Monday, September 28, 2015

Road to 10,000: Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 11

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 11 | Source:  www.sarahsmirks.com | Learn how to make blogging and social media goals and meet them in this weekly series.

Good morning!  I hope your weekend was stellar.  Mine was filled with kiddie parties and pumpkin painting (and trying to edit some Insta e-course stuff while the little dude napped).  Speaking of the e-course, this will be the one and only post this week as I wrap up the final details of the e-course.  It goes live on Thursday, so sign up now if you want to get in.  You'll be in good company.  I have some amazing bloggers and small businesses joining in on the first round of this mini e-course.


Okay - onto the goals!

Goals from Last Week


Sessions:  600/week
Status:  #Fail

I had 510 sessions, and that's on me.  I have been so tired and sick lately, I haven't kept up with my M, W, F posting schedule.  I just get home from work, entertain the little dude, and pass out as soon as I can.  I need to find a way to meet my blogging schedule while also meeting my dire need/want for rest.

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 11 | Source:  www.sarahsmirks.com | Learn how to make blogging and social media goals and meet them in this weekly series.


My top acquisition after direct was Pinterest again.  Speaking of, we started our Great Pinterest Challenge this weekend!  You can still get in if you're interested.  The goal is to increase our followers by 50% in 30 days with 9 challenges.  Pinterest is such a great traffic driver because it brings traffic to posts of all ages, not just the new ones.



Twitter:  2,700 Followers
Status:  #MinorFail

I reached 2,668 followers.  This is a prime example of what happens when you don't put the effort fourth.  I know my Twitter game is on point, BUT, I have been just too tired to focus on it lately, and I haven't made effort beyond automating my Tweets.  When you engage, join Twitter parties, and give some Twitter love, you get love in return.  HOWEVER, I have been sleeping and taking care of the little (pretty much solo) all week (My husband has been working late all week), so beyond what can be done in a single sitting, I haven't been able to put as much effort into my blog as usual., and my stats are reflecting that.

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 11 | Source:  www.sarahsmirks.com | Learn how to make blogging and social media goals and meet them in this weekly series.


E-course:  3 New Sign-ups
Status:  Rocked it.  

Yay!  I reached my goal of selling three more course spots.  I'm really excited about this e-course.  The deeper I get into the creation and editing of it, the more confident I am that this course will really up my students Instagram game in a major way.  Using these techniques, I have grown my account quickly and steadily, so I'm excited to share my secret sauce.

Goals for This Week

My only goal this week is the wrap up the details on my Instagram e-course that goes live on Thursday.  I want to make sure it's perfect for my students.  So, I'll take the pressure off my stats this week (you're welcome, stats), and keep it simple.  Next week I'll be back with my goals and an update of how my blog did when I was partly MIA.  I'm sure it will be a cautionary tale - haha.

Until next week, my loves!  Oh, and if you want to keep in touch with me while I'm off working on the e-course, join my secret FB group.  I'm always available there to chat.


  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Great Pinterest Experiment

Developing a Pinterest Strategy + a free challenge group and guide! | Sarah Smirks

It doesn’t take an expert to know that when you see one referrer bringing in WAY more traffic than any other, that’s one you should probably spend the most time on.  For bloggers, that one referrer is almost always the great and mighty Pinterest.  Pinterest has so many benefits:  1) Your pins can be seen by anyone, not just your followers; 2) Pinterest keeps traffic coming to older posts; 3) Studies show, Pinterest click-throughs are more likely to convert (woo-hoo!).
Because of all these reasons, I am creating a Pinterest experiment.  Mama is ALL about growth hacking.  How can I (and my clients) grow fast?  How can we not only grow fast, but grow fast with engaged followers?  That’s my priority.  However, while I feel I have cracked the code on Twitter and Instagram, Pinterest is still shrouded in mystery for me.  I’m growing, but slowly.  Slow does not equal growth hacking, so, I’m looking for a better way to grow.  Who wants to join me on my experiment?


The Great Pinterest Experiment Explained.



First, let me make it clear, we are growing our Pinterest following for our blogs and businesses – not personal.  So, this account we will be growing is going to be thought of as a curation of all things our ideal audience wants to see.  Use a personal Pinterest account for your own favorite outfits, workouts, and recipes.  This will be for them.


