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Blog Report June 2019

June was a good month for my website! My visitor numbers shot up and so did my reach on Pinterest (little celebratory dance). But I also struggled with living in Dubai (more about this later) and a month full of anticipation for our summer travels.

As always, I will try to shed light on how I grew my blog and how my journey can help you grow your own blog!

I am changing the name from Income Report to Blog Report as it is more about the overall state of my blog rather than the very small income I garnered.

If you want to read back and pick up some more tips and tricks, please have a look at my previous Income Reports!

What were my goals for June?

May was quite a hard month as explained in the last income report. Ramadan really got me down and I am not looking forward to next year (at all), but I guess that is one of the things you have to deal with as long as we live in Dubai.

I did pick up the pace in June as I was ready to kick ass and blog the days away! I wanted to test run my GoPro, make videos, let my subscribers on YouTube get acquainted with the real Dubai… and that all fell through when I tried vlogging at Dragon Mart. I will explain later but it left me with a bad taste in my mouth and it made me revaluate Whether or not to buy would be a city where I want to live long term.

Anyway I will talk about filming in Dubai and what happened at dragon Mart later down the line first of all I just want to have a look at what my goals were for May and whether or not I hit them and what might be the reason why did not hit them or why I surpassed down.

1. Make 2 videos for GlitterRebel [NOT HIT]

My very first goal was to make 2 videos for my YouTube Channel. I have been watching a lot of YouTubers lately and absolutely loved the travel content they were putting out. I wanted to do something similar but give my own spin to both the content and the delivery.

 My very first idea was to show people that not everyone in Dubai is rich. In fact, when I tell friends that I live in Dubai, they ask me whether or not I can see the Burj from my apartment. I have to disappoint them by saying I actually live a good 20 kilometres away!

Most people in Dubai are not rich. By Western standards most people who work in Dubai would be considered dirt poor. (£120-£175 a month + accommodation for a labourer, £450 a month a month for a teaching assistant). And although I know it is nice to see all the Glitter and Glamour, it is also important to understand that Dubai is a city for everyone – from the super-rich to the poor laborers. That Dubai is a mix of Arabic and Desi culture and that this mix influences everything. I wanted to show how the Filipino and Nepali people celebrate their own culture in their new home away from home and how even Expats do ridiculous and crazy things in Dubai!

But that is easier said than done.

Why?

Because of Dubai laws!

In Dubai you cannot film anyone without their explicit permission. It is a cultural thing and I understand and respect that, but it also means that Dubai has become a lot less interesting for me as a travel vlogger.

I had always wanted to go to Dragon Mart and since Joshua and I were travelling for the summer and need backpacks among other things, I decided to go and have a look at Dragon Mart and make a video about the shops, the wares and Dragon Mart in general.

For those who do not know Dragon Mart: it is a collection of shops that directly import from China and Korea. It is like AliExpress and AliBaba on speed! I love both sites so I was incredibly excited to vlog at Dragon Mart!

Until I was stopped by security.

There was no sign that said I could not film or photograph but still the security guy made me put my camera away. I was just filming myself talking about how excited I was to be finally at Dragon Mart, talking about the different shops on the way… hardly malicious, hardly “commercial”, hardly doing anything wrong.

The guard says it was because people in Dubai are Muslim, my Muslim friends assured me it was cultural. Later I found out it was because of UAE Law.

I was angry. I was frustrated. And I do think that my relationship and I do think that this experience and the way I experienced Ramadan, did change my mind about Dubai.

So no. I was unable to make two videos this month as it is 45 degrees outside and I don’t think a sweating, huffing, puffing and dehydrated Lieze is great TV.

I did make a video on walking dogs from the UAQ dog shelter which you can watch below.

I am looking forward travelling to China, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium to make some amazing vlogs!

2. Pinterest reach of 50K [SMASHED IT]

My Pinterest exploded a bit! I was able to reach my Pinterest reach to 92.000! How sick is that! I feel like the investment I made into Tailwind was totally worth it and one of the best investments I made into my blog so far.

I have talked about increasing your Pinterest reach a lot lately as this has been the one consistent area of growth so I will be doing a small rehash of what has worked for me so far and how you can implement the same tips and ideas.

How I doubled my Pinterest reach in one month!

