15,000 Pageviews a month: How I did it in 1 year & how I do it every day!

Dec 12 2016
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When I first started this blog I had already had my own little side business as a web designer since 2001. It kept me busy but being behind the scenes for other bloggers left me really unfulfilled… I wasn’t working for myself on my own project like I wanted to be. So, I started Grandma’s house DIY as most bloggers start: Without a clue as to what I was doing! Sure I knew how to set it all up, update it and keep it running smoothly but I hadn’t ever done this before! I read everything I could from other bloggers on how to do this but I never felt like any of them were very specific on a day to day basis. So, this is what I do every day that made me hit 15,000 pageviews a month exactly one year after I started blogging. (Note: I have never paid for advertising right now my costs are $30 a month for Boardbooster and $120 a year for hosting – I have a self hosted WordPress blog on Directnic.com)

How I took my DIY blog from 0 to 15,000 visitors a month in only one year and no budget, how I do it every day.

Every day I look for bloggers like me to support, pin and follow across all of the social media platforms that we share by browsing my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Hometalk, Instructibles and Instagram feeds. I share a lot of other bloggers’ content constantly! I am also ALWAYS on the look out for other link parties and submission sites that I can join as well. I generally follow over 200 other bloggers a week but I won’t share or support anything that I don’t love. Every morning (after I get a cup of coffee) I sit down, go through all of my email and then check the website and all of my social media platforms for anything that might need my attention. I try to reply to every comment and thank anyone that shares my work or mentions me on their own sites etc. And then, what I move on to next, depends on the day of the week it is:


Monday:

Put together, write, finish and publish a blog post that is the “meat and potatoes” of my blog (such as this one), which is either a Tips & Tutorials or a Before & After. After publishing the post I also publish it on Hometalk and Instructables (if the post is right for them) I then pin all of the images off of the post into all of my Pinterest boards that relate. I then submit the post to Digg and Stumbleupon and then I tweet about it and I share it on my Grandma’s House DIY Facebook page.
I then enter in all of the Monday Link Parties that I know about. (See below for more details.)


Tuesday:

I host a link party so I put my Wednesday link party post together every Tuesday. I visit all of the links that have been added to my party and then pin and comment and follow every blogger that participates. This is also when I choose the winners. I write the blog post and then schedule it to publish on Wednesday morning.
I then enter in all of the Tuesday Link Parties that I know about. (See below for more details.)


Wednesday:

With my link party post already live I now go to it and submit it to Digg and Stumbleupon, I tweet about it and I share it on Facebook and pin the corresponding Pinterest image and pin the favorites.
Because I don’t have a blog post to put together on Wednesdays I take this day to submit one of my “Meat and Potatoes” blog posts to my list of Facebook group boards and DIY submission sites (diyideacenter.com etc.) I found them all by doing searches on Google and I am ALWAYS looking for more places to submit.
I then enter in all of the Wednesday Link Parties that I know about. (See below for more details.)


Thursday:

I put together my Friday blog post which is one of the following three: a free house plan/design, a post about our week/what we’re up to or an Inspiration board bringing together a few of my favorite other bloggers’ projects. I schedule it to publish the next day (Friday) morning.
I then put together my Sunday newsletter which includes all three of the new posts I published this week and one old one. (See below for more details.)
I then enter in all of the Thursday Link Parties that I know about. (See below for more details.)


Friday:

With the new post I created yesterday now live I pin all of the images across any of my Pinterest boards that are relevant. Then I also submit it to Digg and Stumbleupon and then I tweet about it and I share it on the Grandma’s House DIY Facebook page.
I then enter in all of the Friday Link Parties that I know about. (See below for more details.)


Saturday and Sunday:

Weekends I really don’t like sitting down at my computer. Usually I enter in all of the Saturday and Sunday Link Parties but, sometimes, I don’t even get that done and Monday I play catch up. Honestly weekends are the only real time I have to work on my house/create more content for my vitally important “meat and potatoes” blog posts. I also usually do all my photo shoots for my posts on the weekends too.


“Meat and Potatoes” blog posts. When you read the “how-tos” about starting a successful blog just about every one of them tells you that you first have to be blogging about something you are passionate about. Everything I blog about I would be doing whether I was blogging about them or not and I think anyone reading my blog can tell that I can’t wait to get home and tackle some crazy project I’ve been thinking about. My meat and potatoes blog posts are literally what I want to be doing every day when I grow up! If I had any advice for someone who wants to start a blog I would tell them that the first thing they have to do is figure out what their “Meat and Potatoes” blog posts are going to be about.

