I managed to achieve quite a lot since November 17, 2013 when this blog was relaunched. Here are the stats for the first 6 months:
- 62 published articles (5 guest posts)
- 61,327 page views
- 33,656 unique visitors
- 961.5 hours / 40 days spent on my blog
- Featured in numerous publications, sites and magazines
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of how you can build an influential social media blog, lets take a closer look at how my blog reached these numbers and break down the main outcomes.
Crunching The Numbers
My social media blog generated 4 types of traffic:
- Organic - 14,736 visit (37.1%)
- Referral - 12,707 visits (32%)
- Direct - 11,671 visits (29.4%)
- Other - 570 visits (1.4%)
My readership is global, consisting of:
- 43.9% from United States
- 9.4% from United Kingdom
- 5.3% from Canada
- 5% from India
- 4% from Australia
- 2.2% from Netherlands
- 30.3% from Rest of the World
Out of the 62 articles I have published on this blog since relaunch, which have been the most popular?
How many times have my articles been shared in social media? I installed a plugin called WPsocialstats to measure just this and the results were quite interesting.
My blog has had a dramatic impact on my email list-building progress. Since I started building my list in January 2014, I have doubled the size of my email list month on month.
This has been an ongoing result of my conversion optimisation practices - continual testing, measurement and analysis - to refine and improve every element of the blog.
I even redesigned my whole social media blog from the ground up on 22nd January in order to improve it's foundations. Do you remember when my social media blog looked like this...?
What do you think of my current blog design, compared with the old design?
The Bottom Line
In terms of actual money in my pocket as a result of my social media blog, it's not ground-breaking. But then I never set out to focus my blog on earning money in the first 6 months since relaunch. Profit generation was kind of a by-product of my visibility success.
My aims were to build readership and brand awareness, which I achieved to the extent of my initial targets and expectations. But in case you wanted to know...
- Google Adsense advertising: £39.51
- Affiliate marketing: £62.30 (GoDaddy), £29.20 (ThemeForest), £30.60 (Hootsuite)
- Private clients from my site: 1-£935 2-£410, 3-£300, 4-£160
Totalling £1966.61 in additional income in the first 6 months.
How Can I Build An Influential Social Media Blog Too?
I've broken down the main phases in building an influential social media blog and given an overview to what you need to do in each phase.
Remember, it's never an exact science when people are involved - no two people are the same.
Try to build upon my advice and learnings to improve your own blogging success.
Phase one: Preparation
Ask any hardened field general and they'll say that their keys to success in battle lie in the preparation.
You have to know exactly what you want to achieve before you can accomplish it. This is so important that if you don't clearly understand your vision, goals and objectives, you may as well be going to war shooting blind.
Then you have to understand what needs to be done to reach these targets.
You should try to be as specific as possible because anything recognised now will pay dividends down the line. Attention to detail could save a lot of time and effort if you promptly identify concerning factors before they happen.
Choose your niche carefully - pick a topic or subtopic right from the off and stick to that field. Don't be tempted to include any other irrelevant content, even if you think it may be useful to your readers.
Phase 2: Foundations
Like any healthy tree that has passed the test of time, you need to have strong foundations that are future-proof.
Your blog should be built on a system that supports your content marketing goals and be built with goal optimisation and conversion at the forefront of design.
The distribution points for your promotional framework should be well thought out and complementary to your blog and your audience. It wouldn't be very useful to share fashion articles in science forums, for instance.
Wider resources that you use to fulfil your overall blog objectives, such as landing pages or email campaigns, should be consistent alongside your blog content, style and design. It just wouldn't work if you send an email in a totally different tone of voice and that looks completely different from your blog. Maintain consistency with your identity.
Optimise all your marketing foundations for your main primary objective only. This is why knowing what your primary objective is, is so important. If you aim to work towards multiple smaller objectives, you will lose sight of the main goal, dilute focus and reduce performance.
If you think of it in terms of becoming a specialist of solving one problem, then your mindset will be in the right place.
Phase 3: Testing
I always refer to the execution of ongoing marketing campaign as the testing phase. This is because I believe that you should always be testing while you work. And never stop.
Everything important or that consumes investment should be measured. Your blog should be an ongoing process of refinement and improvement.
Every article you publish. Every time you leverage a marketing opportunity. Every time you undertake an activity that contributes to the overall success of your blog. Everything should be considered as a process to achieving your end goal.
And what's the point unless you are testing everything and actively looking for ways to improve.
As this is the ongoing execution phase, all the normal marketing activities associated with blogging should be effectively undertaken. The list is too long to go into every single aspect of blogging, but here's a quick overview of a few important activities you should spend time on doing well:
- Keyword research - all your content should be pre-planned depending on what your audience wants to read
- Content production - the quality of your content is the most important factor in building an influential social media blog. Learn to write. And write well.
- Content promotion - simply publishing content on your blog isn't enough. You must take your content to where your audiences already participates to ensure it gets noticed.
- Engagement - don't just share links, talk. Starting relationships with customers and peers alike will fuel the fire under your blog and harness the power of virality. People talk, people listen, people like. Don't be a robot!
Phase 4: Measurement And Analysis
This pretty much goes hand in hand with Testing, but I thought I would include it as a standalone phase to building an influential social media blog because it is immensely important.
Not only should each key activity that forms part of your whole campaign strategy be tested, your campaign as a whole should be measured and analysed.
Here's a great example of why this is so useful. When I first started this social media blog, I thought my audience would be mainly business owners looking to find new ways to improve their business. After analysing my blog statistics, I realised that my main audience is actually other social media professionals looking to improve their skills or services.
This was a HUGE revelation.
If I didn't undertake regular measurement and analysis sessions for my social media blog, I would actually be positioning my content and value to the wrong people, right now. Imagine how this could affect your bottom line if you use your blog mainly as a means for selling products or services.
Consider periodically measuring and analysing the following blogging metrics in order to establish areas of improvement in your campaigns...
Phase 5: Rinse And Repeat
As you progress with your blogging strategies, you will familiarise yourself more and more with the activities and processes. If you're paying attention to your testing, measurements and analysis, then you will undoubtedly find many areas that you can continually refine and improve upon.
This is what the rinse and repeat cycle aims to do. Run the winners long and cut the losers short.
Drop the things that don't work especially well for you as soon as a suitable time frame or sample has been realised.
Put more time and effort into those that you find work well and look for ways to build upon these capabilities.
Using this mindset and approach throughout your blogging life-cycle will ensure that everything keeps progressing positively. It's like rolling a snowball down a hill - it starts slow and small in size, but then gains momentum and uses the multiplying effect to ramp up speed and size.
Build An Influential Social Media Blog Yourself
I am confident that by understanding my progress and learning from what this social media blog has already achieved, you can improve upon my successes.
Like anything in life, it takes hard work to start something worthwhile from the ground up. But if anyone can do it, you can!
Keep me posted on your progress and I will do the same. Look out for my 1 year progress article to come after another 6 months.
What do you think is the most important aspect of blogging to get right?
What do you think is the most important skill a successful blogger should have?