Lifestyle

What I’ve Learned In My First Month Of Blogging

Wow. I cannot believe it’s been a month since I started my blogging journey! And what a journey it has been. I have grown tremendously in the past month, both as a woman and as a blogger. The success I’ve had has been truly phenomenal and I owe it all to my readers and followers. So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Starting a blog was a long process for me. I doubted myself entirely and just couldn’t seem to find the courage to go for it. After an entire year of pushing the idea aside, I finally said “you know what? let’s do this”. After launching my blog, I received such an amazing response. People LOVED my content; I was seriously in shock. It gave me such a feeling of empowerment and my confidence skyrocketed. I started receiving questions on how to start a blog, so I have decided to share my experiences from my first month of blogging. Hopefully it will be somewhat helpful and inspiring to those wanting to start a blog. Enjoy!

 

Social Media:

When I decided to start a blog, I knew social media would play a huge role. The second I found the perfect name for my blog, I purchased the domain and set up my social media profiles. Social media is by far the #1 source for traffic. It’s where you will build relationships with fellow bloggers, promote your blog content, and eventually connect with brands (if you plan to monetize). Having those profiles set up months ahead of time not only gives you a platform to grow your following, but it also becomes a vital part of the success of your blog.

 

  • Instagram – This is where I discovered some of the bloggers that inspired ME to start blogging, so naturally it was the first profile I set up. Before you set your Instagram profile up, I recommend making it a “business” profile (learn more about that here). After you get that taken care of, you can start posting! The first step is writing an eye-catching bio and having a few well taken photos ready to post.  And, speaking of photos, captions are key; not too short, not too long. Also, research popular hashtags within your niche. Add those to each photo, within the caption, and use symbols to “hide” them (you can see an example here). Then, it’s time to start following other Instagram users. Now, don’t just follow anyone and everyone. This is your future business, so you want to follow relevant users. I started with the bloggers that I had already been following for years. Then, I went to my favorite brands’ profiles and followed them. I also followed any profile that had a hashtag I planned on using (like #uniteinmotherhood and #childhoodunplugged). Once I did all of that, I thought I could just sit back and gain followers. Boy, was I wrong. It’s not as simple as making a profile, posting photos, and following other people. It’s work. Luckily, there are a few ways to make things a little easier. Instagram Pods are one tool that has helped me not only get likes and genuine comments, but has also connected me with some amazing moms and bloggers. Another helpful tool in networking on Instagram are follow loops and chats. Explore those options and you’re sure to make genuine connections and gain followers!

 

  • Facebook – If you have a blog, then you need a Facebook page. Not only is Facebook one of the most popular social media sites out there, but it’s the easiest place to share your blog posts, in my opinion. The first week that my blog was live, I shared two blog posts on my page (you can read those here and here). Each of those posts were shared on Facebook over 100 times, which is pretty good considering my blog was less than a week old! In addition to being a great place to share posts, it’s also where you’ll find tons of helpful blogging groups. In order to find groups, simply search “your niche – blogging groups”. The majority of the groups require approval, but I haven’t had issues getting into any so far! There are groups where you can ask about the basics of blogging, groups for boosting social media interaction, and groups where you can just connect with other bloggers in your niche! You can also search for groups of bloggers in the area that you live! I didn’t exactly focus on my Facebook page before I launched my blog. I actually only had a profile photo, cover photo, and introduction posted on launch day. So, one of my biggest goals in the next few months is to get my Facebook page where it should be!

 

  • Twitter – Twitter has always been one of my least favorite social media platforms. I don’t know why; I just never put much time into it. But when I started making profiles for my blog, I knew Twitter needed to be one of them. I’m a month into my blogging journey and I’m ashamed to admit that I’m just now putting effort into using Twitter to drive traffic to my blog. It’s definitely another goal I have for the future, though! If you’re just as lost as I am about Twitter, this post gave me a ton of useful information on how it can be a key traffic source for your blog. So, go check it out!

