In our latest episode of Mediavine On Air, Lena Gott from What Mommy Does and Stephanie Keeping from Spaceships and Laserbeams talk about their top traffic tips. From post and image SEO to Pinterest best practices, this episode covers a whole lot of ground.
Learn how to increase your traffic and keep viewers on your site from these experts in episode 6 of Mediavine On Air.
JENNY GUY: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of Mediavine On Air. I’m your host, Jenny Guy. Today we are talking about traffic, not the academy award winning movie from 2000, but the people who come to your website. Like money, traffic is one thing most of us always want more of, but how do you get it? For this Summer of Live episode, originally recorded back in 2018, I was joined by veteran bloggers and instructors Stephanie Keeping and Lena Gott.
Stephanie is creator of the wildly popular website Spaceships and Laser Beams and Lena is the face behind the website What Mommy Does and her courses at Adventures in Blogging. These ladies loaded the episode with action items to turbocharge your traffic growth. So be prepared to take a lot of notes. If you like what you hear, like and follow Mediavine on Facebook and never miss another broadcast. And of course, subscribe, download and give us that sweet ratings love wherever you’re listening. If you want to connect with our guests, we have links to them in our show notes. For now. Let’s grow that traffic.
You’re listening to Mediavine On Air, the podcast about the business of content creation. From SEO to ads and social media to time management, if it’s about helping content creators build sustainable businesses, we are talking about it here. I’m here On Air host, Mediavine’s Jenny Guy.
We’ve already got a bunch of people saying hi to us. It is Thursday. It is summer. That means we are live at the Mediavine Summer of Live and I’m beyond. I know I say this every week. But I am beyond excited about this week’s guests. We’re talking about how to grow your traffic. And I’ve got two incredible experts. It’s one of the questions we’re asked every conference everywhere we go. How do I get to the 25,000 sessions, traffic threshold for Mediavine and I couldn’t have two better people on here I have Lena Gott of What Mommy Does. And I have Stephanie of spaceships and laser beams. Well, I want to let you guys talk and say hi, yourself first. Lena, you want to you want to start us out?
LENA GOTT: Well, my name is Lena. And I’ve been blogging for about 10 years, a few years for someone else. And then about seven on my own site. My main site is what mommy does and actually have, where I write about personal finance, family, family finance, fun with kids, things like that.
And then also for the past couple years have had a second site that’s just a Thinkific learning course for bloggers called adventures in blogging, where I teach bloggers how to get more traffic and more income, while not working as hard because a lot of bloggers I know are stay at home moms like me trying to fit in blogging in between juggling family and everything else.
And so that’s what I focused on and actually use my degree for that I’m a CPA by trade. And blogging is just the thing that I decided to do instead of going back to work as an accountant, this is what I do full time now.
JENNY GUY: Awesome. And Stephanie
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah, I am I blog at Spaceships and Laserbeams which originally started as an Etsy store. And now I don’t have an Etsy store. I just have a blog. And funny how those things work.
I also I answer questions daily, along with seven other bloggers at bloggers tell all which is like a membership and reference site and Facebook group that we basically we tell any question, we’ll try to answer it. And my dogs lost their minds like
Well, I’m so I actually got to hang out with the blogger. So all groups in Fort Worth earlier this summer, and they’re a blast. They’re there. There’s some great ladies and they they know they’re they know their stuff and big time. So I highly recommend and I know I don’t lean up for years, and I highly I know that these ladies No, no, they’ve got the goods. So let’s let’s jump right in.
I know people will have questions for you. We’ve got some stuff that I know that we want to talk about that we’ve talked about before. And I think let’s start with SEO. And go just go there first talk to me about keywords, how to use them, how to accurately use them, how are they important? How have you implemented a keyword strategy on your sites?
LENA GOTT: Can I teach my students about this too? I think a lot of times people get really scared about SEO. And really it’s not it’s not as complicated as you think a lot of it I find it’s just common sense.
The best thing I can tell somebody to do is start out when you’re trying to learn keyword optimization is you know, start out with something that you know that you can rank for like just go on Google like a normal person. Don’t worry about what tool that I need to use or anything like that. Just go to Google and look search for a phrase a longer phrase maybe three or four words and then look at the search results and see if there’s something that there’s missing content on like say you search for.
One of my most recent posts that to do is how to make your house smell like a spa. Okay. I searched it before. I was interested in what spa smelled like. And I realized that nobody’s really writing about that. So I wrote about it. And it’s sort of ranking really well right away because people weren’t, weren’t writing for that. But there’s a lot of people searching for that. So you can find lots and lots of keywords without trying very hard just by going into Google and using common sense and just searching around. And I think that’s a really good way to start with, with SEO.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah, and I would say, I mean, keywords are critical. If you if you pick something that’s too low, it sometimes the traffic is not worth your time. So you, you definitely want to pick something like and look at volumes as you progress. I don’t want anyone who’s starting to, like, you know, day two of their blog, to worry. But if you are a little more advanced, Lena and I were just talking how I use sem rush or sem rush, however you want to say it, it is expensive, and this, this is non Mediavine approved, what I’m going to say, but some bloggers do join with their friends and pay for it $100 a month.
So I’ve heard of bloggers joining together, I just don’t want the price to stop anybody because I think it can be a game changer. But I think like for me, when I’m looking for a keyword, I’m looking for something that I so I call it a keyword vocabulary, which is not a real thing. It’s definitely a thing. So you like I want to pick something that has, you know, like a lot of searches to say, chili or parenting, whatever it is, but then has a lot of smaller variations on that. So if it was chilly, then it would be like best chili recipe, you know, hot chili recipe, those types of things. So that there’s more opportunities to rank. So you’re starting to build that vocabulary. So there’s, you’re not just focusing on one thing. So I hope that makes sense, you’re starting to then create this vocabulary of words in your posts that Google likes, that gives you more opportunities to be found. And then there will be a lot of also they call them longtail keywords. So these are, you know, like, how to make your house smell like a spa.
