How I Reached ONE MILLION Pageviews in My First Year of Blogging

Excuse me while I toot my own horn for a bit, but…..I just hit ONE MILLION PAGEVIEWS!!  And after only blogging for just over a year too….not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  I try not to compare myself to other bloggers (and you shouldn’t either!), so I’m not sure/don’t really care if reaching this milestone (especially after only twelve months of tracking) is good/bad/normal/pathetic/whatever.  It just seems like a nice big fat round number….and if it’s good enough for Dr. Evil, it’s good enough for me! ;)

Before I get into waxing poetic and reflecting on this happy occasion, I’d like to send out a super huge THANK YOU to all of you lovely readers who take the time to read my crazy ramblings and scope out my random creations.  Like I mentioned a few months ago when I had my One-Year Blogiversary, you guys are the best!  Seriously.  I appreciate all your love and support and sweet messages and positive vibes like you won’t believe.  Virtual fist bump coming your way…..*boom*

 

How I Reached ONE MILLION Pageviews in My First Year of Blogging | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

How I Reached ONE MILLION Pageviews in My First Year of Blogging

So, yeah….this just happened a few days ago:

How I Reached ONE MILLION Pageviews in My First Year of Blogging | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

CRAZY!  And no, they’re not all from my mom, either. ;)  I’ve technically been blogging for 15 months, but I didn’t do any type of sharing or promotion of my content for the first few months (not even with any family or friends besides my poor husband), and I also didn’t install Google Analytics until several months in.  So my stats here cover the 12 months since my blog was really born and out there.

 

Stats are Over-Rated

I’m not one of those bloggers who lives and dies over their blogging stats.  I honestly don’t check them very often, especially pageviews….maybe a couple times a month, just for fun.  However, in the beginning of my blogging life, you bet your sweet bottom that I was constantly logging into my Google Analytics account and obsessing over how my blog was performing….but that got old quickly and I’ve since learned that in the grand scheme of things….NONE OF IT MATTERS!  Yep, I said it.

I do scope out my Google Adsense and other revenue accounts daily (because money!), but the other numbers don’t mean that much to me (the money honestly doesn’t either…but it sure is nice!).  Yes, you may “need” certain numbers for sponsored posts or ad sites and all that jazz, but is your self-worth based on your unique visitors??  Will your family love you any less if your bounce rate increases??  Probably (hopefully!) not.

I don’t blog for stats or to pay the mortgage, so I don’t need them to be a certain number, and I therefore don’t obsess over them.  Checking them every so often doesn’t hurt though, and I certainly take them with a grain of salt.

 

It’s All Relative

I know some blogs get MILLIONS of pageviews EVERY DAY, so this milestone of mine is nothing more than a drop in their traffic bucket.  But so what!  I’m not into comparing myself to others and I’m trying to stop and smell the roses along the way, both on and offline.  I never ever NEVER in a million years thought I would see this many pageviews here at WTSHB, so the fact that I’ve hit it in just a year is simply mind-boggling to me….so pardon me while I do a little happy dance over it.

Also, if you’re a fellow blogger, especially if you’re NEW to blogging….DO NOT READ THIS POST AND FEEL DOWN ABOUT YOURSELF.  (Pardon the shouty capitals.)  Ya hear me??  You are on your own incredible journey, and this is simply mine.  They’re probably different and that’s ok, because different is cool.   As Mrs. Sparklenose says on Abby’s Flying Fairy School: “Sometimes differences make the difference.” (Sorry, my son is a HUGE Sesame Street fan.)

I know whenever I see another blogger’s stats and they’re “better” than mine, a wave of self-doubt washes over me and I have to consciously snap myself out of that funk….it’s also one of my blogging goals for this year to not let the never-ending comparison game happen….or try to at least.  So don’t you let it happen either!

Ok, now that that’s out of the way….

