You all may have noticed that I haven’t written an income report in a few months. My last income report was in March. This was very much intentional as I had been working behind the scenes to rebrand the site and needed to focus my energy and attention on what I was doing.
Why is this income report called the Power of the Pivot well that is exactly what I did. I made a major pivot because I realized that the sites growth had stalled.
Things weren’t really moving up or down they had just hit a plateau. Much like when you’re trying to lose weight and the scale just stops moving.
Everything was at a stand still and I needed to approach all things from a new angle.
Now let me stop you here because this may be a very long and detailed post. I will try to make it easy to navigate.
How and Why I Decided to Pivot?
As I stated before I had hit a plateau and things just weren’t taking off like I would have expected after 3 years of blogging. However, to be fair I had only been running this blog as a serious business for a year and 5 months when I decided that it was time to make some major changes.
The turning point came for me when I dug down into my analytics and realized that I was putting out content that no one was reading. People were coming to my site but they were coming for one very specific thing. PRINTABLES!!!
So while I was churning out content and paying writers no one was reading any parts of it. I mean some people were reading it but not enough to justify continuing down that path nor incurring that expense.
Here are the 3 months prior to the pivot (Mar 2016 – May 2016). Look at which post/pages were my top for traffic. Only 1 article with no printable out of all of those and that was written back in 2013. Everything else is a printable.
So out of all of the content that I had written and had paid others to write these are the things that brought in the traffic. Here is the kicker I wasn’t steadily making new printables. I had made these but it was sporadic. I was focused on written content!
Why was I focused on written content because that is what everyone said you needed. You needed to write and keep writing. They even said if you can write post that are long form that is even better because google loves long post.
Then I had a light bulb moment. Content can be ANYTHING!!! Content can be video, printables, pictures, posts absolutely anything. Your content should speak to your audience. All audiences don’t want to read 2000 word posts (although this post is 2000+ words).
That is when I pulled out my notebook and started to brainstorm my next moves. Now I jotted down and thought out all kinds of things that never saw the light of day but just sitting down gave me a wealth of ideas to proceed. I think everyone should have a brainstorming notebook.
After I brainstormed til I could brainstorm no more I went back through and found the things that really stood out to me and those are the things that made it into what you see on the site now.
If you go to the homepage you will notice that the blog is not the main focus of the site. The image for the blog is considerably smaller than that of the Printable Library and the slider with the Shop and Workouts Library. This is all by design because I knew why people were coming to the site and I wanted to make sure what they wanted was front and center instead of having to wade through blog post.
The Name Change
I didn’t want to simply change up what I was doing and proceed with the same name because it just didn’t fit. I changed the name to Fit Life Creative because it made more sense for the direction that the site was going.
Fitness Fashionista just didn’t work for where I saw the site going in the future. I talked more about that in Why Fitness Fashionista is becoming Fit Life Creative.
Overcoming Self Doubt and Getting My Community Involved
This entire process was mentally hard. I had heard horror stories of people rebranding and seeing a huge drop in traffic. I was so scared that I was going to change everything and lose my entire audience.
However I refused to allow my fear to stop me from making the decision to move forward. Instead I got the community that I had built on my blog, email list and facebook group involved in the process. I let them help me make design decisions and got their input into many of the changes that I was contemplating.
I wanted the new site to feel like something they had a hand in creating. I believe this was one of the best things I could have done. Also to help ensure that my traffic wouldn’t die once the rebrand was complete I talked about it regularly leading up to the weeks then days before the launch.
One way I did this was by creating lots of graphics for social media talking about what was to come. I had all the links on my social media accounts directed to my landing page. There I captured emails of those that wanted to be notified as soon as I launched. I ended up with over 800 new subscribers over the course of a week.
Things That Went Wrong
Absolutely nothing is perfect and there were things that definitely went wrong along the way. The biggest issue I had was choosing the theme. The reason it was so problematic was that it resulted in me buying 4 different themes and fully customizing each one. Yes I coded 4 different versions of this site. The amount of time this took was ridiculous. This time and money could have been invested elsewhere.
I am however very very happy with the final product.
Next thing WooCommerce. Anyone that told you WooCommerce was free is a big fat LIAR. Yes the very very minimal basics are free but I needed to be able to do a number of things and every time I thought things were just right I realized that I needed yet another extension in order to make WooCommerce work to the level of SendOwl.
Here is what I had to purchase to make WooCommerce work…
- AffiliateWP ($49 per year)
- Digital Goods Checkout for WooCommerce ($7)
- WooCommerce Print Order List ($19)
- WooCommerce Zapier Integration ($59 per year + $20 per month for Zapier)
So my bill was getting higher and higher. I actually needed to get a number of other plugins but found some work arounds to save on money and the amount of additional plugins I had to install. I am currently sitting at a total of 46 plugins.
How It All Played Out
On June 5th at 2:30pm Fit Life Creative officially launched! I held my breath knowing that I had done all that I could do to help get it off to a great start. Here is what the traffic looked like on launch day…
This was by far my best traffic day ever since my blog launched back in 2013. It was clear that everything that I did leading up to the launch helped to make it a success.
Here is a recap of what I did:
- Dug deep into analytics to pin point the most popular content
- Brainstormed new content and best course of action based on popular content
- Had my existing audience give input into the changes that I was making and constantly kept them in the loop
- Created graphics and images to share on social media linking back to my landing page
- Shared constantly through out the weeks and days leading up to the launch
Traffic is great but what really matters is how this affected my bottom line.
Income and Expense Report
Let’s jump into the actual income report. This income report will show from April – June.
|Printable Sales (website)||$2,771.71||$2,318.64||$2,510.62|
|Etsy Printable Sales||$364.24||$245.24||$455.73|
One thing I didn’t add about the rebrand is the rebrand of my etsy shop as well. I rebranded my esty shop to also match the new site. The etsy shop carries my new designs as well as my older designs. Think of it as my outlet center.
When I retire things from my site they can still be found at my etsy shop while keeping my my site shop consistent with the designs that are presented. I also wanted to present a consistent brand across all channels which included my etsy shop.
Traffic skyrocketed in the month of June after the rebrand and launch. I am of course working to make sure that I continue to see an incline. My focus is now almost completely on designing new and useful printables for my readers each week.
I will also be working on a strategy to repromote all the evergreen content that has already been written on the site. At this time I don’t see the need to continue adding tons of new blog post. I am working on a bit of a new experiment to only write roughly 2 new post per month while focusing on printables and promoting what is already here.
Before my focus would have been on creating a new blog post. Notice that each printable is on a page of its own so if someone comes to the site and they like the way I design they are more inclined to go from page to page looking at and downloading the designs. You can check out my printables in my library to see what how I have them presented. This definitely played a major role in the increase pageviews that I saw for June.
Social Media Traffic
I also became much more strategic in my post on social media. Since the graphics and images that I used during the launch did so well I decided to make more graphics to use on my social media for regular posting to create a certain look and feel across my social media channels.
When I rebranded and did what I truly loved and what really spoke to my audience things began to really change. In the month of June I got some amazing opps that allowed me to really utilize my brand of creativity. They didn’t pay me to write a post I was paid to create and I loved every minute of it.
Here is one of my sponsored stop motion projects that I created in June:
Of course I still write some sponsored post but even then I have but my own spin on it by adding a printable or some other form of creative expression beyond just a written post. The biggest thing I have learned out of all of this is do your own thing.
You don’t have to fit anyone’s mold. Figure out what’s missing from your niche and fill that need. Be creative. Think outside the box. People might laugh at first but the people who matter will take notice.
Have you hit a plateau in your blogging? Have you thought about a pivot into an entirely different direction?
PIN IT FOR LATER