Not gonna lie, I almost didn’t write this “first month of blogging” monthly report. My goal was to publish it by April 1st. But hen I got distracted by “BUT MAYBE I SHOULD WRITE AN APRIL FOOL’S DAY FACT POST,” which I started but never finished. Because honestly there are not that many April Fool’s facts. And all of my sources said the exact same things. And I don’t want my blogging to become copy and paste. ANYWAYS, when I missed my deadline I was like “Well, I missed it. I’m just not gonna write it.”
As the days went on in the month, I started to even think “Hey, in fact maybe I’ll never write again! I already failed anyway!” It was my inner perfectionist/sloth speaking. In my head I thought I couldn’t write another post before I wrote this one, even though I had no desire to write this one at the time. Finally, I kicked that thought away and wrote something else that I was actually excited about — a fun Easter craft I got to make at work– and was again motivated suddenly to write again! The next day, I sat outside with my cat and got in my writer zone, and what you have is my full personal monthly review for my blog, as well as my goal’s for next month!
If I’ve learned anything from my social media work over the past two years, its that keeping a monthly report can really help you track your progress over time. Would I have guessed Plaid would have 140,000 Facebook followers only two years after I joined them at 35,000? Nope. But here we are. Now, as I reflect on what I’ve accomplished over my first month (well, really, 3 weeks) of blogging, I’m actually excited to scoot on ahead. I want this to be the first of a monthly series, tracking my progress every 30 days or so. ‘Cause goal-setting gets things done y’all. SO, without further ado: how I made $57.30 in my first 3 weeks of blogging, and my reflections on those weeks.
MARCH 2017 INCOME:
Qapital is a mobile banking app that I use to help me save money without thinking. After connecting it to your regular bank account, you can set up “rules” for savings. My favorite rule is the “Freelancer Rule” that automatically sets aside 30% of any deposited pay checks so that you’re prepared for tax season when the time comes! You can learn more about Qapital in my post here. If you want to try Qapital yourself, you can get an extra $5 with your first deposit by signing up through my referral link here!
Ebates is a cash-back App, Website, and Google Chrome Extension that gives you 1-40% cash back online and in-store at an ever growing list of major retailers. Every quarter you are rewarded with your cash back from your spending when using the app with a “big fat check.” Basically, it’s an app that rewards you for shopping. Read up more about it here. By signing up through my referral link, you can get an extra $10 cash back after your first purchase at any store of $25 when you have your Ebates rewards turned on!
Ibotta is a cash-back grocery shopping app (which has now expanded to other kinds of retailers too!) that gives you and everyone with the app on your “team” (a.k.a All your Facebook friends!) major coupons and cash back rewards on both grocery staples and new products! I’ve made over $100 cash back using the app so far, and I’ve only had it a few months! Read more about Ibotta and six other ways to save while you shop here. Also, with my referral link, you can get an extra $10 the first time you use Ibotta!
Google Adsense: $1.30
Whoo! Big money, Google Adsense! Admittedly, I’m not running nearly as many Ads as I could (you’re welcome), but I may go back and optimize a few of my posts this month.
Not bad for my first 3 weeks of blogging, I’d say! Not making a profit off it yet (still getting my money back from my initial expenses of hosting/domain buying.) But hey! I’m glad to be getting it back slowly but surely, especially because I quite enjoy blogging.
MARCH 2017 SOCIAL FOLLOWING:
Facebook: 153 [GenerationTryGirl]
Pinterest: 646 [@Generation_Try] (Psst, I’ll tell you more about my Pinterest strategy in my “achievements” section below.)
