Ever since I created a blog planner (click here for a free download), I've been tracking my blog stats more closely than usual, and since I am sort of an Excel nerd, I needed to analyze my growth. Of course, when you start to look at stats it only leads to more questions.
Let me first say that I was inspired by Carla at Real Into who shares her monthly blog stats each month. I thought it was refreshing for a blogger to be so open and honest. For some reason, I think we tend to think of our stats as something that we need to keep closely guarded, although I am not sure why?
It's kind of like running. What if I ran a 5k but I decided not to tell you my finishing time in case you did better, because that would make me feel bad. Silly, right? As a blogger, there will always be someone bigger and someone smaller. Kind of like life. Stats aren't some big secret that need to be guarded. They are what they are.
I wanted to talk about them because I have questions. I wonder if you see the same sort of trends on your blog that I see on mine. I started really tracking my stats and followers in February, so I was looking at how my stats changed from February to March, and then March to April. My current stats are in the yellow highlighted column.
I get my unique visitors, visitors and page views stats from Google Analytics. As you can see, I was pretty flat from February to March, but saw a significant increase from March to April. I have no idea why. All I do know is that 50% of my traffic comes from Pinterest. 50%! That is huge. That means if Pinterest didn't exist, I would have half the blog traffic that I have today. The lesson here is that if you are not optimizing your posts for Pinterest (pinnable, portrait images with light backgrounds) then you are missing an opportunity for increased blog traffic. I do think that my increase in uniques came from Pinterest, so I suspect that they could drop just as quickly as they grew. We'll see.
Then we move onto my social media followers. My top social media growth platform was Instagram. This is no surprise to me as I am very active on Instagram and I proactively try to grow my following. It is no surprise that the platform that I give the most focus grows the fastest. I use the just unfollow app to follow new like-minded accounts, and unfollow most people who don't follow back.
Bloglovin' is sort of a mystery to me because I never do anything to promote that platform except for a button on my sidebar, but it seems to grow pretty well on it's own. I may have added my Bloglovin' link to a SITS Girl thread on Facebook once this month, but that's it. It is decent growth for something I don't give a lot of attention.
Even though Pinterest has been a huge traffic source for me, it is another platform that I don't make any effort to gain new followers. I work hard to create images for my blog posts that are pinnable, but I don't go out of my way to attract new followers. I think a 7% for a completely organic growth is pretty good. I wonder how I could do if I tried to grow my following. I think Pinterest is probably the most important social media platform for bloggers. Anyone have any tips for growing your Pinterest following?
Twitter is another platform that I actively work to build my following. I have been averaging 500 new followers a month or a 7% growth each month. I am pretty happy with this, I just can't wait to hit 10K. My Twitter handle is @gealenders. Check out my tips on how NOT to grow your Twitter following. Most of these tips are so simple, but lost on so many.
My Google+ growth is completely organic. It seems to be building over there slowly, but surely. I think I was a little late to the Google+ game and now I am playing catch up. My growth in March was a little slower than in February.
Oh, Facebook. My slowest growing social media platform. I am completely annoyed and frustrated with the lack of growth on Facebook. It took me a year to rebuild to over 3k fans on Facebook (when I changed my blog name to Running with Ollie) but my posts usually only get "seen" by 300-500 people. It is so different than it was a year ago when it was one of the largest traffic sources for my blog. I still use Facebook to interact with my blog followers, but I have completely given up on any attempts to try to grow this platform. I wrote a post on tips to increase likes and engagement on your Facebook page that I think are effective, but generally, I figure my time is better spent elsewhere.
What is your fastest growing social media platform? What is most frustrating? Do you have any social media insights that I am missing? If you follow me on social media, I'll follow you back!
In case you missed it on all my social media platforms, Ollie and I are currently hosting a reader appreciation giveaway for a $50 Visa gift card. Check out the blog post to enter and win.
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