No TV and no beer make Lily go something something.
All the details are kind of hazy now. It’s like I was born drunk except no one’s ever that lucky.
May 1st Month Blog Report – 1,110 Pageviews
(…holy…re-did the stats just now…I think it was actually 2,023 pageviews for my first month…I GOT THE FREAKING PAGEVIEWS WRONG LOL. Classic Lily.)
June 2nd Month Blog Report – 6,603 Pageviews (+494.86%)
July 3rd Month Blog Report – 8,616 Pageviews (+30.49%)
August 4th Month Blog Report – 9,833 Pageviews (+14.12%)
I was back to regular posting schedule in September and slugged out 12 posts in total. In addition to that, I finally stopped putting to-dos off and started loading up the Pinterest boards. I’m still in cahoots with my blog sister.
I put in about 20 hours of blog work a week in September, including writing everything and making the graphics. It’s not great and I can stand to be more productive…
I started tracking my productivity hours on my spreadsheet in Google Docs. Because of the nature of my side hustles, I need to hold myself accountable. If I don’t track the hours spent exerting actual effort then I slip back to being productive no more than 2 hours a day but telling myself I did double that. I need to reinstate having some semblance of blog goals as well.
If I don’t track my hours: I reply to emails late, I forget things, I put off things – all the time. Nothing personal, just how I am (just being honest!)
It takes me 2 days on average to reply to comments and it took me a month to get my Pinterest boards straightened out. It’s taking me 2-3 months to jump off the Board Booster bandwagon. If you are aware of my dizzy bird brain-ness already then thank you for putting up with it.
As some of you may know, I’m also started thrifting in addition to the Airbnbs I was doing. The rest of the day is dance/exercise and enjoying the modern domesticated life I was blessed with for whatever reason.
My pageviews for the month of September was 15,457. It would be much lower without my Rockstar feature. It always makes my heart pound when I see the traffic jump.
I always, always wake up my husband to tell him (usually around 3 or 4 AM PST) and he gives me a pat on the head and a kiss. SO NICE!!! EVERYTHING SO NICE YES YES!!!
BY THE WAY.
That feature of our totally beautiful money maps was a group effort. Thank you everyone on the chain-gang especially Apathy and Budget on a Stick for nailing down the anchors. Although technically it was supposed to be me and Apathy first!!! 😛 If I hadn’t gotten lazy and put the post off and off…and off until I forgot. See, I really need to track my productivity!!!
In September, I published 12 posts in total. Between you and me, September was a month of lackluster inspiration. I had to cure my writer’s block / boredom by making a horribly seizure inducing money map.
The post I appreciated the most (and felt proud of myself after writing) was Brodie’s debt and suicide story. The story was written for Dear Debt’s 2nd annual campaign as part of their Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
I’m still going the extra mile to get that post more exposure. The message is good. I spent over an hour designing the Pinterest image hoping it will continue getting attention.
The best thing about the Internet is nothing dies. I’m still very happy to have shared that story, I never even told my husband and I just told him to read it after I published it because I didn’t want to repeat it.
In September, my husband became more and more involved after I complained to him about my lackluster SEO scores. I had a composite SEO score of 28 out of 100 when the norm was actually around 40 or even 50.
Because SEO strategies cannot give immediate reports – we were just shooting in the dark for the most likely culprit. As of right now my DA is a 31, which is pretty good! David at Zero Day Finance did a quick peep for us so a shout out for that! Jared also took a peep at PA which is in it’s 40s right now. I was happy with the new numbers.
We did a variety of things so I’m not sure which ones were effective; remember SEO can’t give immediate feedback.
1. Towards the end of August, I switched my blog theme from Design Labs to Juliet by Lyra. Lyra seemed better optimized for SEO and it was free! I completely regret spending $20 to purchase Design Labs. I’m still a little grumpy when I think about it. I should have Googled the designers. Since it is an open, free for all marketplace, you really don’t know what you’re buying.
(That was literally a ton of mumble jumble to me. I just wrote what he said out word for word.)
3) Jared keep saying he didn’t do much but I think these little things helped. He also switched us from HTTP to HTTPS. I don’t think the ladder is SEO related but it’s more of a security protocol.
4) Jared populated some of the Airbnb articles with more internal links and it reduced the bounce rate immediately. Why didn’t I think of doing that before…
I did notice a small increase in organic search to the tune of 10ish referrals per day after Jared implemented the things mentioned above. Coincidence or science? Now, almost all of the drop-ins were for free Airbnb swag so I wouldn’t consider it a personal finance audience – but it does get people through the door, so good enough! 😀
Organic search became the 3rd highest referrer (from like #11?), Pinterest at #2 and Rockstar Finance holding the champion title.
