So. March. Pretty crappy month all round, really.
Given how awful it’s all been, I was pretty surprised to log into Google Analytics yesterday morning and discover that my blog traffic hasn’t suffered as a result of my horrible March: in fact, in blog terms at least, March was actually one of my best months so far. Here’s this month’s progress report, tracking how I’m doing in tackling the various blog-related goals I set myself back at the start of the year: you’ll find the other posts in this series here…
MARCH OVERVIEW AND MOST POPULAR POSTS
I know everyone’s sick of hearing this by now, but March was yet another month when I was so distracted by life events and various other work projects that it was really all I could do to just keep the blog ticking along as best I could. Despite being a fairly stressful way to live, it’s not really a sustainable way to work either, so I was really disappointed when the March deadline for the biggest project I’ve been working on was pushed back to April – and possibly even May, with the way things are going. I’ve also been working on another couple of projects which have ended up having similarly shifting deadlines (through no fault of my own), and I’ve found it all quite frustrating, as it’s made it very difficult for me to schedule the rest of my work/life around them, and to plan out content. In financial terms, it also means that I’ve done the work, but can’t yet bill for it, which is also frustrating, needless to say!
On the plus side, I’ve learned some valuable lessons from all of this, and have already made some changes to the way I work, to make sure that I don’t end up in this position again. All the same, even although it’s April already, I kind of feel like the working year hasn’t really got started yet, because I just haven’t had the time to focus on all of the things I’ve been planning. Because of that, most of my top posts for March were older ones: my Spring capsule wardrobe, written around this time last year, has been doing really well, and my classic capsule wardrobe has finally managed to push ‘How to Walk in High Heels‘ off the top spot, as the most-viewed post on the site.
On the one hand, I’m glad to see these posts still bringing in traffic, and their continued success is testament to the importance of writing evergreen content, which will still attract visitors to your blog even on days (or months!) when you don’t have anything new to share. On the other hand, though, the fact that only two of this month’s posts made it into the Top 10 (and one of those I’d REALLY rather not have had to write at all…) is definitely a sign that I need to pick up my game with the newer content I”m producing, rather than just relying on the older stuff!
These were the Top 10 most viewed posts on the site in March:
07. The Hardest Day
Mini-goal for April, then: get more than two of this months posts into this list!
Here’s how I got on with my yearly goals…
GOAL: 200,000 / month
LAST MONTH: 167,546
THIS MONTH: 172,527
Once again, I did absolutely nothing to attempt to increase my pageviews this month: in fact, I didn’t even really post much to Facebook, which is something that had really helped in February. Since the start of the year, I’ve basically been stuck in this mindset of, “When this busy period is over…” but things haven’t really slowed down at all, which has left me with very little time or energy left over to even think about these things. Will that finally change this month? Honestly, it doesn’t look likely: can we just start the year in May? Or even June?
(Follow me on Instagram?)
GOAL: 20,000 FOLLOWERS
LAST MONTH: 12,333
THIS MONTH: 12,816
The month started off really well on Instagram, and I managed to gain around 200 new followers in one day, during my trip to Arran, back at the start of the month, much to my surprise: I guess the change of scenery did some good! Unfortunately, once we got back, I was chained to my desk again for the rest of the month, and things slowed down considerably. This is my biggest struggle with Instagram at the moment: I just don’t really DO enough to be able to keep posting interesting photos – there’s a limit to how many photos I can post of my coffee cup, but when I’m stuck at my desk all the time, there’s not much going on!
The biggest change I made to Instagram this month was that I downloaded the UNUM app, which allows you to plan your grid in advance. Yeah, I know: I swore I’d never become One of Those People, and I STILL somewhat resent the idea of having a “theme” for Instagram – I’d much rather be able to just post whatever I want, whenever I want, but the problem with themes is that, once you start one, it can be hard to break out of it, and that’s where I’m at right now. Having said that, UNUM has actually become a guilty pleasure of mine, and I quite like planning out which photos I’m going to post, and when: it’s also meant that I always have something ready to post, which has helped me be more consistent, too.
Oh, and I’ve also been really enjoying Instagram Stories lately: I’m not sure it does anything for my follower numbers at all, but I like it, so that’s the main thing!
03. EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS
LAST MONTH: 1,073
THIS MONTH: 1,176
I’m creeping slowly but steadily towards this goal, despite not actually doing anything to deserve it. As I said last month, this is one of the many things I know I could do much better with if I actually put in some effort, but, as with everything else, I just haven’t had the time, so it’s going to have to wait until I do!
04. WRITE ANOTHER EBOOK
Hahaha! Seriously, it’s just so cute that I actually thought I’d have time for this, isn’t it? So, as you can tell, that would be a giant NOPE on that front, although I did publish my existing book in a paperback format, so at least that’s something! Going forward, I think I’m probably just going to skip these sections in my monthly report, as nothing much changes in them, so next month I’ll focus purely on traffic, income and Instagram, and will just mention the rest if there’s anything to report.
Financially, March was another really good month, and although I didn’t quite manage to beat April’s total, that was only because two of the collaborations I’ve been working on were unexpectedly delayed at the client’s end, so although I’ve completed the work, I haven’t been able to bill for it yet. I don’t like to give specifics of what I earn, but here’s a quick breakdown of how this month compared to last month:
Again, sponsored posts accounted for the largest slice of the pie, although there are a couple of other income streams in there too this month. RewardStyle and ShopSense (affiliate programmes) also both paid out again this month, having not met their payment threshold in February: affiliate sales are something I’d really like to try and grow, as I always think it’s a good idea to have as many different income streams as possible, but most of my affiliate income comes from clothing and footwear, and the bad weather, plus the fact that I’ve been so busy over the last few months, have really stopped me doing as many outfit posts as usual, which is why my earnings from these sources has taken a bit of a beating. Hopefully the warmer weather will soon arrive, though, and I’ll have time to get out and take some more photos in April – fingers crossed!
I’m not sure why I’m including this section, to be honest, as I’m deliberately not making any goals for April! Unfortunately, most of the projects I’m working on at the moment are totally out of my control, which means my time is not my own, as I know that, at any minute, I could be expected to drop everything and focus on something else without notice. As I said above, this has been hugely frustrating for me, and has really hampered my ability to work on my blog (or, you know, have a life…), so while I REALLY hope that when I write April’s report, I’ll be able to say that I’ve finally managed to get out from under the giant pile of stress I’ve been living with since the start of the year, I’m not feeling particularly optimistic about it: wish me luck!
Finally, I know these posts aren’t going to be of interest to everyone, but if you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover in future posts, feel free to post them in the box below: these won’t appear as a comment (you’ll find those further down the page), so feel free to remain anonymous if you like!