Below is a review of my monthly goals that I put together last month when I posted on my 2016 blogging goals.
1. Double my traffic based on number of views as tracked by Blogger
Accumulate 3,000 views per month
2. Increase my Twitter following by accumulating 3K followers
Accumulate 225 followers per month
3. Increase my Pinterest following by accumulating 300 followers
Accumulate 25 followers per month
4. Increase my Instagram following by accumulating 10K followers
Accumulate 833 followers per month
5. Increase my Bloglovin following by accumulating 100 followers
Accumulate 8-9 followers per month
APRIL REVIEW - MY NUMBERS
I didn't quite meet any of my goals, but I was able to increase my following in all categories except for Bloglovin'. I'm pretty happy overall with my progress, but may need to rethink my strategies and focus on one or two social platforms in a given month. There were tons of great suggestions and articles on how to increase a blog's following on each of the social medias that I used throughout the month. Below I've given a bit of detail on the strategies I applied toward increasing awareness of my blog.
Two apps that I've found useful for Twitter - Hootsuite, a scheduling app and Crowdfire, a comparison app to track followers/unfollowers on Twitter and Instagram. I started using Hootsuite to post old blog posts to try and get them more exposure as well as schedule thank you tweets to new followers. I've fallen off using Hootsuite, but I used Twitter a lot less this past month than I did previously. This was due to my focused efforts on Instagram.
However, at the end of the month, I joined two Twitter chats, which I really enjoyed. The first one was a chat promoted by Bloglovin' and led by Nicole Feliciano +momtrends (Twitter handle @momtrends). She has 10+ years of blogging experience and let everyone ask basic blogging questions using tag #BloglovinBoss. The second one was hosted on FB and Twitter by Jen over at Jenerally Informed (Twitter handle @QueenMomJen) and Julie DenOuden over at Girl On the Move (Twitter handle @jmdenouden) with tag #blogstaycation. I liked the chats because it was a ton of engagement with people and provided useful insights.
By luck, I found a Pinterest link party two weeks ago. The first week, I participated in the link party, posting pins from my blog posts. One of my pins won, which was exciting! The other exciting piece of news is that Kathleen, who runs The Blogger's Lifestyle and started the Pinterest Game link party, was looking for cohosts. Charlotte from Charlotte's Corner and myself joined as new cohosts for link party last week. Details on the link party can be found in this post. If you win one of the two games, everyone must pin that pin in addition to promoting and linking to their pins.
My other strategy that I've tried and seems to be working is looking for popular pins. If you go onto Pinterest and just look at popular category, you can scroll through the top pins. I've been following those pinners with large followings whose pin aesthtic I like and pinning those popular pins. Since I started doing that, I gained 12 more followers. I think that's pretty decent since that increase happened in just 3 days.
Since I found that great post by 1-2-3 Neat & Tidy on participating in IG giveaway, I went on Instagram and searched for #iggiveaway. I found a couple of ongoing giveaways and tracked it back to A Year of Boxes. I emailed Sarah and she added me to a mailing list for IG giveaways. I participated in one last month and gained 620 followers, bumping me up from 165 to 785. Since the giveaway ended, I've slowly lost followers as well as gained new ones so it's hard to tell what my growth will be going forward. Other useful things that I've done as well: 1) Comment every day on other people's posts. 2) Use a consistent set of 13 hashtags on every single one of my posts in the comments section after posting 3) Participate in a weekly IG chat loop, #MondayNightMingle. Not only have I met some really nice ladies (who leave extremely thoughtful comments), I got a chance last night to host #girltalk IG chat loop. I've found a few other chat loops as well (another example - one on Tuesdays - #TuesdayCoffeChat). These are nice because you're not required to follow as many people and gives you a chance to interact and meet other IG users that have similar interests.
Bloglovin' was the only area where I made no progress and I haven't been successful in finding strategies on increasing a blog's following on this social media platform. I'd like to increase my following since I have an interest in doing Activate Campaigns. Currently, I've gone on and found a few other lifestyle blogs whose content I like and started following them. I hope that if I continue to comment on their blog posts, I can increase awareness of my own blog.
A few other things that have happened over the past month. 1) I hope you noticed, but the blog has a new template & layout. I think it gives my blog a sleeker, more streamlined appearance while offering features I like on other blogs - such as most popular posts and posts of similar interest at the end of a post. 2) I started a FB page this weekend for my blog. I finally bit the bullet and went on FB. I haven't invited family and friends to like the page - baby steps people, baby steps. I hope this round up helps for those of you that are new to blogging. I would love for you to share strategies, tips, and pointers that you've learned that have helped increase your following. What social media platform are you having the most success with? This post will be shared through these link up parties.