Inblog, Business Diaries

Business Diaries #2: April & May

So, it’s time for Business Diaries update.

I just spend the last two hours preparing for this blog post, by trying to create a structure for the blog post and gathering all screenshots. So, get yourself ready and comfortable as this one will be very in-depth, with lots of analytics and numbers. But I think it’s good because it makes me see the progress that I’m making, and it’s also useful for you. I know I love seeing other people’s analytics.

Now, before we jump into all the juicy analytics, I wanted to talk about time and how we perceive it.

Before sitting down this morning to write this post, I was feeling like I won’t have what to say or what to show because it felt like I didn’t accomplish anything that I was planning. I felt like my numbers weren’t impressive enough to put them out there on the internet to see. My income was lower than I wanted while I was preparing to make more money.

It made me feel anxious, writing this blog post, which showed that I didn’t accomplish shit in the last month and a half. However, once I looked at my analytics and made a list of things that I did manage to do, I realized I was making progress even though it didn’t look like it day to day.

And that’s the thing with time and how we see it and feel it. When we’re in the moment, it feels like it’s dragging and like we’re not going anywhere. But when that time passes and we stop to review and reflect on what had happened, we see that we did more than we expected. And that it wasn’t that bad.

So, if you’re feeling similar to me, don’t be discouraged that the present seems gloomy and not as efficient as you might like. As long as you’re focusing and working towards your end goal every single day in some way, you’ll get there sooner than you think.

Now, let’s jump into today’s topic, and let’s see some analytics.

BLOG OVERVIEW

Of course, I want to start this by talking about the progress and updates on the blog.

In my last blog post, I mentioned that my blog is not going to change that much content-wise. And it didn’t, I posted 3 blog posts (this one is the 4th) as I planned and I’m proud of all of them.

Now, my blog was the most significant expense this month actually, because I was making some behind the scenes changes. I did change my hosting company this month, I’ve been planning on doing it for quite some time, and I couldn’t be happier that I did it.

I used to host all of my websites and domains on 1and1 hosting, purely because their prices are affordable. You can get your first year for like 12 pounds, which is a bargain compared with other hosting companies. But of course, a low price means poor service.

I was very unhappy with my hosting, the site was slow, the customer service was horrible, and everything was just so complicated. So, I was looking for a hosting company. I was choosing between Siteground and Bluehost, as both are similar price ranges and popularity. After reading reviews and looking at their offers, I chose Siteground, and let me tell you, I have made the right choice.

Siteground has been amazing so far. My website is loading so much faster, customer service is 10/10, and it’s so easy to navigate.

They also set up my SSL certificate and changed some website things to make it more secure, and it was my goal for this month. Having a secured website should be a priority for everyone. I don’t want anyone stealing my reader’s information.

Another huge expense for the blog was privacy policy and terms and conditions. It was on my priority list as well as I need to be protected. So, I got myself all the required documents, and now my website has all the essential security and privacy measures.

And I also took down my service page for now as I’m regrouping in that department.

Now that I got all the updates out of the way let’s see those analytics I’ve been promising you. First, let’s take a look at my overall pageviews:

I’ve mentioned before that my blog pageviews are around 100, and they have increased a little bit since the last Business Diaries. In a month and a half, I got 213 pageviews, which is very exciting. Now, the fascinating thing here is that I wasn’t focusing on increasing website traffic this month. I wanted to take care of the hosting and security first, but traffic still increased.

Now, if we take a look at my traffic sources, we can see that there are 3 primary traffic sources for my blog:

Organic search being #1, which means that my SEO efforts have been paying off. I was curious about my social traffic source breakdown as I wasn’t promoting my blog too much. You can see that 3 different social channels brought traffic to me:

I’m honestly not sure why and how Facebook is #1 as I don’t have links on my profile and I don’t promote myself there yet, I’ll need to do more digging on that one. And I was pleasantly surprised that Instagram promo is working. I will talk about it a little bit later in the blog post.

