November Blog and Traffic Report

November unfolded in a way that I hadn’t expected. Late September I tested positive for mono and it took me out for well over a month. I had to make the decision to focus the little energy that I had while I was sick on school and getting better and took a break from everything else, blogging included. I decided that I would come back to blogging in November and work towards getting my page views back where they used to be and continue to work on getting to know other bloggers within the community. Little did I know that I would more than double August’s traffic, have my first post featuring items that I was sent, and get to know lots of amazing girls within the blogging world.

In this traffic post I’m hoping to be completely honest and open about what went through my mind while making decisions for marketing my blog, why I’m doing what I’m doing, and if I’m finding success from what I’m doing. If you have any questions about something I wrote about or feel that I didn’t go into enough detail about something, please comment below and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you!

Successful Plans of Attack in November

In case you haven’t figured this out about me yet, I’m a planner. I sit down and plan my month of blog posts and star the ones that I just know will be successful. If you are wondering, the ones that I star have never been the ones that are successful. In fact, it’s always been quite the opposite. The ones that I see as having the “least potential” to bring on anything good are the ones that end up getting pinned on Pinterest over 1,000 times in two weeks. So in November I made it a goal that with each post I put out, it would be just as high as quality as the last post I had put up whether I thought it would be successful or not. This definitely paid off for me as I have noticed lots of improvement in how long readers stick around to check out posts and that I wasn’t embarrassed when something I thought had “no potential” caught lots of traffic. The post that did this? My “The College Girl’s Guide to Being Sick”.

This month I also featured my beloved Erin Condren planner. I love it and use it every day to stay on top of my crazy college schedule. When I posted my planner post, I mentioned the company in my tweet and tagged them on the Facebook post. Little did I know, they have an amazing PR team that ended up not only tweeting at me, but also pinning my planner post twice to their 30,000 followers. Needless to say, that post took off. It showed me how much brands appreciate you showing your true thoughts and opinions on an item that they will show you appreciation back. I’m not saying that sponsored posts aren’t true thoughts and opinions or that suddenly I’m going to begin only mentioning brands in my posts so that I get a mention from them, what I’m saying is now when I mention a brand I won’t be shy about mentioning them on my social medias.

And finally, this month I stuck to a consistent blogging schedule. The longest time that I went without a post was four days and there were several periods of time where I had something publish every other day. While at the moment I see it as a bit too much to try to publish something every day or to post two days in a row, I do like the consistency of publishing content every two to three days. I was able to stay on top of this by taking some time after my crazy periods of tests where over in October to brain storm post ideas, write out an editorial calendar, and take the time to write, edit, and take photos for five posts to have scheduled for my busy test time in November. This is definitely a method that I will keep up with as I used Thanksgiving to get ahead on blogging since more tests and finals are just around the corner.

Unsuccessful Plans of Attack in November

While this is definitely might seem like an odd thing to include in my traffic report, I thought it was something important to include. This biggest thing that I learned this month was to not base your content off of what was popular on Pinterest. I have a college board that has had well over 1,000 followers since my senior year of high school and I thought it would be a great idea to base the core of my content for the month based off of what was popular and being repined from my college board. This way of going about things turned out to be a horrible idea for me and led to no success. In fact, the posts I thought would be popular gained no traffic and the posts I had no hope for are now two of the most popular posts on my blog. Instead of going off of what’s popular on Pinterest, write what you want to read. That is what will find the most success in the end.

Popular Posts in November

  1. How I Stay Organized with my Erin Condren Life Planner
  2. The BEST Study Tips for College
  3. The College Girl’s Guide to Being Sick
  4. The Senior’s Guide to Choosing a College
  5. The Soon-to-be Senior’s Guide to Senior Year

November Sponsorships

While I didn’t get paid to publish anything, I did publish my first post with items that had been sent to me! I’m super excited that something I see as a hobby and de-stress allows me to work with companys and try fun new products.

I also was accepted to two blogging networks, Her Campus and BlogHer, and I can’t wait to see where they take me! I never came into blogging hoping to make money or receive products from companies, but if my hobby can help me make a little money on the side, I have no objection. While I haven’t received any sponsorships because I haven’t even been a part of them for a week yet, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for me!

