This post about my first month blogging is certainly overdue, but I wasn’t sure at first if anyone would be interested in reading about how my first month of blogging went since I didn’t break any blogging records or anything phenomenal.
I’ve changed my mind and have decided to open up about the details of how blogging is going for me behind the scenes because I know a lot of you out there may be wanting to start a blog of your own. One of the things that encouraged me most to start this blog was reading other bloggers’ failures and successes as well as their income reports and that’s why I want to share my blogging secrets with you (if I have any!). Please know, I do not in any way post this information to be prideful. I am putting myself out there and genuinely want to help others by sharing.
I like to set goals each month for my blog and I try to select one primary goal and two smaller goals before I hash out a game plan and a to-do list to help me reach my blogging goals for that month. Doing this keeps me focused because with blogging it is so easy to get distracted by something shiny and new that you think your blog may “need.” I’m going to talk to you about the things I did in my first month blogging that worked, what I tried that failed and any tools I used to help me get there.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through one of the links I’ve provided, I will receive a very small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog, the work I love!
I have to be perfectly honest and admit that when I nervously and excitedly pressed ‘publish’ on this blog, I had no real goals in mind for my first month blogging. I had read time and time again to keep in mind that it may take 6 months before I saw any significant traffic or before I could monetize my blog. I just didn’t know what to expect. Imagine my surprise when I began to notice a few thousand pageviews rolling in! When I noticed this happening, I set my goal to reach 10,000 pageviews in this month. I didn’t meet that blogging goal, but I also didn’t expect to make that a realistic goal so soon!
83% of my total traffic came from social media and 94% of my total social media traffic came from Facebook. I feel like the reason this specific source was so high is for two reasons: I shared the launch of my blog with my Facebook family and I am very active in Facebook groups in a non-spammy way (nobody likes spam!).
Most Popular Post
My most viewed post this month was this one which reached 1,507 page views for the month. When I wrote the post, I didn’t expect this one to be as popular as it was, but I think the toy decluttering challenge helped it to generate most of its traffic.
Email Subscribers- 42
12/22- 0 1/21- 42
I didn’t launch my blog with an opt-in already in place. That was likely a big failure on my part, but I was eager to get eyes on my words. Email newsletters and subscribers are something I was learning about in the first week of blogging from an amazing blogger who specializes in email lists named Meera Kothand. Then I set out to create a free product for my readers that would be very valuable and helpful. It took me longer than I wanted it to, but when I finally launched my free eCourse, Decluttering With Kids, I had a great response. In my first month blogging, I grew my email list from zero to 42 subscribers (okay, 41 if you don’t count my Mom! lol). Considering that it took me a few weeks to write and test my eCourse before I could launch it, I am thrilled with those numbers!
When I first launched my email list, I tried signing up for a free account on a popular site, but had issues sending out emails from the very first day. This forced me to use a plugin in WordPress which was very clunky and had no automations which meant that every morning I had to use valuable time manually sending out eCourses and newsletters. I switched to ConvertKit after my first month blogging because of the incredible recommendations from other bloggers and I couldn’t be happier! (More on that in my next report- My Second Month of Blogging)
12/22- 0 1/21- 675
To say I was shocked at how quickly my Facebook page grew is an understatement. I created my Facebook page on December 27, five days after launching MamaBear Martin: Minimalism + Motherhood. At the end of my first month blogging on January 21, I had 675 likes and even more followers! In one day alone I had 100 people like my page!! Wow! As you can see from the graph, this was all organic and unpaid likes.
12/22- 0 1/21- 400+
I created an Instagram page for MamaBear Martin: Minimalism + Motherhood so I could showcase the Minimalist Mama Game we played during my first month blogging. I just realized that I can switch to a business page so that I can access my analytics to see what my readers like most. I’m currently in the process of doing that.
12/22- 0 1/21-4
To be perfectly honest, I’m guessing at this number. I don’t understand how to use Twitter and I didn’t make the attempt to learn in my first month blogging. I know it’s a great tool for bloggers, but my time is better spent on Facebook. I was focusing instead on the Minimalist Mama Game, creating my eCourse and simply learning how to blog. I had quite a few very frustrating bugs this month (user errors- my fault). I have already had to contact BlueHost customer service in my first month, but luckily for me they are AMAZING and the issue I was having was easily and quickly resolved.
I have a Pinterest account, but I haven’t made the switch to a business account yet. Pinterest was not at the top of the priority list this month. Gasp! I know. I know.
Blogging Income Report
I never would have dreamed that I’d be able to say that I monetized my blog in the first month. The amount I made this month is laughable (really), but it’s not the amount I earned in my first month blogging that’s important. I feel so incredibly blessed that I’m able to say I made any amount in my very first month!
Earnings for January 2017:
Affiliate income- $3.08
- I created a free eCourse to encourage readers to join my email list for more great freebies and decluttering tips.
- Interacting in Facebook groups related to my blog’s niche topic
- I met a fellow blogging newbie (in a Facebook group no less!), Liz Wilcox, who has encouraged and motivated me almost since day 1! I also wrote my first guest post for her blog this month.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK?
- Not having my opt-in freebie ready for my email list from day one
- Spreading myself too thin by trying to post on too many social media sites
- Issues with technology which is just part of the blogging learning curve. I was frustrated many times this month because I am not handy with technology and I wished many times that I had the money to pay someone to do the hard work for me. At the end of the day though, I’m extremely grateful that I have had to teach myself how to fix these issues. It’s valuable information to know firsthand how the technology side of blogging works.
TOOLS FOR SUCCESS:
These are the tools that helped me have such a great first month blogging:
BlueHost– I signed on for BlueHost to host my domain because of the price (a FREE domain name + 3.95/month!), reputation, and ease of use. I just had to click one button to install WordPress. If you’re wanting to start a blog, start off on the right foot with BlueHost. Don’t register for a free WordPress.com account if you’re wanting to turn your blog into a business. You only own the rights to your domain (aka can monetize it) if you buy a domain name. I’m so glad I learned that before I began my first month blogging because I’m very frugal and I’d be inclined to go the other route.
ConvertKit– Okay, so I didn’t technically sign up for ConvertKit this month, but I wish I did! It has totally changed the blogging game for me. It is SO MUCH more than just an email system. ConvertKit hosts a landing page for your opt-in so that you can generate more subscribers and it has automation features. I’m obsessed with the analytics they provide about the emails I send. ConvertKit tells me the open rate of my sent emails, the conversion rate of my products (aka how many people sign up) and also how many people unsubscribe. I like to know what my readers like and what they don’t so that I can create and compile topics that interest them most! This is solid gold!
Read next month’s blog income report here.
Do you want to start a blog? Let’s talk in the comments below.