Mediavine RPM Challenge | Sharing Your Work and Tracking Your Growth
Hiya, friends! Can you believe we are already at week three of the Mediavine RPM Challenge?
If you missed the first two weeks, or perhaps are like me and just really love to binge a series, it’s not too late to get started on optimizing your posts for the gift that is Q4 traffic.
In the first week, Amber talked us through how to identify which content to focus on and we worked through the Site Checklist and Google Analytics Audit in our workbooks. (What workbooks? Scroll down to the end!)
Last week, Nicole gave us the low-down on optimizing your top posts as we walked through the Ad Income Audit and the Individual Post Audit worksheets.
This week, we’re gonna talk about how to make the most of that optimized content through social media shares and tracking your growth.
MAKING A SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
Now that you’ve optimized your top posts, you’ll want to think about how you’re going to share those with the world. After all, the optimizations only work so far as readers actually see the content!
Your social followers and newsletter subscribers are the perfect place to start. There are undoubtedly new fans who haven’t yet seen all of your old content, and ever-changing algorithms mean that even long-time followers may have missed something the first time around.
We’ve created the Social Media Checklist worksheet (page 6 of the workbook) to walk you through what you need to think about for each platform.
Since you’re all certainly very familiar with each platform, I won’t bore you with too much detail on each channel, but I do want to hit on a couple of points for each.
Make sure you are creating vertical pins with a 2:3 ratio for any post that doesn’t already have one. This is Pinterest’s current ratio preference.
Keywords are also key (no pun intended) for Pinterest, so make sure you’re using lots of descriptive keywords when you write your Pinterest descriptions.
Pinterest has stated that they have no preference between live pinning or scheduling, so long as you are pinning to relevant boards. Our team likes using Tailwind to schedule pins — but whichever tool you use, make sure it is on Pinterest’s approved Marketing Partners list.
Check out our recent Facebook live with a member of the Tailwind team!
Keywords are far less important for Instagram captions than for other platforms, so let your creativity soar as you write like-worthy captions for your Instagram content! (Which I know you’ve already cropped to square…right???)
Hashtags are important for Instagram, though, so take a few minutes to research some relevant ones. This is not the time to pull out random hashtags that are not in any way relevant to the photo — instead, look for relevant tags that have a good amount of posts, but not so many that your content will get lost within them.
Remember — it’s not so much about being seen by a lot of people, it’s about being seen by the RIGHT people. That’s what will translate into true engagement and new (engaged) followers.
Oh — and take a few minutes to respond to comments. People are more likely to engage with accounts who engage back!
Facebook & Twitter
For Facebook and Twitter, caption your eye-catching photos with good, descriptive keywords, and make sure to tag any other accounts you mention. Don’t be spammy with your tags, but instead look at is as an opportunity to show your followers where they can easily find the people, places or things you’re telling them about.
And just like with Instagram — respond to comments and mentions. Show your audience that you care about them being there and engaging with you. Even if you don’t have time to write responses to every comment, a heart or a like reaction will let them know you saw and appreciate their interaction.
If you’re creating videos, make sure you’re taking a few minutes to upload them to YouTube with a keyword-friendly description.
A custom thumbnail image will go a long way as well, and make sure you don’t get stuck with an awkward still from the video instead.
If you have an RSS feed set up, these optimized posts may have already gone out to your email subscribers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t send them again in a newsletter-style format.
Think about how you can position these posts within newsletters over the coming weeks. Perhaps you have a lot of popular pumpkin recipe content you can group together into a roundup-style newsletter. If you have a post focusing on holiday shopping tips, think of one or two more tidbits of info you could share with your email subscribers, and send them to your post for more.
TRACKING ALL THE THINGS
Admittedly, keeping track of your site/social growth and your RPM isn’t the sexiest task — it might seem a little tedious at first — but knowing your growth patterns and trajectory over time can actually be really helpful in knowing where to invest time, money and energy into your business and when to redirect your tactics.
(Because remember — you are running a business! Never forget that!)
I recommend setting a calendar reminder for yourself on the last or first day of each month to jot down your stats from the previous 30 days. Make sure to compare it to the same period of time from the year before.
Page 8 in the workbook provides a super simple chart for keeping track of stats across your site and your social channels. Page 9 provides a similar chart for tracking RPM — but in this case, we recommend jotting down your numbers weekly, since RPM fluctuates so much day-to-day.
Keep in mind that these charts are really just a starting point for tracking. You can track other stats that are valuable to you (such as organic search traffic) or expand upon these numbers and even calculate things like percentage change by using Excel or Airtable.
YOU CAN DO IT!
If you’ve been following along with this challenge week-by-week, you probably have already learned — these optimizations are actually really quick and easy to do. With just a few minutes of time, you can take simple steps toward a killer Q4.
But why stop with Q4? I’d encourage you to think ahead to Q1 — even if RPMs are decidedly less exciting at the beginning of the year, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the traffic and RPMs you do have.
In fact, use this exercise leading up to each new quarter. Within a year, you’ll have optimized a huge chunk of content without any great sacrifice of time or energy.
HOW DO I FIND THE WORKSHEETS?
If you’re just joining in, we have been working through a book of worksheets for this challenge. There are two sets that are virtually the same, but one is in Google Sheets and the other is a fillable PDF download.
I mentioned them above, but this week we’re finishing out the workbook with the Social Media Checklist, Social Media Planning, Post Growth Tracking and RPM Tracking pages.
IS THERE A FACEBOOK GROUP?
Yes! We have a Facebook group just for the Mediavine publishers who wish to participate in the Mediavine RPM Challenge, so check it out if you want some support as you work through this week’s challenge. If you’re not in the group, shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to add you.
I’ll be going live with Jenny for our last Facebook Live in the group next week! Visit the group for a replay of Week 1’s Live with Heather and Week 2’s Live with Nicole.
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