Behind the scenes of my business: September

If you'd like to read my previous behind-the-scenes posts, here's July's and here is August's.

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 blog growth

September visits: 12,616 (+536)

September audience: 10,364 (+781)

Most popular post published in September: 7 signs telling you it's time to rebrand

My top 3 traffic referrers: As usual, it was Pinterest, Direct (people directly visiting my site), and Google. I also got a few new visitors from Nubby Twiglet and Aeolidia because they featured me on their blogs. In fact, last month I booked a client thank to Aeolidia's feature!

September didn't result in as much traffic as I had hoped, which is ironic because it's also been the month I stepped up my social media strategy. I think if I hadn't improved my social media, this month's traffic report would have been worse than my previous months. But I'm putting it down to this: none of my blog posts during September were very popular, and they weren't intended to be. 

In September, I primarily posted about branding and website design. When I write these kinds of posts, they never become popular on Pinterest (one of my best traffic sources) and they don't generate many comments. I assume this is because my blog audience is mainly freelancers who don't necessarily need to read up on things like this, since most of them are in the design industry. 

So why write posts that don't go viral on social media and generate lots of attention?

Because brand and website design is the focus of my business. I love writing content to help freelancers grow their business (I have a whole library of these kinds of posts here!) but when I analyzed my blog content, I realized I hadn't been writing as much as I should about the topics I'm an expert in. My design clients need to see more blog posts about branding and websites so their trust in my skills can grow strong. That's why I chose to mainly write about these subjects this month. 

I publish one blog post every week on a Tuesday. From now on, I've decided that each month I'm going to post one branding article, one article on websites, one article to help freelancers grow their business, and one article about tools and resources that will help creatives build better businesses. 

My newsletter growth

New subscribers in September: 301 new subscribers

Unsubscribes: 53

My newsletter is growing faster and faster these days, which I'm over the moon about! I've gained more subscribers this month than the last five months because I added an announcement bar at the top of my site which prompts visitors to sign up for my newsletter, and I started adding content upgrades to my blog posts. 

I prioritize my newsletter over my blog because newsletter readers are much more likely to buy my products and hire me to work for them. They're VIP's. That's why it's important to treat them like they are. I'm planning on creating a few free email courses just for my newsletter subscribers soon! I want them to feel as special as possible. 

I also thought it would be interesting to tell you guys how my little promo email went. Recently, I decided I wanted to earn a little extra money for my trip to Thailand and my trip to Prague in Oct/Nov. So I sent out a newsletter to my subscribers advertising a new service I created: consultations for freelancers. I also mentioned that I'm now booking clients from November onward. My campaign was strictly promotional. I've never sent a campaign like that before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But, within 30 minutes, I checked my email and I had three new project inquiries and a consultation purchase!

It proves that newsletter marketing is one of the BEST ways to build your clientele and sell your products.

As of now (September 28th 2015), I only have one consultation spot left for October 5th. So if you need help growing your freelance business or blog, I'd love to be the lady that helps you!

How I did with my September goals

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

1. Get 40 more TSC subscribers. I failed, again. *Palm to face* Because of the rate my current client projects are going and the short break I had this month, I didn't manage to find time to work on this goal. I did get a few new subscribers though, and barely any unsubscribes. I also created a marketing strategy that I'm looking forward to implementing!

2. Book a design client for when I return from Thailand. This one also didn't happen. I've had inquiries, but no bookings, which has been a little worrying because I'm usually always been booked at least 2 months in advance. This dry stage has got me a little worried if I'm being brutally honest with you guts. If things remain quiet, I'm going to have to analyze my site and services and make some changes. 

3. Finish streamlining my processes. Done! I just need to redo my canned emails and add a few details to my Welcome packet. I'm looking forward to sharing my new processes with you all. 

My October goals

Since I'm away for 2 weeks of October I thought it would be best if I set just one goal. 

1. Book a design client for November. When you only have a small period of time, it's a lot easier to prioritize your goals. This goal is definitely the most important out of all the goals I could set, because my design services bring in 2/3 of my income each year. I'll work on other small goals too, but this goal comes first. 

Lessons I learned throughout September

All in all, I can't help but feel disappointed in myself for how September's goals have done. BUT, I'm trying not to feel too gloomy about it. After all, September has resulted in lots of new newsletter subscribers, a new service, plenty of down-time, and a lot more blogger friends. It all about staying positive and counting your blessings.

Current obsessions

Cash Copy Course*-: Halley Gray, a friend and client of mine, has created this AMAZING course to help you quickly create sales pages that make more sales. Halley is a genius. She quadrupled her income this year using some of the techniques she teaches in this course. If you need a lesson in writing badass sales pages, Halley can definitely help.

Square Plugins: If you use Squarespace, you'll LOVE this site. Squarespace can be a little limiting with their design options, especially if you don't know code. Square Plugins offers lots of CSS code snippets that can transform how your Squarespace blocks look, from newsletter customizations to summary block customizations. 

Tailwind: For the past couple of month's I've been using Viraltag to schedule my Pinterest posts, but a friend recommended Tailwind so I decided to try it out. I love it! It's like Viraltag, but better. Tailwind not only allows you to schedule Pinterest posts, but suggests things to post, analyzes your pins and generates reports, suggests the best times to pin, and more. 

*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!