So I am now in my fourth month of blogging! I published my first monthly report last month and this is the second report.
The first month of blogging was such a ‘mind f8ck’ that I’m not entirely sure what I would have reported. The insane overwhelm, self-doubt and procrastination probably wouldn’t have made for pretty reading 😉
Now, I realise not everyone wants to read a monthly report so each time I publish one of these, I will start it with useful insights, lessons, wins or mistakes that could help you with your blog.
That way you get something useful even if you couldn’t give a monkey’s how many page views I’ve had!
This month’s useful insight is about Tailwind Tribes for Pinterest!
Using Tailwind Tribes to Boost Your Beginner Blog Traffic
Some of you know this but I have bought blogging courses from Create and Go in order to make sure I am turning this blog into a business.
The blog is the platform but the business will eventually be ebooks, courses, and coaching.
You can check out their courses here if you are interested in buying a blog course. I recommend starting with Launch Your Blog as it is a lower cost so you can check if you like blogging first before you hand over $$$.
One of their other courses is called Pinterest Traffic Avalanche which focuses on, well you’ve guessed it, using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog.
Now, I’ll admit, I was pretty skeptical of this at first, I don’t use Pinterest and neither do most of my friends (unless they are doing up their house or getting married) so I wasn’t overly convinced it would work for me.
I’m glad I didn’t offer to eat my hat if it worked as I would be chowing down on some headgear right now.
Although this blog is relatively new, 90% of my traffic is coming from Pinterest and I was getting over 200 views per day for a few days as I had a pin go mini (very mini) viral.
What is Pinterest?
If you are a Pinterest newbie like me, the idea is that you pin ideas or articles to your boards – like a pin board so you can keep everything useful in one place.
Anyone can follow your boards and therefore ‘re-pin’ anything you have pinned. Pinterest also has a smart feed which will show you suggestions of pins you might like and you can also pin those your boards.
Therefore Pinterest is very much a sharing culture, unlike Instagram for example which is a
selfie-obsessed, ‘liking’ culture.
Coupled with the fact that it is a search engine (so like google, you would go into Pinterest and search for things in the same way) Pinterest can be extremely useful to get your content in front of people and have them share it for you.
Now, when I started out using Pinterest, the Create and Go course focused very much on Group Boards. These are boards with a number of contributors and lots of board followers.
Therefore you have the opportunity to get in front of lots of eyes even if you don’t have many followers yourself.
Now, I am not saying this is the case for all blog or business niches. Personally, I did not have any luck with Group Boards in the beginning.
I managed to get on over 10 group boards using the advice from Create and Go but I just wasn’t getting any repins AT ALL.
This is probably because I was way too new on the platform. I had hardly any followers so couldn’t get on really decent boards (with lots of people pinning and repinning).
That’s when I decided to give Tailwind Tribes a go.
Using Tailwind Tribes
There was a module in the C&G course on Tribes. It explained how they worked and how to use them but as they are a relatively new addition, it wasn’t used as the main way to get traffic.
Tailwind is actually a scheduling tool (which is approved by Pinterest). You use it to send your pins to your own boards and group boards. It also calculates the optimum time to pin when your followers are most active.
It isn’t free, it is a paid tool, but it is incredibly useful so that you don’t have to spend a huge chunk of time pinning manually.
I won’t dive into Tailwind in-depth as there are plenty of articles out there on what it does and how to use it, let’s just focus on Tribes for now.
So, what are Tailwind Tribes?
Tailwind Tribes is a feature within Tailwind which allows you to join a ‘Tribe’ with other Tailwind members.
You join Tribes related to your niche – so I join Tribes for female entrepreneurs, personal growth, small business etc.
You then pin your own pins to these Tribes and share other people’s pins from the same Tribe to your Pinterest boards (by scheduling them in Tailwind).
What’s so great about that?
The great thing about this is that your other Tribe members are actively looking for content to share, and they may have hundreds or thousands more followers than you.
But surely that is the same as group boards?
No, not exactly. With Tribes you can do a couple of things you can’t do on group boards:
- You can see the tally of how many of your pins you have added and how many you have shared in return. This makes it easy to make sure you are following Tribe rules. Most have a 1:1 your content for others rule, some are 1:2. Tribes are more regulated in this way than Group boards, so are less ‘spammy’.
