The beginning of the month is here which means it’s 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 let’s take a look at the numbers.
Stats for March
|Returning Visitor %||34.72%||42.79%||47.10%||+4.31%|
I could not be more excited about the numbers for March! I feel like momentum really shifted on the blog this month. Something is for sure happening around here! There are two numbers I am very proud of on this list: my pageviews and my newsletter subscribers.
For a blogger pageviews are important. This shows that people are sticking around on your site and finding relevant content. Also advertisers like high pageviews. When I saw the blog hit 10,000 pageviews I freaked out. I was so excited! My goal was not to hit an overall number but to consistently hit 200 pageviews a day. I did that most days without a problem. Again, I feel like momentum on this blog is shifting.
Then the number of email subscribers also made me happy. I am working hard to build my email list because I know that is more important than social media for getting business. My goal was 100 new email subscribers and I had 179. So great!
Once again guest posting has been huge for me and the blog this month. I wrote two posts for Inman and one for Katie Lance Consulting. The first post I wrote for Inman at the beginning of the month outlined how I landed 54 new leads in 4 days. That post blew the top off this blog. It was incredible! That post alone brought in 75 email subscribers in one week and was responsible for sending 300 new people to my blog.
I also wrote another post for Inman that went behind their Select services. Those never do as good for my blog, but they only put the best posts behind the pay wall so it is an honor to have that happen.
I also had the opportunity to guest post for Katie Lance which I also consider an honor! Katie is the social media queen for real estate so that was nice to be featured on her blog. I think it helps give me more credibility too which is a nice intrinsic bonus.
I think guest posting brings in more loyal visitors to the blog than Facebook ads. It’s like they already know me and trust me through the guest post. But for Faecebook ads I am seen as an advertiser not a real person.
Takeaway: Guest posting is huge for me and I need to focus my efforts on doing more of it. If you can let people get to know you somewhere other than your own blog or website that is a good thing! It shows that you are a trusted source. Networking with others online and offline is also good for building your business.
I was added to a couple Facebook groups in March: Agent Mastermind and Raise the Bar in Real Estate. You can’t advertise your services on these pages which makes sense to me. I can however answer questions and participate in conversations. I did quite a bit of that this month and it has lead to traffic and email sign ups for the blog.
Something that I thought was cool was when someone asked about what they should do with a Facebook ad that was getting a lot of likes, but not a lot of response. I suggested a landing page and when people asked about it, I let them know about my webinar I was doing for landing pages. I did it in a non-offensive, non-sales pitch way. This drove a lot of traffic to my website and more webinar sign ups!
Takeaway: You should join Facebook groups in your community. It is inevitable that people will ask real estate questions in this group. Be there to answer questions, but don’t blast your services in a stand alone post. Be the expert, redirect people to a landing page and capture leads that way. If you can’t find a group in your area start one!
Custom Landing Page
My custom landing pages continue to do well. I absolutely love them and cannot get over how much they have changed my business! I wish I could create and advertise landing pages all day long. They have been the number one way I have grown my email list. In January I had 72 people on my email list. Through my hard work on my landing pages I now have 345 people on my email list just for the blog. It is incredible! My favorite part is that I can create one landing page and it continues to bring me in leads even when I don’t advertise them.
Takeaway: If you aren’t doing landing pages on your website you ARE missing out on leads. People are searching the web for solutions to their problems. Dedicated landing pages targeted at one niche are driving leads for every industry right now including real estate. I also think that agents are not using this to their advantage so there is a real opportunity for those that do landing pages.
Oh you guys let me tell you how being real has changed my blog and made it grow. Let me also tell you how scary that is to do. Whenever I write a post that is about me and mistakes I make people show up and read those posts more than any others. It is hard to write these posts. I am basically putting out my mistakes for the world to see and judge.
Why do I do it then? First, if I can help people not make the same mistakes I do then I am happy. I love to help people. Second, I do think there is a connection that happens with my readers when I am real and put it all out there. I think it was hardest for me to do in my first post on Inman in March and then my failed launch story at the end of the month. Both of those post were the real me though and both resonated with my readers. That felt good and scary at the same time!