So in the case of chili, you know, it would be you know, can I put black beans in my chili? like things like that. So you’re just really looking for something that a lot of people are looking for? A lot of different different variations on? Yeah, no. So So Melissa says they seem silly. But how do I know what keywords are performing? Like I go to Pinterest, and what I’m posting to see what their recommendations are, is that the same so in in Google, there’s ways to do it, where you don’t see volume. And then there’s tools you can use, where you can see volume. And I think Lena might know more tools than I do. Because I I am exclusively sem rush. So if you google something, I’m going to stick on chili, because I have a one track mind. Now if you google chili recipe, you’re going to see Google startup auto populate the same way Pinterest does. And if you know, hit enter, it’s going to scroll to the bottom of the page, you’re also going to see some variations that Google will give you. So that’s just a way to look and see kind of what related searches are just like Pinterest. So Lena King, do you have any free tools that you recommend?
LENA GOTT: I use? Are you semrush ever since I saw some of the tutorials that you did. But all this time. So for the last nine and a half years until very recently, I just use common sense for mine. And I do a lot of testing. So I would say that’s key. So you know, you will go into Google and you’ll find some keywords. And I think there might be there’s a there’s a tool by Neil Patel, and I can’t remember the name of it. But Uber suggests keyword ideas.
And that’s a good place to start feel like if you’re, I always say that your success with SEO comes down to your ability to brainstorm and think outside the box. Like with my posts, I would just keep going on the same example with the you know how smell like a spa, like I don’t miss rank or how smell like a spa I make for make your house smell good. That’s the best scent diffusers for your home at work like that.
And there are tons of different phrases like you were saying like not just one phrase that might have like 30 people searching it for per month. And this is where you have to temper kind of what the keyword tools tell you right? So a keyword tool tells you Well, this search term is 30 keep 30 people per month, if let’s say you rank your posts for 10 or 20 of those keywords, I mean, that’s a lot of traffic. And if you’re one of the only people writing about it, that’s a decent amount of traffic, especially if you’re optimizing your your images too.
So all that to say I don’t really have a recommended tool other than I like sem rush if you really are into the tools. But I think a lot of times you still have to learn the the good old fashioned way of just digging into the search results and saying Can I rank for this and but one of my students in my courses. She has a it’s a blog about going on adventures. And we were talking about she wanted to rank for hiking boots. And so I pulled up Google and I said all right, let’s see what happens. And so we typed in hiking boots, and then of course what you know when it comes back the search results you know, the top ones are like Rei Amazon Hi, King nation, I just made that one up. But you know what I mean?
Like, they’re all like legit hiking things, or big retail websites. And you got to kind of temper with the idea you have with whether or not you can actually beat that website, you know? And is this little blog on a really beat out? Rei, you know, for that word? No. But there are lots of other words that she can go for, and still write about hiking boots, but know that she might not serve stroke at the top for hiking boots, but she might show up at the top for best hiking boots for short trails, or something like that.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: And I think what Lena said is the best tip we can give for someone starting an SEO, if you are thinking about writing about something, Google that term, and if there are no bloggers showing up in the top results, forget it. You have a real unless you’re an authority site on that subject, you’re going to have an incredibly hard time
LENA GOTT: ranking for that. I agree. I agree. You want some bloggers there, even if it’s a big blogger, because blog means no big businesses are doing it. And these people have big SEO teams, you don’t want to play, you play with that, because you’re not going to win, or Yeah,
STEPHANIE KEEPING: or Google, like, you know, for hiking boots. It’s the intent, right. So when someone types in hiking boots, they want hiking boots, they don’t want a blog post about hiking boots.
LENA GOTT: One more thing about the SEO side, a lot of people don’t think of this. And this is one thing I talk about in adventures in SEO, a lot of times, you know, somebody might have a great blog post on the topic, but they actually don’t optimize any images or very few images on it. So if you’re like me, and maybe it’s just because I’m an image person, a lot of times, I’ll search on Google, and I’ll go straight to the image search results. And I will search for an answer that way, because I want to see the example of it, or I just want to see what’s available. Because I’m a visual person, there are a lot of people like me out there who are just looking for the visual example.
So if you can spend some time optimizing your images behind the scenes, that’s the title of your image, like how smell good that JPG or whatever. And also the description of the image itself, that’s really going to help you in Google. And then the same concepts also apply to Pinterest.
So when you optimize for Pinterest, you want to use your keywords and describe them in a certain way that gets them ranked in Pinterest in the same. A lot of people might not know this, but a lot of the same pins that rank and Pinterest for a term will then rank high on Google when there’s low competition, which is a really great indication like Stephanie was saying, if you see lots of bloggers in search results, if you see lots of pins in the search results on page one, that’s an extra extra good indication that it’s a topic that you can probably go after, and have a good chance of because imagine Google doesn’t want to return a bunch of pins, right? It wants to return lots of relevant content for it. And so if there’s a bunch of pins thrown up in their search results, especially the bottom half the page, sometimes that’s a good phrase that you know, you should consider, I think,
JENNY GUY: all amazing stuff. That’s the things that so far, I want to go two directions. I either want to talk about optimizing images for site speed purposes, because I know that that is a huge element in traffic. The other thing I want to talk about is Pinterest, because anyone is a new person or new blogger has been told that Pinterest is the way to grow their traffic the fastest.