First Step:  Build a Pinterest Experience for Your Audience  

First thing first, make sure your name and bio is keyword rich and explains your blog or business.  You also want to use the same profile picture or logo that you use on all other social media.  Make sure your website is verified.  Make sure your social media (Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter) are connected.  You can do this in settings under “social networks.”  After that, it’s time to build your presence.
Go to analytics.pinterest.com (if you don’t already have a business Pinterest account, you’ll need to create that first).  Click on “Your Audience.”  Now, click on “Interests.”  Create a board for each of the top ten interests shown.  These boards should be keyword rich.  
  • The name and description of the board should have TONS-O-KEYWORDS in it.  Include keywords that describe your audience.  For example, all of my boards have a “|Blogging and Small Business|” in the board title, so anyone searching with those words will find me because they’re my ideal audience.  
  • Make sure that every board has a category it is assigned to.
  • Choose a board cover that uses colors and a vibe that matches your brand.
  • Keep the board secret until you have at least 10 pins on it.
  • Arrange your boards (it’s just a drag and drop), so your most popular boards are at the top. (you can find your most popular board on your analytics site).


Second Step:  Show Mad Pinterest Love  
This is how you’re going to get noticed by other pinners.
  • Go to your competitors and see who is following them.  Click on their profiles and follow relevant boards.  
  • Comment on pins.  
  • Share one or two pins as a Tweet to cross promote.
  • Embed relevant Pinterest boards to blog posts or website pages to give readers more information (and to follow you of course!)
  • Request to join 5 group boards a week.  You can search for group boards on pingroupie.com.
  • Create your own group board and invite influencers to pin to it.
  • Pin, Pin, Pin.  Experts recommend pinning 50 images a day.  I recommend Board Booster.  You can set it up so it will pin for you AND it will pin at optimal times.  I’m a binge pinner, but I always use board booster, so my pins only are shown to my audience at the best times.  How does Board Booster work?  Board Booster sets up secret board for you to binge pin to, and then Board Booster will distribute those pins to your public boards at optimal times.  You can also set up Pin sourcing.  If you like a certain board and pin from it all the time, you can set it up in Board Booster to pin from it for you.  I also like the loop feature.  It takes your old pins, deletes them, and then repins them so fresh eyes can get on them.  I’m using it for myself and my clients.  I have seen a 2,000% growth month over month in followers since using Board Booster.  Not too shabby. Sign up here with my affiliate link; you get the first 100 pins for free, after that it's only $5 a month!

Third Step:  Be Crazy Pinnable

Now that you are being seen and noticed, it’s time to make sure you’re content is Pinterest-worthy.

  • Create a 735x1102 px image for every page you have on your site.  You can do this in Photoshop, Canva, or PicMonkey.  Make sure all of your images look similar, so it is obvious that it is your brand when people see it in their Pinterest feed.
  • If it works for your content, use Rich pins.  They can be used for movies, recipes, articles, products, and places.  
  • Take advantage of the description and add your website as a way to link to your site in addition to the source link.  I didn’t even know that the links in descriptions were clickable until I started researching this!
  • Go to analytics.pinterest.com and click on “Activity from (Your Site)” and then “Repins.”  Update these pages to make sure they’re evergreen.  Do they have updated photos?  Do the links work?  Are you referencing a concert from 2013?  Update it so it’s relevant today and tomorrow and 10 years from now.  
  • With the same information from above, what do those repin images have in common?  Are pins with words doing better than images?  Do those pins have a certain color theme?  Make more pins that emulate the pins that are doing well for your other posts.
  • Add an incentive to your Pinterest image.  For example, if your blog post has a free worksheet that readers can download, have your Pinterest image say that.
  • Create a follow button on your website.

Now, on to our challenge. The goal is to grow our followers by 50% by November 1. Can we do it?

If you're interested in joining our challenge group, click the button below. The challenge group will get a guide and a private Facebook group to talk about our strategies and how they're working. Join in on the fun!