Takeaway: Be you in all your marketing and communications with your prospects and clients. The more “you” you inject into your business the more business you will get.
First Milestone: My first webinar
The second week in March I decided to take bold action. I decided to host my first webinar with the intent to educate and sell my first class. I put an email out on a Wednesday morning announcing the webinar with hopes that 10 people would sign up for it. Within 10 minutes of that email being sent I had 23 people signed up. I was SHOCKED. By the time the webinar started on Thursday the 19th I had 100 people signed up. To say I was a nervous wreck is putting it mildly. One hundred people signed up to hear me present about a topic. That was exciting to say the least and scary too! I have to once again talk the power of an email list. Eighty percent of the sign ups for the webinar came from people that were on my email list.
I spent day and night leading up to the webinar getting ready for it. I wrote the material, designed the PowerPoints and practiced until I thought I would lose my voice. I wanted to be as ready as possible for my first webinar. I wanted to sound smart and I wanted to give people something valuable in exchange for listening to me for 30 minutes. Based on the feedback I think I pulled that off!
Takeaway: Build your email list. Your email subscribers are loyal and will turn out for you when you ask them to. Look for different ways to connect with your audience. Instead of just showing up on social media or in snail mail offer something different like a webinar. There is power in connecting with people using your voice.
Second Milestone: My first class
On both my webinars I announced my first paid class that I am offering to real estate agents. This class is how to create custom landing pages for your real estate business. I can’t go around talking about how awesome landing pages are and then not show you how to do it! So I developed a five module step-by-step class that takes you by the hand to set up your own landing page. At the end of the class you will walk away with a landing page you can market and get leads from on your website!
The first time I announced the class in my first webinar there were 0.0 sales. Wow did that one sting, but I knew there was an opportunity here for me to learn from my mistakes. I did and that’s where I detailed my mistakes in the post “Are you guilty of a soft launch?”
I setup webinar number two to educate about the “whys” of landing pages. In webinar two I outlined the class in great detail. Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner here! When I mentioned the class in the first webinar that’s all I did– mention it. In the second webinar I explained it in great detail and showed people what they would get by taking the class. The jury is still out on the results on people signing up for the class. I will have more about that in April’s update.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to sell your services! People like you and want to work with you. Give them that opportunity!
What Didn’t Work
Do you want to know how much blog education I did in March? A whopping 30 minutes. The frustration continues to build over this and has actually gotten worse. I have been researching on Pinterest on ways to get more traffic to my blog. Nine out of ten people say that taking Ruth Soukup’s class is the number one way to get more blog traffic. Are you kidding me with this?! I think I needed a sledgehammer to the head to get serious about blog education. Seeing the class that I have owned since the end of December being described as the number one way to triple your blog traffic was the sledgehammer. In April I am getting serious about this course. In fact I pledge that I will finish modules 2-5 this month.
Let the public accountability begin!
Takeaway: Make the course a REAL priority please! This also goes out to you my readers. What is one thing you have been putting on the back burner that you know will grow your business? Join me in April and just do it already! Make it a priority!
The last week in March I felt pretty frustrated with the blog. I sat with this feeling until I figured it out. I was too reactive in March. I wasn’t proactive about doing things to meet my overall blog goals. Part of this was the whirlwind of the webinar. That took a lot of time. I also noticed that I got too far away from writing and writing really good content. I don’t like that.
Takeaway: Plan my week every Friday afternoon or Sunday night. Align my must do tasks for the week with my goals for the month, quarter and year. This will help me proactively grow my business instead of being reactive to everything around me.
The Soft Launch
I am not going to write about my soft launch for my class too much in this post. I wrote a detailed post about it with “Are you guilty of a soft launch?” But this is something that did not work and I wanted to include it in this post as a good reminder for me!
Takeaway: Document everything. Track your marketing and write down what works and doesn’t work. If you have a launch of any kind write down what you learned from it. Launches include doing landing pages, a big postcard campaign or a social media push.
