Well, another month has gone by! It’s starting to feel like summer and I am about to make the biggest transition in my life by moving to Cape Town, South Africa in T-minus 16 days to be with my soon-to-be-fiance! But, let’s stay on track. Let's look at how the month of May went in terms of my website?
I MADE MY FIRST DOLLAR ONLINE! That’s right…it was only one United States Dollar…but it is still a dollar more than I made last month! This is exciting and shows that what I have been implementing on my site according to my training at Wealthy Affiliate has been working.
I have been posting regularly (not as regularly as I would have liked according to my goals for May) and my traffic has been slowly increasing. This website is approaching the 3 month old mark which is, apparently, the age when Google starts to actually consider your site legitimate.
I have already been getting a small amount of organic traffic, which is super encouraging! I can only imagine what that means once Google actually thinks my site is legit! Now let’s have a look at exactly what I did in the month of May.
What did I do this month?
Unfortunately, I did not meet my goal of 3 posts per week. Instead, I averaged 2 posts per week, which makes for 8 total new posts for the month. I posted on a variety of topics from website building to theme selection to plug-in reviews.
Here is a list of everything I wrote this month:
- How To Determine If An Online Offer Is Legit – 4 Simple Tests
- How To Allow Visitors To Self-Subscribe To Your WordPress Website – 4 Simple Steps
- WP Review Plugin – The Easiest Way To Create Beautiful Review Posts
- How To Create A Free WordPress Website In 30 Seconds
- 7 Great Responsive Themes For Your WordPress Blog
- 10 Characteristics Of A Great Blog Theme
- 4 Simple Steps To Build Your WordPress Website With Wealthy Affiliate
- What Are WordPress Categories? – How You Can Use Them To Group And Organize Your Posts
I decided that I really wanted to create a cool visual experience for my visitors that is unique to my website only. That means I will use little to no stock imagery anywhere within my site. I also spent a lot of time creating my own feature images for each of my posts. I think they give a really fun and unique feel to my homepage. I also created a new website logo and favicon. Please let me know what you think in the comments!
If you scroll down my homepage I think you will see a noticeable evolution of what I have been creating. I’m starting to go more towards the very refined, rendered, and fun text based images. It’s actually pretty fun and gives me an outlet to release my creativity through images rather than words only.
Increasing Visitor Engagement
I have begun using the Subscribe To Comments plugin to allow users to be notified by email of any follow-up comments they may receive. It always annoys me when I ask a question on a blog and have to manually check to see if it has been answered. I don’t want my visitors to have to do this. Hopefully, this will allow for some more conversation in my comments sections and will bring back more return visitors.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
I created a Google AdWords account many months ago to do some PPC advertising for a client who’s website I developed. I was given a $100 coupon by AdWords that had just been sitting in my account so I decided to jump in and see what I could do with it.
I spent a total of $35 of that coupon and directed a good amount of traffic to my site. It is also through this campaign that I got my first 6 referrals to Wealthy Affiliate, and also my first $1 of online income!
Obviously $35 spent for $1 of income is not really too good. I realize I went in kind of naively, but I was getting impatient. I think it was a good experience, but now I really need to go back and analyze the numbers and my landing pages and see how I can turn it into a more profitable venture. It did prove to me though that PPC is definitely a good source of traffic and potential revenue.
I really did not focus too much on developing my social media sites. I have been using HootSuite to schedule all of my new posts. I share each post based on a system I read over at kissmetrics.com. I haven’t really been actively engaged in my social network profiles so all of my new followers have come through my regular posting of my and others’ content.
This was a good month for traffic. My numbers have improved in most categories (even if you exclude the PPC traffic). I have included the increase (more desired number) or decrease (less desired number) compared to last month in parenthesis after each number.
Total Visitors: 315 (+234)
Unique Visitors: 267 (+196)
% New Visitors: 84.76% (-2.89%)
Pages/Session: 2.10 (-0.28)
Average Session Duration: 2:27 (+0:07)
Bounce Rate: 63.49% (+1.76%)
I think one area I really need to work on is my bounce rates, especially with the CPC and organic traffic as they are both around 80%.
This month I have received four different types of traffic: “(none)”, cpc, organic, and referral. I believe that a vast majority of the “(none)” traffic is direct traffic coming from my fellow Wealthy Affiliate members checking out my progress. The referral traffic is a mixture of people coming through comments I have made on other blogs and my social media profiles.
(none)/(direct): 206 (+153)
cpc: 66 (+66)
organic: 29 (+20)
referral: 14 (-2)
To me the organic number is the most important number here. I have more than tripled my organic traffic from last month which is great. The referral traffic has decreased, but I think this is probably because I have not been active in my social media profiles.
Social Media Profiles
One of my goals for the next month will be to go through my profiles and polish them up with better graphics and branding. Right now they look rather incomplete. This is probably a big reason I’m not getting more followers.
Monthly Revenue: -$77.98
Expenses = -$78.98
- Wealthy Affiliate Membership: $47
- AWeber Membership: $19
- MyThemeShop Subscription: $9
- NameCheap (Hosting): $3.98
Income (Conversions/Revenue) = $1.00
Totals Over Time: -$166.91
- Expenses: $167.91
- Income: $1.00
- Total Profit: -$166.91
Last Month’s Goals
Well, I didn’t quite meet all of the goals I set last month. Most of my missed goals were in the area of increasing my social media following. I have no legitimate excuses for this so I will set new goals for this next month and strive to meet them this time!
- Post a new article or page three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday) NO
- Get one sale! YES
- Get over 250 visitors to my site YES
Increase my social media following to:
- 10 Facebook Page likes NO
- 100 Twitter followers YES
- 10 Google Plus Business Page followers NO
- 20 Pinterest followers NO
- 10 email list subscribers NO
My Goals For June 2014
I need to be a bit conservative for this month’s goals, since I will be losing about a week of working time due to my move to South Africa. I am going on a five day journey to get there which includes a three hour car drive, a wedding, a 7 hour train ride (I’m not even out of the country yet), two overnight flights for a total of 21+ hours of flying, 8 hour layover in Munich, and one more flight in South Africa. I love traveling so I’m actually pretty excited for this! Anyways…my goals for June are as follows:
- Post a total of 10 new posts this month (about 2-3 per week)
- Get three sales (I’m not worried about amounts, I just want the sales)
- Get over 750 visitors to my site
- Get over 75 organic visitors to my site (included in total above)
- Reduce the bounce rate for organic visitors to 70.00% (it’s at 78.57% now)
Increase my social media following to a total of:
- Facebook: 15 page likes
- Twitter: 250 followers
- Google Plus Business Page: 20 followers
- Pinterest: 30 followers
- Email List: 10 subscribers
Well, didn’t I just say I need to be conservative…I don’t think I followed my own advice! But it’s good to set lofty goals right? Let’s see what I can do! Please subscribe to my email list and follow one of my social profiles to make sure you don’t miss next month’s update…maybe I’ll have a positive number in my post title (one can only hope right?).
To see how far I've come, visit all of my Income Reports.
What do you think? What steps should I take next? Do you have any questions about what I have done or why I have done what I did? If so, please drop me a comment below!