Taking the house my mom grew up in, the farm my grandparents shared for over fifty years and making it a home for us to grow old in.

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

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 get with Joe and the only other 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 ourselves 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. It is amazing how much that money has been helping us since Joe started his own business!! 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!

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!

Hi guys :) Thank you so much for coming by and reading my posts! You might also like my Weekly DIY newsletter so you don't miss anything! Just type in your email to sign up!

61 Comments

  1. December 13, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    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.

    • December 13, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Jen you have such a wonderful site, I’ve probably spent too much time there! lol Thank you so much for coming by, have a wonderful December!

  2. Lesley-Anne
    December 15, 2016 at 3:31 am

    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.

    • December 15, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Oh Lesley-Ann thank you so much!! 🙂 Link parties are a place for other bloggers to share their posts in one big party on one blogger’s website. Usually they have a theme and limit to how many of your own posts you can share etc. It gives us bloggers a chance to support each other and it really gives me a great resource for finding new awesome posts/pins for my Pinterest page 🙂

  3. Candy Walsh
    December 18, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    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!!

    • December 19, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you so much Candy!!!

  4. December 18, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    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.
    Debrashoppeno5 recently posted…Do You Consider This Table A Masculine One?My Profile

  5. January 10, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    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!
    Marie from The Interior Frugalista recently posted…Rustic Marquee Bar Sign (Red To Galvanized With Paint)My Profile

    • January 10, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks so much for coming by Marie, hope you have a wonderful 2017!

  6. Jann Olson
    February 1, 2017 at 3:33 am

    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

    • February 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Yeah it is definitely time consuming but I hope so much one day that this blog could support me being home full time – big dreams but in a couple of years maybe it could happen! Thanks so much Jann always for coming by 🙂 hugs!

  7. February 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    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

    • February 2, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Anna! It is a lot of work but I’ve found it super rewarding and fun!

  8. February 9, 2017 at 11:50 am

    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

  9. February 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    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!

    • February 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Oh Jen thank you so much! As a blogger I am constantly second guessing myself!

  10. February 13, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    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

  11. February 14, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    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!
    Angela @ Setting My Intention recently posted…The Secret to BudgetingMy Profile

    • February 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      Thank you so much Angela!!

  12. February 19, 2017 at 8:58 pm

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

  13. February 22, 2017 at 4:56 am

    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!

  14. March 3, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    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

    • March 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Awesome thanks for coming by Christina!!

  15. March 4, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    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

    • March 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Hey Nicole! That is exactly why I wrote this post! I’ve read literally hundreds of posts out there on how bloggers got so many page views etc, but never very detailed so, hopefully, this will help other bloggers along the way and please comment if I missed anything!

  16. March 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

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

    • March 6, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Thank you for coming by Christine and, if I missed anything in this post or if you can think of anything I’m not doing, definitely comment and let me know!

  17. March 6, 2017 at 4:48 am

    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

    • March 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Hey Judith, thank you for coming by! I was always frustrated that most blog posts that talk about “how to grow your blog” never include detailed, day-to-day steps etc.

  18. March 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    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!
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Our 6th Grade CurriculumMy Profile

    • March 17, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Hi there, that is exactly why I wrote this post! I’ve seen so many posts about people doing so well with their blogs but just like you said, they never get down to what they actually DO. I have a new post coming out in a couple of weeks about my Pinterest strategy that might interest you – it cut my time down to only a couple of hours a week and its giving my site over half of its total traffic! Also, the link parties are endlessly time consuming but right now I’m beta testing a new app that is cutting my time down there to only about 4 hours on Monday and that’s it ALL week. I’ll post about it all as soon as its out of testing and goes live! Have a great Friday!

  19. March 16, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    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 reference. I write 2 blogs and have a large family and am very busy, so this is a real help. I would LOVE to see a future post on HOW you actually organize the record keeping you do for your blog post and where you share them if you ever feel so inclined. Thank you.
    Gentle Joy

    • March 17, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Hey there, you just mentioned one of my BIGGEST pet peeves with other bloggers and websites. I hate it when they force you to keep clicking to read and entire article! And, also like you said, when they promise so much in the heading but then don’t give you anything except “join Pinterest and your blog can be as successful as mine!” I plan on coming out with a few more blog posts focusing specifically on several topics (like Pinterest) and how I do them day to day including the other places I submit etc. And they are all focused on saving time, so, stay tuned! And thank you so much for coming by and commenting!

  20. March 17, 2017 at 1:26 am

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

    • March 17, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks Roseann for coming by!

  21. March 18, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    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.

    • March 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks for commenting Jasmine, good luck on your blogging journey!

  22. March 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    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.

    • March 20, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      Char, we’ve been thinking about getting chickens too (or ducks) I’m really hoping some day this blog will support me enough that I can be home more so we can get some animals etc. 🙂 Blogging really is a big journey and there is so much to learn and I don’t think there is any one path to success here at all. Thank you so much for commenting and coming by!

  23. March 20, 2017 at 3:12 pm

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

  24. March 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Wow what an awesome accomplishment! Thanks for the tips!

  25. March 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Love the tips!

    • March 21, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks for coming by Caitlin!

  26. March 21, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    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!

    • March 21, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      April thank you so much for coming by! Next week I’m posting an in depth step-by-step post about my Pinterest strategy that might interest you too!

      • March 22, 2017 at 1:45 am

        Absolutely. I’ll be back.

  27. March 21, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    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!

    • March 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Kyrstie, I’m so glad you found it helpful! I’m coming out with a post that shows exactly how I implement my Pinterest strategy next Monday that you might be interested in! Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  28. March 28, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    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!

    • March 28, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Hey Quanda, it does seem like a lot when I put it down on paper like that lol! Most of it now though I can almost do in my sleep and, really, the biggest time consumer is link parties. Good luck on your blogging journey!!

  29. March 30, 2017 at 1:55 am

    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 again for all of the invaluable tips!

    • March 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Amy, just take it one step at a time! It took me over a year and a half to figure out everything I’m doing now and to get a schedule together! One thing I’m doing different now though is I’m trying to get ahead of myself and finish posts days (and sometimes weeks!) ahead of time, it took so much stress off of the whole blogging experience!

  30. April 3, 2017 at 3:56 am

    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

    • April 3, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much Janice! Sadly I have not yet cracked the Digg code, I have gotten some visitors and pageviews from there but I don’t think my blog’s genre is really their style however, if I do get it figured out, you will be the first to know!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge
Iris Nacole
Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

Disclaimer

Everything you see here on this blog the author has chosen to do so entirely at her own risk. And that is: risk to herself and risk to whatever she may be working on/her home and her own wallet. The author assumes absolutely no liability if you choose to follow in her foot steps and attempt anything you see on this website yourself. The author strongly urges you to do your due dilligence before attempting anything of a diy nature at home.

Disclosure and Privacy Policy

This post may contain affiliate links and, if you do choose to use them it will cost you nothing, but you will be supporting our little farm as well as this blog and our future projects. Likewise for the banners and ads you see around this site. Thank you so much for your support!
For our Full Disclosure, click HERE
For the Privacy Policy, click HERE

Copyright Notice

All the photos and text on this blog are copyright Protected and owned by the author. If you would like to feature or use any of the photos or work you see here that is wonderful! You may share one photo from a post, if linked back to the original post. You may not copy entire articles and posts (even if you link back to me) without my express permission. Email requests using the contact form HERE