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Viral Post Pinnable Image

 

Early on I had a post go viral increasing pageviews by over 6000%…this is the story of that viral blog post.

GETTING STARTED

Before I dive head first into what I experienced the day my blog exploded, I should probably introduce myself so you can get a general feel for who I am and where I am on my blogging journey.  My name is Alea and I’ve been tinkering with the idea of a blog on and off for about 3 or 4 years.

I even tried starting a couponing blog once but realized that I simply didn’t have the time to invest in tracking down and keeping current on all the exciting new deals and coupons that were constantly in flux.  So I decided to leave that to the ladies who have nailed it already. I don’t know how they do it, but God bless them!  Anyway, that was very short-lived, but it did teach me quite a few things about what not to do. {I thought you might like a quick look at a screenshot from back then.}

Viral Blog Post | Screenshot of my 1st blog

Although I love couponing & saving, I realized that the mechanics of tracking those things down to provide a well-rounded resource database for other was unrealistic.  However, I did realize that I could easily write about my process, what has worked & not worked for me in the past, my own coupon brags, etc.

 

So I can just keep visiting the Krazy Coupon Lady (KCL) to find out the inside scoop on the best coupons & deals and I can be helpful and direct my readers there too.  I’m still helping even if I’m not the original source.  That took a huge burden off my shoulders.  However, I had burned out quickly with that one and took some years off.

 

The time passed and it was time to try and add another member to the family, so I decided to document my journey for other gals who were trying to conceive.  I had so many questions that I would scour the internet looking for answers on, so I figured why not become the resource?  Also, I am super big on preserving things for posterity like journals, keepsakes, etc.

NEW BEGINNINGS

So I started another blog switching from Blogspot to the free version of WordPress.  However I fell pregnant very quickly and with that came morning sickness, planning for the new baby and maternity leave along with my full-time job, MBA, and the family I already had.  So I ended up with almost no TTC or pregnancy documentation by the time my second son came along.  So I started feeling like maybe this whole blog thing just wasn’t for me.

 

But then when I was preparing to return to work from maternity leave I began to do a lot of research on various baby related things and I also found myself giving out a lot of advice to people in FB groups and various friends.  One day I had an epiphany; I could totally write a parenting blog!  And I knew just what my first subject was going to be!   Wait for it…Breast Milk Supply!  Woo…that’s some hard hitting stuff there, eh?  But if you’ve ever been or known a breastfeeding mom, then you know what a huge deal it actually is!

 

So I wrote my post, “How I Increased My Milk Supply Overnight”, and threw it out there.  I posted it to Pinterest too and I waited.  Crickets.  And I thought, oh well…what did I expect?  I mean really…who am I anyway?  Some random mom in Seattle, who cares?

 

But I kept at it and joined some blogging groups on Facebook for advice on things like making my blog look nice and things like that.  And in those groups, I found so much more!  It’s incredible the wealth of knowledge that you can get by talking to others who are either in the same boat or have been there and know what it takes.

TIME TO GET SERIOUS

One thing I found out is that you really need to have a self-hosted site for credibility.  So I bit the bullet and got set up with a self-hosted WordPress site for around $4/MO so I could have my own domain name: FrugalNesting.com instead of FrugalNesting.wordpress.com.  I have an easy step-by-step tutorial if you need assistance on doing this for your own blog.

And one day I received an email from a personal finance blogger that I follow.  That was the beginning and I didn’t even know it!  You may be familiar with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents {such a cute name, right?}.  Anyway, this email came from Michelle and was about a new course she was launching for bloggers.

 

It was discounted for the initial launch and one thing you will learn about me is that I can’t pass up a great deal!  So I invested in my first blogging training, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (MSOAM).  Best. Decision.Ever!

Viral Blog Post | Screenshot of MSOAM info page

The course is amazing for anyone who either has a blog or is thinking of starting one.  The affiliate marketing info was genius, but what really helped me right off the bat was the private mastermind FB group that came with it.  There are some really big bloggers in the group and everyone is super active, engaged and willing to help!  In addition, {drumroll please} one of the bonus materials for the class is the Pinterest Strategy Guide by Rosemarie Groner of the Busy Budgeter!  Can you say “game-changer”?

 

The MSOAM course with the FB Mastermind Group and the Pinterest Strategy Guide gave me all the support I needed to keep trekking forward.  So that’s just what I did.  And my pageviews began to creep up from like 10 per day to about 20 per day and I could tell that everything I was doing was starting to slowly take shape.  After some time I began to see my pageviews hit the 50’s consistently and that prompted me to share my success on the board’s “Winning Wednesday” thread.  I was so proud!

AND THEN IT HAPPENED

And then it happened.  I remember it so clearly.  I was checking my pageviews periodically throughout the day.  The last time I had checked it was around 16 for the day and that was around 10 or 11 AM.  And then I was headed over to chat with a coworker around 3:30 PM and wanted to check again just super quick since it had been a while.  And it said 90.  Yes, 90.  I literally exclaimed out loud in my office “What the…!?!”  So I watched and it just kept going.

