If you’re on my email list (you can join here!), you know I set some lofty goals for 2018. Now that we are done with Q1, I thought it would be fun to share an update and see how I’m progressing with my goals.
As some background information, I’ve been blogging for 3 1/2 years, always part-time. In that time, I’ve had a full-time job (that I quit last year to focus on my blog and my family) and added a third baby girl to our family! When I started my blog, my first two little girls were just 2 and 1 years old. Life has always been very busy, but I’ve been able to grow this little blog slowly but surely!
If you have been thinking of starting a blog, I’d love to offer a few words of encouragement. First off, yes, it’s hard work. It takes time and the results are slowwwww, especially if you are working on it just part-time. I’ve never been able to devote more than 10-15 hours per week to my blog, most weeks much less. But, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to blogging. Those few hours per week add up and every year you’ll be shocked at how far you’ve come.
And YES, you most absolutely can make money blogging and completely change your life. The ONLY thing that separates profitable bloggers from the ones that don’t make money is TIME. The profitable bloggers DID NOT QUIT! So, if you do decide that you want to give this blogging thing a go, please be in it for the long haul! If you are, you will see results!
You can sign up here to get your FREE guide on starting and growing a profitable blog. I am also here to help, so please feel free to reach out any time!
How to Decide What to Blog About
I know I debated for a solid YEAR before actually starting my blog. A year! Looking back, I let fear stand in my way and thought I needed to choose the “perfect” topic. You guys, don’t listen to that voice!!! Your blog WILL change and evolve over time as you grow as both a blogger and an individual.
That being said – choose a more generic blog name that will allow you to switch up your topics, if you desire to. I usually recommend just choosing your name! 🙂 I totally wish I would have done that and eventually will migrate my blog over to my own name. Or, you can always choose something like “the well balanced mama” or “coffee and chocolate” (just silly examples, but you get the idea!!).
Don’t overthink it!! Just start 🙂
A look at some past income reports
I’ve been tracking my income since I started blogging, so it’s really fun to look back and see my progress! Unlike some bloggers, my income hasn’t grown substantially over the years. In fact, it’s been pretty consistent this whole time.
When I first started blogging, most of my income came from freelance writing. It was because of this blog, though, that I was able to break into the world of personal finance writing. Then, slowly but surely, my blog income started increasing so I started doing less freelance work. Now, I don’t do any freelancing so I can focus solely on my blog.
- April 2015: Highest freelance income month
- February 2016: Highest blogging income month
- March 2017: Quit my job!
- January 2018: Blogging income
I didn’t do income reports from July 2017 – December 2017, and now I do them sparingly. The main reason is – again – my income doesn’t really fluctuate that much. While I would LOVE for it to increase, the reality is I am just not able to devote hours and hours of time to my blog. I wish I could; but that’s just not possible with three kids ages five and under.
Again, I hope this encourages you on your own blogging journey. It’s OK if you’re not always “growing.” Starting a blog doesn’t have to be this huge, overwhelming task. Instead, do it because it’s fun! And eventually, you will see results if you stick with it!
First Quarter Blogging Results
My two goals for this year are simple:
- Hit 75,000 pageviews per month
- Make $30,000
Here’s a look at my pageviews the past three months:
- January: 45,802
- February: 46,862
- March: 67,635 *as of 3/29 (screenshot below)
My pageviews in March increased significantly because I am experimenting with Facebook ads. I ran an ad to these two posts: 5 Ways to Make $500 a Month and The Highest-Paying Side Hustles to Start Today and have spent $1,250 in ads so far (Ahhh!!!) which is very scary for me. And, other than an increase in pageviews, I’m not seeing too much of an increase in my income. I will probably continue running ads in April, but will keep my spending a bit lower.
My income for the past three months:
- January: $1,737.77
- February: $1,911.99
- March: $1,856.50
Keep in mind that this is money I actually received. Income I earned in March will be reported when I’m paid, which will be April-June.
If you multiply my income by four (four quarters in a year), I’m set to make just over $20,000, which is way under my goal of $30,000. However, the year is still young and I have hope that I will hit $30K. (And if not, that’s totally ok!!)
Tips for New Bloggers
Ok, so if you’re just starting out, there are some things I recommend you do right away.
- Start an email list. This can seem daunting, I know. I recommend using MailerLite (I use them now!) because they are free up to 1,000 subscribers. You don’t have to email your list immediately, but get one started anyways! Once you have a decent amount of subscribers (even 50!), start emailing them to form a better relationship! You can share your recent blog posts, what you’ve been up to, your journey with blogging so far, and more. I LOVE my email list; I feel like we’ve all become best friends. Here is how you can start and grow your email list.
- Use Tailwind. Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool. When you’re first starting out, join a bunch of group boards on Pinterest (sign up below for 25 boards accepting new members!) and create your own boards to match your blog. Once you’ve joined a good amount of boards, get Tailwind so you can schedule your pins rather than pinning manually. This saves me HOURS each week!
- Do one thing every day for your blog. This will help keep you moving forward. It can be very easy to feel like you’re making zero progress, but I promise you, you are. I highly recommend new bloggers do one blogging-related task every single day for the first year. You can outline or write a post, create images to share on Pinterest (check out these templates if graphic design isn’t your thing), share your posts to Facebook, tweak your blog theme/design, work on a free or paid product, etc.
- Create a freebie to get newsletter subscribers. Think about your “avatar,” ie the person you are writing your blog for. Who do you want to help? Is it new moms? Career women? Pet lovers? People wanting to learn how to cook? People who want to start an online business? Think about who you want for an audience and create a free product to get them on your email list!
Blog Plans 2018
I have tons of things I want to do for the blog… TONS! However, my girls will obviously be out of school for the summer, so I know realistically I may be in “maintenance mode” rather than growing. I will still be posting a few times per month and sending out newsletters about once a week.
If I DO manage to find some time this fall (and possibly this summer as I haven’t decided if we’re doing camps/Mom’s Morning Out yet), I have an awesome idea for a product. My audience is mostly moms and new bloggers. The first year of blogging is definitely the hardest because it’s all so new and it’s easy to sort of “wonder” what you should be doing. So, I want to create a huge, very detailed guide on what to do every single day for your blog for one year. My hope is it will encourage more of you to start blogs without fear knowing you have a cheat sheet at your fingertips.
How was your first quarter?! What are your goals for the remainder of the year?!