Another month rolls around and with it my 11th traffic stats report. 11 months of blogging and I’m seeing more markedly signals of the fruits of my labor in this report.
May was a very tough month for me as I’d committed to writing a blog post every day through a 30 day blogging challenge.
As a rule, I post between 10 – 15 blog posts each month. The 30 day blogging challenge increased my output substantially and it’s given me a newfound respect for anyone who produces this kind of output on a regular basis.
Although it’s no doubt helped me to write content faster, it’s not something I feel I’d be able to do on a continued basis without burning out from excessive blogging.
In terms of traffic, I’ve seen a comparative huge burst of growth. Is this related to a more intensive blogging schedule? Or perhaps the Google core algorithm update around 4th May 2020 played a part?
I’m going to look at this in more detail in a forthcoming post that specifically analyzes my 30 day blogging challenge.
I’ve published one post already that explores how to write blog posts everyday off the back of the challenge. The next post in the series will focus on my increased posting frequency to understand the benefits of doing so.
For now though, here are my blog traffic stats for May 2020. You’ll find detail for each of the areas I track to give context. Don’t forget… you can see all my monthly stats since July 2019 here: SideGains Blog Traffic Stats.
May 2020 Blog Traffic Stats from Google Analytics
Another big jump in traffic for May 2020… but worth factoring that there was an extra day in the month compared to April. However, even without the extra day, there’s still a big jump in traffic… see the analysis below.
To what do I attribute May’s traffic increases? There are several possible contributing factors, among which are:
- The SideGains domain is no longer new… as I referenced above, it’s 11 months old now.
- The Google core algorithm update on 4th may 2020.
- Increased posting from my 30 day challenge.
I haven’t yet carried out detailed analysis to see if I’m able to determine precise causes, but I’ll detail this in the specific analysis of 30 day challenge period later this week.
Looking at May 2020 and comparing it to April 2020, Google Analytics shows the following:
|Month||Users||Sessions||Pages Per Session|
- Users have increased by +71.21%.
- Sessions have increased by +70.57%.
- Pages Per Session has decreased by -0.08 pages.
This is another big increase on users month on month, and far more than my target of 30%.
It’s interesting to note how I feel about this. I’m really happy that things are moving in the right direction, but I’m at a point where I’m nervous it might become difficult to grow at my target growth rate or even decrease.
When you’re looking upwards from the foot of a mountain at the start of your ascent, you don’t have far to fall. The further up the mountain you climb, the more painful (fatal even) it will be if something causes you to slip.
I’ve a long way to go because although I’m happy with how things are moving, 2k users is not going to earn me a fortune: as a general rule, you need WAY more visitors to your blog to make a decent income.
As I say, this is a generalization, because if your traffic is super-targeted this might not be the case.
Regardless, the traffic growth for May is positive and encourages me to press onwards.
SideGains Search Console Stats (Search Type: Web) May 2020
Here’s how my Google Search Console Stats for May 2020 compare to April 2020.
|Month||Clicks||Impressions||Avg. CTR||Avg. Position|
- Clicks have increased by +109.28%.
- Impressions have increased by +55.56%.
- Average CTR has increased by +0.3 percentage points.
- Average Position has decreased by –7.1 places.
Google Search Console shows a huge percentage increase in clicks at +109%. Impressions too are almost 57% higher than in April.
Click Through Rate is also holding steady (a slight increase). I won’t downplay this because small increases in CTR actually effect a huge change in percentage point increases in clicks over the long-term. CTR is an important stat to keep an eye on.
The interesting thing to note is that all of my stats show increases for May… except Average Position. I haven’t drilled into Google Analytics to determine a reason yet.
However, my theory is it’s related to my increased publishing schedule and some of the keywords I’ve targeted. Some of the new keywords are WAY more competitive than I’ve previously focused on and this has likely hit my average.
I’d be concerned at a glance if impressions too had decreased, but they haven’t. This suggests I’m now ranking for highly competitive terms… but not very highly! I’ll know more when I dig into Google Analytics to see what’s been going on.
As I’ve mentioned before, I use GSC Web Search Report for the purposes of my monthly stats report as a rough guide to indicate improvements. I cross reference this with other tools in my toolkit.
