I’m going to be perfectly honest. Ever since the end of August, I’ve been in another blog funk of sorts, thus the belatedness of this report. I have a ton of new and exciting things to share soon (!) that have me in quite the whirlwind but can’t announce them quite yet. I’m hoping that in the next few weeks, I can start to get back into the groove of things with Ampersand Creative. It’s been wonderful knowing that my community has been supportive during this mini hiatus of sorts, so thank you!
The good news is, August was full of some really useful strategies that I am excited to share with all of you! As you’ll soon see, while the pageviews and blog activity remain fairly steady, the social and email growth was strong. If you’re new to these parts, I’ve been sharing monthly Income + Traffic Reports from the launch of Ampersand Creative in April to show transparent strategies, successes, and failures right from the beginning, so we can all learn together.
Things to Consider:
- I co-hosted a Periscope Workshop Event called #ScopePowerHour with Kayla of Kayla Hollatz, Chloe of Chloe Social, and Michelle of Bloomology. It was amazing and I’ll outline some of the strategy below, but this took planning time and I was only about to publish four posts this month, two of which were on Periscope, one was my July report, and one was a WIWO episode. Given what I learned last month, publishing a variety of high-quality, long-form content is really the key and I probably could have done more in this realm strategy-wise.
- I set aside some time halfway through the month to hold a mini blogging retreat for myself, during which I was unplugged and really reevaluated the direction of my brand. Taking this time away was really healthy and reenergizing, but it can often take a while to implement these new changes.
August 2015 Income + Traffic Report
Pageviews: 2,157 (-737)
Unique Visitors: 1,051 (-140)
Bounce Rate: 73.32% (-2.62%) *Remember, you want this percentage to go down!
Time on Site: 1:52 (+:30)
Highest Traffic Day: Monday, August 10th (+21)
Top 3 Posts:
Social Media + Email Stats:
Thoughts on Traffic:
Overall, given the type and quantity of content I published in August, I think the numbers I received are unsurprising. I’m going through some various growing “pains” as I really evaluate where I want to go from here. I know it seems silly to be reevaluating after only a few months in, but I think that’s part of the beauty (and curse) of blogging. You often have to put yourself out there first, get a feel for it, reevaluate, and make edits. Alison did just that and isn’t her site INCREDIBLE? As you personally continue to restructure your values on life and business, so will your brand ebb and flow.
I’m realizing more and more that a blog is only one part (though arguably the largest part) of your brand and that the strength of the community you’re building on and off your blog is where you can truly gauge success (and growth opportunities). Knowing this, I am extremely happy with my progress in August. I feel less pressure to consider numbers and analytics these days and more passionate about the quality of conversations and connections I am having with others.[Tweet “Your blog is only one part of your brand. Focus on strengthening the quality of your community + content everywhere.”]
A big moment of clarity in this area came from planning and implementing #ScopePowerHour. As you can read more about in detail, this Periscope workshop event served to form an incredible mastermind of BBFFs (blogging best friends forever) AND connected me with an amazing group of creatives who I continually chat with on a deeper level. Hands down, this is way more valuable than a few more pageviews, any day!
Additionally, I focused more on content upgrades and offered a helpful Periscope Workshop Planning Guide to help you plan, promote, and launch an event like #ScopePowerHour. Using ThriveLeads, I created an email opt-in for this guide and I think that contributed to more email sign ups (in addition to those who signed up on the #ScopePowerHour landing page).
The usual here, except my annual hosting fee came around as well. August was an EXPENSIVE month, people. I also invested in Spruce Rd.‘s Content Upgrade webinar and it was extremely well done! Thanks, Jamie, for the extra boost :) As a result of her course, I almost purchased LeadPages but could not justify the huge investment at this time in my career/business, so with Michelle’s genius research skills, I decided to opt into ThriveLeads plugin which was a one time ONLY cost instead of a recurring monthly payment.
Buffer Awesome Plan – $10
Mailchimp Paid Plan – $10
BlueHost Annual Hosting Renewal – $143.88 (This includes all of my domains.)
Spruce Rd. Content Upgrade Webinar – $29
ThriveLeads Plug-in – $59
Total Investment for August: -$251.88
Total Investment Overall: – $620.28
Eek. I really wanted to put that last number in the smallest and lightest font possible. But zero regrets here. I see all of these things as money well spent, even though it can be painful once a year when those “bigger” purchases come back around.
If I’m being honest, as time goes on, it gets harder and harder to share these numbers with you. I don’t want to discourage you from thinking you need to invest the same amount of money as I have to have a successful blog, but I also want to be completely transparent about the investment decisions I have made to get to where I am today. A good chunk of this number was devoted to my initial design customizations, but I still get squirmy when I think about revealing this number.
It stirs up my own insecurities and questions: Will I ever see that number in the positive? Why haven’t I still put out a product or service? What if I never actually make an income and this whole portion is just a big fat reminder of that? And then I have to put these fraudy feelings to rest and remember that all things take time and that I’m not doing this for the money anyway. And remind myself that maybe income and value is actually coming in other forms than just my PayPal account. Like the fact that I was able to navigate a complete career shift thanks to my investment in blogging, which is both money in the bank AND a whole new lifestyle of which I had never dreamed before. Perspective, people.
Update on Goals for August
- Update my email opt-in to include more links to posts and some extra information – DONE. I should make a mental note to update this every once in a while. If you haven’t opted-in and are interested in receiving access to The Speakeasy, join us!
- Collaborate with other bloggers on at least two projects – HALF DONE. Only one of the two projects I had in mind were rolled out, but it was a huge success!
- Gain at least 50 new EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS – Oh so close! At 43 though, I am pretty pleased :)
- Write at least two newsletters – DONE (and then some). I wrote a lot of newsletters this month, between those who were interested in learning about #ScopePowerHour and my usual monthly email. I’ve even started working on a free email course on prepping for a mini blogging retreat…stay tuned!
Goals for September
Honestly, with what I know lies ahead, this month is kind of me in survival mode. I think I will make it simple (but significant) and say:
- Revisit mini blog retreat discoveries and map out my content and brand strategy moving forward. This is deliberately vague because I’m not quite sure what format that will take, but I definitely want that to percolate in my mind (and on paper) for a bit before I put it all into action.
Anything else that I accomplish can be seen as a WIN.
Whew! What a month. What were you up to in August? What did you accomplish and what do you want to work on moving forward?