Developing a Pinterest Strategy + a free challenge group and guide! | Sarah Smirks


Monday, September 21, 2015

Road to 10,000: Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 10

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 10 | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  Google Analytics, Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter, social media

Happy Monday (said no one ever)!  I hope you took advantage of the weekend and slept in, ate too much, and hung out with your favs.  I know I did!  But, it's Monday now, time to get to business and check out my updates and goals for this week.

Blog Goals from Last Week

Sessions:  700/week
Status:  #fail

My sessions this week were 539.  I did jump back up some from last week, but I didn't come close to meeting my goal.  I really underestimated the highs of that post that went viral, and I definitely overestimated the return traffic I'd get from it.  However, I ain't mad at my stats and I'll tell you why.

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 10


My bounce rate is damn good for a blog.  For an average, everyday business site, the bounce rate should be under 50%, but blogs see closer to 70-80% bounce rates.  Although, my traffic isn't massive by any means, whatsoever, the traffic I do get is engaged.  Also, take a look at the new visitor versus returning visitor.  I am getting 34% of my visitors to come back.  That is a positive too.  Not too many one and dones.  Maybe I'm looking for light in the darkness of not meeting my goal, but, whatever, I still see light.

Road to 10,000:  Blogging Goals & Updates, week 10 | Sarah Smirks | Google Analytics

My very favorite referrer was my top again - Pinterest!  I'm really working on building my Pinterest presence.  In fact, on Wednesday, I'll be posting a Pinterest challenge that anyone can join!  I am working on building a strategy based on my analytics (from this post on using Google & social analytics to double my blog traffic).  Basically, you'll get a guidebook and join a private Facebook group with me and we'll be keeping each other accountable to build our Pinterest accounts using these strategies.  I'm thinking of calling it The Great Pinterest Experiment!  Email me if you want to get in the challenge group early.


OMG, I made three cents from AdSense....

So, my top pages were:

How I Doubled My Blog Traffic with Google and Social Analytics

5 Articles that Helped me Grow my Instagram Followers by 500 in 2 Weeks

12 Articles that Helped My Instagram Blow Up by 500% in 2 Months

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 9

E-course Sign-ups:  3
Status:  Rocked it.

I beat my goal!  I got four new sign ups this week for the course AND I finished it.  It's going to be good.  There are three modules:  Researching Your Audience; Branding Your Instagram; and Growing Your Followers.  It comes with a master workbook and then each section has its own worksheets/study guides, homework assignments, video tutorials, and presentation.  There's also a Facebook group, so we can chat.  It goes live October 1, and I am super excited to work with my new students and hear about their progress.  You can learn more about the Instagram mini e-course here.

Instagram:  1,500
Status:  #Fail, but there's a reason.

I have been working with tech support on an issue.  The reason I didn't grow much is because my app isn't working!  I'm not able to follow or unfollow anyone right now.  I'm also not getting alerts when people are following, liking, or commenting on my pictures.  It just freezes.  I haven't gotten a resolution on that yet, but, in progress.

Goals for this Week

Sessions:  600/week

I am going to stick with my posting schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday and promotion on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This weekend, I did not promote, which I should have, so I will try and remember to do that this coming weekend.

Twitter:  2,700 followers

I haven't done a Twitter chat in a couple weeks.  I have just been exhausted by the time they roll around.  Yes, they're generally at 7 or 8pm, judge away..  I deserve it.  I'm going to try and do one of these three:  blog boost chat, elle chat, nectar chat.  We'll see!

E-course:  3 new sign-ups

I am fully confident that the content that I have put together for this e-course will help my students Instagram accounts blow up.  I'm going to begin promoting it more.  Maybe a Facebook or Twitter ad?  Opinions?

By the way, I still have two coupon codes available for bloggers who would be interested in taking the e-course for $1 (normally $17) in exchange for a review on your blog.  If you're interested, contact me here with your information and a media kit, if available.

Alright, my lovelies, that's all for now.  How were your goals this week?


Friday, September 18, 2015

12 Articles That Helped My Instagram Followers Grow 500% in 2 Months

12 Articles That Helped My Instagram Followers Grow by 500% in 2 Months | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  instagram, social media


A month ago, I wrote a post called 5 Articles on Instagram Branding that Helped me Gain 500 Followers in 2 Weeks.  I thought I'd make an update because there are so many great articles on branding your Instagram!  AND, because since that post, I have gotten to nearly 1,500 followers.  That is quick growth and it is all about branding your Instagram and using the right strategies to grow your following with the right people.  In fact, that is what my e-course, Instagram Growth Hacking is all about - Researching YOUR audience, finding your Insta-brand, and gaining the right followers so you get engagement.

