July Recap: My first month as a business blog

July Recap: My first month as a business blog

This isn’t going to be your standard “Oh, I made $1,000 this month from my blog!” type of post. Trurthfully, I haven’t even started to monetize my blog or make money off of the services I want to provide people.

However, I’ve seen so many uplifting aspects to blogging when it comes from monetizing your blog or growing your business, so I wanted to form my own contribution of a great month gone by blogging.

My Why

I’ve done a few things since I started my own site, which mainly began to show off my creative portfolio. That’s all this site was originally going to be. A way for me to house my projects to show potential employers what I can do with my set of skills.

I’ve tried blogging in various contexts before. I’ve done it as a hobby, as a part of my creative portfolio, and sometimes as a class requirement.

So I started a money making blog last yea, thinking I’d be old hat at this by now. I had probably started seeing people (mainly accounts on Pinterest) talk about blogging as an income nearly a year ago, so I thought, “I could do that.”

It wasn’t what I thought in the least.

My big attempt at blogging had no roadmap whatsoever. I was going in blind and feeling like I was going to crash all the time. I also focused on everything. Facebook, Instagram, Posting, affiliates: it was all too much.

I stopped blogging for about a year after that, convinced that it wasn’t for me.

But I started thinking about it again a few months ago. However, I was scared about going into the same spiral that demoralized my spirit last time.

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I reached out to my cousin, Jessica Freeman. Jessica runs her own successful web and graphic design business, Jess Creatives, out in Georgia and has been a great mentor to me, both with blogging and my own professional life.

I explained that I was interested in blogging as a side business but was feeling overwhelmed with all the information and content that was at my fingertips. How could I give this a real try while feeling stressed and troubled by all of what I supposedly needed to do?

She gave me some solid advice that day: “Focus on consistently blogging and Pinterest. You aren’t going to get very far if you don’t have an audience, and, if you don’t like doing it as a hobby, you know you won’t really like it as a business.”

I remember sitting in my local McAlister’s Deli that morning and just taking a deep breath out of relief. I finally knew how to proceed without going over my own head.

Since then, I’ve had some really uplifting progress from my start about a month ago. I’ve remained focused on Pinterest, posting on the blog 2-3 times a week and maybe a post in LinkedIn or Facebook every once in a while.

Pinterest Engagement

Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest has been my main focus for traffic and in the past week, it’s shown how much an impact it has on my website’s traffic.

Conversions

One of my post’s pins has the most Impressions, Engagement, Close-Ups, and Saves on my Pinterest Analytics, and not by a small margin either. It’s gaining about twice the amount of Impressions as another pin that I pinned from another account.

If you’re familiar with Pinterest Analytics, you might have noticed I left off Link Clicks. It’s ranking in second there, by 2.

The fact that the pin, at this point, has only been up for a week surprised me in it’s impact. I still see some conversion from my earlier content and pins but that’s the best one so far.

I’ve noticed the interaction that I’ve gained from that post has impacted my websites analytics as well. It’s been steadily growing with almost passive pinning from yours truly.

Refer to learn about the 6 Tips to Build a Creative Portfolio.

Squarespace Analytics

Squarespace Analytics

Due to this pin, and many others, I’ve gained a new high.

I love refreshing my Squarespace Analytics. I have the app, so I will routinely check in on things at work in my very limited down time.

At this particular moment, I have 94 unique visitors, 79 visitors and about 121 page views.

I try not to focus much on anything else, but I know most of my visitors are from social and on their mobile devices. While unbeknownst to me, I gain about 2x more traffic from Facebook than Pinterest. I’m still trying to figure that one out, due to not having much engagement on my Facebook page or posting about my articles on that platform.

Squarespace Analytics

My best guess is from interacting with other blogging groups and asking for feedback. Everyone is encouraging and insightful in their feedback which is always appreciated but it does manipulate the statistics concerning my feedback a bit.

A large portion of my time, like Pinterest, is devoted to seeing what other bloggers are viewing.

A lot of my views are from my home page, which, to me, is great because it teaches others about the priorities of my blog.

My other posts are slowly, but surely, making their way up the ladder. Similarly to my Pinterest Analytics, my best pin is connected to my best post with a few others close behind, but not really gaining the same ground.

Otherwise, I try to track the geography of my viewers. I tend to get a good variety of visitors but primarily they are located from the States, where I’m also located. Even though this doesn’t really impact my website’s performance very much, I find it extremely interesting and love following up with where my viewers are in the world.

Refer to my breakdown analysis for How to Understand: Squarespace Analytics.

Content Calendar

I’ve only created about 13 posts at this point, but it’s taken a lot of planning to get here.

Creating a calendar for my posting schedule has eased my anxiety so much. I was always worried about what was next and what I needed to do to write the next post.

My calendar mainly stays within Google and I try to stay as faithful to the set up I’ve set for myself. I’ve kept true to posting 2-3 times a week with the schedule as it is but I have found it’s very easy to be tempted.

Google Calendar-Blog

I’ve had to rearrange my posting schedule once or twice in the past month. While I’m not proud about it, I knew it was essential for my own sanity and personal well-being to move things around.

I’ve also been learning what a potential audience would like to see from my website. Even if I have a topic I’ve been planning for weeks, I might notice that some of my recent posts pertaining to a similar topic aren’t doing so well.

I remember I was really proud of a few financial posts I had written a while ago. I posted them and made sure to promote them on Pinterest pretty heavily, thinking that they were what my audience would appreciate.

They didn’t perform badly, but they weren’t great either.

Refer to my analysis on 5 financial apps that I Swear by.

Community

Some of these successes are fairly small in the scheme of things.

My Pinterest Analytics show I have less than 1,000 engaged viewers and I’m probably averaging around 5-10 visitors on my blog a day.

That being said, I’m enjoying the growth that I’ve seen over the last month and the encouragement I’ve received from fellow bloggers and business owners.

I’ve seen many people encourage others in their blogging journey and offer advice whenever they are able. Sometimes the results are not what they wanted or expect but they appreciate all they receive in the meantime and continue to grateful to those around them.

I’ve really truly felt inspired around the blogging and virtual community that others have been building.

These communities have helped me succeed and adapt in this industry compared to floundering and hoping something sticks. Whether it’s with a free mini-course or an uplifting pin or Facebook post, I’m able to grow and thrive in a new, if not small, way that I was missing from before.

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Overall, I’ve had a great experience in managing and maintaining my blog so far. I hope that I continue to see improvement in the little things that I am able to accomplish throughout the next few months.

If you’ve found anything in this post as helpful or encouraging, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to keep updating others in a similar fashion along my journey.

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