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I think it is important to understand that Pinterest is in fact not a social media platform but rather a search engine. Although you can pin pins on your boards (which you can now also do on Google) and react and interact with other Pinterest users, social interaction is not the main goal of the platform.

Pinterest prides themselves in being a discovery platform and combines highly pinned images with images you are likely to enjoy and repin on its homepage.

This means you will need to make sure your pins look absolutely amazing! I know a lot of people make their pins on Canva and although I did the same when I was just starting out, I did not see a lot of pins and repins. The whole Canva aesthetic is just done. D.O.N.E. I loved using Canva a few years ago as nobody really knew Canva. But now Canva is so widely used that you see the Canva designs everywhere. Even my mom is using it.

And that’s great! Because it means that people who are not that computer savvy  can make nice images and designs without investing in expensive software or taking courses.

It is not that great for bloggers though. Almost EVERYONE in the blogosphere uses Canva – and then especially bloggers who use Pinterest. It makes that pins have become boring. That Pins look like each other. That Pins have become boring.

Since I decided to design my pins in Photoshop – and I keep my designs uniform – I have noticed an uplift in pins. People are looking for interesting designs which is why most big accounts with a large following and reach make their own pins in Gimp or Photoshop!

Another gamechanger for me was Tailwind. I am always hesitant to invest in tools and subscriptions and whatnot. I am not a pennypincher but a little nagging voice in me would rather not invest in my website (which is absolute BS) and I still listen far too much to that little voice.

It took 2 glasses of wine and a week of Pinterest Frustration for me to decide to open up my wallet and whack out the credit card to buy a yearly subscription to Tailwind Pinterest and Smartloop. But boy, did I notice the difference! My reach shot up, the people finding my website through pins shot up and my overall follower number on Pinterest is still on the rise!

Tailwind was a literal godsend and I cannot believe it took me so long to get it! I currently loop 4 group boards with my smartloop and make sure there are always NEW pins scheduled. I do notice a steep drop in reach whenever I forget to schedule pins which proves to me that this Tailwind thing is working!

If you want to try Tailwind for free and get $15 credit (!!) you can click this link! (I get $15 to spend on Tailwind as well.) DOUBLE CREDIT WHEN UPGRADING BEFORE JULY 7TH

Another great tip to increase your reach is by using group boards. It was a bit hard to get the knack of it but once I understood the power of group boards it changed my whole Pinterest game!

The best way to use Group Boards is by looping them in smart loop. In fact – I would say that using Group Boards without Tailwind and Smartloop is a waste of time. Why? Because you need to be consistently posing in order for people to see your pins. But when your pins get seen and noticed, they do gather a large amount of reach and repins.

If you do not use tailwind with your group boards, you will have to put in a lot of work pinning pins manually every single day! It’s a lot of work to make them work for you. As said before – you can get a $15 discount by clicking on the link above and signing up. I cannot express how much it is worth it!

3. 2000 pageviews [SMASHED IT]

I set myself a goal of getting 2000 pageviews after not hitting the goal last month. I SMASHED it in July! I was able to gather 2700 pageviews which is a lot more than the goal of 2000 I set last month. I feel that my efforts of linking to other articles and posts within my texts have been paying off.

My visitors visit on average 1.5 pages which is good! I would love to see this increased, but it is a hard bargain as I had some “zombies” on my website.

Zombies are people who stay on your website for less than 3 seconds and often are a result of changes in the Search Engine Algorithm of Google. They are not a major problem and the phenomenon will often die out after a day or two. It’s due to the fact that Google changed the algorithm and needs to finetune some of the parameters. It means that people who are not necessarily looking for your content will find it in the search engines, click the link but realise it is not what they have been looking for.

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How to increase pageviews and keep people on your website

I think I have been over this in one of my other income reports but it wouldn’t hurt to explain the importance of interlinking your articles and blog posts.

When people land on your website they are looking for certain information, an answer to their questions or in some cases a way to entertain themselves. Most people landing on your blog posts will be looking for the first 2.

When your reader has read your post and has received the information of the answer they were looking for, the first thing they do is… leave.

But we don’t want people to leave, do we? We want people to stay on our website and read other amazing articles and blog posts.

That is where we start interlinking posts. This means that we put links of one post into another. This is not only (a little bit) beneficial for SEO, it also gives people an option to dive deeper into the subject or read posts that are in some way related.

