Over the last three months I’ve watched my monthly page views grow drastically. In fact, for the month of January I’m predicted to set another page view record. And while it’s definitely not all about the numbers, there definitely is something to be said for the excitement that comes with watching your numbers go up month to month. The other day I decided to at how many page views I’d gotten over the last 90 days and it was over 50,000. I can’t believe that over 50,000 people have stopped by and read this little blog of mine. Today I thought it would be fun to share some methods that I think have been helpful in helping me reach this number.

How I Reached 50,000 Pageviews

Utilize an editorial calendar

As a type a perfectionist I sometimes decide that I need to be a little more spontaneous. In December, I made the decision that I was going to stray away from my editorial calendar and allow myself to be more spontaneous with my posting. I decided to walk away from scheduling my time to write and what posts I would work on and even stopped planning in my editorial calendar. I ended up posting a whopping four times in December. Four.

Needless to say, blogging is not the place to be spontaneous, especially if you are hoping to get somewhere with your blog. I personally have a blogging notebook and an editorial calendar separate from my every day planner. In my notebook I have a list of post ideas and before the beginning of the next month I always sit down with my notebook, editorial calendar, and a pencil and pencil in what posts I want to do on what days. It is an absolute lifesaver. During the school year I also lay out my personal calendar that includes all of the important dates for my classes, organizations, and work so that I can plan the best days to put up a post. I will also mark off 2-3 days in a month to devote to blogging just so I can stay ahead on things. And by devote to blogging, I mean that I work on my blog before I dive into school work since I have the most energy as in the morning. Such a rebel, I know.

Regularly repin your blog posts

Pinterest is my number one traffic source for my blog. If you’ve been reading for a while you know that I always talk about how important it is to publish posts with pinable images. On top of doing that, I also think that it’s important to regularly repin your blog posts onto your boards. I like to follow a general rule that for every two blog posts of mine that I pin, I pin at least three pins from other sites. This way, I’m not cluttering my followers with just my posts but am still getting my pins out there to get seen more.

One of the biggest things that I’ve learned from pinning your own blog posts to pin throughout the day at different times every day. Your followers will log on at different times throughout the day so you want to make sure they are able to see your pins because in turn from them pinning your image, you get more page views.

I also recommend that if you have a post that you feel is good, but you don’t think you published a good enough photo with it originally, edit a new photo, add it to the post, and start pinning it to get it out there. Remember, blogging isn’t perfection from the start and small changes over time can definitely pay off.

Use a scheduler for Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/etc.

If you are anything like me, you aren’t going to remember to post your latest blog post to your Facebook page or to tweet out regularly on your Twitter page. In fact, if you are like me you will realize that you are three posts behind on updating your Facebook page and haven’t tweeted out since last Tuesday, oops. Over the last three months I decided that things needed to change and that I wanted to have a more active social media presence. I took the time to schedule a Facebook update to my page when new posts went up and started using TwitTimer to schedule tweets. I will spend five minutes before I go to bed and write and schedule tweets for the next way. It’s the perfect way for me to stay active on social media without feeling overwhelmed about having to remember to post every few hours.

Work ahead on blog posts

One thing that I haven’t shared much on the blog is how important it is to me to stay ahead on blog posts. It’s typically my goal to be at least a week ahead on my blog posts, which for me is being three posts ahead. Sometimes I might even be two weeks ahead. While some might argue that doing this makes my posts less “authentic” or that I’m need to chill out a little about all of this, it’s what helps me keep a piece of mind. Looking at my blog’s dashboard and seeing that I have 3-6 posts that are written, edited, and have a great pinable image is an incredibly great feeling. It prevents me from freaking out went up. While some say working under pressure is best for them, it definitely isn’t the case for me.

Write quality posts that your readers can learn something from

While I follow several bloggers that simply blog about their day to day life, it doesn’t always bring them the traffic that they hope for. I have nothing against day to day lifestyle bloggers, but since my goal is to reach a larger, broader audience, writing such personal posts wouldn’t be a good idea for me. I want to publish posts that you can walk away from with new knowledge, tips, ideas, and things that you want to try. I want you to read my posts and think about how something that I recommended or posted about would definitely help you better your time management and is something you try in your day to day routine. Typically, your blog will be more successful if you write these helpful posts for your readers.

Choose your “niche” and stick to it

Personally I’m a college lifestyle blogger that loves to write about all things related to school, studying, organizations, planners, health, beauty, fitness, and more. While I may add a post here or there that is a little more personal to me, I always feel like somehow the post stays true to the “Love Megan June” niche and brand. If I were to suddenly post something about cars and how they run, it wouldn’t match my brand at all but if I were to write a post about driving home and having homesickness, it would match my niche and brand for my blog.

