I know that I’m not alone in feeling like March lasted forever and ever. It was the first month when COVID-19 really affected life in the US, which definitely was part of why. Through it all, I’ve tried to keep my schedule fairly normal. Because I have a suppressed immune system, I will need to separate from regular society even when a lot of it returns to how it was. Basically, I have to plan on “social distancing” (I’m so sick of that phrase!) for months and months, so I’m trying to make it easier for myself by keeping some semblance of normalcy. All that to say – let’s talk blog traffic like we normally do in the beginning of the month!
First thing’s first: everyone’s blog traffic decreased for part of (if not all of) March. Everyone’s. Even though many, many people are home now more than they normally are, they’re not reading blogs like they normally would. They’re watching the news, they’re trying to stay on top of COVID updates, or they’re trying to avoid social media, etc. all together. So if your blog stats decreased in March, don’t worry too much. But I’ll get into that more down below.
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March Blog Traffic Stats
Google Analytics Statistics
Page views: 12,497 (-16.1% from February, -8.1% from last year)
Bounce Rate: 19.69% (+11.62% from February, -34.4% from last year)
Sessions: 5745 (-13.1% from February, -4.3% from last year)
Users: 4938 (-13.2% from February, 5.8% from last year)
Bloglovin: 1884 (+1.34% from February, +0.85% from last year)
Email subscribers: 710 (+1.28% from February, +5.18% from last year)
Page views: 116,254 (+70.49% from February, +1139.53% from last year)
Sessions: 5,968 (+14.52% from February)
Users: 2,280 (-3.4% from February, +101% from last year)
Facebook: 1,089 (+0.55% from February, +3.41% from last year)
Twitter: 3,700 (+0.08% from February, +10.94% from last year)
Instagram: 2,960 (+0.4% from February, +14.15% from last year)
Pinterest: 9,413 (+1.04% from February, +18.17% from last year)
Tumblr: 3,994 (+0.22% from February, +1.9% from last year)
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Top Sources of Traffic
- Pinterest (71.03%) – I feel like I say a lot of the same things about Pinterest every month: treat it like a search engine because it is, once I started doing that my blog traffic increased by a lot, etc. But as of last month, I have an extra thing to say about Pinterest: even if you think you’re a Pinterest maven, you should check out Ell’s Pinterest with Ell course. I know a lot about Pinterest, but I still learned a bunch. It boosted my blog traffic. It changed how I use Pinterest. At just $39, that course is a lot cheaper than a lot of blog and Pinterest courses. Are you wondering why I’m mentioning it even though my blog traffic decreased this month? Because my blog traffic didn’t decrease by all that much, because all blog traffic is down because of COVID-19 (I’ll get into that more down below), and because I think it would have decreased by a LOT more if I hadn’t been using Ell’s advice.
- Search Engines (6.47%) – This is very exciting to me because it shows that my “big thing” for March worked! Again, I’ll share what it is and explain it down below, but the reason why I tried it was to improve my SEO results. And it worked!
- Facebook (4.66%) – I’m very glad to see that Facebook is always in the top 3 or 4 of my traffic sources because I’m a member of a bunch of Facebook groups for bloggers in addition to having a page for my blog.
This does not include direct traffic.
Has Coronavirus Affected Your Blog Traffic Stats?
What I did
- How I promote my blog posts
- Big thing: blog posts longer than 3,000 words
- 17 Modern Classic Novels is just over 3,000 words; Easter 2020: 50 Crafts, Recipes, and More is just under 3,000; and How To Manage Your Medical Information as a Chronic Illness Patient is also just under. However, as that last one is a sponsored post, it’s full of nofollow links. The whole point of writing posts longer than 3,000 words is those help raise your authority with search engines; however, nofollow links tell the search engines that it’s a sponsored post and so they shouldn’t look at it, so I’m not positive how helpful it was in this capacity. (But I hope the information is helpful for readers!)
- So: why exactly did I aim to write blog posts over 3,000 words? Why do longer blog posts help get search engine traffic? A couple of reasons. Writing longer, more authoritative posts increases your authority with others, “And being an authority on the topic, your article is likely to earn natural backlinks from those who refer to it on their blogs” (x). So people who link to my blog posts bring traffic to my blog from their readers, and when other people link to my (or your) blog, search engines learn that my/your blog has authority and show your blog sooner in the search results. Longer blog posts also tend to get more social media shares, and longer posts also give you more opportunities to use different types of search keywords (x). And when you write longer blog posts frequently, your average blog traffic will increase, and then the people who go one long blog posts will go to other blog posts, and it becomes a cycle of bringing you traffic.
- Made book quizzes to correspond with my book posts on ListChallenges.com and included links to my blog in those lists
- Published an Easter round-up
I haven’t seen results from
- Including links to my posts in my lists – Honestly, I didn’t expect this to do anything; I just like making lists about books. So I figured I might as well link to the posts!
What I can learn this month
- There’s only so much you can do for your blog in the face of a world-wide pandemic – As I mentioned earlier, I’m in a lot of Facebook groups for bloggers, and I’ve lost count of how many times I saw someone ask, “Why did my blog traffic decreased this month???” recently. The answer? There’s a world-wide pandemic! All sorts of bloggers are facing this, no matter the niche. Yes, more people are home than before, but they’re working for home or they’ve lost their jobs or somewhere in between. They’re searching for health information or for the most updated statistics, not for the best drugstore concealer or what to do in Boston, let alone travel guides. (I feel very bad for travel bloggers right now. If you pretty much only write and post travel content, I’m so sorry.) You can only do so much to manage your blog traffic when there’s a world-wide pandemic. Do what you can, but try not to stress about it too much right now.
- Writing longer blog posts can still help your blog traffic – While it was definitely frustrating to do so much work and not get a massive result, I do think that writing longer blog posts can help you blog traffic. The percentage of my blog traffic that came from search engines was higher his month than it was last month! That’s pretty great, all things considered. Additionally, several years ago I was excited when I managed to write blog posts close to 1,000 words, and that improved my blog stats. Now, my posts seem really short when they’re around 1,000 words, and most are around 2,000 words. I had a hard time getting my posts to be around or over 3,000 words, and I don’t think that I’ll try to always hit 3,000 words moving forward, but I’m definitely going to work on having at least 1 around that per month. (More if I write 6-8 posts a month.)
- 4 blog posts – Success! I published 5.
- Maintaining page views – Fail. See above.
- 5 blog posts
- Increase my blog traffic
How has Coronavirus affected your blog stats?
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