Happy 4 years of Blogging at Contentment Questing! When I started, I had no idea that this would be such a life-changing hobby. When I first started blogging, I decided to do a blog report every so often, mostly as a memo to myself to keep track of how far I had come since I started. At first, it was once a month, but after about 4 months or so, I decided to switch to a yearly update.
4 years ago, on Black Friday, I made the leap and paid for independent hosting for a website I named Contentment Questing. It was my hope to share my journey on becoming happier with my life and help others along the way. It has grown into a full-fledged website, an Etsy shop, 3 published books, 2 courses, affiliate products that I love and believe in, as well as freelance writing. If you are thinking about starting your own blog, read on! It is a journey that I have found well worth it!
(This post contains affiliate links. )
The Beginning of Contentment Questing
Have you ever been in a place in your life where you had never planned to be? That’s where I was when I started Contentment Questing in November of 2017. I thought I had the path that my life would go on all figured out. God had different ideas for me, though. Ironically, he answered ALL of my prayers in a totally different way than I thought, and I was not happy about it.
It’s hard to stay positive when everything around you is negative. But I finally had enough one day. I had a long talk with the Lord, apologized for my crummy attitude, and instead of asking “Why me?” I started asking “What can I learn from this experience? How can I grow?” and “Lord help me to serve you better and be more humble.” That’s when things began to change and I had this crazy idea to start a blog.
New Products from Contentment Questing this Year
Questing for Contentment is Contentment Questing’s signature course that debuted Summer of 2021! This is by far the biggest and most comprehensive course I have done. It took a ton of time, but it was well spent.
It likens cleaning out your closet to finding the joy in your life. We all have things that we need to toss, clean, and keep when we clean our closets. (And let’s be honest – no one has a perfect closet, even if it looks that way from the outside!) When you are finding the joy in your life, there are things that you need to toss like comparing yourself to others, letting your inner critic drag you down, and worrying all the time. You also have things that you need to keep, such as gratitude, getting out and into nature, and taking time to recharge, as well as things to clean like your time/schedule and your relationships with others.
This course will take you on a quest for peace within yourself. You’ll be learning how to rediscover life’s deepest truths—all while building meaningful relationships, living purposefully, achieving your goals more than ever before … And breathing deeply through stressful times.
The Most Popular Pages on Contentment QuestingAfter 4 Years of Blogging
This year, I mostly focused on product development, so I did not write as many posts as in years past. Contentment Questing has a total of 141 blog posts. I only published 6 this year, including this one. I’m not proud of that, but in order to keep this 4 years of blogging report as accurate as possible, I have to tell both the good and the bad. This list of the Most Popular Blog Posts for 2021 includes ALL the posts on the blog regardless of the year they were written. The traffic numbers are just from January 2021 till November 2021.
It’s not a blog post at all, but the page that ranks as the 10th most popular page during my 4th year of blogging is actually my homepage. I have recently added a bar that showcases my courses, while still trying to keep it as easy to navigate as possible. The purpose of the homepage is to welcome my visitors to my blog, and let them know what Contentment Questing is all about. It a great place to start when you first visit the site.
Total pageviews in 2021: 6,405
There are many different types of journaling! It can be confusing at first to find the perfect type for you. This post showcases different types of journals, specific ones that you can buy, as well as what to use your journal for. It also addresses common questions like “Does journaling take a lot of time?” It’s a great guide for how to get started. It will probably get an update in the very near future to make it even more helpful.
Total pageviews in 2021: 6,789 Most of the pageviews were steady through the year, though there was a big spike in January.
This is an open love letter to my husband, and I classified it as “feel-good reads.” When I wrote it, I was horribly sick with bronchitis and had been for about a month. (As in – the doctor told me “3 more days and I’d have been putting you in the hospital.”) I was cranky, had not done a lot, and was downright hard to live with. My husband had been super sweet to me. He picked up all the loose ends that I left, took care of the kids, did things that I normally do around the house after coming home from his corporate job with long hours. This post is the result of the raw emotions that I was experiencing at the time. If you need a feel-good read about true love this is your post.
Total pageviews in 2021: 7,288 There is a big spike in views for Valentine’s Day.
This post was originally published in May of 2020. We were still under many COVID restrictions. While my area was not under lockdown officially, many people were. Restaurants were closed to sit-down dining, though you could get take-out, and many of the things we enjoyed doing were closed. The kids were doing virtual school. I was spending a LOT of time at home. It was a good time to get to know myself better and do some reflecting. I compiled this huge list of 94 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery. You can see all of them on the post, buy a printable list of just the prompts, or get a printable journal with all of them. This has turned into my most popular Etsy Shop listing.