Remember that sometimes your page views will decrease and other days it’s higher than ever

Yes, it’s true. And sometimes it’s horribly hard to have to deal with day to day, but it’s just something that we face as bloggers. Sometimes you have a post that goes baby viral, sometimes that tweet from another blogger brings you a ton of traffic, and sometimes you just have days where your page views go down and there is honestly nothing that you can do about it. I always have to remind myself that page views go up and down a lot and sometimes seeing that down hurts a little. It could be because it’s a holiday or its finals, or just maybe you didn’t get as many searches as usual for your SEO.

Write in your own voice

I was thrilled when one of my friends told me that when she read my blog she could literally hear my voice as she read it. I saw it as a huge compliment. I want you to know that my posts where written by me and that I wrote them with a lot of care and thought, which is how my friend described the feeling when she read my post. While yes, there are a lot of college lifestyle bloggers out there, I’m the only one who has had the particular experiences that I’ve had and the only one that can write in this voice.

What have you done that has paid off page views wise? Is there anything that you would add to this list or that you will be trying from this list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

About a month ago I published a Q&A post all about me personally. About a week later my e-mail inbox flooded with questions about all things that have to do with blogging. While I had never intended to do another Q&A post so soon nor do I consider myself a “blogging expert” a lot of you guys wanted to know what goals I have for my blog in the long run, how I’ve built an audience in a short period of time, and tips of what I’ve learned from the short time I’ve been blogging. I figured that even though I’m nowhere near expert level in the blogging world, I have made it through the beginning stages of blogging and like to think that I made it through the beginning stages of blogging pretty successfully. So, here are my answers to some of your questions. Hope you enjoy!

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If your blog finds success, do you see yourself blogging full time?

Currently, I’m blogging as a 20 year old college student. I currently hold an awesome job in sales and definitely won’t be giving that up. Once I’ve graduated, if my blog is bringing in a full time income I don’t see myself giving up a full time job to blog full time. I am in no means trying to put down other bloggers that have done this because personally I think that’s awesome, but it’s just not for me. At the moment I am single and see myself staying that way until I graduate. As a single, recent college grad trying to make her way into the world, I’d like to be surrounded by people in a work environment. I’m super passionate about marketing and where I’d like to be in the work force, so I’d love to hold a job. Strange I know, but it’s the truth. I want to be in the work force come post graduate, especially since I’m considering moving to a new state and city.

Fast forward 10 years down the line when I’m married with children and I’d reconsider the whole blogging full time thing. But that will be decided further down the line and with said future husband.

What tips do you wish you had known when you first started blogging?

Make connections with other bloggers! When I first started blogging I feared that other bloggers with more experience would look down on me because I was so new. It definitely was not the case and I wish that I had taken more effect at that point to get to know more bloggers. I definitely have learned that the blogging community is super welcoming, whether you are a new or old blogger.

I also wish that prior to starting a blog I had focused on growing a stronger social media following. While a following does tend to come once you’ve started blogging, I wish that I had developed more of a base on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest before I started blogging so that I could send more traffic to my blog to begin with.

Another thing that I wish I had known is that it won’t be perfect from the beginning. I am a type-a perfectionist (great combo, I know) and I would always look at other girl’s blogs where they had a defined brand and the perfect pictures to use on their blogs. I couldn’t get over the fact that I didn’t and couldn’t find that for myself right off the bat. But that’s not how it works. It takes time to develop a brand and it definitely takes time to develop a strong one. You won’t have “perfection” right off the bat. In fact, it’s been fun to look back over the few months that I’ve been blogging and see how much my brand is growing. Did I have a written brand when I started? Yes. I’m a marketing student as well, so that’s to be expected from me. But since then that brand has grown and evolved, so I can’t wait to see where this takes me!

 

 

How did you build a following when you started blogging?

I mentioned in my last Q&A that I had previously had blogs, one which had picked up a small following. Many of those girls still followed me on Twitter, so they read this blog when I launched. I also shared my blog posts on my personal Facebook page and my friends and family I checked it out and even shared some of my posts. I also immediately started pinning my posts on Pinterest. It didn’t bring an immediate following, but it did slowly bring in more readers over a span of about a month. And slowly but surely, I’ve built up to where I am today. I can’t wait to see where I am in another 3 or even 6 months!

How do you balance school/work/blogging/organizations/social life?