Now, let’s take a look at what blog post are doing the best for me:

So, I’m not surprised people are interested in my Glossier post. I knew that because Glossier is such a popular and loved brand, it will pay off writing about their marketing. And of course, a blog post about the Instagram organization is doing very well. It’s understandable as all content related to Instagram is doing well on any platform.

So, that’s it for my analytics on the blog for this time.

GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH

Now, in my last post, I mentioned that my second quarter goal for my traffic is to hit 500 pageviews a month. And that’s precisely what I will be focusing all June. I really want to try to hit this target. I will be using Pinterest to drive traffic as I know it works, and I’ll focus on keywords and SEO even more as I see that it works.

Apart from increasing traffic to 500 pageviews, I’ll be taking it slow upcoming month. I want to post 4 blog posts like I usually do, and that’s about it.

PODCAST

Another part of my brand is a podcast. In my last post, I said that I’d be uploading it on Youtube and that I made some changes to the podcast’s content. And I’m very excited to announce that it’s live on Youtube and I already have some stats to show you.

First, let’s start with content changes. When I first started The FOXY SOUL Show, I wanted it to be a place where I talk about lifestyle, wellness, personal development, and sex. Basically, everything I was interested in, but couldn’t do on the blog as it’s a more professional setting here.

However, after I did like 15 episodes on that, I realized that I want to be talking about internet and pop culture, as that’s what makes me excited. So, I changed it. And it’s fantastic.

Now, if you look at statistics on Spotify, the numbers are pretty bad:

Before the content change, I was getting more listens, but I’m not too worried as once I build an audience and get my name out there, there will be more listens for sure.

On the other hand, The FOXY SOUL Show has been doing very well on Youtube. I uploaded the first video on 25th of April, it only has 7 videos, and it already shows some results:

Of course, I know that 100 views are not a lot, but as someone just getting started, I’m glad. I know I’m moving in the right direction. Now, let’s look at what videos did best for me this month:

Majority of my traffic is coming from Search Results, and that’s all because of Youtube SEO:

As you can see, the podcast is doing well on Youtube, I can’t wait to see more results in the upcoming months. Now, I have to say, I had this dilemma when it comes to the podcast. Initially, I was posting every Friday. Once I started doing video, I wanted to start releasing episodes on Monday and Friday, but I noticed that I’m not able to manage my time well enough to release 2 podcast episodes a week.

The new publishing schedule is every Monday that gives 4 episodes a month, and I’m going to stick to it for a while. And in the future, we will see if I can manage the workflow, and if I do, I can come back to doing two episodes a week.

GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH

Now, I don’t have any number of goals for my podcast next month, as it’s hard to predict a platform where I don’t have any control. But I’m planning on posting every Monday, and I’ll be working on improving my Youtube SEO and watch time.

ETSY

Another thing I wanted to do last month is finally relaunching my Etsy shop. And finally, I managed to do it, it’s been a long time coming and in the making for a few months now.

If you didn’t know, I sell digital products I created myself. I have CV Templates, Instagram and Pinterest templates, and much more, so check it out if you’re interested. (Get a discount code here of course)

Now, this shop was a pain in the ass, as the design process for me is prolonged. But I managed to make it happen and launch with fewer products than I was planning, but I figured that it’s better to launch and add more later than postpone the launch.

So, I’ve launched the shop almost a month ago, on the 30th of April, but haven’t gotten a sale yet. I know that most people reading this probably think that I’m crazy to launch something during the world pandemic, but I think it’s a perfect time to launch something that doesn’t require a lot of investments.

I’ve gotten a good amount of visits, yet no sales, so I’ll be working on this in the upcoming month.

Now, when it comes to marketing the shop, I’m using Etsy ads this time. I was always curious to see how it works, so I have a budget of $1 a day, and I’ve been seeing how everything is working. I don’t have any experience in that, so it’s all a learning curve for me. So far, I haven’t gotten the best results, and I’m in the red…

But, I’m optimistic.

GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH

My goals for next month upload more products and finally get my first $100 in sales. Let’s see how it goes.

SOCIALS

So, let’s talk about social media as some significant updates and changes were happening. I only use Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter right now for my marketing. I used LinkedIn before, but I haven’t gotten to it in a while since the pandemic started.