MARCH 2017 BLOG STATS:
# Posts Written: 11
# Comments: 171 (I think half were my responses to others’ comments.)
# Views: 1,757 , Avg per day: 57
# Unique Visitors: 1,009
80% New Sessions, 20% Returning Sessions
Avg Session Duration: 1:55 minutes
MARCH 2017 ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
- Actually starting the darn blog! I’ve been wanting to start a blog as a side business since June 2016, when I actually learned that was a thing. Seriously. I had no idea you could make serious money blogging. In August 2016, I had my idea and bought my domain/hosting, but then got all caught up in the details and wanting to make it perfect. I told myself I would FINALLY start in December. Then January. February. March. Finally, I think on March 6th, I actually kicked my butt into gear and published something. I only wish I’d started sooner!
- Learning a lot about WordPress Plug-Ins & Blog Promotion: Read a LOT (but I still feel like I’m barely grazing the surface) that other bloggers have written about the best wordpress plug-ins to use, and the best ways to boost your site’s SEO. I’ve also joined a number of blogger groups on Facebook, which I believe resulted in an increased number of views/comments. It also helps motivate me!
- Taking my time to optimize for SEO. With my other blogs in the past (doing them for pleasure, and not trying to do them for profit at all–because, again, I had no idea that was a thing), I never optimized. I barely knew what SEO even was! I’ve learned A LOT this past month. And not only has it made me a better blogger, its also made me a better worker at my contracting social media jobs!
- Reorganizing my old Pinterest Boards. At first, I created a new Pinterest account for this blog, which literally meant: Starting. From. Nothing. By the 3rd week of march, I had about 30 followers. Not bad for a new blog, but not great. I then remembered my personal Pinterest had something like 690 followers (pretty good for the average Joe! I’m just assuming this is because I was a VERY EARLY Pinterest adopter.) So I decided “Why start with 30 followers with 630 followers?!” I went to my old Pinterest boards and consolidated and cleaned them up. I lost probably about 40 followers along the way that followed random boards I never pinned too, but I’m not complaining. My Pinterest now looks much more professional, and my boards are optimized with actual SEO optimized descriptions.
GOALS FOR APRIL 2017:
I strongly believe in the value of writing down your goals and thereby making your goals more likely to be accomplished. So, here are my goals for my blog in April. (Shhh I know April has already started! I’m working on it!)
- Publish 3 Posts a Week (roughly 12 times/month). From all I’ve been reading about blogging, I’ve heard this is a pretty good goal for optimizing your blog. The best thing would be to have your posts written well ahead of time and scheduled out on regular days of the week. But I’m not there yet, okay?
- Write yo’ damn about page, and make blog more easy to navigate. I cringe a little every time I see the large number of views on my blog’s “About Page” and know that there is really nothing there. Not even a picture! Which: Side note, mini-goal: Get my hair touched up and make my boyfriend to take blogger-y pictures of me. For blogging and vanity purposes, obvi.
- Create some kind of guide or downloadable to entice email subscribers. I dunno what’ll be, but it’ll be exciting. Apparently having an email list is a good thing? I /have/ one, but I have no idea how many people have actually signed up. Which brings me to..
- Figure out how to use a damn email list. Seriously, Celia. You’ve worked in PR, Marketing, and Social Media way too long to not know how to make a good email newsletter.
- Don’t Fret. Keep focused. Stay consistent. I sometimes have a tendency to totally stop a project if I fall off the bandwagon for too long. Case in point, I was going HAM on my blog in the first two weeks, and then in the second two weeks of having it I only wrote one post. When I finally forgave myself, I wrote a single post, and now I’m back at the “Hey! I actually super enjoy this!” phase again. The goal for April is to be consistent, but always hop right back on that blogging horse.
- Increase Social Following: Goals – 180 for Facebook, 150 for Twitter, 675 for Pinterest, 325 for Instagram
- Make more income in April than in March. Don’t know if this will happen, but it’s still a pretty solid goal! Right?
What about you, other bloggers?
I’d love to hear any of your blogging stories, or read any monthly reports of yours! How do you stay focused on moving forward, and what do you do when you feel behind? Something that I’ve already noticed about the blogging community is that it is super supportive, so I’d love any advice you have to give! Comment below and let me know. <3