If you followed this blog since the beginning, you might have remembered that I had a monthly series called #RealChat. You might also realized that I stopped writing those because I never had a clear guide to write these #RealChats.
What they really are is a reflection of what I did with my blog last month, what experiments worked, what didn’t, what I’ve accomplished and what I could’ve done better. These types of posts can help with accountability — something very popular in the online space even though accountability groups aren’t my thing. But we’ll see.
Well, I’m bringing back this series this month (and hopefully, months after this too).
In these #RealChat, I will shed light into:
- What projects I’ve worked on for that month
- What didn’t went so well and what I could’ve done better
- My most popular blog post this month
- My projects and goals for next month
- Describe my month in one word
- What you can take away from this? How can you take action?
September was overall a great month!
A few highlights that I’ll talk about are:
- How my Pinterest traffic 2.5x this month after it stagnated for two months a couple months back
- How I created a mini workshop on a whim in a week
- How setting 2-week sprints and using Trello has been my game-changer!
What went well
1| 2.5x-ing my Pinterest traffic. If you follow my blog regularly, you know my Pinterest traffic has grown up to and started to stagnate in April and May of this year. I spent most of July and August overhauling my Pinterest account. I updated everything on my Pinterest account including:
- Creating all new board covers
- Auditing my personal boards
- Creating a new slew of blog posts
- Creating at least 2 pins for each blog post and A/B testing those pins
- Deleting underperforming pins
- Leaving low-ranking group boards
And really, the last two things on that list is really something you should be doing! Joining one high performing board is better than joining 10 average, mediocre boards. Over the last month, I had 2 pins that went viral and contributed to half of my traffic last month.
And guess what?
The pins went viral on the same group board!
I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
But if there was one thing I’d say that contributed to my growth was that in July and August, I was on a mission and created a new series of blog content. Also, I created at least 2 pins for each post to A/B those pins. More pins also means more points of entry to my blog from various boards on Pinterest. Pinterest is a platform that loves users who adds new, original content consistently.
What you can do: If you’re struggling with your Pinterest traffic, there’s a couple things you can do:
- Create brand new content on your blog and create pins for those blog posts
- Update your pins and test new styles and colors. My old pins were quite bland compared to my recent ones
2| Created and soft launched a product. This one was unexpected. I planned my calendar and goals for the next three months, up til the end of November. I wanted to create and launch one product before the end of November, but I ended up doing it in the middle of September.
I completely did it on a whim though. In fact, I had two product ideas and after outlining both of them, I proceeded with the idea that I was ready to tackle. I saw that so many people had issues with the tech behind starting and launching a blog. I wanted to create a system that made starting and launching that only takes 2 weeks (and no longer than that).
If you’re someone who has trouble taking action, then perfection is not your goal. You need to feel empowered that you’re capable of doing this. I’ve launched blogs in the past where I felt like I was so burned out because I waited to publish 20 posts . And until my blog design was perfect I refuse to launch.
Also, so many people get so caught up in the little tech details, but you can easily tackle that in a matter of minutes if you have someone guiding you. I threw together a system with a basic WordPress tech training library, how to write your first 5 blog posts in less than a week, and how to create and set up the tech for your first opt-in freebie.
I did a soft launch for “Blog Successfully.” It’s an evergreen workshop so you can purchase it any time.
3| Setting kickass habits and using Trello. I think I owe my sanity and productivity to Trello more than any piece of PAID software I use.
Isn’t that ironic?
The software is free and I use it more than my paid softwares.
If you’re subscribed to my email newsletter, you probably already got first dibs on this. Trello is one of those project management softwares that you probably need even before you start your blog.
I mean, that thing can literally organize your LIFE!
Because planning will set you free. I break all my blogging projects into different Trello boards and I focus on 2-3 boards at a time. I also have a board with my big 3-month goals and a board where I just filter through what I’m suppose to do that week.
But once I have my goals set, I know what I need to do to meet those goals. Then I plan out the projects before I drill down to the basic tasks. One of the worst situations to be in as a blogger is to ask yourself, “Now what?”
I can really do better when it comes to following the advice of doing 2-week sprints, but honestly, I haven’t been doing a review every 2 weeks. I could definitely be a little more diligent on reviewing what’s been working and what hasn’t been.
What you can do: Use Trello (and sign up for an account if you don’t have one yet).
- Start off by creating a few boards for the various projects you’re working on right now. Start with 1-2 boards and slowly expand when you need to.
- Create lists that showcase each phase for each task you’re doing
- Inside each card, breakdown each task into the smallest action you can take (as you get use to your workflow, you can slowly eliminate this step)
What I could’ve done better
Although I’m pretty satisfied with how the month of September went, there were two things that I could’ve done better. They were:
- The sales page for “Blog Successfully”
- My email newsletter strategy
1| The sales page. I tried to get the workshop videos done and published in one week. I met that goal for the most part. The entire project took 1.5 weeks to be exact and by the end of it all, I was quite tired that I let myself go on the sales page — which is pretty ironic because that’s the page where I’ll be connecting with people.
The sales page isn’t “bad” per say, but I knew I’m capable of putting a bigger effort into it. I’ll work more on this in October.
2| Email newsletter strategy. I’ve been wanting to create a newsletter strategy since end of August and it’s October now. I still find it hard to write all my emails in advance because updates and announcements come up sporadically. I thought it’ll be similar to batching my blog posts, but that’s not the case.
I want my emails to “involve” my subscribers more because it’s a bit different now that they’re on my list. I usually set aside an hour to write them on a Sunday.
Most popular blog post this month
And the winner is: 11 Time Management Tips to Go From Hot Mess to Completely Under Control
This blog post went viral on Bloglovin one Sunday morning and is immensely on Pinterest as well.
One word to describe this month: whimsical?
New projects for next month
- Write a short email sequence for “Blog Successfully”
- Brainstorm my to-be YouTube channel?
What you can take away from this?
Be intentional about blogging and PLAN PLAN PLAN.
I keep thinking about this quote lately: Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll always ask yourself what to do next. And that’s when the motivation begins to dip… and you get frustrated.