Our Journey to 100,000 Unique Blog Visitors

I'm letting you in on a big goal of ours in today's post. Last week I shared the story of Elle & Company and how I got this business off the ground. I filled you in on our journey up until this point, but today I'm letting you in on our biggest goal for Elle & Company this year...

There's also an announcement at the bottom of this post for the next Adobe Illustrator e-course. Don't miss it!

Our Journey to 100,000 Unique Blog Visitors | Elle & Company

Before the end of 2014, I sat down and wrote out some crazy goals for Elle & Company for the coming year. Among several large and small ideas on that list I added, "reach 100,000 unique blog visitors in one month." It seemed far-fetched and a little out of reach at the time, but with each passing month I've seen this goal become a possibility. I believe that 100,000 unique visitors is a benchmark that can completely change a business. In fact, I think hitting this goal will allow us to pursue our other business goals. I've mentioned a few times on the blog that a huge part of having a successful business is growing an audience first and selling a product or service second. 100,000 visitors will be confirmation that we have a growing, engaged audience before we launch some of our future ventures. 

And because I want Elle & Company to be a blogging, business, and design resource for you, I thought it would be beneficial to invite you behind our screen and reveal how we're working toward this goal. Each Monday Jake and I are partnering together on the Elle & Company newsletter to show you our stats, review our analytics, and speculate on what's working and what we might need to weed out or do differently. Not only is it fun to combine forces and let you in on what goes on behind the scenes of this blog, but it's even more exciting to think of the ways that this could benefit your journey as you follow along with ours. 

The weekly newsletter will involve some basic assessments of our Google Analytics account in order to provide you with a deeper understanding of the Elle & Company blog. It will focus solely on the business week due to the fact that our blog posts only publish on weekdays. In light of this, it should come as no surprise that our two slowest traffic days each week are Saturday and Sunday (but if there is ever an exception to this rule, we will be sure to keep you updated and explain the situation). We will analyze the highest and lowest traffic days and break them down in terms of audience, referrals, and content. 

Along with our weekly updates in the newsletter, we're posting monthly updates on here about our progress on the first Monday of every month. Today we're kicking off the new approach to the newsletter with the first monthly recap. Here's a look at March!

Our Journey to 100,000 Unique Blog Visitors | Elle & Company

How March measured up

In the World

Alexa.com is a tool that we use to measure how our website measures up against approximately 30 million websites around the world in terms of web traffic. The more web traffic your site generates, the lower your ranking on Alexa. That means that the #1 ranked site on this website is also the site that generates the most web traffic in the world (in case you're wondering, its Google). 

Our Journey to 100,000 Unique Blog Visitors | Elle & Company

Currently, Elle & Company is ranked 128,771 in the world and 28,720 in the United States. Each week Elle & Company seems to move down, but we've hit some resistance around the 28,000 mark these past 2 weeks. 

We recommend using Alexa as a way to gain a general idea as to where your website stands in the world. Keep in mind that their statistics aren't exact.

Compared to the Past Few Months

Users - 29,558
Pageviews - 100,568

Users - 36,788
Pageviews - 103,657

Users - 45,010
Pageviews - 138,304

Our Journey to 100,000 Unique Blog Visitors | Elle & Company

In terms of traffic, March was the most successful month that the Elle & Company blog has ever had. Nothing went viral and we didn't have any big features; we chalk the increase up to the organic growth that continues to come as a result of consistent, high-quality blog posts. In fact, the blog is definitely one of the largest areas of this business that requires most of my time. With that said, the blog has had the biggest return on investment. This blog is the center of my business; every inquiry, purchase, announcement, and update takes place here. For Jake and I, this blog is worth the long hours because we've seen how fundamental and beneficial it's been for our business. 

What we focused on in March

This blog has been (and will continue to be) a place where I hope to give away as much helpful information as I can. For the month of March, I wrote 23 blog articles. Of those articles I:

And that's not even half of the blog posts from March. I think if I learned anything from reviewing last month's blog posts, it's that varied content is crucial. Our readers enjoy learning all the things we're doing to improve our business and blog so that they can implement those practices for themselves. Radical transparency and behind the scenes content continues to work in our favor. 

Our Most Popular Post in March

How Our Business Got Off the Ground
March 31, 2015

Sessions: 3,094
Users: 2,656
Pageviews: 5,934
Top Referral: Pinterest

Recently we've noticed a growing trend among a few respected blogs explaining the course of their business journey. We discussed the idea of doing a post like this ourselves and decided that it would be beneficial for our readers. It would also answer a question that we're asked all the time: How did Elle & Company get off the ground? We thought the post could help business owners who are struggling with the direction of their business, and we also believed that is could be a source of encouragement because of our humble roots. It had also been a while since we shared anything personal on the blog, and while we want out blog to be a helpful resource through tips and advice, we also know that it's important to build a personal connection with our audience. The story format also helped us mix up the content we shared the rest of the month (we do our best to mix up the format of our posts to keep our readers engaged - how to posts, stories, case studies, etc.). Furthermore, our Pinterest referrals were particularly high this day, which significantly contributed to the day's overall traffic.

Our goal for April

We have our hopes set on 60,000 unique visitors and 150,000 page views. 

We sent out the first Elle & Company weekly progress report in our newsletter today. Are you interested in getting our weekly progress updates in your inbox and following along with our journey? Sign up below if you haven't already!

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Another Announcement: The next e-course!

We've been blown away by the response that we've gotten to the Adobe Illustrator e-course and the amount of inquiries we've received about the next offering. We're excited to announce that the next 5-week Adobe Illustrator e-course will be May 30th through June 27th! Registration will open at 12:00pm EST next Friday, April 17th, and only 40 seats are available. Mark your calendars! 

For more information about the e-course, including pricing, curriculum, and materials, click here.

What do you think about our 100k unique visitor goal? What are your blog and business goals for April?