Total pageviews in 2021: 8,092 Traffic has been fairly steady with spikes in January and March.
This is an oldie post but a goodie. It was originally published in 2018, and still gets quite a bit of traffic. Quotes don’t get old. This was one of the first posts that I felt very happy with the pin images that I created to go with it. The quotes are short and uplifting.- perfect for hanging in a place where you see them every day. They are just the thing when you need a bit of encouragement. It will likely see an update in the near future to make it even better!
Total pageviews in 2021: 8,848 Most of its traffic was in the first quarter of the year. Unlike most of my most popular pages, this one is not ranking in a google search. Most of the traffic to this post came from Pinterest.
Like the post sitting in the #6 spot, this post receives most of its traffic from Pinterest and is not currently ranking on Google. I have an update in progress for this post, so it will soon be expanded beyond its original 50 love quotes for him. It comes with a printable of all the quotes that can be accessed in the VIP Library. Sometimes you need help telling your man how you feel. That’s what these quotes were designed to do. It was originally intended as Valentine’s Gift for my husband.
Total pageviews in 2021: 16,893 Unsurprisingly, the most popular times for this post were January and February. Traffic kept fairly steady until September, and there seems to be a decline as most people turn their minds to preparing for the upcoming holidays.
Choices can be hard. Not making good ones can ruin your life. You can do all the positive thinking that you want to do, but if your choices are bad, you still won’t be happy. This is an uplifting and encouraging read. It’s well worth it if you or a loved one is struggling with some choices now, or if you find choices hard to make in general. If you notice the huge jump in page views, This article is ranking on Google. (“Ranking” means that if you type in the keywords, it comes up on the first page of search results.)
Total pageviews in 2021: 22,773 Traffic on this one was pretty steady, but I am seeing an increase in views for the first and last quarters.
Have you ever tried to pour from an empty cup? You don’t get much out, do you? That’s what happens when we try to give to others when we have neglected to take care of ourselves. This article is all about filling your cup and remembering to take care of yourself. Self-care is often neglected, but this article features 33 ways to fill your cup so that you can better take care of all those you love.
Total page views in 2021: 37,377 Great traffic all year long. (Except for the day that my website went down, but more on that later in the post!)
You can’t fix a problem unless you become aware of it. Ironically, most people think they are self-aware, but only a small percentage actually are. One of the most obvious benefits of self-awareness is that it’s a great place to start on your personal development journey. It can help you identify your triggers, give you a realistic view of yourself and how others see you, help you make better choices, and much more!
Total page views in 2021: 51,506 Steady traffic throughout the year.
This is THE most popular post on Contentment Questing. It’s also one of the founding posts for my free Questing for Patience Online Course. We all need patience and we all struggle with it from time to time. Patience is waiting without complaint. That’s hard to do sometimes, but these many benefits make it worth the work.
Total page views in 2021: 53,815 Steady traffic throughout the year, but a bit more during the first 6 months. (Probably because some COVID restrictions in some places started loosening up around that time.)
Numbers and Statistics After 4 Years Of Blogging
Are you ready to see the numbers from 4 years of blogging? When you look at numbers after 4 years of blogging, remember that each site looks different. Try not to compare your numbers with mine. Your site is different because you are not me and vice versa. These are ok numbers from my perspective. They are not blow-your-socks off, but I don’t think they are bad either.
Follower numbers after 4 Years of Blogging:
- Pinterest: 1,528
- Facebook: 282 followers on the Contentment Questing Page
- 755 Members of the Inspiration Ladies Facebook Group
- Twitter: 250
- Instagram: 126
- Email List: 1,104
Total Follower Numbers after 4 years of Blogging: 4,045
If you would like to follow me on any of the platforms above, just click the links above or sign up for my email list below!
I’m a bit surprised because this is the first time that I’ve added up all the follower numbers. What I’m most pleased with is how much my email list has grown this year! I participated in a book give-away with several other authors this year and that grew my email list a great deal!
Statistics After 4 Years Of Blogging
- Total pageviews Jan-November 8, 2021: 327,692
- Total Unique Users Jan-Nov 8 2021: 123,666
- Approximate Comments in 2021: 65 (Data from Jetpack plugin as Google analytics does not track this one. )
- Current Domain Authority: 19
Most people are finding me from google searches
Something interesting to note: the data displayed is from Google Analytics. My WordPress data is different, however, I am going with Google Analytics data because I experimented with having the Jetpack plugin uninstalled for a month on my site. I learned I really like Jetpack and I missed it. However, it can slow the site a bit. But it’s worth it to me to be able to access everything from my phone.