So ladies, do you have a preference on which way to go also, now I want chilly and for my home to smell like spa. So you’ve done that you want to be over? gets a good they’re not they’re not meshing Well, the spa and chili unless it were like a chili spa, which I don’t know,
STEPHANIE KEEPING: yet. So I think maybe, let’s talk about talk about image optimization. Because I will say to people, if you have a really slow site, everything that Lena and I just talked about is not for you. Because you have an uphill battle if you have a slow flow site, getting Pinterest and Google traffic. So the number one thing you can do is some simple things to make your site a bit faster.
JENNY GUY: Could you give us an example of a few of those things?
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah, well, I would say the first thing just to make it easy is to Google. Oh my gosh, is it Google? PageSpeed
JENNY GUY: PageSpeed Insights, yeah,
STEPHANIE KEEPING: go go put your site in. I mean, there’s a ton of different ones. But at least that’s a starting point and see, like you’re at a lot of blogs, especially if they’re still trying to qualify for Mediavine won’t have a site speed score, because there’s not enough data but at least you’ll have an optimization score and some recommendations. And if you’re red, or yellow, if you’re red, especially the number one thing you should focus on is not being read anymore. Basically, definitely, what I do for image optimization is I’m saving my images off for web and their size exactly as they need to be. So you know, I don’t size on 1000 by 2001, my site is 620 by 930. So their size does is their load resolution. And I awful also have an image compressor on my site. So there’s there’s Two that I know that are recommended. I don’t know if Mediavine has others, or Lena has others, but that’s short pixel, which is a plugin and an image of phi. I am AGI fly. And you can go on the sites themselves and test. So I had one blog, that short pixel went on no problem, my main blog, because I had poorly optimized my images like over optimize them years ago, it made them look horrible. So I ended up going with image epi, but I would try short pixel first because I think it has the best algorithm. Those are Yeah,
JENNY GUY: those are the two that we do recommend actually our short pixel pixel and image phi. And I think everybody who has any involvement with Mediavine knows that we’re pretty darn obsessed with site speed. And site speed with regards to ads is kind of a it’s a tough thing. It’s It’s a hard and we know that that’s so that’s, can you guys talk a little bit about your experience with Mediavine in terms of ads and slowing and slowing down.
So like Stephanie, I had incorrectly done my images for a long time. And I play, I want to tell anybody, if you’re you’re stressed out about this, if you see a really low score, you’re like, I don’t know what to do, I don’t even know what I’m doing wrong, pay a little bit of money and get a tech person to come in and help you with that.
Like I could not have fixed this myself. After years and years and hundreds of posts of them being incorrect. I had uploaded things as PNGs, I had videos uploaded to my site, which apparently is really not the thing we should do Excel files posted on my site. I mean, I had all kinds of images, I didn’t know any better, what we had to do was actually pay for Amazon. And I’m gonna say it wrong was its cloud CloudFlare or something like that, to mirror my images, and also use some kind of compressor to basically serve up the images because I had so many like 1000s of images bogging down my site. And my site actually kept going down, it kept saying you’ve exceeded bandwidth, like we shut your website down.
And I thought it was my host at first. And it turned out, it was just my images, like, all the people come to my site, we’re trying to access too many resources. So if you can fix that, not only will your site get faster, I mean, your site won’t go down, do not get to that critical point, because that was like really, really stressful.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: So eight, it asked about how much it would cost to have someone help. And I will tell Amy, that I have spent 1000s and 1000s of dollars over the years, but you can find good people for less now a lot less now. And it’s gonna cost a couple 100 I think for sure, up to a couple 1000 just I mean, I would encourage you to reach out to your host and see what they’ll do for free for you.
Talk to Mediavine, and see what what they can do for you. And then if you’re comfortable, install the image compressor yourself. And also there’s a plugin called auto optimize that a lot of us have had success with, I will say if you’re not a tech person go slowly, I had one blog that it was just fine. The other blog because the hosting wasn’t good enough, it basically grinded to a halt. But a lot of people have had success with that. But I would again caution people to really if you’re not 100% solid and what you’re doing is seek advice.
JENNY GUY: We have some we’ve got a lot of people asking questions and in the comments, people saying that they’ve checked their speed on gpsi and it’s super slow. We actually have a great blog post on the Mediavine blog about using short pixel if one of my associates will drop that in.
And we’ve got a couple of questions here. Someone was saying any recommend recommendations for people we we’ve worked a lot with Lauren gray of ones couple that Mediavine, but if you’re a Mediavine publisher, email and and ask, I think Facebook groups are great resources too, for sure for asking. So can we talk a little bit about Pinterest now, and ways that you guys have used that kind of segue into that a
STEPHANIE KEEPING: little bit. Pinterest is my least best of my, my three pieces of my pie. Pinterest is my least. So I just had to go find my notes about what people should do. Got it. Hey, everything happens. Yeah, I feel like lean is gonna have a lot more to say here. I did talk to Jen. Jen fish kind is that princess pinky girl and he lives and breathes Pinterest and she’s one of the bloggers who’s bloggers till all. So I asked her. And she said, if you’re feeling pressure with Pinterest, she usually she thinks they’re really focused on creators right now. And she thinks it will take time but that it’s going to change. So all of us that have had trouble over the last year, there’s hope.
She did say to visit the Pinterest best practices page. I can put the link in after in the comments but it’s something that’s really straightforward but there’s some good little nuggets over fractures in there. The one thing that I do, I find that I really chase the things that are bringing the traffic. So I will go into Google Analytics and find the pins that are bringing me traffic no matter who they’re from. And oftentimes, they’re like, Sally Joe from Wisconsin who has 20 people following her. And they’re the ones sending me a ton of traffic.
