Behind the scenes: August 2016

In these posts I share:

    •    My blog growth
    •    My newsletter growth
    •    How I did with last month's goals
    •    My goals for next month
    •    Lessons I've learned throughout the month
    •    My current obsessions
    •    My traffic report compared to the previous month

My website growth:

Visits: 29,756 (-2,072)

Pageviews: 43,968 (-3,317)

Audience size: 21,078 (-820)

Most popular post: 5 ugly truths about becoming a freelance designer

My top 3 traffic referrers: Direct, Google, Pinterest

One of the things I spent some time doing this month was going through my old blog posts and improving them. You would not believe how many old blog posts were 500 words long, with very little substance to them. I can’t believe blogging used to be so easy! 

I went through a few posts, made them at least 1500 words long, added links to related posts (so people will stay on my blog longer), and- most importantly- added content upgrades. Then I added a new blog post graphic and pinned them to Pinterest!

The reason I did this was because I realized that my old posts were still getting plenty of traffic- but that traffic was clicking away very quickly. 

It sometimes takes a while for a post to go viral, so when you look at your most popular posts, they’re usually old posts. That’s why it’s good to check your old posts occasionally and make sure they’re the best they can be! Since adding a content upgrade (aka. an opt-in form) to one of my old posts, I’ve been getting an extra 20-30 subscribers per day! (And how do I know those super precise metrics? Because Convertkit easily helps me track the amount of subscribers each of my forms are getting.)

Have a look in Google analytics to see which of your posts are most popular. I bet they’re old posts, right? I challenge you to go through 3 old posts and improve them. I guarantee that after you do, you’ll start seeing higher conversion rates from those posts. One of my improved posts has already started converting 10 readers into email subscribers each day!

My newsletter growth:

Number of subscribers: 7,264

Most popular opt in: My free design process cheatsheet

Since I went through my old blog posts and added content upgrades, I’ve seen a boost in the amount of people entering my sales funnels. This also means a boost in sales!

What is a content upgrade? It’s a freebie you offer your blog readers in exchange for them signing up to your newsletter list. It’s usually a cheatsheet or template related to your blog post topic, but people have to opt-in to get it.

Content upgrades are the main thing that has grown my email list. Over the last 12 months, I’ve gained over 5500 new subscribers just through content upgrades in blog posts.

If you’re interested in growing your list, start with content upgrades. Convertkit wrote a complete guide to content upgrades here if you want to learn how to implement them in your own business and blog!

Behind the scenes this month:

I moved to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, two weeks ago and I’ll be living here until the start of February, doing volunteer work. Some people think it’s crazy to go abroad and do volunteer work that you aren’t even paid for, but I absolutely love it. It gives me a real sense of purpose and direction.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared about how this move would affect my business. I’m scared that I won’t be as present in my business. I’m scared that people will forget about me. I’m scared that my business will get on top of me, or there will be some kind of big emergency that I can’t deal with very well from where I am.

I know that most of my fears are just made-up situations that aren’t going to happen though. I know that moving to Nicaragua for 3 months is going to be one of the best things I’ve done with my life so far. And I know that no matter what happens, I won’t regret doing this.

I’m determined to strike the right balance between working and traveling, and I look forward to sharing more about that balance with you. Next month, I’ll talk about my work routine and how I’m running my business while doing volunteer work abroad (and doing other fun things: like volcano sledging, island hopping and beach tripping! I’m not just going to doing volunteer work out here you know! )

September goals:

Design something amazing for my clients. I have a really awesome clients scheduled for September and I can’t WAIT to get started on her brand and website. As much as I love creating products and hosting webinars, I still love designing for clients and it still gets me excited. Can’t wait for this project to start!

Finish writing & scheduling blog posts. Since I’m going to Nicaragua from November to February, I’ve been frantically writing and scheduling emails and blog posts for that time so my business is left gathering dust while I’m away. I’ve been feeling a lot of resistance towards creating content lately so this is taking longer than expected, but I’m hoping to get it all done by the end of September.

Current obsessions:

Freshbooks: I tried Freshbooks and a few years ago and decided to use Pancake instead because, at the time, Freshbooks didn’t allow you to create payment plans for your client. But they do now!! I took another look at Freshbooks and loved how simple and easy it was to use. Now that Freshbooks allows you to create payment plans for clients, I’m one happy lady.

The Ultimate Monthly Business Planner: I spotted this monthly business planner on Instagram (created by Alisha Nicole) and just KNEW this was the next planner I needed to get when my current planner ends. At the moment, I’m using a dated planner that isn’t necessarily for business. But this planner ISN’T dated (yay!) and it comes with lots of business questions and sheets to help you really push your business forward.


Disclaimer/Truth: I do earn a commission if you purchase any of the products with an * next to them. There are obviously other products available like these, but these are products I love and they are my recommendations based on my own experience. If you do purchase through my affiliate link, thanks so much for your support!