Last updated on August 10th, 2018 at 03:40 pm
If you’re like me, you love reading about people’s blogging journey’s. I’m not sure if I love reading about people’s struggles because it makes me know that I’m not alone, or makes me want to work harder. I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I started blogging. I figure why not give you an inside look to my 6 month blog update.
If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I’m on a journey from full-time WordPress freelancer to full-time blogger. My goal is to move away from freelancing and earn a full-time income from this blog through affiliate marketing and product creation.
It’s actually been a little over 6 months, but these are my stats from my first 6 months of blogging.A blog is a work in progress, easy to setup, but takes time to grow. #Blogging #motivationClick To Tweet
This is going to be a long article, but I want to share what I am doing, what I’ve done and why I started my blog in the first place.
Why Am I Moving Away From Freelancing?
As I’ve mentioned on this post, freelancing can be a great business. However, what I’ve realize is that I’ve literally created a job for myself.
I answer to clients, there’s deadlines to meet and headaches to deal with. I’ve realized that I am no longer excited to work with clients. Instead, what does get me excited to get out of bed is sharing my experiences and tutorials with you.
So after 3 years of freelancing, I’ve decided it’s time for a change. I am still freelancing, because I have bills to pay. But I am no longer accepting new clients.
I do offer limited WordPress services on my blog, but am not sure how long I’ll offer them.
I’ve decided to take the journey and venture out on my own and leave the freelancing world.
I know it’s not going to be an easy transition. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy. However, I’m not scared of hard work. And in just the short 6 months of having this blog, I have definitely worked harder than most days in my freelancing business.
How Freelancing Changed My Life
I don’t want to knock freelancing, it’s put food on my table and paid my bills. I’ve met some great clients that have pushed my limits with WordPress.
I’ve taken on jobs that I had no clue how I was going to get it done. Yet through my persistence and perseverance I’ve managed to get jobs completed.
I’ve spent hours online finding tutorials and resources to help me grow my WordPress freelance business. You might think that it was all a waste of time.
However, through my experience, I’ve learned so much about WordPress. I love working with it and writing tutorials in hopes of helping new bloggers monetize their passions.
If it wasn’t for my WordPress freelancing business, I don’t believe I would know as much as I do about WordPress. I would’ve never taken the time to keep practicing and learning. So I am definitely grateful for the journey, but now I am on another path.
My goal is to make the techie side of blogging easier so you can start, grow and monetize a blog. I am also sharing my personal experiences on my blog. After all, I’m using my personal name as my blog name.
It would literally be a shame not to share my personal experiences with you. Plus, I want you to get to know the person behind the iMac 🙂
So here’s my 6 month blog update. Remember, I didn’t start promoting my blog until it was about 3 months old.
Quick Look At My Stats for The Last Month
Here’s a snapshot of my six month blog growth. By sharing my Google Analytics report you can see the growth of my blog. Together, we’ll be able to see the growth of it in the next 6 months.
As you know most people will post their income reports on their blog. I won’t be doing that, instead, I am going to share my blog growth with you. Plus, I am going to share what I’ve been learning throughout my blog growth.
As my blog grows, hopefully, it will give you the courage to start your own blog. If you want to see which tools I use to run my blog, you can see them here.
Video of My WordPress Blog Growth
If you’d like to watch a quick video of my blog growth, you can do so below.
Why I Started My Blog?
I’ve always wanted a blog, in fact, I’ve had several blogs. I just didn’t know what I wanted to blog about. In the past, I’ve started blogs that I’ve had no interest in. I found myself trying to blog about something just in hopes of earning money.
This time around, I figured why not start a blog and share my WordPress knowledge with you. I love writing WordPress tutorials and have over 8 years of experience working with it.
I spend about 60% of my days working with WordPress. This is something I truly enjoy. One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my past failures, is that it’s important to choose something you really enjoy.
Think of it this way, would you write about that topic even if you didn’t make any money? I know we all want to make money from our blog.
But don’t make the same mistake I’ve made in the past and just choose a niche based on the money.
Throughout my blog you will also find my own personal experiences about my journey away from freelancing. After all, that’s why I started this blog. My goal is to go from full-time freelancer to full-time blogger.
My goal is to make the techie side of blogging easy so you can start, grow and monetize your own passions.
How I Started My Journey
I published my first blog post in October 2016 and started out publishing 1 blog post per week. I started my YouTube channel around the same time I started my blog.
