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My April 2020 Traffic Report

If you read my May goals or birthday post, you know that I’m a sucker for a new month or really any milestone for that matter. I love the fresh start, the opportunity to analyze & learn from the past, and the chance to wipe the slate clean and begin again. I’ve also discovered one of my favorite parts about blogging is taking my skillset and knowledge (thank you 10+ years in marketing!) to help other bloggers who are also just getting started. Combine those two and it only makes sense – I’ve decided to publish a monthly income & traffic report for Chit Chat With Katie! 

You can read my April 2020 income report here if you’re interested! 

I know it’s so easy when starting your blogging journey to see other blogs and wonder how they got 10,000 page views, 20,000 Instagram followers, or 100,000 session months. It’s easy to get discouraged but everyone had to start somewhere! 

I’m a huge believer in looking at the data to drive your decision making. What I mean is if you’re spending most of your time developing a specific category of content but no one is clicking those links or staying on those pages long, it might be time to reanalyze your niche. If you have a top performing page, why not capitalize and develop more content around that same topic! You can really figure out what serves your audience and what is keeping people coming back (or even checking out your site for the first time) by looking at your analytics! 

If you don’t yet have Google Analytics set up for your blog or need some help analyzing your results, please leave a comment below or email me! I’d love to help you get started; I really feel so passionately that every blogger needs to understand how their content is performing! 

So with that, let’s jump into my April analytics. 

Blog Posts I Published In April 


Google Analytics 

I love Google Analytics. Okay, technically not enough to work full time in the program but it really is such an integral part of understanding your website traffic and has so much functionality. During the time we’ve been socially isolating at home, I completed the Google Academy Google Analytics certification to make sure that I was up to date on best practices and to advance my GA skills.

Tip – If you didn’t know Google offers a full academy of free online courses. You complete the coursework and move through the program and then if you pass the exam at the end, you’re awarded a certification of completion. I’m currently making my way through the Advanced course now and hope to pass the Google Tag Manager Fundamentals exam later this week. 

Second tip and then we’ll get into my traffic metrics but if you haven’t installed GA on your website yet, stop reading this post, open a new page and add GA right now! GA can’t go back in time to fetch data so if you don’t have it set up for your site, you’re losing valuable insights to your audience and content performance. Okay, jumping off my soapbox now, back to my specific GA reports. 

I installed GA before I ever published my first blog post so my April numbers reflect all website traffic. 

My April snapshot metrics: 

  • 166 users 
  • 198 sessions 
  • 407 pageviews
  • 3:06 average time on page
  • 6.06% bounce rate 
  • 10.9% returning users 

Most of my website traffic was direct. This means that those specific website visitors arrived at my blog by typing in my URL or visiting their bookmarks. Upon doing a deeper dive into this acquisition source, most of my traffic came by my “linkinbio” page which is a custom solution I set up instead of using LinkTree (you can view it here). My homepage is next, which makes sense since my URL is easy to remember so if I told someone about my blog in person (which I did a lot lol) they could just pull out their phone and immediately type it in. 

My second biggest source of traffic is from social. I have a post scheduled for later this week that highlights my favorite blogging groups on Facebook but it makes sense that as I’m networking and connecting with other bloggers or even sharing links to specific posts, that they’d come check out my blog.

My most popular blog posts of the month were my Tuscan Chicken Instant Pot Pasta Recipe, My Thrive Market Grocery List, and The Perfect Charcuterie Board


Pinterest 

I took Pinterest With Elle in April as I was setting up my account and am so glad that I did but honestly, I didn’t stick with everything I learned. Between blog writing, customizing my theme, announcing my launch, etc I didn’t spend as much time on Pinterest as I would have liked. 

My top boards included All About Skincare, my main Chit Chat With Katie board, and my Home Office Decor board

My three pins with the highest impressions (and my top clicked pin) were all from my previous deployment content. The Best Quotes for Deployment was also my most engaging pin with 22 total engagements. My Billie Razor Review, Business Blogs You Need To Read, and Gelatin post pins rounded up my most engaging pins. 

Hint – This is one of those examples that I could spend some extra time looking into the numbers to see if my audience would like more military relationship and deployment content. 

My Overall Pinterest Traffic Numbers for April

  • 6,025 impressions
  • 4.78k total audience 
  • 251 engagements
  • 206 engaged audience 

My Specific Chit Chat With Katie Content Metrics

  • 1,277 impressions 
  • 1.02k total audience 
  • 37 engagements 
  • 30 engaged audience 

Instagram 

If you haven’t checked out my income report yet, I use Iconosquare to manage my Instagram & Facebook pages. It’s such a great tool for scheduling, analyzing data, competitor research, the list goes on and on. 

For this month’s reporting, I included the last week of March since I published a few posts to get my account started. Moving forward, each month’s metrics will be for the calendar month. Here’s a snapshot of my April Instagram metrics. Keep in mind, since my account is brand new all these engagement numbers are super high. I officially launched my blog and social channels towards the end of the month and ended up with: 

  • 15 posts
  • 176 Instagram followers
  • 886 likes
  • 213 comments
  • 6,099 impressions
  • A reach of 3,656
  • An engagement rate of 29.32%

Here are my most engaging pieces of content. Again, these don’t mean a lot right now since my follower count is so low (and was even lower when these were posted). With my full time marketing role, I use this report all the time to see if people are engaging with a specific category of content (ex – brunch or cocktails, weekend specials, behind the scenes, etc.) more than others. 

