My Blogging Journey & February Goals
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It’s been so long since I’ve shared anything personal or in-depth about my blogging journey; how things are coming along, the progress I am making and where I am headed. I have so many exciting things to share with you! This is going to be a long one, but there is so much I want to share with other mom bloggers who are on the same path so I hope you will ride it out with me!
As the excitement of the New Year wears off and we get back into the hum and drum of our day-to-day lives, I wanted to take a moment to look at where I am in the blogging world and how far I’ve come. I also wanted to take some time to set some goals for myself and share those with you, because what’s blogging without setting goals to achieve and striving for more?
A Little About Me…
When I started my blogging journey, last year in June of 2018, I had a lot of things in mind for where this journey would take me. I wanted to work towards becoming a writer and serious blogger, making my living writing and doing something I am 100% passionate. I absolutely love all aspects of blogging; writing, blogging, content planning and creating, graphic design and opportunities to work on my photography skills, even social media promotion and management. Blogging fully encompasses all the things I love to do! And I am good at it, too!
A lot of you may not know this about me, but I went to college for a few years when I was younger, and my biggest regret was walking away without anything to show for it. I didn’t graduate with a degree or even a certification to show for all my time, hard work and wasted funds. I have more debt than I care to admit, I live paycheck to paycheck and on paper, I have nothing to show for those 4 years I spent in college. But I spent a lot of time figuring out exactly what I wanted to do- If only that meant something in the real world.
When I first started going to school, I declared a degree in Visual Marketing, and I learned so much! At the time, I was working on running my own business as a personal assistant and helping my mom on the side run her business. I really enjoyed those classes and what I was learning but I realized that it wasn’t quite right for me. I spent a semester or two on that and then shifted my focus to photography and graphic design. I LOVED photography, and still do to this day. I even loved Graphic Design, but I realized that with photography and graphic design came A LOT of time sitting and editing photos, staring at a computer screen and just clicking, clicking, clicking on one thing after another, which was NOT what I wanted to do. Not in that sense, anyway. But I wanted a certification in Photography because I had already taken 3/4 of the classes required for the certificate. I wanted something to show for all the time I had already spent, which was almost 2 years at that point! I wanted something, anything to show that I was doing something worthwhile and could show someone that I had accomplished something.
I got down to my last semester and with only one class left to take I found out that I couldn’t have a certification without graduating with a two-year degree, and I hadn’t spent enough time working towards an actual degree to qualify without spending 2-3 more semesters on something that I didn’t really want to do. So, I took my lumps and transferred from a Technical College to a University. At this point, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a writer; I wanted to write, anything and everything! I spent 2 more years working towards an English Degree with a concentration in Writing and Communication. And then life happened and I walked away from College completely, with the intention of taking a break and finishing once life settled down, again with absolutely nothing to show for my time. And Life settled into making a family and working so hard just to stay afloat that there hasn’t been time or funds available to even think about going back to school. But I am so far from ungrateful! I am incredibly blessed; I have a beautiful, full and happy life. My little family is complete, which I never thought would happen and we have a beautiful place to call home. But it would be so nice if things were a little easier.
How This All Began…
So last year, I decided to make a change; I needed to do something that I was passionate about. I needed to start taking steps towards getting where I wanted to be without going back to school because that just wasn’t an option. There were plenty of people who had made an entire career in writing without a college degree, let alone a degree in writing. Now, I’m not knocking a college education; life would’ve been a lot easier if I had stayed committed and finished my degree. But part of my reason for starting my blog was to have something to show for my adult life, all the years I did actually spend learning in college, and all the skills I’ve acquired; whether that was through working or running a business and art studio with my mom or the skills I learned from studying a wide range of topics that would’ve led to a well-rounded degree, or just things I have learned from living and working all of my adult life! I wanted something that would show that I knew what I was doing, to prove that I knew how to write and create, plan and promote written content, manage social media in order to show results and most importantly, be consistent! I wanted something that I could put on my resume to show that I knew what I was doing when it came to writing, that I had been doing it for a year, or two or five already and was perfect for any job I wanted to go for when the time came!