Goals for April
I think April is going to be a good month for my blog and I think for my business too. I am going to get back to the basics and work to keep my tasks inline with my overall goals for the blog.
1. Average 300 daily pageviews on the blog
- Do 5 guest posts (One is already done over at Katie Lance’s site)
- Continue to send new post alerts to my current emails subscribers
- Post consistently on social media but do it using a planned weekly editorial calendar.
- Ask people to share my posts on social media
- Update my LinkedIn profile
- Complete one full board on Pinterest of my blog posts
- Improve linking between all my posts
- Leave comment on posts on other sites. Only do this if I really have something to add to the conversation.
2. Add 200 new subscribers to my email list
Last month my goal was 100 new email subscribers and I got 179 email subscribers. I want to see if I can get to 200 for the month and really grow my list!
- For every guest blog post I do, create a custom landing page with an email sign up form. Remove any “extras” from the landing pages so the only thing they can do is sign up for my email list.
- Promote list on social media.
- Add list sign up to Marketing Ideas for Agents Facebook page.
- Create a Facebook ad for the free report.
- Update my email sign up forms on the website including the sidebar, popups and end of post.
3. Be more intentional about my weeks and days.
- Plan out my goals for the following week every Friday
- Have dedicated research and writing days
- Schedule my blog education
- Plan out my social media posts
- 3 marketing posts
- 4 personal development posts
- 1 goal setting & recap (this post!)
- 5 guest posts (Two for Inman, two for Katie Lance, 1 for RESAAS!!)
5. Back to Basics
I feel like I need to get back to basics on my blog. I want to write more. I want to research more. I want to provide you with the information that you are so desperately looking for. My goal this month is to get more in tune with my readers and my writing through this blog and guest posting opportunities.
6. Get clear about my services
Did you know that there are people that want to pay for my expertise but have no idea what it is that I can do for them? Do you know what’s even worse than that? It is my fault. I haven’t been clear about what it is that I offer. Sure I say “consulting” but that is such a vague word. I need to translate vague into concrete.
The first thing I will be doing is changing the “consulting tab” to “hire me.” Next I am going to lay out specific packages of how I can help you with your marketing and your accountability. Once I have that all laid out for you and for me, I feel like I can start to market my own services and monetize this blog. I love to write the free content but I have to make money too!
7. Redesign the Blog
This blog celebrated six months of existence on Friday, April 3rd! This is the point where a lot of bloggers quit because they are working really hard and not making any money. Not this chick! I am going to keep writing and like I mentioned look for ways to monetize the blog. One thing I would like to do for the blog to celebrate is to give it a face lift. I am in the process of having a new logo designed. I would also like to get a new theme for the blog. Look for some changes around here this month!
8. Add Audio
Last month I wanted to start an audio blog for this website. I still do! You guys are driving around in your cars all day and I would love it if I could give you these posts in an easy audio format. I have recorded a couple posts and will continue to do so this month. Then I want to figure out how to turn it into a podcast you can download. I will keep you posted on this!
7. Facebook Ads
I don’t know about you but Facebook ads make me crazy! They make it seem so easy and that boost post button is addicting. But my Facebook ads do not work and that drives me nuts! I am committing to learn more about Facebook ads so I can share the results with you. I also want to turn my landing page for Facebook ads into a lead and money generating machine. Once I try that I will report on my results.
Thoughts on Social Media
As an ending thought I am having mixed feelings about social media right now. My email marketing has been much more effective to grow my blog and a lot less time consuming too. It takes me about 10 hours a week to write, schedule and post social media updates. I slacked a bit on this at the end of the month and it felt pretty good! I also find the more I schedule the less I interact with people on social media. The reason behind this is I get burnt out on social media so I don’t even want to open Facebook or Twitter. But interacting is my favorite part!
I think what I am going to try for April is scheduling my posts, but not investing so much time into it. I would rather spend that time interacting with people than planning my posts. I also believe that the majority of my traffic for my site comes from guest posting and my emails. I would rather ramp those up and keep social media well social!
How did your March go? Did you evaluate what worked and didn’t work for you? Please share it with me in the comments below!