The beginning of the month is here which means its time for what worked and what didn’t work for business this month! My goal with this post is to be transparent with you about what I am doing to market my blog and services. I hope you can relate my ideas to your business and use these them to grow your business!
First lets take a look at the numbers.
Stats for April
|Returning Visitor %||42.79%||47.10%||32.05%||-15.05%|
I definitely missed some of my goals this month. I am kind of bummed, but I also knew pretty early on in April that it was going to happen. I talk about it more in-depth in the what worked section, but I took some time off this month. Time off to regroup and get a plan. I missed my mark on the pageviews and the email subscribers. But I am encouraged to see that the blog is hitting higher numbers even with taking some downtime. That means it is starting to work for me even when I am not working on it.
I have four main goals for my blog:
- Help people through my writing and services.
- Increase pageviews every month.
- Increase my email list every month
- Earn an income through services, classes, products, reviews and advertisements.
Lets take a look at how I did meeting my goals this month!
Guest posting continues to be the best way for me to get pageviews on my blog. I had 4 guest posts this month. I posted on Inman and Katie Lance one time. I had two posts run on RESAAS. It is good for me to post on multiple sites to gain exposure for the blog. Guest posting resulted in 1,965 pageviews for the blog and 128 email subscribers.
Takeaway: Continue to guest post but make sure it is an active, engaged audience.
My Email List
The people on my email list are amazing! They are loyal and I will do my best to honor their loyalty. When I send out emails to sign up for a webinar they show up in a big way. About 95% of my webinar sign ups come from my email list. My email subscribers also send the most pageviews to my blog. I send out two emails every week with a new post. The second email of the week always has inside marketing ideas just for subscribers. The days I send out those emails my pageviews increase three times over. It’s rewarding to see that! I am thankful for my email subscribers!
Takeaway: It is true that email marketing is still more loyal over social media. This has been proven time and time again. I have seen it personally and will continue working to add email subscribers to my list. I will also continue to give increased value through subscriber only content. (Want that subscriber only content? Sign up here!)
The Gift of Time
When you first blog it is a struggle to get pageviews and people to read your content. There is an element of patience and time that is required in blogging. People need to see that you are real and that you are going to stick around. They say that about the six month mark it starts to get slightly easier and just continues to get better after that. I would agree with that statement. I have been at this seven months now and I think I can count on a minimum of 200 pageviews a day. That is great and a big jump from where I was when I started in November. But I want more. It is time to grow again and I will be working on that in May.
I held two webinars in April and they went well. The goal of the webinars was to educate on landing pages and then sell my class. After my soft launch in March I was nervous, but with solid practice I think I pulled it off. In my second webinar I learned two important things. First, you get what you pay for when it comes to the service you use for webinars. I tried MeetingBurner and it was a crash and burn. Literally thirty minutes before the webinar started I had to shut it down at MeetingBurner and get set up in GoToWebinar. GoToWebinar is much more expensive than other options but you get what you pay for. The GoToWebinar process is seamless and I needed seamless. I have also been able to use it for training and coaching calls so GoToWebinar is a keeper for me.
The second thing I learned is to do a minimum of a 45 minute webinar. This allows me to get through my material without feeling rushed and allows time for questions at the end. I never want to take advantage of peoples’ time so 45 minutes feels like an adequate amount of time for a webinar.
I also realized I was much more relaxed with the last webinar. That makes sense because I have a few under my belt. Webinars are weird. You have no audience that you can see so you cant base your presentation on their reactions. When I present live I can see how a comment or a joke goes over. It feels much more engaging. I learned this time to pretend that my audience was there and just go with the flow. I was more myself in this webinar than any other and I think it went better because of it.
Takeaway: Go with the flow and be yourself. Even if you are scared just be you and chances are it will go better than you think.
In March I did a soft launch of my landing page class. In April I did a bigger announcement. May will be even bigger. I was excited though because by the end of April I had 10 people sign up for the class! Pretty exciting for my first shot at this online business! I think I could have had more sign ups, but once I had 10 I knew that I needed to work fast and furious to get the class written! That has pretty much been my entire priority for April and will be for May. This is a self-paced class and people are ready for the next modules. I have been getting great feedback on the class and that feels good.
I learned a lot in writing this class. I learned first that I love it! It is fun to take people through my process of creating landing pages to get leads from your website. I learned that is it fun to teach people in this way.
I also learned that no matter how fun it is there are going to be technical issues! Originally I hosted the class on my blog website. I found that it was slowing my site down which is not good. So I had to buy a new domain and set up a new WordPress install for the class. I am glad I did it this way as it now has growth for future members and a membership site. All-in-all I am excited about this class and creating more classes! But I am really excited to see how the people in the class do with their landing pages!
I love my landing pages! They aren’t even that pretty but man do they work. Every day, weekends included, I am getting new email leads from them. It is fun and exciting! If you aren’t doing landing pages you need to add them to your marketing strategy!
New header with email sign up
I added a fun tool to my blog to see if it would increase my sign ups. I added a mini landing page box below the header. Instead of people seeing content when they first land on the blog they see a mini landing page. It has been successful and I have had 68 sign ups through this mini landing page.
Takeaway: A change doesn’t need to be big for it to work. Look for small ideas to implement in your business to make it grow.
End of Notifications
In the middle of April I was losing my mind over my phone buzzing me all the time. Half the time it was an email that I didn’t need to deal with and it was making me NUTS. So one day I shut off the notifications. I tell you what my friends I will never turn them on again. Ever. I feel more in control of my life and of my email by having the notifications off. I check my email in the morning, once at noon, once before the end of the day and once before the kids are in bed. I then take 15-20 minutes at each time to respond to them. It has changed my mood about my business and my time. I know 97% of you freak out about that idea but I highly recommend you try it!
