History in the Making

State of the Blog: July 2018

I have decided to take a step in blog accountability- I will be doing a “State of the Blog” post twice a year, in July and January! I find it incredibly frustrating when bloggers talk about having growth but don’t give you any tangible numbers to work with. Did you grow by 200%? Does that mean that you grew by several hundred followers, or you added 10 followers when you were starting with 5? And what are you doing to achieve that growth? Do I need to pay to hear anything actually useful? In these updates, I’ll be sharing my percentage of growth, as well as the current number of followers, and what I have been doing for each social network to grow!
State of the Blog, July 2018

I’m hoping that my experiences can potentially help other people out there- I have the network, percentage of growth, and number of followers (rounded to the nearest 10) included here! For each network I quickly share what I’ve done with it in the first half of the year (including what worked and what didn’t), what I plan to do in the second half of the year, and what my specific goals are. I find making measurable goals more helpful- sometimes I fall short, but I have still learned something from it, and vague goals are difficult to succeed at! So, without further adieu, the stats…

WordPress: 70.9% growth (2200 current)

My incredible amount of WordPress follower growth is largely down to me being featured on WordPress Discover- in the span of 2 1/2 months, I’ve gained 800 followers, which is pretty nutso. I wish I had tips on how to get featured for you, but I’ve honestly no clue as to how or why I was chosen! I’ve also gotten back into regularly commenting on WordPress blogs, and I try to comment on two blogs a day.
2nd Half 2018 Goals: Start doing blog roundup posts again, quarterly instead of monthly.

Facebook: 78% growth (130 current) 

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Oh, Facebook, you weirdo of a social network. I find Facebook particularly pointless- Facebook wants pages to pay for people to see their product (aka my blog), but I’ve not found Facebook ads particularly useful at the end of the day. My growth is largely due to Facebook follow threads in blogging groups, but I haven’t seen much interaction changes outside of those few blips. I don’t put much stock in Facebook anymore, so I’m not too bothered by low referrals!
2nd Half 2018 Goals: Reach 150 followers.

Instagram: 61.3% growth (420 current)

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I have spent the last month or so focusing on Instagram, and I finally broke the 400 follower mark after spending about 2 months hovering! I find Instagram to be a difficult beast; I don’t particularly like super-themed accounts because I find I get bored of them rather quickly, and a lot of people never actually respond to comments. (To everyone who says, “Instagram is a SOCIAL network, you have to be SOCIAL”, I am being social. A lot of people aren’t social in return.) I am finding that using small-ish hashtags and actively following and engaging with 5-10 new accounts a week is helping, and I’m actually enjoying Instagram a lot more now!
2nd Half 2018 Goals: Reach 600 followers; come up with a unique hashtag for people to use. 

Twitter: 18% Growth (390 current)

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I am going to admit that I have not been paying close attention to Twitter in the last 6 months; I need to make it a part of my daily routine again! I find Twitter frustrating in regards to blog traffic. A lot of people will share things on Twitter, but in my own experience, not much comes from those shares. I think that there are a LOT of voices yelling into the void on Twitter, and it can be difficult to get your own voice out there. However, I am hoping to focus on using it to build relationships with other bloggers and possibly even brands!
2nd Half 2018 Goals: Reach 500 followers; participate in Twitter chats twice a month. 

Pinterest: 212.2% growth (270 current)

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Pinterest has been a rousing success for me, I have to say! No, I don’t have 10,000 followers but I’m feeling like I’ve really got a handle on it now. According to Pinterest itself, the first 5 pins of the day are very important- so, I spend a minute pining 5 of my own pins in the morning, and then throughout the day I spend about 15 minutes total pinning other pins. I transitioned to a business account on Pinterest, which allows me to see some fantastic analytics, including the fact that I have 96k monthly viewers and 4.1 monthly engaged pinners. I know that everyone touts Tailwind, but unfortunately Tailwind is not in the budget!
2nd Half 2018 Goals: Reach 400 followers; reach 200 monthly referrals from Pinterest. 

Blog Growth Overall: 60.9% (2710 current)

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Overall, I am exceptionally happy with my blog growth in the last half year. Personally, this has been an incredibly difficult year, and I don’t know that it will be getting easier- the blog has been a fantastic focus for me, and the community here has been wonderful in supporting me. I will be working with a blogging consultant for the next year to see where I can take my blog, and I am hoping start monetising soon. I hate the feeling of being used by bloggers as a commodity, so I won’t be pushing that to the forefront but it would be lovely to earn something from the blog!
2nd Half 2018 Goals: Reach 3500 followers; earn $25 CAD from the blog (start small, friends); change theme; make a media kit. 
What social media networks do you use for your blog? What is your number one tip that any blogger could use? 
Until tomorrow,
The Historian!
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

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21 thoughts on “State of the Blog: July 2018”

    • I think that that is a great way to approach social media for a blog- work with one or two at a time until you feel entirely comfortable on it, and it’s like second nature. Otherwise, it’s like trying to keep 6 pots from burning all at once when you only have two hands!

    • Sometimes I don’t quite make that goal- I’ve been busy moving my site over as of late, and between that and trying to connect with people on Instagram, it can feel like a lot. However, I’ve discovered a few gems lately and that makes it all worth it ?

  • Thanks for your blog. I love to hear what other are doing. Yes, Facebook seems pretty worthless….I have a lot of personal connections on FB, but due to the new FB algorithms I have no idea if my friends or acquaintances even see what I post. So I have been sending links through Messenger. (Most say they never saw what I posted and thank me for sending them links to my new posts.) I have been very successful sending links, as many go to my site afterward—but it is very time consuming….However, I had several tell me when they tried to subscribe, WordPress told them they had an invalid email addresses—when it was their email address….and they were not successful signing up for my blog posts. It most likely was because the person was not computer savvy. I guess I need to ask everyone to subscribe. It seems many people don’t want to take the time to subscribe unless they are bloggers; however, they do enjoy reading my posts. In the next three months I will be exploring new avenues to reach those who would enjoy and be blessed by what I write. Congratulations on your numbers. They are FABULOUS! Thanks again for your post.

    • From what I know about Facebook and Instagram (both part of the Facebook company as a whole), your posts are only being shared with a very small percentage of your friends/followers (less than 10%), and then if it performs well with them, then it is shown to more people. It’s far more pronounced for pages rather than personal profiles. I tend not to send links, as sending too many in a short period of time can get you marked as spam 🙁 I sometimes will post a link on my own profile and then tag people in it if I think they will truly enjoy it!
      My next big push is going to be bringing in readers who aren’t bloggers- it’s difficult to sustain a blog with only bloggers reading it. As bloggers, I think that we go out of our way to show other bloggers that we appreciate what they do, and give follows and likes to show support- non-bloggers don’t do that, so I need to figure out how to make that happen!

    • Thank you!! I am hoping this will go a long way to keeping me accountable, and help others, as well! I will certainly let you know- the current problem I have with Twitter chats is that a lot of them are in the evening in the UK during the week, so while I am at work :/

  • Interesting! I’m always curious about what works for others. I like Twitter and Pinterest but am not really into Instagram.

    • I’m so glad to hear this helped!! I find it really frustrating when people hide their numbers- I’m not judging anyone at all for how much or how little of a following they have, it just gives more context when they say “THIS worked for me”!

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