- You can see certain Tribes members content by hovering over the Tribe member name and clicking ‘see submissions’. If you know that certain Tribe members always pin excellent pins with great blog posts, you can save time looking for pins to share by just looking at selected high-quality Tribe members. Obviously do a check now and again to see if any new members have joined that you want to add to your ‘high-quality pinners’ list.
Just so you can see what I am talking about, here is my latest summary from Tailwind Tribes for the re-shares (how many times my pin in the Tribe was re-shared), repins (how many repins I got after the pins were shared) and my reach (the total amount of followers on all of the boards my pins were shared to)
I’m pretty damn pleased with this! I only have 155 followers on Pinterest and would never get this kind of reach on my own.
As I started to see good results earlier on, I paid to upgrade the number of Tribes I could join and the number of pins I could submit.
The free version of Tribes only allows you to pin 30 of your pins per month which really isn’t enough.
Why are Tribes so good for beginner bloggers?
Unless you already have a lot of Pinterest followers, loads of blog posts and you know the platform well, it can be really hard to get some momentum going on driving traffic to your blog.
It can also be very disheartening when you get no answer from group board requests or you get accepted by some, only to realise they are doing absolutely nothing for you.
Tribes is a really great way to get your content in front of others, even if you are starting from zero.
Interestingly, once I started to get shares and re-pins from Tribes, I testing pinning a couple of the most popular pins back to the group boards and whaddya know, I got a few repins from some of them.
I’m keeping my 3 best group boards and will keep testing repins as my re-shares grow on Tribes. In a few months, I may try to join a few more group boards that have good engagement rates and see if that works.
How many should you join?
This is entirely up to you. It requires a bit of trial and error as well.
I belong to around 15 but have just left 5 of them. Some analysis I did in excel gave me the worst performers. (I used excel to calculate how many shares, repins and reach per pin I was getting.
Then I left the worst Tribes as it is time-consuming to use them so I want the biggest bang for my buck.
I have applied for 10 more. I’ll pin to these for a month and then evaluate all Tribes again. I’ll rinse and repeat until I’m at the sweet spot of great performing Tribes but not spending all day on them.
Overall learnings from Tailwind Tribes
- I believe courses are a good investment but you still have to be prepared to test things for yourself. Use a course as a roadmap, not a straight path to be followed at all costs.
- If something doesn’t work for you (i.e. group boards), don’t abandon all hope, try something else and then go back to it.
- Find Tribes that are related to your niche and not just ‘Pin all your pins’ Tribes. These tend to have a lot more pins about blogging (saying the same old stuff). Better to find Tribes in your niche with relevant content for your readers.
Here is my second monthly report!
I had a great month for traffic in June! Well great for a beginner blogger anyway. I hit over 2,000 page views which I am so pleased with!
You can see how quickly my page views have grown since I started the blog. The darker blue represents visitors. The lighter blue represents page views.
What’s interesting is that as traffic from Pinterest has increased, the % of visitors from the UK has shifted.
In May, I had 229 visitors, 15% of my traffic came from Pinterest and 68% of visitors came from the UK and 15% from the US.
In June, traffic from Pinterest is at 63%, my US visitors are now at 54% of traffic with a total of 1,529 visitors.
Most of the Tribes I belong to consist of US bloggers, probably because there are a less UK bloggers than there are US bloggers.
I imagine this trend will continue, and although I am not going to change things like spelling from the UK to US (colour/color etc), I have been changing over Amazon Affiliate links to the US version as I have been getting quite a few clicks on Amazon links but no purchases, which could because US readers are getting directed to Amazon.co.uk.
As I mentioned above, I have been having a lot of success with Pinterest for the past month. Not crazy traffic or viral pins but an encouraging steady increase.
I am going to play around with manual pinning vs scheduling using Tailwind to see if it makes a difference.
I’ve abandoned Instagram as I was getting likes but no click-throughs to the site. As my focus is on traffic, this doesn’t seem to be a useful strategy right now so it’s going on the back burner.
Facebook has been good for my interviews with female entrepreneurs as they are sharing the posts after I publish them. Not as good as Pinterest though.
