At the very start of April, I decided to set myself a little challenge (obviously the challenge of giving up sugar wasn’t enough at the time). That challenge was to blog every single day for the next month. That was 30 blog posts in a row. Doesn’t sound too bad right? That’s what I thought too.
Boy, was I wrong.
At the very beginning, I was ready and raring to go. I was pumped like I’d just done a hardcore spin class. I had my schedule of posts, all organised and feeling in control. Why did I set myself the challenge you ask? Because I’d reached a tipping point of wanting to take my blog to the next level, I needed to boost my creativity and I wanted to see how my traffic could grow by posting on a daily basis instead of two times a week, three at the max.
Having an ideas list seemed to really help at first, and making an editorial calendar is definitely something I’ll take away from this as it became so much easier to sit down and create the content when I knew what to write about. What I found myself doing though was second guessing those ideas, and not really feeling excited about the posts I’d planned. So during the second week, I scrapped the list and started a fresh, really taking the time to think about content ideas and doing some research into what my most popular posts had been over the last year (relatable life advice continues to be my biggest pull despite being an interior design focused blog).
I was lucky enough to have two weeks off work, which meant I could really take the time to write long posts and shoot my own photography, but I also started working behind the scenes of my blog, sorting SEO problems out and building my new lookbook (more on that tomorrow morning when it officially launches eeeekkkk!), so to say I had zero social life would be an understatement.
So how did my traffic increase?
March, a month where I was blogging around 2 times a week, brought 5,000 sessions, 3,773 users and 10,100 page views.
April, after blogging every single day of the month, attracting 8,088 sessions, 5,556 users and a whopping 15k page views. I say whopping because that is for me. Nearly 5k more page views in a month that normal. But were those figures worth the time and effort I was ploughing in to my blog every day, as well as juggling a full-time job away from Apartment Number 4? The jury’s still out on that one.
My social media accounts also increased, because I was so much more present, Instagramming daily, speaking to people through my Facebook page and Tweeting throughout the day to point potential readers to the direction of my blog. Throughout that time I learnt to get my butt into gear and schedule a lot of that content. I also learnt what kind of captions work best to drive engagement (chatty, question-filled snippets of real life), and I’ve discovered so many amazing people through doing that.
I know this isn’t all about figures but in case you were wondering what the change between the end of last month and now, then here you go:
Instagram: March 2225 – April 2406
Facebook: March 2896 – April 2939
Twitter: March 3218 – April 3317
Pinterest: March 1390 – April 1462
Bloglovin: March 723 – April 777
Not a huge difference, but these numbers had been static for some time so to see an increase of nearly 200 new followers on Instagram in one month was amazing. Changing back to my personal account instead of a business account helped drive so much more engagement and views, which was the key to growth ultimately. I was visible again. Hurray.
So the big question is, would I do it again? Absolutely not. Why? Because it took all the fun out of blogging for me. I loved the content I’d created yes, but every morning I was waking up feeling anxious if I didn’t have an idea ready, or if I knew life was busy that day and I couldn’t work out when I’d get time to not only write my post but shoot pictures, push it out on social media and reply to comments etc. When I say walking up anxious, I mean my chest was tight and racing much faster than normal until I’d sorted out a post that day. I was putting an immense amount of pressure on myself because I didn’t want to just post any old crap. I wanted to stay true to myself and my blog’s ethos.
Why didn’t I just give up?
Because I wanted to see the challenge through. As you’ll probably know from my sugar challenge, I don’t like to give up easily once I’ve set my mind to something. Even though there were times, like yesterday when I really, really, really didn’t want to blog.
Which really defeated the objective of boosting my creativity if you think about it.
However, what it did do is teach me to be more organised, to value the power of evergreen content – aka those amazing posts you might have written a year ago but can still be shared across social media to drive traffic to your blog, and how many amazing readers that have commented on, liked and shared all my posts from the last 30 days.
Posting will now resume back to 3 times a week, with a special post coming tomorrow. For now? I’m about to close this laptop and enjoy a restful Sunday. Enjoy your weekend guys!