I see posts all over pinterest about tips and tricks for starting a blog only to click on the links and get a pretty picture asking me to register for a course. I get it, people need to make money. That doesn’t make these posts any less infuriating. So I wanted to actually tell people what I’ve learned in my first month blogging.
This is not one of those click-baity posts. It has been a month since I began this blog and I want to share some of what I’ve learned.
No, I’ve not made millions of dollars. No, I have no intention of quitting my day job. But, I do have quite a few followers on a variety of social media sites, my pinterest analytics are on the rise, and people visit my blog daily.
So what have I learned?
Find your REAL audience.
When I began this blog I read a lot from social media influencers. One ofthe tips I saw suggested friending/following as many people as possible on twitter/instagram/pinterest and to join “new blog” groups. This advice isn’t bad, but a few weeks in to this process I realized that the audience I had created was a mirage. Instead, I switched focus and became a bit more proactive in attracting my target audience to follow my social media accounts. In doing this, I’ve been able to find people who are generating content that is interesting to me and it isn’t a chore to interact with. Sure, I could probable inflate my numbers by following everyone on twitter, but I like the more “organic” audience generation I’m creating with my strategy.
Quality Pins (and your mom) drive blog traffic.
I love the analytic side of blogging and social media (I do teach stats after all). Because I regularly check the data on my blog, I know pinterest (and my mom) are the two biggest sources of blog traffic. This isn’t really surprising – I don’t seek out blogs, pinterest has always been my middle man.
It is ok not to write every day.
Unless you plan on having your blog become your sole source of income, life often gets in the way of writing blog posts – and that is ok. Blogging is a hobby/quasi-research project for me. I tried initially to write a post every-other day…but my real job and my real family take priority over blogging, so I wasn’t able to maintain posting every other day. It would be easy to get discouraged, but what would that accomplish? Having a few quality posts a month, while promoting older posts on social media, is more than enough content for readers to consume. Over time you will accumulate posts, and having quality posts will be more beneficial to you than having a lot of rushed posts.
Turning a profit takes time.
It has been established that this blog is a hobby of mine – it is quite possible that if I put more effort in (and harassed my social media followers more) I could have made some money this month. But I didn’t. I didn’t have the expectation that I would make any money – I told my husband if I got a free coffee out of my blog I’ll consider that a success. There are other measures of success. For me, seeing increased blog and social media traffic is satisfying and sustains me (for the moment).
Having attainable goals gives you something to work towards. That said, here are a few short-term goals I have for my blog:
- Reach 1,000 true twitter followers
- Write 5 blog posts per month
- Grow my blog’s daily Pinterest impressions to over 500
- Create content based on what has been successful on my Pinterest boards
If you have a blog, what goals have you set for yourself? What has worked for you?