I repin those I repin whatever is given me juice to my best boards and go that way. I have tailwind set up on smart loop and which is in beta as well as some other tailwind stuff happening. And I think those are my best things. I’ll also go in to Pinterest and search like So say I know that chili gets a lot of traffic from Pinterest. I will actually type in chili recipe and scroll till I see my pans and repin those pins that showed showed up.
And you can if you I mean, if you don’t have that if you’re newer, you can actually go to it’s like pinterest.com slash your username source one or the other. I’ll put it in and see what people are pinning from your site and repin those and just try to get some traction. But definitely chase what’s working has been my best
JENNY GUY: strategy there. And Lena
LENA GOTT: I do all the things that Stephanie said, I probably have a little bit lazier strategy a little bit, but I don’t have smart loop yet. It’s
STEPHANIE KEEPING: I guess it’s still in beta for a lot of bugs. So
LENA GOTT: yeah, Bri especially when you’re trying to qualify for Mediavine, like you want to capitalize on what’s already working. And then forget the rest. I think a lot of people get caught up in I need to pin everything, I need a pin strategy to get all my pins, all my group boards and things like that. And really, it’s not going to benefit you as much as if you focused on the things that are already bringing you traffic because they you know not everything or not every post of yours is going to do really well you’re going to knock them out of the park. And some of them are just going to kind of languish there.
If Pinterest likes this one pin about Chile, I’m going to go What I do is I’ll go into Google Analytics about once a week and I pull up my referral sessions. And once you I forget, I can’t remember out I can post it later, like the path that you follow. But I want to say it’s acquisition behavior referrals, I think you can get the actual pin URL and just click the little box next to it and it’ll the pin
will pop up,
LENA GOTT: I can maybe the top 10 or 15 pins that are bringing traffic to my site. I just pull them up, I hit tailwind and I scheduled them out to all relevant boards once a day for however many boards I have. So let’s say I have 15 boards between my boards and the group boards. I’ll schedule it out once a day for the next 15 days. And then I’ll grab the number two pin and the three pin and four pin. And I’ll just do that for my top 15 or 20. And then I call it a day because you can’t spend all your time on Pinterest repinning.
And that’s enough to keep your traffic up pretty well. And also kind of I call it like the Pinterest snowball effect like is the more you can, the more people put that pin on their boards, Pinterest starts recognizing that image as an authority image. And if it’s popular, it’s gonna stay pretty popular. It might not be viral, you know, we all have those that just do really well and then kind of fall back down. But it will do consistently well. I mean, I have had pins that consistently bring me You know, there’s certain posts that can get many 1000s of pages a month, mostly based on Pinterest by doing this strategy, and you only need so many of those to qualify for Mediavine, right?
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah, like Why fight it like do do what’s working. And so Melissa asked if she had a specific pin that brings traffic which you rip repin that versus the pin on her main board. I mean, I do both but I would go after the pin that’s giving you traffic not one that’s sitting on your board just because it’s yours. If traffic is your goal, she asked for a little bit of follow up detail there.
JENNY GUY: She said she has a picnic pin that is her top pin from someone else sharing I have the main pin on my main site board. So I would share the first one.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah, the other person’s pin. That’s what I would do. There’s because that’s that’s the one Pinterest likes. Yeah, I would do more than just I mean, especially if you’re trying to qualify let’s hustle time. I would also if you’re if you have your tribe of bloggers like with that pin, not a new post. If you’re doing Pinterest sharing. If you’re in tailwind tribes, like put that pin in, let’s see what you can do.
JENNY GUY: And both of you have really been talking a lot about about qualifying for Mediavine, and I and you Stephanie said some great things. And Lena has said some great things too, since I finally twisted her arm enough last September and got her to come on. She’s happy. She’s glad I did it. But tell me tell me a little bit about that. And what you’ve seen in terms of with both of your great avenues with publishers to the reaction and what what that can mean and the difference.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: People who know me will know that I don’t say things I don’t mean. So this is coming from 100% honest place. It is a game changer. I think there’s a few key moments in blogging where there are game changers and one of them is hitting the Mediavine threshold because you’re going to go From a one to $2 RPM to actual RPM that I don’t know what a starting publisher makes, but I mean, it’s going to be, what, five, five times that six times? Yeah, I think that’s minimum, it depends on the season
STEPHANIE KEEPING: back in the content and that all the things we’re talking no matter what it is a significant game changer. And so the thought of going on live open like this makes me want to vomit. And but I agree to do it. Because I really do believe in the life changing things that can happen once you’re able to monetize from your blog, and being with a quality ad network is is one of them. And and so I I am thrilled that you guys have a threshold that’s attainable for people. And that can can give them a significant living wage for their work. And I would encourage anyone who is close to just give it that extra hustle and qualify, because it will it will change things. Excellent. Lena,
JENNY GUY: do you have anything to add to that one?
LENA GOTT: Yeah, I can speak to because you know, that I was with I was with media dotnet for the longest, longest time many years, and I was doing ads myself. And then I had already known Jenny. So I trusted her when I saw that she was with Mediavine. I was like, Alright, tell me about Mediavine. Because I was such a skeptic. I won’t lie. Like I had really good RPMs before. But that was because I was taking a lot of measures to make sure I did. So on my site before, I would have like three blocks from, you know, one ad network at a banner that was AdSense.
