Hi! I know it’s been months since I’ve written something on here. Though really, it’s been less than 2 months. But I’ve been really experimenting and playing around with Pinterest traffic and finally this month, it’s taking a turn for the better! So if you want to hear more about it, then read on.
I started writing these #realchats monthly as a way to document and share my monthly digital life journeys with you. While it gives me a look back at my progress and holds me accountable, it also lets you see how things are done behind the scenes. Because truthfully, a 5-day email course that took you 20 minutes to read actually took me 2 weeks to write and refine, revise, and refine again.
So here’s what happened for the month of January 2017. *drum roll, okay maybe that’s not necessary.
#1 I wrote a FREE 5-day email course on Niche Clarity!
This is probably my biggest accomplishment for the month of January. In addition, to writing a 5-day email course, I also created worksheets to accompany almost every lesson. I use to think worksheets weren’t really helpful honestly (they make me think back to 1st grade lol), but as I plan the heck out of everything for Talence, I have piles of worksheets and papers scattered all over my desk. They are really good for brainstorming and organizing my thoughts. And someone walks into my room and sees this huge scene, “What are you really doing in here?” In fact, I’ve realized that I’ve turned my room into a mini experimental lab over the last two months.
Anyway, I digress.
In my welcome email I always ask (well my email service provider sends it automatically) my new subscribers what their biggest struggle is currently. Now I know most people don’t reply to these emails, but for those of you who did (hi!) consider your concerns answered and your voice heard. I also did a little bit of keyword research to see how various forms of the keyword “niche” ranked. Here’s the breakdown so you can also get an idea of whether your blog posts and courses are worth the time to create:
Keyword, average monthly searches, competition
- Niche, 100K-1M, low
- Blog Niche, 100-1K, low
- Creative Niche, 1K-10K, low
Although the keyword “niche” has almost a million monthly searches (People might be realizing how important it is to niche down these days?) and low competition, I chose not to rank for a single keyword. I know the competition is considered “low” by Google Keyword Planner, but it’s much less competition to rank for longtail keywords as long as there are a good dose of searches for it.
The keyword “blog niche” only had 100-1K average monthly searches, which is good, but not great. So what if on a bad month strikes and there’s only 100 searches?
Finally, I settled on “creative niche” which had the balance of 1K-10K monthly searches. I write for creatives, so the keyword was perfect. Keyword ranking, just like finding a niche, is all about being specific. The more specific, the better.
Anyway, if after all this talk and you want to find your niche (yay!), here’s the link to sign up. All I need is your name and email address and you’ll be getting an email from me every other day. Check out the course itinerary right here so you’ll know what to expect.
#2 Guest posting still works, but you need to know what your goals are.
You probably remember from my November #realchat where I said I wished I could’ve done more guest posting. Well, I did collaborate on a guest post and it got published on Jan 26. Notice that my Pinterest impressions and the people I reach have been stagnating for about a month now. On the day my guest post was published, however, the people I reached jumped from 40K to 60K overnight! Both Miranda and I promoted it from our ends, but I’m sure she should get more credit for the huge spike in impressions.
I don’t know how she does it, but the pin to my guest post currently has 144 repins (like woah) already. And don’t forget, it’s only been a little over a week!
Anyway, most people measure the success of a guest post based on how much traffic it drives back to their site. And I’m no different, even though I’m really most interested in how much of that traffic converts to into email subscribers. If they want to hear from me again, I know they’re serious about our relationship. Although I didn’t get as huge of a traffic spike as I would’ve liked, this doesn’t deter me away from writing more guest posts in the future. Miranda was very professional in our collaboration as she already has a guest posting system established so our email conversations really flowed smoothly.
If anything, I was a little bit slammed with work and writing Niche Clarity when she got back to me about writing the post. Looking back, the topics that I covered in my guest post can probably be split into three more specific posts. People will probably be more interested if I wrote about one sub-topic deeply and showed my expertise on it than three seemingly connected sub-topics. But oh wells, I’m always learning.
Here’s why I like guest posting/guest appearances:
- You get to meet other bloggers and influencers and contribute value to their audiences as well. I’m only interested in writing guest posts if our audiences are somewhat aligned. Even though the blogging and content marketing niche is saturated, it’s hard to find blogs I want to guest post on. I don’t particularly look for people with huge audiences (that’s certainly desirable too!), but I seek something where there’s a win-win for both parties.
- I like writing and it comes pretty easily to me. If writing isn’t your superpower and signature communication channel, you can consider podcasting as a way of reader/subscriber/client acquisition.
- Even if it doesn’t meet the goal I want, I still learn by failing.
- These relationships can lead into other opportunities in the future.
#3 My Pinterest traffic comes from running on autopilot.
I’ve heard so many positive things about Pinterest being a traffic generator and currently it’s finally my biggest traffic referral source. While SEO and Google drove most of my traffic (up to 30K monthly) for my previous (super niche) blog, Pinterest is definitely picking up more quickly for Talence than other search engines are.
I haven’t written a blog article for almost 2 months now so I can’t complain that my Pinterest traffic isn’t as high as I wish. I spent most of January doing behind the scenes stuff such as optimizing my Pinterest SEO keywords to reach the people I want to attract, tracking conversions to email subscribers, creating new pins for A/B testing, and researching a bit.
Also, because December was the holidays, my pin impressions plummeted and never went back up long after the holidays vanished. I was a little concerned, but after my guest post going live on Jan 26, my impressions started going up again. Now from the screenshot, you see that my impressions are reaching 120K in early February — that’s because I increased my pinning rate from 1500 pins/month to 3000 pins/month on Jan 29. I use Boardbooster to recycle and re-promote my pins on autopilot to reach new audiences who haven’t see it before.
At 3000 pins/month, it’s $30/month, which I find to be a lot, but I upgraded to promote my free email course to drive more email subscribers. Ideally, I’ll like to keep it at $20/month with 2000 pins if I’m not massively promoting something at the time.
I plan to get back to writing articles for my blog this month so hopefully I can check in with you on how well my Pinterest traffic goes.
#4 Why I switched from Mailchimp to Mailerlite — and stopped pulling my hair out.
Maybe this topic is big enough to warrant an article on it’s own, but I always feel compelled to compare these too. I’ve heard so many recommendations for Mailchimp so when I needed an email service provider, I naturally went with this. It was free to use, but I wasn’t compelled to it. Their application design appears modern, but you’re compensated with a confusing user experience. It was hard to understand how automation sequences, subscriber lists, and lead magnets hooked up together. But if you want to learn, I did create a video tutorial on it. Give or take, when I was on Mailchimp, I wasn’t inspired to send any emails to my peeps simply because I hated using the platform. I didn’t even want to login to the system so I was withering in inaction.
I switched to Mailerlite on a whim because not only was it free, but because it offered beautiful landing pages (I’m a sucker for those as nerdy as that sounds) and automation workflows.
These two features were very important in promoting my Niche Clarity email course this month. All I have to do is send people to a landing page, specific for that email course. It targets people well in that they either sign up or leave, there is no other option to browse around and get lost in a rabbit hole. After they opt-in, I’ve built an automation workflow on the back end that fires an email every 2 days to the new subscribers who wanted to take the course. Mailerlite’s 2017 new “workflow” feature makes this a no-brainer while Mailchimp probably would’ve made me pull all my hair out.
And back to you…
What have you been working on? What worked and what didn’t? How are you shifting gears and powering up for February?