My 14th monthly report for SideGains… boy does time fly!
As I always advise anyone starting a blog… blogging is hard work in any niche. In the niche SideGains works within, it’s uber tough!
It seems as though everyone’s blogging about blogging… just go onto Pinterest and do some searches to see.
Everyone seems to be making a success of their blog. When you’re starting out, this is a bitter pill to swallow in niches that are super competitive. It’s probably the reason why many blogs fail… presumably people simply quit when they realize how difficult it can be.
It’s also a reminder that true niche blogs are a much better bet for those starting out!
I’ve had some blogging successes in the past and plenty of blogs that failed too. Most of my forays into the blogging world have been carried out solely to make money rather than provide something useful to people.
SideGains is different.
Why is SideGains Different?
I’m really working on providing something that’s truly useful to people first and foremost, which isn’t the way I’ve worked in most cases before.
Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not completely altruistic about this since I want to make money with SideGains. However I’m trying to do so in a way that provides something useful to people at the same time.
Many of my other blogs many years back were very thin and probably borderline spammy.
Hence it’s difficult for me to remain motivated with SideGains because it’s a much longer term project that was never going to pay out in the short term. It’s too competitive a niche and requires consistency over years rather than months.
But I’m still here!
I’ve had a shaky few months where I’ve questioned what I’ve been doing and this has hit my motivation. When you’re over the initial excitement of getting a blog up and running and have a decent content portfolio behind you, it can be frustrating when you don’t get the results you feel you deserve.
This is precisely the time where grit and determination separates those who succeed from those who don’t.
The following is my blog traffic stats and analysis for August 2020. As always, you can see all my monthly stats since July 2019 here: SideGains Blog Traffic Stats.
August 2020 Blog Traffic Stats from Google Analytics
Some improvement on July 2020, which although small is at least showing upward growth for the first time in two months after my big drop in June.
I’ve lost ground again month-on-month in Google organic search but seen growth in other channels.
So let’s just look at the numbers from Google Analytics to compare them to last month.
|Month||Users||Sessions||Pages Per Session|
- Users have increased by +2.39%.
- Sessions have increased by +2.97%.
- Pages Per Session has decreased by -0.04 pages.
You can see an increase in users and sessions: 36 users and 55 sessions more than in July. There has been a small decrease in the number of pages per session in August of 0.04.
I’ve missed my target month on month growth of 30% again, but at least overall traffic has grown slightly in August.
SideGains Search Console Stats (Search Type: Web) August 2020
Here’s how my Google Search Console Stats for August 2020 compare to July 2020.
|Month||Clicks||Impressions||Avg. CTR||Avg. Position|
According to Google Search Console:
- Clicks have decreased by -14.02%.
- Impressions have decreased by -56.72%.
- Average CTR has increased by +0.06%.
- Average Position has decreased by 7.3 places.
Google Search Console shows a different percentage decrease in clicks from Google Analytics at -14.02%. Impressions are showing substantially higher decrease than GA percentage-wise at -57.72% compared to July.
The drop in impressions of -44,131 is down to lost positions in Google organic search for several keywords. Click Through Rate has increased slightly.
Am I concerned about this?
Yes… but then again Google Analytics shows overall growth: Search Console only refers to Google organic traffic whereas the GA report shows all channels.
My organic search position decrease is concerning, but it shows the drive for me has to be trying to grow links… hence I’ve been working harder on promotion from late August onwards.
We’ll see how this influences performance in September’s report.
For reference, I use GSC Web Search Report as a rough guide to indicate what’s happening with SideGains. I cross reference this with other tools for my own analysis.
Blog Posts & Pages
Here are all the posts I made in August 2020.
|Date||Post Title||Word Count|
|2020-08-11||SideGains July 2020 Blog Traffic Stats||1,782|
|2020-08-22||How to Make Money Blogging in 2020 – Ultimate Guide||5,430|
|2020-08-25||What is Domain Authority & Is It Really Important?||1,474|
|2020-08-27||You’ve Got Blogging Goals, Haven’t You? Haven’t You?||1,358|
|Total Word Count||10,044|
I published 4 posts in August so at the end of the month I have a total of 174 posts since I started SideGains in July 2019. The total word count for August’s articles is 10,044.
I share these details only to give you an indication of the type of work I’m putting into content creation so you can have the full picture of what’s happening on the blog to give context.
I’ve scaled back from social media somewhat in August, largely because I’m spinning too many plates and really need to focus upon building links.
Link building takes a lot of effort, but the results should be far more tangible than chasing engagement in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
I am still trying to increase traffic from Pinterest… though Pinterest is a strange beast that has not been behaving well for me.
I’ll come onto this!
Here are my August 2020 social media stats broken down by channel.
Twitter – @gains_side
*Tweet counts include Tweets and Replies.
As I mentioned, I’ve really scaled back on Twitter activity, since I felt I’d been spending too much time chasing engagement. I need to focus on traffic from Google rather than potential traffic in Twitter.
I also believe that Google organic traffic has the potential to deliver way more traffic than Twitter ever will. As a result it makes no sense at all to spend hours in Twitter every month when I could be using that time to produce guest posts, write blog comments and generally work to build links to appease Google.
For the foreseeable future I’ll be spending a lot less time now on Twitter and instead focus on traffic growth elsewhere.
My stats above for Twitter reflect the fact I’ve already started letting go of it a little.
I was much less active on Twitter compared to July and as a consequence impressions and follower growth have decreased somewhat.
Pinterest – @SideGains
My focus on Pinterest continued apace in August and yet I’ve struggled to make big gains still.
The reason for this is I saw a huge and sudden drop in my Pinterest performance in mid August, which I attribute to another penalty being imposed on my account.
Around 15th August my Pinterest impressions dropped from around 1k per day to less than 10. I’ve raised countless tickets with Pinterest Business Support and ben told there is no penalty on my account, but I know this isn’t true.
I’m not the only one either!
If you’ve been affected like this suddenly and without reason, you should read this post. You might also contribute to the thread, since this is a Master discussion on this issue on the Pinterest Business Community site.
Apparently this another way to get someone to look at your case.
For now I’m waiting for someone from Pinterest to help figure out what’s going on, but as yet my account still appears to be hamstrung.
Pinterest is a nightmare!
|Month||Total Pins||Impressions||Total Followers|
It’s frustrating but I have to sit tight and await a fix!
Want to Really See a Difference on Pinterest?
Check out my review of Tailwind App for Pinterest… a tool to super-charge ALL your Pinterest activity!
Instagram – @SideGains
|Month||New Posts||Total Followers|
Despite not working at all on Instagram I’ve gained 6 followers.
There’s not much to say about this given what I’ve already said about moving my focus away from social for the time being.
Facebook – @SideGains
|Month||Posts||Page Views||Total Page Follows|
I made 2 posts in August, so I wouldn’t expect to see any growth at all. However, I’ve picked up 6 followers.
As with Instagram and Twitter, Facebook is not my focus for now.
What’s Next for Septmber 2020?
More of the same!
I will be reducing my production of posts for SideGains and instead work on building backlinks. Traffic has to be my number one focus and the needle will only move here by improving SideGains’ standing in Google’s eyes!
I’m also planning to launch a new affiliate blog in a much less competitive niche with a highly engaged community.
This is going to require content, outreach and promotion too, hence another reason to reduce my tire-kicking time in social media!
I’ll be using this affiliate blog as a case study going forward and hopefully I’ll be able to share some interesting findings with you.
I’ll also be trying to get my Pinterest account problems fixed… though at the moment this is like trying to swim in treacle. Hopefully I’ll have some good news to share on this in September’s report.
That’s it for now.