Link Parties.

I have a master list of about 150 link parties that I submit to every day. One thing you must remember about link parties is that you should never share the same post there more then once so you’ve got to be ORGANIZED. My master list has the URL of where the link party is at, the day it starts and every post I’ve ever submitted there. I usually open four of them in my browser at a time, submit two posts to each of them (updating my master list as I go) and then I go through every party clicking on as many other posts as I can, pinning them and then following the blogger on all of our shared social media platforms. (I have a pretty specific niche and I don’t share anything I don’t love but I always try to open at least three or four other links in every party.) Yes, this can take hours, most days I have 25-30 link parties I submit to. If the blogger stops posting their link party four weeks in a row I delete them from my list and remove their button from my site unless they posted about going on vacation or something. When I find a new link party I add it to my master list and then add their button to the bottom of all of my blog posts. If the blogger features one of my posts I tweet and post about my feature on Facebook, tagging them in it, including a link to their party and I also thank them in a comment on their site.

Sunday DIY Newsletter.

I use Mailchimp for my newsletter service and am really happy with it. It has a free WordPress sign up plugin so I don’t have to touch a single email. I put it together including my three blog posts from this week and one older one using their corresponding Pinterest images. My “meat and potatoes” post gets the biggest image and is front and center of course 🙂 (Every post I make has one big and pretty Pinterest image that includes my brand that I also use in my newsletter.)

Social Media. I get nearly 40% of my traffic from Pinterest but looking at the kind of niche my site falls in that shouldn’t be very surprising to anyone. I work hard on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but none of those three come close to providing the kind of traffic that Pinterest pushes my way no matter what I do. I use BoardBooster and it really stream lined my Pinterest game: I pin over 120 pins a day using Boardbooster across 48 boards.

65% of my traffic comes from three places. Pinterest gives me 40%, Hometalk gives me 13% and the DIYIdeaCenter gives me 12%. The rest of my traffic is spread out from hundreds of other websites. I’ve been a part of Hometalk since the beginning of my blog and I owe almost every one of my “viral” posts to them, they love DIY bloggers and they love posting our stuff when we share it with them, they share it in their newsletter and they also share it often on their Facebook page, they are so good to us! DIYIdeaCenter is similar to Hometalk but it has a more serious and slightly less “Crafty” feel, my projects fit in really good there and, just like Hometalk, they treat bloggers who share on their site REALLY well! I can’t stress it enough to new bloggers: You must find OTHER websites to submit your posts to! If I had not found Hometalk or the DIYIdeaCenter I don’t think I would have half the traffic or followers that I do today. I’ve had similar moments where one of my posts hit hard on other sites too, BlogHer drove a good 1,000 hits one day and Stumbleupon once sent nearly 2,000 to me one day!

Find your “meat and potatoes” and devote your blog to it.

Find other places to share your posts: Facebook groups, other websites, link parties etc. Be patient. Have a schedule on when you post and stick to it. Stay very organized on where you have shared your posts: make lists. Find other bloggers like you and support them, pin them, follow them, share them, cheer them on and be GRATEFUL if anyone ever does the same for you. Reply to every comment with kindness. If you have trolls then you’re doing something right! Take your blog, your schedule, your lists and your posts with the utmost of seriousness.

My long term goal: Replace my day job with my blog by year 4. No I don’t have any plans of leaving my day job but my dream is to be able to work from home someday between the blog and refinishing furniture. (And also to be able to devote myself to having myself a real farm with ducks and chickens and a big garden.) Right now I’m making around $200 a month between Media.net, Google Ads and Amazon Affiliates. I still feel like I have a TON to learn about this blogging business but, so far, it has been a lot of work but also a bunch of fun!

UPDATE: My ebook 0-1.5 million Pinterest views is now available from Smashwords!

How I took my DIY blog from 0 to 15,000 visitors a month in only one year and no budget, how I do it every day.

UPDATE: You may be interested in my new post that goes into my day to day nitty gritty all about my Pinterest Strategy!Pinterest Strategy: What I wish I had known and implemented when I started blogging. Using BoarBooster, how to increase your Pinterest numbers over night!

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TarahlynnHeatherKathleen RuppAmyFranci Hoffman Recent comment authors
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Jen Panguluri
Guest

Tarah, I have often been on the receiving end of one of your lovely comments or repins, and it always brings a special smile. Thanks for a great year, your wonderful blog, and the great info in this post. Here’s to many many more years of success and joyful blogging.

