts.
I read an article recently that said that companies that spend at least 1 day a week focusing on promotion and marketing perform better than 60% of their competitors. That stuck with me. So instead of focusing on content ALL the time, I focused on social media. For me, Instagram was where I found my stride. This is an area I felt like I was seeing a huge difference. So I put a lot of time and effort into it.
I recommend not putting all your eggs into one basket. Yes, find some areas where you excel, but don't neglect your other social media avenues. (I'm currently working on upping my game on Facebook right now!) I see a lot of traffic from Pinterest, so I make sure I'm following the Pinterest rules. But it's not my favorite avenue, so I use tools to help me on Pinterest so I can focus on what I love (Instagram) or what I need to grow (Facebook.)
Here are my 8 top tips for growing your social media.
In addition to promoting on social media I also schedule my social posts. I use Hootsuite to schedule all of my Twitter posts, every time a post goes live. I might be in Paris eating macaroons but I know a tweet will go out, regardless.
I Switched to WordPress
Yes. You read that right. Switching to WordPress changed up the game for me. I didn't want to believe it. I held on for SO long. I was a full time blogger still using Blogger. Why? Because I felt like I knew it and understood it. Lots of people told me to make the switch but I'm extremely stubborn. I needed a reason. Long story short, I was frustrated that I couldn't add things to my blog willy-nilly (do people still say that?). I looked into switching to Squarespace. I do love Squarespace, really, but WordPress is just built for bloggers.
I've used all three big players (Blogger, WordPress, and Squarespace) and truly feel that WordPress is best for bloggers. Here's my comparison of them all and why I think you might like it. I also like using WordPress because I feel like I have full control. I can switch up my design (I use Restored 316), add in plugins, and easily see what's working for my blog. It also syncs with so many tools I'm using. See everything I use right here.
I Paid Attention
First, I looked through my analytics and found what was working. What posts were kicking ass? I repinned them. I decided to dig into my old blog posts (that weren't terrible) and revive them. I edited them to make them easier to read (or… longer). I created a pinnable image, or just one that wasn't grainy. Hint: a pinnable image is usually one that's 735X1102. You can use Canva for awesome graphics and easy to create “pinnable” images.
It's important to look at where you're traffic is coming from and stop cold turkey on things that just aren't helping you. We can't do it all. Multi-tasking usually proves that you're a jack of all trades and an ace at none. So toss what isn't working and start focusing on what does. I also said no sometimes. Remember, you CAN say no. It's become one of my favorite words. And not just when I'm telling Hugo to not go in the trash.
Looking through my stats and my old posts I thought about what I wanted my blog to be about. What are my passions and goals? I wrote them down, then made sure that every post I wrote echoed that. In case you're wondering, my purpose is to inspire others by showcasing what I've learned and what I've experienced. To me, that means talking about what I've learned as a blogger and my six years in the corporate world of social media and digital marketing and advertising. It also means sharing my travel experiences in a way that is achievable. While this combination might seem odd, to me, it makes sense. I hope to show that you can achieve your dreams and live a life on your terms. That's what Helene in Between is about. That, and dogs. Because what is life without them?
I got serious about my email list
A newsletter is great. But not when you don't have any sign ups! I currently have over 16,000 people on my list. When I send out something about a new post or a new promotion, I know for a FACT thousands will see it. It's honestly a blogger's bread and butter (man, I'm using a lot of food analogies in this post). In order for it to work, you need to streamline it. For months on end I had only 2,000 subscribers on my list. That all changed when I started creating incentives.
Creating a newsletter or email list is your key to connecting with your readers. It's the reason why I was able to take my blog full time (yes, even with just 2,000 subscribers). I was able to expand my email list when I really started offering incentives. I started a resource collection, free templates, downloads, and even a free course. These were all “content upgrades” that you couldn't find on my blog before. And they not only worked, they made it easy for me to reach my readers. It's a win-win.
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