Quarterly Review June 2019: The Halfway Point

As you may know if you’ve been hanging around my blogs for a while, 2019 is the first year I’ve ever written blog reviews. I started out the year writing two of these reviews every month: one on my personal blog Sarah Going that focused on how my annual goals were going and one here at Going Places Media with all my blog stats. If you are also a blogger (and even if you are not), you probably know what I’m about to say:  

Two blog reviews every month was overkill.  

Lesson learned.  

I decided to scale these reviews back to once a quarter, and only write one covering both blogs here at Going Places Media. I’ll probably still write informal goal check-ins throughout the year over at Sarah Going (especially since I fell off the bandwagon with one of my 2019 New Year’s Resolutions pretty spectacularly this month), but stats are what I really want to be tracking on a quarterly basis. So we can all see if my traffic improves when I act like a serious blogger... and how badly it tanks when I don’t do anything on my blogs for a month (I’m trying to do less of that in 2019, but it still happens occasionally).  

True to form, I’m also almost a month late on writing this quarterly review. One silver lining about this: year-to-date stats at this point include the first 7 months of 2019, instead of just the first half of the year. So we’ll see if I can beat these 7 month stats in the next 5 months.  

Game on. 

Number of Blog Posts Written  

Going Places Media: 14

Sarah Going: 19

Since we are halfway through 2019 at this point (how did that happen?), I thought it would be more interesting to use year-to-date stats for this review instead of just the stats from the most recent quarter. So far in 2019, I’ve written a combined total of 33 blog posts in almost 7 months (not including this post). That is an average of 4.7 blog posts a month or 1.1 blog posts a week. As a blogger who balances two blogs with a full-time job, I’m ok with these numbers. I’ve often mentioned in these monthly reviews that I feel like I’m getting less done each month than I actually am, partially because I know how much less I’m getting done than people who blog full-time. But I think one post a week is fair in this current chapter of my life (and it’s honestly more than I thought I was writing, so that’s good!) 

That being said... I’d love to increase this average throughout the rest of 2019. I think I could be smarter about the way I’m approaching content creation and get to two posts a week. Let’s find out (and I’ll report back to let you know how it is going in the next review).  

Blog Traffic

Going Places Media: 165 unique visitors, 672 pageviews 

Sarah Going: 1,497 unique visitors, 3,084 pageviews 

Let’s start by stating the obvious: a lot of bloggers who share their traffic numbers online get this many unique visitors and pageviews in a month (or a week). But these are my blog stats from the first 7 months of 2019. Am I embarrassed to be sharing these numbers? No, I’m not.  

Because I want people to know that we all start somewhere.  

Telling the complete story about the process of growing a blog and brand from scratch is the reason I started Going Places Media in the first place. If you aren’t happy with your traffic, my advice is to keep going as long as you love what you are creating. Traffic takes time, but when you enjoy what you are doing, it doesn’t really matter if you have less visitors than someone else. Have fun and remember to be thankful for the traffic you do get. In my opinion, impacting just one person in a positive way is enough to make blogging worth it. 

There might have been a time when the fact that I may never reach 10,000 views a month would have really bothered me. But I started blogging because I wanted to help people, and because I loved blogging... and I still do. I’m astonished and grateful that this many people have stopped by my blogs so far in 2019! These are the biggest traffic stats I’ve ever had (since Sarah Going was founded in 2016 and this blog is only 8 months old). I’m excited to see where we end the year with these stats. And as always, thank you so much for reading. 

Social Media

It took some time during the first half of 2019 to decide what mix of social media platforms made sense now that I’m running two websites. Thankfully, I’ve finally settled on a collection of accounts that I can (hopefully) manage with a full-time job and two blogs. Those include: 

Pinterest (Going Places Media): 1 follower 

Pinterest (Sarah Going): 164 followers 

Instagram (Going Places Media): 54 followers 

Instagram (Sarah Going): 420 followers 

Twitter: 1,235 followers 

Facebook Page:  69 followers 

Since Pinterest and Instagram are probably the most important platforms for blogs to have a presence on in the year 2019, I am going to attempt to run a separate Instagram and Pinterest page for each blog. However, I only want to run one Twitter and Facebook page where I can hopefully interact with readers of both my blogs and share content that I’m writing no matter where it is being published. At least, that’s the master plan (I’ll keep you updated on it throughout the rest of this year). 

When I started Going Places Media, I hadn’t really thought through what committing to 100% black and white content would mean. To be honest, the commitment to black and white has been making Instagram and Pinterest growth a bit difficult so far. I love the idea, but if it gets to the point that it is holding back growth and the ability to connect with other creators/share their content (because their content isn’t black and white), it may be something I need to rethink.  

These are where the follower stats stand currently. The Going Places Media Instagram has remained stable, but I’ve finally been able to exceed 400 followers on my Sarah Going Instagram account! That took a lot longer than it should have considering how long I’ve had Instagram, but I’m still excited and thankful. The Going Places Media Pinterest account is brand new, so I’m interested to see how it grows by the end of 2019. My Facebook blog page has also remained relatively stable, but I have been connecting with a lot of other bloggers on Twitter recently. I’m currently loving that platform and I’m looking forward to continuing the interactions and conversations with other writers and readers there during the rest of 2019.

  

Website Design

True to form, I’ve redesigned both the Sarah Going blog and this blog a few times since the beginning of 2019... but I like how they are looking right now. It took some time to get Going Places Media where I wanted it (it is relatively new, after all) but I think the current design will work for a while. I’m a big fan of the blog page in particular: I really like featuring the title on the top of the page and having a slider of recent posts.  

I see blogs I like relatively often and wonder what themes they are using, so for anyone in the process of a redesign: both my blogs are on Squarespace. Going Places Media runs the Bedford theme while Sarah Going uses the Rally theme. Have fun! 

Email Lists and Newsletters

This particular subheading of my monthly blog reviews has been a failure since day one, but it wouldn’t be fair to skip it and act like I’m a more put-together blogger than I actually am at this point. After all, trying to hide the failures isn’t really the point of a tell-all blog review.  

Since the beginning of 2019, I have been looking into some options to manage a monthly newsletter/email list for both the Sarah Going blog and the Going Places Media blog. However, I haven’t made this a priority. To be honest, I don’t know exactly what I would send out in a monthly newsletter, and that fear of the unknown is holding me back from just trying stuff to see what works. I’m also pretty vocal about how much I hate popups, but I’m not really sure how to get people to sign up for an email list without a popup. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to cave and have popups on my blogs, I just need to brainstorm some cool alternatives.) 

I’m telling you all of this because I’m committing to getting this done by the end of 2019. I’m going to have a system for managing email subscribers on both my blogs, and I’m going to send out some newsletters on these blogs (even if they are rough at first). If you have any suggestions about the system you use for this serious blogger stuff, please let me know in the comments – I could use all the help I can get.  

How has the first half of 2019 gone on your blog and social media accounts? Are you happy with where you are? Is there any content I could create that would help you? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. 

Want to catch up on all the 2019 blog reviews? Check them out here.