INSTAGRAM

So, let’s start with Instagram as it had the most changes. Before, I had a personal account that I had since high school, which I decided to use as my professional Instagram. However, I didn’t have a direction or a niche, so it wasn’t growing. It was awful, I was so stressed and sad about it.

Now, what I did was, I started a new account. I wanted a fresh start where I could start being friends with the algorithm from the beginning. I found this girl, Vanessa Lau, and she’s brilliant and talks a lot about Instagram and growth on this platform. I learned a lot of new things that I didn’t know before, and I started implementing them on my new account.

So, in the last month and a half, I’ve gained 45 followers. It’s not a lot, but I’m not worried about it. I wanted to gain followers slowly, so there would be no follow unfollow, and so far, it seems to be working.

I’ve been posting 2 times a week. Every Tuesday and Thursday on my feed, and on my stories from Monday to Friday. Last week I also posted my first IGTV, which was exciting as I’ve wanted to do it for the longest time, and now I had the content to do it.

One thing I wanted to say about Instagram. I used to be so harsh on myself and would be so stressed or depressed about my Instagram. And after watching many of Vanessa Lau’s videos, I’ve learned one very important thing. Instagram is not a search engine, so growing organically on Instagram, with no external help, is hard in 2020.

This really put things in perspective for me. Vanessa suggests using other platforms to grow your Instagram as it’s a sure way to do it faster. So, that’s what I’ve been trying to do. I’ve been using Youtube and my blog to promote my Instagram. I’m not worried about growing organically on Instagram as much, as I’m focused on bringing traffic from other places. My Instagram feed is just like a visual representation of my brand.

And this change was actually game-changing, and it really helped my mental health. I might do a blog post talking about it, once I see more results.

OTHER PLATFORMS

I haven’t been using Pinterest or LinkedIn in recent months, but I played with Twitter a bit. I updated my profile and started tweeting occasional tweets.

EMAIL

I’m including email with socials this month as I don’t have too much to report.

The main thing I accomplished this month was finishing all of my lead magnets, setting up automation, writing welcoming emails, and putting up the banners on my blog, so I’m ready to start growing my email list.

I haven’t sent any emails yet, as I haven’t been working on promoting it, but that’s one of the goals for next month.

GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH

Now, for my socials, I don’t have too many goals for the upcoming month, either. I want to stay consistent with my Instagram and Twitter and start using Pinterest again. I’m going to leave Linkedin for a while, I need to have a strategy ready.

I will be focusing on the email list, and I want to generate my first 100 leads in June. Also, a crucial part, I’m going to be participating in FB groups. I’ve done it before in the past, and I love those groups. You can find many people who are doing similar things, and I can’t wait to see where that takes me. I’ll update you next month on that.

FINANCIALS

So, I also mentioned that I’ll be sharing numbers in my Business Diaries.

Now, April and May haven’t been the best months financially. I had some significant expenses, but I haven’ gotten paid much. I was lucky that I live at my mum’s house and don’t have to pay rent; I had savings from previous months, so I am surviving just fine for now.

So, in April, I made $240 and in May so far, only $200. Now, keep in mind I’m still waiting for a few payments from my client to come in, but it’s still not going to be a big lump of money this month.

My expenses for May were huge, I’ve paid over a hundred for my website hosting and transfer, then another hundred for privacy policy and terms and conditions.

But I’m being honest here, being a freelancer comes with many risks like that. As someone who doesn’t have a comfortable emergency fund yet, it’s a bit scary.

CONCLUSION

Well, this was a very lengthy blog post, I have to say. But I didn’t want to miss out on any details. I’m a little bit scared about summer time as it usually is when everything is slowing down as everyone is going on holiday, but let’s hope it won’t affect my work more than usual.

I hope that you found this blog post helpful, I do enjoy making these Business Diaries posts quite a lot. Tracking progress is my jam. Follow me on Instagram if you want to see more of me or read more about business here. Also, check out my podcast The FOXY SOUL Show.

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