My bounce rate is dead though. I think it’s around 74% but Jared said bounce rate doesn’t count for much anymore in terms of ranking (these things change depending on other factors.)
Marketing & Social Media
I try to comment on 3 blogs a day but am kind of failing at it. It takes a long time to craft a comment on mobile that isn’t riddled with spelling errors. I just listen on my screen reader and stalk/comment on Twitter, it’s good enough.
We’ve got 489 followers since the end of September. I set Board Booster and I pin other bloggers pins manually every night. I still haven’t been keeping up with my Pinterest but I’ve got a plan for October now. I’m happy for any growth because it’s passive. Things seem pretty automated so there’s not much I can do.
I’ve crossed the 2,000 follower mark! But my Twitter impressions are down and so are Twitter referrals in general. Twitter is consistent though. It’s my #4 or #5 referrer for the last 2 months and I suspect most of that is other bloggers.
I had 750 followers on my Instagram as of the end of September. I’m still not very active on this Instagram, let me bite off Pinterest first. I do enjoy the debt-free community there though. They’re honest and supportive. It restores my faith in humanity.
I got a sudden burst of traffic from Facebook towards the end of September for some reason but I have no idea why…I still don’t. How does one find out? I rarely log on…
I AM SO DUMB. I accidentally paused MailChimp for 1.5 MONTHS. AHHHHHHHHH. Thanks to Luxe, Grounded Engineer, Married with Money and Frugal Asian for telling me.
Why did it take 4 different people to tell me on separate occasions before I realized something was wrong???
I had about 168 or so email subscribers at the end of August. Not only am I surprised at that number – I’m also surprised not a lot of people unsubscribe. I figured they subscribed by mistake you know?
Shhh…don’t tell them.
Dumb Lily, they weren’t unsubscribing because you weren’t sending any OUT.
I have 250 subscribers right now. Let’s see what that number drops down to…
Goals for October
Too sleepy. Need sleep.
My only goal is to beat Septembers pageviews. I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen months of small upticks so that’s all I want right now. Maybe when I write something worthy. C’mon Yahoo Finance, notice me senpai!!!
Now I’m just blabbing. So me and Ms. FAF were chatting and she sent me songs sang by Arden Cho. It’s not my music style at all but it was really cute so I saved it to my YouTube playlist. Have a listen!
It’s “Ms. FAF-y!”
Then my song auto started and it was Rammstein. Jared started laughingggg at the stark contrast between Ms. FAF’s music vs. my angry German music. And yet we get along!
Which song do you guys like more?
Also, did anyone else know J Money is a member of Rammstein? Yup. Robbing that bank. BAD A$$.
Nice work, Lily! Mrs. FAF gave me some awesome tips for using Pinterest and I still haven’t done anything… argh! Ok, is that seriously J Money? That is bad ass indeed!! Anyway, congrats on great growth and work on your blog! And for all the laughs! 🙂
Of course it is ? would I lie?! *shifty eyes*
It’s 5am and my husband is sleeping so I can’t play your videos LOL but I love Arden Cho, she is so pretty. Didn’t know she sang. Nice report!! You’re going up, up, up! That’s a good idea about tracking your time with Google spreadsheets so you know how long you are spending. I should do that too- does that include reading and commenting on other blogs too for you?
Yes it does, it doesn’t count Twitter though, that’s for fun lol.
& yes she is pretty! It’s like what the hello, can I get two ounces of your beauty??
Dylan | Trail to FI says
Great work, and congrats on the feature! All that SEO stuff you said was gibberish to me…maybe someday I’ll learn.
Eventually I’ll nab my husband for a better 1 on 1 for a learning session. All I know is: speed is very important.
Mrs. Adventure Rich says
Oh my goodness, Rammstein! I’m crying over here from laughing too hard, I totally forgot about them (we hosted a German exchange student and we listened to them a bit during that year!)
I’m loving your blog and your style… keep it up!
Tee-hee, thank you Mrs. AR ?
Dave @ Married with Money says
Good month! 🙂 I’m proud of my September, I had my Proud DINK post score as much traffic in a weekend as I usually get in a full month, no features on Rockstar Finance or anything – just good ol’ Twitter and Facebook.
LOL at just writing what Jared tells you to. That’d be like if Kristin blogged and I did some of the backend stuff for her. 🙂 🙂
He’s a smart cookie, I’m the typist ?
