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Happy spring! I have to say, with the weather warming up and grass not being dead anymore, I’m constantly in a happier mood.
And to top it off, April was a REALLY exciting month for me on the blog!
April 2016 Wins
Finally focused on Elite Blog Academy.
By staying ahead on my posts, I was able to actually follow my 2-hours a day blog schedule, once I cut back to only 2 post per week. I spent way more time on EBA this month, which not only is a lot of fun, but so far it seems to be paying off too!
I’m now in Unit 3, which is all about presentation. You’ll likely see some change to how my blog looks over the next couple months — I’m really excited!
Created a new header image.
I didn’t create a new logo, because the truth is, I have no idea what I want in a logo. So instead I just created a new header image, for now.
The new one is brighter, and though it doesn’t have my own font (it used to be a font I made with my own handwriting) it still looks really nice, and is easier to read. I’m really happy I made this change — it feels like my whole blog is more cohesive now and it reflects the positive feel of the blog much better!
Brainstormed ideas for a better freebie.
I may not have got it set up for you yet, but I did get to work on making a new freebie, which you’ll get as a thank you for signing up for my email newsletter. I’ve decided to focus on improving old posts this month, but the new freebie will be ready hopefully by the end of the month!
(Don’t worry — if you already signed up, you’ll get the freebie too.)
Had a post go viral!
At least, my version of viral.
My post, My Name is Sareeta: Why I’m No Longer an Anonymous Feminist got over 100 views on the day it was published, and it drew more traffic that day than I’ve ever had. It was really exciting! It’s not nearly as viral as what most people consider viral, but it was cool. My pageviews haven’t gone down yet either — at halfway through the month, I was already over the total number of views I had in March!
Not only was it exciting to see a spike in stats, but it was really inspiring to see the reaction that post got. Everyone has been so supportive, and it really meant a lot to me that of all posts to get extra attention, that was the one. So thank you if you shared it! 🙂
April 2016 Fails
Worked less efficiently.
While I did meet most of my goals for the month, I did waste a lot of time because I got so excited about all the different things I have to do. (I’m really into graphic design, apparently!) I started ignoring my timer when it was time to take a break, and that meant I worked longer and less efficiently.
Focused too much on the numbers (again).
I know I said I would stop doing that. And I was doing really well. But with so much info out there about how to grow your blog, it really does take strong willpower to ignore what everyone says. Plus, with my one post going viral, I couldn’t not be excited!
So I had a few weak moments this month.
Tried to use StumbleUpon to increase pageviews.
I read somewhere that adding your pages to StumbleUpon helps increase page views a LOT, so I started participating in the StumbleUpon threads in one of the blogging Facebook groups I’m in. I definitely did see an increase in pageviews, but I also saw a massive increase in my bounce rate — my site was put in front of more viewers, but nobody was sticking around to see what it’s about!
In my hope to increase pageviews, I actually probably hurt my site ranking.
I decided to A/B test it, so I stuck with StumbleUpon for two weeks, and then skipped it for two. The bounce rate went only slightly down, I think because since the pages are already being stumbled, I can’t take them off.
So lesson learned: pageviews mean nothing if your viewers aren’t engaged! If you have low views, as long as they’re engaged, don’t worry about it.
What I Want To Do Now: Goals for May
Refresh at least 30 of my old posts.
A big focus with Elite Blog Academy right now is improving as many older posts as possible, so that’s my plan. It’s actually really cool — looking through all my old posts has been kind of nostalgic! It’s neat to see where I was a year ago, and refreshing them is really bringing them back to life. Feel free to check out the archives to see what I’ve been up to in there!
I’m focusing on this instead of the new freebie — for now, this is more important. Rest assured, it’s coming soon (and I think you’re going to love it) but this task alone will take most of my effort this month.
Focus on content, not numbers (again).
I’ve got a LOT of work to do, and while it’s fun, I’ve got to stay focused. Seeing the numbers rise is great but I know I shouldn’t be paying too much attention to them right now. So this month, I’m going to try to ignore them as best as I can — at least until next month’s income report!
April 2016 Stats
These are my blog stats for the past month, according to Google Analytics.
UPDATE: Somehow my Tracking ID disappeared from my site, so Analytics actually stopped tracking stats since April 15th. Below are the stats for the first two weeks. I have no idea how much traffic I actually got last month 🙁 but at least it’s cool to know I got more than what’s below!
- Pageviews: 1,619 (+173)
- Sessions: 1,259 (+307)
- Visitors: 1,130 (+425)
- 15.4% of all visitors were returning visitors — an decrease of 21.2%.
