This post does contain affiliate links. For full details, please see my disclosure.
Well, it has been two months since I hit the button and decided to start a blog with independent hosting with Blue Host. It has not been a bad month, but to be honest, the two words that sum it up best are “Information Overload!” One of the things that I liked when I decided to start blogging was that there was so much information out there about how to do it and be successful. Now, I am nearly overwhelmed with the amount of information! There is SO much to do and learn! Let’s start out by taking a look at some things from my last blog report.
In my last blog report I said that I had:
- Around 400+ page views from people in 9 different countries!
- I signed up for the first of my affiliate programs
- I learned a TON about setting up a blog and installing plugins and widgets and customizing the site to get it looking sharper and more how I want it to look.
- I created Contentment Questing pages on Facebook and Pinterest (both of which have links on my sidebar)
- I joined 2 Pinterest group boards. I am not exactly sure how they work, but I will learn! Additionally, my personal Pinterest page is currently sitting at 1.1k monthly views!! Wow!! That is HUGE growth!
- I also learned about a program called “Tailwind” that helps with Pinterest. Again, that one is a work in progress and I am learning how to use it.
- I signed up for some mailing lists of some very successful bloggers that HELP other bloggers get started. I’ve found some very useful information, which I keep re-reading and referring back to.
My Goals for this Month were:
- Get Google Adsense to actually WORK! (Don’t worry; I will do my best to make sure they are not distracting and do not take away from the content. I don’t want it to look spammy. If it looks tacky, it’s gone!)
- Find out where to access that pesky HTML code. (Some add-ons want me to copy/paste things into the code for the pages.)
- Figure out how the Pinterest group boards actually work. I would also like to join a few more of them. (Right now I have no idea how to pin content to them, or if maybe somehow the group board followers can see my boards??)
- Increase traffic to my blog. Next month I would like to get at least 600 page views!
- Create more visually pleasing pins for Pinterest and more of them for each post, both the existing ones and the future ones.
- Continue to bring you quality content. I want to publish at least 8 more blog posts next month, posted on Tuesday and Thursday of each week.
This Month: Reviewing Goals
- I DID get Adsense to work! There are a couple of ads that I would like to tweak, but for the most part, it is up and working well. I have made a grand total of $0.28 from them! I know, that is not much, but you have to start somewhere.
- The HTML code was actually a tab on the top right of where I write my blog posts. That one was much easier than I thought!
- I DID figure out how the Pinterest group boards work! I added a few more, and I was really pleased to get into one particular group of them that flat out stated that not everyone got in. I was very happy to have made the cut. Once you get invited to a group board, it shows up on your Pinterest like one of your normal boards, and you can pin to it. The invites were in the “Inbox” tab in my Pinterest account under “contact requests”
- Blog traffic…this is one of the goals that I did not reach. I had more traffic last month than I did this month. My page views for January so far are at 183. If you add the page views from the last few days of December, it comes to about 220 page views from people in 13 different countries. The page views are down, but I am rather excited about all the different countries that people are viewing my blog from. That is quite diversified! Also for lifetime views, Contentment Questing currently has been viewed 589 times. For a 2-month-old blog, that is not bad!
- The visually pleasing Pinterest pins I think I met half of that goal. I made some pretty nice looking ones for my new blog posts, and I found a good way to make them more easily using Canva.com, which is free. I did not get around to adding any more to my previous blog posts.
- I have posted 8 more high-quality blog posts this month, publishing on Tuesday and Thursdays.
- Blog traffic: It kills me that I have to report that I totally did not make one of my goals. However, to be honest, I think I set this one a little high and I have grown in other ways. My blog was brand new last month, so on the first day, I got a whoppin’ 90 page views! I think this was probably every one of my relatives and friends clicking on it to see what this whole blog thing was about, which I am grateful for. Also, December included Christmas break, so more people were off work and had more free time to look at blog posts. Now everyone is back to work. I have some blogs that I like and follow, but I do not have time to look at them every day. I know other people don’t either, and that’s ok!
- The Pinterest Pins: I think that the pins that I have are ok on the older blog posts. I did them differently, but different does not mean badly. Yes, the blog posts probably do need more than one pin. I will get to that, but right now I have been working on other things. Like I said at the beginning of the post, there is a LOT of information out there and a LOT of things that I need to do! I seriously underestimated how overwhelming of a task starting something from the ground up is. Sometimes, there is bliss in not knowing, but I am committed to this blog and I will continue to follow through with it.
- Posts: Believe it or not, there is a lot more to writing blog posts than it would appear. I am putting more time and effort into each one, from creating images to editing, to trying to optimize it for search engines, to pinning the links on Pinterest. I may have to cut back to one post a week at some point in the future, especially as the weather warms up and the kids have school breaks and have more activities going on.
What I have accomplished this month:
- Facebook groups: I have joined a few Facebook groups for bloggers and I am trying to actively be a part of the community on there. I think this is very beneficial because I am meeting other bloggers that are just starting out, as well as getting access to the expertise of many other experienced bloggers. I not only get to promote my blog to them, but I also get to see their blogs and what they are working on. This kind of gives me a frame of reference for finding what works for me.