My goal was to do 1 video a week along with my 2 blog posts. After about a month of doing that, I realized it was an impossible schedule to try to maintain.
It didn’t leave me any time for promotion or anything else, plus I still do freelancing work. So I ended up cutting back on my video creation. To this day, I publish a new blog post every Tuesday and Wednesday. And every other Wednesday, I upload a new YouTube video.
Started With Social Media
The last time I had a blog, I avoided social media like the plague. Not sure why it took me so long to jump on board. I guess I was scared to put myself out there.
At times I still find myself struggling to use it. In fact, when I first got started, I had no clue what Pinterest was, so instead of trying to spend months learning, I invested in the Pinning Perfect course.
I am a huge advocate of NOT wasting a bunch of time trying to find tutorials online.
When I sit down to work on my blog, I need to be 100% focused and know what I am doing. I don’t have time to spend hours trying to find free information online. Especially, since I work on this blog around my freelancing business hours.
With this blog, I am taking the route of building relationships and actually learning how to use social media. I didn’t actually start using social media right out the gate. I registered my Twitter and Facebook Page accounts, but I didn’t start using them until my blog was 2 months old.
Social media doesn’t come easy to me. I can sit here and write a 4,000 how to tutorial without any issues. But when it comes to social media, that’s another story.
I’m in no rush and am learning how to use it effectively.
My Content Promotion Strategy
To tell you the truth when I first started my blog, I was so focused on writing content. When I published this blog, we were getting ready for our Disney World trip. So I wanted to make sure that there was a reserve of fresh content that would be published while I was on vacation. If you missed that blog post, you can see it here.
I didn’t start promoting my blog until it was about 4 months old.
When I started my blog promotion, I didn’t have a strategy. I joined a few Facebook Groups and posted my link where ever I could.
Talk about just throwing spaghetti at the wall. It’s important to have some type of blog strategy if you want to see growth.
My main focus was using Pinterest and Facebook Groups to help me grow my blog. After all, I’d read so many stories about how Pinterest has helped so many bloggers grow their blog.
Sometime in February or early March, I did my first 2 guest posts. They weren’t on very big blogs and didn’t result in a lot of subscribers or traffic. However, I learned that I can do guest posts and it’s given me the courage to reach out to some other bloggers.
I’ve got another going live on May 4 on The Savvy Blogging Tips. I’ve also sent out some more outreach emails to be a guest blogger on some other blogs. I am just waiting to hear back from some of them.
Fast Forward to April 2017
I’ve stopped spending so much time inside of Facebook groups. I still spend time in Facebook groups, because it can be a great way to network with other people in your niche.
I don’t want to have all my eggs in one basket. I’ve done that before with my last blog and when the Panda update rolled out, my blog took a hit.
I want my blog to be a well-rounded blog with traffic coming from several different areas. That’s when I stumbled across Donna Merrill’s Tribe.
She has an ebook that talks about how she grew her blog using nothing but free strategies, you can find the ebook on this post. I’m always open to finding new traffic strategies as long as I don’t have to pay for tools or software.
After reading the ebook I figured I would put the information into action. Everyday, since reading her eBook, I spend about 40 – 60 minutes on this marketing technique.
So they’ll visit blogs and just spam someone’s blog. My goal isn’t the backlink, I could care less about it.
My goal is to get to know the blogger and build relationships.
Now I actually have a plan and strategy of how I am working on growing my blog. I’ll continue tweaking my plan if need be.
I am still creating 1 YouTube video every other week. I am finally starting to see traffic coming to my blog from my channel. (my videos don’t look professional like some other people’s, but I enjoy creating them.)
I’ve finally mustered up the courage to get out from behind the screencast videos and put myself in front of it. For my recording I use Camtasia and then I edit my videos using Final Cut Pro.A blog is a work in progress, easy to setup, but takes time to grow. #Blogging #motivationClick To Tweet
Tools I’ve Invested In My 6 Months of Business
The great thing about my freelancing business is it provides me the freedom and funds to test new tools out. While I am NOT a huge advocate on spending a lot of money for my business. I do believe that it’s important to have some tools that can help make your blogging journey easier.
Here are some tools that I currently use to help me grow my blog.
Tailwind: This automates my Pinterest pins, you can get a 30 day trial if you sign up.
