How I Rocked My First Month Blogging
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I’ve been blogging for a month!
Part of me feel like “It’s only been a month?” and another part of me feels like “Woah, it’s already been a month!”
I thrilled with what my blog and I have accomplished during our first month. It has definitely been an exciting adventure so far!
I’ve discovered that I love blogging! I love that there are people out there actually reading my ideas. I’m blown away by how many people have shared my posts with others or commented that my posts have helped them.
When I first started writing my blog posts, I wasn’t sure if anyone would really read them. It’s so exciting to see that new people are reading my posts each day! I try my best to resist the urge to constantly check my stats, but it’s so exciting!
I made some smart choices
When I first started thinking about blogging I thought that I would just start with a free Blogger or WordPress.com blog and then transfer it to a self-hosted blog in the future if I decided to. I assumed this was the best thing to do because I’d read posts by many of the bloggers that I love that had mentioned that’s what they did in the beginning of their blogging career.
I started looking into this more, and reading everything I could about it. What I found is the large majority of experienced bloggers urging new bloggers to go with a self-hosted blog from the start. What really stood out to me was that bloggers who had actually started with a free blogging platform regretted that decision. They wished that they had made the choice to go with a self-hosted blog from the start.
So, I decided to learn from their mistake. When I was ready to create my blog, I went with a self-hosted blog. I used Bluehost as my hosting provider because from all my digging I also found that they are super highly recommended by everyone who uses them (or so it seems to me atleast!) And I have to tell you that was a great choice!
Bluehost was super easy to use — especially since I am far from technically inclined. The entire process so much easier than I expected it to be.
Awesome side-note about hosting: Bluehost comes with some awesome free bonuses! I want to mention this because I didn’t fully understand the value of these things when I created my blog, but I am so glad to have them!
- The first thing is that Bluehost includes a free domain name. Now, a domain name (like www.happyhumblehome.com for example) usually costs about $12 a year, but this is more than a $12 value! It saves you a step, and precious time, when you are creating your blog.
- Bluehost also includes a free email address and your blog’s domain! (heather@happyhumblehome, for example) I did not appreciate how great this was at the time but it is awesome! I can’t tell you how many times I see other bloggers asking how to get an email address at their blog’s domain. Mine was included for free and beyond easy to set up!
- The best thing about Bluehost is that they have amazing customer service! Their incredible Help Center is available 24/7. And they are super helpful! I love this feature, and it has definitely come in handy.
Now, I had my blog created, but I didn’t actually know how to blog. So…
I started learning everything I could!
When I decided to start blogging, I knew I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could about how to blog. And more importantly, how to blog well.
I wanted to give my blog a strong start. But I had no idea what I was doing. So, I turned to some of the best bloggers out there and I’ve been soaking up their knowledge like a sponge.
The first book I read about blogging
I read How to Blog for Profit without Selling your Soul by Ruth Soukup. Ruth (from Living Well, Spending Less) is one of the most successful, best known bloggers out there. How to Blog for Profit without Selling your Soul gave me a strong understanding of blogging basics. I learned about the terms and buzzwords that I had been hearing and reading about and didn’t fully understand.
After reading How to Blog for Profit without Selling your Soul, I had a basic understanding of how this whole blogging thing worked. I had a vision of where I wanted my blog to go and I had an idea of how to get there.
Next, I took a class.
I wanted to keep learning about blogging and so I turned to another expert in the field Bob Lotich. Bob has a very successful (and well-run) blog at Seedtime.com. He also has an awesome blogging course Pro-Blogging Secrets.
I remembered reading an article Bob wrote about blogging years ago. (Like, 2 or 3 years ago I’d say.) I didn’t remember exactly what it said but I remembered the overarching theme. That Bob blogged as his job, and he was actually able to pay the bills.
At the time that I had read his post, I never dreamed that blogging was something I could do. I just found it interesting that other people did this.
So, after I created my blog and was trying to learn more about blogging, I went back to search for this post that had stuck in some part of my mind. I don’t think I ever found the exact post I remembered but I was thrilled with what I found instead.
Bob Lotich offered his own blogging course all about blogging, Pro-Blogging Secrets!
I was so excited to take the Pro-Blogging Secrets course. It is a series of videos and resources that cover the spectrum of all blogging areas. It covers blogging basics, gaining traffic, monetization, and the business of blogging. I learned so much from this course.
PBS also came with an awesome Facebook support group. This was an amazing opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with other bloggers.
On the day that I launched my blog (1 month ago today), I posted a little introduction in the group telling them how excited I was to join the group and launch my blog. Bob Lotich himself replied to my post saying that he looked at my blog and liked it! Can I just tell you how exciting this was?
I noticed later that Bob actually pinned two of my posts on Pinterest! I was so excited to see this! I totally danced around my living room. It was beyond encouraging to me as a new blogger.
I don’t mean to suggest that he can do this for every person that posts in the group (I think I just got lucky with my timing.) But, Bob definitely makes an effort to support and encourage the community and I so appreciate that.
After I finished Pro-Blogging Secrets, I decided I could really benefit from blogging courses and gaining the perspective of other highly successful bloggers.