Julie S Pit Stop Crew
Guest

I dont know Tarah yet and yet I feel like I know her. From all these wonderful comments and the ton of actionable tips shared here. Loved it. Thanks for bringing it to the Pit stop 🙂

Pit stop Crew

Lesley-Anne
Guest
Lesley-Anne

I am writing to you from Canberra, Australia and I found your website from a Hometalk link. Your website is my absolute favourite and I click on it regularly to see what new stories & topics & projects you are sharing. I have felt very inspired by your renovations but it is your authenticity which makes this site the best. Cheers, p.s. I don’t really understand how the Link Party works.

Candy Walsh
Guest
Candy Walsh

Tarah,
You are now and always will be my favorite blog site ever! You know I love the personal stories behind everything you do and how you give the history of each piece or room, etc.
Fan for life!!

Debrashoppeno5
Guest

You are amazing. And have great time management tips. I enjoy your “meat & potatoes ” posts as well. Now that you have inspired me I better get to work.

Marie from The Interior Frugalista
Guest

So glad I found this post at the Silver Pennies Sunday link party. One of my goals for 2017 is to get organized and find a schedule that works and brings balance back into my life. You share loads of great tips in here on how I can do that – thank you so much! Tarah, wishing you an even more successful 2017!

Jann Olson
Guest
Jann Olson

Wow, you’ve really got it down to a science! Sounds like an awfully lot of work, but if you love it; that’s all that matters. Blogging is just fun for me and I don’t take it too serious. 🙂 I love the connections and friendships I have made through blogging! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Anna
Guest

I am fairly new to blogging and constantly researching ways to grow and gain readers. Glad I found your post very helpful. I will definitely be looking for more link up parties to join and working more on my social media presence! Wishing you more continued success

Debbie Roberts
Guest

Hi Tarah, blogging to get those page views is not for the faint-hearted. I think you will succeed at your goal of blogging full time and before your four year goal.

Popping over from the #HappyNowLinkUp

Jen
Guest

This is a fantastic write-up and post! A solid plan with your fantastic design and blogging ideas indeed make for a great overall blog and blogging platform. Well done! Thanks for sharing this at the Happy Now Link-Up!

Leigh
Guest

Thanks for the tips! I’m finally getting to a place where I can give my blog more serious attention, so seeing what you’ve done is encouraging.
Blessings, Leigh

Angela @ Setting My Intention
Guest

I love your organization! Well done! I’m going to check out your list of link ups. I really love your long term goal that feels realistic – I don’t doubt you can replace your salary in 4 years!

Erlene
Guest

These are some great tips for bloggers. Thanks for posting on the Merry Monday Link Party!

Jess
Guest

Definitely a great post! 🙂

I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

Chistina
Guest

Hi Tarah! For a new blogger this is very helpful! I actually found this post at a link party today! Thanks for sharing. 😉
Christina @ thecheerfulspace.com

Nicole | The Professional Mom Project
Guest

This is so helpful thank you! So many people say they reach certain page views but don’t explain the steps to take to get there. Pinning for sure and I look forward to visiting your link party post as well. Thanks again

Christine
Guest

Thank you so much for this great info! This is what I have been looking for to help me grow my blog!

Botanic Bleu
Guest

Tarah,
How generous of you to share such a detailed explanation of how you have grown your readership. Sharing the sites, Hometalk, Stumbleupon, etc… gives concrete steps for others to take. I found you on a linky party which confirms linky parties offer new readers.

Judith

Mother of 3
Guest

Wow! That sounds quite time intensive but I love how detailed you are in this post. I’ve read so many other blogs that share their traffic reports and when I’m done reading I think… so what specifically did you do? This is great. But more and more I realize that as much as I want my blog to succeed the time involved in making it really shine it just not there; not with three boys I’m homeschooling! I do enjoy it though and will keep plugging away. Good luck to you on reaching your 4 year goal!

Gentle Joy Homemaker
Guest

Tara, I am new to your blog and am now following you. I appreciate the information you shared here… so many times I see an opening picture and title, such as you have, that promises much, but doesn’t deliver much at all… or makes you go from one post to another to another to pump up the views, while only imparting a small tidbit of information. THANK YOU for not doing that. I am a practical person and I love that your shared what you do and were detailed in it. What a blessing. I am pinning this for future… Read more »

Roseann Hampton
Guest

Thanks for the great information! It definitely takes commitment to keep up with everything involved in maintaining a blog!

