February 2016 Blog Traffic (and Income) Report

Last month I made the decision to truly take this blogging thing seriously and treat it like a business.  I've been blogging for 5 years now and what was once a hobby and a way to keep myself accountable for chores around the house will hopefully become a viable way to earn income for my family.  I know I have a long way to go (especially compared to much more established and successful bloggers), but by sharing my blog traffic and income reports each month I hope to continue to keep myself accountable and share with you my growth (and talk about what's working and what isn't working).

January saw a huge increase in my blog's numbers.  Like I said, it was the first month I really buckled down and treated my blog like a business and really focused on marketing, and February did see growth, but not quite at the same rate as January.  In February, I wrote 17 new posts, down 2 posts from January (and not quite making my 20 posts goal), and I finally started an email list.  I had an increase in my Instagram followers, but I forgot to track where I started at the beginning of the month.  Either way, I've definitely increased my following and engagement in IG.  Here are the hard numbers for February:

February 2016 Blog Traffic

In February, I had 1,414 page views, an increase of 272 from January.  This traffic came from 711 users over 928 sessions with a bounce rate of 76.72% (the lower the bounce rate, the better).  Again, I know these numbers are tiny compared to most even moderately sized blogs, but it still represents growth for mine.  My traffic increased in February by 24%.  Certainly not the astronomical percent change between December and January, but still a sizable increase and a much more realistic and sustainable rate of growth.  

My bounce rate went up slightly, from 75.19% to 76.72%, and the time spent on my site decreased by 30 seconds, but these two stats are still at acceptable numbers.  My new vs. returning visitor percents changed as well.  In January, I had 31.1% returning visitors and in February I had 26.4% returning visitors.  This means that people aren't sticking around as long on my site and aren't coming back.  Again, these ratios are still pretty acceptable for me, but something I should pay attention to - I want people to visit my site more than once (don't we all?!?) and I want them to hang out and see what else I've written.  I'm sure I'll end up tweaking some things in the future to keep these numbers stable, but for now they're okay.

Top 5 Posts in February

What I Did Differently

I didn't change much of what I was doing from January to February.  February felt a little more scattered than January because I wasn't using my Epic Blog Planner {affiliate} quite as religiously and keeping up with all the Facebook blogger promotions groups was pretty time consuming.  I'm not the best with time management - actually, I'm the worst with time management, let's just be honest here, so I know my February approach to social media and blog promotions was scattered and not very calculated.  It still worked, but I could've been a bit more deliberate and focused in my efforts.  In addition to using my blog planner, I need to start using a daily planner to schedule out more of my blogging tasks.  I still managed a pretty consistent blogging schedule and I'm making sure to be more mindful of SEO and having a pinnable image for each post.  I've started using BoardBooster {affiliate} to schedule my pinning and joined some Pinterest specific groups on Facebook.  I also finally started an email list and have 5 subscribers!  I haven't sent out a newsletter yet,but that'll happen soon.

What Did I Earn?

I didn't earn any cold hard cash this month.  I did, however, receive 3 different products for free to review (at a value of $90), and I was offered a $75 gift card to YogaOutlet.com to choose whatever I want to review.  I spent $35 to take an Instagram class from Ariana, and $1.99 for my InLinkz {affiliate} subscription.  All in all, I'd say I came out on top.

Plans for March

  • increase my page views by 20-25% bringing my page views to approximately 1700
  • write between 15 and 20 new posts
  • increase my Instagram followers from 466 to 500
  • create a landing page for Instagram clicks so I can track IG traffic
  • increase my Pinterest followers from 360 to 400
  • organize my Pinterest boards
  • increase my Facebook fan page from 395 to 425
  • post content other than my own on my FB page
  • add 3 new subscribers to my email list
  • send out one newsletter (maybe 2)
  • sign up and start using StumbleUpon
  • create a blog post checklist
  • create a social media checklist
  • create a social media focus calendar
I'm finally settling into a groove with blogging this year.  If I can manage to keep from getting overwhelmed by my to-do list and social media promotions, I think March is going to be a great month.  I need to do a little better with managing my time and I think keeping a planner to schedule my social media time as well as an editorial calendar should help a lot.  I sit down in front of the computer and so easily loose my focus and totally forget what I intended to focus on, so having it written down for me to cross reference will be key this month.  How has your blog been treating you?  Any big successes for February?  What strategies are you using that are working (or not)?  I'd love to hear more about it in the comments!!

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