Income and Expenses After 4 Years Of Blogging
Even after 4 years of blogging, I am not comfortable disclosing exact amounts to the entire world. I do report my income to the IRS, but here I will discuss it in general terms. These are ballpark figures, not exact ones. I did not have a book deal this year, as I did last year, so I was honestly concerned if I would break even. These are some of the things that I invested in this year:
- Book Inventory to stock local shops that have started carrying my book. ($600)
- Teachable course hosting for 1 year ($350)
- Tailwind (That will most likely be cancelled as I plan to downgrade to the free plan) ($119)
- Mailerlite email marketing – since my email subscribers have grown, I had to go to a paid plan. ($15/month)
- Hosting and Domain Name for my website – switched this month to Cloudways. (around $13/month) (Domain renewal $18)
- Advertising ($60)
- 30 Days to Published Challenge (Education) ($84)
- An AI tool to help me write faster and improve my current posts ($200)
These are some ways that I made money this year with my blog or with related services.
- Writing Articles for a Local Magazine
- Selling Printables from my Etsy Shop
- Affiliate Marketing and Sales (Amazon, Planners, affiliate courses)
- SEO Improvement Service (Blogger speak for making sure Google can find your articles)
- Freelance Writing Blog Articles for another Blogger (More on that later!)
- Ranking bonuses from freelance written blog articles
- Course Sales
- Sponsored Post
- Book Sales
When I ran the numbers, even with all the expenses, and different things that I tried this year, I came out in the black just past the 4-figure mark.
Analysis of Expenses
After 4 years of blogging, I am still learning new things every single year. I tried some things this year that I have not tried in the past. One of those things was advertising, which I met with limited success. Facebook ads for me got a lot of impressions, some clicks, but no purchases. I also had bookmarks printed, which helped get my name out locally, but no purchases using the code on the bookmarks.
I had a few local shops that started carrying my books! Yay!! They are all boutique shops. Two of them are carrying all 3 books and one is carrying only The 5-Minute Productivity Journal.
Since I started doing SEO service and freelance writing, the AI I invested in, called Outranking was well worth it. I also LOVE Jarvis, but was not sure that I could justify the expense at the time. I prefer Outranking for blog post outlining and analysis of how to improve articles. Jarvis is amazing at helping to write content, descriptions, and sales pages.
Analysis of Income after 4 Years Of Blogging
Most of my income has come from writing services. I started working more for Suzi Whitford of Start A Mom Blog this year. My confidence was pretty well shot after mid-year and I knew that I needed to renew my motivation. Working for her and offering services to her writing and improving blog posts has greatly improved my confidence and clarity. I have a much better sense of what I need to do now and where to direct my efforts with my own blog. If you want to start your own blog, she is AMAZING and offers the best and most affordable resources that I have found anywhere on the internet.
Resources for Starting Your Own Blog or Growing Your Income
After 4 years of blogging, you learn a lot of what works and what doesn’t work. You also have a lot of “I wish I had done this sooner or learned this sooner. ” All the things that I am going to recommend below are things I have actually used and love. I’d love it if you used my affiliate links below.
- The Blog Plan – this is Suzi’s year long plan on how to start and grow your blog. It’s free. 🙂
- Blog By Number Course – I bought this course 4 years ago after a few months of trying to figure things out on my own. It was a game changer and I STILL learn from it. She updates it every year.
- Printables By Number – You can make and sell printable producets on your own site or on marketplaces such as Etsy with this course. It’s easier than you think to start making money online with these small products.
- Course by Number – If you ar ready to level up and share your knowledge with the world, an online course is a great way to tdo that. Suzi walks you step by step thoruhg how to create a profitable online course as well as things like how to make a sales page, how to set up a funnel, and different options.
- See More Products on How to Start Your Blog Here
Wins After 4 Years of Blogging
Just like anything else, there are ups and downs. Blogging itself is a very up and down game. Here are some of the major highlights from my 4th year of Blogging in 2021.
- My books are now stocked in 3 local shops
- First book signing and 5k this year
- Launched my signature course, Questing for Contentment
- Speaking at two online Summits – Productivity Secrets of Femaile Millionaries and The Power of Solitude
- Survived remodelling of my house and now have a home office
- Upgraded my desktop PC. (Because my old faithful died)
- Hired a company to do some redesign work on my blog
- Started making the mindset shift of thinking like a business owner instead of hobbyist. (This one is huge!)
