It's that time of the month again, folks (and I ain't talkin' about periods).
You know the drill: I'm gonna make some announcements, show you my numbers, give you some free tips and basically write a really long post about bloggy biz shiz. Welcome to my monthly report detailing blog traffic, what worked for me, and what can work for you too. Ready?
Okay, first off...
#LOUDBOLDBLOG HAS BEGUN!
Srsly, if you're not already part of this you're missing out, so be sure to get all the details here and check the surprise bonus here. Below, I have an in-depth video flipping through the pages so you can see what the workbook's all about (plus a second, unedited video just in case you don't like cute music/doodles).
Don't worry, I'll remind you to sign up before the end of this post so that you don't forget.
#COFFEECASH GIVEAWAY WINNERS!
And now, for the winners of our May giveaway. Drumroll, please...
$5 cash // @Silvers_Glow
$10 cash // @seasaltsecrets
$15 cash // @Studentinlife
$20 cash // @gypsyfootprints
Moolah will be transferred via Paypal by the end of the month. You can spend it on whatever you want, but I do hope you choose a delicious beverage. I'm also giving an extra $5 to @fennarama for inviting the most members to our private Loud Ladies community!
#LOUDLADIES BLOG TAKEOVER
Speaking of which, my blogging besties are holding down the fort while Brandon, Trey and I head out of town for 3 weeks! We'll be in various parts of Michigan and D.C. visiting both of our families.
We leave tomorrow and it's my first time traveling with a baby (eek) but I've done tons of research and talked to lots of other parents about it. T is generally very well-behaved, so *knock on wood* he just sleeps the whole time and flirts with our neighbors.
The girls are taking over blog posts here on The Loudmouth Lifestyle, along with discussions in our Google+ group and the bimonthly Twitter parties (join us under the hashtag #liveloudly every other Wednesday). Don't you worry, though -- I'll still be around for Tuesday newsletters and Friday videos!
We'll be in some areas without internet or phone service, but you know me. I'll always find a way to work, even on vacay. Be sure to follow our travels via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
THE NEW SHOP ON GUMROAD
Yes yes y'all, the new shop is finished! Well, almost. Still need to add a few details, like those pesky descriptions... but by the time you read this, hopefully I'll be done. Check it out here (I've added links to all the goodies on my sidebar as well). Thanks Ready to Blog for helping make the graphics pretty.
BEHIND THE SCENES
One downside to being your own boss? No PTO. We don't get paid unless we work. So, the past month has been cray since we've been hustling overtime in preparation for the trip.
Still, I've managed to pop by some fun parties with B, grab brunch with girlfriends, take T to play group, become more involved with Mary Kay, attempt to cut out dairy again, and get back to the gym.
Overall, I have a very fun and fulfilling life. The issue is that I usually love TOO many things; but I suppose that's a good problem to have, eh? It's all about learning to balance (or juggle).
Life would be easier if I stayed at the same job forever, but it certainly wouldn't be as much fun.
Oh, and I got my first troll! Am I famous now?
According to Google Analytics, I received 5,666 pageviews in May. I published 12 posts.
I received 1,000+ more views than the month before, and I'll tell you why I think it increased in a sec (hint: I didn't pay for any advertising). For now, these were the top 10 posts:
SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRESS
Here's where I'm at now (changes in bold):
11,068 Twitter ^55
2,413 Pinterest ^61
2,024 Instagram (personal) ^155
649 Facebook (personal) ^88
645 Facebook (business) ^24
464 Bloglovin' ^5
207 Instagram (business) -3
173 Google+ ^20
59 YouTube ^2
Overall, May was a very positive month for numbers all-around!! More importantly, I've met a lot of inspiring people that I love learning from. I'm excited that my little "corner" of the internet is growing.
My weekly newsletter now has 48 subscribers, which is almost double since April!
INCOME, EXPENSES, & DEBT
Um... yeah, we're just gonna skip this section this month. I haven't been keeping track of everything and I really need to catch up on organizing my budget. So here is a funny video instead. #classic
Again, never claimed to be a money coach (though I probably need one).
TIPS & TOOLS THAT WORKED FOR ME
Okay, so I made a lot of changes over the past few weeks that had a positive impact.
1. Launched multiple things at multiple price points- In May I announced my new coaching packages and also released a digital workbook for bloggers along with a bonus community. These offerings attracted both new and current visitors to my site, especially since they range from less than $10 to more than $5,000. Something for everyone.
2. Cultivated richer relationships with readers and fellow bloggers- This is exactly what #loudboldblog is about, and as I wrote it I started living it. It's really easy to see numbers instead of actual faces, but other people on the internet are just that... people. It's definitely more time-consuming to have conversations on Twitter as opposed to simply retweeting and favoriting, but in the end, it's worth it.
3. Accepted that things wouldn't be perfect- I was able to do more this past month because I decided to stop obsessing over whether or not everything would be perfect before posting. I worked smarter instead of harder, which saved me time and energy. There's no secret recipe to letting go of the overachiever mentality; you simply need to continuously remind yourself that your best is enough.
Continue to remind yourself that you're doing your best, and that's enough. Soon, you'll start actually believing it. #liveloudly— Stephanie Shar (@loudmouthblogs) June 3, 2015
4. Started using Canva for blog post graphics- This site saved my life! I literally made the entire aforementioned workbook using Canva. It made the process SO much easier (and prettier). Plus, it's free.
5. Stopped worrying about being "annoying"- I've been promoting the shit out of my brand. I finally just said, f*ck it. It's what needs to be done nowadays. Don't worry if you're 'gramming too much or posting too many times in Facebook groups. When it gets annoying, someone will tell you. Until then, don't worry about it and constantly talk about what you're doing. If you don't, who will?
6. Kept a consistent schedule- I'm all about schedules and plans, but after having Trey I kinda just did what I wanted when I wanted. For the past month though, I've been publishing blog posts on Mon/Thurs/Sun, sending newsletters on Tues, doing Google+ discussions and Twitter chats on Wednesdays, and uploading videos on Fridays. I plan to tweak this a bit when I get back from my trip, but it almost doesn't matter any more what days you do what, as long as you're continuously doing them.
7. Narrowed down my audience- My life coaching has become more and more like business coaching, so that's what I'm focusing on now... blog and biz coaching for online creatives (especially those that want to leave a jobby job and become a solopreneur). It's pretty much what I was already doing, but now that I've clearly stated it out loud (heh), it's helped me to focus and hone in on my career goals. Having a vision is everything.
8. Added more incentives for signing up for my newsletter- Peeps won't sign up for your list unless you're giving them something in return (in addition to the emails). Again, it's just the way it is these days. You need to overdeliver and provide constant value, every day, all the time. So when I announced that everyone who signed up would get a free 20-minute coaching session with me, along with access to the Loud Ladies group and the #loudboldblog challenge, I finally started seeing steady growth. Plus, I don't just repeat what I've already posted on the blog. Now I get at least a few signups a day! Come up with something fun, unique, and useful that only you can offer and you will see progress.
9. There's probably more, but- I'm in the middle of doing five loads of laundry and I need to finish packing, so that's all my brain can offer for now. I'll be sending out this week's newsletter TONIGHT with the bonus tips I'm sure I'll think of. And if you wanna keep in touch while I'm gone, simply contact me in whatever way is your fave. I'll miss you!!
Want even MORE fun blog advice + biz tips? Join us for 30 Days to Bolder Blogging, a month-long challenge with free + paid options! You'll get a 60-page workbook, weekly videos, access to our private Loud Ladies group and more! It's never too late for you to blog boldly and live loudly, girlfriend.