July 2015 Blog Report // Behind the Blog

This is the second of my monthly blog reports, which shows some insights into what goes on behind-the-scenes here at Sara Laughed! If you’d like to read June’s report, click here. As for July, here’s what went on behind the blog last month, and what changed as a result.

July was a very hectic month for me. It was the month that I left my internship, started my new job, and announced the launch of my eBook. It was also the first month in which I hit 100,000 monthly pageviews, which thrilled me to no end! Though I did less work on the blog than I did in June, I saw a ton of growth. Let’s take a look.

Blog Posts

I published 13 blog posts in the month of July, including four in my Summer Guest Post series. Because I published 12 posts in May, my July posts are “up” by one. Most of my posts fell into my Life and College categories this month, but my favorite post this month was actually my June “Behind the Blog” post, because I was trying something new and the response was overwhelmingly positive!

The Blog

I didn’t make any major changes to the blog this month, though I’ve been thinking of tweaking my blog categories in August. In fact, the only change I made this month was adding my eBook to the sidebar.

Social Media

This month I expanded my social media in a few small ways. I joined a weekly Twitter chat on Sundays, which helped me grow my Twitter following by a bit. I kept up with my studyblr, and saw my masterlist of college posts continue to grow (up to 56,000 notes by now!). I am also trying out the new plug-in Tailwind, which allows you to schedule pins on Pinterest. I am still using the free trial and have not yet decided if I will be upgrading.

Guest Posts and Freelancing

I didn’t write any guest posts or freelance pieces this month, but I did still see some traffic coming in from previous guest posts and other pieces!

As you can see, this month was not nearly as focused on change and growth as last month was. However, my numbers still increased by way more than I expected!

Results

Here are my statistics for the month of July:

Behind the Blog: July Traffic and GrowthAgain, all my statistics went in the right direction this month. My sessions increased by 34,000, almost doubling; my users increased by 28,000; and my page views more than doubled, increasing by 67,000 and crossing over the 100,000 mark! Readers are also staying on my site longer, and are less likely to leave after seeing one page than last month. My only statistic that went down this month is the percentage of new sessions, but I actually see this as a good thing; I am retaining more readers than I was last month, which is great!

Like last month, most of my views came from Pinterest – this month about 30,000 people. 10,000 people came over from Tumblr. About 120 people came over from my HerCampus and HelloGiggles posts, and fewer than 100 people from my guest posts in previous months.

What’s next?

Many bloggers end their monthly reports with goals for the next month. I don’t make goals for traffic and readers, but August will be very exciting to me for another reason – my eBook will come out on the 10th! I will also be starting my senior year of college towards the end of the month, so expect to see lots of college posts!

Feedback

This blog is just as much about you and your experience as it is about mine. If you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see in the “behind the blog” series (like financial insights, a better breakdown of my traffic, or fewer statistics), please let me know! You can comment below or send me an email at sara@saralaughed.com.

Love, Sara Laughed

Sara Laughed

Author: Sara Laughed

I'm Sara, a blogger, programmer, and American abroad. I live in the Netherlands my boyfriend and our 11 plants, and in this space blog about my life, discoveries, and mistakes. Follow along here or on social media!

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  • Another great, informative post! I’m so glad your blog is succeeding, because it’s just so lovely and I really think you deserve it! It encourages me in my blogging a bit too – though getting to where you are sort of feels unattainable right now. Do you have any tips for growing your audience? How do you go about getting guest posts on Her Campus or Hello Giggles? I applied to the Her Campus writing team but I never heard back. I’d love to hear your thoughts about blog growth strategies!

    Thank you & love your blog
    -K
    http://www.thoughtcouture.com

    • Wow Katie, thank you so much! Please don’t feel that blogging success is unattainable – in June of 2014 I only got 600 pageviews, so this kind of blogging growth can happen very suddenly! I might write a post all about how I’ve grown my blog audience, though it’s a little outside my area of expertise, but here is my top advice:

      1. Utilize Pinterest as much as you can. Pinterest is how the vast majority of my readers have found my blog. There are tons of articles out there about how to make the most out of Pinterest, but it comes down to attractive, vertical images; using group boards; and having organized, attractive Pinterest boards.

      2. Post only things that you would be proud of, and try to post multiple times a week (I still struggle with this last bit!). Share your posts on relevant social media sites.

      3. Be real. Don’t try to be something you’re not; show your true self and your true passions online. People can tell when you’re being fake, and it won’t go over well!

      As for freelancing, there are tons of websites that look for unpaid contributors; they wouldn’t exist without contributions! Just look to find these sites and try, try again. It took me four months and several attempts to get my first post accepted on HelloGiggles. Some websites that look for contributors include HelloGiggles, HerCampus, and Quarterlette (who I haven’t pitched yet, but I’ve been intending to!). There are tons more; just go to the websites you like to read and look for links like “submit” and “contribute.” Read their submission guidelines thoroughly and make sure you follow them. In the pitch, include why you think your story would be a good fit for their website or audience.

      Also, please apply for the Her Campus Blogger Network again! I think they accept most people, and it’s a great community for promoting your posts and growing your skills. Keep trying until you get accepted. Your blog is very professional-looking and I can see that you put in a lot of love, so I see no reason you shouldn’t be accepted!

      • Thank you for your thoughtful response, Sara! I’ll definitely have to start working on the Pinterest promotion thing, that sounds like a good idea! And I actually am in the Her Campus Blogger Network, I’m just not a contributing writer to the website (which I applied to and wasn’t accepted to) But I’ll just have to keep trying with pitches for the other sites I guess. Thanks again for the advice 🙂

        • Oh sorry, my mistake! I am not a contributing writer, I just submit to their monthly syndication prompts and that’s how I got a post on HC!

  • I have enjoyed your posts through the years, and even though I’m not in college, I still get something out of them. I really like the new design and reading more posts. Keep up the good work. Things are looking great, and trying new things is almost always a good thing. One of your fans….Kristen

    • Thank you so much Kristen! I kid you not, I think of you with every blog post I write, because I know you’ve been there since the start. Thanks for the positive feedback; I’m glad you like these changes, because you know me well and it’s important that this blog continues to reflect the real me!

  • I always love reading these posts for bloggers because they are interesting! Congrats on making the milestones you are!! I would love any tips you have 🙂

    • Hi Autumn! Thanks so much! If you’d like some advice, you can check out my response to Katie below, where I outline some of my biggest pieces of blog advice! I really appreciate your support!

  • Thank you for sharing your stats! It’s fun to read about the successes others are having with their blogs, as well as the examples they set. Thank you for putting yourself out there for newbie bloggers like me!