 

A Brief History of WTSHB

Here’s a brief history of some highlights for WTSHB.  I always enjoying reading and learning about other people’s stories, so here’s mine.  It’s a little intimidating sharing some of this behind-the-scenes info, so please be kind. :)

 

I’ve had lots of other cool, great, pinch-worthy things happen along the way too, but these are the biggies.  And I’m very humbled by, appreciative of, and quite honestly stunned at all of my success and good fortune.  I hope this post doesn’t come across as a huge “I’m so awesome!” attention-seeking soliloquy because that’s not my intention….seriously, I’m still full of self-doubt and ridicule!  Ha! ;)

A little reflection is great from time to time, and heck yes I want to celebrate!  However, I also want to share some insight into how I’ve been able to be so successful (well, what I think is successful) in my first year, because that’s one thing I’ve learned in this blogging journey so far: we bloggers gotta stick together!

 

So How Did I Get Here?

Good question!  I’m not really sure, and I’ll let you in on a little secret….I honestly still don’t have any clue what I’m doing!  For real….I’m winging this whole thing (so don’t feel bad if you’re a little clueless about all this blogging stuff, because I am too!).

Well, sort of winging it I guess.  I don’t have a mentor or personally know any bloggers.  No tech guru, ghost writer, or social media managers have graced these virtual pages, and I haven’t purchased any content.

I started WTSHB on my own without any (and I mean any) idea of what blogging was all about.  Everything I’ve done/am currently doing has come about from countless Google searches, some luck, and a whole lotta trial and error.

That being said, here are some things I think have helped me reach this Million Pageview milestone (make sure you also check out my Blogging Tips series for even more tips).  They’ve worked for me, so hopefully you’ll find success with them too!:

 

Ensuring All My Posts Have Great SEO

I talked about this before and I honestly feel like this has been HUGE in my success.  I use the Yoast SEO plugin and it is an awesome checklist for making sure my posts have all the technical behind-the-scenes stuff set up correctly so people can easily find my creations.  Green dots make me so happy!  Pinterest used to be my main referral source, but now it’s Google thanks to having my SEO setup properly.

 

 

High-Quality Images are Key

I’ve also discussed this point before but it bears repeating.  The Internet is a visual platform and people are lazy.  This means you need to have high-quality images that quickly grab folks’ attention and draw them in, and that they can then share too.  A picture is worth a thousand words and all that.

I take my photos with my DSLR (preferably in natural light) then edit/resize them in Photoshop Elements before uploading them into my WP media folder.  This is why Pinterest is a huge traffic driver for me, along with Google Image searches….people like pretty pictures!

 

I’m a {Not-So} Social Butterfly….But I Do What I Can

Now I’ll admit I’m a bit of a slacker here.  There are just so many different social media platforms and I sometimes forget (or am just too lazy) to be active on all of them.  Like I mentioned, I share my posts like crazy on Pinterest, thanks in part to the scheduling awesomeness of Tailwind.  I’m on a bunch of group boards for all my various niches (DIY, crafts, Silhouette projects, parenting, kid stuff, blogging), and that helps to get my stuff out there.

I also am active on Facebook and share my posts over there (using the post’s link first {with an optimized image} and then uploading photos from that post a few days later with the pasted link).  I’m pretty good about sharing on Instagram, Twitter is a necessary evil, and Google+ is just…..there.

I also periodically post my creations on Hometalk and Craftgawker which also generates some traffic….especially if they give me a feature, which is always a pleasant surprise.  So find what works for you!

 

I Embrace the Peaks & Valleys

I’ve learned over this past year that some days my numbers will go up, and some days they will go down.  My stats resemble a roller coaster, and that’s not only normal, but it’s also FINE.  I celebrate the good (but not too much), and don’t dwell on the not-so-good.

Everything is a learning experience and when you know better, you do/blog better.  My recent posts are exponentially better in every way than my first posts, simply because I kinda know what I’m doing now….at least I feel confident in what I’m doing.