November Traffic

November 2015 Page Views

I can’t believe I hit nearly 19,000 page views this month. That’s nearly double what I had been getting before I had to take a leave when I was sick. Thank you all so much for reading! I greatly appreciate it.

December’s Plan

I’m very proud of myself for having a consistent schedule for the month of November and I hope to continue to do so for the month of December. I put what I learned in late October when prepping for November and got ahead on blog posts so that I have content going up during my two busy weeks of school (as I have two tests and a huge paper due the week before finals). I also took the time to write out a list of post ideas and put them onto an editorial calendar. My editorial calendars are never set in stone, as I move around what post I want to do on what day a lot, but I still write and publish all of the posts I had planned for the month on my editorial calendar.

I’m also hoping to apply to 3-5 more blogging networks. My daily page views more than doubled during the month of November and I’ve reached a point where networks would be more willing to work with me. I’d love to be able to make a little extra money on the side and do something that I love.

What was the month of November like on your blog? What is a big lesson that you have learned in blogging lately? Have you come up with a game plan for the month of December? And as a side note, does anyone else notice less traffic the week of the holidays? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Megan June

    Hi Belinda! Brainstorming posts in the beginning is always hard. Like, it seems almost too hard. I promise it get’s much easier. I can’t wait to see where you take your brand! I know it will be great. So nice to hear back from you!

  • Belinda

    Hi Megan, I will definitely take your advice and start brainstorming for more content haha, sometimes it takes me a bit of time before I come up with ideas for what I post, since I’m still in the process of figuring out what direction I want to take my blog 🙂 So far, my most common posts are about DIY or recipes so I think I should focus on that since it seems to be the more popular posts!

    Thank you again for responding to me and offering your two cents, I appreciate it so much! Have a very happy new year!

  • Hi Belinda! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I stand by my statement to post several times a week when you start out. It is the best way to gain a following and have people continuously stopping by your site. It will also mark you as an “active site” for search engines. As for the best times to post, I wish there was some form of an equation to figure exactly the best times to post for each individual blog, as it truly does depend on the blog. For me though, I’ve found that my new posts get the most traffic when they are posted after 8pm but before 11pm on almost any day of the week. Monday is really the only time of the week that I don’t see as much traffic to my new posts, which surprises me since I figured it would be Friday-Sunday that would have horrible traffic but that’s when I have the best traffic! Again, it varies blog to blog even if we are writing about the same stuff. This is just the case for me. Especially since you are just starting out, it’s insanely frustrating. Give it a month or two and you will find the best times and days for your readers! 🙂

  • Belinda

    Hi Megan 🙂 I recently started taking up blogging since I wanted to improve my writing skills and also I enjoy writing about things I see online or follow. I had a blog I created that documented my volunteer experience (volunteerwithbelinda.blogspot.com) but wanted a more general blog that I created this past July!

    I was wondering if you had any tips from your experience on when’s the best time to be posting, such as the times of day, or the days of the week? I’ve read up on articles that say that when you start off, you shouldn’t post more than a few times a month so you don’t “spam” people, so I’m conflicted as to what to do since you suggested posting a few times a week! 😮 I also am following your advice and trying to use Pinterest as a tool for driving traffic, but we’ll see where that goes since I juuuust discovered your blog and will start to follow you regularly now 🙂

    I would love if you could check out my blog as well and offer me some advice as I am still fairly new to regularly blogging. My blog is magneticallyaesthetic.wordpress.com 🙂 Thanks so much!!

  • Hi Emily! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I’d be more than happy to do a post about how I started out and gained a bit of a following. I definitely have a lot to learn still, but it would be fun to share what I’ve learned this far. Thanks for the post idea! 🙂

  • Hi Megan! I’m really enjoying your blog, mainly because I feel like we’re in really similar seasons of life so I relate to a lot of it. I’ve just started my own blog, and I know there are lots of posts about how to start out, but I was wondering if you would consider doing a post about how you started and began to gain readers? Thanks so much!