I will be completely honest and say it’s hard. In high school I prided myself for how well I could balance my high school classes, several college courses, dance, cheerleading, and a job, but when I got to the college level finding balance was a slap in the face for me. In high school it was exactly that on Monday evenings I had dance and I worked Tuesday evenings, etc. But college is nothing like that. I had to learn that every day is different which means that every day has a different plan. Once I realized that and could plan accordingly and knew what times I worked best doing certain things, I had more of a routine set up. For instance, this semester my classes didn’t start until noon or later. So I’d wake up around 6:30am, do homework, go to class, head to the gym, finish up any more studying I needed to do, go to work, and then do blogging stuff after. And if I wasn’t working one evening, I was at meetings for my organizations. A post on balancing it all is on my calendar, promise!

What goals do you have for your blog?

At the moment, I run this blog as a hobby. My goals are to help other high school and college ages girls navigate their way through their high school and college years in the best, most successful way possible. I also love to take pictures and write, so it allows me to combine my loves and help others while I’m at it.

Another goal for my blog is for me to learn more about marketing. As a marketing student, I’m fascinated by what methods work and what methods don’t work when you are trying to market yourself. I love how as a blogger, particularly a college lifestyle blogger, it makes how I market myself even more particular. The hardest thing to brand is yourself and I’ve had a lot of fun doing so! Any marketing experience I can get is good, especially since I’m going into the work force in two and a half years.

If you are a blogging, what do you wish you had known when you started blogging? What goals do you have for your blog? If you don’t have a blog, what do you hope to focus on to start a successful blog? What are you hoping to accomplish through blogging? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by to read my December Traffic and Income Report! I’m thrilled this month to say that I’m able to add income to my report since this little blog of mine has begun to bring in a small income. Please remember that I am not post this to brag about my blog or the income that I am earning. It is something I post so that I can look back and see how far my blog has come both traffic and income wise. I also post it in complete honesty to help other bloggers that are in the same boat as me; growing their blog traffic and at the beginning stages of earning an income through blogging. So, without further ado, here is my traffic and income report for the previous month.

December Traffic and Income Report

Successful Plans of Attack in December

The most successful plan of attack that I had for December was my activity on Pinterest. I found great times throughout the day to pin to my boards and in turn gained several followers on Blog Lovin’ and my social media pages. I’m hoping to roll this over into January as well to continue to see a return from it.

In December once I realized that not using an editorial calendar is a horrible idea for me, I went out and bought a monthly 2016 calendar to use purely for blogging purposes. It includes lists of posts ideas, my editorial calendar, and monthly social media stats so that I can track my growth month to month.

Unsuccessful Plans of Attack in December

Obviously what was unsuccessful was the fact that I decided to not use an editorial calendar and instead just go off of a list of post ideas I had. It was a horrible method to use for me personally since I am the kind of person that has to have things planned out and written down. I was hoping to be “spontanious”, but obviously that’s not something that I can do successfully with my blog.

I also had very poor presence on Twitter and FaceBook, which is something that I am hoping to improve in the month of January.

December Traffic

I’m excited to say that I once again grew traffic wise. While it’s definitely not all about the numbers, I must admit it’s fun to watch my page views continue to rise each month.

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December Income

I can’t believe that I’ve already made a small income from my blog. I’m thrilled that this little blog that I see as purely a hobby has earned me a small income already. While I’m not expecting this kind of return again in January, as the purchases made were purely for the new year, it’s still pretty exciting. As a college student on a fairly strict budget, I’m thrilled.

Affiliate Link Compensation: $180.00

Popular Posts in December

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

January’s Plan of Attack

In November I had an editorial calendar and it was my most successful month of posting regularly. In December I decided to try to just post based off of a list of post ideas that I had and that failed miserably. For the month of January I am back to using an editorial calendar and actually bought a monthly calendar purely to plan out my blog posts. I’m hoping to blog regularly this coming year and that having a calendar specifically for blogging will help.

In January I am also hoping to writing at least one evergreen post that will bring in a steady income month to month. I have two ideas going through my head as to what I could do with this, but my goal is just to get one of them up. I’m also hoping to plan (or possibly post!) my first giveaway for the blog. We will see how it goes. I have a good chunk of free time on my hands since it’s winter break, so I’m hoping to get some work out of the way now.

I’m also hoping to better my social media presence. I recently stumbled across an amazing (and free) social media scheduling website that will allow me to have posts going up even when I’m juggling my crazy work schedule over winter break. I’m excited to see how it goes.

And finally, I’m hoping to work on strengthening the brand for Love Megan June. This isn’t something that you guys will be able to see so much from the outside this month, but hopefully it will begin to show in the future months. Every little thing adds up, right?

