Behind the scenes of my biz: August 2015

As you probably already know, in July I decided to take my monthly posts one step further by sharing my goals, achievements, stats and growth each month. 

In these posts, I'm going to 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

Here's July's post if you're interested! Now, moving on to August...

My blog growth


August didn't do as well as July but the reason for that is because I posted the social media schedule I create for TSC on my blog in July and it went viral on Pinterest, resulting in more hits to my site. But I'm still happy about my August traffic! It's a lot better than June, but I'm guessing that's because I've been putting more effort into my blog and I moved The Shelancers Club to this website. 

I could easily feel deflated about my current stats because, even though they're good, they're not as good as what I used to get to my blog. However, I'm not. Because traffic isn't everything (there's a great post on this topic over here if you'd like to check it out. I totally recommend it if traffic stats get you down.)

August visits: 9279 (-1607)

August pageviews: 19,178 (-2767)

Most popular post published in August: 21 things you can automate in your creative business. 

The first article went viral on Twitter. My 'Mentions' tabs was constantly flooded with people tagging me in their tweet about that post, YAY. I think it's a well-known fact that posts and courses on automation and making business easier are always popular in the creative business industry, so if you have anything to say about this topic then I encourage you to publish a post on it!

My second post was published in July and has had 1.2k shares on Pinterest so far. Seriously- where would my biz be without Pinterest?! I LOVE Pinterest.

My top 3 referrers: Pinterest, Direct (people directly visiting my site), and Google. I don't really want to focus on my top 3 referrers today though, I want to focus on the 9th best referrer, Aeolidia. They featured one of my blog posts on their blog a few months ago and I get a small, constant stream of traffic from them every month. However, this month I booked a client who found me through them! I'll be sending them a postcard to say thanks at the end of this month. It just shows that even small sources of traffic can do wonders for your business! 

My newsletter growth

New subscribers in August: 151

Average open rate: 40%

Average click rate: 6%

A 35-40% open rate is common in the blogging industry, but I'd like increase mine. I use Mailchimp and I have to pay for the amount of subscribers I have, so if people aren't reading my newsletters I'm going to delete them soon. To do this I just send an email to the people who don't open any of my newsletters and tell them I'll be unsubscribing them unless they click a certain link.

My click rate is low, but that's because I don't require my readers to click through to my blog to read the full post. I just send the full post in the email. 

My newsletter has experienced a lot of growth this year since I've been blogging more consistently and more in-depth. I'm working on increasing my subscribe rate even more by adding content upgrades to my blog posts. A content upgrade is a bonus freebie related to your blog post, and readers have to sign up to get it. I've joined Leadpages so I can do this (I highly recommend Leadpages!!)

How I did with my August goals

These were my goals in August and here's how I did:

1. Streamline my processes. I've been working on this goal for the past couple of months but I made major progress in August thanks to Stress Less & Impress, a course that helps freelancers streamline their process and implement systems. I was already doing a lot of the things outlined in the course but this course pushed me to improve them and gave me lots of extra ideas! It was definitely a great investment for my biz.

2. Fully book my schedule until I go to Thailand. I'm going to Thailand with some girl friends the end of October, so I wanted to book one final branding project before I go. Done!

3. Start adding content upgrades to my blog posts. Done- WOO! I signed up for Leadpages and I wrote and scheduled my posts for the next 3 weeks with content upgrades in them. I'm looking forward to seeing if my subscriber rate increases because of this in next month's September review!

My September goals

1. Get 40 more TSC subscribers. This is a pretty low goal but that's the point. In the past, I've given myself high goals that I haven't achieved because they've seemed too distant. My aim here is that this goal will feel attainable and I won't feel the need to kill myself to attain it.

2. Book a design client for when I return from Thailand. I'm only going there for two weeks so I need a project lined up for when I return, hopefully a luxury brand + website design project.

3. Finish streamlining my processes. Can you believe I'm not done yet?! Streamlining and implementing processes is tough work, especially since I have lots of other jobs to do. It's totally worth it though. Since taking Stress Less & Impress my current systems have improved SO much! I seem more professional to my clients, everything is easier for them, and everything is easier for me!

Lessons I learned throughout August

1. I've learned the importance of keeping track of how much money I'm earning. Since I started using Wave I've realized I'm making more money than I anticipated, which means I've been able to increase my income goal for the year!

2. I'm sticking to my goals a lot better. Creating only 3 monthly goals has really helped me stay in control. I've found that when I focus on more than 3 goals, I stress out.

3. It's OK to hire help! I haven't hired a virtual assistant yet (because it kinda scares me) but I believe in doing things that scare you and I know I'll do this soon. It's just a matter of making sure I hire the right person.

Current obsessions

Stress Less & Impress*- the best course I've taken this year!! At first, I saw that I was already doing everything outlined in the course (like getting clients to sign a contract, fill in a questionnaire, use a project management system...) and I felt a little disappointed. But when I went through the course it showed me so many small ways I could improve what I was already doing. If you need to streamline your systems, or you haven't got any systems in place at all, definitely look into this course!

Leadpages- I signed up so I could use their Leadboxes. It allows me to add an optin at the bottom of each blog post prompting my readers to sign up for a content upgrade, and it delivers the upgrade to them straight away and adds them to my mailing list.

Viraltag*- I'm in LOVE with this social media scheduling tool. I use Buffer for scheduling to Facebook and Twitter but I use Viraltag for Pinterest. It allows me to really quickly bulk-schedule pins to Pinterest- a lot faster than I can in Buffer. Since Pinterest is my main source of website traffic, I've decided to invest $12 a month in Viraltag so I schedule regular daily pins. 

*Links marked with an asterisk are affiliate links. Don't worry though- I only promote products I've benefitted from and believe in.

What have you achieved this month? What are your goals for next month? Leave a comment below this post OR post in our Facebook group!

Nesha Woolery

I build beautiful brands & websites for passionate entrepreneurs!