- Tailwind, I have not done much with. It is still on the “To Do” list, but I have 100 free trial pins and I don’t want to waste them. I am saving them for a time that I can concentrate more on it and make it more productive. After my first 100 trial pins, it is a paid $15/month service, although there is a way to sign up for an affiliate program where you can refer a friend and you and a friend get a month free. I may look into that when I decide to really delve into Tailwind.
- My Contentment Questing Facebook page is up to 60 likes and 61 follows. I have had a few comments on some of my posts from there and it is really helping my post reach! Thank you for commenting on those!
- My Pinterest page reach was 1.1k last month. This month… 5.5K! Holy Smokes!!! I am blown away by that! I hope that both my “reach” and my followers continue to increase on Pinterest.
- I have signed up for Mailer Lite and created an email list. I have the form for it, and a nice pop-up on the blog itself. (I hope it is popping up for you?) So far, I have not gotten any sign-ups, but it has been up for less than a week, so I remain hopeful.
- I created a free printable on meal planning! If you sign up for the email list, you will get a link to download it, plus a pretty detailed explanation of how I do it and an example. I know some people just write a meal plan down with no issues, but others seem to struggle with it. I have included a tip in there that should help if you are one of the people (like me) that has a hard time coming up with what to write down when it comes meal planning time.
- I have attended a few webinars. One was on Pinterest and had some great ideas for some changes that I need to implement. The other was with Suzi (at startamomblog.com) and they covered growing an email list. It was sponsored by Convertkit, and had some really nice freebies. Convertkit looks like a really nice program, but I am hesitant to start sinking too much money into a blog that is not making anything yet. I loved the free trial and they had some amazing tutorials and customer support. If I ever grow to the point that my email list is huge, I may consider them again, but I am not at that point yet. Mailer Lite is free to 1000 subscribers. Since I have all of ONE person on my email list (and that’s me) it seems more than sufficient for now. To be fair, Mailer Lite does not seem like it has as many features as Convertkit. However, I do not need a bunch of awesome features right now.
- Since January 16th-23rd It seems like I have had an increase in my page views per day! That is VERY exciting to me. 20 page views a day might not seem like that much to other people, but to me, that’s pretty darn exciting to know that people are that interested in what I am writing about!
- I have received some feedback from people about what they like reading about and I have gotten a few legitimate comments on posts!
Goals for Next Month:
I am almost hesitant to call this “goals” because I missed a few of them that I set, but I still feel like I have accomplished a lot this month.
- This month I want to finish reading the ebook called “Building a Framework” from Abby at justagirlandherblog.com . I am a few chapters into it, but so far it is good and I will be able to tell you more next month when I finish it.
- I want to get a more clear direction of what to do next. As I mentioned at the top of this post, I am on information overload right now. There is a LOT of blogging information out there, and I know there are a lot of quality products, but I can’t afford to buy them all, nor do I have time to read it all. I want to read the ebook that I already have and go from there.
- Continue being active in blogging Facebook groups
- Continue to bring you high-quality blog posts about topics you care about. Please let me know what is working for you and what you would like to see more of!
- I may need to cut back the number of blog posts per week to give myself time to read the information that I already have. I will stay with 2 a week if I can, but I may have to cut it back to 1 a week.
- I hope my Pinterest reach continues to increase. I am pretty blown away by the 5.5k reach right now, and I hope to continue to see increasing numbers there.
- Stay focused on my main goal of helping and inspiring people. Yes, making money from the blog would be nice (which is done when someone clicks on an ad or goes through one of my affiliate links and buys a product; both at NO extra cost to you.) but my MAIN goal is to help and inspire people. I think what I am MOST excited about are the connections I have made and the interactions that I have had either in private messages or comments.
Wish List for Next Month:
- I hope I get a few sign-ups for the email list. I know that I am extremely picky about who I subscribe to because if you get too many subscriptions at once it turns into non-helpful junk mail. If I do get subscribers, know that I will consider it a great honor and privilege to have your email. I will not share it with anyone else. I have a deep hatred of spam, and I’m sure you do too. I want to collect email addresses so that I can get to know my audience better and hopefully tailor the blog to better meet my audience’s needs. I also intend to just flat out send some encouragement to your inbox from time to time. We can all use more of that, right?
Thank you so much for sticking with me. When I first started I did not think that I would have a SINGLE person reading this blog. The fact that I have gotten almost 600 page views in the past 2 months is huge! The other thing that is incredible is how supportive everyone has been. It is more humbling than I can express that you would take time out of your day to visit my blog and read posts here. Perhaps even more so is that you COME BACK for more when I have new posts!
I am humbled that you would read what I write and that you would enjoy what I have to say. I am BEYOND thankful for my readers and friends. I am greatly enjoying having a creative outlet and the challenge of learning new things. It does get frustrating at times, but that is a part of learning anything new. I am looking forward to another great month. Thank you for Contentment Questing with me!
Other Posts about my Blogging Journey:
One Month of Contentment Questing
Why Blog # 2? From Accidental Launch to Finding my Blogging Heros
Why Blog #1? The Start of Contentment Questing