And then I would have a sidebar that was like Amazon CPM. And I was layering on these ads. I wasn’t tweaking them a lot. But I did have three ad networks going at all times. Yep. And then every once in a while, I would add in a fourth, like if there was a special campaign. And it wasn’t a lot of work, but it was always in the back of my mind. Like I’ve got to make sure these are going if something was wrong, you know, if something wasn’t serving up correctly, then I’d be like, oh, should I switch this one off? For this one, I would say the biggest benefit of going with Mediavine for me, even though I had well qualified it in many years for many years before was just the headache that it took away from me that I didn’t have to manage this myself anymore. So literally, I just said, Okay, see you later, I just fired my other network took down my ads that I was doing myself. And then I gave them access to my blog and all the things that I was doing before myself and had to worry about, it just magically happens now.
And so and the RPMs are equivalent, they’re just as good, I would say just the ease of it is is really great. And I’ve really liked also the communication that you guys have to like that the email updates that we get if something’s going on, or if rates if you think rates are going to go up or down. Because you know the trends, those are really helpful to know. And I just think having done it myself all those years, it’s just really helpful to have someone just kind of do it for you who’s an expert at doing it and not just trying to do it yourself. Because you know, you’re you’re writing you’re not really a tech person or network person
JENNY GUY: very much. So we’ve got a lot of the people are asking more questions and saying that Mediavine is their goal for 2019, which is we’re very excited to hear that. I totally know she wouldn’t regret it. And I don’t regret my move to Mediavine. So I that’s that’s my little gospel.
JENNY GUY: We talked about a little bit about being quote, big bloggers at Mediavine. Is that do you feel like it’s hindered you in any way? Being a bigger blogger and working with us?
STEPHANIE KEEPING: No. All right. And stop period? And no, I’m not in any. I mean, I’m not in any position where I want to move or care to move. And I think my RPM is fantastic. And it compares, honestly, even if it was a little lower. What I value from from Mediavine is the honesty and that I feel like when I asked a question, I get an honest and thorough answer. And even if I was making less that I would enjoy the cost of doing that.
JENNY GUY: Make sure you don’t like less and make sure you do so.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: But even if I did is what I’m saying.
JENNY GUY: No. And I fully appreciate that
STEPHANIE KEEPING: there’s a value in having a partner that you trust.
JENNY GUY: Yeah, completely agree. Lena, did you have something I’m sorry. Other than a car alarm? Yeah, don’t be like cars during our lives.
LENA GOTT: Already shut the windows because the the lawnmower is going another guy’s going off? No, I mean, I haven’t regretted it one bit coming to Mediavine. And I think it’s important. I want to point this out too, because people are going to because we’ve already talked about site speed. And we talked about whether or not we were correct going to Mediavine, there’s going to be a balance that you have to play and the expectations you have but how fast your site can be when you have ads on your site.
So you might not get the best score if you have ads running on your site. But just know that’s the that’s the cost of running ads on your site and it’s to be expected that it’s going to be a little bit slower because the ads are serving up but that’s okay because people are still coming to your site. You don’t have a major problem with your images if you’re optimizing them.
JENNY GUY: I and I’ll also say and I’m not this is not smoke that I’m blowing my want my house to smell like a spa that we run every ad placement and on high free Quincy on our own owned and operated site, The Hollywood Gossip. And we are all very, very, very fast site and almost any blog, you can test and you can email into publisher support, and you can have them kill your ads for two seconds and run gpsi side by side.
We do I’ve seen it happen and the most I’ve ever seen it changes two points. I think that that’s a pretty fair trade off. We were always focused on speed.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Monica’s question there about Yeah, I guess because loving is in exactly where I love people to be, which is on the cusp. You know, it’s not an uphill battle. He’s got 19,000 I’m assuming that’s pageviews. But it could be sessions. She said sessions. She said sessions. Okay, she’s real close. Okay, yeah, super close. And she says she’s posting new content two to three times a week and making new pins, which is fantastic.
I’m going to say that I would love for Monica to drop one of those posts, one of those new posts and go back and look at her top posts and promote in the time that would take her to create a new post, promote the things that are already working. And I think that she would get much bigger bang for her book.
JENNY GUY: Will you talk a little bit more about a promotional strategy? How you do that?
STEPHANIE KEEPING: I mean, I think it’s for me, it’s all in Google Analytics. So I am looking at the posts that have the most traffic and where that traffic comes from. And then if it’s Facebook, I go share the posts that brought me the traffic, I asked others to share, you know, sharing arrangements. If it’s Pinterest, it’s about pinning to your best boards, putting it in tribes. If it’s Google, it’s a little different.
But I would say like, particularly in social media, it’s it’s about getting that content that’s already bringing in traffic rather than a new, untested thing. If you could just No, not forever. But right now, I think you would get a lot more value in it. And I’m just saying just one, like, instead of making three new posts this week, just due to it take that time and promote your best like your very best, best best content, I think she would get there a lot quicker. Lena Do you
JENNY GUY: have anything to add to that?
LENA GOTT: I feel like as a stay at home, stay at home mom who doesn’t have a ton of time, sometimes, you know, to, to do everything that I want to do. Like I would love to write three posts a week, but I just don’t have time to do it. But I still like to see the numbers go up, I would say two things. First of all, I would if you’re right there on the cusp, I would look at your best posts, just like Stephanie said, and make a new pin for the best posts that you have. Or maybe the best two or three because you already know what works, maybe making a different pin and a different style that speaks to a different part of your post. And repin that out is probably going to do a lot better than just a random post that you wrote that you don’t know anything about those keywords, or about you know how the pin might perform.
