I’ve made it to month 3! I’ve learned SO MUCH this past month, and I’ve had many up’s and downs.
I’ve experienced different emotions when it comes to this blog. Everything from excitement, to frustration. So, why do I write these updates? #1 to motivate myself to keep going, and #2 in hopes to show my readers that hard work and dedication actually does pay off.
You often see income reports from big-name blogger and wonder how they felt in the beginning. Well, I’m in the beginning stages and I want to share EVERYTHING with my readers. Why? Because I feel that being transparent from the beginning builds trust, and I hope you continue to check up on my blog for progress updates. Yep, keep coming back, y’all.
( I no longer use Facebook for my blog, I personally hate it for bringing traffic to my blog). I still use my personal Facebook and utilize groups occasionally but that’s mostly for Pinterest, not direct traffic to my blog.
Pinterest: Goal 200- (Actual 205)
Pinterest has been my number one source of traffic to my blog. I’ve put a lot of work into my Pinterest account. I MET MY GOAL this month. I love that Pinterest is bringing me so much traffic. However, Pinterest also feels like this abyss of unvalidated information. How does the Pinterest Algorithm work? How do I get my Pins in front of the right people? Hmm, guess I’ll never know. I’ve seen SO many Pinterest rumors this month that I just stopped giving them the time of day.
June Goal: 240
Twitter: Goal 600- (Actual 540)
Insert sad face here. Actually, I’m starting to lose interest in Twitter. I may have a few views from Twitter but it’s maybe 1 or 2 a day. So I’m finding it’s not really worth my time so much anymore. You may see the Twitter following in the footsteps of Facebook soon.
June Goal: 600
Instagram: Goal : 900- (Actual 838)
I didn’t meet my goal for Instagram which is ok. My Instagram isn’t really related to my blog, it’s just a way for my readers to connect with me as a human being.
June Goal: 900
Tools I used this month: Paid and Unpaid
I invested… a lot of monthly this month. I was in a rut and didn’t know what to do next with my blog. I needed some direction so I jumped in head first and purchases the Pro Blogger Bundle from Create and Go (comes with 4 courses). So far it’s been very informative. I actually did a complete review of the Build and Launch your Blog course, you can find that here. Cost: $647 (if you don’t want to spend that much you can buy individual courses).
Here are the 4 courses available from Create and Go
I found Boardbooster when I was researching ways to grow my Pinterest account. It’s been a great tool to increase my re-pin rate and the number of views I’ve had each month. Cost: $5/month.
Utilization: I use board booster to post my pins to “tribes”. To get into “tribes” you apply to the ones you’re interested in. Once approved you can post your pin to that tribe for it to be re-pinned by others, and you contribute my pinning others. Luckily, the pinning process is simple. You don’t have to manually pin other people’s pins, Boardbooster does this for you. Other tools Boardbooster has to offer:
- Looping, “Looping helps you revive the older pins that you created or curated before you gained most of your followers. Chances are, some of the boards that you started a long time ago have hundreds of pins by now, and most of your current followers have never seen those pins. The easiest way to bring those pins back to life is re-pinning them to the same board. Looping can automate this process for you.”
- Campaigns, “Random Campaigns make it easy to promote your existing pins on group boards, Scheduled Campaigns publish pins with precise control over sequence and timing, which can help promote brand new pins, and Pin Sourcing Campaigns help you grow your boards by re-pinning the most successful pins from other people’s boards.”
- Scheduler: “Scheduler can help you publish pins to your personal boards or group boards.”
- Boardbooster also has a number of reports to track your growth, they also offer maintenance tools.
For the month of May, I left quite a few tribes, a lot of my Pins weren’t getting repinned. I’m still weeding through numerous tribes to find the ones that work best for me.
Another great tool for growing my Pinterest account. You can opt for the free version or the paid version. Cost: $0 I am currently using the free version but I plan to upgrade for the month of April. The cost is $15/month. Tailwind also has a number of great tools to help you grow your Pinterest account and ultimately your blog.
- With Tailwind you can also join tribes, however, you can only be in 5 tribes at once, and you can only pin 30 pins to your tribes each month.
- Schedule your pins from Tailwind. This is a great option to avoid flooding Pinterest all at one time.
- Monitor your domain by insights and organic activity. This is a great tool in my opinion.
- Track your brand page by profile performance, and board insights.
- Optimize your content with the pin inspector.
I’ve been tracking more insights on Tailwind! This has been helpful in deciding which group boards to stay with and which ones I should leave. I left about 3 group boards this month because of they well… suck. However, I’ve been added to a few more group boards, so we will see how those perform.
This one is great, I installed it on my toolbar. So anytime I make a spelling or grammatical error it lets me know. This is great for anyone really, bloggers or someone just sending an email.
So, on to traffic, the one thing all bloggers focus on. Myself included. I know I shouldn’t focus so much on traffic, but that’s hard for me to do. I’m not so concerned about the amount of traffic each month but I do want an increase each month. This shows me that my hard work is paying off.
Ok y,’all it may seem like I crashed and burned. However, my site was completely down for a full week during the month of May. I was implementing changes, and correcting some things. Yep, again. This is the last time I will completely shut down my site for changes. My goal for May was 1100, so I met my goal, YAY!
The goal for MAY: 1100 (my site was down for a whole week while I was making changes so that definitely affected my traffic for the month).
June Goal: 1300
Monthly costs for my second month of blogging
Come on guys, blogging isn’t FREE (well not serious blogging anyway). I do have monthly expenses. If you’re reading this and thinking about starting a blog but you don’t want to spend money on it, I’ve been there. My advice, just do it. I see many blogger advertising Bluehost which is a great hosting site but in my opinion expensive when just starting out. Instead, I went with Dreamhost. I pay per month instead of dropping hundreds of dollars upfront. This is a great way for people to get their feet wet when it comes to blogging. You can cancel your hosting plan at any time. If you’re interested you can click here and get a limited time discount! This discount is obviously an affiliate link. However, the discount you get comes directly from my commission. That’s how much I recommend Dreamhost.
Dreamhost: $10.95 – A monthly plan is a great option for those who don’t want to spend hundreds up front. You can sign up here if you’re interested.
Boardbooster: $5 I use board booster to add my pins to a number of tribes in order to get more traction. The more visibility for your pins the more potential for traffic you get.
Tailwind: $15 I use tailwind to schedule my pins and track my progress. It’s been a great tool for me as far as Pinterest goes. A good chunk of my traffic comes from Pinterest so it’s definitely worth the investment for me.
Deposit Photo: $30 Stock photos are so expensive. However, it’s worth it from time to time in order to stand out in the crowd. I use the monthly plan and pay $30 for 30 photos.
Canva: $13 Canva has a free version and a paid version. I opted to go with the paid version because it saves me quite a bit of time. I can resize and download on transparent backgrounds with the paid version.
Create and Go Courses: $647 I know that $647 is a lot of money to drop in the early stages of blogging. However, investing in yourself is important.
TOTAL: $ 720.95
Income for the month of May: $3.65
Where I stand for my second-month blogging- April: $-717.30
Overall I’m happy with my second month of blogging. I’ve seen an increase in traffic, which is an important factor when trying to build a successful blog.
Time spent for the month of April: Over 40 hours a week
Goals for June
Continue producing quality content, learning more about Pinterest, and not feeling overwhelmed by the workload. I also hope to make at least a little bit of money this month.
Advice: If you are just starting your blog your first few months blogging the hardest part. You have to learn, make mistakes, and grow. Don’t give up.
Anything you want me to add to this report? Let me know!