If you want to sign up for my Instagram mini e-course, you can do that right here.  It's only $17, you have lifetime access, and it is self-paced - so, what are you waiting for?  It starts October 1, but you can sign up right now :)

***
Let's start out with the five articles that blew my mind in the first article.

1)  Instagram Hashtags that Will Triple Your Likes by Venus trapped in Mars

I reference this article every time I schedule an IG post.  She's not joking.  When I use her hashtag suggestions, I really do get more likes.  I double, sometimes triple my normal likes using these hashtags.

2)  Finding Your Instagram Voice by Love Plus Color

This was the original article I used as reference when planning my re-brand.  It's genius.  She mentions to scroll down on her IG account if you want to see the exact moment she re-branded.  I checked it out, and you can totally see it.  I've shared her article before, and she's an absolute sweetheart.  She always thanks me for sharing. 

3)  Finding You Insta(gram) Groove Through Branding by Carmen of Shugar Love Blog

I am not bias, but this was a guest post done for my blog by Carmen of Shugar Love Blog.  She goes into great detail on the process she went through when she re-branded her Instagram.  She gives some great nuggets of advice.

4)  What's Your Instagram Strategy? by Little Farm Media

This was another article I used early on to help with my branding strategy.  In fact, I'm taking her e-course that starts August 31 on social.  She's damn good at it!  This is a three part series on Instagram branding.  Be sure to check our 2 and 3 for the whole sha-bang. 

5)  Instagram for Business:  12 Answers to the Biggest Questions by Buffer

This article literally has the answer to every question you could possibly have.  Want to run a contest?  They have an answer.  Want to upload pictures to Instagram from your computer?  They have an answer. 

6)  Finding Your Signature Photography Style by Magnolia House Creative

This is basically my exact process for Instagram.  I created an inspiration board, did some batch photography over a weekend, created some graphics, and curated (posted other's pictures with credit) to my Instagram all with my brand and aesthetic in mind.

7)  How I Edit My Instagram Photos by Wonder Forest (Video)

This video describes how Dana Fox decided on an Instagram re-brand and how she edits her photos accordingly.  It's legit.  She shows you step by step how she makes her photos look so dreamy!

8)  Reimagining Your Instagram Feed by Wonder Forest

Remember about two seconds ago when I said Wonder Forest re-branded their Instagram?  Well, here's the article on how she decided to do that.  Look to others for inspiration.  Create a mood board and get to shootin!

9)  How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Feed by Ember and March

This article explains how to decide on subject matter in your Insta-story and what apps to use to edit.  Remember, Instagram is a visual market.  Meh-ski pictures means, meh-ski results.

10)  How to Use Instagram to Research Your Audience by Sarah Smirks

Here, I explain to you my strategy to research my potential buyer/audience and use that to influence my branding and hashtag strategy.

11)  The Dos and Don'ts of Using Instagram from Business by Jamie Delaine

This is a great one.  It has very actionable steps and did help me change some of my strategies.  One of them was to change my image location to my blog's URL.  However, I updated my Instagram app, and I can't seem to be able to do this anymore.  If you readers know why, let me know!  Either way, there are so many great tidbits of advice I was clueless about until I read this article.

12)  The Best Time to Post on Instagram by Helene in Between

This gives you pretty much a full weekly calendar of the best of the best times to post on Instagram, statistically, for the most Insta-love.  Another way to figure out the best time to post on Instagram for YOUR audience is to use Iconosquare.  It will show you a graph of the best and worst times to post based on your previous posts and your current followers (there is a ton more data available too.  You know mama loves data).

Well, my dears, that is all for now.  Use these articles to blow your Instagram up.  Remember, have a purpose and a vision in mind with every photo you post to your blog or business Instagram.  Everything must align with your brand.

