In early April we let you in on one of our biggest goals for Elle & Company in 2015: reaching 100,000 unique blog visitors in one month. We’re focusing on numbers and stats because we have some big long-term goals in store for our business, and we need to grow our audience in preparation for them.
We know that many of you are working on expanding your reach for your blog and business, too, so we invited you along on our journey through our weekly newsletter. We’ve spent the past few weeks giving subscribers weekly updates on the strategies we’re implementing to grow our audience as well as a look inside our analytics. In addition to the newsletter, we’re doing one big monthly recap on the blog.
So how did April go for Elle & Company? Are we any closer to our 100k goal?
How March Measured Up
By looking solely at our number of unique visitors, no. But we came so close! Here’s a look at what we were shooting for and how we measured up:
Unique blog visitors: 45,010
Global ranking on Alexa: 125,771
U.S. ranking on Alexa: 28,720
Goals for April
60,000 unique blog visitors and 150,000 page views
Unique blog visitors: 39,545
Global ranking on Alexa: 101,172
U.S. ranking on Alexa: 28,888
We have a few theories about why our blog traffic was a little slower this month:
Lack of big features
In the past few months, Elle & Company has had a few expected (and unexpected) features on other large websites, including Buzzfeed and Glitter Guide. This wasn’t the case in April, which may have had something to do with a decrease in site traffic.
Nothing went viral
You can never predict when a post will go viral on social media sites like Pinterest or even Bloglovin’. We’ve been blessed to see some Elle & Company posts take off on those sites over the past few months, but nothing went viral in April.
Pinterest traffic slowed down significantly
Pinterest is usually our largest referral and makes up nearly 30% of our blog traffic, but we saw a significant decrease in the amount of Pinterest traffic we received last month. We think this could be due to Pinterest’s recent promoted pins, because the number of people pinning from our site has increased, as well as the number of repins that we receive from each of our own pins on Pinterest.
Despite the slower traffic this month, we were encouraged to see several positive outcomes with the blog in April:
Increase in engagement
And by engagement, we’re primarily referring to blog comments. We’ve noticed a significant increase in the amount of visitors who’ve been commenting on each post, which shows us that our content is practical and relevant to our audience.
Highest number of pageviews in one day
Even though none of our posts went viral in April, we broke a record for the highest number of pageviews (6,300) to the blog in one day. We found this especially exciting because it means that our growth is happening organically, not randomly or sporadically.
Increased percentage of returning visitors
In March, 57% of our traffic was made up of new visitors and 43% of our visitors were returning. In April, 51% of our traffic came from new visitors and 49% of Elle & Company visitors were returning. This tells us that we’re gaining a loyal audience.
What We Focused On In April
Our goal for April was much like our goal for March: to continue to post helpful, high-quality content to the blog each day. For the month of April, I wrote 22 blog articles. Of those articles I:
- Shared my thoughts on Why You Should Never Turn Down a Paying Customer and Why You Don’t Need a College Degree to Run a Successful Creative Business
- Started 2 new blog series: The Business Book Club and Getting Started with Lightroom
- Created an infographic on How to Create Infographics
- Launched one new brand and website for Ali Mac Photography
- Gave away some of my biggest business secrets with My No-Fuss Formula for Pricing My Services, A Simple Solution for Instagram’s Biggest Business Dilemma, My Secret for Rapidly Growing My Business, and 1 Clever Way to Streamline Your Client Process
- Shared some how-to’s on Successfully Blogging for Business, Creating a Brand Style Guide, Growing a Twitter Following, and Creating Hype Around a New Launch
While I learned the importance of varied content last month, my biggest takeaway from April is how important it is to share content that’s different from what others in the industry are sharing. Posts start to run together after a while, but if you’re willing to think outside of the box and get creative - whether it’s by coming up with a solution for keeping up with clients or tracking pageviews from Instagram - you’re able to differentiate yourself and benefit others at the same time. We’re all about showing what’s worked for us in hopes of helping our readers.
Our Most Popular Post in April
My No-Fuss Formula for Pricing My Services
April 22, 2015
I had been wanting to write post on pricing for months. It’s an area that I struggled with at the onset of my business and it’s a subject that isn’t often talked about within the industry. While everyone approaches this topic differently (and rightly so, because it largely depends on several factors), I thought it might be helpful for our audience if I broke down how I price my services. Because everyone deals with pricing in some shape or form, I had a feeling that this post might be a favorite, but I was stunned that it drew in over 6,000 pageviews. It reiterates my April takeaway, that differentiating yourself and being transparent has several benefits, both for you and your audience.
Our Goal for May
We're going to try again at our goal for 60,000 unique visitors and 150,000 page views.
Jake and I have something big coming up this summer that has the potential to transform Elle & Company traffic and greatly benefit our readers. While we can’t reveal many details quite yet, we’ll continue to share high-quality, varied, transparent content while we diligently work on Elle & Company’s next best thing behind the scenes. Stay tuned!
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