Hey y’all! I don’t normally talk about bloggy stuff on the blog, but thought I’d share my experience today just in case it can help others. I want to tell you about how I almost quit my blog at the end of last year, and somehow just ended up now with what I consider my most successful month of blogging ever.
As you could tell from my archives, I didn’t blog at all from Nov X to Dec Y. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have a major success story after my Marine Corps Marathon, where my big ass hairy goal was to beat Oprahs time of 4:29. I DID get a 14 minute PR, and on a hot day. But I wanted something amazing and was a bit down in spite of what I had accomplished.
And Work got busy.
I almost quit my blog
So after a quick marathon update post, I didn’t blog for a month. Part of why I didn’t blog was just to stay afloat schedule-wise– I’d taken on a new coaching gig, and my day job was very busy and stressful that month too. But even after I’d gotten a chance to come up for air, part of me was wondering, why do I do this? Who wants to hear what I have to say?
I got rejuvenated at the Windy City Bloggers holiday party, and was inspired to post again. I took some time to figure out what I want my cadence to be, and a bit on new focus. I started to dig myself out of the mental hole.
I decided I wanted to blog 3 times per week and two weekend posts per month, for approx 14 posts per month. It seemed doable and more reasonable than in my mind the daily blogging I felt like I should be doing.
So somehow I set out to do that, from a month off, and ended up having what I consider my most successful month in blogging ever.
How I Define Success
- More users than in any other month for a year and a half
- High page views (not my highest ever, Oct 2016 was higher, but January did not seem like quite as much effort). (My most popular post from January? Four Tips for Beginning Runners)
- Significant growth in my Instagram following without much effort (follow me @LaurenRuns)
So what do I attribute my success to?
- Consistency. Even though I set out to post 3 times per week, when I looked back on my statistics tracker, I actually posted more than any month ever! Say wha? Why did I feel like it was so hard before?
- Beyond my new posts, I did a bit of work on social media. Instagram is fun and I tried to publicize my posts there a bit more than I had in the past. My friend Monica is great about this with her blog Nourish & Fete. She will post a photo of the delicious baked good, and then mention that there is a link to the post in her Instagram profile. I’m trying to follow her lead.
- Pinterest. I’ve heard that it’s great for publicity, and we’re all one viral pin away from blogger success, right? I have tried to post my items to Pinterest, and decided to finally invest in Tailwind to help (affiliate link). Tailwind has a new tribe feature, and you don’t even have to be a Tailwind user to be in a tribe. Basically it’s a small group that shares each other’s pins to Pinterest. I started this Running & Fitness tribe and please feel free to join up! I found more traffic to my blog from Pinterest once I started this, even though I haven’t had any pins of my own site actually get too much traction quite yet. Follow me on Pinterest too!
- Blogger Community. It takes a village! I’ve also focused on trying to get to and comment on anyone’s blog who commented on mine, which is something I was not consistent about in the past. I wasn’t perfect, but I tried hard and found some lovely new blogs to follow.
Some of the new-to-me blogs that I think everyone should check out:
- Chocolate Runs Judy – she’s got a great voice and aligned in similar running interests to me!
- Running on the Fly – I “met” Kim through the October Blog Hop that I participated in, and enjoy her personality that she applies to her posts! Always cheerful!
- Sweet Miles – she’s a mama runner and I love the fresh look on her blog, and the good mixture of recipes, lifestyle and running.
These aren’t ALL the new blogs that I’ve become connected with, but just a few I wanted to share with you today!How I almost quit my blog but ended up with my most successful month ever! Click To Tweet
So what’s next? Obviously the most important thing is for me to continue to build the consistency in my blogging and the new habits I’ve started above. More importantly, I’m reflecting on how I almost derailed finding my blogging voice and what I perceive as finally success in this blog of mine!
But in addition to keeping the groove on, I’d like to take any extra time to go through and clean up older content. What posts could I improve the photos on, create a Pinterest graphic for, and share away? What posts are still relevant that I could share when I’m writing about similar content?
Linking up with Deb for the Wednesday Word. This week’s word is Derail.
QOTD: Bloggers – how do you define success for your blog? Non-Bloggers: If you don’t have a blog, what’s holding you back? How did you find my blog?