And, don't forget to sign up for my Insta-course!  After October 1, the price will be going up, so get it now.  Don't you hate finding out the jeans you just bought were part of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, but now they're full price?  You don't want that feeling.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How I Doubled My Blog Traffic with Google and Social Analytics

How to use analytics to help you double you blog or small business website traffic - click to get the free printable worksheet | Sarah Smirks

As a certified girl boss or badass blogger, you need to know your audience inside and out in order to make sure your message resonates with them.  By knowing WHO is reading your blog or buying from you, you can more easily target their demographic in the future.  Chances are if 25-35 year old women who are into technology read your blog, then other 25-35 year old women into tech will be fans of your blog as well.  

But, how do you know who your reader or buyer is?  You’re not putting out a survey, “Hey!  Tell me your intimate personal information!”  No, you don’t want to do that, and you don’t have to.  Your social media and website analytics already have that information.  Through those analytics, you can know everything from how much money they make to their interests all the way to their favorite TV shows.

How can you use this?  Mold your content around their interests.  If your analytics show that your audience is into cooking and you’re a lifestyle blogger, post a few more recipe posts, create a recipes Pinterest board, Instagram your latest stellar dish.  If your analytics show that your followers are mostly 45-65, maybe Instagram isn’t the best place to spend your time marketing (18-35 year olds favor Instagram).  Your analytics can help you make major decisions about where and how to market your business.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides privacy for people logged into a Google service, so you only get a small percentage of your website reader’s demographic information.  BUT, something is better than nothing and it provides some information that the other analytics platforms do not provide.

You can find out your reader’s ages, gender, location, and interests from Google Analytics.  From my analytics, I know the majority of my readers are 25-34.  How does this help me?  You can use the average demographics for social media platforms to determine which ones make sense for your audience.  There’s no use in using Twitter constantly if your audience isn’t interested in it. 

Another useful bit of information: check the times of the day that you get the most traffic.  It would be beneficial to post your blog about 30 minutes before the first peak.  If your blog is associated with a blog feeder like Feedly or Bloglovin, your post will be added to their feed just before your audience is most likely to go to your site.

To see what your most popular acquisition source is (fancy way to say how people are finding your website), go to “Acquisition” and click overview.  Here, you will find organic (search engine), direct, referral, and social traffic.  This will help you to determine where to spend your promo time.  Should you be wasting your time on Google Plus if you have only gotten one session of traffic from that source?  Probably not.  I was spending tons of time on StumbleUpon until I realized no one has ever found my site through StumbleUpon, why am I wasting my time?  Are you getting a lot of referral traffic?  From where?  This bit-o-information will help you find out if your comments on other blogs or guest posts are bringing you any traffic.

Go to the “Behavior” tab to see what pages people are reading.  What are your most popular posts?  This can serve as a guideline for three things:  1) Topics you should write about more often 2) Posts you should update with new SEO, images, or resources 3) Posts that would be good to add an upgrade to boost your subscriber opt-ins.

How to use analytics to help you double you blog or small business website traffic - click to get the free printable worksheet | Sarah Smirks


Mama Says… TAKE ACTION

1)  Choose your top three most viewed pages last month and brainstorm email opt-in upgrades (downloadable e-books, worksheets, printables, etc).
2)  Go through your social media acquisition and choose which three social media platforms to focus on.  
3)  Focus entirely on those three social media platforms for the next month with the goal of driving more followers.

Twitter Analytics


Twitter Analytics provides the most information.  The more followers you have, the more information they provide.  Go to analytics.twitter.com and click the “Followers” tab. This is where you will find a wealth of information.  You will learn everything from if your audience owns or rents their home to their shopping habits.  From my analytics, I know my audience is mostly professional women interested in marketing, entrepreneurship, and technology.  They make around $100k a year and prefer ethnic food.  My audience is almost down the middle split between married and single.  The vast majority owns their home rather than rents.  Lastly, they prefer to buy online.  What do I get out of this?  Keep writing about marketing and business.  Also, my audience has some money, so I have the ability to create high quality upgrades with an equivalent price.

How to use analytics to help you double you blog or small business website traffic - click to get the free printable worksheet | Sarah Smirks

Mama Says…. TAKE ACTION!


1)  Check out your Twitter Analytics and see what your audience’s biggest interest is.
2)  Come up with three action items for your blog or business to use this information.