For instance – I would do Top 10 things to do in Hamburg, and interlink it with Where to stay in Hamburg, how to use public transport in Hamburg and Best hotels in Hamburg. These are all articles people who are looking for information on Hamburg or who are travelling to Hamburg would be interested in.

And yes you are right – some themes and blogs allow you to have “related posts” under the article. However – not many people scroll to the end of your article. Once they have found the information they are after your readers are ready to go.

However, when you intersperse your article with links to other posts it will be easy to catch your readers before they leave your site.

If you are planning on monetising your website, pageviews are more important than visitors. Just saying.

4. Average of 40 visitors a day [SMASHED IT]

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Remember how last month I was unable to get an average of 40 visitors a day? I was stuck on 36.

This month I had an average of 63 visitors! I had 1916 visitors overall! That’s a steep increase from last month.

Most of the people visiting my website come from Google (my DA has not changed) and Pinterest. I think this means I need to keep focussing on SEO and on Pinterest.

I do know that this could be due to the Google Algorithm updates and I stay very tentative as to say that this increase will continue – or even stay the same. That is why – for next month, I will just put a goal of having at least 50 visitors every single day.

5. 1300 followers on Instagram [NOT HIT]

I have to make a confession: I have neglected my Instagram a bit in favour of my website and publishing articles. The thing with Instagram is – and this is the annoying thing, that a lot of businesses see Instagram as the be all and end all of influencing and blogging. Which is incredibly frustrating, especially for a niche like travel where most of the visitors come from Pinterest and Google rather than Instagram.

But I do get it.

I used to work in marketing for a beauty brand and we did handle a rule that the influencers had to have a minimum amount of followers before they would be considered for receiving of products for free! Why? Because if nobody would read the blog post, at least we had a picture up on an Instagram with 10K which increased our brand’s visibility!

I stranded at 1292 which is not 1300 so I will not reward myself a HIT for this one!

What are my goals for July?

My goals for July will be all about retaining what I built in June. This summer Josh and I will be travelling A LOT and this means I have less time for my blog. So instead of growing my blog I want to retain the growth I was able to leverage this month.

  1. Have an average of 50 visitors a day
  2. 1400 followers on Instagram
  3. 90k Reach on Pinterest [retain reach]
  4. 2500 Pageviews
  5. 2 travel videos

What Actionables did I fulfil?

  1. Publish a freebie [X]
  2. Update Pinterest images of at least 5 old TRAVEL articles [X]
  3. Link other articles into these 5 old TRAVEL articles [X]
  4. Edit at least 50 pages of the book [V]
  5. Publish 2 articles on Lieze Neven [V]
  6. Have at least 3 days of course content ready [V]
  7. Write at least 15 articles on Glitter Rebel [X]
  8. Research 2 locations for keyword research [V]
  9. Plan out video schedule China [X]

What actionables do I want to fulfil in July?

  1. Film at least 5 videos worth of content in China
  2. 4 articles Glitterrebel
  3. Prepare a batch of at least 40 Instagram Pics
  4. Keep to the editing schedule of the book
  5. Have fun!

What actionables do I want to fulfil in July?

  1. Film at least 5 videos worth of content in China
  2. 4 articles Glitterrebel
  3. Prepare a batch of at least 40 Instagram Pics
  4. Keep to the editing schedule of the book
  5. Have fun!

What’s happening in the summer?

On Friday the 5th Josh and I are off to China where we will visit Xi’An and Beijing. We will fly to the United Kingdom two weeks later where we will visit friends and family in The New Forest. We take a plane to Dublin from Bournemouth International Airport and visit Josh’s cousin in Dublin where we will take the train down to Tralee the nest morning. We will spend just under a week with Josh’s parents in Kerry where we will no doubt do an array of exciting and amazing things!

From Kerry we will take the train up to Dublin again where we will take the plane back to Bournemouth the next day. From The New Forest we will travel to Wales and visit our friend in Cardiff for a few days. We drive from Cardiff to London where we visit another pair of friends for 2 nights before leaving for Dover to catch a ferry to Dunkirk. We will probably make a pitstop in Gravesend to visit some friends for a few hours and some breakfast. From Dunkirk we drive through to Belgium where we visit my parents. We have not yet planned what we will be doing but Josh wants to go to Pairi Daiza so that’s on the agenda! We drive back to England the day before we fly out!

That’s 2 months of hectic travel for you!

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