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Let me start out by saying: I DID NOT FORGET ABOUT THIS BLOG!
But if you’ve been reading or following at all, you might be wondering why there were only two posts in the month of October. And the easiest explanation boils down to just one word… life. There were a few significant events that occurred this past month:
1.) I got a new job.
When I quit my job last year, it was with the goal of starting my own business and working for myself. That is still the longterm aim – that hasn’t changed. However, after some careful thought, I decided it would be best, and way less risky if I took a day job for the time being.
Fortunately, the position I took is perfect for what I need! It’s a fully remote position that leverages my previous skills/experience. That means I’d have some more freedom working from home, and I’d be able to set my own schedule to boot. I was excited to get the ball rolling there, but the only downside with starting the job was some out of state traveling in the beginning – which leads me to my next point…
2.) I was away from home for 3 out of 4 weeks.
Traveling for work and traveling for pleasure are two vastly different things. And since the job I took was remote, the company had to fly me out for training away from my hometown. I didn’t sleep in my bed for nearly 3 weeks, and needless to say, my schedule got thrown for a huge loop.
How did that affect the blog & What Did I learn?
As you can see: my content volume suffered as a result. I only created 3 pages worth of content when you count my “start here” page. (That is wayyy below my avg. post volume for this blog.) But here are a couple things I learned from the experience:
1.) I Need To Plan Better
I was typically writing my content in the late morning through the afternoon. Now that those time slots were taken up, I had to try and adjust my writing schedule – which was tough for me. I tried to write in the evenings instead but found myself easily distracted and tired. I quickly found out that wasn’t going to work.
Also, I’m ashamed to say my typical posting calendar was planned, at most, a week out in advance. (Sometimes I’d have an idea for a post, plan it out, write it, and publish it all on the same day.) That was fine when this blog was newer but I knew it wasn’t going to cut it if I really wanted Mr. Smart Money to grow.
So in response, I decided to try and frontload all my important blog activities – and also plan out ALL my posts 3 months in advance. Now I’m working on the blog in the early (5-6am) before my day really starts, and planning what I’ll be posting for the rest of the quarter, instead of ‘winging it’ on the same day.
2.) It’s OK To Mess Up!
This one was big for me. I’ll admit I’m guilty of being my own worst critic. When I mess up on something, my tendency is to beat myself up over it. Even worse – I’ve noticed once I mess up, I can easily let the mistake snowball into bigger and bigger mistakes.
Last month, I realized this one key truth: It’s OK to mess up.
Stuff happens. No one is perfect. What’s more important is how you respond to your mistakes. Do you learn from them and grow? Or do you keep repeating the same ones over again?
Do you let your mistakes turn into self-pity, or do you convert it into fuel to push you forward?
I realized that if it’s the latter – it’s okay to trip up. It’s even expected. After all, if my longterm goal for this blog is on a 3-5 year time horizon; it’s not the end of the world if I mess up early on. I just can’t let those mistakes compound.
October 2017 Traffic
Ok, so enough of that – let’s jump right into the numbers.
- Pageviews: 2,213
- Unique Users: 1,266
- Bounce Rate: 83.74%
- Avg. Session Duration: 1:18
These numbers make me happy and sad at the same time. I’m ecstatic because even though I hardly created any new content for October, my pageviews actually went up compared to last month. However, I’m sad because my bounce rate and avg. session duration also went up during October.
An 83% bounce rate is not good.
What’s the cause of the increased bounces?
My guess here is mainly 2-fold.
1.) I experimented once again with Facebook advertising and it sucked.
If anyone is a pro here, I’d love to talk with you. Because for the life of me I just can’t get Facebook ads working how I’d like. I’ve read so many articles touting it as the next big thing, but no matter how much I tweak it, I get the same results – high bounce rates, low time on page, low engagement, low conversions.
A lot of my new sessions came from low-quality Facebook traffic.
2.) My organic traffic volume went way up, and Google Analytics counts every 1-page view as a bounce regardless of engagement.
I didn’t know this – but every 1-page view, regardless of interaction or time spent on page, counts as a bounce, and will not go towards your averages.
So what that means: if you have a landing page that’s ranking high on Google, and someone clicks it. They could read your entire page for 3-5 minutes, click an affiliate link out of the page, and Google Analytics will by default record it as a bounce and log a 0:00 minute session duration. Obviously, that traffic is still high quality, and the user is engaged, but the reporting doesn’t reflect that.
I’m still working out the kinks on changing the parameters for what counts as a “bounce” in my G.A. – but I have a feeling once I get it figured out – the numbers should change a bit.
Breaking It Down
As you can see – organic search is now making up the large bulk of my pageviews and sessions. I’m excited to see all the effort I put into content marketing and SEO is being rewarded by Google. (It’s now just a matter of continually experimenting and tweaking to make sure these organic users stay engaged with my content.)
Just check out this organic search snowball:
This graph is my traffic from Google over the past 3 months. (WOOT!)
October 2017 Income
October was my best month so far from a pure dollar standpoint!
October 2017 Expenses
- Facebook Ads: $30
I have no more plans of buying FB ads in the near future. 🙁
A Few Thoughts In Closing
October was the first month where I began to receive a lot more requests for either guest-posting opportunities or paid/sponsored posts on this blog. I’m currently being highly selective on what kind of content I allow on here – and have still yet to find anything that I feel like is a ‘good fit’.
I’m curious to see how the rest of 2017 shakes out in terms of traffic and growth for the site. From everything I’ve been reading, it seems like blog traffic really slows down during the Holidays – and since this is my first time experiencing that – I have no idea what to expect!
To end off on a positive note: I hope everyone has a great November, and an amazing Thanksgiving! 🙂
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