- 84.6% of all visitors were new visitors — an increase of 18.2%.
- Bounce Rate (percentage of people who leave right away): 86.34%
- Average Time Per View: 48 secs (-1 min)
- Pages Per Visit: 1.29 (-0.23)
- Top Referral Sources: StumbleUpon (69% of my traffic), Facebook (17%), and Pinterest (5%)
Unfortunately, submitting my posts to StumbleUpon really hurt my bounce rate despite increasing my pageviews, since so many people don’t stay on a given page for long. This in turn hurt my average time for per and my pages per visit. Needless to say, I’m staying away from StumbleUpon for a while now. I’d rather have a lower number of engaged visitors than a higher number of uninterested ones!
And These are my social media stats as of May 2nd.
- Facebook: 161 page likes (+15)
- Twitter: 903 followers (+240)
- Google+: 67 followers (+19)
- Pinterest: 873 followers (+326)
- Bloglovin: 485 followers (+173)
- Email list: 12 subscribers (+2)
April 2016 Posts
If you’re wondering, these are the posts from last month that led to the above stats.
- A Guy’s Guide to Feminism: 6 Privileges Men Don’t Realize They Have
- My Third Month Self-Hosting My Blog
- A Guy’s Guide to Feminism: 9 Ways Men Can Support Feminism
- My Name is Sareeta: Why I’m No Longer an Anonymous Feminist
- 5 Feminist Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day
- The Sexualization of Lesbian & Bisexual Women
- Why Feminism Matters
- Teas & Kitties: Spring Awakening
- A (Very) Brief Feminist Glossary
- How to Teach Consent: Beyond “Just Ask”
- Time to Step it Up, Educators: Why Queer Topics Are Not Inappropriate
And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…
April 2016 Income Report
Media.net ads: $0
Affiliate links: $0
I still don’t have enough traffic for ads, although it’s definitely grown this month! I did change how I use affiliate links this month though, which has shown some improvement. We’ll see what happens! I’m not too worried yet.
A recent email newsletter from Rosemarie at The Busy Budgeter reminded me that most bloggers don’t make much income until after 6 months of blogging. I’ve only been self-hosting since the end of December, and I haven’t made anything — but I’m growing! I’m on the right track.
This month, Mailchimp stopped allowing emails to be sent from Gmail accounts, so I had no choice but to switch from my old email to my current one, firstname.lastname@example.org… and that meant an extra fee. Yay. So that’s why BlueHost Email happened. They charge to host email through the domain you have with them. But that’s good for a while now — at least it’s not monthly!
Besides that, I bought an eBook from a blogger I know who has actually grown her Facebook an INSANE amount, and it was only $20 USD so I figured why not? Ruth at Elite Blog Academy doesn’t really specialize as much in Facebook, so it couldn’t hurt. If you’d like to check it out, click here.
Finally, Unit 3 in EBA is about redesigning your blog. It doesn’t have to be a complete do-over — it could just be as simple as tweaking bugs. But there is a lot I want to change about my design, so I hired a designer! #youknowyourebigwhen #butnotactually #oneday
She won’t be working with me until August, but she required a deposit so I put that down. My hope is that by August I will be making at least some income, so it won’t hurt too much. And this way I have her booked and the date is set, but I have lots of time to figure out exactly what it is that I want.
How Elite Blog Academy Helped Me This Month
Take your time.
If you get into blogging at all, you’ll find that this is something everyone says. But it’s true. Blogging for income is no get-rich-quick scheme.
You really have to just take your time to do everything right, because if you try to grow before you are ready, it’ll be like showing everyone your rough draft — it’ll be good, but not quite good enough. You don’t want to waste your energy before it’s as good as it can be!
This was a super useful lesson for me this month. I get so excited about numbers, growing, and moving on to the next step. I almost convinced myself I was ready for the next unit in EBA!
But then I watched some of Ruth’s videos, which I had forgotten to watch — and I was comforted. She reminded me that everyone is different and will be going along at a different pace. She’s the one who pointed out that if you grow before you’re ready, it won’t work.
And so now I’m happily stuck in Unit 3 — redesigning my images, going through old posts, and looking forward to my site redesign in August!
I hope that if you’re trying to blog for income, this is comforting for you too. We’re all doing this differently, and it really will only help you to take your time.
See you next month!
If you want to see more about how I actually set up my blog and the costs of that, you can check out this post where I explain it all 🙂