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Well it’s been my first full month back at blogging and man has it been an adventure.
As with most things in life I think it is very important to reflect on the past so that you can make changes and set goals for the future. Because of this, I am starting monthly “reviews” of the blog to track progress and set goals (similar to income reports, I just don’t want to just focus on income)
I really hope you find these published reviews as helpful as possible. I would love to hear your feedback on what you would like to hear more or less about. My intention is not to brag or put anyone down, everyone has their own blogging journey. It is more that I want to document what I did so that others and myself can learn and use these as a historical timeline to look back on to see how different things affect the success (or failure) of the blog.
I originally started this blog back in April and had about 10 posts. Well then life happened and I needed to step back. My family said I went through 4 of the 5 major life events in about 4 months. I got a new job, bought a house, my mom was diagnosed with cancer (she is doing well!), and I got married. The only thing I am missing is having a baby, which right now is still a few years out.
Anyways, after the wedding, life has calmed down I was able to revisit my blog with a renewed sense of energy. I was even able to use some of my recent experiences to help write some posts including how I spent thousands during my first 6 months as a home owner, and how to have a wedding without breaking the bank.
Coming back to the personal finance and PF blogging community has been awesome. It is a great group of people and I highly recommend you get involved. Some great places to start are the Rockstar Finance Forums or PF Facebook groups such as M$M group
October started out strong; I was very involved in both the PF community and social media. I tried to comment on at least two other blogger’s posts every day. I also decided for focus my social efforts of Pinterest and Twitter (more on that in a little).
Towards the end of the month though, I was forced into an unexpected hiatus. I went on a business trip for a week and a half and my personal computer decided it wasn’t going to charge. I wasn’t going to use my work computer to blog, so I was down to just what I could do on my phone, which was minimal.
It was a real downer that I didn’t do much for the blog during the last week, but since right now I just blog for fun and to help other people, it isn’t the end of the world. It is also still just the beginning of the blog so hopefully my few followers forgive me for disappearing.
Wow, I am amazed by my first full month’s traffic:
Over 10,000 pageviews?!?! Based on how my first ten posts performed in April, I was hoping for 500 pageviews my first month.
One of the first things you probably will notice is a huge spike in traffic around 10/10. That was when J.Money picked my Free Budget Binder Printable to share on Rockstar Finance. It was an amazing feeling to have a post featured as a new blogger.
There is also a noticeable difference from the middle of the month when I was managing all my social media and blog to the end of the month when I was on my hiatus.
My biggest source of traffic were my social media presence, with Pinterest bringing in about 2100 of the 2190 social sessions. The rest of the social traffic was from Twitter and then a few from Facebook (which as of right now, the blog doesn’t even have a Facebook)
I am now a firm believer of the power of Pinterest group boards. I have joined about 15 and still want to join some more. Group boards are great because when you pin to them, not only do your followers see your pins, but so do all the followers of the group board.
Along with group boards, Tailwind has been key to getting traffic from Pinterest. I was hesitant to pay the money for Tailwind but after trying it for free, I was convinced.
I have employed a system of using board lists to loop my pins through group boards to make sure I have a variety of pins going to the right boards each day. If this strategy continues to work out, I will dive more into it if you guys would find that helpful.
After social media, referral was my next biggest source, many coming from Rockstar Finance. Right now not many of my articles have been featured on other websites which I think is to be expected for a new blog.
- Free Budget Binder Printable
- 10 Date Night Ideas Under $10
- Cut Your Spending in Half (How I did and so Can You)
- How to Make a Budget When You Don’t Know Where to Start
- Top 5 Millennial Money Mistakes
Income and Expenses
Yes, one day I would love to earn some decent money from this blog. No, today or probably the next several months or year is not that day. Right now I am not focusing on making money, but I am still making a small effort.
I have been monetizing by using a couple affiliate links for products that I was going to talk about anyways.
I also have one small ad on my sidebar. This is more so my audience is used to seeing at least an ad, so that in the future if I decide to switch advertisers, it won’t seem so out of place. Or at least that is the thought that I have heard from other bloggers. Let me know what your thoughts are.
Honestly, I was expecting about $0.10; I am more than happy to have made more than nothing. As the saying goes though, you have to spend money to make money.
My expenses for this month were not too bad. I had already bought my hosting and domain name when I started the blog last April. I also mentioned that I broke down and bought a Tailwind subscription, but I already know it is worth it. Otherwise, I have a couple monthly billed services that have been really useful.
Canva for Business: $12.95 (still deciding whether this is worth it, then I will switch to an annual subscription to save some money)
Goals for Next Month
My first full month had its ups and downs. There were some things that I thought went really well and definitely some areas to improve upon. I want to publicly set goals in order to hold myself more responsible.
Posts were anything but consistent in October. My business trip with no personal computer also forced me on a hiatus for the last week and a half of the month.
In November I want to stick to a consistent posting schedule. Consistency is great for readers because then you know when to set that alarm on your phone to read a new Fixing My Finance Post 😉
Realistic Goal: Post twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Stretch goal: Third post on Saturdays.
As I discussed earlier, I couldn’t be happier with my traffic for my first month. I saw some temporary increases in traffic from when my budget binder was featured on Rockstar Finance.
Because I can’t predict if a post will get featured or go viral on a different platform, I want to set goals assuming I won’t. My social presence continues to grow so I hope to at least maintain most of my non-referral traffic.
Realistic Goal: 8,000 pageviews. Stretch Goal: 14,000 pageviews
I struggled with the best way to set goals for social media presence. Followers is probably the easiest way to track it, but I don’t think it is the best way to tell how many people I actually engage on each platform.
For Pinterest, Tailwind (link) makes it really easy to track engagement and repins.
Realistic Goal: 50 repins. Stretch Goal: 80 repins.
For Twitter, I manage that the old fashion way and do not really have a good method to count interactions, so I will have to settle for follower count:
Realistic Goal: 500 followers. Stretch Goal: 750 followers.
I debated with myself on if I should even make an income goal. As I stated before, right now I am not focusing on the income aspect of the blog, although you will see some affiliate links for products I was already going to mention or my one little ad on the sidebar.
Realistic Goal: $10. Stretch Goal: $30.
That’s a wrap on my first full month blogging!
Hopefully you found this helpful. In future months I will go into more detail as to what strategies work well and which ones fell short, this month was more just getting into the swing of things.
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