How I Reached ONE MILLION Pageviews in My First Year of Blogging | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

I joined the Blogging Community

This was a little difficult for me as a natural introvert.  You mean I have to introduce myself to strangers and put myself out there and….socialize?!?  But what if they don’t like me??  What if they discover I’m weird and clueless??

Even with this interaction occurring over the interwebs, it still caused huge anxiety….but I’ve gotten over it for the most part.  I comment on other blogs/social media.  I ask them questions.  I answer their questions.  We share and promote each other’s content.  It’s nice!

I also share my posts in link parties and started hosting one this past spring.  I don’t see a lot of referral traffic coming my way from these, but they’re a great way to meet and connect with other bloggers, which can then lead to other opportunities down the road.  This is how I was able to join Merry Monday as a host and also how I joined a tribe in my niche (yes, some more lovely blogging lingo I never knew a year ago…a TRIBE).  This blogging thing is hard to begin with, and much harder if you try to do it and be successful on your own.

 

I Take Breaks to {Try and} Avoid Blogger Burnout

I have to be honest here….as I’m writing this, I’m currently feeling a little bit of blogger burnout which is why I’ve scaled back on my posts for the time being.  However, I’ve discovered that blogging is just like anything else: you can have too much of a good thing.

When my husband would ask if I planned on blogging that day, my answer always used to be “Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.”  Now, I can and I do….or else I’ll go crazy.  I get in a funk, lose inspiration, get zapped of all creativity….and just have ZERO motivation to create or write.  Taking a week or two off and unplugging has allowed me to be more present in my real *offline* life.  I can then recharge and return to blogging better than ever.

 

I Started Some Series

Like I mentioned, I take part in the monthly Silhouette Challenges, and a huge chunk of my readership is fellow Silhouette enthusiasts (hey, friends!).  I also have an All Things Chalkboard series where I share tips and ideas for creating digital chalkboard designs, and I’m also (slowly) adding posts to my Blogging Tips series.

Having series like these have helped to not only organize my posts based on themes I enjoy and frequently write about, but they also improve the experience for my readers….and keep my bounce rate low!

The Silhouette Challenge

All Things Chalkboard Series!

Blogging Tips from Where The Smiles Have Been

 

I Blog About What *I* Want to Blog About

I don’t create things to try and generate traffic.  I don’t write up something for a sponsored post simply for the money.  Nope, I started this blog in part to share things I was already creating for my family and home, and that’s what I’ve continued to do.

I’m long past my college years, so you’ll never see me share a post on how to decorate a dorm room…..at least not for a good 15+ years when my son is off to college.  And I’m so bummed I got married before the age of Pinterest, so don’t expect many wedding posts.

If an offer comes my way for a sponsored post that doesn’t feel right or fit me and my blog, I pass.  I want WTSHB to feel legitimate and sincere, so I only blog about real things from my real life that I believe in, support, and am confident in sharing.  No selling out.

 

I Discovered the World Will Still Turn if I Don’t Post

For a while, I was consumed with becoming a “real blogger” who posted on a regular and consistent basis (i.e. same time and days every week), and if I fell behind on my schedule I would FREAK THE FREAK OUT.  Seriously, major episodes of neurotic craziness were had, as my husband will attest.

Then one day, I didn’t have a post finished and I missed my arbitrary self-imposed deadline….and nothing happened.  I still had a blog.  And it still had traffic, readers, followers, etc.  And I still had family and friends and hair and my craft stash.  All was well in the world!

I learned that this is MY blog and I can make my own rules.  No one out there is holding their breath, just waiting on pins and needles for me to share my latest creation, so I’m no longer beating myself up over it.  But that being said….I don’t EVER miss a sponsored post’s deadline! ;)

 

I’m Enjoying the Ride!

I know I’ve beaten this dead horse already, but I DO NOT OBSESS OVER MY NUMBERS. And I’m very well aware of the irony since this entire post is about a single blogging statistic. ;) It’s not good for my mental health, and big picture…..none of it matters!