 

  • Pinterest – Okay, so technically Pinterest isn’t a social media platform. A more accurate term would be “visual search engine”. But Pinterest is actually one of the biggest sources of traffic for a lot of bloggers. Think about it, what’s more enjoyable: skimming through pages of words on Google or scrolling through beautiful photos on Pinterest to find what you’re searching for? The reality is that visuals play an enormous role in what we do or don’t click on when it comes to the internet. That’s why Pinterest can be a major traffic source for your blog. With each post that you write, you can create an image to go with it. And that image can catch someone’s eye much easier than words can! It can also give a reader a bit of insight not only to what the post is about but the type of overall “vibe” your blog has. When setting your account up, create boards that are relevant to your blog’s niche. For instance, my blog categories are: lifestyle, motherhood, and everything else. So, my boards are related to those topics. Your Pinterest profile should reflect what people will find on your blog. Pin things that you might mention in a post, like beauty products or parenting techniques. Don’t make it into a “personal” Pinterest account! One huge benefit of Pinterest is that your pins have the ability to be seen by anyone and everyone, not just those who follow you. It’s important, though, to work on building your following. An easy way you can do this is by joining Pinterest Group Boards. These boards are typically full of pins from numerous Pinterest users and can greatly improve the chances of your pin being seen and repinned. Group boards are also a great place to find other bloggers to follow (and in turn, gain more followers yourself). Another way to gain a following on Pinterest is by using a tool called Tailwind. Tailwind is a scheduling app that will basically pin for you (so you aren’t spending hours a day on Pinterest). Once a week, you spend an hour or two scheduling pins for your boards for the entire week. Tailwind will then pin them for you at the most optimal times, increasing the likelihood that they will be seen! They also have a scheduling tool for Instagram too. That means that you could potentially grow your following on both platforms with minimal effort! SCORE! Oh, and another tip before I forget: be sure to enable rich pins on your account. You can learn how to do that here!

 

Like I said before, social media is extremely important when it comes to blogging! It’s your gateway to making an impression on thousands of people and a way to establish relationships with your fellow bloggers. When you’re first starting out, pick 2 social media platforms to prioritize. It would be way too stressful to try to build them all at the same time. My suggestions are to focus on Instagram and Pinterest. Set a goal for yourself (for example: “I want to reach 1,000 followers on each platform by the end of the month”) and don’t move on to the other platforms until you reach that goal. You’ll save yourself tons of stress by doing it that way! Plus, it’s better to have 1 or 2 well established social media accounts than 4 mediocre accounts!

 

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Before Launch Day:

I spent the month before “launch day” setting up my blog.

These are the most important things to do before you launch your blog:
  1. Set up and customize your theme
  2. Download necessary plugins and widgets
  3. Test out functions such as email subscriptions, contact forms, and links
  4. Create necessary pages, such as an About Me, Disclosure, and Privacy Policy page.
  5. Have at least 4 posts ready to publish
  6. Announce your launch date on social media
  7. Have a friend review your blog and give feedback
  8. Ready, set, LAUNCH!

 

Launch Day:

On my launch day, I checked over my blog one last time, then began to promote it on social media. I shared my blog’s url and stayed active on all of it’s social media profiles for the entire day. And it certainly paid off!

By the end of my launch day, my blog had gotten 680 views!

I was ecstatic! I hadn’t expected to have that much success in my first month, let alone the first day! In the first week of my blog being live, I received tons of great feedback. I even got approached by not one but two companies, asking for sponsored posts! It was definitely a whirlwind of a month for me and I couldn’t be more thankful!

Here are my stats for August:
  • Week 1 Stats: 1,458 Views
  • Week 2 Stats: 903 Views
  • Week 3 Stats: 356 Views
  • Week 4 Stats: 322 Views
  • Week 5 Stats: 104 Views

 

Total views for the month: 3,143 Views

 

Now, as you can see, my views slowly decreased over the month. I believe that’s because I hadn’t planned enough blog content ahead of time. I was scrambling each week to write a good blog post and oftentimes only posting once a week. In the future, I’m going to plan out the month’s blog posts. That way I know exactly what to write about and when it needs to be posted. Ideally, I would like to do 2 blog posts a week. But I am about to be a mom of two so that might not be feasible. Nevertheless, I’m going to do everything I can to get my views back up!

 

Overall, I’ve learned quite a bit in my first month as a blogger. I’ve achieved things that I never thought I could, and I can’t wait to see how my blog grows in the future. If you’re still reading, thank you for following me on this journey. I hope that somehow this will inspire you to go for your own goals. If so, just know that I will be cheering you on!

 

 

Blogging: Month One. What I've Learned.....
  1. Christy

    September 2, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    These are excellent tips! I totally agree on pre-writing posts. I wish I had done so long before I published.

    1. Ashley - Mama State of Mind

      September 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      thank you! I actually struggled this past month coming up with topics for posts, so I made a “post idea” list for the next couple months that way I know what I’m writing about ahead of time!

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