How Did I Get Here? Second Month Blogging Lessons
I survived my second month blogging! Woot!! Coming into blogging I had a very warped idea about how you get followers, pins, page views, and monetize your blog.
I honestly thought that you just start a blog one day, all of the layouts and graphics are done for you online, and things just magically appeared on all of your social media accounts. And then you wake up with 8 million followers the next day.
To say the least, I was VERY wrong.
There’s been a LOT of work that goes into everything that happens in blogs. And I give every blogger so much credit for doing it all!
First, a little bit about me:
Just a few months ago,I thought that it was a joke to be a “full-time blogger.” And now here I am trying my hand at it!
If you only remember one thing about me, it’s that I’m not special. Not even close. I’m so average. I’m not a millionaire (far from it!). I don’t have the time to spend 24 hours a day working on my blog. I don’t have an English or journalism degree. And I’m definitely not a grammar pro (thanks to a free app called Grammarly, I don’t have to worry about looking like an idiot when I post things!).
I do love to write and I love to help people. And I’m really good at cutting out spending and finding new ways to save money. Through my blog, I have a way to help people find answers to their questions about how to save money, live on a budget, and get in control of their finances.
By writing about what I love, I’m hoping to be able to provide my family with a second income, while getting to stay at home with my children.
*Update (6/28/16): If you’re thinking about starting your blog for profit, you need to read Abby Lawson’s book Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook. If I had this book when I was starting out, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to figure out what I was doing! She has 209 pages of seriously amazing content for you to know exactly how she went from a hobby blog to earning a six-figure income!
So here’s what I’ve learned since my first month blogging.
Get them, use them, overuse them, make some money. I’ve had a really great experience with Share-a-Sale. They have a great selection of affiliates on there.
Personal favorites so far from Share-a-Sale:
- Julep – Their free welcome boxes are a great way to bring people in. Who wouldn’t want 3 gorgeous nail polishes and a shimmery eyeliner for $2.99? It basically sells itself!
- Fanatics – I’m a HUGE football fan, so I live tweet my team’s games on Sunday along with the link to get 20-50% off your team’s gear.
- Cents of Style – I’ve always loved Cents of Style! Their pictures are great and so are their products. Definitely a high-click company.
Other affiliates are out there, but these have been my biggest clicks from Share-A-Sale.
Amazon Affiliates: Get. It. NOW. I’ve actually started making money off of this! Not much at all, but some is better than none!
I’ve also been shocked by how many websites I love have their own affiliate programs! Check at the very bottom of your favorite websites
Ad placement makes a difference
If your when someone comes to your page and the first thing they see are 100 ads, do you think they’d stay on the site? Would YOU stay on a site like that?
Try out new marketing plans
My initial marketing plan was to find every single blog hop that I could and add my links. While that did increase my page views, I spent WAY too much time finding link ups.
A week ago, I changed it up and increased my internet presence on Facebook and Twitter. Initially, it went very poorly. I hadn’t discovered Hootsuite yet and I was overwhelmed by the constant posting.
Once I found Hootsuite, it was on. I was able to post all the time and never need to ACTUALLY post. But more on my love of Hootsuite at the bottom.
I post at least 6 times a day on Facebook:
- My post
- Morning and/or coffee picture and quote
- Shared post from friend blogger or Pinterest
- Shared recipe
- A quote/ funny picture
- Shared post
I’ve seen a huge increase in my followers on Facebook once I started posting more frequently.
(Note: Do NOT use Hootsuite or any other scheduling site to post to Facebook! Always post directly to Facebook using their scheduler! Otherwise, they get grumpy and don’t show your posts to people. Yes, I’m serious.)
Make a planner for each day
That may seem to some like a “duh” moment but I got more than halfway through October and found myself needing a checklist of things to do before I posted anything because I kept forgetting. Or I’d forget to post anything on Twitter all day. Or it’s 10pm and I forgot to make my image for my post that’s scheduled for 6am.
I got this planner because it had SUCH great reviews! And so far it really does help me keep everything that I need to do neatly in order.
Wake up earlier
I go to bed at 1am and get up at 7am no matter what. The kids get up and then I won’t be able to get ANYTHING done.
Get your butt on Pinterest and link to Twitter!
I always worry that I’m spammy on Twitter. I want people to say “she has good stuff on Twitter” and not “oh great, another ad for Julep.” So I linked my Twitter to my Pinterest account. Now anytime I Pin something, I have the option to post it to Twitter, too. Love doing that!
Social media needs to be social!
Connect with people! The blogging community is just that: a COMMUNITY! I absolutely LOVE the communities of Sverve and Blogher. Not only do they make money (I had my first sponsored post from Sverve this month! And I just got approved to be a social media influencer on Blogher), but it’s also great exposure for your blog!
*Update (6/28/16): Pinterest has a lot of tips and tricks that I wish I’d known from the beginning! This is the Pinterest Strategy Guide that I wish I’d known about from the beginning. If you’re serious about your blog, check it out for sure!
This is the book that took my friend, Brittany Ann from Equipping Godly Women, from 1,000 to 100,000 Facebook likes! Start off on the right foot with Pinterest and with Facebook!
Post everything you do to social media
Here’s how my social media life is broken down:
- Instagram – I’m taking a page from Crystal Paine and using Instagram for the “behind the scenes” view and my #30daysofthanks. I also use this as a platform to find some awesome small businesses on Etsy. I LOVE supporting small businesses, so if I can share their posts, I will! Even better if I’m looking to buy something for myself!
- Twitter – Quotes and intermittent affiliate ads. And funny pictures!
- Pinterest – Best pins are things about saving money and recipes. Repin and share some on Facebook.
- Facebook – This gets a little bit of everything. IG is linked, I share at least 3 ideas from Pinterest here, and I post some funny pictures or quotes that I’ve posted on Twitter.
Spam is a pain!
Seriously. Somehow, one of my links got posted on a spammer site and I woke up and had 150 comments overnight! I was so excited… until I realized they were ALL. SPAM.
I had to change the link to that post in order to get the spam to stop! But the best part about the spam: no one but me saw it thanks to needing to approve comments before they got published!
I love that glorious little delete button!!
Schedule posts to social media
Hootsuite is my new best friend. I may have gone a little crazy with the scheduling when I first figured it out. But I love it. I schedule probably 15 tweets or more each day. About half are affiliates and the other half are quotes or funny pictures. That’s not including what I post to Pinterest that gets tweeted. So far this ratio of posts is giving me a high yield.
I’ve increased my followers on all of my social media platforms 150%. On all of them. I’m blown away by that!
Make sure that you schedule Facebook posts right from Facebook! It’s easy to use on Facebook, and Facebook gets grumpy and won’t show people your posts if you use things like Hootsuite!
Bottom line from my second month in the blogosphere… I love it!
I absolutely love it. I’m learning so much and it’s fun to start connecting more! I know so little, but I’m always learning and growing. The blogging world is huge and it’s so important to differentiate yourself from everyone, while still supporting each other.
So much blog traffic comes from other bloggers. I’m finally starting to see a little trickle of money coming in and it’s very exciting! Not to mention that I’ve already broken even for the year on my startup expenses. Little victories here!
Grab your free copy of my Blog Resource Guide below!