How has it already been one month since launch? My first post went live exactly one month ago today. It’s flown by quickly and there are 1 million things still on my to do list, but I’m slowly making progress. One thing I didn’t really realize before my first month of blogging? There’s so much learning necessary in the early days of launching your own blog.
How did the first month go?
So far, so good. I love writing and am feeling energized by this new hobby. It’s a great creative outlet and I’m in that early honeymoon stage where I have way more ideas than I have time. Focus is definitely something I’m working on. Using Elite Blog Academy as a framework helps because I tend to flit from shiny object to shiny object.
Coolest moment? I included a number of bloggers I admire in a round-up post and gathered up the courage to mention them when I shared the link on Twitter. A few messaged me back and shared or liked my tweet. I’m still giddy with excitement that real people I admire responded! Of course, I originally told myself I’d focus on writing posts and growing my Pinterest presence for the first few months. But the draw of actually connecting with people on Twitter while working through these early days of no one reading my blog but my husband was too strong. (And honestly, I don’t know that he’s actually reading it. But he’s one of two people in real life who know this blog exists!)
I’m still finding my voice. I know it may take awhile, but I so want my writing to sound like me now. Sometimes I think it does and sometimes it feels a bit stilted. I’m going to keep playing around with it. And reminding myself that progress, and not perfection is the goal.
Designing good Pinterest images is a skill. This is one of those things I hope I get better & faster at in time. I’m struggling with finding fonts that pair up well and are bold enough to pop on a phone screen. But after taking the Pinning Perfect course I changed up the look of my pins and I’m liking them better.
I write better when I time block writing and have silence. Some of my best writing has happened late at night, on planes, or in hotels. I find writing easier when I have solid chunks of time to myself, but thankfully editing can happen in smaller bursts while juggling family commitments.
- Researching & selecting an email platform
- Choosing a theme
- Setting up a GSuite account
- Installing Google Analytics
- Adding some plug-ins
- Converting to a business Pinterest account
- Figuring out how to embed Tweets & YouTube videos
- Claiming my social media profiles
- Setting up a sidebar and beginning to optimize it
- Learning to use Canva (at least the basics!)
- Signing up for Amazon Affiliates
- Pinning Perfect: this course is great! I flew through it in a couple hours the first time and plan on working my way through again slowly now that I have the basics down
- Elite Blog Academy: this one will be a work in progress for a while! I’ll share a review once further along
Note: it’s absolutely possible to bootstrap your blog launch. In my case, (with a well-paying time intensive job + little kids at home I want to spend as much time with as possible,) I decided time was at more of a premium than money. What has this meant for my first month? I’ve been on a bit of a spending spree.
I’ve chosen to spend a bit on training, rather than spend additional time trying to figure it all out on my own. And in cases where I could have chosen a cheaper option (hello MailChimp, a great free email solution), I’ve chosen to save myself time and energy down the road by just launching with my preferred provider now. So…no one has signed up for my email list yet (goal for next month: create a free opt-in), but I’m paying for Drip and beginning to learn the platform.
Eventually I hope to make enough money from my blog to offset the costs, but for now it’s going in the category of expensive hobby.
So What Did I Buy?
- Hosting: WP Engine
- Theme: StudioPress
- Stock Photos: HauteStock
- Pinterest Training: Pinning Perfect
- Professional Looking Email Address: GSuite
- Pinterest Scheduler: Tailwind
- Image Editing: Canva
- Miscellaneous Resources: The Ultimate Bundle: Genius Bloggers Toolkit 2018
- Plug-ins: Tasty Pins (to simplify keeping photo metadata for Google separate from my pin descriptions)
- Email Marketing: Drip
Podcasts Listened To:
I have a long commute. I hate driving. It’s a bit of a mismatch, but I enjoy what I do and it pays well. Thankfully, all that time in the car is great for listening to podcasts. Though if I ever meet any of these people in person I have a feeling I’m going to think they’re talking slow. Other than John & Sheri from Young House Love, who I can only listen to on 1.5x speed, everyone else is sped up to 2x. What can I say…I talk fast myself and I like to be efficient!
This month I’ve been binging on the following:
- The Blog Millionaire: Brandon’s posts are packed with great information. I’ve saved a number of episodes to listen to again, which I almost never do. And I’ve implemented his tip to use embedded tweets to add more images to my posts during my first month of blogging.
- Simple Pin Podcast: love these ladies! After listening to a few episodes, I chose to go all in on Pinterest and purchased the Pinning Perfect course they recommend.
- House of FI: Wendy & Timika are awesome and I love hearing more women discussing financial independence. They provide a ton of practical advice and real life stories.
- The Fairer Cents: Women digging into real money issues. So much love for this podcast. Kara and Tanja are at different stages of their personal financial journeys which lets them approach topics from different perspectives.
- Afford Anything with Paula Pant: Paula is so entertaining that I listen to every episode, including her real estate Q&A ones, even though I have very little interest in real estate investing.
Posts from My First Month of Blogging
- Not Just Another Personal Finance Blog
- 5 Easy Ways to Kickstart Your Journey to Financial Freedom
- 6 Tips for Planning an Unforgettable (and Affordable) Girlfriend Getaway
- How to Build an Emergency Fund in 6 Months
- 10 Reasons Why Prestige at the Palazzo is Worth the Splurge
- 6 Tips for Decluttering Toys to Minimize the Overwhelm
- How to Balance Investing Versus Debt Payoff
- My Favorite Blogging Tip
- Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers that Encourage Creative Play
- 27 Actionable Financial Independence Tips: The Ultimate Financial Independence Guide
- 13 Amazing Debt Payoff Stories
Goals for Next Month
- Create an email opt-in
- Attend the Cents Positive retreat and make some blogger connections in real life
- Add 10 more posts to my site
- Continue improving my Pinterest images
- Explore keyword research tools
Metrics From My First Month of Blogging
Pinterest: 7.2k monthly viewers. 299 monthly engaged. 103 followers.
Twitter: 52 followers. 21 likes.
Website: 18 visitors (I’m pretty sure that at least three of these are me. I need to figure out how to filter out internal traffic so I’m not driving up the numbers!)
What I’m Skipping for Now:
Instagram. Love the platform, but I don’t want to get sucked down that rabbit hole too quickly.
Creating my own products. While I may try this eventually, there’s too much else on my to-do list in my first month of blogging!
Having a professional logo designed. I’m hoping text will suffice for a bit. I’m still figuring out my target audience. And, I don’t want to spend too much time worrying about what my site looks like before I’ve actually created some great content that drives traffic.
YouTube. It seems harder to remain anonymous and create a video I’d actually want to watch. And the learning curve feels steep! This is on my do it scared list for the future.
Advertising. I’m not planning to explore advertising until I have enough traffic to qualify for a quality program like Mediavine.
And that wraps up my first month of blogging. On to month two 🙂
Are you a blogger? What were your key takeaways from your first month of blogging? And if you’re thinking of blogging but haven’t launched yet, what’s holding you back?