Wow- I can’t believe it has been a month already. Actually, what’s harder to believe is that just a month ago, I had zero makings of a blog. I know I still have a LONG way to go, but as I sit down to reflect on the happenings of the last month in my blogging world, I am beginning to appreciate all the hard work I’m putting in.
One of the things that has made this journey possible has been the openness of other bloggers who share their monthly income reports, social media tips and tricks, or blog design ideas. I want to do the same. I see this being a positive for two main reasons:
- I think it is a great exercise to help me take a moment to reflect, appreciate all my hard work, and prioritize for the next month.
- I want this monthly documentation to serve as a roadmap of do’s and dont’s for bloggers who get their start weeks, months, or years down the road.
Each month, I’ll share:
- Income Updates
- Expense Updates
- The Stats
- A Summary of Blog Tasks
- A Summary of Blog Posts
- Reflection and Goals
If I can just take a moment to be REALLY honest with you…publishing this first report is scary for me- I’m totally in the hole (like head deep and still digging) when it comes to the income/expenses spreadsheet. Also, I’ve found navigating social media landscapes to be entirely overwhelming some days. Oh, and trying to find a workable blogging schedule with a 40-hour-a-week job and a 5 month old can feel daunting pretty much every day. But I’m adamant about starting these reports now so I can see trace my journey all the way back to the bare bones. And I’m hoping that sharing these vulnerable moments will benefit someone out there.
So without further adieu, here goes!
Quick Disclaimer: Some of the links through this report are affiliate links. All of them are products or services I’ve used and loved. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses please contact me or leave a comment. Thanks!
- Elegant Themes: $0
- Amazon Affiliates: $0
- How to Monetize Your Food Blog eBook: $0
- Angie Makes WordPress Themes: $0
- Bluehost: $0
- Google AdSense: <$1
- MailChimp : $0
- Envato Market Code Canyon: $0
- Photo Submissions:
Total March 2016 Income: <$1
- Bluehost Domain: $5.95
- WooZone Amazon Affiliate Plugin from Code Canyon: $36
- Elegant Themes Membership: $89
- Logo Purchase (that I’m no longer using! #winning): $19.99
- Angie Makes Lucy & Lane WordPress Theme: $79
- New MacBook Pro: $1250
Total March Expenses: $1479.94
Total March Profit: <1-1479.94= -$1479 (like I said, head deep and still digging)
- Blog Subscriptions: 3
- Blog Comments: 51
- Blog Views: 1,141
Social Media Stats:
Blog Task Summary
This is a high-level summary; this first month of blogging felt chaotic. I wanted to do and try everything I read about (and did oftentimes), but below includes the most key steps I took this month.
- Started My Blog– I started out with a vision for my content & design and then registered domain with Bluehost and created a WordPress.org site
- Purchased WordPress Themes- I started with Elegant Themes (and still use many of the plugins that came with my account, including the DiviBuilder) and transitioned to Angie Makes Lucy & Lane
- Began publishing content (see Blog Posts Summary below)
- Downloaded and began using countless plugins (WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, MailChimp for WP, Pinterest PinIt, WooZone, MetaSlider, Theme Sidebars, AdSense, Zip Recipes, to name a few)
- Created business social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Began sharing posts and connecting with other bloggers or users posting similar content.
- Installed and began populating Amazon Affiliate Store. Visit my store!
- Joined affiliate programs for all products & services I purchased.
- Set up MailChimp.
- Set up Google AdSense account.
- Created a Resources page with my top blogging resources and services.
- Registered with BlogHer.
- Submitted my first few blog photos to Twenty20, TasteSpotting, and Photo Dune (and got denied by two of the three on my first submissions)
- Created weekly blogging schedule and content calendar (post about this coming soon in April!)
Blog Post Summary
- Posts Published: 16
- Recipe Posts: 7
- Lifestyle Posts: 4
- Blogging Posts: 5
- Popular Posts:
Reflection & Goals
Not going to lie… this month was tough. I’ve had a few moments where I’ve wondered “Is this blogging thing for me? Is it going to be worth it?” I’m happy to report I’m still plugging away and trying to really focus on my content above all else. I started this blog to motivate myself to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle. And I think that is a journey and story others will benefit from as well.
Heading in to April, I am setting some goals for myself. I am hoping this process of reflecting on the past month and setting goals for the next will bring a sense of organization and purpose to my work. Experienced bloggers, feel free to let me know what you think- what things would you add? Which things would you wait on?
Lastly, let me preface this by saying that some of these goals may sound naive. If I were to think back to some of the goals I thought I had a month ago, many of them would have been totally ill-informed (and probably an indication of how little I knew). I recognize this may be the case now as well. I’m learning every day!
- 2000 page views
- Blog Comments: 60
- Blog Followers: 10
- 15 posts
- Facebook Page likes: 175
- Twitter Followers: 525
- Pinterest Followers: 360
- Instagram Followers: 800
Blog Task Goals:
- Use Yoast to doctor SEO for all existing posts
- Look more into driving traffic to my blog
- Pinterest approach- improve images of posts specifically for pinterest use, make sure each pin has a bolded title; figure out rich pins
- Twitter approach??
- Instagram approach??
- Facebook approach
- Figure out the value of investing in campaigns or promotions?
- Submit photos to photo submission websites
- Send out my first email campaign to followers
- Figure out how to back-up my blog somewhere so I don’t lose all my content
- Add to resources page- stock photography, photo submissions, favorite plugins, etc. Look to see if there are affiliate programs with each.
- Organize: place for blog ideas, notes about theme design & plugins, notes about page updates, place for resources/logins, schedule for posting/social media upkeep/submitting photography/ebook development (create a weekly schedule)
- Look into photo submission websites vs. selling photos on my site (or both!)
- Look into Hootsuite
- Look into other ad companies?
Well folks, that’s a wrap. As nervous as I was to write some of this, I’m glad I did it. Thanks for reading, and please remember, I’d appreciate any and all feedback you can provide. Here’s to hoping the digging slows down a little by next month 😉