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Welcome to my 6th month blog traffic report!
It’s still surreal to me that it’s been six months since I started Frugal Asian Finance. Half a year has gone by. Where did time go?
I still remember starting the blog at 11:30 PM on March 21 of this year. The urge to express myself though a blog was overpowering.
I took a plunge and still can’t believe all the wonderful things that have happened to me thanks to my blog.
In terms of blog expenses, I have spent a total of $222.96 since the launch of my blog on March 21, 2017.
— $106.20 for Account Plan (36 months)
— $11.88 for Domain Privacy Protection (12 months)
— $105 for an annual Tailwind subscription (12 months)
If you missed the previous reports, you can check them out below.
August 2017 Blog Traffic (5th Month) – 20,378 Views (+22.8%)
July 2017 Blog Traffic (4th Month) – 16,600 Views (+25.6%)
June 2017 Blog Traffic (3rd Month) – 13,242 Views (+20.2%)
May 2017 Blog Traffic (2nd Month) – 11,014 Views (+97.7%)
April 2017 Blog Traffic (1st Month) – 5,572 Views
Pageviews: 26,737 (+34.5%)
Pageviews/day: 891 (+35.6%)
Users: 7,245 (+38.9%)
Bounce rate: 61.39% (+7.5%)
Returning visitors: 21.3% (+7%)
New visitors: 78.7% (-1.7%)
Breakdown of channels (# of sessions)
Top 4 sources of traffic
Top 2 referrals
Top 10 posts
Top 10 countries (by # of users)
In September, I spent 25-30 hours a week blogging besides working an 8-5 job. I continued to publish three times a week (MWF) at 7:45 AM.
Publishing more often will stress me out, and posting less will make me feel unproductive. I might change my mind in the future, but 3 is my magic number at the moment.
I finally caught up with my posting schedule of three months in advance. I currently have 34 posts and 7 drafts scheduled until January 5, 2018 (2017 is coming to an end!).
I had one guest post in September from Bernz JP at Moneylogue.com:
The post was well-received. I am glad that many of you found it informative. I hope it will help you lower your monthly mortgage payment as refinancing has helped Bernz.
Below are the two other guest posts that have also done well on my blog:
If you are interested in guest posting on my blog, you can see more details below. I’m always open to new ideas and proposals.
Length: 1,000 – 3,000 words. My posts are usually roughly 1,500 words or longer.
Topics: Anything related to personal finance. I’m particularly interested in Marriage/Relationships & Finance and Real Estate Investment (i.e. landlording, house-hacking, AirBnB)
Style: The post usually starts out with a personal story and then offers lessons learned. You can read more about my blogging style here.
1. Willing to revise the post based on my suggestions.
Sometimes it can take 4-5 rounds of revision to change anything from the wording to the structure of the post.
My main goal is to explore different aspects of the guest post from my perspective as a reader. If I have questions or am interested in certain details, I think others might also feel the same way.
2. No plagiarism.
3. Please send your FINAL version only. No first draft please.
List of Asian personal finance (PF) bloggers
After publishing the list of Asian PF bloggers – part 4, I decided that it would be the last post in the series. I had prepared part 5-7, so not publishing them would put me 3 posts behind.
I have also spent a tremendous amount of time on this project. Each post would take me at least 6 hours to put together the list of PF bloggers and to explore enticing content on their blogs.
However, due to the low level of feedback on part 4, I have added new bloggers from part 5-7 to the complete list of Asian PF bloggers. It was last updated on September 11, 2017.
You can check our all the posts in this series below:
Moving from http to https
I finally switched from http to https on my blog for better security. I read that Google will soon lower the ranking of the sites with http due to security concerns. Mr. FAF helped me with this project, so I didn’t incur a cost for this move.
The biggest downside to the switch is that I lost all of the media shares. Some of my posts previously had more than 300 shares on Pinterest. But after changing to https, I started at 0 share for all of my posts. I looked into how to recover the shares, but it didn’t seem easy.
If you are interested in moving to https, you can contact our fellow blogger Chris at Debt Free Geek. Chris works as a cybersecurity director at his day job, so I believe you will be in good hands.
1. Comment on other blogs
I continued to comment on some of my favorite blogs in September. I would love to follow more blogs, but time is sometimes my biggest enemy.
2. Respond to comments on my blog
I think it’s important for me to interact with my readers to let them know that I care about what they have to say, and I really do.
I might not be able to respond to all feedback, but I read every single comment that I get. It makes me really happy to know many of you take the time to give me such positive feedback as well as constructive criticisms.
Twitter: 1,486 followers (+31.9%)
Pinterest: 212 followers (+24.7%)
Facebook: 35 likes (+52.2%) & 44 follows (+51.7%)
Instagram: 459 followers (+27.9%)
As my site continues to grow, I have focused a lot more time on growing my blog’s presence on social media, especially Pinterest and Twitter. The power of social media lies in scalability.
I like the search engine capability of Pinterest which will allow others to find and share my pins (and thus posts) even when I’m not actively creating new images.
