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 WEBSITE GROWTH
December visits: 12,242 (-2237)
December audience: 23,576 (-3812)
Most popular post published in November: Why I switched from Mailchimp to Convertkit
My top 3 traffic referrers: Pinterest, Direct and Twitter.
OK, I'm not going to lie, my traffic report was a little disappointing this month. I thought Novembers stats were low but December has turned out even lower.
It's easy to get caught up in numbers though, right? Have you ever looked at your stats and felt dismal because they don't compare to others in your niche?
We all feel like that sometimes, and this was one of those cases for me. However, I didn't feel low for long because a lot of other great things happened for me this month and my audience grew despite my fall in website traffic.
Wondering how I grew my audience without using my website?
It has a little something to do with social media, building relationships, and my newsletter. Let's start by discussing social media and I'll go into my newsletter later!
I've grown my social media following on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram this month- particularly Twitter.
I've shared helpful blog posts from bloggers I like, and I've tried to tailor them to what I think my audience wants to read. In return, those tweets have led me to start new relationships with the people whose work I shared. It has also helped me build on the relationships I already had and its helped me to make new business buds.
A lot of the bloggers I've become friends with this year have started sharing my posts too! This has led to their audience becoming my audience, and since we have the same target market it's a definite win.
I've had a LOT of Twitter engagement this month. I'm always chatting with new followers on there and arranging to hop on Skype with new Twitter friends. I've even ended up chatting with a few folks in my DMs, which has led us to arranging webinars and collaborations with each other next year!
Twitter has been amazing for my business this month, and it's definitely a platform I want to use more fully next year.
Lastly, I also did a few broadcasts on Periscope this month and one of them did particularly well: how to turn your audience into raving fans. Because this scope was filled with actionable tips, the scope received dozens of shares and a couple hundred people viewed it.
What's awesome about that is that my audience grew because other people were sharing my scope, and a lot of the people who followed me on 'scope also followed me on Twitter and started up conversations.
My biggest takeaway from Twitter has been this:
Twitter isn't necessarily about sharing your work and blog posts (although that's a good practice to have.)
It's about forming genuine relationships with others.
Business is more fun with you have friends t share the journey with and an audience to connect with.
MY NEWSLETTER GROWTH
(Psst! If you're wondering why it says I've had 899 subscribers over the last 30 days it's because Convertkit includes the numbers of people already on my list who signed up for something like my free course. The number of new subscribers I had is mentioned below.)
Current number of subscribers: 3295 (+354)
Most popular opt-ins: My new 6-day Brand Discovery course was by far the best opt-in. Most of the people who have opted into my list this month have done so because they wanted this course, and I've had absolutely amazing feedback from it.
If you can make it a goal in 2016 to create an in-depth course, book or workshop then I really urge you to do. Seriously- make it your goal!!
People don't want to opt-in for any old 5-page ebook nowadays. You have to give them something so valuable that it could have been sold for real money. It's a much better way of showing your audience that you care, and showing them that the info you have to share is really, reeeeeally good.
So, next year? I want to see you drop those little checklist lead magnets and create something super valuable and share-worthy. It will help you grow your list exponentially!
WHAT I'M FEELIN' PROUD OF THIS YEAR
Can you believe it's the end of the year?! Goodbye 2015 and hello 2016!
Here's something I didn't realize until I sat down to write this post: I don't reflect on my achievements enough. SO, I've decided to write down everything I'm proud of achieving this year (and I'd love it if you'd share your 2015 wins in the FB group!)
Things I'm super duper proud of achieving in 2015:
- I'm fully-booked until June 2016 with design clients. Hurray for getting booked out!
- I started making a bit of affiliate income this year. Not a ton, but it's a nice bit of extra pocket money and it hasn't taken me a lot of effort to earn. The last time I earned affiliate income was when I ran a personal style blog, so its been nice to earn some from my business blog.
- I started The Shelancers Club and I've absolutely loved it. The women who are in this club are amazing and I've enjoyed getting to know you all SO much!
- I've surpassed the income goal I set myself at the start of the year.
- I've got my act together this year and blogged consistently for most of the year, which feels really good in comparison to my posts last year which were very sparse and not very detailed.
- I've made more business buddies this year and we all try and support each other as much as we can!
(You know how lots of bloggers, myself included, always post pretty pics of their clean, organized workspace on Insta? Well, I thought I'd give you a peek at what my desk looks like right now. Not so pretty and not so tidy, but I'm all about showing you guys the reality of freelancing in here!!)
