Month 4 Blog Growth Update: My Plan of Attack for Beating the Summer Slump

Month 4 Blog Growth Update : How I'm Trying to Beat the Summer Slump + My First Income Report

Hi there!

Welcome to my series, Mom to Mompreneur Blog Growth Update! Wow! that was a mouthful.

For those of you who are new, my name is Elna Cain and I’m a freelance writer and a mama to twin toddlers.

I started TwinsMommy back in March as a way to blog some more – because I just love blogging – and engaging with a new audience.

It wasn’t until about a few weeks later – in April – that I really wanted to grow this blog.

I wanted to start a new blog and grow traffic, readers and income and share my story because I know a lot of you are struggling growing your blog too!

I also want to help mamas go from being a mom to being a mompreneur.

Blogging just for the sake of blogging isn’t going to earn you income. Turning your blog into a biz and then creating products, well that’s where all the money is. And I’m chronicling that journey with you!

To catch up with how I’m growing my blog, check out my blog growth series:

Before you get into the nitty gritty of this post, if you’re reading this and don’t have a blog, but want to start one, I have an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog using SiteGround!

Psst.. I made some money from this site! Read on to find out more.

1. On My Site

This is my first official summer as a blogger so the whole “summer slump” is fairly new to me. On my freelance writing website I always have client work each month, so I don’t take a dip in my income, but with this blog, my focus is growth right now and not income…yet.

And I did encounter a dip mid July, but overall, my blog continues to grow…albeit at a snail’s pace for now.

Let’s check out last months analytics:

blog-month-3-google-analyics

Here are my analytics for July:

july-blog-growth

There wasn’t such a huge increase – only around 11% growth for July.

I can only assume it’s because summer is here and everyone – including me – is outside enjoying the nice weather.

Did I Accomplish My Goals?

  • Generate 25k pageviews – FAIL. This is the second time I’ve made this goal and I still haven’t gotten that close. I feel 25k pageviews isn’t a huge jump from where I was last month (18k pageviews), but it just wasn’t in the cards this month.
  • Increase my daily visitors from 450 to 600+ a day – I actually was averaging around 600-700 visitors a day until mid July when the slump hit me!
  • Keep continuing to provide useful and epic blog posts of at least 1k words twice a weekSuccess pretty much. I published 7 posts in July, which is close to my 2 posts a week goal. I had one post that had over 1k in shares – which helped me grow my list because of my content upgrade in that post.

This last month has been focusing on diversifying my traffic. This is one way I’m trying to beat the summer slump but also because if you don’t know, most of my traffic is from Pinterest.

My number one way a visitor on Pinterest comes to my site is via this post.I don’t know about you, but I don’t like knowing that the bulk of my traffic comes from one source.

What happens if Pinterest changes everything? Or my account gets banned? You never know right?

So, I’ve been exploring other sources of traffic to help alleviate this issue.

Using IFTTT to Schedule My Tweets

I’ve always used Twitter for my freelance writing service. In fact, it’s helped me land high-profile gigs and has generated thousands of dollars for me.

So, before I started TwinsMommy I had a fairly decent following (over 1k Twitter followers). Since I’m sharing my Twitter account with both my blogs, I made a new banner.

facebook-profile-1

I then started learning more about IFTTT – an automating tool. It stands for, If This Then That and helps you automate pretty much anything you want in regards to your blogging and social media.

You create recipes of, “If x, Then x” and link certain apps together like Buffer and WordPress or Twitter and Facebook.

I first got wind of this app from none other than Melyssa Griffin in one of her free webinars. She created a recipe that I used to link Buffer to my Google Calendar and now I schedule my tweets and repeat them. Any new tweets I want to add, can be added via Google Calendar.

I also read Suzi’s post on using IFTTT and Twitter. So, now I have both recipes going. This is all free by the way and it seems to be working.

Here’s my Google calendar to see my scheduled posts for Twitter .

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 9.54.45 PM

It’s still a work in progress as I’m finding sometimes IFTTT and Buffer tweet out the same post at the same time so my feed has dupes.

