Happy July everyone! We are officially more than half way done with the year, yet there is still so much more to accomplish. Summer makes everyone want to slow down, however I felt is was extremely important that I did not slow my momentum down too much over the past few months. I know that the world is still spinning, so that means that there is always opportunity to help someone. Many people use the summertime to educated themselves and plan for the fall and holiday season, especially business owners. I did a lot of this in June, and wanted to share the outcome and results with you all. Today, I’m sharing an inside peek into some of the happenings and goals I had for Bliss & Faith last month, and the goals I’ll be setting for this month.
I kept a consistent posting schedule the entire month. I posted 3-4 most weeks, in addition to the weekly link party I co-host.
Takeaway: Posting consistency allowed to stick to my monthly content calendar. There were some days that I didn’t post on due to personal issues, but I at least had all of my content planned out. I learned to give myself grace when it came to missing a day or so, because some things were simply out of my when it came it getting a post up. In addition, if I found myself uninspired, I didn’t post. When life happens, your focus isn’t always on the things you want it to be on, June reminded me of that big time!
I increased my page views by 2,540 from May, which was amazingly exciting. However, in increasing my page views, my bounce rate seemed to skyrocket, not so amazingly exciting.
You can see the growth and difference from May to June:
Takeaways: Although it would have been awesome to double my page views, I see that I’m well on my way. As I mentioned before, my bounce rate skyrocketed, so that will require me to do some digging into my analytics to see exactly what’s going on. From the bit of digging I’ve already done, I’m sure that spambots are the major cause to my increased bounce rate. However, I will keeping a close eye on it, and how to rectify the issue going forward.
I try not to get too caught on analytics, but they are important to track, because they can give you in depth insight into your readers behaviors. You can find out which of the topics you post on tend to be most read and viewed. Consistent trends in engagement for your site and what sources you are getting referrals from.
Related post: What You Need In & Why You Should Use A Blog Planner
I grew my emails list and created a new opt-in page for my newsletter + two other opt-in pages for upcoming courses I’ll be launching.
Takeaways: In late May, I signed up for my friend Mariah Coz’s (from the awesome Femtrepreneur.co blog) Your First 1K Course with the goal of learning how to better grow my list and launch new courses, products, and services. I can tell you that the course has been awesome, the content truly exceptional! If you get an opportunity to take the course, I definitely recommend doing so. Another great thing about the course is that I’ve had the opportunity to connect with fellow creatives via the Slack group that Mariah has for the course.
I’m so glad that I’ve already seen results from the course in my list growth. There are still three more weeks left in the course, so I can’t wait to see what other implementations I can make here on Bliss & Faith to serve my readership better and attract new ones. I will say that it has been a lot of work, and with the limited time I had in June, I couldn’t make growing my list the hugest priority. To be honest, prior to taking #YF1k, I never focused much on my email list or growing it. I typically used my list to send out link party reminders, a weekly RSS feed of my posts on Saturdays, and an occasional monthly newsletter. I didn’t know the value in having a list, because I had always been more focused on growing my social media following. I thought social media was where its at, but I’ve recently learned that having an email list is really where its at.
Having an email list allows you to directly connect with your readership by being dropped right into their inbox. The best thing about that is that they invite you to do it by opting-in to it, so you know that those on your list really want to hear from you. Unlike social media, which moves so fast, your email list is stable. You don’t have to worry about being a part of the next big social media platform in having an email list, if you’re not passionate about spending your time on it. As a business owner or blogger, you don’t have to be on every single platform to interact and engage with your following. I spend time on the ones that provide the most benefit to my business (Pinterest & Twitter), and let my email list be the focus for connecting with my readership, especially on a more personal or intimate level.
Related posts: Triple Your Readership & Following By Having A Newsletter | How To Add Your Subscribers First Name To Newsletter Emails In Mailchimp | How To Install An Email Opt-In Bar On Your Site In 5 Minutes | 7 Easy Ways To Grow Your Email List
I booked a guest contributor spot for another blog and reached out to a few other blogs to contribute to.