In the middle of April I was completely overloaded. I was overwhelmed by the work I needed to accomplish and the business that was coming in. I know good problems to have and I am grateful to have them. Dont get me wrong—I am so grateful. But I found myself pulling late nights, not seeing my kids as much and just stressed out. I was exhausted.
I also was at a crossroads. I want the blog to grow but I had to decide how it is going to grow. I needed to get clear about what it was that I was offering to people because I was crashing and burning during these conversations with prospects. That is not like me. I am usually confident about what I offer and can sell it in my way. I wasnt doing that and I was frustrated. So I took about 3 days off and focused on what I want to offer. The services I can provide to my blog readers. By Tuesday at 11:30 I got it. It was an aha moment! I now know where I want to go and how I can help people. I am excited to start moving in that direction! I am excited to focus and not try to be everything to everyone.
Takeaway: If you don’t know what you do, neither will your prospects or clients. Do not try to be all things to all people. Focus on the areas of your industry that you love and then be the best you can be!
What Didnt Work
My Blog Broke
At the end of April my blog broke! In fact it is still broken and I cant login without performing some fun tricks. It’s always a nice reminder that not only am I steering this ship but I am the IT person too. The issue stands with the new WordPress update at the end of April. There are some themes that need to be updated because there is a sidebar issue. It means I cant login to my site and write posts. I have a work around right now while I am waiting for my theme to get updated. I am just happy that it didn’t affect the front end of the blog!
You know it and I know it. I did no blog education this month. This month though I am okay with it. I had too much on my plate to even consider it. I also wasnt ready for my blog to grow until I figure it out what it is that I am offering for services. It was embarrassing for people to ask me and not really have a clue what to say.
I do know that I want to make the education piece a priority and I need to start practicing what I preach. I am big on telling my coaching clients to focus on their business instead of in it for at least one hour. This one hour should be at the beginning of your day so things get done. That is what I am going to plan on doing. For at least three days every week the first hour of my work day will be dedicated to the blog class I have wanted to take since December.
Lets see how this goes shall we?!
Missed Post Dates
My goal is to post twice a week. Mondays and either Thursday or Friday. I was consistent on the Monday schedule in April but not the second post of the week. Part of this was burn out and another part was being really busy. I hated not writing as much because I love doing it so much. Plus I like helping people through my writing. I am looking forward to getting back on track in May.
The End of the Month
I have a theory I have been testing for the last few months. My blog traffic and reader interaction sharply drops off at the end of the month. Of course I know why this is–you guys are busy closing deals! I get it. It’s a busy time of the month. I am not sure if this means anything for me and my habits but it is something I am going to keep in the back of my mind going forward.
I have been struggling with the popups on my site lately. I am not sure what I am going to do with them. Every time I go to delete them I see the stats that they are getting me email subscribers. But is it at the cost of the readers experience? That’s the question I ponder. I don’t want to seem spammy or annoying, but I am trying to grow my list. It is something I don’t have a solution for yet, but I am thinking about it.
I am getting some crazy traffic from one pin on Pinterest. There are days it rivals my traffic from guest posts. I am intrigued by this and excited too. In my blog education class she has a complete Pinterest solution. I am looking forward to digging through the first part of the content so I can get to her strategy. There is some real serious traffic and potential from Pinterest.
Goals for May
1. Average 300 daily pageviews on the blog
- Do 4 guest posts
- Write a big post on the popular topics of millennials and promote
2. Add 200 new subscribers to my email list
- Update current landing pages
- Add landing pages to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
- Fix opt-in at the end of each blog post
3. Clean up the blog
The blog needs a face lift. I want to give it a new theme, but in the meantime there are some things I can clean up.
- My about page needs an update
- Fix the opt-in forms on the sidebar and the footer
- Fix opt-in forms at the end of every post
- Make a decision on popups and clean them up
- Add my new photo!
- Clean up navigation menu
- Add landing page class to sidebar
- Add follow me social media buttons to those that unsubscribe
4. Add my services to the blog
I have services and they need to be added to the blog. There are some in there now but I don’t like the wording. I want to be more clear and now that I have a vision it is time to share it!
5. Finish writing my class
Truly this is my number one priority in May. I have 10 people who are in this class right now and they deserve to have the class in its entirity. I anticipate having the class finished by May 22nd. Then I will go through it and add more resources to enhance the current content.
6. Dedicate time to blog education
For the month of May Monday, Wednesday and Thursday the first hour of my day will be dedicated to blog education. It is part of my new schedule for May.
7. Do a night time webinar
I had a friend on Twitter ask why people didn’t hold webinars at night when agents could attend. Good question! I am going to try that and see if it works! I want people to attend at a time that works best for them and I know how hectic the days can be. Fingers crossed that the kids will be sound asleep by the time I start!
8. Schedule social media
My social media posts feel so random to me. I am digging back every day to see what has been posted recently. I am going to lay out the calendar for May so it isn’t so random.
9. Set a schedule
I need to be more diligent about my days. I am either packing too much into my days and then getting to a point where I burn out and can’t do anything. I am going to set a schedule and work hard to keep to it. I think it will help me accomplish more and I will feel better about what I get done. It will also help with my self-discipline, something I have to constantly work on.
How was your April? It was the first month of Q2. Are you on track to meet your goals for the year? Please share your wins and losses with me in the comments below!