Well folks, I have just celebrated my one year blogiversary, yay me!
I spent a year at least contemplating the start of my blog before I took the steps and jumped in. I read often in posts and forums people starting and taking it so slow. I suppose I thought about it for so long and I have a “just do it” personality that once I decided the day, I just did it. I woke up on September 22, 2016 and said, today is the day. I set up a blog site on WordPress, I still use WP to host but have my own domain, and wrote my first post, published it, and shared it all on the same day. I had a rush of excitement and the day was capped off with a celebratory cocktail with my partner and him surprising me with a bottle of champagne to say how proud he was. In all honesty, I wasn’t quite proud yet, not sure if I am today, but I look back on that day and I was so scared, I had just put myself out there for the entire world to see.
So many have asked me why I blog, here is my answer, I am not sure. I enjoy that it is a creative outlet, I enjoy writing and sharing my opinions, this is a great way. Would I like to generate income from blogging sure, however, it is not what I set out to do and think I should map out how to monetize my blog with what fits in “my brand”. I do have to say there are many things that are sent your way for you to promote when you join the blogging world and I caution anyone to not agree to promote something that does not fit in your lifestyle. My rule is that if I will not use it more than the first try, if it is not something I can speak about easily and often, it is not something I can or will promote. While you will hear other successful bloggers state something similar about paid posts, I am just not there yet. This is still the place where I can freely share my life experience and maybe help someone along the way, even if only to relate.
Seeing as I am a goal-setter, I have set goals for myself along the way as I do not know what success looks like in the world of blogging. How many views in a month, visits, unique, followers determines success? I think this is personal to the individual. For me, I set a goal of 10K views in the year and I am at 9K! I am just proud that I set out to do this and I have kept with it. My goal is to publish every Monday, that has altered throughout the year but for the most part, I have accomplished this.
There are three things that are worked really well for me throughout this journey:
1- Working ahead– when I feel inspired, I draft out multiple posts and I always have at least two posts scheduled out this has allowed me to not feel stressed about time lines (creative outlet should not cause stress) and no publish a post that I not particularly proud of.
2- Plan out social shares– this will help to build your brand and determine your niche and will allow you to share content that builds upon what you represent. Why is this important? This helps to grow your following and will allow you to find other content creators that you feel great about sharing their work and they will in turn share yours. While building your following, it is important that you do not look like you are all over the place. I learned that it is important to have engaged followers not just a lot of followers. Note, I do not have a huge following as of now, around 6K, I am still building, slower than in the beginning but the followers I gain are engaged.
3- Stop comparing– I joined blog groups for advice, feedback, and initial sharing assistance, they are very helpful and I suggest joining if you are a new blogger. My issue was that I saw successful bloggers and wanted to try to mimic their success when I am not even versed nor do I write about certain subjects. I am a mom with a career outside of the home, this is what I know, I write about these experiences, I am not a fashion blogger, stay at home work blogger, nor am I a family travel blogger. For some reason, I was thinking I needed to be that to be successful, I have learned I offer so much more writing about what I am passionate about.
What is to come in year two?
In year two, you will see me continue to share my life experiences and hope you enjoy hearing about them. I will stop doubting myself, I will be proud of my side gig just like I am proud of being a mom and being a hotel professional. I made a few mistakes and I am excited to see what the future brings. I have learned so much and know I have so much more to learn, SEO, platforms, rankings, I could go on and on. Who knows, I may dabble in more public speaking engagements and hope to be published in larger publications.
Come along my journey, cheers to year two!
A few ways I plan to monetize my blog in year two: