*G.I.A Update*: Discernment, Darkness, Traffic
I decided to introduce a new column so to speak. This blog is all about personal growth, inspiration, and achievement. It’s what I believe in. It’s what I would seek even if this blog didn’t exist. So along those lines I thought I share with you how I’m growing, what’s inspiring me, and what I’ve achieved lately.
Welcome to my first ever G.I.A. (Growth. Inspiration. Achievement) Update covering the month of October!
How I’m Growing: Discernment
I always say we should always be growing so it’s good to acknowledge the ways in which we’ve grown.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit this. I had yet another problem with a roofer on another house. (Catch up on my last debacle The Life Changing Magic of Having a Vision). I had concerns about him when his bid first came through, but I scheduled the estimate anyway. When I opened the door I immediately felt something. In both instances I didn’t want to pass judgement so I disregarded how I felt. Plus, the feeling was fleeting. I pushed it to the back and got on with business.
This is one of the hardest, longest lessons I’m having to learn. I think it comes down to the fact that we’re always taught not to be judgmental. When we are we judge ourselves for judging others. A good Christian like myself wouldn’t judge the roofer who hadn’t even opened his mouth yet. Right?
Long story short he didn’t fully oblige to the commitment. His answer? I didn’t need it all. Well, why did you quote and charge me for it?! Since he skimped on some things I essentially overpaid by a few hundred dollars. Not a ton. But the situation plagued me for a few days after. I KNEW something was amiss, but I dismissed it.
I started to think about discernment. It’s one of my regular prayers. I ask God for discernment to know which was to go. Yet, when He tells me I disregard it. Cray-cray, huh? So I looked up discernment. Here’s what one website said “(Discernment) is the ability to make discriminating judgments, to distinguish between, and recognize the moral implications of, different situations and courses of action.” Webster defines discernment as “the ability to judge well”.
I’m growing in the sense that I now understand that I have got to get the idea of judging being this horrible sin out of my head. Discernment protects me. This time ignoring it cost me a couple hundred dollars. The next time it could be a matter of life or death. Discernment is good. Judging is discernment. Trust what you’ve discerned, Charlene. Lesson learned.Judging is discernment. Discernment protects me. Click To Tweet
What’s Inspiring Me: Darkness
Okay so darkness it’s really inspiring me. Knowing that God is in the darkness with me inspires me. If God is light and He’s in the darkness with us darkness can’t really hurt us. I’m currently reading Blessed in the Darkness by my pastor Joel Osteen. I’m not very far into the book yet, but the basic premise is that God blesses us in and through the darkness. Pastor Osteen talks about how Moses was in the wilderness for 40 years after killing a man. That was darkness. Yet, Moses is one of the great spiritual leaders in the bible. He’s referenced many times throughout the old and new testaments. King David went through a dark period when he had an affair with a married woman and had her husband killed. And still David is known as a great man. He was described as “a man after God’s own heart.” Not only that but King Saul, David’s predecessor tried to kill him multiple times. David went through the darkness multiple times and he came out blessed and better on the other side.
So God cares for us all the time. The dark times are when He is growing us and preparing us for His blessing and anointing. This is so inspiring to me. Not that I’m going through a dark time necessarily. I am going through a time where I’m ready to birth the prayers I’ve been praying. I’m ready to harvest some seeds I’ve planted and watered for years. I’m ready for some plants to break ground and see daylight. I’m ready to break free from my current cocoon.
Knowing that God is with me, guiding me, and blessing me always (even when it doesn’t seem like it) is so inspiring. This book is helping my change my perspective and giving me the energy to keep moving toward the daybreak I’ve been working for.
All things are working for my good. That’s encouraging and inspiring.God is with me, guiding me, and blessing me always Click To Tweet
What I’ve Achieved: Traffic
I sooo wanted to call this section Dollars to keep with the triple Ds, but overwhelming my big achievement was in traffic to my blog. More on that later.
At the beginning of the month I published my first ever self help book for women, From Caterpillar to Butterfly: Transform the Life You Have into the Life You Love. And I did make a couple dollars from sales. Woohoo! This book is such an achievement. I did it. I had no idea I could, but I wanted to. This dream has been in my heart since high school. Now it’s in the world. That’s amazing if you ask me.
I also redesigned my website. Here’s my thoughts behind the new colors:
These colors and symbol represent what I believe in and what I want From Caterpillars to Butterflies to embody. What do you think? What colors embody who you are and strive to be?
Green represents growth, knowledge, and harmony.
Turquoise represents spiritual growth, inner healing, and intuition.
Gold represents self-worth, wealth, and success.
White represents peace, empowerment, and divinity.
The butterfly representations transformation.
At the same time I changed my WordPress theme. I didn’t think the previous theme aligned with where I am in my business and where I’m trying to go. I’m hoping the magazine style layout will boost engagement, page views, and return visits.
My blog will be three at the end of the year. I was reviewing my stats thinking, “I should be further along by now.” That was the impetus for changing the WordPress theme. The branding was in the works for a while. Anyway, I set a goal to double traffic by the end of the year in September. The goal was to increase November visits by about 40-50% and to see another 40-50% lift in December. To do that I switched up my theme and embarked on a 30 day blogging challenge. I blogged everyday in the month of October. I attempted this before in July but a death in the family and a rental property suddenly vacated threw me off track. I’m happy to say I succeeded in October!I thought I should be further along. That was the impetus for change. Click To Tweet
However, my 31 day blogging challenge did NOTHING for my traffic. (But hold your tears). Traffic was actually on track to end on par with September for the better part of the month. Even though I was driving more social traffic (via blogging everyday and posting on social media) overall traffic was trending down. My organic visits was driving the decline. Organic traffic fell about 33% which isn’t surprising. I’ve worked in digital marketing long enough to know that a redesign can cause organic traffic to drop (and then hopefully come back up again stronger than before). I was okay with the decline because I wasn’t really expecting growth to hit until November.
I also decided to give Pinterest another go. I technically had an account but I wasn’t doing much with it. This changed around the middle of the month. Well, let me tell you, last Saturday, October 28 one of my pins went semi-viral and dropped THOUSANDS of visitors on my site. So I tripled my visits in October vs. September in the last four days of the month.
That’s my big achievement. 3x the traffic. Yippee! Now the goal is to double that this month. Crazy ambitious, but all I need is 2-3 pins to get a little viral. **fingers crossed**
I think I’ve achieved a lot in October – new book, new brand, new design, and thousands of new visitors.
That’s my G.I.A. update for this month. What’s yours? How are you growing? What’s inspiring you (besides me of course 🙂 )? And what have you achieved lately?
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