Just duplicate what you already have. And the second one thing that you can do really easily is literally write a sister post to your top posts, look at your past your analytics for the past month. And let’s say trying to think of a good example. One of my posts that does really well is 15 things you can sell for extra cash, I might write you know, 10 things you can sell tomorrow to make extra cash, you know, something simple, it’s not the same post, I’m not going to write the same thing. But it’s going to be the same audience. And I know because the first one was super, super popular, this one is probably going to be pretty popular and if it should chop posts, and that’s going to bring you some pretty good traffic that way.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah, I think that’s a fantastic suggestion. Because I I’ve actually done that for myself where I had, I actually did have a chili recipe that did really well on Facebook. But the back recipe now we have a goulash recipe like because you know your people like it, it’s an easy way to keep it going.
JENNY GUY: I would also say just to throw in my two cents here, we’re coming on q4. And that’s when you know that there are going to be specific posts that are going to be popular they are every year you know what’s coming around. So start optimizing your cue for content now so that by the time it rolls around, you’re already ready and you’re flushing all that content out and you’ll easily pop up over the threshold with that.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Okay, so Amy Johnson said honk if you love media by Amy Johnson, you’re my new favorite person.
JENNY GUY: So we’ve got a couple of questions now. Well, first, yes, my colleague answered it, but what is the threshold to join Mediavine is 25,000 sessions in a 30 day period is any 30 days It does not have to be the first to the 30th it’s just hitting that that sessions threshold and that’s in your Google Analytics. So the question everyone here is asking, do you think making a video and promoting that is a good way to increase traffic for your best posts so video I I I’ll let you guys go because it’s the year of video of Mediavine and I already know what everybody wants has it has our feelings.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: It is your video they do really well but it depends on the content. And I would say like I do for brands, I do lifestyle videos and I do recipe videos and then There is no competition, the lifestyle videos fail, but brands still want them the recipe videos take off. So I think it depends on the content for me.
LENA GOTT: And I would say that depends on your blog too, because you know, I write about finance. And so really, what kind of videos Am I going to make? I don’t know. But I do know that when I go to SEMrush, and look at, you know, what my competitors are doing, it’ll tell me, you know, three, and at the top seven results have videos in their post.
So I would say for SEO videos could help you, if you’re embedding them in your post and you’re trying to compete there. Like let’s say you’re, let’s say you are on page one, or you’re the very best, you’re at the bottom or the top of page two, adding a video when your competitors have one might be enough to push you up towards the top of page one. And it’s like exponential amount of traffic versus being at the bottom. So I think it can work for SEO for sure.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah, I think you just have to analyze why you’re doing the video what it would be for the other problem is when a food blogger who has a small audience expects to make a video and they pay quite a bit of money to get the video made. And then it bombs. So videos are no guarantee of traffic, I would say number one, especially if you don’t have an audience or a built in share system to get the video going. But if you were going to like dip your toes in the video market, I would say it’s particularly I think I’m talking about facebook, facebook and SEO or where I use videos.
But I mean, we’re talking about getting immediate traffic to qualify. So for me, if I was going to pick a post that to do a video on, I would find something that did well already as a picture I wouldn’t on Facebook, so that you know at least did well like it’s a type. It’s a recipe that Facebook already likes your Facebook audience like so you have a better starting chance. So a lot of food bloggers I know myself included, if we do a recipe and put up just a photo of it or a photo collage. And just that photo does well, that goes to the front of the queue for a video. So that’s how I choose
JENNY GUY: we Yeah, I would say like in terms of traffic, I do think videos are helpful. But in terms of revenue, we’ve got a lot of people posting in the comments, that video, and all of our video capabilities have completely skyrocketed their RPM by five to $6 just by simply implementing them and guys know, I am completely with Stephanie, if you don’t know enough, if you don’t, if you’re not sure that it’s going to be in the sweet spot for you do a top 10 posts video, do a slideshow, video, do anything just to start getting that content on your site and increase your revenue?
If you can, how you can do it with one video, we actually have a blog post coming out that is going to be all about our video capabilities with an instructional video in the video. We call it video video video.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah. Like I mean, realistically, if you can’t do it yourself a video is going to cost you at least $200. And up if you don’t have that kind of money, and I don’t I don’t want people to spend money they don’t have for traffic they might not get there are a couple programs that you can use and take your pictures and create the video. So I would, too. I think they’re still both free or they’re like $2 they’re not expensive.
Or lumen five and kizoa like I do not pay I ZO a you can basically create videos from pictures in a minute. And I would say go that route first. Yeah, see,
JENNY GUY: right like no we never wanted to and and Marcy just made a great point. That said also offering video increases your rates for working with brands, there are no drawbacks to doing video, I think
JENNY GUY: yeah, I think if you’re waiting to get into Mediavine, to see the real money, start to roll in, do the conservative things but start adding it. You like watching videos, I like watching videos, I watch tutorial, I watched food porn videos all the time, like we watch videos. And so it’s a thing.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: It’s so hard because we’re talking to so many people and I don’t want someone who’s making I mean, I talked to people will make $30 a month from their ad networks. I don’t I don’t I think there’s so many more important ways to spend money than to say like if you spend $300 on this video, all your problems will be solved. totally true. Yeah, don’t
JENNY GUY: go for broke, rent the studio do all the things like badly.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: But I mean, if you are a food blogger who’s making a great income and you’re still not doing videos, I think it’s a mistake.
JENNY GUY:We’ve had some people were talking about the Mediavine threshold, and there’s that I’m gonna skip down to here because our time is flying ladies flying like a car thief and Leno’s backyard. So let’s talk about I know that you guys offered specific suggestions for Monica, who was asking about being so close to the threshold. I would like to just say what are three things you can do right now today to grow your traffic like if you had if you had to you any using any medium using any any resources up to our disposal.