Blogging is hard work and I enjoy the challenge….but the second it becomes a J-O-B: JOB, I’m out.

 

So, I think the moral of this post is as long as you’re staying true to yourself and having fun, good things will happen. :)

 

Thanks so much for taking this journey with me!

Signature

About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.

Comments

  1. Congratulations!! and Thank you!

  2. Christine, THANK YOU! This was a great read for a new blogger with a LOT of self doubt like me. I just breathed a huge sigh of relief after reading this article.

  3. A little late on the congratulations, but congrats just the same Christine! I love that you are just doing what you want to do. That is a big thing that I struggle with, because that is what I want to do but I see others writing posts just for the page views. Thanks for your words of advice!
    Cheers,
    AJ

  4. You go girl – there is certainly nothing wrong with giving yourself a shout out, you deserve it! I checked out both of your DIY projects – the patriotic door hanging and the t-shirt – what awesome ideas, congratulations to you! I think it’s important to make sure you are blogging in a way that makes you happy and not to get hung up on numbers. Congrats again and thanks for linking up with us at the Happiness is Homemade Linky Party!

  5. Congratulations! That’s an awesome achievement and a milestone to toot your own horn about for sure.
    Thank you for sharing and encouraging us “newbie” bloggers along!
    Stopping by from the Lou Lou Girls Fab Party.

  6. Congratulations Christine! 1 million page views in your first year is amazing but I am not surprised. Your projects are always AWESOME and pin worthy.

  7. What a great post full of excellent blogging tips. Congrats on 1 million views! Thanks for linking up to Blogger Brags. I have pinned your post to the Blogger Brags Pinterest board.

  8. Oh I wish I could just treat you to a Starbucks so I could pick your brain. I feel like everything you wrote totally resonated with me on like a crazy deep (OCD) level. ;) Thank you for your perspective and inspiring us new bloggers!

    • I’m so glad to hear you connected with this Chrissa! And that I’m not the only crazy one. ;) Let me know if I can ever be of help to you! Bloggers unite!

  9. What a wonderful post that shares your healthy attitude toward blogging and has great tips. I have a hard time finding groups to join. How do you find ones in your niche? I have a DIY/lifestyle blog. I started sharing my own projects only, but now I like to share recipes, interesting artistic books, photography tips, and just about anything I’m interested in.

    • Hey Aliza! To find Pinterest group boards, I usually just scope out the boards of other bloggers in my niche and see if they’re apart of any group boards. Then I check those boards out and see if I am able to join them too….you can usually find ways to join in the board’s description up top. There are also Facebook groups that are dedicated to Pinterest for bloggers too.

  10. This was a great post! I enjoyed your realness about everything. My stats go up and down, and sometimes it gets me down, but then I realize that isn’t the big picture. I have had a few posts go viral, they stay high for a few days, then my views go back down to normal. I love what I do so I try to focus on that as well. I would be interested in knowing what type of affiliate programs you use? Found you through Bloggers Brag and definitely a new follower. Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

    Alexis

  11. Thanks for the insights! I’ve only been promoting my blog for a couple of weeks now, so I’m just in the learning and trying to grow phase. It sounds like you gotta just keep on keepin’ on! :)

    • Jamie, that’s exactly right! I think the key is to just keep posting things you believe in and are proud to share, then SHARE AWAY, especially in the beginning. Keep the faith and don’t get down on yourself. Growing a blog takes time, mainly because you need to figure out your blogging style and what works for you. Let me know if I can ever be of any help! :)

  12. Hi Christine – Congratulations on such a huge milestone! Your milestone was on August 17th which is my birthday and also this year was my 5 year cancer survivorversary so that date has extra special meaning! Please send some good pageview karma my way! I’m closing in on 500,000 and super happy with my growth but anxious to kick it up a notch. Hugs, Holly

    • That is so awesome to hear, Holly! Happy belated birthday AND Happy 5-year Survivorversary! Wahoo!! 8/17 is a good day indeed. :) And yes…positive pageview vibes headed your way! ;)

  13. Congratulations! Keep Up The Great Work! Thanks for sharing an inspiring post! Found your post on Merry Monday!

  14. Wow, Congratulations Christine! What a wonderful accomplishment in just one year. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to reach the one million mark too.