I can also pull the same report but see which posts have the highest engagement on reach. Which means Iconosquare calculates by taking the total engagement (likes, comments, and saves) and dividing them by the reach of each post. 

I can pull all of these same metrics (and more, really can you tell I love Iconosquare?) for my Stories as well but in April, I only posted my highlight templates so there’s not much to report there. 


Facebook Page 

I have to admit, I’ve not put any energy into my Facebook page so far. Right now, I’m pushing through some content that makes sense and wanted to establish my presence but with getting everything up and running with the blog and navigating this whole pandemic thing, my plate has been full so Facebook has definitely taken a back seat. That being said, let’s look at my Facebook analytics for the month. lol 

I also mainly use Iconosquare to pull my Facebook overall metrics since the Facebook Insights tab is clunky and doesn’t let you easily pull data for a specific time period (their default is 7 or 28 days). 

I have a whopping 4 total Facebook fans (thanks Dad!) and ended the month with: 

  • 4 page likes 
  • 71 impressions 
  • A reach of 16 (unique accounts)
  • 13 engagements 
  • A reach rate of 400% 
  • A fan engagement rate of 325% 
  • And a regular engagement rate of 81.25% 

I like to keep track of my fan engagement rate and my overall engagement rate for my client accounts to see how content is performing with the general public and also with our fan base/brand advocates. 

I do login and check my specific posts in Facebook though since I like the way they visually lay out reach and engagement. It’s really easy to see if a certain post is underperforming or if you have a piece going viral! Like I said April was a great month haha. Here’s to hoping that I have a little more time to focus on my Facebook audience in the upcoming months. But hey, at least now we have a baseline. 🙂 


April Wrap Up/Overall Thoughts

In real life, April was definitely an interesting time. Sheltering in place, being laid off, my birthday, and navigating our new “normal” really made the month fly by but also seem to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r to pass. In blogging terms, April was a great foundation month. While I have some upcoming goals (you can read more about May’s goals here), I think April was alright for the first month of Chit Chat With Katie. 

I’m a firm believer that we’re often our biggest critics. It’s so easy to think that everyone else launches their blog and has tens of thousands of views right off the bat. Yah it can happen but I’d like to think the numbers I shared with you today are more realistic for a lot of us and there’s nothing wrong with them! 

It’s the same way that little voice in our head creeps up and tries to get the better of you. “What if people think that I’m taking myself way too seriously and think I’m a big shot blogger now?” Hmmmm news flash – I just shut that down by publishing a post that showed everyone I have a whopping 4 Facebook fans. lol 

If you’re a new blogger or even if you’ve had your blog for awhile, I’d love to hear from you! What did your first month of traffic look like or what did this past month look like for your blog? Were you scared or intimidated by analytics when first starting your blog? The more we talk about these things, hopefully the more we’re able to inspire other new bloggers to stick with it, give your blog a chance, and learn how to drive traffic! 


Comment

10 Comments

  • BB Binks
    May 18, 2020

    Lots of good info. As a newish blogger I’m always looking to improve. I will refer to the post for help!

    • Katie
      BB Binks
      May 19, 2020

      Thanks BB! A big reason I wrote this post was to encourage and support other new bloggers. Very few of us are overnight sensations! 🙂

  • Karen Chen
    May 18, 2020

    This was an awesome post – you’re doing amazing! This was encouraging to see as a fellow blogger as well x

    • Katie
      Karen Chen
      May 19, 2020

      Thanks Karen! I feel like so many bloggers expect to launch their blog and then make full time income right away. I think it’s important to show more real numbers!

  • Cherry
    May 19, 2020

    i’ve never heard of google academy before. i’ll definitely check it out.

    • Katie
      Cherry
      May 19, 2020

      It’s a great resource for learning more about Google offerings. I thought I was a pretty advanced Google Analytics user but learned SO many shortcuts and tips during the course!

  • Julia
    May 26, 2020

    Thanks for the realistic picture for the first month of blogging! Although I don’t track my analytics as closely as you do yet, my numbers were pretty much on par. I had a lot of engagement from friends and family the first couple of days, but am trying to grow organically to a larger audience. Good luck with your May goals!

    • Katie
      Julia
      May 26, 2020

      Glad to hear Julia! The same thing happened to me, lots of support from my circle the first few weeks and now it’s all about scaling and getting out there to a bigger audience! Best of luck with your new blog, I’m going to check it out now!

  • Calie
    May 28, 2020

    Thank you so much for breaking this down! I just started my blog mid-may and I’m always looking for ways to improve and see how others are doing!

    • Katie
      Calie
      June 11, 2020

      Thanks Calie and congrats for starting your blog! I’ll be posting these monthly (finishing up my May reports now) so check back to see how things are growing around here! 🙂

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