And one of the things I promised myself when I started this blogging journey was that I was going to share with all of you, my readers and fellow bloggers, my journey and how I got here and what I’ve done along the way. I wanted to show what a blogging journey looked like from the perspective of someone who was learning the ropes as they go so that you didn’t have to try and learn from someone who had been doing it for years and seemed so… unreachable. With that heavy on my mind lately, I realized that I haven’t been doing a great job with sharing that aspect with all of you. Mostly because life has been so hectic and there’s so little time, but I’m trying to make more time and create more content that I feel my readers and fellow bloggers want. So I wanted to take a moment to be real with you, to reflect on where I came from and to set some goals for myself and share them with you.
My February 2019 Blogging Goals
- Reach 100 Likes on my Facebook Page
- Reach 4,000 Followers on Twitter
- Reach 200 Followers on Pinterest
- Have My Popular Blog Post Reach 1,000 Page Views
- Transfer my Blog to SiteGround Self-Hosted WordPress
- Start reaching 300 Daily Blog Page Views
- Publish 10 New Blogs in February
- Keep Posting Consistently
- Start My Official Mailing List
- Reach 10,000 All Time Blog Page Views
- Make 2 More Qualifying Amazon Affiliate Sales from my Blog
- Get Ready for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge
- Wake up an Hour Early and Stay Up An Hour Late to Blog
- Have 3 Guest Bloggers
End of 2018 & New Year Recap…
So many exciting things happened toward the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019! I’ve taken a lot of steps towards becoming a serious blogger in the last 6 months and I just wanted to recap them for you real quick!
On The Blog…
At the start of February, I realized that I was at nearly 9,000 all-time blog page views. At the end of last week, I was at about 8,950! I’m going above and beyond and shooting for breaking 10,000 all-time Page Views before the end of February!!! Towards the end of 2018, I purchased my domain name, www.themomblogwi.com. I was blogging on a free site with a free domain name but wanted to own my domain name for when I switched to Self-Hosting. I’m still using a free site but I am gearing up to change over to SiteGround Self-Hosting for WordPress very soon, and I can’t wait to share all of that with you guys as I make that transition! At the beginning of the New Year, I also made the decision to start monetizing my blog, which is very exciting! I started small in January and started displaying ads by Fomo on my site at the recommendation of a fellow mom blogger. It’s a slow process, and I think a lot of that has to do with that I’m not self-hosted, but that’s another blog post to write later.
At the beginning of the year, I also decided to try my hand at Affiliate Marketing and joined Amazon’s Affiliate Program at the end of January. I made my first affiliate marketing post at the end of January and even made my first sale!!! Woohoo! If you want to check out the post, you can find it here. I have 180 days to make 3 qualifying sales in order to be officially accepted into Amazon’s Affiliate Program and I am pushing hard to do that. But at the same time, I don’t want to make it all about the money or sales. While being able to make money writing and blogging and hoping to eventually be able to afford to give up my 9-5 and do what I absolutely love, I also don’t want to get too caught up in the money-making aspect, so much so that I lose myself or my followers. So for February going forward, I’m trying to keep it to one affiliate heavy post a week and trying to filter in more personal content. Because while I’ve made a vow to only recommend products that I know I like or use, I don’t want to lose myself in the hustle and bustle of making money and become any less real with all of you.
I’ve also started to consistently reach about 150-200+ page views a day on my blog, which is so exciting, but also a lot of work. I post new content at least twice a week, and on the days I’m not sharing new content, I’m recycling old content and putting it back out into the universe with new images, graphics, and updated content.