Dipping My Marketing Feet in Instagram

Hell-o!

I’m on Instagram – well I have been since I started Twins Mommy but just started using it this month!

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 9.59.09 PM

I have no clue what I’m doing but I’m having fun! I’m only posting marketing posts like Instagram graphics or graphics of my posts.

I’m also still understanding the whole hashtagging concept and how to write a caption. Right now I’m just using the introduction in my blog post as my caption and littering it with hashtags for my Instagram posting.

I don’t use my phone much, now that I work from home and I don’t carry my phone around much, so posting to Instagram was a struggle until I found out about Grum.

Grum allows you to post on Instagram from your computer.

I know!

I’m so old school but I just can’t figure out how to upload an image of my blog post from my phone without doing a ba-jillion steps.

Here’s my Grum dashboard:

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It’s super easy to use. You just drop your blog post image and write a caption for it. Then you can post it right then or schedule it. I found out about it as a SumoMe deal and even SumoMe uses Grum!

Right now I’m having fun learning how to use Instagram to drive traffic to my blog.

I Started Making Money on This Blog!

Phew!

Setting up an affiliate account took forever. Right now I’m an affiliate for Tailwind, and I am generating income!

Yay! The commission is super duper small, but I’m happy with generating ANY income.

So I’ll start posting my income report, but I have a feeling it will be slow for a while as I start to decide what affiliate programs I want to sign-up for.

So, currently, any income reports will be from income earned only. I’ll also include my expenses that are related to Twins Mommy and not my other blogs.

July 2016 Income:

This income only includes money generated from Twins Mommy. It does not include my freelance writing service, course sales, coaching clients and writing clients.

  • Tailwind affiliate – $20.98

July 2016 Expenses:

This does not include my hosting fees, which would be about $10/month because Twins Mommy is hosted with my other sites on a cloud server.

  • Tailwind – $15
  • Mailchimp  – $15

Total Income: $ -9.02

So I didn’t come out ahead, but it’s something right? I just put my affiliate link in some popular posts and that’s it. Since affiliate marketing isn’t my goal for this blog, it won’t be my area of focus, but I do want to share what income I am earning from this blog.

I have been approached by various brands to do sponsored posts so I may do a sponsored post as long as it fits with my goal for this blog.

My goals for August are:

  • Start looking at SEO strategies – I really need to up my game with SEO but I know backlinks are key to really making your blog take off.
  • Diversify my traffic source – I want to start promoting more on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Work on a post on how to use Tailwind to automate your pins to help with affiliate sales
  • Consider doing a sponsored post.

2. Pinterest Marketing

Yay! I have gained 1k followers in one month! Last month I had 2.5k followers. This month I have 3.5k followers!

Screen_Shot_2016-08-01_at_10_28_58_PM

I’m so happy that I continue to gain more and more followers every week. Last month I almost gained 1k followers and this month I finally have. It isn’t a huge jump, but I’m still super excited for the growth!

I know having lots of followers doesn’t mean more traffic back to my blog. My average monthly viewers tells me how big of a reach my pins are generating.

Last month I had 324,00 viewers. And this month?

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.35.11 PM

Not bad! Like I said, the summer slump has come to me but I’m trying to fight it hard!

Did I Meet My Goals?

  • Generate 500,000 monthly viewers on PinterestFAIL. Not quite there yet.
  • Have around 4k followersFAIL.
  • Move to pinning 200+ a day (80% mine/20% others)Success. Starting July 1st (to account for the summer slump) I upped my pinning strategy from around 130-150 pins a day to 200 pins a day.

One of the biggest things I did was increase my pinning from 130 to 200 pins a day. This might seem like a lot and it is, so I’m not sure how long I can sustain this.

I don’t do this manually! I use Tailwind to automate my pins so my strategy has been on auto pilot for most of the month. About twice a month I have to re-schedule my pins in Tailwind and that takes around 15-20 minutes.

It’s a bit more time consuming than before, but since I’m pinning more, I have to schedule more.

