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How My Personal Growth Lead to My Increase in Blog Traffic

I have been blogging for at least twenty years! Yep, you read that correctly, 2-0 YEARS! My very first blog was a fan blog my sister and I created on Geocities in 1997 or 1998 ( I can’t remember), and believe it or not, it was pretty darn popular! Fast forward over the years I have run very successful blogs dedicated to natural hair, early childhood education and parenting.

Since taking over Grits & Grace in November of 2016, the page views have increased exponentially. The blog was only averaging about 40 views monthly, in November we were averaging about 40 a day by February we were getting around 500 a day. Since I launched The Mother Hustler blog two days ago I have already gotten over 1000 pageviews! You want to know how? Well, just keep reading!

Blogging is hard work. It may not look like it on the outside, but it is. I constantly have people who ask me about wanting to start, but they don’t realize that by wanting to turn this into something that is your business, you have to put work into it.

It takes time and skill to build your brand. I put 40-60 hours weekly into blogging, and that’s no small feat with four kids and a husband who works all of the time. I have to literally get in where I fit in, that means blogging when the kids go to bed at 6 pm and sometimes chopping away at it until 4 am, and then getting an hour of sleep before it’s time to get the next day started.

okay, that sound’s awful.

You’re right, it does. But I do it because it’s my passion. If you aren’t passionate about something, you won’t be as successful. Even with the growth, my little blog was experiencing, I was still feeling like it wasn’t good enough, and that led to my being burned out.

If you look through my blog for March, you can see that I barely posted. During this time I sat down, and narrowed my focus, provided content upgrades, and created a blogging schedule for April-August (so I won’t have to stress over blogging this summer and I can spend time with the kids).

This renewed sense of direction has allowed me to create better content, and cultivate my brand to something that I can be proud of. By doing this, it has resulted in a significant increase in traffic and page views.

I would like to point out even though my traffic has increased, I still do not have a very high social media following. I only recently broke 1,000 plus followers on Twitter, my Facebook is brand new(two days old brand new for this site) with one like (from my brother of all people), while my Instagram has around 650 and Pinterest 760 pages which are significantly fewer followers than most bloggers.

With all of this I still have been averaging around 1200-1300 views daily for April and now this first half of May with the weekends being significantly lower sitting around 600-700). While The Mother Hustler Blog reached 1,000 views in the first two days of its launch!  How did I do this?

I clarified what my blog was about!

Who is my audience?

I define my first blog as a southern lifestyle blog. It’s not just another “mommy” blog, as I wanted my audience to be parents in my region who would be able to identify with a majority of my post. I do talk about blogging as a business on my blog as well, but I will soon be separating that out as well (which is The Mother Hustler Blog). Because I have narrowed down my niche, I have been able to separate the post that I didn’t feel fit with my blog, and thus created a spin-off blog with a narrowed niche called The Fit Fotographer which focuses on health + wellness.

What does my audience need?

They don’t want someone telling them too many personal stories about their life. I have found that no one really cares about your birth story or what your kid did on their birthday. So I keep it general. Unless I am using it to add to a post I am writing, I have stopped getting too personal. On this blog, I keep the personal stories at bay as much as possible, unless they anecdotal.

How can I help my audience?

Sometimes we just want to feel like someone else out there understands! I have found the posts that show “hey! you aren’t alone” have been my biggest successes! I’m not the first woman to have a baby, and I won’t be the last, so there is really no need for me to give advice on things that have been done over and over again. Unless I can provide a less anxious was of doing so.

Be New, But Familiar

People get bored. There are already enough Scary Mommy type blogs in the world, and The Story of This Life seems to have the mommy video game down pact. So I don’t want to add anything to my blog that would feel as if I am biting someone else’s style. Keep it simple and straight forward with your audience. Don’t try and change up too much. You want to retain readers, although there is nothing wrong with fly by nights, make sure you remain loyal to those who got you there. You may not be able to recover from it.

See the potential and focus there

So you’ve got your niche, purpose, audience, presentation and everything else down to a science; now it is time to put it into action. If you don’t then you basically just did a lot of work for nothing. Here were a few things that I did with branding that allowed me to grow my audience. I have to point out it was a culmination of things, not just one particular thing.

  • Consistent blog graphics + branding. 
  • Build a better social media presence and participate in Facebook groups for bloggers. Even without a ton of followers, I still get a lot of traffic from IG, Twitter, and Pinterest. Even though right now 75% of my traffic comes from Facebook.
  • Commitment to a regular blog schedule: I have seen the importance of blogging on a regular basis. Knowing that my goal is to be helpful and provide relief to my viewers, I try and make sure I blog at least once a day. There are days where I may do two or three blog post, which has also been very helpful in increasing traffic. If you are going to do an extra post each day, make sure it’s on something you are passionate about. I like to blog about things that are going on throughout the day that’s trending such as this and this. Posting these as soon they occurred, drove a ton of traffic to my site, and next to this post my husband wrote, they are my top three viewed post of all time. (I have to add, the post my husband wrote gets around 400+ views daily! Even on my blogging hiatus, that was the most viewed most).

If you need help staying on schedule, I suggest using a blog content planner to help you out! If you subscribe to the blog, we will send you a mini one for free. But if you are looking for a long-term plan, I suggest the EPICBLOG Planner. I have been using it and it has worked wonderfully!

  • Engagement with other bloggers. I am bad at this, but I have managed to get better at it. Commenting on other blogs, and social media handles of other bloggers is a sure fire way to drive traffic. It produces more exposure (especially if they have a large following) and it provides you with a chance to get to know others in your niche.
  • Make Pinterest the priority in your life. After your family of course. There is no doubt about it, pinning drives traffic. But here’s the thing, you don’t need to purchase all of these Pinterest courses and e-books to figure out how to do it. I’m not trying to stop anyone’s hustle, but everything you need to know about increasing your traffic is easily found on Pinterest. Join as many Pinterest tribes and group boards that you can handle. Many require 100% reciprocation, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. I have also found that manual pinning works 10 times better than Tailwind or other auto pinning services. You don’t have to spend hours on end pinning. Signing up for sites like Tailwind allows you to schedule your pins automatically and the system will post for you. I schedule around 500 pins a week to automatically post. It takes me about two hours one day a week to set it up. I have seen a huge increase in traffic since I started using this service. I am averaging around 800 views a day from Pinterest alone!

   (If you sign up through this link, you will get a free month of Tailwind to try it out!)

  • Streamline your social media. I am slowly doing this but making sure all of your social media profile photos are the same. I still have a personal IG account separate from my blog one, and one day I am going to get rid of my personal one. Just not yet.

Instagram is still king. 

If you are a blogger or other creative, Instagram is super important to your success and for your personal brand. If you have a high follower count, it won’t matter what your pageviews are, brands will want to work with you and pay you. If your ultimate goal is monetization, then you need to get up your Instagram follower count.

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