How did December go for your blog? Did you see an increase or decrease in traffic? What are some of your blogging goals for the month of January? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

The other day I received a comment on one of my posts asking if I could write about how I was able to gain a following in the blogging community. While yes, there are lots of posts out there about the best ways to grow your community and find your niche, there are different ways to go about gaining a readership based on who your target audience is. Are you a college blogger or a mommy blogger? Is your core readership ages 14-24 or 35-50? Do you provide any form of e-book or online course? How you answer those questions can majorly affect how you find your core audience. Mom bloggers are more likely to find their readership through Facebook while college and food bloggers typically find the most success through Pinterest. Today I’m focusing on how to build your readership as a college blogger with a core audience ranging in ages 14-24 because it’s the core group that I personally have the most experience with.

The Blogger's Guide to Building a Following

Use Pinterest to your advantage.

From the time that I started blogging to now I use Pinterest as a way to get my blog posts out to people. In fact, it is my number one traffic driver to posts on my blog. I have personally found as a college blogger that the best way for me to reach who I see as my core audience is to pin onto my personal “college” board and other college group boards on Pinterest. While I am newer to the group board scene, I have found that the best way to find and join college related Pinterest group boards is to stumble upon them. Typically the person who started the board will have a message at the top of the board explaining how you can request to join the board as a contributor, which is typically by commenting on one of the recent pins on the board or e-mailing an e-mail address that has been given. I also recommend making and growing a college board of your own. Pin your own posts to it and other bloggers pins as well. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to overwhelm your followers with a lot of your own posts from your blog, so I try to pin 4-6 pins from other sites for every 1 blog post of my own.

The biggest thing that I learned from Pinterest is to give it time. Your post won’t immediately be picked up by other people the instance you pin it. It takes me an average of two weeks for any of my new blog posts that I’ve pinned to be repinned a number of times. The fastest I’ve ever had a pin be picked up was two days, but that is because a major company with several thousand followers also pinned it. Just know that it takes time and be patient.

Maintain an active social media presence.

You won’t see any immediate payoff from this, but it definitely pays off in the long run. As people are discovering your blog if they stick around they may check out one of more of your social media platforms. But just because they have looked at all of your platforms doesn’t mean that they will follow all of them, they will pick and choose. I use Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and a Facebook page for my blog and typically people will only follow one of those of the four. If your readers are depending on a Twitter update to check out your new posts, but you only update your Facebook page, you are missing out on having active readers that want to stick around and potential page views. So something to keep in mind is only using social media platforms for your blog that you know you can keep up with.

Have a nice, clean blog design.

When a new reader comes to your blog, they make a decision as to whether or not they want to stick around and read within 10 seconds. Yes, 10 seconds. So you want to give them the nicest, cleanest looking, best first impression that you possibly can. I like to keep my “above the fold” section as clean and pleasant to eye as I possibly can. “Above the fold” is a term that means what you see when you first pull up a page. My personal above the fold is my header, menu bar, “about me”, and my most recent posts title. I have a clean, pretty design (or at least I think it is clean and pretty) that I hope is welcoming to my readers that will immediately allow them to see what my site is about and learn a little bit more about me.

Post consistently.

The biggest mistake the new bloggers make is not posting regularly. Statistics actually show that you will see a better reader following and more page views if you publish at least three times a week because it will define you as an “active website” to search engines. I highly recommend that if you are a new blogger write and schedule 3-5 posts so that you can start having content up consistently. If you currently an active blogger I highly recommend writing and scheduling your posts at least a week in advance and also have 2-5 posts ready to publish in your dashboard for when things get busy. As a college student I plan when I will write and stash up blog posts based around when I have tests and finals. Since typically I have tests for all of my classes the last week of each month, I know that I won’t have the time to write posts that week, so I will plan ahead and schedule posts for that week and the Monday after so I’m not in a rush to get new content up after my tests are over.

Comment on other blogs, reply to your comments, and follow other bloggers on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest.

A great thing to do at any point in your blogging career is to work on building your community. This is another point that pays off a lot in the long run rather than the short run, but the time and effort that you put into it is so worth it. When you get a comment on your blog, reply within 24 hours. I actually have it set up so that when I receive a new comment on my blog I get an e-mail so that I’m aware of it and can reply as soon as possible. If they leave a link to their blog, I always try to take the time to read and leave a comment on their most recent post and to check out and follow at least one of their social media platforms. I also think it’s important to find blogs to follow and comment on regularly. While I’m not the best at keeping up with this since I’m juggling college, blogging, and a job, any free chance I get I will comment on blogs. In fact, if I’ve ever commented on your blog I probably commented either from the bus on the way to school or waiting at the bus stop.

Are any of these tips something that you would use to build your following? Is there anything that you would add to this list or that you do differently that you have found success from? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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!