STEPHANIE KEEPING:I’m going to do four because I added one
JENNY GUY: that is against the rules and I said three
I’m a rebel, so my bonus one I’ll say first Is that I want everyone to go to their site on their phone. And if it looks like a hot mess, I want you to fix it. Because nobody is coming. So let’s say nobody, very few people are coming to your homepage and coming to your site on your desktop, except for you. Make sure you know your logos nice and small, you have content. Look at how people can share I mean, make sure the fonts you can read all that fun stuff, you have to get intimate with your site on a phone, there’s just no way around it. That was my bonus Linda. And it was like a rant really not advice.
JENNY GUY: If you want to see someone rant, talk to Eric Hochberger about people who don’t look at their site on mobile.
— right now.
Are you guys doing it right now?
LENA GOTT: Oh my gosh, because my site is printables heavy, and so I actually have more desktop traffic than I do mobile. So I use my site on desktop, and I think more than half my people do, but I just forget about those other 45% of people.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: I know, and it’s climbing. I used to be significantly desktop heavy, and it has changed over the last year, where I’m down to 30% desktop now.
LENA GOTT: Holy moly.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: OK. Now for the three that I’m allowing you. So I would say, number one, I want people to go in Google Analytics, and I want them to pull the posts that bring in the top 75% of their traffic right now. So I can describe how to do that. I can’t off the top of my head, but I can go back and put it in the comments if anyone wants to do it.
And basically, you’re going to add up the percentages till they get to 75% of your traffic, and those are the posts I want you to focus on. Those are your most important ones that should go in your newsletter. They should be, if they’re favorable on Facebook, they need to go on Facebook. If it’s Pinterest, they need to go Pinterest. You need to be working those.
And if you’re doing three to five blog posts a day, stop and start remarketing those in that time. That was not my number one, also sounding very ranty.
JENNY GUY: She’s taking us to church.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: I am.
Number two– I want you to go find your tribe of bloggers if you don’t have one already. And this is where you’re going to grow. I mean, these are the people who are going to be your ride or dies. And if you are a lone wolf right now, you create that tribe. And what you want to do is aim for people just a little bit above you.
So don’t go contact someone who has 6 million followers. They’re probably not going to answer you. And don’t be offended, it’s just because their email’s a hot mess. Right? You want people just a little bit above you, and you’re going to grow together. If you outgrow them, you get a new tribe or whatever. But you need to find your people.
And then I would say my third one is I think people should install push notifications. Because there is a way to get around social media, and algorithms, and even if you only have a small bit of traffic– say if you had 200 push subscribers and 30% of them clicked– I should not have picked those numbers, because I can’t do the math. But every push you send is guaranteed traffic. And I think that would also help. So that would be my three tips.
JENNY GUY: Those are awesome. Lena, are you also going to break my rules? Or do you have three?
LENA GOTT: No, absolutely. Actually I only have two, so.
JENNY GUY: That is a breaking of the rule! Ladies!
LENA GOTT: I feel like we’ve already talked about a lot of things.
JENNY GUY: Get it together! Three is not a high number.
LENA GOTT: OK, I’ll add a third. I got it.
JENNY GUY: OK.
LENA GOTT: OK. Well we already talked about one, which is just see what already has done well and do more of that. I cannot stress that enough. In the early days, it’s almost like Stephanie said, you’ve got to kind of live in Google Analytics to learn from what’s working. But until you have a critical amount of content, you don’t have anything to learn from. It’s like, which comes first.
In the beginning, just work on getting some stuff out there, and then finding what works, and then do more of that. And then try some new things while you’re still doing the things that work. Try some new things and then you’ll add to that pile of things that work. And then over time, like Stephanie was saying, if you’re going to promote your top posts, instead of two that do really well, you have 35 that do really well.
And then you’re just adding to that catalogue of excellent content that you have to repromote out there. Then after a while, you really don’t have to recreate the wheel at all. When I sit down to write, I don’t write something completely new usually, except for that stinky house post, because I wanted to try that.
I know when I sit down, for instance, for me it’s printables. If I want guaranteed traffic, I’m going to create a printable, and I’m going to find the keywords for it, and I’m just going to push it out there into Google and into Pinterest. And I actually don’t use Facebook that much.
And that’s the other thing. You don’t have to be everywhere at once. I tried as a financial blogger, someone who writes about finances and creates printables to just do Facebook. I tried. It was like beating my head against a wall, because I just don’t understand Facebook in that way. And also, Facebook just doesn’t like finance. You can’t say things like “make money from home.” You can’t say things like that.
And so if you have one of those niches that’s really funny on Facebook, don’t stress out about it, and go find the other platform that’s going to work for you. Whether it’s Pinterest, or Google, or even YouTube, or Twitter, or whatever. So I guess that’s two– find the platform that you love– one or two– and then focus on those– or three.
And then the third one– actually I have four now, I’m sorry.
The third one is interlink your content. And if you don’t know what I mean, go to Stephanie’s blog, because I think she is really good at this. You write a post about your chili recipe. That’s a great example. If you write a post about this amazing chili recipe, and that recipe isn’t exactly what the person is looking for, then you say– right in the middle of the post near the top– hey, do you like this? Maybe you’ll like this one, and this one, and this one, and this one.
So that one person that comes to your blog for that one post, then has the chance– it’s like a jumping off point for all the different places on your blog where they can find similar or helpful complimentary information.
And then along the same lines– the fourth one is– write round ups of your own content if you have enough. Instead of recreating the wheel, if she has chili recipes, for instance, if she’s got lots of Fall recipes, you know, The Five Best Fall Chili Recipes. That’s a new blog post, and if she didn’t have to write anything new. And she knows it’s going to get traffic because it always does well for her. And then it’s just capitalizing on what already did really well.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: I’m writing that down.
