In an effort to keep myself accountable, I’m sharing monthly progress updates for my 2019 goals.
Reach 70,000 monthly blog page views.
Here are my 2019 benchmarks and progress to reach my monthly blog page views goal.
January – target: 37,343, actual: 42,806
February – 40,312, actual: 43,398
March -43,281, actual: 51,102
April – 46,250, actual: 65,303
May – 49,219, actual: 33,309
June – 52,188, actual: 47,864
July – 55,157, actual: 13,027
August – 58,126
September – 61,095
October – 64,064
November – 67,033
December – 70,000
July was one of those nightmare months where my Pinterest traffic completely dropped off the week after the 4th of July and didn’t recover. I have talked to Pinterest to make sure my account isn’t flagged as spam or having some other similar issue. It’s not. Since Pinterest went public this spring, they’ve had numerous back-end issues as well as endless stolen pins, which has affected thousands of users negatively, including myself. It’s unclear exactly what Pinterest is doing to correct the problems and if we can expect any turnaround in the near future.
With that being said, I expect July and August to be two of my lowest traffic months of the year. While I didn’t expect to see such a drop off, I also didn’t expect to meet my milestones these months. I really need more seasonal content for late summer to get me through the lull between the 4th of July and fall.
I’ll be honest: a month like July is really tough. It’s tempting to throw in the towel and be done with all of it. I’m sure that sounds dramatic. But it feels like all the hard work I’ve put into the blog in 2019 has been a waste. However, blogging is a long-term play. One bad traffic month is no reason to quit. I’ve published a ton of posts in 2019 that may not gather steam for one or two more years, if not longer.
Page view tactics
There are two primary methods I’m using to achieve my page views goal, which are as follows.
- Publish posts weekly with two evergreen posts per month. Check. In July, I published 2-3 posts weekly with the following evergreen posts: The Best Caprese Recipes, Gift Ideas for Moms with Toddlers on Amazon, Adult Braces: Final Thoughts, What to Eat with Braces, DIY Sheet Music Glass Magnets, The Best Homemade Supreme Pizza, Toddler Favorites: 2 Years Old, and Waiting to Adopt: Coping with Your Emotions.
- Maintain consistent social sharing, particularly for high traffic and seasonal posts. Check. I’ve kept up with social shares for all new posts, working to create a minimum 2-3 pins for all new posts. The second half of July, I created new pins for and optimized a number of old posts, especially fall posts. Going forward, I will be continuing this process as I share old posts.
Reach 7,000 Pinterest followers with three million monthly viewers.
Here are my 2019 benchmarks and progress to reach my Pinterest followers and viewers goal.
January – target: 4,177, 1.3, actual: 4,296, 1.58
February – 4,434, 1.44, actual: 4,630, 1.66
March – 4,691, 1.5, actual: 4,980, 1.82
April – 4,948, 1.77, actual: 5,356, 2.38
May – 5,205, 1.96, actual: 5,598, 1.43
June – 5,462, 2, actual: 5,936, 1.98
July – 5,719, 2.14, actual: 6,134, 950K
August – 5,976, 2.28
September – 6,233, 2.42
October – 6,490, 2.56
November – 6,747, 2.7
December – 7,000, 3
I ended July 2019 with 6,134 Pinterest followers. Even with slightly lower numbers of new Pinterest followers, I am still on track to meet my followers goal by the end of the year. It seems like it hardly matters right now, given my viewers (and I know tons of Pinterest users with many times the number of followers I have who feel the same way). Again, I don’t expect July to be a fabulous month for my blog. But this July was ridiculously bad.
Until May, my 2019 Pinterest strategies had been as follows:
- Schedule content from other bloggers via Tailwind.
- Schedule my own content via Tailwind.
- Manage my photography group board.
I am still using all of these strategies. Since May, I’ve been experimenting with a few new techniques. In July, I made a few additional tweaks to the strategy.
- Create at least 2-3 Pinterest graphics for all new evergreen posts. I’m experimenting with sharing multiple graphics from the start versus sharing one graphic through all of my boards before I start on the next one.
- Create at least one new Pinterest graphic for all older evergreen posts and use it for new social shares.
- Pin blog content shares on older posts right from the blog as opposed to re-pinning from Pinterest. (Pinterest claims that it’s really important, as the pins appear new in the system this way. As far as blog views go, it hasn’t seem to make a difference thus far.)
- Manual pinning daily. I still schedule the vast majority of my Pinterest content. I used to pin manually daily, and it did help. But I got away from it and am making it a regular routine again.
- Start another group board. It’s very early in the process, and I have no idea if it will help at all. I’ll share more about the new board as it develops.
- Participate in Tailwind Tribes. I’m grandfathered into the base Tailwind Tribes plan because I tested the feature when they first released it. I used it a bit the first year or so it was out and then got away from it. I’ve joined a handful of new tribes and am participating regularly. I am getting re-pins from it, mostly on fall content, so we’ll see if it makes any difference over the coming months.
Finish and publish ebook #2.
July was a very busy month, and ebook #3 was completely on hold. We’ll see how things go as we finish up the summer and move into fall.
Publish one article per week on Constant Content.
In July, I published the following articles on Constant Content.
I didn’t have any Constant Content sales in July, making for no sales two months in a row. Again, with everything else going on in July, Constant Content just wasn’t my top priority. I’m confident that I’ll be able to get back on track again as we head into fall.
Finish out all 2018 and earlier vacation photos and keep up with current photo editing.
Currently, I have the following sets of vacation photos not yet finished that I’d like to wrap up in 2019. The notes in parenthesis are my progress at the end of 2018. The notes following the parenthesis in bold text are my progress thus far in 2019.
- November 2015 – Hawaii (haven’t finished editing) Finished editing.
- August 2016 – Montana (haven’t finished editing) Finished out completely. Created and ordered a photo book, backed up edited photos, cleared out all RAW files.
- October 2016 – New Orleans (finished editing, need to make a photo book) Finished out completely. Created and ordered a photo book, backed up edited photos, cleared out all RAW files.
- May/June 2017 – Mediterranean cruise (finished editing, need to make a photo book and order prints) Finished out completely. Created and ordered a photo book, ordered prints, backed up edited photos, cleared out all RAW files.
- September 2018 – Montana (haven’t finished editing) Finished editing.
- October 2018 – Washington D.C. (haven’t finished editing) Finished editing.
Finishing out vacation photos and keeping up with current photo editing both took a backseat in July. As expected, I took a ton of pictures in July and am now buried in to-edit photos. My August photo count will be much lower, and I’ll get back on track again soon with this goal.
Read 40 books.
In July, I read the following books:
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
- So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta (audiobook)
- The Chef by James Patterson and Max DiLallo
- My Love Story by Tina Turner (audiobook)
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (audiobook)
My 2019 reading total is 39 books, which means that I’m way ahead of schedule for this goal and will hit it in August. Given how everything else went in July, in terms of my goals, getting so close to my reading goal for the year was a little bright spot. I say in terms of my goals because July was a great month, just not so much for my 2019 goals.
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Did you set 2019 goals?
If so, I’d love to hear how they’re going! Feel free to leave a link to a goals update post in the comments.
Previous goal update posts: