Where do I even start?
This blogging thing has been a long journey.
I discovered the whole ‘make money blogging’ world in the fall and immediately thought I wanted to give it a shot.
I thought it was the perfect crossroads for me:
- I get to design?
- And write?
- And do online marketing?
- And create my own unique site?
- And make money in the process?
Right up my alley. I’m in! …right?
Little did I know there was so much more to it!
How The Teal Notes Journey Got Started
…It wasn’t until months later that I got around to creating the blog and making it ‘public’ with a couple of poorly written posts (which I’ve since erased).
It’s been about six months since then, and it hasn’t been until mid- May of this year that I’ve gotten REALLY serious about making this blogging thing work for me.
By really serious I mean not letting my Tailwind scheduler run out, not ignoring my blog for months at a time (yikes!), and not not posting for forever (double yikes!).
When you do start a blog, you’ll definitely discover new things about yourself. It’ll really test your work ethic (and your patience!) and you’ll get to see if you have what it takes to reach a goal you set out for yourself.
Needless to say, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have and most definitely worth it.
Wait A Minute!
Setting a good foundation when you start is always key. You can check out my complete tools post to get an idea of what tools can work best to create a solid online presence.
I constantly think about how I can make the blog better, how I can offer as much value as possible, and how I can make it stand out and unforgettable.
So, without babbling too much, this is everything I’ve learned about getting blog traffic so far.
The good. The bad. The improvements. And what has and hasn’t worked out.
Also, I know that many bloggers get tons more views than this report from the very beginning, but everyone’s journey is different and this is definitely progress for me after only seeing 50 measly page views a day for a while.
I share this traffic report with you so that you can hopefully learn from my time sucking and painstaking mistakes, and get a leg up in your own blog journey.
Not to mention, it’s a downright awesome feeling when you can help someone make progress and avoid the mistakes you’ve made!
So, let’s get started!
From May 12 – August 11, I was able to get:
10,000 Page Views!
Here’s a screenshot of the stats:
Here is a screenshot of the highest referrers of traffic:
Pinterest is by far my biggest referrer (surprise, surprise!) with 3,040 sessions
Followed by Facebook with 567 (need to get better at promoting there)
And then Twitter with 48 (i really need to get on top of Twitter)
And my top three posts so far have been:
- The Ultra Complete Guide To Pinterest Traffic Mastery for Beginners
- Stand Out In A Sea of Bloggers: 7 Creative Ways To Do It
- The Last one, the “/” was for an opt-in I used to have on my homepage which has since been deleted
The main reason why these two posts stand out the most in terms of how much traffic they got was because they did two things:
1. They answered a burning problem in detail
2. They had an eye-catching title
When you write posts you simply need to make sure you’re addressing a problem that people want solved ( and they usually want it solved fast!).
Even if that problem seems insignificant to you, other people (beginners) are actively looking for that particular solution in your niche.
You can read more about the type of content you need to be creating from the very beginning here, and the biggest misconception about WHO your content is aimed for and why it matters.
It was definitely a big eye-opener for me when I realized it.
The Things I Did Wrong
Let’s start with this- I only report making 10,000 pv’s because halfway through the month of May I realized I had installed Google Analytics wrong!
Somehow, I had installed it twice.
Which means my bounce rate was suspiciously low and I was also counting my own page views!
So, this is a PSA for newbie bloggers: Please don’t count your own page views after you install Google Analytics and think you’re getting tons of traffic…when it’s really just Google Analytics counting your own site visits.
Two Major Takeaways here:
- I knew from the very beginning how to block my own IP address to not count my own page views. What I didn’t know is that, because of the nature of IP addresses, they are eventually bound to change even if you’re in the same place using the same device!
This means the IP address you blocked might not be blocked after a while!
2. To fix this, install the Google Analytics WebKinder App to your plugins and activate it. This way, every time you are logged in working on your blog, it won’t count your own page views.
Thankfully, with the awesome help of Scrivs (shameless plug) who runs more than 10 profitable blogs and hosts a super supportive slack channel (that you NEED to join by the way) we were able to fix the problem.
So from then on, every time I’m logged in and working on my posts (which is constantly) Google Analytics DOES NOT count my own page views.
One way you can check if it’s counting your own page views is:
After you’ve installed GA, open it and go to Real-Time > Overview.
Then open your site and open a couple of posts in different tabs. If it is counting your page views it’ll show you as a viewer of those posts.
Which means you haven’t yet blocked your own page views.
<<Is this post being helpful to you? Make sure you check these out!>>
- The Top 5 Easiest Ways To Make Money At Home For Little To No Work
- 20 FREE Gorgeous Stock Photos And Fonts for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs
- How I Landed My First Freelance Writing Job in Four Days As a Total Newbie
- Make Money From Home— 30 Ridiculously Easy Side Hustle Ideas for Extra Cash
Other things I did wrong in the beginning:
- I hadn’t optimized by Pinterest profile for SEO
This is important not just for your pins but for every part of your profile— the board descriptions, your profile title, and your profile description. You can always read my Pinterest guide profile to learn more about how to do it the right way.
