I am very excited to say that I have reached my One Year Blogiversary! A year ago I felt lost without any hobbies because during grad school, I didn’t have time for anything but work, sleep, and school. So, all of my hobbies turned into distant memories and when it came time to have free time again, I didn’t know what to do with myself. All of the hobbies that I’d once loved didn’t seem relevant or interesting to the person I’d grown into. So, there it started, I began this blog.
I started off strong, posting three times a week but after two months completely burned myself out and didn’t touch the blog for a few months after. At the beginning of 2016, I picked the blog up again and decided to only post once a week until I could get into a good rhythm.
Great news is that one post per week has been entirely doable. I typically try to create all of my posts a month ahead that way if I decide I want to take time off from the blog nobody will notice. 😉 So I’ve realized, creating posts is probably the easiest part of blogging. I had no idea what all I was getting into when I began this journey but I am loving every bit of it! From promoting, to website design, to monetization, blogging can easily take up my whole day if I’m not careful.
Of course, it was not all fun and games and I had a few pitfalls along the way. Here are my top three blogging pitfalls from year 1.
- Blogger vs WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – I started my blog on a blogger site because I was familiar with the platform and it was easy to use. I quickly realized that WordPress was the place to be but of course didn’t realize the difference between .com and .org so I ended up having to completely move my blog two times instead of one and lost stats both times. I should have known because I used to have a website for my old business and it was on wordpress.org. Who knows but that was definitely a mess to sort out.
- The Burnout – I definitely went too hard to fast with the blog and learned my lesson pretty quickly. I now make sure that I only write when I’m in the writing mood. If I get in the mood to write, I’ll keep writing posts until I’m no longer in the mood. This keeps me ahead and gives me a buffer just in case I don’t feel like writing.
- The Importance of Pinterest – When I began blogging, I was very against taking the time just to make a fancy photo for the blog post. I figured if I had the text and I had the photos supporting the text, why make another photo. Oh how I’ve learned. Well of course, to entice people to click on the photo and get to the website.
Now on to a more fun topic, the stats! I’ve seen many graphs showing exponential growth on blogs and I wondered what would it take to experience something similar. Well, I’ve figured out that it takes dedication and hard work, of course. In just one year, my social following has grown to five times the size it was when I began. I’ve found many Facebook groups to help gain followers and with each follower I gain, I see a bit more regular traffic.
Once I got back into blogging in January, my views started to increase and even spiked to over 6000 in March when I had two of my four monthly posts picked up some wind from Stumbleupon. It was my unspoken goal this year to be around 3000 views per month. When I started blogging, 100 views per day seemed so huge, but now, I’m roughly at this goal! As I also hit 5k views in one month during year one, I’m anxiously awaiting the day when my monthly stats come in saying 10k views in a month. Hopefully this will happen in year two!
I was also able to earn some real money during year one which I did not expect to happen so soon. I had a big spike during February and March when I was working on a side project through Ebyline. Since the project has ended, I’ve made less income but I’ve really been able to focus on other aspects of the blog.
And for the most important part, my top five wins in blogging year one.
- Earning over $400 blogging income in a one-month period
- Automating my landing page and category pages to update when a new blog is posted
- Getting featured on two Linky posts – the only two I posted in actually J
- Gaining roughly 2000 followers
- Enjoying my time blogging and being excited about what’s to come
In Year two, I’m going to do weekly #TBT – Throw Back Thursday to feature last year’s posts and hopefully keep the traffic alive on the older posts.
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