November 2014 Valerie & Valise Recap

Another month has come and gone–it’s kind of crazy to think about how fast twelve of these little babies go by each year, isn’t it? We’re rapidly approaching the end of 2014, and are almost two years past that random date where the world was supposed to end! I’ve been busy with V&V this month: I went to Cancun for five days early in November, and spent a lot of time getting ready for my big Orlando trip this week (crowdfunding, setting up my Etsy shop, etc.)

Here’s an infographic that covers some of the cool stats from the past month. Thanks to all of you who are new in the past 30 days, and to those loyal fans who keep coming back. I wouldn’t be this far without you.

November 2014 Infographic

And finally, a few blogging tips learned the hard way this month.

A Little Goes A Long Way

I decided to suck it up this month and spend some money on Facebook advertising (the first time I’ve done so in about nine months, since the last time I tried, I ended up paying like $1.63 per like, and only got 5 likes when they had estimated 30+). This time, I decided to aim outside my normal geographic area in the hopes of cutting cost. I was right. For a relatively small amount, I now have lots of new Facebook friends, and am sharing my content a little more enthusiastically on that platform. The point is: if you learn about the advertising platform and the more effective ways to use it, you can do well even with an incredibly small budget (this time, my cost per like was $0.20!).

Engagement > Reach

At the same time that reach is important, engagement (meaning the fact that people click, comment, share, like, RT your content) is even more important. Engagement is the indication that you’re getting the right content in front of the right people, and if you hope to make your blog into a viable business, it’s crucial. Businesses don’t just want to reach a new audience–they want to know their message will be well received by that audience. I wrote about this twice on my professional blog: “The Endless Debate: Engagement vs. Reach” and “4 Ways to Think About Engagement.”

Play to Your Strengths

I know I said at the end of my Blogiversary that I was going to stop posting on Google+ since I wasn’t seeing much traction (aka engagement OR reach). I went a step further this month: I deleted the page completely. While I realize this may affect my SEO and cuts off some of my audience, I know that I’m not giving them my best work anyway. My social media platforms of choice are Twitter and Instagram–I love providing my followers with great content regularly, not just recycled posts from other places. I’d rather do a few things really well that adopt the “I’m going to do ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIAS” mindset that many bloggers have fallen into, and leave some of my audience wanting for better content. (Because really, beyond the engagement and reach, it’s all about the content.)

What has worked for you in November? What are you looking forward to in the coming month? Here’s to December!

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Valerie has been blogging since 2001, and has been running her oldest travel blog for a decade. You can find her across the internet on her various niche sites, but she started Site School to help fellow bloggers grow and create better content.

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