  15. I love this! I was soo nervous sharing my blog with my family & friends too! Lol sometimes I just feel kind of lame, like a total newbie promoting my own stuff lol your post is super inspiring, I hope to get stats like that one day! Congrats!

    • Haha, glad I’m not the only one, Lexi! For the first few months, only my husband and one good friend knew about this endeavor. I was soooo nervous to tell anyone else because I too felt totally lame and like a fraud. I still do sometimes depending on the type of posts I share. Now though I’m getting better at owning all my thoughts and trying not to be too self-conscious about everything. You’re about to rock this blogging world! :)

  16. Thanks for posting this, Christine! I am a pretty outgoing person “in real life” but for some reason it’s hard for me to reach out and try to connect to other people online. It doesn’t make sense, but it is what it is! Luckily the Silhouette Challenge Group has helped me find a lot of amazing people and blogs, and I’m so glad I (randomly) discovered it. My cousin and I sometimes get caught up in our numbers, but like you said, we started this blog to post fun DIYs and other things we’re passionate about. I feel like the more we let go of stressing about “what’s going to be popular” and focus more on following our “happy place” the better people respond!

    • Say whaaaaat, Brittany?? You seem SUPER outgoing online! All you girls are great and friendly and active all over! And you share awesome tutorials, tips, and recipes….stay within your “happy place” and don’t sweat the small things. Great things are in the cards for you gals, for sure! :)

  17. Hi, Christine ~ Congratulations on such a huge milestone! I love your attitude toward blogging! The hardest one for me? That the world will go on if I don’t get a post published (and the comparison one, too)! I love your content and can’t wait to see what the next 15 months and million++ pageviews bring!

    • Thank you, Tiffany! Yeah, I constantly struggle with the comparison thing too. I have to consciously remind myself to stop doing that….it’s just no good! I’m so happy I was able to connect with you via Merry Monday! You have such a fun personality and share AMAZING things! :)

  18. Congratulations! So exciting for you.

  19. CONGRATULATIONS, girl!!! Those are some mighty impressive stats. It is definitely something to feel good about! And it is a testament to your amazing content. You are doing great things over here, and people are noticing! I think I first found you with that super cute Rudolph post (via the ah-mazing Silhouette Challenge ;-) ) and I just fell in love with your style and creativity. Best wishes to a year 2 that’s even better than year 1!!

    • Why thank you, Meredith! That means so much coming from you….seriously, I remember seeing your posts all over my Pinterest feed and thinking “Man, I’d love to do that one day…” You’ve been such an inspiration! :)

  20. Great post and excellent attitude towards blogging. Analytics are important, but if you aren’t having fun, why blog at all? Congrats on one million page views! I believe you self-host your blog (correct me if I’m wrong), but may I ask where you purchased your domain name? Thanks!

    • Hey there, Jamie! Thanks again for taking the time to read my ramblings and leave sweet messages. ;)

      Yep, I’m on a self-hosted WP blog. I get my domain name and hosting through Dreamhost. My domain is free with their hosting plan, and I think I pay around $10 a month for hosting. They’ve been great for me so far and took care of all the WP installation mumbo jumbo when I first started. I recommend them for sure. Here’s my affiliate link to them if you’re interested: http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?1814668

      Let me know if you start a blog! I so want to check it out! :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] from Where the Smiles Have Been had a very interesting post called How I Reached ONE MILLION Pageviews in My First Year of Blogging. It received the most clicks last week . Go read […]

Speak Your Mind

*