Mrs. Picky Pincher says
Great job with the blog progress! If I didn’t do SEO in my full-time job I would have probably not bothered blogging at all, because it can get convoluted for non-tech/numbers people like moi lol.
Oooh, I didn’t know seo was your speciality!!!
Ember @ An Intentional Lifestyle says
That’s so awesome!! I know how hard it is to grow, but your personality comes through and makes everyone want to come back and visit! Congrats on the great month and thank goodness for our tech friendly husbands to help us with that, right?! 🙂
Yeah blogging is super saturated, I’m ok with any real increase. If it wasn’t fun and I didn’t have you guys I would have quit out of boredom 😀
Ms. Frugal Asian Finance says
Congrats on the blog traffic, feature, SEO, Pinterest and everything else in September! It’s so awesome that Jared helped you with SEO. The way you described what he did makes him sound like an SEO pro. Definitely a keeper! 😉
I didn’t know you were still listening to Arden Cho’s music hehe. When I was trying to make a bunch of Pinterest images, I did play her music in the background because it wasn’t so distracting. Now whenever I think about Arden Cho, it reminds me of Pinterest and vice versa @_@.
That maaaaaaakes sense, I should try that. Your Pinterest game is getting better and better.
The Luxe Strategist says
Girl, you gotta sign yourself up for your own email list! That way you can tell if something is wrong.
I agree with Luxe Strategist, this is what I do also.
Great progress overall Lily. Keep it up!
Yeah I’m like…pooh bear slow…I signed myself up lol. My husband is on the mailing list but he never noticed it either. He’s not a fan T^T
Mustard Seed Money says
You are absolutely crushing it. I love seeing these reports and how you’re doing. Keep up the awesome work!!!
Thank you!! <3
Great job Lily! I am with you on the SEO, it is so confusing. Actually everything to me is confusing, I think I need to borrow Jared!:) I have been spending hours just trying to understand the basics. I will check out that Auto-Optimize plugin. Your blog looks great and I love reading your post. Keep it up.
And don’t forget WP Super Cache! 🙂
Melanie, Mommy Finance says
Great report Lily! You’re improving and stats are going up which are always a good thing. I still need to figure out Pinterest. I spent the first month of October studying popular blogs (you’re one of them lol) and this week I’ll work on improving my boards and creating better images. Traffic is always a puzzle to me.
Thank you Melanie! I don’t think I’m a fast growing blog but please don’t worry. We’ll noob through this together. There are days that I’m struggling (that was all of August) and it occurred to me that if I would continue doing this: it’s gonna be for me. I do whatever I want!!!! Whatever!!!
Paige @ Fixing My Finances says
Congratulations on a awesome month! I was reading that paragraph about the SEO and all I could think was “jeeze I am so far behind on this tech stuff, how do so many bloggers know so much” so I laughed when you said Jared just told you what to write 🙂
Haha, never underestimate what I’m incapable of!!
Gabe @ The Shiny Dollar says
Awesome report. Im not even close to catching up but I’ll be trying!
Do it for you Gabe! It’s your blog!
Wow! Those are great numbers. Thanks for sharing your tips. And good job on all the social media platforms. I’ve only attempted Twitter so far. It’s tough to stay on top of all of them.
Mr. Groovy says
Thanks for the update, Lily. It’s good to know I’m not the only blogger out there who gets flummoxed managing a website. I’m glad to see that Jared is pitching in. I’m also glad to see your pageviews are going up every month. The word is getting out. The Frugal Gene is a kick-ass personal finance blog. And it’s curator is pretty awesome too.
Aw thanks Mr. G ^_^ I learned a new word today xD “flummoxed.”
Great job, congrats on being featured on Rockstar FInance!!
You and Ms. FAF should be on Yahoo Finance like real soon. They are missing out on some great potential that both of you have.
Hehe I’m slipping this message to Ms. FAF 🙂
Adam @ Minafi says
Nice job on the SEO side! That’s one area that’s going to pay off huge down the line.
Hope so Adam! Sounds like you know some stuffffff :p
Kyle @ Dr. Discount Blog says
Wow, you have an incredible blog Lily! You have great articles and tell very engrossing stories, which explain why your blog is doing so well! I just started my blog for a couple weeks and have limited traffic. Unfortunately I don’t have as great a personality as you do.
My wife and I are Asian immigrants as well, so I identify with your background. We live in SF! Been here for 6 years; it would have been a treat to read your old SF blog articles.
Anyhow, keep up the great work! I’ve signed up to your email list; hopefully your articles will inspire me to be more creative with my blog!