When I first started blogging I did it to make money and I did a really bad job. I was totally inconsistent. I got tired of what I was writing about. I started this blog about 5 years ago. It was going to be travel, then food, then kids stories. and then I finally decided I would just write about whatever I wanted to write about. I had written a couple short books (find them on the buy my book page!) and I wanted to find readers for them. I wanted to find my audience.
I decided to write everyday. And I challenged myself to write one blog a day, every day that I had to work, for a year. After a month I looked back I noticed I was pretty repetitive in a lot of my stuff. I could see how I would have something on my mind so I would write a couple times about it. For example, Thanksgiving. I don’t know if I needed to have 3 blogs about who was coming, what I was planning for the menu and then a recap of how the day went. Maybe I could have done it all in one blog. And thrown some pictures in.
In the beginning I didn’t think about pictures. I was mostly just focused on building content. Just keep writing, more and more. I started in November and by December I had a couple followers and a few views. It was a little discouraging. I felt like I was investing a lot of time in this and nothing was really happening. My husband suggested I try twitter to promote. I signed up and attached my blog to my twitter. Then something amazing happened. Someone from the writing community became my friend. They put me on his list of Authors and introduced me. Within a month I had 1000 twitter followers and I also found the blogging community. I was thrilled. I was still writing. I was checking out other peoples blogs I realized I needed to add some pictures. I read that some bloggers get a lot of traffic from pintrest. I signed up for pintrest. Attached my blog to it and started pinning all my pictures from my blogs. I actually do get a couple views from pintrest now a week. I think my problem is that I need to reorganize my boards. So I need to do that next and then figure out how to get more followers and join more boards.
I signed up for Instagram and Linked In and Facebook. I joined a bunch of writing groups and added my blog to publish on my page. I also promoted it on some of the blogging groups and then I got reported as spam. I guess there are a lot of rules in these groups and I broke one. Someone reported my blog as spam and now I can’t post my blog on Facebook anymore, anywhere. Not even on my own page. It’s been 6 months. I know I have lost traffic from this and the problem with Facebook is that there is no one to talk to about it. I have looked all over and I reported the problem and I have received no answer at all. I actually think I am going to delete Facebook this weekend. It’s just frustrating at this point because there are no answers. I have had emails open for review since February. They’re still all open. I don’t think anyone reviews anything. They just mark your website as spam and that’s it. So at this point, Facebook doesn’t help me at all.
Linked In hasn’t done much for me but I just post my blogs to there as well under my Author account. I think it can’t hurt. Instagram will be my next thing to look at. I see a lot of people promoting a follow me and I’ll follow you back thing on twitter. I might try it. I don’t know yet. Across all platforms there seems to be a lot of follow me and I’ll follow you back and then they stop following you so it looks like they have a lot of followers… It’s really dumb. If you follow me, I will follow you back. If you unfollow me, I will unfollow you too. With Pintrest and Instagram I really can’t see who does this so I have stopped following anyone at the moment because I’m following all these people and my number of followers is staying the same. … This brings me to my next point…
A few things I have learned….
I stopped looking at the numbers so much. I used to track views, followers, friends, everything across all platforms. I stopped that. I was getting upset when I stalled, or lost followers. I would think there was something wrong with me or my content. So I stopped. I still check the monthly views but I don’t get down on myself for not hitting the same or better as the month before. Some months are just slower.
I stopped trying to make myself write something new everyday. I do write everyday still but sometimes it’s just nothing. I keep writing. Sometimes I start writing and it triggers something and off I go to write a blog about it. Other times I write nothing all day and just check twitter a couple times and drop my link to a previous blog a couple times and I read a couple new blogs. It still brings traffic and I am not killing myself to come up with something. It also feels less like a job to me now. I am enjoying it again.
I try to check out everyone who supports me and likes or comments. I try to return the favor. This also helps me see what other blogs are like and what interesting things they are writing about.
I have stopped comparing myself to other blogs in terms of numbers. I see people promoting how they get 100,000 views a month from Pintrest and they make a couple hundred dollars. It made me feel discouraged. I would like to get that too but I also have children and a full time job and I know will get there in time, maybe. But maybe I won’t and I am okay with that too.
Find your people and join some support groups. Support other people and learn as you go.
I am currently using WordPress and I upgraded to the premium plan thinking I could monetize it and make some kind of money. The thing with keeping them as a host for my blog is I have to upgrade to the Business plan in order to use plug ins. You need a plug in to add google adsense or other ways to have your blog make money. I am currently trying to decided if I should try that for a year or just go to a different host. I have heard that there are a lot and they are cheaper and you can add all the plug ins to help with getting people to find you and also getting a better ad service that will actually pay you. I have the WordPress ads and I have made a grand total of $2.50 since November. It’s pretty lame and totally discouraging.
I like Blogging though. I like meeting new people and reading what other people write about so I’m going to keep at it to see what happens.
I did get one free sample of a CBD product to try. That was pretty cool. I had to try it for a few weeks and then write something about it and then promote it for a week or longer. That I actually kind of liked and it made me realize I could write and then promote that blog for a couple days while I write something else.
For me, the main thing that I have learned so far is to relax a little. It’s not always about numbers. This isn’t my job, this is my hobby and I should enjoy it. If I end up making some money off it, that’s great! If I don’t, at least I enjoyed myself.
What is the most important thing you have learned so far?