Viral Blog Post | GA the day my blog exploded

Then I headed over to Google Analytics to check out the “Real-Time” Overview and what I found can be seen below.  Let me tell you, the Real-Time Overview Google Analytic “channel” is the best show you will ever watch when a post goes viral!  This screenshot shows 20 at one time, but I saw it go as high at 37 at one time.  That was unreal to me because I’d gone many days without even reaching that number in 24 hours let alone in one instant.  I even started getting alerts from WordPress notifying me of unusually high activity, at one point reporting that my “stats are booming” at 294 views per hour!

Viral Blog Post | GA Real Time

So for the rest of the night, I annoyed my family by refreshing my screen and reporting on what was happening.  And you probably know that non-blogging friends & family just do not get it, but it was so thrilling for me!  But I figured it would just stop and go back to normal the next day…you know, like a fluke.

AND IT KEPT GOING

Nope…it just kept rolling bigger & better!  The screenshot below shows that I had gone from 44 to 64 pageviews from Tuesday to that Wednesday.  This all happened on Thursday and I closed out the day with 795!!  But that was small potatoes compared with what happened the next day.  On Friday I had 4,315…for real!  That is a 6,642.12% increase over 48 hours!  That was the climax, but I still had 2,597 on Saturday!  From there it slowly tapered off, but to a much higher level than before as you will see from another screenshot further down.

Viral Blog Post | GA 2 day view

So what happened?  I had NO.Clue!  So back to my mastermind FB group I went.  And what they told me was to dig further into my Google Analytics for the source.  Any guesses on what I found?  PINTEREST.  My boring old breastfeeding post had gone “viral”.  No, not 10 million views in 24 hours viral, but definitely viral for a newbie blogger!  You can see that 99.65% of my pageviews from that time period came directly from Pinterest.

Viral Blog Post | GA source

But how?  How did this happen?  I received a ton of tips and advice on locating the source of that Pinterest surge.  Everyone told me that some influencer must have picked it up, but I was never able to identify any of the recent pinners as potential influencers.  My gut feeling is that it probably went out with one of Pinterest’s recommendation emails or something of that nature.  I’ll never know for sure EXACTLY what caused it to go viral on Pinterest, but I do know that Pinterest is my place.  And it continues to be the #1 driver of traffic to my blog.

Viral Blog Post | Pinterest analytics

 

WHAT NEXT?

Of course, a viral post has a natural life cycle and will die off, right?  Right, but… You can see from the screenshot below that that it has pretty wicked good aftermath.  This is just a quick snapshot of the two month period including and following this explosion.  You can see that the monthly average was 34,025 pageviews.  That’s good enough to get accepted to the Mediavine ad network and earn some decent side hustle money from this blogging hobby!  And to this day I have not dropped below 100 pageviews a day since that post went viral.  As long as that continues, this experience has at least doubled my average daily pageviews and that is nothing to thumb your nose at!

Viral Blog Post | GA 2 month

The intent of this post is to inspire you.  Frugal Nesting went live at the end of May 2016, although I’d written the post at the beginning of that month and posted it to my WP hosted site.  So I didn’t really do anything with it until the beginning of June.  There are two things to take from that information:

 

  1. You CAN have almost immediate success with a brand new blog {if you’re lucky AND strategic}.  So don’t get discouraged by folks who tell you it must take years; for me, this happened in under 6 months.
  2. It can take quite a while for a pin or post to pick up traction, it was about 4.5 months in this case.  So don’t get discouraged when you pin something & it doesn’t move right away.

 

That being said, I do understand that this isn’t typical and I just got super lucky.  But who’s to say you won’t get just as lucky?  That’s one of the things that has really resonated with me when I’ve read the success stories of my favorite blogging ladies like Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Kimra Luna, Melyssa Griffin, Mariah Coz and Rosemarie Groner…they aren’t anybody special.  I mean they are, because they are unique individuals just like you & me.  But they didn’t have any special training or opportunity that any of us don’t have.  They often times just fell into it or happened upon a unique opportunity, tried it out, gave it all they had and found success with it.  I know I can do that too, what about you?  I think you can!  So try it out…what’s the worst that could happen?

MOVING FORWARD

Once you do find success with your blog then the information provided in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is incredible for monetizing your content!  I am just in awe of Michelle and the success she’s found through affiliate marketing with her blog.  When she introduced the course she was earning over $50,000/month, which is more than I personally earn in a year.  Since launching the course she has more than double that and ended up earning just under $1M last year!  Talk about life goals!  But as Russell Wilson’s father always told him: “Why not you?”  You can read my recent interview with Michelle HERE.

 

Anyway, in conclusion, I just want to tell you that you need to get started, you need to stay motivated and you need to be patient yet vigilant.  Stay on track and I just know that your blog will explode one day too!  And when it does you had better let me know!!  If you are looking for additional blogging resources you can find some of my favorites on my BLOGGING RESOURCES page! Now get back to pinning!

 

ATTENTION FELLOW BLOGGERS & ENTREPRENEURS

Drumroll…so I have decided to roll out new Pinterest Account Management services and have a couple spots to fill just in case you know anyone who is looking.  I know what a challenge it can be to get up and rolling with it.  So I would love to help alleviate the confusion & headache!  Check out my list of services HERE and contact me with any questions!

 

 

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