June 2017 Blog Traffic (3rd Month) – 13,242 Views

Welcome to the 3rd blog traffic report! The 1st and 2nd month reports saw some great numbers that I had never expected prior to blogging even in my wildest dreams.

If you missed those reports, make sure to check them out below:

May 2017 Blog Traffic (2nd Month) – 11,014 Views (+97.7%)

April 2017 Blog Traffic (1st Month) – 5,572 Views

In these reports, I never set any goals for myself explicitly. However, after seeing the number almost doubled in May, I secretly hoped that I’d see the same miracle in June: My page views would double at 22,000.

After the first half of June went by without a huge increase in traffic, I got really stressed out about how to reach that goal.

It was complicated by Baby FAF’s coming home to DC after spending more than a year in China. I could prioritize blogging over Mr. FAF, but not over our son.

I was trying to juggle between helping Baby FAF readjust and keeping up with my blogging schedule. I realized I had been living “the single life” for the past year and thus had more time for myself.

Now it’s the time to be a real parent and juggle family with a full-time job and a blog. I really admire all the parents out there who can do that so successfully.

At one point, I realized I had to be more realistic about what I could achieve and not beat myself up with a goal I couldn’t attain yet. After making that decision, I felt at peace with myself.

So far, the only expenses I’ve paid for the blog were the startup cost of $118.08:

— $106.20 for Account Plan (36 months)

— $11.88 for Domain Privacy Protection (12 months)

I want to explore and take advantage of as much free resources as I can before paying for any material. Information can be valuable and powerful, and it can come at no cost to you if you look at the right place.

Now on to our blog traffic report of the month:

Overview

While trying to clean up the plugins for my blog, I accidentally deleted Google Analytics for WordPress. Google Analytics stopped tracking my traffic for almost three days (June 9-11). For this month, I will use the total traffic number from Jetpack and other stats from Google Analytics.

From Jetpack

Page views: 13,242 (+20.2%)

Page views per day: 441.4

Visitors: 2,389

Comments: 485 (half of these were mine.)

From Google Analytics (missing data for June 9-11)

Pages/session: 3 (v. 4.31 in May)

Avg. Session Duration: 4 mins 26 secs (v. 5 mins 22 seconds in May)

Bounce rate: 42.26% (v. 33.09% in May)

New visitor: 43.4% (v. 56.2% in May)

Returning visitor: 56.6% (v. 43.8% in May)

Top 10 posts

1. The Pros & Cons of Our Long-distance Marriage

2. A Day In The Life of Ms. FAF – Workdays Edition

3. May 2017 Blog Traffic (2nd Month) – 11,014 Views

4. Food Expense Report – May 2017 – $777.26

5. 3 Things We Fail to Do to Save Money

6. List of Asian Personal Finance Bloggers

7. Which Blogging Style Are You?

8. Why We Sent Our Baby To China

9. Our Pledge For The Million Dollar Club

10. How We Saved $1,753 on Engagement and Wedding Rings

Many readers have asked me why Mr. FAF and I don’t live in the same city, so it came as no surprise that The Pros & Cons of Our Long-distance Marriage was the most popular post in June.

What I didn’t expect was the interest in A Day In The Life. I thought that post was pretty plain. I just documented what I did every day. But I guess people liked it because our schedules and lifestyles all differ. It’s interesting to see how other bloggers juggle their sites with their other responsibilities.

There’s a great demand for blog traffic and food expense reports since they ranked #3 and #4 last month. I will continue to write posts for those series.

List of Asian Personal Finance Bloggers turned out to be a popular post. It ranked #6 despite being published on June 30. It was great to see such great feedback from many Asian and non-Asian readers and bloggers.

Top 10 countries

The US is where the majority of sessions originated from, followed by three other English-speaking countries – Canada, the UK, and Australia. There are 3 countries in Asia (India, China, and Singapore) and 2 in the Middle East (Israel and the UAE).

Blogging schedule

I spend about 20-30 hours blogging each week. I publish a new post at 7:45 AM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Mailchimp sends out a notification about a new post at 12 PM on those days.

I have new posts scheduled until September 22. I want to keep three months worth of post as an emergency fund of writing. I feel a bit behind since I was aiming to have posts scheduled until October 3. I will need to catch up once Baby FAF settles down in his new home.

Business requests

June also marked the first time I had gotten business requests. I actually got three. When I got the first one, I jumped for joy and told Mr. FAF that my blog did have some business potential. However, I later decided that two of the potential partnerships were not a good fit.

The third one definitely is. But I want to focus the first year on building content on the blog and trust from the reader, so I will need to give it more thought.

