Caroline's Corner

Caroline's Corner
A look at my goals and statistics

Caroline’s Corner: Sharing my ambitions, goals and statistics

I love to look at my statistics in Google Analytics. I like to watch the numbers creep up slowly towards the goal I’ve set for this month, and I love to see my hard work paysoff. But there’s one thing I like even more than looking at my numbers: looking at the stats of the competitors in my niche. Today, however, instead of lurking on other people’s blogs, looking for their numbers, I’ll share my goals and statistics.

Pinterest must know my behavior, as my feed is filled with bloggers who show off their numbers and how they did it, claiming overnight success and going viral with easy steps. I’ve not been able to implement their tips for overnight success. This might have to do with certain circumstances or niches, but something tells me I’m spending too much time on reading how others do it than focusing on my growth.

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Setting goals

In March, I started to get more serious about my blog. This is, quite coincidentally, the same time I started blogging for Yoast.com. I wanted to blog more and grow as well — both as a human as well as a blogger. I’ll be honest: I want to be the best. I’m competitive like that. But I know that won’t happen. Or at least, I won’t become big with just waiting; I have to work for it.

You’ve heard me say it in my previous blogs: I’m a small blogger. But how small is small? There are bloggers out there who claim they are small when they have 5000 visitors a month. There are also bloggers out there who feel like they own the world with 1000 pageviews in half a year. Your definition can differ from someone else’s — and that’s okay.

Without further ado, I present to you, my monthly users in March 2018 on my blog about motherhood:

257.

No. You’re not missing a ‘K’ or a few zeroes after that number. It’s 257. That’s not whopping. And you’re getting blogging advice from me. Hah, got you there! Don’t worry though; I’ve been lazy up until then. And I’ve learned that when you go for it, you can see tremendous growth.

I decided that I wanted to double my users in April. I tried to reach 500 users and 1000 page views.

On May 1st, I checked my analytics to see if I made my goal. Just kidding, I already knew I made it. I’m addicted to Google Analytics. I have the app installed on my phone. And whenever I have my phone in my hand, my husband doesn’t ask me if I’m reading the news or received a message. He asks me if I’m rechecking my stats. I spam my blogger friends with my stats as well. Yep, guilty of obsessing over my goals and statistics. But hey, it works for me because I reached my goals in April! I had 505 users and 1088 page views. Nailed it, I’d say!

I set new goals on May 1st for my blog. I wanted to reach 1000 users and 1500 pageviews. Again, this is doubling my goal of last month. I can say that I’ve achieved both my goals this month.

As I’ve reached both goals the past months, you’re probably wondering what my new goal will be. But I have to admit: I’m not sure. The increasing numbers feel amazing, but aiming for something high, makes my inner critic take over again.

One of my colleagues pointed out that if my growth continued like this, I would break the 100k mark in December. I scoffed and said: ‘yes, well, that would be highly unlikely.’ He shrugged, asked me: ‘why?’ and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Because why would it be highly unlikely? It’s an insane number, that’s why. But I can try. Dream big. Aim high, shoot low. Aim for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. And whatever motivational words there are out there.

So my new goal will be 2000 users in June and 3000 pageviews, doubling last month’s goal. And I’ll continue like that. In December, I’ll write an update to let you know if I reached the 100k.

How to reach these goals

You’re probably wondering how I nearly doubled my traffic two months in a row. As I explained in my Pinterest post, most of my traffic comes from Facebook. This hasn’t changed yet.

My top three sources of traffic are Facebook, Google, and Pinterest. I’ve been focusing a lot on Facebook and Pinterest lately, though I am not a fan of the new Facebook algorithm either. I reached most of my visitors through Facebook advertising.

My biggest advice for reaching these goals is not Facebook advertising. It’s not focusing on organic growth, and it’s not concentrating on Pinterest either. It’s writing your goals down in a notebook. Look at it often and think of a strategy how to reach this. For me, it’s a combination of a daily blog post, one or two sponsored posts on Facebook and heavily obsessing over my stats.

As I’m writing this, I’ve got my analytics open and am refreshing it every once in a while. This is an obsession, I know, and it’s not something I would recommend. I might need to write a blog post on how to stop checking my stats every second of every day. Whatever you do and whatever your goals are: set them, create a plan and work for it.

Overnight success hardly ever happens.

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24 Responses to Caroline’s Corner: Sharing my ambitions, goals and statistics

  1. oveysrostami
    By oveysrostami on 3 June, 2018

    This is a helpful article, thanks for it.

  2. apkpure
    By apkpure on 3 June, 2018

    Hi Caroline,
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Such a nice information.
    Thanks a lot

  3. Rahul Maurya
    By Rahul Maurya on 2 June, 2018

    very nice article.this website is very helpful for me.i am learning many seo tips and tricks from this website.
    thanks for sharing such as great article.

  4. Alison
    By Alison on 2 June, 2018

    Thank you, Caroline! Your posts are always educational, motivating and relatable.

  5. Karen
    By Karen on 1 June, 2018

    I don’t obsess enough over GA, mostly because it’s just so complex and I do obsess over return on investment – especially my time. Do you know if there’s a to-the-point, quick start tutorial on learning to use it effectively? I have it installed on my dashboard, and the app on my phone, but I never venture much further than the dashboard plugin. I’d like to though because I know there’s a wealth of good information there beyond just pagevies.

