An Experiment In Time Management
Blogging is hard work, can be tedious and can outright frustrate you at times. So, for the month of April I decided to track all of the visitors that came to my site. For some platforms, I had to get creative in order to track them properly but luckily for most of my stats my host (weebly) gives me a running monthly tally of how many visitors and which platform (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) they came from.
The point of doing this experiment was to see which platforms were worth the time I was spending and which ones were just wasting my precious time, because as a blogger time is a precious commodity (especially since I work a regular 9-5 job too and have other family commitments).
The stats for my blogs:
Blog#1 - 25,100 visitors
Platform Visitors Percentage of Visitors
Pinterest 8917 35.5%
Twitter 8701 34.6%
Facebook 5737 22.9%
Mix 421 1.6%
Google 98 0.4%
Instagram 25 0.1%
Misc. 1201 4.9%
Blog#2 - 8304 Visitors
Platform Visitors Percentage of Visitors
Pinterest 2980 35.9%
Twitter 2476 29.8%
Google 1268 15.3%
Mix 484 5.8%
Direct 480 5.7%
Facebook 120 1.5%
Misc 496 6.0%
A little background on the 2 blogs:
Blog 1 was started less than 3 months ago. Blog 2 has been running for just over 2 years.
All of these stats are for visitors to my blogs, the actual page views were much higher. For blog 1 I average 4.08 page views per visit and blog 2 I average 3.15 page views per visit.
Blog 1 I did multiple daily threads on through Facebook groups or other sources which would account for about 30 to 40 percent of my total visitors to that site. Whereas on blog 2 all of the were from work that I had done in the past (except one thread I did for google search, 3 tweets and some views from a link that I had in my new blog site).
Blog 1 I had 7 new blog posts while on blog I haven’t written anything new in 3 months.
What I took from the stats:
1. I need to cut back on the click thru and page visit threads that I do. Yes, it probably brought me 30 to 40 percent of my visitors, but it was taking up about 60 to 70 percent of the time I have been committing to my blog. Will I give them up altogether, no, but I will probably drop it down to about 25 to 30 percent of my time usage. I know it will hurt my site for a short period of time but I think in the long run it will be better.
2. I need to be more selective on which click thru links that I go into. There are lots of Facebook groups and other sites on the internet that have daily threads to get page views. Some are great and most people who go in them reciprocate (75%+), but there are others that are just a complete waste of your time (sometimes can be as low as 10 to 30 percent reciprocation). I only know this because I test them once in a while using an old pin that hasn’t had clicks in a while or a link shortener that tracks how many clicks have occurred on them. Example: There was one Facebook group that I was in and it seemed that I wasn’t receiving the number of clicks that I thought I should. So, on one occasion I put in a bitly link (Link shortener) and did all my reciprocating. Several days later I check how many clicks I had on that link and there was only 3 out of a possible 66. That’s only a 4.5% reciprocation rate. Needless to say, that I left that group immediately. If there is any admins or hosts reading this you will know that I think your site is good because I do your thread daily or every other day.
3. I need to get back to my roots. In saying that I am talking mostly about my initial blog that I started 2 years ago. I was able to grow that blog fairly quickly though my Facebook page and Pinterest. I still have this great Facebook page that has over 12,000 people who like or follow me, it has always been a great source of views for my sites but sadly I have been neglecting it over the past several months only posting a couple of times a week instead of a couple of times a day like I used to. I have an avid group of followers on there that enjoy reading the topics that I write on. For my Pinterest account, I need to spend a bit more time on as well because my visits have dropped from there too. I did see lots of views from Pinterest (2980 page visits from my older blog that were pins that were done over 3 months ago) and 8917 page visits on my new blog (but that number is very skewed because a lot of the links that I put into different threads were done using a Pinterest link). So, the actual organic views on my new blog from Pinterest was more likely around 1500.
4. Start taking more time on Twitter. On my older blog (blog#2), Twitter has never really been a big source of views, but on my new site (blog#1) it has been a real winner for me. I guess it is probably because of the different content that I now have on my site. For the last month, I was putting up 3 Tweets a week and putting them on a Twitter retweet thread using a bitly link so that I could track the results. A couple of the Tweets got me over 500 page visits and the threads that I was doing had less than 80 links and might have taken up a half hour a day to complete. Not bad considering I received over 8700 visits in a month.
5. Instagram just isn’t doing anything for my blog. I know there are some people who swear by Instagram for their blogs. I guess if you are a real influencer it might be true, but for most I think they just go by how many likes they get from a post. Likes are not the same as visits. You are not going to make much money unless you can get people to click on your website. So, for my blog it has just been time wasted that I could be using elsewhere. I got 25 page views from doing triple the amount of posts that I did on Twitter and have triple the number of followers on Instagram.
Ones to keep a close eye on:
1. Mix: Mix was pretty for my sites with 421 and 484 visits respectively. Not bad considering that I only put a couple of links up from my new site and maybe spend 20 minutes a week working on it.
2. Google: This is the one that I am the happiest about. For my new blog, I received 98 visits through google search and being less than 3 months old and having less than 25 blog posts means the work I did on my SEO is paying off. The older blog received 1268 visits from google search.
3. The Direct links: These are from people that have followed me since I started the blog that go directly to my site and through my email list. I will need to work on a new email list for my new blog site.
Some words of warning:
This was an experiment to see what was or was not working on my blog. Every blog is different and each person will find successes and failures using different types of social media.
If you are just starting out in blogging then I wouldn’t suggest that you try to do an experiment like this. I would spend your first-year writing and promoting your blog while spending as much time as you can to learn about all the different aspects of blogging.
Whether you are a full-time or part-time blogger you only have so much time to devote to blogging. Use your time wisely, learn to see what is working for your blog and what is just taking up your valuable time. We need to look at blogging as a business (which for most of us that is our goal, to earn as much from our blogs to do it full-time). And in business Time = Money.
So, my challenge is to all those seasoned bloggers out there. Take the time to audit your blog and see what is working for you and what is just wasting your valuable time that you could be using to really grow your blog. Let us know in the comments section what works for you or if you know of any great sites that can help us continue to grow our blogs. I would love to see my new blog reach 100,000 visitors and 500,000 page views per month by the end of the year.
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