Marketing strategies

1. Comment on other blogs

I read and comment on about 10 blog posts every weekday. The number varies on the weekends now that Baby FAF is back in DC. I like to see the great content produced by other bloggers and share with them my thoughts.

A lot of the bloggers whose posts I commented on checked out my blog and left their feedback. When I see that some bloggers comment on my posts regularly, I also check out theirs. This is a great way to build a connection with the blogger community.

2. Respond to comments on my blog

I responded to every single comment on my posts if they were directed to me. Some readers also interacted with one another, which I was really happy about.

I know some bloggers don’t have enough time to do the same. For me, I think the feedback I’ve gotten so far is not too overwhelming yet. I felt happy reading what the reader had to say and answering their questions. I found that some readers came back to comment a second time on a post after seeing my response.

3. Get on the PT Money Map

I came across the Wonderful World Map of Personal Finance Bloggers on PT Money and applied to be added to the list. I applied on May 30 and was added on June 12. This is part of the passive marketing strategy that I adore. You take the time to be added to a certain list or map once, and people will find your blog from there for years to come.

I haven’t seen any traffic generated from the PT Money map yet. But I think it’s important to “be everywhere” as Pat Flynn, the founder of Smart Passive Income always says.

4. Join the Modest Money Top Finance Blogs

It took three months for my request to be approved for the list of Modest Money Top Finance blogs.

If you get on the list, the site will show your scores for traffic, social media, and SEO together with the total score and your ranking among finance blogs.

Below are the indicators (out of 100) for Frugal Asian Finance:

— Traffic: 42

— Social media: 64.03

— SEO: 9.3

— Total score: 38.44

–> Ranking: 335

5. Join the Rockstar Finance forums

I’ve heard great things about the Rockstar Finance forums. It’s a great place to get to know other PF bloggers and to draw traffic to your site.

I was so overwhelmed with writing posts, Pinterest, and commenting on other blogs that I didn’t join the forums until Lily at The Frugal Gene gave me a nudge.

6. Featured by other PF bloggers

June was a remarkable month for me in terms of being featured by other amazing bloggers. David at Zero Day Finance included two of my posts in his What I’m Reading #4 and #6 posts:

— May 2017 Blog Traffic (2nd Month) – 11,014 Views

— How We Saved $1,753 on Engagement and Wedding Rings

My Sons’ Father picked Which Blogging Style Are You? as his Best Read of The Day on June 16. I was pleasantly surprised by their nice gestures and look forward to returning the favors.

Social media

Twitter: 557 followers

Pinterest: 37 followers

Facebook: 10 likes & 13 follows

Subscribers: 38

1. Twitter

Twitter has gradually climbed up the list of the top 10 referrers for my blog. I am fascinated by this platform. In June, I spent more time doing the following on Twitter compared to May:

Retweeting: I’d go through the feeds every day. If I saw a post title that I liked, I usually skimmed through it to make sure the content was good and then shared it. This is a great way to build a connection with other bloggers whether they are new or experienced in this sphere.

Once I retweeted a post, I would often get a Like or a Thank You from the blogger. They would then like my content back or even retweet my posts. When someone retweeted my content, so I often checked out their Twitter profile and retweeted their posts as well.

Liking and commenting on other bloggers’ Tweets. I find this to be a great way to interact with other bloggers and let them know that I am interested in what they have to say, and that I support them on Twitter.

Tweeting my posts: On the days when I published a new post, I would tweet about it three times: early morning, early afternoon, and late evening. There are hundreds of new tweets at a given time, so I wanted to make sure people see my new post on Twitter. I would also tweet about my older posts so that people who hadn’t read them would be able to check them out.

2. Pinterest

Though effective, commenting on other blogs is labor-intensive and limited in scope. After turning to Twitter in the second month and saw great success with the platform, I decided to expand into Pinterest.

I have heard so much raving about Pinterest that I felt like I was missing out on a goldmine. But I was so overwhelmed with writing blog posts, tackling technical issues, and exploring Twitter and Facebook in the second month that I just set Pinterest aside.

After seeing how strategies #1-5 had somewhat hit a roadblock, I was determined to at least figure out how to join Pinterest boards before doing anything else. I found this great article that lays out the steps to do just that.

Lily at The Frugal Gene has kindly invited me to multiple boards and shared her great Pinterest tips with me. We share with each other our questions, strategies, and frustration with this promising yet challenging platform.

One day I requested to join more than 25 boards but got accepted to only two. One board owner was kind enough to let me know that I needed to get at least 100 followers to join the board.

So here is my Pinterest plan for July:

— Figure out how to get at least 100 followers. I will  look up on PF bloggers on PF boards and try to follow as many as I can.

— Pin and re-pin content on the boards I’m already a member of.

— Continue to request to join more boards.

— Work with Lily and hopefully other bloggers to sharpen our strategies.

