Today is my first day back at the office, after a looong-ass Christmas break. I seriously don’t remember when I took such a long break from affiliate work, during all the years I do affiliate marketing for a living. The last article I wrote for my blog was posted on December 21st, so I was idle for about three weeks. WOW 🙂
The end of a year, or the start of a new one, is usually a good time to stop for a while and look back at the previous months and to summarize. So let me do the same and start this year with a summary of my blogging activity. Full 3 months passed since I started this blog, and even thou I didn’t really post for almost a month, there was still enough activity and new content posted since the last summary that I wrote 2 months ago – read the first summary HERE.
HOW MUCH CONTENT IS THERE ON THE BLOG:
There are 33 articles on the blog right now, an increase from 22 that I had when writing the first summary. Considering the month of slacking, it’s still solid growth 🙂 I know I can do better thou, so stay tuned, there are more on the way.
I started with 2-3 articles per week and I will try to stick to this, at least 2 per week should be doable. Coming up with the topics to cover is still a problem, but some of the readers already started to send me suggestions – Thanks for that and keep them coming!
I’M STARTING TO GET RECOGNIZED!
This is the thing I’m happy about the most, several bloggers mentioned me or my blog on their sites, recommending it as a good place to get information about affiliate marketing. This really makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing here.
Writing is something I really enjoy doing anyways, but getting positive feedback is what gives me the energy to write more. I guess it’s the same as with whatever you are doing, it feels good to have someone appreciate your efforts.
In case you’d like to see what the other bloggers wrote about me, here are the most recent 3 mentions :
1. Attila mentions me in his list of blogs to follow in 2017 : http://iamattila.com/links-to-great-sites/the-top-affiliate-marketing-blogs-to-follow-in-2017.php
2. Oliver Kenyon has put me on his list of “winners in affiliate marketing”. This one really made my day, since I never met Oliver and we don’t know each other. So it was 100% his genuine decision : http://www.oliverkenyon.com/2016s-winners-affiliate-marketing/
3. Looks like marketers from Ukraine discovered my blog too, Natali listed my blog in her writeup about affiliate marketing. This one is written in russian : http://ua.blog-natali.com/internet-marketing-cat/kak-rabotayet-affiliate-marketing-partnerskiy-marketing-v-ssha.html
I also found links to my blog on a few affiliate forums etc … so the word is getting out and I’m really happy about it.
I’M GOING MORE SOCIAL!
I’m not any social media expert, so I’m learning myself here too, but my presence on social media is increasing and so is my fan/followers base.
My Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/matuloocom/ has reached 1550 likes and it’s growing pretty steadily. The reach of every post is increasing too, right now I’m able to reach about 500-1000 eyeballs with any post. This depends on how well the users engage with a particular post. I’m starting ot understand this better with every post, so I will soon write some article about it too.
I also created a Twitter account, but didn’t really do anything with it for now, except for posting a few links to my articles. Here is my twitter page, follow it in case you are active on that platform : https://twitter.com/Matuloo_Com
Twitter is still a small mystery to me, I got about 80 followers already thou, without actually trying to get some. This is one of the things I want to focus on in the coming weeks. I will probably launch some small paid campaign over there too, to get some fresh eyeballs for my stuff.
I also created an account on Reddit and engaged in a few discussions, but this is turning out to be too time consuming and the results are not that hot in terms of visits to my blog. Here is the link to my user profile : https://www.reddit.com/user/Matuloo/ I will definitely hang out over there from time to time, but right now it’s not really on my priority list.
Facebook will stay my priority in terms of social presence, the results I’m getting are the best there. But I also need to work on Twitter some more for sure.
HOW ABOUT VISITORS?
The amount of visits keeps on growing, but in a bit different way than I am used from running other sites. Let me explain this further, but first let’s take a look at the traffic graph for the whole 3 months.
There are less spikes in the graph for the past few weeks, simply because I didn’t post new articles so there was nothing to share on social media. The good part is, that the “bottoms” are “higher” now. So while the lowest days used to receive about 80-90 visits, it is now sitting at about 120-130 visits, without me posting anything. So the growth is definitely there, which is awesome. Let me add that google is still not showing much love, not sure why it takes so long.
As you can see, the total amount of visits is 13.000 so far and all the metrics are similar to the previous summary. A bit more than 2 pages per visit, bounce rate slightly higher than 60% and the session duration is 2:45 minutes.
I’d like to point out one thing here, that might help you understand user behavior better, should you ever decide to run a blog too. The metrics I posted above are averages for the whole time the blog is running. Let me show you another screen, just for the first 8 days in January.
The averages look much better now, the pages per session jumped from 2.01 to 2.36 and the average session duration is now 3:36 compared to the global average of 2:45.
The explanation is very simple : so far I didn’t post anything in January, so all the visits came naturally either by following a link or it was users who already knew the blog and went there to read some article.
On the other hand, when I post a link to some new article on facebook for example, the visitors who are following me simply go and check out the latest article and then close the blog. Not all, but a % large enough to influence the stats.
This is absolutely normal when using the social channels to build your audience, people use those platforms to stay in touch with your content, they don’t go to visit your site directly. It doesn’t mean that such traffic would suck, it just behaves differently. Keep this in mind when working with social media traffic!
Let me show you one more screenshot with visitors breakup by channels.
As you can see, social media (mostly FB) is still the biggest source, but direct and referral traffic are coming close. From some reason, google analytics doesn’t track email visits correctly and makes them part of the “direct” channel. Every newsletter I send does bring clicks, for example the last one I sent resulted in almost 120 clicks.
So growing an email list is an important part of building a blog for sure. Let me take a closer look at it in the next step.
Every successful blogger out there emphasizes the importance of an email list, so obviously I’m working on this too. As you know I’m using the GetResponse platform to manage my list and so far all looks fine.
In December I purchased a license of OptinMonster, which is a tool to help you capture emails better – they have more advanced forms and better looking ones too. To my surprise, I wasn’t able to increase the amount of subscribers by using their forms. The only one that helped somewhat, was the “exit” form, that loads when you attempt to close the blog.
To be fair, I’m building an email list in a niche that must be one of the hardest to build a list in – affiliate marketing. We, the affiliates, know every single trick and are super cautious with where we enter our email addresses, so the lower opt-in % is quite normal. To be honest, I’m glad the list is growing actually, since I don’t offer any lead magnet at all.
Below is a screenshot showing the total size of the list. The open rate % at the bottom represents the last email I send out and the general open rate is pretty much the same 60%-70%.
The growth didn’t change much since the last summary, it still sits at 4-5 new subscribers per day. The total list size now is 371 members, so a significant increase from the previous 144 members. I still hope I will be able to increase the growth rate this month.
I spent some money on the blog again of course. First of all, I bought that OptinMonster license for a year for $226, this was an investment I could have spared most likely.
I also keep on running $5 per day FB ad campaign so that’s an extra $150 per month.
Other than that, there was nothing more I’d spend on the blog, except for my time 🙂
I don’t plan to invest any extra $ into the blog right now, I had to do it at the beginning to get the ball rolling but now when it’s running, I will focus on writing articles instead.
PLANS FOR THE NEXT MONTH:
The main plan is to post more content, I slacked for too long so it’s time to roll out some good articles again.
Obviously, I will try to grow the visitors and newsletter subscribers.
Let’s see what the future brings, I hope to grow the blog a lot this year.
If all clicks well, I will write another summary in about a month again.
Thanks for reading.