How I Got 18,665 Pageviews My First Month Blogging (and You Can, Too!)
I created Mom Goes Mental initially as a sort of diary. I wrote a few posts here and there, and it largely just sat. A few unique visitors came and went, but they were most likely just curious folks dropping in from my Instagram where I was more active. In the beginning, I wasn’t interested in learning how to grow your blog fast.
Then one day, someone left me a comment on a particularly raw article I’d written. I feel so much like this. You have no idea how much you’ve helped me.
That feeling of being able to help someone changed my view of my blog in an instant. I could help people with my words, make them laugh, or share one of the many things I’ve learned after having three kids.
I started actually working my blog right then, and by the end of the month I had 18,665 pageviews!
Now, a few disclaimers:
- I already had a large Instagram following.
- BUT Instagram sends me hardly any traffic (only about 100 pageviews the entire month).
- I’ve run online businesses for years, so I bring a lot of that knowledge with me.
- This post does contain some affiliate links which give me a small commission if you click and/or purchase something, but this helps me support my family and offer this inside info free to you (with my uber thanks).
I spent hours reading everything I could find about blog growth and applied it immediately. I didn’t wait around to second guess myself. By making the time and working hard, I saw the payoff big time. These are exactly the steps I used to skyrocket my traffic, and you can grow your blog fast, too!
The 5:1 Ratio
One of the most interesting things I’ve learned about blogging in my first month is that blogging for profit is less about blogging and more about promotion. To grow your blog fast, you’ll most likely spend about 5 hours on promotion for every hour you spend writing.
I know this sounds like a lot, but it’s really the best way to grow your blog fast… like super fast!
I publish blog posts twice a week. My views are highest on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so I chose Monday and Wednesday as my post days. I spend a couple hours writing those posts over the weekend when my kids are asleep, and then I spent the rest of my week promoting my blog.
Killer Design and Setup
A fabulous looking blog and a clean, organized layout is the foundation of how to grow your blog fast. Think about your favorite blogs to read. What do they all have in common? They most likely load quickly, display a variety of blog posts without bombarding you, are beautiful, and have easily accessible menus.
For both design and general setup, I’m a huge proponent of WordPress (I wrote a breakdown of how to start a WordPress blog with Bluehost) because it really is so amazing. While there are definitely some great free themes for your blog, paid themes often provide faster load times with a professional look. Restored 316 has some amazing paid themes I recommend for women entrepreneurs and bloggers.
As I jumped feet first into blogging, I made sure that my theme was fast loading and clean. Then I started on my sidebar. I knew I wanted to monetize my content with high converting ads that wouldn’t distract my visitors. But I also wanted to avoid having a sidebar so packed with stuff that it was just ignored.
In my sidebar, you’ll find custom graphics that point to popular content on my blog (like How to Start a Mom Blog and Make Money), my Instagram feed, trending posts, and just a couple affiliate banners and ads.
Create Cornerstone Content
The last thing you want when you’re trying to grow your blog fast is to spend hours getting visitors to your blog and then offering them nowhere else to go. When I started promoting my blog, I had written a cache of about 20 articles that I could alternately promote alongside my latest.
Visitors could come to my blog to read one post and then meander through other content organically. During my first month blogging, the average visitor went on to view about 2.5 pages, and I used those 20ish blog posts to get over 18,000 pageviews!
I also made many of those initial posts evergreen so they would continue to be valid no matter when they were read. The exact articles you write are totally up to you based on your type of blog, but keep this is mind: Blog Titles Matter
Your post titles are what help you rank in search engines, yes. More importantly, though, they are what get real humans to read your content! I hate clickbait-y sounding titles like, “You’ll Never Believe What I Did to Lose Weight.” They tend to irritate me and other people. Instead, I used titles like, “5 Tips to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding.”
Related Posts & Social Buttons
Right away, I knew I wanted people to easily visit other blog posts by giving them lots of ways to click around! I blog with WordPress, so I installed the Jetpack plugin to enable related posts to show at the bottom of each blog post. I also added links to my content that pointed to other relevant blog posts readers might be interested in.
My social plugin of choice is Social Warfare PRO because it is so customizable, tracks lifetime shares, and has tons of display options globally, per post, per page, and more. One of my favorite features is the ability to only display share counts on posts that have met my social proof threshold. Until my post has been shared a designated number of times, Social Warfare won’t show the number of total shares.
I can also set a specific image and caption to be shared on social media and, more importantly, Pinterest to control exactly what images from my website are floating around.
Optimize SEO & Images
I’ve been working online in some capacity for years, so I knew from the start that if you want to grow your blog fast you have to optimize your SEO. I installed the Yoast SEO plugin. When I create a blog post, I simply fill in the prompts along with writing the post. It’s super cinchy to do, and I think it’s helped even improve my own writing.