3. Facebook

Out of all the 3 social media platforms, Facebook is the one I’m least active on. I usually just post new content on Facebook every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

It’s mainly because I blog anonymously and don’t know how to interact with other bloggers and join PF groups without showing my real Facebook profile. I need to figure this out at one point.

Struggles

1. Cache blocking new feeds 

After two months of blogging, I realized that Mailchimp suddenly stopped sending notifications about my new posts to subscribers. At the same time, my new post also didn’t show up in the new feeds of the Rockstar Finance directory.

I called Bluehost. They said it was due to caching (data storage that enable future data requests to be processed faster). It’s similar to cookies on your computer. A Bluehost technical specialist cleared the cache on my WordPress, but the new feeds still wouldn’t go through. I have a free account with Mailchimp, so I couldn’t use their Customer Support.

I spent more than 10 hours trying to figure out how to fix it in vain. I tweeted about this problem on Twitter. The Fairly Frugal Fella reached out to me with an excellent solution:

(1) Install WP Super Cache to clear the cache on my blog.

(2) Replicate the campaign on Mailchimp and delete the old campaign.

I implemented step (1), and it already worked like a charm.

2. Spam 

I started getting a lot of spam early this month. I activated the Akismet plugin for free thanks to the instructions in this article. The default price is set at $36/month. But you can change that to $0/month

3. Security 

I added the Wordfence Security plugin to enhance the security on my blog. With the increasing amount of spam earlier this month, I got worried about my site being hacked. I felt so desperate that at one point I was ready to pay for a security software program.

However, a quick search indicated that the Wordfence Security plugin can effectively fend off malicious attacks and perform anti-virus, firewall and malware Scan. It’s been installed by more than 2 million users, so I trust that it is effective enough to protect my site. And it’s free!

Layout

Andrew at Living Rich Cheaply kindly reached out to me via Twitter to let me know that his comments were blocked as spam. Andrew didn’t see my contact info on the blog and turned to Twitter.

I decided to add a Contact page to the menu by installing the Contact Form 7 plugin. Some companies, readers, and bloggers have used this page to reach out to me, so I think it’s a crucial feature for a site.

Conclusion

That wraps up the blog traffic report for June 2016. Overall, I am happy with the growing traffic to my site. Summer is a slow season for bloggers, and I am now fulfilling my duties as a mother of a two-year-old boy.

After this month, I have learned to set realistic expectations for myself while always exploring new and effective marketing strategies. Pinterest is on my to-do list for sure in July. I have seen some progress with this platform, so “Never stop trying” is my motto.

I am also grateful for all the readers and bloggers who have helped me in my blogging endeavor so far. Whether you helped me with a technical issue, left a comment on my blog, or reached out to me in social media, just know that I want to say Thank you and best of luck to a new month of blogging!



47 thoughts on “June 2017 Blog Traffic (3rd Month) – 13,242 Views”

  • Another STELLAR month of growth Ms FAF 🐯 !!!

    Husbands can wait but bebes are definitely more important. The Frugal Gene household goes me, my puppy, and then my fat man (Jared). Pfttt hahaha 😺

    Also your views have to be higher. Jetpack under reports so much it’s not even funny. 100 views on JP is somehow 156 for me in Analytics. I didn’t know you could check out the different bounce rates by referrer, that’s neat!!!

    PS thanks for the shout out!! Pinterest is seriously dreadingly hard. Facebook is just not workable. They don’t allow pages without personal accounts and they don’t allow name changes without…you know it’s just a mess. I’m not even going to touch it for the year!

    • Haha I told Mr. FAF this is currently my order of priorities: (1) Baby FAF, (2) Blogging, (3) Him. He knows that his ranking will drop when we have more kids!
      I have to be more careful with Google Analytics from now on. Jetpack is great, but the stats are not as thorough. I also hope I actually got more views last month hehe.

  • Wow you are really killing it. You seriously have incredible progress and I know that you’ll keep growing. And thanks for the mention!

    Facebook is terrifying for anonymous bloggers. You can’t follow other pages unless you use your personal account. So I can’t follow anyone, they’d see “David ____” following them and probably know that it’s me. I could drop the anonymity and gain a bunch of readers who are my friends, but I’m not ready for that, at least not yet.

    • I know! I’ve had such a hard time trying to stay anonymous on Facebook that I’ve set it aside altogether. Thanks for being part of Frugal Asian Finance! ^.^

  • Wow you’re killing it! I definitely don’t get that sort of traffic yet (but haven’t made a HUGE effort either), you have some great months of growth ahead of you with this sort of progress. Keep up the work! 🙂

    • Thank you, Dave! You WILL get it. We PF bloggers start out at different times and at different paces, but we will all get to where we want to be 🙂

  • Love this series! I feel like it’s a very honest way to go about blogging and monetizing at some point rather than pretending like you just ***somehow*** got popular and started rolling in partnership/affiliate/etc dough. A lot of people WANT to make money from blogging but keep it on the low.