Blog Posts & Pages
Here are all the posts I made in May 2020.
At the end of May 2020, I have a total of 161 posts having published 30 posts in the month (that’s 20 more than I posted in April 2020). The word count for May totals 44,758 words, which is 31,336 words more than May!
It was a busy month for content!
Despite swamping myself with a 30 day blogging challenge, I still kept my focus upon Pinterest. I also upped my activity on Twitter, and perhaps foolishly given how overworked I felt, took to a little micro-blogging on Instagram!
The results have been really encouraging, and show how important it is to actively engage on social media.
So, here are my May 2020 stats broken down by channel.
Twitter – @gains_side
You can see I was much more active in Twitter in May in terms of the number of tweets I made…. 260 more than April.
The stats show there’s a relationship between tweets / retweets / replies and impressions and follower growth. The thing I’ve changed above all is to engage a lot more with other Twitter discussions… and that’s why my followers have grown so much compared to other months.
Engagement is where it’s at if you want you Twitter followers to grow. Check out this excellent post by James, the guy behind fromclicktosale.com to see more proof of this.
My objective for June is to increase my Twitter following to hit 500.
Pinterest – @SideGains
|Month||Total Pins||Impressions||Total Followers|
I’ve been using a very methodical sociable strategy for Pinterest, that involves quite a bit of work… especially on top of a 30 day blogging challenge. I started this around 23rd April and it is delivering progress, though mostly in terms of follower growth.
Although I’m still not getting masses of visitors from Pinterest, my traffic from this channel has doubled in May. However my followers rose comparatively sharply compared to previous months.
I think my pin designs are the reason I’m not seeing a flood of visitors like some others seem to be, so I’m testing a new pin template I’ve designed. I’ll let you know how this is working out next month.
In general, my sociable marketing strategy seems to be working really well. Working on it is made substantially easier using Tailwind to manage the heavy lifting of scheduling posts and amplifying my pins through Tailwind Communities. If you’re serious about Pinterest I highly recommend it.
If you set up a paid account through the image link below I’ll get some monthly credits… but you can sign up for a free account to give it a test drive.
Personally speaking, it’s something I couldn’t live without now!
Instagram – @SideGains
|Month||New Posts||Total Followers|
I’ve managed to gain 17 followers in May. This outlines that growing followers requires activity!
If you’ve read any of my previous monthly stat reports, you’ll be aware that I’ve done nothing in Instagram for many months. I’d parked it in order to focus on other things.
However, in May I decided I needed to start being much more social… or rather, much more social media minded!
The follower growth in May has been based solely upon making a post a day and I’ve not really engaged much with anyone else’s posts. Now I’m wondering what June might look like if I spend more time focussing on engaging more in Instagram
Although Instagram is not going to be my priority this month, I am going to be more active than I have been to see what comes of it.
Facebook – @SideGains
|Month||Posts||Page Views||Total Page Follows|
My inactivity in Facebook over June reflects the stats you see above. It simply wasn’t possible to do much in Facebook with everything else I was working on.
I’d like to be able to simply share my blog posts to Facebook in June, but we’ll have to see how it goes.
For now I’m less focussed on Facebook because I’ve yet to figure out a workable way to promote SideGains through it.
What’s Next for June 2020?
May was an incredibly challenging month for me, but as you can see from my stats, it’s been a comparatively excellent month. There’s still along way to go before I can be really excited because visitor numbers are still too small to make a decent income from.
I also need to figure out the best way to monetize SideGains. In May, I put some ads to my sidebar, but these will only generate small sums (if anything). My focus now has to be to present affiliate opportunities for people further down the funnel who are much closer purchasing.
I’ll continue working on Pinterest to try to unlock the growth I know people enjoy and look forward to reporting on whether or not my new pin template has made a difference. I’ll also continue with my Pinterest marketing strategy.
Twitter remains a major area of interest and this will require a fair investment of time. The same goes for Instagram, where I’m hoping to engage with other accounts much more.
That’s it for now. You’ll see another report like this one for June 2020 around about 3rd.
Thanks for reading!