At the beginning of January, I looked at my Facebook page and thought — what a sad view. Until recently, Facebook unfortunately fell a little by the wayside with my blog. If you know anything about blogging, it sometimes seems like the work of seven people that often needs to be accomplished by only one. Still, I’d read a ton of positive feedback about its impact on blogger success, so I knew it was time to get the ball rolling. I returned to my favorite resource* for blogging tips and flipped to the chapter on Facebook. What I found was a free tool that I’d been ignoring. Little did I know the impact it would have on my engagement!
Now that I have a good amount of posts, I want to get the word out! To do that, I had to take a hard look at how I was engaging my audience on my social media platforms. I’ve seen some steady (albeit slow) growth on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, but Facebook remained the elusive element. I hunted blogs, searched my favorite blogging resource*, and came up with some strategies to increase my facebook engagement.
The Free Tool with Immediate Impact
Before January, I used Buffer to schedule my posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. This month, I shifted gears. I transferred all my Facebook scheduling to the free tool embedded in the page tools of Facebook. I’d read in this book* and in several blog posts that Facebook is unbelievably picky about sharing. Simply using an outside scheduler could be hurting my traffic. After staring at my pathetic stats month after month, I finally had enough.
I figured there was no loss in trying Facebook’s embedded scheduler. It took me some trial and error to figure out the workflow that worked best for me. Right now, I take roughly 20 minutes to an hour each day to read blogs and schedule social media. I do this mostly because of budget restraints and the limits of free scheduling accounts. However, what I LOVE about the Facebook Scheduler is that I can stay ahead of my posts as far as I want!
The Facebook Scheduling Tool
If you’ve never used the scheduler to plan your social media posts ahead, I suggest you start first with your new blog posts. At the beginning of the month, I started adding 5 posts to my scheduler every time I scheduled a post. Here is the basic schedule I use, though I make tweaks depending on what else I’m sharing that day:
- 7AM on publishing day (sharing that there is a new post on the blog with a teaser
- Next day — ICYMI post, sharing the post from the previous day with a teaser for one of the tips or things I share in my post
- 2 days later — This one I may drop, but I usually just share another tidbit with a link.
- 1 month later — Usually another teaser or insight post to get it in front of people’s eyes again
- 2 months later — A final share, usually similar to what I originally posted, but only if it’s not seasonally specific (I didn’t do this with my Christmas posts, for example).
I saw an instant boost in engagement. Not only were my posts reaching a wider audience, but people were actually CLICKING on these posts as well. They weren’t clicking on every single post, but I was getting somewhere. My most popular posts in January were:
My Top Posts
#1 — How to Deal & Live Through a Renovation
This was actually an old blog post that didn’t get much traction at all until I re-shared it using the Facebook Scheduler. This was a “problem-solving” post. I wanted to share with my readers that living through a long reno is POSSIBLE. I wanted to give them some solutions to the common problems of DIY renovations. It didn’t have the most amount of clicks, but it had the farthest reach. However, I wrote this post as a teaser — revealing just enough about the post so those interested would follow the link, but little enough that there was some mystery to it and they had to click through to find out.
#2 — A Funny Meme
This was a major learning curve for me. I’d forgotten how much I LOVED memes until I came across this one. I had to share it with my audience. I think part of why this post was so successful is because it shows that I’m more than just my blog posts. It shows my sense of humor. I can show little more of myself than just my DIY and home interests. I showed my silly side. This had a few more clicks, and the 2nd highest reach of my top three, but still wasn’t even my best engagement post. It just shows how important it is to engage your audience in getting to know you!
#3 — Staining Wood
This post got a staggering 11 clicks — my highest clicked post to date. I know, you may be thinking this is nothing to write home about, but considering most of my posts only get one or two clicks from my small audience of 86 on Facebook, I thought this was pretty awesome. It was linked to a post on staining wood, which is a great project to do over a longer period of time because of the drying times needed between coats. I wrote about how being busy actually worked in my favor, which was a new spin I’d taken on this project completely by accident! Apparently that’s exactly what people were looking for.
The Importance of Reaching Out
My Facebook reach has been pretty limited until recently. I struggled to find the confidence to network with the friends I already had. But, after the fifth webinar to give the same advice, I finally gave reaching out a try. This resulted in 29 new likes on my Facebook Page! I got these new likes with a combination of just inviting my current friends who I thought might be interested in supporting my page, and reaching out to other bloggers in the Facebook groups I’m a part of.
I finally realized that confidence didn’t matter. The worst thing that would happen if I invited a friend to like my page was that they wouldn’t. They definitely weren’t going to like it if I didn’t reach out. So, I did some experimenting. I reached out to friends, who were mostly thrilled to help out, even if they weren’t exactly the DIY enthusiasts I am. I also experimented a little with a daily engagement page, but the jury is still out on this one. Maybe that will be part of my next Income Report. 😉
In any case, I learned a valuable lesson that reaching out only pays off if you actually do it. So, I’ve started building in time each week to work on reaching out in various ways to experiment with how it affects boosts in my traffic.
Social Media Growth
This month, I not only calculated how many followers I gained, but I also calculated my average growth each month since the beginning. On average, I gain followers in these amounts each month–
Email Subscribers: 2.6
You can see that overall, growth is strongest on Pinterest (surprise, surprise). However, I’m starting to gain some traction on the other platforms as well. My hope is that with spending a little energy in tweaking the types of posts I write and my strategy for getting more followers and engagement, these numbers will begin to grow at higher rates. I’ve begun to brainstorm ideas and research ways other bloggers have seen success on these platforms, so we’ll see if anything sticks. 😉
All right, now it’s the moment of truth. Admittedly, I didn’t make a ton directly on my blog this month. However, I did have some minor wins. Right now, my biggest income streams remain outside the blogging sphere. Still, I’m sharing my “side hustle” income, because until I begin to earn more directly on my blog, it’s how I pay for the expenses of running my blog. So here’s this month’s breakdown.
Amazon Associates: $0.80
Building a Framework: $0.00
Side Hustle Income– $224.95
Total Income: $225.75
Total Expenses: $22.99
You can see that my affiliate income went down, but I earned my first pennies (all 80 of them!) as an Amazon Associate! Seriously, this seemed way more exciting to me than it should have. Call me easily excitable, but I’ll never take that as an insult. 😉 My side hustle income is growing, too. I’ve been taking on some small research projects and more user testing jobs in order to bring in some extra income to pay for blog expenses (including my original investments). Overall, I’d say I’m doing okay. I still can’t wait for the day that my blog is earning money on its own, but I’ve got some exciting plans for that this year, so stay tuned.
See My Other Income Reports:
Thank you for stopping by my little blog today! Please wander around to find a project to inspire you while you’re here! 😉
As always —
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