Jasmine
Guest

Hi Tarah, I have been blogging for 9 months now and have learned so much from your post. Thank you so much for sharing such great information.

Char
Guest

Thanks for sharing your journey Tarah. I’ve been blogging since June last year. It gets frustrating not seeing traffic. I am seeing my best ever traffic this weekend from a new post I shared in a facebook group. Best of wishes with your dreams. I can relate to similar ones. I have come up with the idea of raising chickens to generate income, since I have been enjoying them since getting our first ones last April.

Sherry
Guest

Congrats on a great year! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

Sarah @ Foxy's Domestic Side
Guest

Wow what an awesome accomplishment! Thanks for the tips!

Caitlin
Guest

Thank you for sharing! Love the tips!

April
Guest

This is the absolute best article I have read on improving blog traffic. If I weren’t out of printer paper, I’d glue this to my desk. I learned so much. Pinning. Bookmarking. Learning. Thank you!

Kyrstie
Guest

Seriously, this is the most helpful article I’ve seen on this subject! As an aspiring blogger, I have searched high and low for articles just like this to help me increase traffic. However, like you said, not many of them get into the nitty gritty details about their routine or exactly how they build their blogs. This was amazing! Thank you!

Quanda Allen
Guest

Tarah, I am a new blogger with a full time job and I am simply exhausted reading your weekly routine! But, it helps me to better understand what I need to do to improve my blog. Thank you!

Amy
Guest

I can’t thank you enough for this post! I am a pretty new blogger, and often feel like I’m just drowning. I have a two year old and am currently expecting #2, so my time (and my energy, at the moment) is very limited. I’ve known from the beginning that I would probably have fairly slow growth, and I’m okay with that. But I really just feel like I’m flailing around most days. A schedule is exactly what I need, and this gives me such a great template to put together a schedule that’s going to work for me. Thanks… Read more »

Janice | MostlyBlogging
Guest

Hi Tarah,
Congratulations– first on getting so much traffic each month. Thanks for the schedule. Congratulations also– you won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party with this post.
1. I’ve never gotten traffic from Digg. I blog about blogging tips. Advice?
2. If you’d like to guest post on my site about Digg, you’d be welcome.
Janice

Ariel
Guest

I use your linky list ALL the time! Thank you so much!

Debbie
Guest

I am impressed with the great growth that you have had in just a year! Thanks for sharing your tips.

Rebecca Flansburg
Guest

Digg and Stumbledupon are two platforms I always forget about. I need to give them a second look! Stopping by from the Blogger Pit Stop 🙂

Sara
Guest

Hi, Tarahlynn, what a lovely and detailed post. I like seeing the “behind the scenes” of what people do and what is working for them.

Your blog is pretty niche so I can see why Pinterest is a top referrer.

My top referrer is StumbleUpon. Boggles my mind. I used to focus on Pinterest and Instagram (and have had clients find me on Instagram and Twitter) but have let them go. I’m currently focusing on Twitter and FB.

Organization and hard work – you’ll definitely reach your goal along with the chickens ^_^.

Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle
Guest

Tarah, This popular post will be featured on the Blogger’s Pit Stop. Congratulations, be looking for the feature on Friday.

Kathleen
Blogger’s Pit Stop

Menaka Bharathi
Guest

These were so e wonderful tips I think I need to stick on to . I in fact have not thought of pinterest and stumbleupon much, Now I think I need to become a bit serious about it.

Smiling Notes
Guest

This is really inspiring!! I wasn’t aware of Digg so I’ll have to take a look at it! 🙂 Thanks you for these tips.

Cathy
Guest

WOW~you have done such a good job and I love your strategy & organization. I didn’t know about DIGG. I love all your posts and I’m not even a DIY-er!

Franci Hoffman
Guest

It’s good meeting you Tarahlynn. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

Amy
Guest

Great post! Question – how do you manage to submit to Digg? I have a profile but am seeing nothing for submissions….

Kathleen Rupp
Guest

This post is so helpful. I just started blogging in March and have learned so much but this really helps lay everything out. I went from not being on social media at all to having a blog and trying to keep up with each platform which was overwhelming for me. Thank you so much!!

Heather
Guest

I really needed this post! I’ve been struggling to find my rhythm. I’ve also noticed that other bloggers don’t get very specific on their day to day processes, so I love and appreciate the way this post is laid out. I will definitely be implementing some of these ideas!

Thank you so much for sharing!

Iris Nacole

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