Monthly Report- March 2016

Check out my March report including income, expenses, blog accomplishments, popular posts, and goals for next month.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!

 Income Updates

Total March 2016 Income: <$1


Total March Expenses: $1479.94

Total March Profit: <1-1479.94= -$1479 (like I said, head deep and still digging)

 The Stats

Site Stats-

  • 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 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

 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!

Stat Goals:

  • 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 😉







| Filed under Monthly Reports

32 thoughts on “Monthly Report- March 2016

  1. I can relate to many of the things you said. I started my blog at the very end of December and am still working hard on finding my footing. I am really glad I found your page and look forward to seeing what awesome stuff you come up with.

  2. WHOA! Never thought of doing any of this, but what a great way to keep track of things. I’d love to do this, another thing to add to my to-do list. Would love to chat more with you about this whole blogging stuff. Sounds like you might be a good person to connect with 🙂

    1. I’d love to connect and help each other out 🙂 I feel like there are some things I picked up on really quickly and other things where I am definitely still seeking out help. Let me know what your blog URL is. I’d love to follow along!

  3. Expenses aside, I think you rocked it for your first month! Google AdSense builds SOO slowly! and you can’t judge your success on the money you make, if you do you will probably start hating blogging really quickly.

    1. Thanks! I’m definitely trying not to focus on the income side of things. That isn’t why I started the blog… It will be a nice was to supplement for my family down the road, but in the meantime, I’m just trying to focus on content and reaching an audience that will benefit from what I am sharing. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Wow! I’ve never thought of doing this, but I love the idea. I can definitely relate to the struggles of finding time to invest in getting your blog up and running. I’ve found it hard to find the time to write and advertise my blog. Thank you for your honesty!

  5. Way to go, it looks like you are off to an awesome start! The to do lists are *never* ending with blogging, it seems. I know that mine is always a mile and a half long.
    Regarding backups, check with your host to see if they back up their servers already – mine does and it’s such a mental relief, plus it doesn’t eat into my hosting space.

  6. Wow! So glad to hear someone else going through EXACTLY what I am! Isn’t starting a blog so extreme?! But it’s so amazingly fun at the same time!
    What I have been starting to figure out is its all about community and building blogger friends and all helping eachother out!
    Im just starting out, but I’d love us to help eachother out if you want! 🙂

  7. I love reading these monthly reports! It definitely takes time building, and even for me, after almost 4 years of blogging, I still have a very long way to go! Keep up the good work, you’ll get there soon enough 🙂

  8. I should start doing this. I have been blogging for 3 months now and after 3 months, my report would still look like this! I hope to start making money soon! I am in the hole a lot too between the blog purchase, etc!

    1. We will get there 🙂 I think it’s important to really invest in the content and build a following first. The income will come when the time is right 😉 Thanks for your comment!

    1. Good luck! It’s a fun adventure for sure. As you learn the ropes, feel free to ask questions. I am learning a ton and would hate not to share those lessons with others!

  9. Hello Abby! When I read this post, I’m like wooaahhh, that is me! This is a great idea. It will allow you to see where you were 3 years down the road. Blogging is harder than I ever imagined, and I am excited to be working with you! Keep it up!

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