JENNY GUY: It’s very true. And on Mediavine we have the rule of three links to inner content per post minimum. Like that’s the low end. I always try to do way more than that.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Yeah.
JENNY GUY: Give people a reason to stay on your site. Give people reason to click around. OK. We have a lot of people asking about how they find their tribe.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Exactly what they’re doing in the comments. I think ask. And don’t get hurt if someone says no. Right? You just keep asking. You want to find people who have the theory of abundance, that whole belief that– I’m going to totally mix metaphors and cliches– but that a rising tide lifts all ships.
So you want to find people who aren’t competitive, who believe that if I share you and you share me, we’ll grow together. There’s more than enough. You want to find the people with that philosophy. Ideally, they’re a little bit bigger than you so they can help you. But I know bloggers who have tried members who are varying sizes, but someone might have a big Pinterest following, and someone might have a big Facebook following. And that works really well together.
So I think you just want to ask, and keep an eye out, and ask some more, and just build it.
JENNY GUY: Anything from you, Lena, on the tribes real quick?
LENA GOTT: Same thing. Just like real life, just be a good friend. So you see somebody in a group, you’re in a group together, or you have similar blogs, say, hey, you want to collaborate on this? And then you can do favors all the time. You can say, hey, I just went to your Pinterest account and scheduled out a bunch of your Pins because I love your stuff. You want to team up? And you schedule mine sometimes, and I’ll schedule yours.
I could probably be a lot better at that. I don’t do it as often as I should. But that once you make a good friend, they’re going to want to help you out. And so, if I’m hunting for something to Pin, I don’t just guess, I go to my friends blog boards. And then I Pin their stuff, and then they do this same for me.
And over time we link back and forth. If I’m writing a chili post, and they have a chili recipe, I might say, check out Stephanie’s chili recipe. I really like it, too. Or something like that. And then, over time, you build a camaraderie. And then you’re not alone in this blogging thing, sitting behind a computer in your kitchen by yourself.
JENNY GUY: Yeah. That’s– Yeah, keep going Stephanie.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: I was going to say it’s the beautiful thing about blogging in the niches that we’re in, is that it’s the other bloggers, and how willing everyone is to help each other. And I think once you start looking, you’ll find your people easily.
JENNY GUY: Marie just actually– we had someone ask if they needed Tailwind, and I don’t know if we have the time to answer that one. If we could ask Lena and Stephanie to check out the comments on the video, and post those. And Marie also said she did an interview for a big blogger and she emailed it to them to hopefully get content with that.
Yeah. Syndicate your content if you can. Oh, my gosh. Get all that wonderful link juice coming back to you. And you get a lot of that by being a good blog citizen, and being a good internet citizen. My coworker, who is a Mediavine co-founder, always says “At first be kind. If nothing else, just be kind.” So start with that.
Guys we are running out of time. This has been wonderful. I want you guys– the last thing before we go, let them know where they can find you, and follow up with you, and take advantage of all this amazing knowledge. Lena is actually writing a organic traffic growth blog post for the Mediavine blog. That’s going to be coming out a little bit later this month, so stay tuned for that.
Sad face everyone! There are only two more Mediavine Summer of Lives. It’s almost over. However, we do have something that’s coming up, that we will not be getting rid of our lives. This will be continuing, just in a different way. And we’re excited to tell you about that. Next week, I have the Mediavine publisher support A-Team. They are amazing. They’re going to be here. They’re going to be doing support desk live, answering your questions– optimization, SEO, ad problem, all the things. They are going to be here with me, and we’re very, very excited.
You guys, Lena and Stephanie, thank you so much for being here, and please tell everyone where they can find you.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Thank you.
LENA GOTT: Yeah, oh, I actually put together a pretty link so this will be easy, because my site is really complicated to remember on Thinkific. But if you go to whatmommydoes/mini, M-I-N-I, it will take you to a new challenge that I just put together, specifically for bloggers who want to get up on their traffic game and income some game– it’s not just traffic. It’s alternating days. It’s a five-day challenge. One day traffic, one day income. In time for Q4.
Because Q4 we all know is like the biggest time. Ad budgets are high. People are buying things. It’s really when you want to get your ducks in a row. July, August, September is the big time to get your content out there, and get your strategy in place. So if you go to whatmommydoes.com/mini it’ll take you to the challenge. And it’s free. You can sign up for it, and it’ll send you five daily e-mails. And also you can get into the free course on Thinkific, and follow along there [INAUDIBLE].
[CELL PHONE RINGS]
STEPHANIE KEEPING: That’s me.
JENNY GUY: Hi!
STEPHANIE KEEPING: I blog at Spaceships and Laser Beams, and I answer blogging questions in a paid group. It’s called Bloggers Tell All, and you can get there– I think it’s bloggerstellall.teachable.com if anyone’s interested.
JENNY GUY: Absolutely. I know they are. Everyone’s already saying that they are already starting Lena’s five-day traffic program, and they’re fighting it super helpful. So we got some motivated people.
Stephanie’s course is really good. I mean Stephanie’s group. And she teaches a lot of SEO in there, FYI.
So do it. And also another SEO resource that is also The Theory of Content podcast, hosted by Amber Bracegirdle. So there’s a lot of great things that we have, and we’re going to keep giving you the resources as much as we can. We so appreciate you guys being here. Thank you so much to Lena and Stephanie for being rock stars and amazing. And thank you guys so much for watching us. We will see you next time.
LENA GOTT: Of course. Bye.
STEPHANIE KEEPING: Bye
JENNY GUY: bye.
Subscribe for Updates
Stay up to date with the latest from Mediavine