Guys, I've really sucked at sticking to my goals over the last few months but not anymore. I've made sure my goals for January are super doable and I've already started working on them! Here they are:
1. Create and launch a $10 ebook.
2. Create and prepare to launch a $29 ebook.
That's it! Only two goals for January. I'm DONE with bombarding myself with goals and then feeling disappointed if I didn't reach them all. From now on, I'm only giving myself one or two goals per month and I'm going to strive towards those.
I work ten times better when I'm laser-focused on only a couple of things, so I have strong faith that this goal-setting system will work for me. I'm really excited about these goals guys!!
Aaaaand, since you're in the club and I feel like I can tell you guys anything ;) here's a sneaky idea of what the books are going to be about:
1. My $10 ebook is going to lead on from my free Brand Discovery course. I originally set up the course to promote my design services, but when I booked out six months in advance and stopped taking on clients I felt bad for the people who were taking my course, getting in touch with me about design services, and then hearing I'm not available.
This book will include all the course lessons in one handy book, plus four more lessons and lots more printable worksheets.
2. My $29 book will help you get more clients. Soooo, if you're wondering how I'm suddenly booked out six months in advance then stay tuned because I'm going to be dishing all my secrets in this book!
I've been hinting at this for a while now but it's time I finally fleshed it out for you guys.
2016 is the year I'm planning on putting my focus on helping freelancers start, grow and streamline their businesses.
I've been thinking about making this my focus all year but I'll admit: I've been too scared to make the switch.
I tested my idea out by starting TSC and it's gone down SO well. A lot of you tell me you love out community and these articles, and I love making it happen! So I want to do more like this next year.
I have books, workshops, video training and MORE planned for the next year, but I'm going to start by creating a couple of books and seeing how they go down.
I'm not one to jump the gun so I'm still keeping my website design-centered until I'm confident that I can make a comfortable living from teaching freelancers.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! Will you post in our Facebook group and let me know what you think of my new business model concept and what you want to see from me in 2016? I'd be eternally grateful! Seriously.
LESSONS I LEARNED IN DECEMBER
It's easy to become distracted.
This is going to sound a little odd compared to everything I just wrote, but hear me out.
Last Sunday I listened to a sermon that was all about being distracted from what truly matters in life. It got me asking- am I distracted? And the answer is yes.
I'm always on my phone. I've found myself breaking my rules lately and working on weekends. And I'm always thinking about work- especially now it's the end of the year and I'm setting goals for 2016.
What's even worse is that I've found myself looking at others in my industry and striving to make the kind of money they do.
I had to ask myself- what ever happened to the girl that didn't care about making heaps of money? Aren't you satisfied with what you've accomplished this year? Do you really need to kill yourself off just to make more money? How much money do you really need?
Guys, I may have a weird and unpopular view here but here's what I believe:
I don't need six figures.
I know some people would look at me like a crazy person right now, but I don't care.
I don't need six figures. I don't even need £30,000 more than what I earned this year.
Because I don't need the extra stress, the extra working hours, the extra mental strain or the extra distraction.
I just need happiness and contentment, and I personally find those things hard to achieve when I'm chasing after money. I'd much rather put my main focus on more important things.
I'm not saying that I'm not going to push myself hard or set higher income goals.
I'm also not saying that it wouldn't be nice to have the extra money. If I did, it would be awesome for sure.
What I'm saying is that I'm not going to overdo it and chase after material things like they're going to bring me true happiness, because money doesn't equal happiness.
I decreased my income goal for 2016 yesterday because I'll stress out less if I have a smaller target to reach, and it will delight me more if I surpass it.
I'd much rather surpass my income goal and feel super proud and excited than work my ass off and not reach a ridiculously high goal.
I know that's not everyone's opinion, but it's mine and I'm really happy with it.
Convertkit. Guyyyyys. I switched from Mailchimp to Convertkit this year (like a lot of other bloggers) and I'm loving it. It is super simple to use, the analytics are great and it makes it ridiculously easy to set up email courses.
Coschedule. I switched from Buffer to Coschedule because Coschedule has a better-looking calendar and allows me to schedule more than just social media posts, I can also schedule tasks, events and more. I also love the colour coding feature! It's great because I can colour all my launch posts in green and my standard posts in blue so I can clearly see what is schedule and when.
Pinfinite Growth. I enrolled in this course a while ago and I still like to go through bits of it when I'm tweaking my Pinterest strategy. Pinterest brings me hundreds of my daily views and it's responsible for a lot of my sales and new readers. If you're looking to grow your audience in 2016 then give this course a shot.
Not to mention that Melyssa has some great tips on how to use Boardbooster to grow your Pinterest traffic. It's one of my favourite tool-finds of 2015!
Want to help my grow The Shelancers Club?