Questions I ask myself when it comes to starting a blog
Hey there, you probably don't know who I am because I'm a newbie. I wanted to start a blogging diary as to give you new bloggers a little insight into where I'm at, what I've done, what my questions are, and the strategies I've used. I am 3 months into blogging now and I would say my success so far is a resounding...I don't know. In all honesty, I started blogging to make money. Don't get me wrong, I love to write. But I wasn't about to start yet another hobby that didn't produce any monetary fruit. So far I haven't made much, but I haven't given up hope, even though a few days out of the week I get discouraged and have a mental break down. My poor husband. I'm pregnant and starting a blog. Not a good combination.
Am I doing this right?
It's hard not to compare yourself to every other blogger out there. Once you find out you're doing something different than the norm, you scramble to follow suit so you can keep up on the latest algorithms, Pinterest strategies, social media tips, and a myriad of other systems that load your brain every day.
It's hard to keep up. Even harder to focus that much more on writing. It's no wonder that almost every single successful blogger out there has opened themselves up to writing about blogging. They have to. It's basically what we study day in and day out. If we don't keep up with it, our blogs will fail, no matter what we are writing about.
Do I really have to spend no less than $100 dollars on a blogging course?
I get it, we all need help. But I have read article upon article about blogging tips, I'm not sure if the information I am getting is everything I need, or if there are more "secrets" to getting better.
As of yet, I don't have an answer for you. I'm about to invest in one, even though I don't know which one, and I will let you know if it really helped me or not.
Do I need a niche?
At first, I ignored all of those comments about how you need to nail down a specific niche and write mostly about that. I didn't want to. I like to write about everything! Honestly, I'm SO glad I covered every lifestyle area at first. I did DIY and decor, travel, recipes, relationship advice, health, and beauty/personal growth. Had I not invested in all areas, I wouldn't have figured out that what I most love to write about is personal growth and relationships. It's also where my audience started to trickle in on.
Now that I have buckled down on a niche, I'm no longer floating in the dark about what I need to make my email opt-in or ebook about. I could have only figured this out because I was willing to cover all areas, see what stuck with my audience, and go from there. I guess it was just a learning curve and something I had to go through.
This post contains affiliate links - See disclaimer for more info.
Is where I'm at now good for 3 months?
So, I'll give you the lowdown on where I'm at with EVERYTHING. I don't know if it's good or not, but it keeps growing, which can't be bad.
This is a great book while starting out. It basically is heroine for inspiration.
Traffic and Squarespace
The most important and sought-after topic in the blogging world. How to get more traffic! I was nervous to start using Squarespace, as EVERY single blogger out there seems to be using Wordpress. The nice thing about Squarespace is they have beautiful and sleek templates to work from. It's SO easy and straightforward. In my experience, every Wordpress site I go to has a commonality to it. With Squarespace, I feel like I got something new and different. Obviously, you can make any website your own, but with Squarespace, there is a certain modern, hip and clean quality to it.
Pinterest and Tailwind
As of now, because of Pinterest and Pinterest alone, on a good day, I am at 2k views. I have put SO much energy into pins and Pinterest, but without Tailwind, I couldn't have gotten there. It's a great tool to help you schedule your pins and not have to worry about it. I tried Boardbooster as well but was immediately confused. I don't like their setup, and it seemed to have a mind of its own.
It doesn't stop at scheduled pinning. Manually pinning is probably your MOST important tactic for getting more traffic through pinterest.
Here is a trick that immediately had results.
How I went from under 200k to over 600k monthly viewers in 30 days.
I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but for me it was huge. I started out at 150 monthly viewers before I changed my Pinterest to a business account, so you can see how excited I am that 3 months later I'm at over 600k monthly viewers.
Join group boards! For some reason, I have had a TON of success with Create Your Best Life group board. It seems like it's a good in-between size. Not too big, not too small and great for those of us who are lifestyle bloggers.
Other than that, I would suggest really nailing down your organizational skills of your own boards. They need to be straightforward and to the point. Delete any pins that don't get more than 2 pins in total after a few days. You can easily navigate this with tailwind and their "pin inspector." It's only available in the premium plan, which I felt was a necessary investment.
Keywords are also VERY important. I always type in the main topic of my blog post in the search bar on Pinterest, and from left to right you will see squares of keywords that pop up. I name my boards, and my blog posts off of those, as well as add it to the pin description.
How I make the little money I make
So far, I haven't nailed the affiliate marketing thing down. That's where I want to educate myself in with some sort of course. My niche, unfortunately, isn't quite affiliate marketing friendly, but that doesn't mean I can't do it with other topics.
I'm an Amazon affiliate, so I 'll promote books I've read about marriage, as well as beauty products I love, etc. The place I've brought in the most money was when I added Google Adsense to my pages.
When I get good traffic, I can make a little money. It usually ends up averaging at about $2 per 1k pageviews. I am now about to hit my 25k/m sessions mark, which means I can start working with Mediavine. You can make more ad money with them than with Google Adsense. I hope one day to not have to use ads so that I won't annoy my readers. It's just the only thing I have going for me right now until I can sell my ebook.
Where do I go from here?
Trial and error. It's all a learning process. I want to encourage you. If you are researching, taking steps, and following through on things, you will get there! Great content is obviously your biggest asset. If you don't have a backbone to your brand, you won't have success.
There is LOADS of great information out there. I just wanted to share my story of where I'm at 3 months later in the blogging world. I'm pretty proud of the fact I have 2k views per day. At least for now. It's always fluctuating.
My next steps are to continue to grow my email list. I started a new strategy yesterday that seems like it's finally stuck. FINALLY! I got 10 subscribers in 1 day! That's huge for me! I am also about to publish my ebook, so we will see! I'll keep you updated!
I'm tired, my brain has never been utilized so much, and I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with a blog post title on my mind. I guess it just comes with the job. I'm not making much money yet, but I'm okay with that. I'm pressing on, and I'm not giving up!
Where are you at?
I would love to hear where you're at. It's always encouraging to hear other blogger stories! Feel free to comment below.