With the New Year, I also have been making a HUGE effort over at my Facebook Page! I started the year off on Facebook with around 25 or 30 followers and have grown to 75, just shy of 100! I also have been working hard to post new content consistently which is a huge part of blogging and has helped tremendously. My Facebook page for my blog has been severely neglected in lieu of Twitter, Pinterest, and my actual Blog. It’s been so hard to grow a following on Facebook and it’s just easier to get a response on Twitter. But lately my Twitter has been lacking in driving traffic to my blog and Facebook and Pinterest have been my main sources of traffic so I’ve started sharing content every day, 2-3 or so times a day and I post my own content 1-2x a day. I’ll try to share some new content 2-3x a week and recycle or recirculate old content 3-4x a week.
I’ve also started creating graphics for Facebook and Twitter based off of previous, wildly popular Twitter posts and recreated them! It’s a great way to recirculate old content without having to re-share or ReTweet, which has been very helpful in keeping my page in everyone’s newsfeed and receiving consistent engagement. I’ll take my old, most popular tweets, slap an image in the background related to the content, put some text over the top and stick my name at the bottom and voila! It’s also been a great way to take my one-of-a-kind content that was well-liked from Twitter and share it on Facebook. As we all know, Facebook posts with graphics are far more likely to go over well than just text, which is the exact opposite with Twitter. So my popular tweets, which are long gone and forgotten but that did REALLY, REALLY WELL, I’ve taken the text from those tweets and turned them into graphics! It’s so simple and a great way to recycle old content and not have to come up with new ideas! I share them on Twitter, too with the new graphics. It’s genius!
I just celebrated my 1 Year Twitter Anniversary on January 31st! My Twitter page also recently broke 3,900 followers, which I’m super excited about so I’m shooting for reaching 4,000 followers by the end of the month! I’ve seen a serious lull in engagement and such on Twitter, though, which is disappointing but I’m staying optimistic. Twitter used to be my driving force to my blog, but recently, Pinterest has been proving to be my real winner!
|Click to See the Full Pin!|
I recently had a few of my pins go semi-viral, at least what viral would be to a beginner! With nearly 400 clicks and 30 saves, it drove a great amount of traffic to my blog! This post has almost broken 1,000 views on my blog! Weeks later, I’m still getting 30+ views a week from that pin! I’m currently at about 150 followers on Pinterest and I’d like to see a wild improvement there! I’d also love to see another few pins go viral.
In January I also finally reached my Goal from late last year and posted 8 New Blog Posts in a single month!!! That’s about two new blog posts a week, which is HUGE for me! This month, I’d like to post 10 new blog posts, but considering it’s a short month, I’d be happy with posting 8 new blogs again.
I’ve also decided that I am going to participate in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, which is a challenge to blog every single day, (except for Sundays) during the month of April! Each day, the idea is to write a blog post that has to do with the letter of the day. I’m hoping to ramp up my blogging during the month up until then so that it won’t be such a shock to blog every single day! I made a 30 Days 30 Ways Mommy Self-Care Challenge and told myself I
|30 Days 30 Ways Mommy Self-Care Challenge|
was going to get up early and stay up late on ocassion to have some time to myself. The last few days, I’ve also started staying up an extra 30-45 minutes after everyone else goes to be, and past when I would normally crawl into bed and have been spending it blogging. Whether that’s writing, content planning, creating graphics or screwing around with HTML and revamping old content, I want to make it routine to stay up an hour later than everyone else and get up an hour early before my day and spend that time focusing on blogging. Everything is so busy during the day, it’s hard to dedicate time to just sitting and being me and doing what I want. So I’m making it my goal to make that time a priority for myself in the morning and evening.
So there it is! I’m a little late since it’s already almost 2 weeks into February, but I really wanted to share my journey so far with all of you! I’m still doing it! I’ve made a promise to myself to post the content I want to, even if I’m a little late in doing so! Here’s to a super productive and successful month in February 2019 and hopefully to another monthly blog post series where I can share my success with all of you!