Twitter enables me to interact with other bloggers through retweeting, commenting, and messaging. But I need to constantly be on this platform.
I am less active on Facebook and Instagram, but I will need to find better ways to grow my presence on these platforms.
Pinterest is finally picking up for my blog. Below are the average daily numbers of referrals I got from Pinterest from June to September (4 months):
June: <1 referral/day (23 total referrals for the whole month)
July: 15 referrals/day
Aug: 20 referrals/day
Sep: 120.7 referrals/day
In September, I made new Pinterest images for my most popular posts. If you want to check out what posts have drawn the most traffic to your site, you can check Google Analytics for the stats: Acquisition -> Social -> Network Referrals -> Pinterest. You can also check the stats for your other social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram.
One of my biggest regrets is not installing Google Analytics from day 1. You can definitely do what feels right to you. But it’s also helpful to let data lead the way and help you shape your marketing strategy. I installed the Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights plugin on my WordPress to connect it with Google Analytics.
If you check out my Pinterest profile, you will see how my design has progressed over time. I have read a lot about the importance of branding and having a Pinterest template that can signal to others that it’s your brand.
As much as I want to stick with my previous designs, I also felt the need to improve them based on what I observe from the more popular pins. When you are repinning from other bloggers, you might want to pay more attention to the images that catch your attention instantaneously and make you want to save them. You can then try to recreate and improve upon those images to create your own design.
I always ask myself “What is it about this pin that makes it so popular and/or prettier than the other ones I’ve seen on Pinterest?” I’m still trying to figure out what design and what type of title would catch the most attention in the crowded Pinterest space.
Pinterest is the social media platform that has been the most time-consuming to me. However, I want to stick with it and dedicate even more resources to Pinterest since I know the potential it has to help me draw traffic to my site.
When it comes to Pinterest, I can either spend a ton of time on it or hire an expert who can hopeful do the legwork for me. Given my limited budget for blogging, I’ve opted to do the work myself while consulting other fellow bloggers such as Lily, Corey, and JT.
I currently have about 1,200 followers on Twitter. Starting in mid-September, I got more active in following more personal finance users on this platform. My hope is that they will follow me back and expand my follower base.
However, after following 1,000 more people and only getting fewer than 200 followers, I slowed down to reassess my strategy.
What bothered me about mass-following other people was that my new feeds started to show content that was not relevant to personal finance. It got so irrelevant to the point where I dreaded getting on Twitter since I didn’t want to see what would appear on my new feeds.
I eventually decided to narrow down my following list to under 1,000 people. I was pleased to see the content of my fellow PF bloggers again. It made it easier for me to interact with them and share their content.
I blog anonymously and don’t want to use my personal profile to join personal finance groups on Facebook. Yet, eager to expand my presence on this channel, I set up a pen name profile called “Frugal Faf.” I tried “Frugal Asian,” but Facebook wouldn’t let my registration go through.
I made the mistake of adding too many random people in a short period of time (2 days) with the hope that they would add me back. Facebook seemed to have detected that activity and put my account on hold for review. I had to upload a photo of myself for their review before having the account reactivated.
Tim has a massive following on this platform (135,000 followers). I usually think of him as an Instagram master although he might be too modest to agree with me.
I went on a liking and commenting spree at one point but didn’t get a lot of traffic drawn to my site. Now I just like and comment at a normal rate if I see something I like. I downloaded Gramblr onto my computer to upload my Pinterest images onto Instagram.
To me, it’s like killing two birds with one stone: making one image for two social media platforms. I should put more pictures of my daily life. But since I blog anonymously and don’t really like taking pictures, it’s been a bit of a challenge.
Challenge – The Tailwind debacle
I usually have about 4,000 scheduled pins in my Tailwind account. However, one day, I decided to schedule 108 of my pins to almost 100 group boards to increase my Pinterest presence. As usual, I tried to shuffle all the pins to avoid repetition and went to bed.
When I checked my Pinterest pins the next day, I was in shock to see a series of the same pins on my profile. Tailwind failed to shuffle my 11,000 pins because there were simply too many. The app just couldn’t handle it.
I was terrified. What if people unfollowed me? What if I got kicked out of my top boards for spamming? What if Pinterest lowered the ranking and visibility of my pins because they thought I was spamming?
Those questions ran amok in my mind and stirred up such a whirlwind of emotions that I had to spend almost two hours trying to figure out how to solve that problem by myself in vain. I called Tailwind customer service, but no one picked up.
Luckily, I eventually got a hold of an agent. She agreed with me that 11,000 were too many scheduled pins. I learned that lesson the hard way. I’d try to stay within the 5,000 scheduled pin limit from now on.
Overall, I was pleased with my traffic progress in September. There is no telling what will happen in the blogging world. My pageviews could plummet the next month. I might not be able to make a good income from my blog. But worrying won’t solve any problems.
At the moment, I just want to share my stories and focus on growing my blog. And I’m just simply glad that more readers are joining our family in our frugal adventures. It’s been a pleasure in and of itself.
Until next time!