Facebook Analytics


Go to your Facebook page analytics and click on people.  Here, you will find ages, gender, and location.  You can use this to compare to your other analytics.  Is there a consistent theme of gender, age, and location across your site and social media platforms?  This is your target demographic.  Go to visits to find how people are finding you on Facebook.  According to my external referrers, people are finding my Sarah Smirks page through my website, Google, and my email list most often.    A helpful tool to track your Facebook page goals is to use Pages to Watch (under overview).  You can compare your fan page to your competitors to see how you are comparing.  If they are doing better, watch what they are doing, what time of day are they posting, and what types of posts they are posting.  Last, look at your posts analytics under “overview.”  What types of posts get the most reach and engagement?  Use that information to help you come up with a proper Facebook page plan.

How to use analytics to help you double you blog or small business website traffic - click to get the free printable worksheet | Sarah Smirks

Mama Says…. TAKE ACTION!


1)  Add three competitors’ pages to “Pages to Watch.”
2)  In one week, check the comparisons.  Use this to make a plan of action on the types of content you should be sharing and when.

Pinterest Analytics   


Go to analytics.pinterest.com and then “Your Audience.”  Here, you will find invaluable information about your audience.  You have two tabs to choose from.  Demographics will show you where your audience is located and general demographic information (who woulda thought?).  From my analytics, I know the majority of my audience is from the United States, female, and speaks English.  Once I click over to interests, I get the really great information.  My audience is into Technology, gadgets, design, travel, photography, & art.  What does that tell me?  If I want more followers on Pinterest, I should probably start boards on these topics.  It also gives me ideas for blog posts and new categories to write about.  How awesome is this?!  I can also see what businesses my audience engages with.  For example, my audience is also interested in The Nectar Collective, ByRegina, Olyvia, The SITS Girls, Etsy, Wordpress, and Bloglovin. 

How to use analytics to help you double you blog or small business website traffic - click to get the free printable worksheet | Sarah Smirks


Mama Says…. TAKE ACTION!


1)  Go to analytics.pinterest.com and check what topics your audiences is most interested in.
2)  Write 2-3 blog post ideas based on the interests that you learn.
3)  Create one new board for your audiences interests.


Getting to know your audience on a deeper level will help you fine tune your messaging.  If you want to boost traffic and increase your social media following, cater to your audience instead of your personal interests.  By delving deep into your analytics, you can create a plan of attack that will help you create the perfect formula for blog or business growth.  So, what are you waiting for?  Take action!


Want to have these take action steps in a super convenient, printable PDF?  Um, okay!  Click here to download.


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Monday, September 14, 2015

Road to 10,000: Weekly Blog Goals and Updates, Week 9

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 9 | Sarah Smirks:  The Marketing Mama Blog | Keywords:  social media growth, website traffic, Google analytics

Good Morning!  Let me set the scene for you.  It's 4:52am as I write this in my full makeup and robe before work.  I have a jug of coffee to my left and I am ready to write.  Last weekend, my family received some (good) life altering news that I will share with you another time; however, that news kind of put blog life on the backburner all week.  So, I haven't made much progress - sadly - but, I promise to try harder next week.

Blog Goals from Last Week


Sessions:  900/week
Status:  #epicfail

I didn't come close to meeting this goal.  With the news bouncing in my head all week, I only wrote two posts and didn't promote as much as I should have.  I only reached 402 sessions - my saddest stats in weeks :(.  I did, however, make some progress in another part of my blog.  I received more newsletter sign ups, Mom Boss sign ups, and Instagram e-course sign ups than any other week!  I'm really excited about my Instagram e-course!  I'll have exercises to teach my students how to research their audience and brand their Instagram accordingly and then top it off with teaching my formula for really fast follower growth.  Small win.

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 9 | Sarah Smirks:  The Marketing Mama Blog | Keywords:  social media growth, website traffic, Google analytics
My traffic dropped 50% this week from last week :(


Pinterest was my best acquisition source, followed by Twitter, and then Facebook this week.