Takeaways: Guest posting or contributing to other blogs was never something that was on my radar, until again I start #YF1K. I’ve always been about building community, but again, I was focusing too many of my efforts to do on social media. It may seen pretty common sensical, but getting in front of another audience in my niche or one similar to, in order to build brand awareness wasn’t something I had ever thought through. By getting in front of new faces, I’ll opportunity to offer my authority and expertise on blogging, business, branding, and design, as well as network with them and gain new readers.
Related post: Why Commenting On Others’ Blog Is Awesome For Your Blog
I can not wait to share more about my upcoming guest post opportunities. Additionally, I’ll be sharing insight with you on how to guest posting and contributor opportunities on other blogs. In case you didn’t know, I’ve opened up the Bliss & Faith blog to contributors, so if you think you have some awesome information and insight to contribute on the topics of business, blogging, branding, and design, submit for a guest post spot below:
Send out July’s newsletter.
When I’ll Do It: The newsletter will be going out the latter part of next week, so either Thursday or Friday. I’ll be including updates about the blog and business, sharing some resourceful insight about goal setting, blogging, and business, and of course an exclusive freebie just for my email community. If you’re not signed for the newsletter, you don’t want to miss it!
Work on the Blog to Success Course and accompanying Guide & Planner.
How I’ll Do It: By setting aside at least 30 minutes on each of my workdays (Monday, Thursday, & Friday) to do work on them. Its essential for me to prioritize getting the work done for the course and guide & planner, because I would like to launch it by late summer/early fall. I’ll be posting more about the course in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can sign up to receive updates about it here. Head over to this page to read and find out more about the course and my intention behind it.
The latest edition of the Blog to Success Planner, so if you’d like to grab a copy of it now you can do so here.
Once the planner is expanded into a guide/planner combo the price will be increasing, so I encourage you to grab it now at its current price!
Update the Building An Authentic Brand Guide.
How I’ll Do It: Ideally, I would like to make the guide more robust and higher quality. Its great now, but can be so much better. I also have something super special in the works to accompany the guide, so getting it updated is crucial. I would like to have guide updated by the time I send out this month’s newsletter, which will be the latter part of next week. Better get to work!
Decrease bounce rate.
How I’ll Do It: I will need to dig into my analytics more to see what measures I need to take to decrease my bounce. I need to find out what’s the main source for the increase, eliminating it, and insuring that is doesn’t reoccur. There are numerous factors that increase bounce rate, so unfortunately its not as simple as just calculating the amount of time my visitors are spending on my site. I will also be revisiting many of my old posts that still get good traffic, to see how they’re affecting my bounce rate.
My goal with decreasing my bounce rate is to increase the amount time visitors are spending on my site, so I need to make sure that the content I have and post in the future result in that. The more visitors spend on my site, denotes how valuable they are perceiving my information. Since I work hard to make sure that my blog is seen as and considered a valuable and informative resource to fellow creative entrepreneurs, I need to insure that I’m positioning it as such. The increase in my bounce has actually taught me a great lesson and prompted to create even better content to serve readers. Fortunately, the more I post and engage my readership, the easier it is to produce better content. Its kind of a good problem to have (in an unconventional way) . 😉 Its time to amp things up!
Double page views for the month.
How I’ll Do It: By posting amazing content, networking more, and posting to social media more frequently. I attribute a large part of June’s page view growth to my ramped up social media posting schedule. In addition, I was consistent with my social media posting, so I believe that played a huge factor as well. The thing I need to do now is combine the two, post more frequently and consistently. As far as networking, is basically comes down to putting myself out there more. June was the first time I joined Facebook groups and made sure that I contributed to them frequently. I also attended several webinars where I was able to get in front of new faces and interact, so I look forward to doing the same this month.
Increase email list by 100+.