- Gained confidence and clarity
- Started valuing my time and my skill set more
Struggles after 4 Years of Blogging
There will always be struggles. There will always be people ahead of you, but what’s important is that you keep putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes you have to stop and take a breath, but you will not be successful if you quit. I have not come this far to only come this far – and neither have you!
- I tried a short radio show on a local internet radio station. It flopped. I think the only ones that listened were my family. BUT I still have the recordings and may turn them into podcast material in the future.
- The Questing for Contentment Course launch was not nearly as successful as I had hoped. It flopped as well. I mostly attribute that to the sales page and plan to re-do the video and set it up in a funnel. I also need to link it to the top articles on my blog. It’s not helping anyone that doesn’t know about it.
- Suffered a major loss of motivation after the course launch was not as successful as I had hoped.
- I did not post nearly as much as I had planned this year. Only 6 blog posts, but my time is limited by the same 24 hours that yours is. Most of my time was spent on content creation and surviving the house remodel.
- Valuing my time and skill set. In short: I need to charge more for my freelance writing services and/or perhaps find new clients. This will be easier since I have the tools to do it now.
- The switch to Cloudway hosting from Siteground was very stressful. It was about 3 weeks of sorting through issues. However, my site is faster now and it seems to work better. I have my own independent server now instead of a shared one. It should be able to handle increased traffic load now.
- Sales pages – those are still a struggle, but it’s getting easier. It’s just another skill that takes time.
- Setting up sales funnels, again, it’s a skill that I need to work on. Any skill can be learned
Takeaways And Lessons After 4 Years of Blogging
Blogging is an up-and-down game. There will always be struggles, good days, and bad days. There are days that you feel like you have this whole blogging thing figured out, and other days that you want to quit because you wonder if you actually are making a difference. I started doing these reports once a year for anyone that wanted an honest vulnerable post about how it’s really going. No, the numbers are not flashy. Yes, other people are making much more of an income from their blogs. But to me, it’s still well worth the journey.
The Mission of Contentment Questing – The Real Reason I Blog.
When I started Contentment Questing, I did so with the thought that if I could help one person through my writing then it would be worth it. Now, 4 years later, I still remember that promise I made to myself. The mission of contentment questing after 4 years of blogging is still to help people find the joy in their lives and grow from the hard times. Everything I do must stay true to that mission.
I have a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. written on a sticky note where I can see it. It reads “Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself. ” Blogging has given me a sense of purpose in my life. It’s my way of reaching out and making the world just a little bit better, and hopefully making an impact. We make a difference in the world one person at a time. That’s what this blog is for. To make a difference in your life. To help you through the hard times. And to help you find your joy.
What I’ve Learned from 4 Years of Blogging
From the start, these 4 years of blogging have been an incredible journey. It’s led me to develop a lot of skills and self-confidence along the way. I’ve learned how to write better, learned about email marketing, sales pages, funnels, audio recording, video editing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Pinterest, Facebook, and other forms of social media. I’ve developed moderator skills, website design skills, graphic design skills – things that actually translate to real-world settings. And I’ve done it all at my home. (Or from my laptop. I have typed up blog posts sitting at a picnic table when we are camping.
) I’ve kept on learning new skills, including course design. My brain no longer feels like it’s sitting stagnant. I’ve also started taking better care of myself, become much more aware of my own thoughts and feelings, grown closer to God, and tried to reach out and help other people. To me – that’s a fantastic journey – that I hope will continue far into the future!
The Last Thing You Need to Know About 4 Years of Blogging
It’s not an easy journey. It’s a LOT of work. There are all kinds of ups and downs, but it’s well worth it. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. If you are thinking of starting a blog, know there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. You can make good money from blogging, and it can be passive income, but you need a plan. (The Blog Plan is my recommendation)
I am not where I want to be yet, but I am not where I started either. Write about something you love. Write to make an impact on the world. Learn all you can. (Which is why I recommended all the Start a Mom Blog Courses) Take the leap and do it. It will be scary at first, but you will have your own incredible journey.
Leave me a comment below. Tell me where you’re at on your journey, or what else you’d like to see from Contentment Questing in Year 5!
You are special precious and unique. The world needs you and your unique gifts. – Jennifer Webb “The Pearl Perspective”
5 Years Of Blogging Update
I’m not sure that I have a lot of news to justify a new post, but I wanted to say something since CQ has survived as a blog for 5 years that in itself, is an accomplishment. I have added a partner, LeAnn to the blog and she’s really helped with my loss of motivation. She’s coming in with fresh ideas and I’m starting to post again and update old posts. My traffic has dropped to around 8k-10k per month, but I think it will slowly start building back up with more posts. We are also going to try a sale soon on the Questing for Contentment course.