Monthly Review: March 2019

March felt like an uphill battle with social media content in particular. Despite last month’s success on Pinterest (which was entirely based on sticking to a schedule of posting at least once a day on the platform), I completely fell off the Pinterest bandwagon this month. Over on my personal blog’s version of this monthly review, I go into a bit more depth about the things happening in my life that either help me stay on track or prevent me from staying on track with my content each month. Check out that post for a bit more of the personal story behind these numbers.  

Because over here, we keep it (mostly) business.  

Here are my March stats.  

Number of Blog Posts Written 

Going Places Media – 3 

Sarah Going – 3 

This sounds like about the same thing I thought last month, but I got more posts published than I realized this month. At six posts total, I was only one post down from February. However, I didn’t get a lot done in the beginning of the month, and all these posts except one were stacked towards the end of the month (after the 10th). I’ll get this consistency thing down eventually my friends... hopefully. 

My favorite post of the month here on the Going Places Media blog was this one about why we don’t go after our goals (spoiler alert: it may not just be because we don’t have enough time). My favorite post of the month over at Sarah Going was this novel about travel philosophies. I jot down ideas for content that I want to potentially write basically all the time, but occasionally, I’ll just sit down at a blank page and start writing whatever I think of at that moment. Generally, these unplanned posts require a lot more editing than those I spend some time thinking through on the front end... but they also tend to end up being some of my favorites (like these two). I hope you enjoy reading them, and let me know what you think! 

Blog Visits

GOING PLACES MEDIA - 26 

SARAH GOING - 246 

Yikes. Let’s talk about the conundrum that is blog traffic. 

Since the blog here at Going Places Media is only three months old, it is reliant on social media to drive traffic. When I have a month like March where I focus on writing but completely skip the part where I share my content on social media, my blog visits fall off a cliff (down to 26 this month from 68 in February). On the other hand, since Sarah Going is more established at three years old, my blog traffic there is primarily driven by search engines. For a select few keyword searches, my blog shows up on the first page in Google. Since searches for specific keywords tend to stay pretty consistent each month, my traffic also tends to stay pretty consistent at Sarah Going (even when I have a really bad social media month).  

Have you spotted the conundrum yet?  

The only way to create a library of content that will rank well with the search engines and drive consistent blog traffic your way over the long term is to write consistent, high-quality content. But the best way to drive initial traffic to a new blog is by advertising content on social media. The problem is that spending all that time advertising your content on social media takes away time that you could be spending creating content.

It’s a conundrum, that’s for sure.  

SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS  

I didn’t pull these counts on the first day of April, but I did pull them on the third day of April. Much better than pulling them in the middle of the month like I normally do (progress!) 

Pinterest - 161 

Instagram: Going Places Media - 55 

Instagram: Sarah Going - 323 

Twitter - 1,165 

Facebook Page: Sarah Going - 68 

SOCIAL MEDIA REVIEW  

Last month, I discovered the power of Pinterest. I converted my Pinterest over to a business account and started pinning content from both blogs at least once a day. I made most of my pins on Canva (if you’re looking for somewhere to design your social media posts, check it out – it's free!) After posting every day for the entire month of February, my page had 86,000 monthly views... which is crazy, because I believe I started the month with less than 100 views. In March, courtesy of the fact that I barely posted to Pinterest at all, my monthly viewers fell off to 2,900 as of today.

Turns out that consistency is REALLY important on Pinterest... lesson learned.  

For some reason, Twitter is the easiest of my social media accounts for me to keep up with naturally. The type of content shared on Twitter helps with this, because every time I read an interesting article from one of the blogs or websites I follow, I can simply tweet the link. Compared with the photo editing, captioning and hashtags involved when posting to Instagram and the Canva designs required to post to Pinterest, sharing content on Twitter is simply a lot faster and easier to work into my schedule. 

Because of the time it takes to get Instagram and Pinterest content ready, I do better with those platforms when I can batch-create content ahead of time. As you can see from my follower counts month over month, I’m not very consistent with setting aside this time to batch. One thing I’m working on this year (and one of the reasons I’m sharing these reviews) is to establish more consistency, and it’s looking like setting aside the first weekend of each month or last weekend of the previous month to batch social media content may be a good option to help me balance these accounts with the full-time job.  

I’ll test out that plan and let you know how it works! 

WEB DESIGN  

In February’s review, I mentioned that the Sarah Going blog was about to be celebrating a birthday... so it might be a good time for a design update. At the very end of March, Sarah Going turned 3! It’s also my one-year anniversary of having the blog on the Squarespace platform. Since I brought the blog over from Wordpress in the spring of 2018, I’ve been using the Skye template at Sarah Going. While I still love the way Skye looks, it gets a bit overwhelming when you have a lot of content (because it features one feed of ALL of the content on the home page). Something like the template I’m using here at Going Media – Rally – might be a better fit.  

As for this site, I’m thinking of going a bit more colorful. Don’t worry: the black and white instagram feed won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. I just think that feed would look more balanced if this site itself featured some color photography. What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments!  

EMAIL LISTS AND NEWSLETTERS 

I’ve been looking into two primary options to get my email lists/ newsletters for the blogs up and running: Mailchimp or Squarespace. Currently, Squarespace’s email marketing system is free, but they will start charging at some point in the future. I’ve been searching for reviews online, but they’ve been a bit difficult to find since the system is relatively new. If you’ve tried out Squarespace’s native email list management/ newsletter option, please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear what you think about it!