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

      All the things I know about GA, are either Googled or answered by my colleague Annelieke. Annelieke writes a lot about GA on Yoast.com as well, so if you use the search bar to search for analytics, there are a lot of questions she already answered!

  6. Bill Flynn
    By Bill Flynn on 1 June, 2018

    Hi Caroline,
    Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. It’s come at a great time for me. I am getting ready to launch my first blog later this month and the thought of genrating traffic has me very concerned. Your words give me hope!
    thank you,
    Bill

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

      Hi Bill,
      That’s exciting! Don’t be scared, just enjoy the ride. It’s hard work, but if you love what you do, I’m sure you can make it work. Good luck!

  7. Joost
    By Joost on 1 June, 2018

    Hi Caroline. Nice to read your post. You are definitely not the only statistics obsessed blogger out there. I believe good quality posts will in the long run get you the best results. Plus it is the most fun.

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

      Good to know! I haven’t checked my stats in 10 minutes. That’s good, right? Haha!

  8. Ken Jensen
    By Ken Jensen on 1 June, 2018

    This has been the most helpful and inspiring post in Yoast yet. (For me.) I’ve got years of heavy investment of all things besides money wrapped into my blog. I’ve only -just- started seeing a rise in traffic. And it’s a small batch, like yours Caroline. But it shows I’m on the right path. And I’ve learned a whole lot more from the doing, giving me the ability to grow even faster, now that I know a thing or two about a thing or two. But just reading about your similar state of affairs was a welcome relief to me, particularly because you’re sharing such from within Yoast itself.

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

      Hi Ken,
      Thank you so much for your compliment!
      It’s hard work and it’s logic, but you need to know where to look and how to grow. You need to have a long breath as well. Good luck!

  9. Byron Jones
    By Byron Jones on 1 June, 2018

    Wonderful insight and pleased to see someone else’s success. You mention Facebook adverts to gain views, thus traffic and I am wondering what the length of stay did as you doubled your views to your blog and what the cost in $ was to get that extra traffic.

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

      Thank you.
      My bounce rate went up a tiny bit, but I’m talking about 2% here. My average stay stayed around the same (1 minute 30 seconds or so). I spent 25 euros last month (May). You’re competing against others who are trying to reach the same people, so the cost per click may vary. Last month the cost per click for me was around 7 cents, but this month it’s gone to 2 cents. I’m not sure why. I’m trying to focus more on getting organic search.

      It’s important you target your ads properly. Not using any targets when you only want to reach mothers of toddlers, will make your bounce rate probably skyrocket.

  10. Rick
    By Rick on 1 June, 2018

    I’d be interested to know *how* you doubled your readership and hit your goals at least two months in a row.

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

      I analyzed what posts would be interesting for new readers to start following me. I am active on Facebook, so I decided to spend a couple of bucks on advertising. I don’t advertise each blog post, but I pick the ones that are easy to target. For me, those are posts about Disneyland Paris.

      The second part is: I started becoming more serious about SEO. Using Google Search Console and the Yoast SEO premium plugin to optimize my site.

  11. Madison
    By Madison on 1 June, 2018

    It was so much easier to write what readers want back when Google used to let us see the query. When someone lands on my site with a question I haven’t directly answered yet, I hurry up and write an article about it (if it is a fitting topic for my site). I use the language of the original query if it makes enough sense to sound like something I’d say. Doing this is what brought my blog up to over 5000 unique visitors a month, and it’s mostly organic. Now it’s a lot of guesswork to imagine what readers might be asking so I can write articles to answer imaginary questions.

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

      Wow, that’s pretty cool already! You can use google search console to see what people are looking for and what you slightly rank for already. And there are things as Google Trends as well, but I don’t have much experience with that yet.
      You could try ask people to comment on your post with what they want to read about. Most people are shy to comment.

  12. Tehran Hostel
    By Tehran Hostel on 1 June, 2018

    Overnight success hardly ever happens.
    Liked this part.

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

      Thank you! I have to remind myself this every day.

      And I’m still hoping for a miracle ;)

  13. Hossein
    By Hossein on 1 June, 2018

    Hi Caroline,
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    May I ask you what is the name of the google analytics app that you use on your phone.
    Because I have installed most of them and none of them works well.
    Thanks a lot

    • Caroline Geven
      By Caroline Geven on 1 June, 2018

      Hi, of course :) I use the Google Analytics app from Google itself.

      • Jens
        By Jens on 2 June, 2018

        Hello Caroline,
        interesting post and insights of your project, Thanks.
        Maybe the question here should be:
        “How do you use the Google Analytics app?”
        I could imagine, that many people with a less ‘techie’ resume are having problems to interpret the different options of GA and also not sure about how to finally interpret each given value.
        Wouldn’t this be an interesting topic for a following post of you?
        (Another point: Do you have experience of using other statistic tools, e.g. like WP statistics ?)

        • Caroline Geven
          By Caroline Geven on 5 June, 2018

          Hi Jens,
          Thanks for your comment. My colleague Annelieke writes quite a lot about Analytics. Just use the search option to find her articles. It’s trial and error (and a lot of Googling) for me too!
          I don’t have experience with other statistic tools, no


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