BoardBooster: I use this to keep my pins on the looping feature. (I just started using this about a day ago). Start out with their 100 free pins for free.
SiteGround: I paid for this hosting account in October 2016 and will not owe another payment until October 2019. I’m a huge advocate of paying for tools in yearly subscriptions.
GetResponse: When I started my blog, I was using Mailchimp. However, picked up a 2 year subscription with GetResponse during the Black Friday deal.
Smarter Queue: This automates my social media tasks, they also have a 30 day trial. I used to use Buffer, but this is more hands-free.
I also use the Genesis Framework for my site. However, I purchased the Genesis Framework back in 2011. I know that it’s a very popular Framework, that’s why I am continuing to create tutorials that will help you get started with it.
My Blog Growth Traffic Stats
As you know I didn’t actually get started promoting this blog until 3 months ago. So while my growth numbers are not that great, I am happy to see that they are growing.
Twitter Followers: 487
Facebook Page Likes: Really non-existent
YouTube Subscribers: 24
Pinterest Followers: 150
Email Subscribers: 22 ( My goal is to focus more on email growth from this point forward)
I know that my growth stats are not that impressive and many of you may have faster growth. However, I am not disappointed by my slow growth.
With this blog, I am NOT stressing over traffic. My goal is to focus on helping people learn and sharing my knowledge with others. While I love it when someone comes to my blog, my intention isn’t just for the traffic.
I’ve realized that when I get so caught up on traffic I get blindsided of why I started my blog in the first place. I want to enjoy growing this blog and if I focus too much on traffic, it’s going to feel like a chore.
To tell you the truth, I don’t see that I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my 6 months of blog growth. I guess I could’ve started promoting my blog a lot sooner than I did.
I also could’ve focused on growing my email list a lot sooner. However, it took me forever to finally come up with a lead magnet I believe can help my readers.
I’ve created a 7 day course to help you learn WordPress, you can check it out here if you want.
My social media didn’t really grow that much. As I mentioned above, the whole social media thing is new to me. I didn’t even know how to send a Tweet when I got started.
I’m kind of embarrassed that I had to Google, “how do you send a tweet” when I sent my first one. There are still several things that I don’t know about social media.
But hey, when I first got started with WordPress 8 years ago, I didn’t know anything about it. With practice and time, we learn how to do things we never thought were possible.
The downside is that I’ve never been much on patience. It seems like we’re all looking for instant gratification today.
I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be everywhere. Yes I have several social media accounts, but I’ve since been focused on learning how to use Pinterest because right now that is my biggest traffic referrer.
I’ve also learned how to use my time more wisely. I am getting a lot more accomplished in my business than I did when I was trying to be on every social media account.A blog is a work in progress, easy to setup, but takes time to grow. #Blogging #motivationClick To Tweet
This time around, I am making time for personal growth. I think it’s so important and a must in order to grow.
So I am spending more time on myself. I still spend a lot of time in front of the computer, after all I am a blogger and a freelancer.
I just make sure that everyday, I take some me time.
Final Take Away
In just the short six months that I’ve been blogging towards moving away from freelancing to a full-time blogger. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve made some mistakes, like I should’ve started promoting my blog posts earlier.
Instead, I chose to keep pumping out content and scheduling it in my WordPress editorial calendar. The great news is that I now have 2.5 months worth of content scheduled in advance.
This will relieve a lot of pressure from having to write content everyday. I make it a point to write at least 1,000 words everyday. After all this is the only way that I am going to get better at finding my voice and write amazing blog posts that actually help you.
From here on out, I am NOT going to try to be everywhere. I am going to focus on Pinterest and learn the ins and outs of it.
Hand Picked Articles For You
- How to Stay Motivated As A New Blogger
- How to Deal With WordPress Problems As A Beginner
- 11 Myths About Making Money With A Blog And What To Do
Hopefully, you’ve learned something something from my 6 month blog update. Sorry it was so long, I only included the things that I think would help you.
I’ll keep you posted when I reach the next 6 months. I’ll also keep you updated with my journey along the way, this way you can see what I’m doing with my blog.
Don’t forget to visit my WordPress tutorials and Genesis tutorials to help you start your own blog. Also, sign up for my free 7 day WordPress course for beginners so you can get your blog set up.
Have you started a blog yet? Why did you start a blog? What’s the purpose of your blog? Please let me know, I’d love to read your story.
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)