Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright

I'll be honest. I've been having a hard time figuring out how I was going to write this post. The post editor has been open all day, and I kept typing and deleting words. But a review of this month is in order, especially since I didn't really do one for June.

Truth be told, July has been both a wonderful and difficult month. Our AC died halfway through the month, was repaired, and that repair only lasted a week before the compressor blew. So we need a new unit (which is being installed tomorrow). Nice thing is the one we're getting means we won't need to use oil heat anymore, but it's still a good chunk of money. That coupled with the fact that our daughter's birthday party is next weekend, and then at some point we need to start thinking about the holidays... Finances are rarely stress-free, especially on a single income. And I'm behind on housekeeping tasks, because I do not function well in heat/humidity. Not just from being uncomfortable (I can't imagine too many people who are comfortable in the middle of summer with no AC), but I get really weak/dizzy/lightheaded when it's hot and can only do so much before having to sit down. I drink tons of water all day, so I know it's not from being dehydrated. It's just something I've always had to deal with starting in high school and has gotten worse over the years.

That being said, I've accomplished a lot from a personal standpoint (probably from sitting down so much, lol).

Marketing/Analytics:

I thought I'd try something new and show you the numbers behind the scenes. Here's the fun stuff, especially since I'm only about three months since I launched my site, and 7 months since I launched my FB page (but much more active on it now), so you really get to see what the analytics are from the beginning. I participated much more in the blog promo group than I normally do, and need to make sure I do that on a weekly basis. My facebook page gained 9 new likes, 7 new followers on Twitter (which is my largest following believe it or not, at 222 followers), and 1 new one on Instagram. I had more on there but there are lots of people who will follow and then unfollow you if you don't follow them back. I prefer to have followers who are actually interested in the content, not just trying to get more followers in return, so I only follow back if it's something that interests me. Biggest growth this month on FB was my reach (how many people see my posts), which went up 131% since last month. Page views are up 52% from June, and engagement (people who like, comment, share the posts) dropped 8%. On Twitter, 18 people liked my tweets, and one person retweeted. Regarding the blog, although RSS subscribers dropped (45 in June, 37 in July), the actual visits, views and audience. Some of the data is hard to get and needs to be added up manually as a best-guess (for example Instagram and some of Pinterest, which doesn't show number of followers in the analytics). A new thing I did this month was re-join Stumbleupon. I was on there years ago, promptly forgot about it, and thought I'd give it another shot. Which is a good thing, because 30% of my website/blog views come from that site, and likely why you see the huge jump from June to July. (P.S. Squarespace has some really fun features that I have yet to explore, including charts! Yay, charts! I love discovering all the fun stuff I can do on here.)
 

Social Media Analytics for July

Blog Analytics

Comparison between June and July

Product:

I added five new items to my Etsy shop this month, those being the three tiny needle-felted succulents and the two bracelets. I also added a new item to my TPT shop, the O is for Ocean activity pack. To give you an idea, it takes me about 15 hours to create one such activity pack start to finish, including concept, design, hand-drawing the graphics (including the border), layout, creating the PDF, the thumbnail images for the shop and listing the item.

Other:

My new logo

My new logo

Not really what category this stuff falls under, but I finally created a logo that I like (with a black and white version as well), which I now have across all the social media channels and the two shops. I do need to update and make a "rounded" version, as the round frame on several of these sites cut off part of the logo. Maybe I'll just use the tree and not the name for those? I also updated the look of my Etsy shop and gave it a bit more flair with a cover photo. They took the old banner away and have changed the look of their site, but the nice thing is I figured out how to spruce it up again. In any case, I'll likely be tweaking this stuff a bit more in the future. Oh, and I'm not sure if you noticed, but I also updated the main blog page to display the posts with the image and summary, and changed the navigation link from "BLOG" to "Thoughts and Musings," however on the home page I left the link in the bar as "blog" for new visitors to the site.

Goals for August:

  • Continue participating in the blog promo group, and possibly join others.
  • Continue tweaking the look of social media channels 
  • Work on adding more product to the Teachers Pay Teachers shop as well as Etsy
  • Get a jump start on more blog posts so I'm not writing them at the last minute (like now)
  • Focus more attention on Instagram, post more often.
  • Continue focusing attention on Twitter, since it seems to be working for me.
  • Start thinking about big art projects - this isn't just about selling and marketing, there's a deeper reason behind all this, and one that I have not forgotten.

"Every little thing gonna be alright." - Bob Marley