Guys, I did it! I hit my November target of 150,000 pageviews!
And, OK, I only just made it by the skin of my teeth: even so, this is a number that’s been eluding me for months now, and although it was a completely arbitrary target to set myself, it feels good to have managed it anyway. Here’s how the month looked:
PAGEVIEWS: 150,835 (last month 132,177)
UNIQUE VISITORS: 56,296 (last month 45,655)
There were two different factors which contributed to the increase in traffic this month: one of them was Pinterest, which I’ll get to soon (well, soon-ish, knowing me); the other was down to a couple of posts which performed better than expected, and which account for the two spikes in traffic you can see. Here are the top performing posts for November…
Top Content : Most Viewed Posts
The first spike you can see in the graph above, right at the start of the month, was down to my October Traffic Report, which did well in a couple of Facebook groups for bloggers. Now, I’ve been promoting my posts in these groups for a while now (on and off), and I’ve never really seen much of a result from it, so what was it about this post that made the difference? Two things:
01. The title.
When I was putting that post together, the working title was simply “October Traffic Report”, which is factual, but not very interesting. In fact, it kinda makes it sound like something to do with roads, doesn’t it? By changing it to “How I Got 130,000 Pageviews”, it gave it a bit of added drama: the number helped create a bit of interest, the “how to” element tells people there might be some useful information in the post, and both of those things make them more likely to click.
02. Promoting the post to a targeted audience
As I said, I’ve tried promoting posts in Facebook groups before, and had almost given up on it, because to be completely honest, a lot of those groups end up just being link dumps: people are more interested in promoting their own blogs than in reading someone else’s, so they just post their link then run. It stands to reason, though, that if bloggers are mostly interested in promoting their blogs, a post containing information on how to do that will be of more interest than a post about fashion, say: so by posting this link to the right audience, I got a lot more interest than might otherwise have been the case.
The second spike you can see, meanwhile, came from the ‘What Happened When I Let My Husband Pick My Outfit‘ post. Interestingly (or, you know, maybe not), I tried promoting that post in the same Facebook groups as the Blog Traffic Report, and it got little to no interest at all – which kinda proves that you need to think carefully about where you do your promoting, because what works for one post might not work for another. This post got most of its traffic from Twitter, and from my own Facebook page. It also got a lot more views than usual from my regular readers – again, probably because of the title.
The lesson: pay attention to the title of your posts, and promote them to the right people.
Top Content: Most Commented
This was a much better month for comments than October, mostly because I learned my lesson from that dismal month, and wrote more of the type of posts that people like to comment on. Actually, I’m giving myself too much credit in saying I learned my lesson: it was partly due to the weather, which meant I couldn’t get outside to take outfit posts as often as I normally do, and was forced to come up with some different content instead. Oh well, it seemed to work: although I was surprised to see one of the aforementioned outfit posts amongst the most commented – that almost never happens!
(Shout out to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for the mention this month 🙂 )
One of the biggest differences this month was in the amount of traffic coming from Pinterest. Last month Pinterest sent 6,287 visitors to the site: this month it sent 11,609 – an increase of 111%. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest this month, and am probably going to do a follow-up post talking about the various things I did which helped increase the traffic I get from it. With that said, I still don’t think I’m making the most of Pinterest, so I have a lot to learn: here are the pins which were most popular in November:
The lesson: as with comments, the posts which perform best on Pinterest tend to be the ones which are offering some kind of advice, or otherwise helping the reader in some way, so if you want to increase your traffic from Pinterest, those are good posts to concentrate on. I’ll try to get a Pinterest-specific post up soon, though, so look out for that if you’re interested!
What I tried this month to grow my blog:
Pinterest, in a nutshell. I’m more of a single-tasker than a multi-tasker, so I decided to dedicate most of my free time in November to trying to figure out how to make better use of the network. It did work, but as I said, I still feel I could be making more of Pinterest, so watch this space!
Also in November I revamped the “fashion” category of the site, and tried to optimise it a bit for search engines: it’s now one of the most viewed pages on the site, so I think it was worth doing. I did intend to do the same thing for the other pages, but only managed to do the “blogging” category (which so far has had no effect whatsoever – sad trombone!) before running out of time, energy and enthusiasm! I’ll try to get back to that at some point, but in the meantime…
I’m not going to set a specific traffic goal for this month: December is always a slow month for my blogs because of the Christmas holidays (people don’t want to read blogs when they’re busy celebrating, and I like to take some time off then, too!), so I’m anticipating a drop in traffic, which I don’t think I can do much about, unfortunately. I’ve also been ill for most of the first week of the month, and have struggled just to keep up with regular posting, so I’ve already fallen a bit behind. I’m really not expecting great things for this month, then, although I would really like to finish the ebook on blogging which I started ages ago, and didn’t make much progress with: it’s going to be a really busy month, and I’m already getting a bit stressed about Christmas etc, so I’m not sure where I’ll find the time, but it would nice to have it complete by the start of the new year. Let’s just see how that goes…