I’m experimenting with boosting a post on Facebook as I had a free $30 credit so will see what happens with that.
Medium is my focus for July (as well as Pinterest) to see whether this a viable traffic source.
The headlines and tone of voice seem slightly different on Medium so I will post a couple of relevant articles and see what happens.
I had a clear winner in the top post for June. How Six-Figure Bloggers Plan Their Day had a great time on Pinterest in June getting 985 views which accounted for 44% of all views.
This was bittersweet though. I wrote the post when I had just started IWMLBproject and I was trying to figure out how to structure my day.
I found a number of bloggers who had posted an account of how they planned their days, so I wrote a post about it.
I’ll admit, I gave it a bit of a sensationalist title. However, I really don’t want to be writing spammy blog posts about blogging to make money.
I want IWMLBproject to help people find a business that is right for them, not convince them to start a blog!
So, anyway. I am happy that it drove a lot of traffic, but I won’t be starting to write loads of blogging posts on the back of it (apart from the odd one like this one).
The other top posts worth a mention are here:
- How to come up with a business idea when you have no clue
- 10 reasons you haven’t started your business yet
- 44 free tools to start your online business with no money
Apart from increasing my traffic by 73% from the previous month, there are some other things I am particularly pleased with.
I was on a podcast! Shannon Mattern from Pep Talks for Side Hustlers contacted me after coming across my blog on Tailwind Tribes.
Shannon interviewed me from the podcast which comes out soon. I’ll let my email list know and also publicise it on social media so keep an eye out!
I also received some lovely comments on some of my posts. This makes such a difference as it’s nice to know your words resonate with someone and they enjoyed the post.
Here is one from a reader who liked my post on Why most self-care tips are missing the point.
“Yaaaaas. Amen to THAT.I could not agree with you more, Laura. I found this post over on Pinterest and your title drew me in.I really do appreciate your honestly in this post. Now I know it’s not just me that feels this way!”
This comment made me very happy!
What is also interesting is that post was written when I was annoyed about something and went on a rant. I was a bit nervous about publishing it as I was voicing quite strong opinions.
Given the response, maybe I need to rant a bit more often 😉
At the beginning of the month I received an email from Pinterest to say that they had suspended my account! And a few days later that they were shutting my account down and I wouldn’t be allowed a new one.
I emailed their help team to try and find out what I had done wrong. I also asked very nicely for them to re-instate my account.
Luckily a few days later I received an email from them apologising. They said my account had been caught up with other ‘bad accounts’ and that they would re-instate it.
Even though I couldn’t get into my account, my pins continued to drive traffic so I didn’t lose anything really.
Overarching IWMLBproject goal
Make IWMLBproject the number one resource for corporate women in their thirties who want to get their life back.
Year one goal
Get 5,000 subscribers on my email list. That way I know I have provided great value through the blog posts and website.
I will also then have a great group of people to build a community with. And, I will understand what the biggest struggles and frustrations are.
June month goals and whether I achieved them
- Master Pinterest and Tailwind to gain another 10 subscribers. Tick! I actually gained another 40 subscribers yeehah!
- Get email opt-ins and email sequences done – tick!
- Make website GDPR compliant – tick!
- Make time for me – sort of tick. I took a full-day off last week and didn’t touch my laptop once. Still not quite enough downtime though.
- Trial a morning routine of writing down my tasks and intentions for the day and evaluating at the end of the day. No tick. I have tried doing this daily and it doesn’t work for me. I am switching to just doing this monthly.
July Month Goal
- Get to 100 subscribers. I’m already at 70 and it’s only the 5th so I will most likely hit this one! I may need to revise my subscriber goals for the next few months if it continues like this (fingers crossed!)
- Evaluate email sequences to see if my emails are being read or not. I use Convertkit (being renamed to Seva) for my emails and they have analytics for open rates and click-through rates.
- Create first lower-priced products. I want to create a low price (sub £20) product for each of my email opt-ins. These need to be packed full of information and great value. I have set aside a day a week to work on these.
- Explore Medium as an alternative traffic source by putting up one post a week
So, that’s it for this month!
How are you doing with your own goal setting? What do you hope to achieve this month?