Then, I found…
Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook by Abby Lawson. Abby is a super successful blogger at Just a Girl and her Blog. This comprehensive program walked me through the process of laying a strong foundation for my blog.
Abby holds nothing back in Building a Framework. She even shares the mistakes she made when she started her blog. I was so thankful to learn from her mistakes right from the start with Happy Humble Home. The program covers everything from creating content and building relationships to growing your blog and monetizing.
Building a Framework also includes premium packages that include step-by-step video tutorials, which taught me so much about the technical aspects of blogging that I couldn’t figure out on my own.
In my opinion, the most valuable part of the program is that it includes a Facebook Mastermind group that you’re able to join once you purchase the program. This has been so helpful to me! I’m able to ask questions and talk to other bloggers about things that my non-blogging friends just don’t understand.
I’m going to keep learning
I was lucky enough to purchase the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit when it was available and that came with so many amazing ebooks and ecourses that I’m going to have my hands full for quite a while.
I’m not sure if this will be available again until next year. I will keep you posted if I hear anything!
I know that was a lot of information about how I’ve been learning to blog. I just know that it’s been such an important reason that I’m off to such a great start, and I wanted to share it with you.
Blogging is more fun with Friends
Everything I’ve read about blogging has taught me that relationships between bloggers are vital to blogging success. So, I made it a point to reach out to a few other (super awesome) beginning bloggers this month and I created a mastermind group.
This mastermind group is one of my favorite things that happened in my first month blogging.
In writing this post, I realized I had a lot to say about this so I’m going to be writing a post about how I created this mastermind group, so I’m going to be writing a separate post about that soon. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss that post.
I’ve been implementing what I’ve learned so far, slowly.
I started by focusing on these main areas.
Creating Solid Content
I’ve been working super hard to create foundational content for Happy Humble Home. I’ve spent a ton of time writing, editing, and writing so far. I think it’s going well overall. But, there have been a few challenges along the way.
One of my challenges is that I have SO MANY IDEAS. Everytime I write, I think of something else I want to write about! I know there are probably a lot of bloggers out there struggling to think of post ideas that wish they had this problem. But each time I sit down to write, it’s a challenge for me to decide what I want to write about first.
Finding my people
I’ve been trying to get my blog out there in the big giant world of the internet. I’ve been trying to get it to out to people who would enjoy reading my content (hopefully benefit from it) and perhaps come back and read it again sometime in the future.
Pinterest has been my main focus when it comes to finding this traffic. I’ve worked hard to build up my Pinterest profile, gain some followers, and pin my posts everywhere I can.
I’ve worked hard (and been lucky) to gain some amazing group boards, which to my understanding is the key to Pinterest success. I’ve been feeling brave and reaching out to big name bloggers. It turns out, they are people too! And they’re generally happy to help. I am so thankful for how welcoming the blogging community has been to me.
I’ve also worked hard to create pinnable images for each post. Before my blog was born (a month ago, mind you) I’d never done anything like this before. But with the help of PicMonkey, I’ve created some pretty cool images. In my opinion at least….
And I get better at this with each image I create. PicMonkey is really awesome because it makes it so simple to edit any image, even if you are as technically challenged as I am.
That’s something I really love about this blogging adventure. I’m pushing myself to do things a little outside my comfort zone each day, and I’m learning how to do those things!
One thing that I do want to mention about Pinterest is that it can be crazy time consuming if you are pinning all your pins manually. For most of this month I was trying to pin four times a day and keep which pins I’ve pinned on each of my 35+ group boards! It was taking up so much time!!
And then I discovered the miracle that is BoardBooster.
With BoardBooster, I am able to easily schedule my pins and set it on autopilot. This gave me back so much time each day that I am now able to spend doing much more productive things. I am so glad I made this switch!
I’ve had some daydreams about making money
I haven’t seriously thought about monetizing my blog yet, although I know I want to someday. I have dabbled with some affiliate programs though. I became an Amazon Affiliate and then I went back through my posts and in the places that I’d already mentioned a specific product, I added an Amazon link to it.
I’ve also become an affiliate for some of the products that I love and use every day (many of which are mentioned in this super long post.) I think only good things can come from this.
Ok, Let me share some numbers with you
Now, I know that my blog stats are teeny tiny when you compare them to the huge bloggers out there who have been blogging for years. But I’ve only been blogging for a month and I feel great about the results.
I’m sharing these numbers with you today in hopes that celebrating my strong start might encourage someone else out there to start the blog of their dreams.
1st Month Blog Stats:
- Pageviews – 10,145
- Posts – 23
- Blog Comments – 54
- Pinterest Followers – 3,048
- Income – $12.80 (Amazon)
Possibly the most important thing that happened in my first month blogging was that I realized this blog could really be something. Just one short month ago, when I launched this thing, I thought it would be fun to do and maybe in a year or two I might have some readers and make some money from it.
I did not expect to be as passionate about it as I am. And I certainly didn’t expect to start off so well. But I have been working my butt off and I’m thrilled that it’s paying off.
I can’t wait to see what month 2 brings!
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