As I mentioned before I don’t want to rely so much on Pinterest, but I’m still using it to market my blogs.

Besides increasing my pinning strategy, I’ve also started creating new pins for my popular posts as another way to fight the summer slump!

I’m using a complete new look with a new font, branding style, new headlines and a new graphic for my incentivize graphic.

Here is what the original pins look like and the new pins:

How Pinterest Makes Me Money How To Use Pinterest to Make Money

Here’s the other one:

How to Manage Chores and Still Run a Booming Home Business (Plus Free Checklist!)

Right now both new pins are generating repins and this is something I want to continue to do for popular pins.

I’m hoping these “new pin” looks will reach more people and help bring more traffic to my blog.

My goals for August:

  • Create more new pins for popular posts
  • Monitor my new pinning strategy of 200 pins a day and if no huge change in my traffic, will go back down to around 130 pins a day.
  • Generate at least 1k new followers (4.5k followers total)

3. Growing My Email List

I L-O-V-E email marketing.

Growing my list is just fun and I love coming up with new freebies – also called content upgrades – for my visitors.

Last month I had 643 subscribers. And this month?

mailchimp-with content upgrade

I gained over 270 new subscribers in one month! And that’s just from using content upgrades.

Content upgrades are awesome to grow your email list and I will continue to use them. But, what about a lead magnet?

If you’re unsure what that is, it’s a freebie you offer to your visitors. But this is your main freebie on your site.

Well, I finally have one up!

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.54.58 PM

It’s a resource library with my webinar (and soon more webinars), guides, checklists and anything else I end up creating.

I’m calling it the Mom Boss Vault as I want to tailor my content to moms who want to become mompreneurs.

If you’re a mom and want to grow your blog and biz then my resource library can totally help you out!

How Did I Do With My Goals?

  • I’m going to roll out a Welcome email series for those who subscribe to my listSuccess. It’s been rolled out and people are going through it.
  • I’m going to edit and clean up my webinar and use that as my lead magnet along with a resource library too – Fail/Success. Fail on the edit part. For now it’s as is. But the resource library is finally up! Yay! *happy dance.*

I’m happy that I finally have a welcome series for my blog. I’ve never had one on any of my other blogs so figuring out how to do one and what to include was something I checked out last month.

It’s five emails and while a new subscriber is going through the automation, they aren’t notified of my weekly newsletter until they are finished with the welcome series. Since I’m not promoting anything, there’s no point for a subscriber to get get a ton of emails from me!

My goals for August:

  • Create more webinars – I’m in the works of doing up to three webinars with other bloggers and can’t wait to spill the beans on these projects (one of them I will this week!).
  • Get ready for an epic giveaway – Yes, I will be doing a massive giveaway hopefully in September. I will give away courses and guides to help moms become mompreneurs and I can’t wait to tell everyone about it!
  • Generate 500 new subscribers. Yikes! Big goal here! I’m hoping with a webinar and my resource library that I’ll be able to get 500 subscribers to my list.

4. Blogger Outreach

Guess what? I have a Blab with Dre Beltrami from the Branded Solopreneur! It was scheduled on August 9th, but now it’s changed. Will keep you notified when this occurs!

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I’ll be talking about being a mompreneur so make sure to check that out!

And as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been approached by some brands to do sponsored posts so I’ll look into that for next month. But other than that, I’ve been trying harder to comment on other mama’s blogs, share their posts and connect with more moms.

What about last month’s goals? Well, I didn’t set any and actually took a pause.

My goals for August:

  • Feature more moms in more round-ups like this one
  • Connect with other moms and form a webinar with them
  • Participate more in Facebook groups like the Dear Mom community group.

Am I Plateauing?

This is always a concern for me. I’m not out of the summer slump so I can only see what August brings me. I still want to create posts that will help other moms and even feature them too!

I also am tickled pink that other bloggers are featuring me or mentioning me in their blog posts. Thank you so much!

I can’t wait to see how my blog, email list and now my income will grow!

So, are you with me mamas? Tell me how you’re growing your blog through the summer slump.

 

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