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 9 | Sarah Smirks:  The Marketing Mama Blog | Keywords:  social media growth, website traffic, Google analytics

My top pages were:

5 Instagram Articles That Helped Me Gain 500 Followers in Two Weeks
Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals and Updates
7 Apps To Help You Be More Productive Today

The main thing I learn from my traffic and top pages, is that series and resource posts do well.  When I open my analytics for the past month, those are the posts that do well.  Posts that I thought people would like, like a few posts I wrote about how to research your audience, bombed.  It's my posts on social media that hit big (and this series).  I should probably focus more on social media posts.  My audience is telling me that's what they want to read.  I do think that my research posts will gain long term traffic.  I still get a lot of traffic to posts that I wrote a year ago that didn't get a lot of traffic right off the bat, but have given me sustained traffic (10 Things That Make Me Irrationally Happy,  Doc Band Questions Answered, Homemade Natural Cough Syrup for Toddlers).

Twitter:  2,500 followers
Status:  Rocked it.

A goal I made - woo-hoo!  I reached 2,568 followers last week.  I could have done better, but I did reach my goal.  I wanted to participate in some Twitter chats, but I didn't have the time.  I did schedule a lot of automated tweets, so I was very present all week.

Road to 10,000:  Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 9 | Sarah Smirks:  The Marketing Mama Blog | Keywords:  social media growth, website traffic, Google analytics


Pinterest:  300 followers
Status:  #Fail

I am currently at 263 followers on Pinterest.  I didn't make much effort on this from and it shows.  I was able to gain about 65 in my last "Road to..." update, but this week I only gained 13.  That really shows how if you make no effort, you ain't getting far... Boo.

Goals for This Week 

Sessions:  700/week

I want to start to climb back up.  To do this, I am going to post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and promote older posts on Tuesday and Thursday.  I already have a research post in the works, so we'll see how that goes, but I will write a social media post for Friday.  I will also promote on the weekends, which I haven't done in the past.

E-course Sign-ups:  3

I want to get 3 more sign-ups of my e-course this week.  It's going to be epic, so this shouldn't be an issue.  I haven't written a landing page yet, so I will write a landing page and send out an email to my subscribers with a promo code.

Another item on my to-do list, is to find 2-3 bloggers that would like to take my e-course at a major discount in exchange for a post on it. (Email me if you're interested in taking the e-course for $1 in exchange for a post!)


Instagram:  1,500 followers

I am aiming to hit 1,500 followers this week.  Currently, I have 1,449 followers.  To continue this upward momentum, I am going to stick to my growth hacking strategies and post 1-2 pictures a day.

What are your blog goals this week?


Thursday, September 10, 2015

7 Apps to be More Productive Today | Bloggers + Small Biz Owners

Hello blogger and business babes!  I have the list of a lifetime for you.  These are the seven best apps to be more productive.  Who wouldn't want to automate their emails, collaborate with guest bloggers seamlessly, or cross off those to do items from picking up diapers to scheduling your Hootsuite automation?  These apps will help you make life your BITCH.  Enjoy!

7 apps that will help you be more productive today - click here to read! | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  productivity, bloggers, businesses, to do list, if then




1)  Todo7 - This is considered the best of the best of to-do lists.  It has extensive task listing options and can be used on your phone or the web.  However, a paid subscription is needed to use this app across multiple platforms and to use cloud storage.  Do you need to organize your tasks between your Etsy shop, kids' sports schedules, and blog posts?  This is the app for you.

7 apps that will help you be more productive today - click here to read! | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  productivity, bloggers, businesses, to do list, if then


2)  PocketLists - This to do list app is so helpful because it has a location and time-based reminder.  Did you add to your to do list that you need to pick up some flowers for a photoshoot?  Well, my friend, good news, you will get an alert when you pass by a flower shop.  Pretty cool, huh?

7 apps that will help you be more productive today - click here to read! | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  productivity, bloggers, businesses, to do list, if then

3)   Basecamp - This is a project management app that helps you store everything for a project in one place.  You can see your task status quickly and check out the day-to-day project overview on your phone or tablet.  It would be great for collaborating with other admins on a Facebook group or working with a guest blogger.

7 apps that will help you be more productive today - click here to read! | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  productivity, bloggers, businesses, to do list, if then

4)   Fanurio - If you are a freelancer or coach that bills clients according to the time you spend on their project, this app is great.  It works across multiple platforms.  You can have multiple projects per client, and it tracks the time you spend working on their projects so you can bill accurately. and straight from the app.

