HOW TO DOUBLE YOUR PAGEVIEWS IN JUST FOUR MONTHS
If there’s one thing most bloggers could ask for, it would be more pageviews.
We’d also like Instagram to stop messing around with the algorithm, but hey ho.
Pageviews form the core of your blog. Yes, so many other aspects make up your online presence. You need a great design, a marketing strategy and a mailing list. All of these can help to grow your blog - they’ve helped improve mine and I’ve written about all of them.
But here’s the catch. None of the above matters, if you’re not bringing in the pageviews. Fact. It might be a harsh truth (and I know it’s just not about the numbers), but it’s true.
So today, I wanted to share with you the exact strategies I used to double pageviews on my blog in just four months. I went from 5,000 a month, to 10,000 a month, to now over 20,000. And yes, these are things you can keep doing to get more results. Let’s go!
I know you guys like a bit of evidence (and this is the first time I’m doing this publicly) - but here are my pageviews.
This is a screenshot from my Google Analytics in September 2016.
This is a screenshot from my Google Analytics in January 2017.
*Side note: I was SO conscious of the downtime that usually happens in December because of Christmas and holidays. But NOPE. That month was actually when my pageviews increased the most using these tips that I’m about to share with you!
How I Doubled My Pageviews in Four Months
I REDEFINED MY CONTENT STRATEGY AND FOCUSED ON CREATING VALUABLE CONTENT
Ok. So looking back through some of my old blog content from late 2017/early 2016 - it’s good, but it could be better.
And before that, when I wasn’t even blogging about building an online presence, they were really really bad. I’m talking like less than 500 words, rubbish images, boring-topic kind of bad. (If you’ve stuck with me since then, I just want to say a massive THANK YOU).
The reason why I started this way was because I thought the most important thing was to get content out there. And I mean every day, Monday to Friday. The thought of creating that much content for my blog now? Man. There’s no WAY I could do that. If you do, you are a blogger extraordinaire. Seriously.
If I could, of course I’d blog every day. There’s nothing I love more than creating content. I already have a plan for what I’d post every day, that’s how much I’d love it. But because I want to publish seriously valuable blog posts, I’m sticking to one to two posts a week, which soon will hopefully go up to around three a week.
And as we all know, writing a blog post isn’t as simple as just writing a blog post. It means planning them, formatting them, scheduling them.
So first up, I made Google Analytics my best friend. When I was doing the analysis for this post, I went back to the point where the change started so I could see what was working.
I looked at what content was getting shared on Twitter and Pinterest. This post went viral - it’s had over 45,000 shares and counting. I wrote it in May 2016. It’s still my most popular article. Why wasn’t I creating more content like this?
On top of that, I didn’t want to start writing about anything and everything when it came to building an online presence. I wanted to do two things:
- Write topics based on my experience and expertise so you knew the content was coming from someone knowledgeable. I now have just two umbrella categories for A Branch of Holly: Online Presence and Productivity.
- Make sure my personality was infused throughout my content so you knew that I was the one writing it.
That’s why my blog-every-day plan now includes more lifestyle content.
You’ve got to remember that the person writing a blog post is a human and they’re communicating with other humans. We can get so bogged down with the world of SEO and image sizing, that this is something we can forget. Please stick to your voice. It’s the one thing that is going to make you stand out amongst a sea of other bloggers.
Top Tip: Read and write as much as you can. Journal, magazines, books - make it a part of your daily routine.
If you want to dig deeper into creating a successful content strategy, then read: 5 questions to help you create the best content strategy ever (+ why you need one). This is exactly how I went about changing my strategy and how I decide what to write about every single month.
I CREATED A BEAST OF A MARKETING PLAN
There’s an age old saying of “content is king”. Well, that may be true. But promotion is definitely queen.
I always come across the same piece of advice which says that you should spend more time promoting your content that you should writing it. It’s stuck with me ever since the first time I read it.
That’s why I stopped putting all my focus into content and switched it more to focus on social media promotion. For me, Pinterest was where everything changed. This platform made me see a huge different in my blog traffic. So I continue to put a lot of time and effort into it - and I even wrote a post about how I use it to help grow my blog.
There’s also a piece of advice that makes its way round the blogosphere that says you should put all your focus onto one social platform. I disagree. No social media platform that you use should be neglected.
Yes, there will be some platforms that work better for you than others. (I’m currently working on upping my Instagram game right now!) Twitter and Pinterest generate lots of traffic for me, so I spend most of my time and energy on those channels. I also use tools to help me use these platforms more effectively.
