In May, I started our Monthly Financial Goals Update and can I just tell you how amazing it was? A lot of readers reached out saying how much they appreciated it. Sharing my goals on social media attracted a lot of new followers. And it was one of my most popular posts for the month. This tells me that people want a peek inside others’ brains. It inspires them!
Honestly, it was great accountability for me as well. I definitely thought harder about some of my financial decisions, knowing I would be reporting my success or failure to the whole world wide web.
Since this website is fairly new, I thought it would be a great idea to also do the same in terms of a blogging update. Once a month or so, I can check in with my blogging goals, reflect on what worked and what didn’t work, and create some new goals for the following month.
This will help me set realistic goals and track my progress. I’ll be able to go back and see how far my site has grown if and when I have discouraging months. And it will give me an opportunity to look at patterns and see what things are working and what might need to be tweaked. Hopefully it will also give other bloggers a good point of reference when they are first starting out and will encourage them to set some goals of their own.
So. Here goes…
A while back, I went through a really hard season and found so many words of wisdom and comfort on blogs. When I got out of that dark season, I realized that while I had one hard year, many people are hurting every year. All the time. In an effort to be a source of encouragement to others, I started blogging with my sister at www.littlelightonahill.com in January 2016. We primarily write about faith and family, with a little bit of finances sprinkled in.
On a whim, I shared our debt free story and it spread like wildfire. I had soooooo many readers reach out that I was spending more time responding to comments and emails and Facebook messages about finances than I was actually writing posts. And I loved it.
The more questions we were asked about finance, the more I wrote about finance. The more I wrote about finance, the more questions we had come in.
I realized this was a huge need in the world that I could help fill. So Simple Finance Mom was born!
Here we are two months later, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of this little community. My readers are always such an encouragement to me. I have loved meeting so many of you on my Instagram page, and responding to all of your questions on my Facebook page.
When I started my blogging journey, one of the things that was always inspiring to me was reading other bloggers’ journeys and stalking their monthly reports. So in an effort to pay it forward for other new bloggers, and as a way to track my progress as my site grows and develops, I’ll be starting my own blogging reports as well.
I blog primarily about finances, not blogging. So I’m not sure I want to commit to doing them every month like other bloggers do. But that’s okay, because this is my blog. And I get to do whatever I want with it. Neener neener.
As of right now, I’m thinking of doing a blogging update maybe every other month or so, but we will see.
So, here goes. My first blogging goals update…
JUNE/JULY UPDATE ON VANITY METRICS
Many bloggers call the number of pageviews and social media followers “vanity metrics.” It is great to have a following, but it shouldn’t be WHY you blog. And it’s not always a true picture of a successful blogger. One blogger might make thousands of dollars a month with only 10,000 pageviews, while another blogger has hundreds of thousands of pageviews and hardly brings in anything.
I still think it’s important to grow my community and increase my following in case I decide to ever work with brands one day. While these numbers aren’t my focus by any means, I am mindful that I’m continuing to grow them.
FB followers – Goal: 300. Actual: 325
IG followers – Goal: 300. Actual: 686
Pinterest followers – Goal: 3,000. Actual: 2,774
Pageviews – Goal: 3,000. Actual: 4,815
Comments on posts – Goal: 100. Actual: 257
Email subscribers – Goal:100. Actual: 109
JUNE/JULY TRAFFIC SOURCES
I have a confession to make. Pinterest is by far the easiest way to get traffic. I know that. Pinterest was a game changer for my other blog. But I have spent hardly any time on Pinterest. And that, my friend, is something I hope to change next month.
Here are the major sources of traffic over the past two months. The percentage of organic referrals (someone searching for me on Google, or going directly to my site) is super encouraging for me to see. Especially for such a new blog!
I also had no goals for this. It’s just something I want to track to see what is working and what I can stop spending time on.
Organic – 34%
FB – 31%
IG – 7%
Pinterest – 8%
Referrals from other blogs -18%
Other – 2%
GOALS GOING FORWARD
- Grow my following on my “vanity metrics” by at least 25% instead of choosing some pie in the sky numbers.
- Focus on my email list and grow my subscriber list to 500 in the next two months. I know it’s huge, but I’m a dreamer so humor me.
- Stop hiding in a corner. Get some guest posts out there!
- Start Pinterest-ing already! I’m actually super proud of the fact that 8% of my pageviews were from Pinterest. Over the past two months, I have spent all of two days on Pinterest strategically pinning my own content. I have set up my boards, and spent a ton of time pinning others’ content to those boards that will benefit my readers. But now it’s time for me to get serious about using Pinterest as a way to grow my readership as well.
There you have it. A very rough outline of where I am now, and where I would like to go in the next couple of months. Eventually, I would like to monetize but I know that will come in due time. My primary focus is growing my community, and growing my email list. My heart really is to help the readers I have right now instead of only focusing on the ones I want one day and am trying to get. That seems so backwards to me.
If you are a new blogger or know you want to one day start your own blog, make sure you stay loyal to your readers. If you do your job right, you will be helping them tremendously and there is nothing more rewarding than that.
You can also read Everything I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging here for the inside scoop.
And if you are looking for more resources, my post 10 Best Resources Every Blogger Needs would be a great starting point.
*P.S. I’ve been getting a lot of repeat questions from readers. In an effort to answer them all at once, I have played around with the idea of doing a Facebook Live video every once in a while. Just a ten minute “Hey here is this printable that can help with this problem and how to use it” type of thing. Or “I have a lot of readers asking about such and such and I thought I would walk you through how I do it.” I would love your thoughts on this! Please, please, please, email your thoughts.
*P.P.S. Speaking of free printables…If you are looking for free printables that can help you organize your finances, you can get the Simple Finance Toolkit for free by entering your email in the little box at the bottom of this post. You will be given access to worksheets that will help with goal setting, budgeting, tracking debt pay off, saving your emergency fund, a cheatsheet of investing terms, and more. Every month I update it with a new printable that will help you manage your money and simplify your finances.