7 apps that will help you be more productive today - click here to read! | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  productivity, bloggers, businesses, to do list, if then

5)  LifeTick - Set up and track your goals with this app.  You can set up 10 core values, customize your goal priority, and create a visual for your goal.  My goal is to reach 10,000 sessions a month by September 2016 (you can see my journey here).  This would be the app to use to help me track how much I need to grow per month to meet my goals.  Maybe your goal is to make $8k a month.  You can set your goal here and even create a visual to go with it.

7 apps that will help you be more productive today - click here to read! | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  productivity, bloggers, businesses, to do list, if then


6)  GoogleDrive -  Google Drive is a great app to keep all of your files backs up.  You can then open those files on any device.  I back up everything.  It probably goes back to the time a book I wrote got destroyed when my thumb drive shattered (ugh, too soon).  Lesson learned, now I back up multiple times.  

7 apps that will help you be more productive today - click here to read! | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  productivity, bloggers, businesses, to do list, if then


7)   IFTTT - An app that automates your other apps!  Do you want to get an email when a certain item gets added to Craigslist?  Done.  Do you want to post your Instagram pictures to Twitter natively?  Done.  Do you want certain emails sent to Evernote to be added to a task?  Done.  This app can automate any of your apps together.

7 apps that will help you be more productive today - click here to read! | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  productivity, bloggers, businesses, to do list, if then



Did you like this?  Share!  Tweet it out here -->

Tweet: 7 apps that will make you more productive TODAY. Yes, please! @mama_marketer #workingmom


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Road to 10,000: Weekly Blog Goals & Updates, Week 8

Road to 10K:  Weekly Goals and Updates, Week 8 | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:   blog goals, social media, traffic growth


How was your holiday weekend?  Mine was lovely.  It was my son's second birthday and we got some amazing news that I will share with you later.  But, enough with the chit chat.  How about we get to my weekly blog goals and updates?  I'll tell you what, I should have taken into consideration the holidays when I made my goals.  There's a little foreshadowing for you...

Blog Goals from Last Week

Sessions:  1,000/week
Status:  #Fail

I ended up getting to 870 sessions for the week.  The previous week, I had 853 sessions, so I still did better, despite the holiday weekend and people probably vacationing and spending less time on the internet.  I'm not mad at it.

Road to 10K:  Weekly Goals and Updates, Week 8 | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:   blog goals, social media, traffic growth
^^ Notice that sad, sad drop that gets sadder the closer we get to the weekend?  Boo.



Pinterest once again performed STELLAR.  This week, Twitter beat out Facebook for the first time as well.  By the way, since we're chatting about Twitter, you can download my FREE 10-page e-book here.

Road to 10K:  Weekly Goals and Updates, Week 8 | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:   blog goals, social media, traffic growth


Once again, my most popular post was....


Followed by




Pinterest:  300 Followers
Status:  #Fail

I knew this was a stretch.  I was at 185 last week and this week I have gotten to 250.  Not quite the 300 I was hoping for, but a definite improvement.

Twitter:  2,500 Followers
Status:  #Fail

Can I quote myself for a moment for the sake of self deprecation?  "I think I shouldn't have an issue getting to 2,500 (I say that now... haha)."  Well, I'm at 2,453 followers so, I guess I can eat those words.  I was very busy this week, which meant no Twitter chats.  Next week though, next week.

Blog Goals This Week

Sessions:  900/week

I have to be real now, one of my blog posts went very mildly viral and it's bound to die off this week, so I'll aim for a slightly higher goal for 900/week.  I plan on participating in link parties, creating multiple title images for my posts, and posting more Tweets for my own content on Twitter.

Instagram: 1,400 followers


Twitter:  2,500 followers

I will plan on participating in at least one Twitter chat and Tweeting at least every 2 hours (thanks to Hootsuite of course.  I'm not a robot!).

Pinterest:  300 followers

I'm doing it people.  I will reach 300 followers this week.  I will follow relevant boards, comment more (not hard, since I never comment), and try and get added to one more group board.

What do you plan on doing to grow this week?





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