Hello sweet friends! Thanks for checking in! It is exciting and moderately weird to be writing this income and traffic report. I started this blogging journey as a creative outlet for projects and ideas that inspire me in May 2015. I used the free version of WordPress.com, with no intention of building the blog into a business or to market anything. In two years, I wrote 10-11 posts, haphazardly, really at random. I loved expressing me!
Preparing to Launch my Newly Made Over Blog
In January 2017, I started researching fabulous friends that blog as a business. I was blown away to learn that some bloggers actually make money from their hobby- and some make A LOT OF IT! While money is not my primary driving force (I actually love my day job and plan to stick with it), I was curious about the process of blog monetization and how it could work for my little blog about home decor and projects.
I spent April and May doing heavy research on what it takes to turn a blog into a successful business, building a content calendar, signing up to be an affiliate marketer with companies, and maybe most important- developing a marketing plan w/ a strong emphasis on social media.
Ready, Set, Launch!
On June 5, I launched my new, self-hosted blog with this post on how to paint a stair rail. I set the following goals for the month of June:
1 new post every Monday
1000 page views (798 actual)
Experiment w/ various ads and marketing affiliate links
Share my blog on all social media, w/ strong emphasis on Pinterest and Instagram
I know what you are thinking- why in the world would I set a goal of zero dollars profit? While I worked tirelessly on this blog in May and June, I know it is not realistic to think I will turn a profit in month one. Hopefully by August/September I will start to see a few dollars rolling in.
Investing Time in My Blog
So let’s talk about this- how much time do you need to spend on a blog? I bet this answer varies, but I am happy to share specifics about the time I have spent/continue to spend on my blog. In May, I was busy revamping old posts and signing up for affiliates. Okay, I first needed to learn what it means to be an affiliate and I did some research into how to better craft my previous posts. (I published 10-11 posts while with the free version of WordPress.)
A lot of blogging, especially in the beginning, is just that: researching, trying things, researching some more. Because I work a job I love during the day (I am a middle school assistant principal ), this prep work was done in the evening and weekends. On average, I probably spent 10-12 hours per week on my blog.
I launched from my self-hosted site on June 5, and let me share the weekend prior I probably spent 12 hours getting it ready! Not kidding!! I am not very techy, so setting up my site took hours. After launch, my Amazon links were not working properly and I spent 5 hours over three days trying to fix it!
I went on summer break from my day job in June, which was awesome because it gave me tons of time to work on my blog. I easily spent 20-30 hours per week writing/revising content, figuring out affiliate partnerships, researching and trying ways to increase blog traffic, creating a Pinterest marketing strategy and putting it to work, engaging on social media w/ other bloggers, etc. And I LOVE it!! I am learning a lot and I am really excited about some future plans I have for my little blog!
I am never not thinking about my blog. Is that weird?! As I write this, I am on vacation with my family in Michigan and I spent this morning on Pinterest researching Tailwind tribes. I love that my mind stays busy doing something I love!
Have you thought of starting a blog? I love the WordPress platform, and Bluehost is a great option for self-hosting. If you are like me, and have limited technical skills, Bluehost can help get you up and running in no time! For just $3.95 per month, you can get started. Blogging has been an incredible adventure so far. Excited to have friends explore this journey too!
Traffic, Traffic, and hopefully More Traffic
So, let’s talk about traffic. I expected month one to be light. I set a goal of 1000 page views as a way of being super optimistic. Friends, I cannot believe I had 798 page views. Most encouraging is the fact that 396 of those page views came in in the last 6 days of the month! I stayed up late the night of June 24 and finally started my free Tailwind trial for pinning pins to Pinterest.
I had signed up for Tailwind at the beginning of June but I was just too overwhelmed to do anything with it. June 24 became the day I started it- and boom, literally the next day I had 62 page views!! My highest ever!! So wonderful after many days of 1, 2, or maybe 3 page views. The only days I saw more than single digits were the days I posted a new blog post and blasted it on social media!
The free trial with Tailwind limits the number I can schedule to 3-4 pins per day, so I do plan to sign up for the 400 pins per month plan. Currently, I belong to only five group boards, but I also plan to try and score invites to at least a dozen more in July. Extra pins will be needed! Eventually I will probably need the unlimited pins plan but I will cross that bridge when I am ready for it. I am a firm believer in the power of Pinterest to drive traffic!
Finally, as I wrap up a terrific first month of blogging, I want to set clear and specific goals for July! Here goes:
- One blog post each Monday, having each post ready to publish 2-3 weeks prior
- Plan content calendar through October
- 2500 page views
- Be a part of 16 group boards by the end of July
- Be more active on Facebook group boards, engaging 5/7 days
- Start Mailchimp for newsletters
Want to check out my other June blog posts?
Thanks for checking in, friends! Be sure to check back soon for the income and traffic report for July. If you want weekly blog updates, be sure to subscribe!
I can honestly say this month has been a fun adventure! Launching my newly made over blog has been a lot of work and I am loving the process. So many things I cannot wait to share with you!