For my images, I use Canva religiously. I like their easy-to-find templates that are eye-catching and ready to customize. Here’s an example of one of the templates that I used for this article’s Pinterest image. You can even find free stock photos online to use for your share images.
Read All the Things!
I poured over ebooks and every online resource I could find. I almost never buy into classes promising to reveal the secrets of huge blog growth. Instead, I prefer to glean all the free information that I can and move on. Eventually, the snippets all come together like a puzzle.
My favorite resources are ebooks from Amazon that I can download on the cheap (or even free). Smart Blogger is another amazing website with tons of free information! This is probably the top resource I’d recommend to grow your blog fast. Aim to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour a day learning.
Want to Really Grow Your Blog Fast? Start Pinning!
Pinterest is my biggest source of referral traffic! I make sure that my blog has extremely pinnable images at the ready. My images are always taller than they are wide and include a catchy text overlay on a bright, professional looking photo. Hello, free stock photos!
On top of that, I work my Pinterest account for real! My boards are organized into categories that my followers care about, and I regularly pin interesting content from Pinterest and around the internet.
Every day I follow about 20-30 people on Pinterest, including other bloggers I’ve come across when doing my daily reading. Networking is a huge reason why I’m successful on Pinterest—more on that next.
Aside from pinning to my own boards, I also pin to group boards. My goal is to be a part of 25-50 boards. Right now I contribute to around seven, and I run my own group board.
All in all, I pin my own content somewhere between 4 and 15 times a day in addition to re-pinning. Now, I totally do a lot of manual pinning, too, and I think it’s super valuable.
But I’m not one to turn my nose up at tools that will help me optimize my traffic, either. I recently started using Tailwind to create a custom pinning schedule. My schedule is tailored to when my own pins get a lot of activity. I added their suggested times and then tripled the time slots available. Mostly, I use it to help schedule my own pins to my group boards.
I was a Tailwind fan the minute I started using it! I love that I can actually see the results on my web traffic report. For example, my Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe went live at 5 am. Its pin was scheduled for 9 am. Before I had even opened my computer, my post had already been visited hundreds of times. Plus, it was shared 168 times in just a couple of hours!
I 100% recommend Tailwind to help you grow your blog fast, and I definitely wouldn’t have such a comprehensive ( and successful) Pinterest promotion strategy without it.
Network with Other Bloggers
Networking is so integral to the success of my blog. It’s wonderful to work with a group of other women helping each other succeed. While commenting on other’s blogs can help you grow your blogger network, I find it to be a dated way to introduce yourself to people.
Connect on Facebook or Instagram or even Pinterest, sure. Send an interesting email, totally.
But my favorite way to network to grow your blog fast? Join a Facebook Group whose mission is to help everyone grow their blog quickly. Search for Facebook groups just for bloggers in your niche so that everyone’s audience is similar. Then jump on in!
Some things to look for in a powerful Facebook group:
- Recent posts to the group
- Large community (remember, you want a lot of reach to grow quickly)
- Rules, organization, and active admins
- Follow/pin/share all threads so everyone has to participate in order to gain anything for themselves
Tip: join and participate in a handful of groups to help find 1-3 you really jive with.
Set aside time every day to do some kind of cross-promotion. I typically spend 1-2 hours each day cross-promoting in my Facebook groups. I organize and join in group giveaways, participate in as many sharing threads as I can, and look out for ways I can comment and contribute to help others.
Use an Editorial Calendar
I’ll admit when I first started blogging, I thought there was no way I’d use an editorial calendar. It felt way too stuffy and professional. Then I found myself scrambling to figure out how to keep writing evergreen content and still work in seasonal posts, too. As my blog quickly grew, I wondered how I would manage scheduling sponsored posts next.
It was very clear that I would need an editorial calendar. Since WordPress plugins are my jam, I installed an editorial calendar plugin right onto my website, and I use that to visually see and manage my posting schedule. I also frequently work on posts here and there and keep them saved as drafts.
This helps me write more quickly on the weekends or just when the mood strikes, and it allows me to feel my most authentic.
I publish new posts on Mondays and Wednesdays. On weeks where I have seasonal or sponsored content being published, I’ll also post on Fridays. Because my newsletter (through MailChimp) is synced directly with my blog, posting on this schedule keeps my email subscribers from being overwhelmed.
If I had to name just one thing that helped me grow so fast in my first month, it would be that consistent promotion trumps almost every other aspect of growing your blog.
I know how busy life can be, seriously. I work a full-time job and spend my life chasing after two big kids, a crawling infant, and a herd of small animals. If I can do it… If I can hit 18,665 pageviews in one month of blogging, then so can you. Happy blogging!