How I’ll Do It: I believe that having an awesome opt-in will be a good start in increasing my list. Its one reason why I’m so apt to get the Build An Authentic Brand Guide updated and make it even better. The one thing I didn’t do was promote the guide very much, which I had been planning to do more. My intentions were to have a post go up about the guide last month, but that didn’t happen…and for good reason! Looking back, I’m glad it didn’t, because as time went on I kept feeling I wanted to update the guide. Funny how life works out that way!
Last month, I implemented a new opt-in bar at the top of my site and slide out widget to collect email for my list. I had not been a fan of either one prior to adding them, but the only way I was going to see if they actually produced results was to implement them.
I haven’t looked at the analytics in depth for either for June, but I will be doing at the end of this month or August. I wanted to give both roughly 60-90 days of being implemented before I analyzed the results. I will most likely share the results in August’s newsletter or at some point later that month here on the blog. I’ll keep you posted!
Update old posts and optimize for SEO.
How I’ll Do It: This is something that I’ve wavered on doing for some time now, since I’ve published 582…583 if you count this post, posts on here on my blog. I rebranded this past March, so the bulk of my published content is consists of the mish mosh of content, before I niched down. I can safely say that I most likely won’t be deleting any of my content, especially the pregnancy updates that I chronicled when I was pregnant with my son. They are very special to me, as well as a lot of the other older content. Its one of the main reasons that I’m making it a goal to update much of the content (most formatting) and graphics to make those posts look consistent with my newer content.
Its so interesting how experience plays a role in how you do things. A year ago I wasn’t using subheadings in my posts, adding Pinterest optimized images, or using the editor SEO settings consistently or to the fullest extent. Now, I have a better understanding of how all of these things play a role in posts being optimized for search engines. I’ve seen a significant difference in my search engine referrals ever since I started taking SEO more seriously. Be on the lookout for a post all about crafting your posts for SEO next week.
Finish cleaning up categories and tags on old posts.
How I’ll Do It: This one’s pretty simple since all the work for it will be on the backend. I actually starting cleaning up my categories and tags months ago, but because their are so many of them, its been a feat of a work in progress. One of the reasons my categories and tags are so out of whack on my older posts is because when I migrated my blog from Blogger over to WP, all of the tags imported as categories. At the time I didn’t notice, but as time went on I realized that I had like 200 categories…what a pain!
If you’re ever in the process of migrating your blog from one platform to another, insure you import your categories and tags properly. Wordpress actually has a tool in the dashboard that you can use to import them properly, so you don’t make the same mistake I made when I migrated.
To access the Categories and Tags Converter, go to Tool > Available Tools > Categories and Tags Importer. Click on whichever service you are migrating from and install the importer. From there, you will select from the options available and follow the prompts within the importer to import your categories and tags. If only I’d done that from day one! It would have been so much easier to import my categories and tags back then and have then nice and organized. Now, that I’ve waited 200+ posts later, its such a huge job.
Promote my Coaching & Consulting services more.
How I’ll Do It: Last month I rolled out my new coaching and consulting services offerings, which I announced first in my newsletter and spoke briefly on them in this post. However, I didn’t really promote them and let my readership know about them in detail.
I will posting a detailed overview of my coaching services, so that visitors will have a better idea of what I offer. One exciting thing that I do have going on with my coaching and consulting services is a giveaway for them. Its an opportunity for one lucky gal (or guy) to partake in some free coaching courtesy of yours truly.
If you think you’re in need of help in organizing your thoughts or ideas for your business or blog, I’d love to help! Head over to my Coaching & Consulting Services page to learn more about them and to see how we can work together to get you where you want to be.
Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with how June turned out. I’m looking forward to July being an even better month for sure. I believe by setting goals for this month that it will facilitate me holding myself more accountable, as well as allow you to do so. Setting goals will also give me an added sense of achievement and motivation when I can cross many of my goals off the list. Knowing that I’ve done the work and gotten things done that I know will better serve my readership and add to my business’ success will serve as the continued encouragement to keep doing what I’m doing.
Have you set goals for the month? – What are some of the things you do to help accomplish the goals you set for yourself.