- My pins sucked
Take note that I overhauled my Pinterest pin design 3 darn times before I started seeing real results. That’s just how much my pins sucked.
They’ve gone from this:
- I wasn’t manually pinning
Pinterest like manual activity.
like Tailwind are heaven sent time savers, but Pinterest seems to like when you log in and do some manual pinning and interaction throughout your boards.
- I didn’t use my Tailwind to its full potential
Tailwind has several features I regret ignoring for the longest time:
These are great for greater exposure. They basically act like group boards, except hosted by Tailwind. And you don’t even need a paid Tailwind account to join. You can click here to get Tailwind for 30 days FREE and start using Tailwind tribes!
Group boards are a great recent feature of Tailwind that help you speed up your pinning process even more.
You can group certain boards into clusters and pin a pin to all those boards with one click!
It’s a huge time saver.
Tailwind analytics help you see which pins are performing the best (which means you’ll pin it more) and best of all which group boards you participate in are repining the most and performing the best.
Make sure you check out this detailed post on how you can get started finding which group boards are worth your time that you should be pinning to the most!
I hadn’t joined a supportive community
I seriously underestimated the power of being part of an online community. Especially because I tend to be really introverted (it took me forever to leave my first blog comment!).
I joined the Billionaire Blog Club Slack community after coming across one of Scrivs’ blog posts. It’s filled with sweet and supportive people that have your same mindset and goals, which I love.
Let me tell you, when you join groups with your same mindset, it’s a totally different ball game.
You are more motivated and you get to freely exchange knowledge and ideas.
If you’re interested in joining, you can learn more about the BBC community here.
Remember that you don’t have to do this blogging thing alone. Especially because a lot of your friends might not get what you’re doing, being part of a personal supportive community is priceless. 😊
What I would have done differently If I’d start over
I would have taken the appropriate amount of time to write quality posts.
I feel like my mindset in the beginning was ‘how can I get started with as little work as possible. If you have your own blog, you can see how this thinking only comes back to bite you in the butt!’
Simply— you need to put in the work.
Also, I wouldn’t waste time on so many vain things like perfecting my visual branding and focus instead on quality content and getting exposure from the beginning.
Pro Tip: I’ve seen many bloggers do this and it seems to work really well. While you are working to fill your blog with valuable content, you can set up a sign-up landing page and circulate pins for it through Pinterest.
That way, when you’re ready to launch, you’ll have an email list and audience waiting for your content.
It makes good blogging sense to set it up this way. And it’s something I wish I would have known in the very beginning.
I would have also had a consistent and disciplined work ethic from the start.
Before getting really serious about my blog mid-May, I gutted the whole thing. It lacked direction and the content was horrible.
- I did some rebranding
- I erased 90% of my poor quality posts (It didn’t even hurt to erase them they were so bad)
- I Basically started over
If I had to start all over again I’d say, before you even try to think about things like visual branding, get clear on your blog direction, write AS MANY posts as you can (maybe 25-50?) and then set it all up for launching.
This way, you’ll have a nice traffic boost from the beginning, because you’ll have more posts to drive traffic back to.
Remember, the more posts you have, naturally, the more content you can get eyeballs on, therefore the more page views overall.
That’s why time is a HUGE factor in blogging that no one ever talks about. It takes time to build a following, it takes time to build your page views as you create and circulate more content.
The more you write, the more you’ll develop an ear for what content does best, and the more your page views will improve.
What I Did Right
Well, the best way to sum it up is I CONTINUOUSLY made progress.
I’d spend a day or two obsessively going through one thing I could massively improve and did my homework on it.
And did it again, and again, and again…even when I’d rather gauge my fried eyes out.
A constant focus on improvement is what has kept me going. Also, I had to take a long hard look at myself and the choices I was making.
I wasn’t living up to the consistency and work ethic standards I had set up for myself and I was constantly failing to reach goals.
Come mid-May, I decided I really needed to change that, and change it fast. It was kind of like my actions weren’t matching my thoughts and I kept procrastinating. A lot has changed since then, and there is still so much more to improve.
But this is what makes this journey so darn exciting!
The fact that you are building something from scratch, that you know you’ll succeed if you put the work in, and it’s something you can call your own.
Making money blogging IS possible. And, though right now I’ve only been making an income freelancing through my blog, I know as I gain traction and increase traffic the sky will be the limit!
Improvements I Plan On Making
- Apply to more high-quality group boards
- Possibly start my own group board
- Get better at creating content
- Get better at email marketing (I’m not good with this at all!)
- Create more opt-ins
Your Next Action Steps
- Make sure you aren’t counting your own page views and install WebKinder
- Read the Ultra Complete Guide To Pinterest Traffic to make sure you profile is optimized so it works at its full potential
- Make sure your SEO is on point otherwise take the time to change it!
- Get on Tailwind if you haven’t already (first 30 days are FREE!)
Stay motivated and KNOW that you can do this and start seeing results too! Hard work does pay off!
Keep your eye out for the next report! Happy blogging. 😊
Let me know if you have any questions below!