    • I think it’s good to be open about what we’re doing since others can guess anyway. Of course, there are things you want to keep to yourself. But I really like it when I can just lay out all of my thoughts on my blog. It’s really liberating! 😀

  • I hope you don’t mind if I follow suit with some of your tips for increasing traffic 😉 I’m loving how much of a community personal finance blogging is. Everyone is so supportive and savvy. Even though we all have different blogging styles, we’re producing content that helps and inspires people to live better lives through good money management. I’d call that a mitzvah! 🙂

    • I would LOVE to hear that some of my strategies actually work for you. That’s the reason why I started this blog traffic series. And yes, I really enjoy our blogging community so far! 😀

  • Great progress. Your hard work is starting to pay off. Your dedication to your blog is showing results not only with your consistent postings but also the content is open and honest. Keep it up!!☺😄👌Also thanks for the tips for increasing traffic since i can use it as a guide for my site.

    • I’m glad to hear that some of the strategies might be helpful to you. That’s exactly what I was hoping for when starting this blog traffic series. ^.^

  • That’s incredible – I really appreciate that you not only shared your stats, but also how you reached those stats. It’d be easy to want to keep your traffic “secrets” to yourself, but seeing you share how you did it makes me appreciate your blog even more! Keep up the great work, Ms. FAF!

    • Thank you, Matt! I really appreciate it when other bloggers share their strategies, so I want to do the same. I love it when I know my tips are helpful to some bloggers. ^.^

  • Great job so far! When I started my blog, I was heavily focused on growing my audience, but then I realized that wasn’t the best strategy for me because it took too much effort. Instead, I ended up trying to grow one part of my blog at a time e.g. media mentions, corporate gigs, layout changes.

    • Thank you, Barry! That sounds like a great strategy to me. And it seems to have worked out really well for you! 😉

  • That’s an insane growth in just 3 months, you are doing amazing!
    Are you doing this full time or how can you do so much in a month considering that you are a mother as well?
    Amazing work, keep it up and please share more info on your marketing strategies!

    • Thank you, Alex! I do have an 8-5 job. I usually work on my blog when my baby goes to bed at 10 (he sleeps late!) and especially on the weekends. My son’s 2 now, so he likes playing by himself. I also read new posts on my train ride to work and interact with other bloggers on my train ride home every workday. ^^

  • Thanks for sharing! It’s good to see that you’re getting some traffic from my blog. I get pretty high bounce rates from my social media. Lots of followers, but I’d say the vast majority don’t like to read.

    • I remember you saying that you get most of your traffic from Instagram, which is amazing! I wonder if the high bounce rates are because people want something interactive and visual (i.e. pics) and don’t want to read something long like blog posts @_@

  • Wow! How do you write so much and so often? To me, it seems like you’re building up your blog at the fastest possible rate, although I’m sure you have your doubts. Thanks for the amazing tips! I would love to be where you are even six months down the road. I just want my blog to be successful enough for my kids to read them when they’re older. I’ve been running on five hours of sleep a night ever since I started and I’m so thankful to have found a blog like this.

  • Congrats on another amazing month! I’m so happy that your blog is consistently doing so well- you are a true inspiration to all of us. I can’t believe that you juggle being a wife, mom AND full-time worker.

    In the NavigatingAdulthood, the order goes me, Mr. NA, and then my blog! But I’m sure that if we had a baby NA, then that would come before Mr. NA.

    Pinterest is SUPER hard- I had to work hard-core at it for a month and a half before I saw any returns on it. For my FB account, I made a new one just for my blog and then linked it to my blog page. A lot more work, but it helps me keep my identity anonymous.

  • Hey! Love this post! You are so amazing and dedicated. We just started our blog and will definitely use some of the tips I learned from you. Hopefully we can be just as successful!

  • You have some very impressive numbers for your 3 months of blogging! We hope to get there one day. And thanks again for telling us how to get Askimet for free. 😉. As someone else said, I didn’t know that you could check out the individual bounce rates for each referrer. I’ll have to take a look at that the next time I look at our GA.

    • Aww thank you, Kim! You will get there and be even better in the future. I’m always excited when I find great free resources, so I want to share them with everyone else, especially my readers and fellow bloggers! ^.^

  • Steadily increasing every month and that is what counts. Nice to see you being more active on social media. Still haven’t dove into pinterest myself but I like seeing how others use it and the traffic it generates. Just takes time. Thanks for the updates.

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