Another factor that helps with my marketing plan is that I happen to LOVE social scheduling. I use Buffer to schedule around 15 tweets per day. I schedule Facebook posts directly within Facebook, I have a spreadsheet for Pinterest and I use Planoly to schedule my Instagram. These means my main platforms are never neglected, whether I’m holiday, or asleep or whatever.
I MAINTAINED MY SQUARESPACE WEBSITE
I know, I know. I go on about Squarespace a lot on this blog. But making the switch really changed everything for me. I was really unsure about it at first. I didn’t think I was capable of making my own website, firstly because I wasn’t very good at the design aspect, and second because I didn’t know any code.
Lots of people told me not to worry and that I wouldn’t regret it, but there was only one problem. I needed the time to make it happen. Then, when I was using a trial on Squarespace, I did something where my website on Blogger went down. So I had no other choice but to make the switch.
The great thing is that because I was using Squarespace on a trial basis, I’d already built my website and made a note of exactly how I wanted it to look. Fonts, colours, layout, everything. I wrote about how I made the transition (it’s one of my most popular posts on this blog) and I’m even thinking about creating more in-depth tutorials.
With Squarespace, I have full control, can design it exactly how I want it with drag-and-drop features, PLUS it’s got a great analytics section.
I DID SOME RESEARCH
I’ve written in a blog post before that there’s no point in carrying out strategies unless you’re going to evaluate whether they’ve worked.
So I did some research using Google Analytics. I viewed all my posts and looked at which ones were generating the most pageviews and engagement. When I found them, I started repinning them to all my relevant boards. My next plan is to go back through them, reformat them and add content upgrades to them, to make them easier to read and even more valuable.
I’m also going to edit the images where I need to so they fit in with my current branding (and make sure they’re pinnable too). You can use Canva for this to make sure you’re creating the best image possible for your blog. Plus, this way you’ll have a template for all your future posts, which will really speed up the creation of them.
Here’s the main blog post image for this article again, just so you can see an example.
You can’t just create content willy-nilly about what you feel like. It’s super important to look at which pieces of content are generating the most traffic and where that traffic is coming from. You can’t do it all. If you’ve been working on increasing your traffic from Facebook and it just isn’t improving, maybe it’d be worth hitting pause on that and focusing on another channel instead.
Sometimes, you have to say no and it’s important to remember that you have the power to do this.
P.S This is a skill you can you use throughout your life.
When I looked through my Google Analytics and previous content, this was when I really redefined the purpose for my blog. I thought about what I wanted it to be about, what I was passionate about, what I wanted to achieve and who I wanted to help through my content.
When I’d decided on these factors, I wrote them in a document and now I make sure that every piece of content I write reflects this purpose.
And just in case you’re interested, the foundation of my purpose is to help and inspire people by taking them through the steps I’ve made to get to where I am today. That means not only talking about the strategies that have worked for me in terms of digital marketing and building an online presence, but also sharing motivation and relatable lifestyle content too.
Sure, a lot of people tell you to “niche down”, and while I’m certain of who I’m targeting, that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about other things that relate to life as a creative blogger or small business owner as well. This makes sense to me. I hope to show that yes, the hard work will all be worth it, but you can do it alongside building your own fulfilling life too. That’s what makes up A Branch of Holly.
I PUT MORE FOCUS ONTO MY MAILING LIST
I get it - bloggers either love or hate email lists. I believe they’re a must-have. Of course, it’s not so great when you don’t have any signups. But when you’ve got an email list of over 1,000 people, you can guarantee that when you send something out your list, HUNDREDS of people will see it.
Your mailing list should mean more to you than social media, your YouTube channel, and most things actually. But in order to see real results, you’ve got to put the right strategies in place. This comes from creating content upgrades for your blog posts and opt-in incentives.
Having a mailing list is the best way to connect with your audience on a more personal level. It’s the reason why people will keep coming back to your blog time and time again. And your mailing list will grow massively, when you start offering free stuff (templates, swipe files, downloads, email courses, worksheets - the possibilities are endless).
What makes them special is that they’re just for your mailing list subscribers. You can’t view them on your blog or on your social channels - your readers have got to hand over their email address to get the good stuff. Then, you’ve got their email address for life.
I hope this post has given you some actionable tips that you can add to your to-do list right now.
What was the main takeaway you got from this article? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!