My First Month Blogging – What Worked & Didn’t Work

I first began Guitar and Lace in July 2017.  At the time I was very adamant on creating my blog “for free” with WordPress, but I did end up investing in a hosting platform the second week of August.

Long story short, I wanted to take my blog to the next level. Ok, ok! I wanted to see if I could earn a little passive income like all the other bloggers.

Ain’t nothing wrong with having a little side hustle!

If you are unsure about blogging and you just want to test the waters before committing, check out  How I Made my Blog for free.

Or, if you are ready to take the leap of faith into “Blog Land” and start earning money check out How to Start a Profitable Blog in 2017.

This month’s blogging report illustrates my progress, growth and lessons learned from August 10th-September 10th. (I joined bluehost on August 10th)

{Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. However, all opinions and advice are 100% my own. In order to stay truly transparent and honest, I only recommend services that I use, love and believe will benefit others.}

**Great news! I did earn money in my first month of blogging! Keep reading for all the details…

The Beginning.

My blog literally started from scratch. I had zero followers on all of my social media accounts, zero blogging experience and I didn’t know what a group board or tailwind tribe was. Never even heard of them. (crazy huh?!)

I was a lost sheep.

  • Pinterest Followers: 0
  • Pinterest Group Boards: 0
  • Instagram Followers: 0
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Blog Views: 7 (probably all of them being mine…)

I launched the day I published my first post. Then I listened to the crickets chirp whilst writing the second, and third… and fourth.

It was definitely very discouraging at first!

I didn’t share anything on my personal social accounts to avoid any “sympathy clicks”. Really, I wanted to avoid the “Hey, I saw you started a blog. Good for you!” small talk conversations with coworkers and friends. #introvert

Should I have built a following prior to launching? Meh, I’m sure it could have been a better idea. However, I personally felt silly building a social media following like, “Hey I’m Lori. You don’t know me, but I have a blog coming soon… follow me and wait patiently! It’s gonna be grrrreat!”

Perhaps there are more graceful ways of handling that scenario, but it wasn’t me.

The First Sign of Life.

My blog averaged around 5 views a day for almost the entire month. Some days I would only have 1 or 2 views. All felt like miniature successes!

During that time, I would create new content, pin and repeat. For a while, the only growth I noticed was Pinterest. As I pinned my little heart out, I noticed my average daily Pinterest views and impressions reached the thousands and up!

I also joined 31 group boards within my niche. This was very pivotal for my blog!

Then finally, on September 3rd I went viral. Just kidding, I got 38 views. It definitely felt viral at the time, though! People were finally noticing my blog!

I was a couple views short of 100 a few days later. (Where were you guys?!)

wordpress.JPG

Where I am at Now.

  • Blog Posts: 13
  • Monthly Views: 823 
  • Pinterest Group Boards: 31
  • Pinterest Followers: 25
  • Instagram Followers: 67

Did I make money? YES!

Total: $9.03. I’ll try not to spend it all in one place…

Ads: $4.53

Affiliate Marketing: $4.50 (all within the last 2 days of the month!) 

I talk more about the Affiliate that made profit here –> Favorite Blogging Tools for this month! 

**Update: Find out how I TRIPLED my traffic and income during my Second Month Blogging –> Second Month Blogging + Income Report

I was so pumped (for lack of a more eloquent term) that I made any money! I didn’t think I would be accepted into any affiliate or ad program right away, but I applied anyways. So glad I did!

Check out the affiliate programs that accepted me as a new blogger–> HERE

Need another way to make money online? Check out –> 10 Safe Ways to Make Money Online I’ve made $100+ within a few months and with minimal work!

What Worked?

After a few weeks with wordpress.com I decided to upgrade! I chose Bluehost, because not only are they super affordable (as low as $2.95 a month), but they gave me a free domain name! (guitarandlace.com)

Likewise, they had much higher customer ratings than other hosting platforms I looked into. I mean, WordPress even recommends them. As a blog hosting platform, they are one of the most affordable and highly rated!

Check out more information on bluehost –> HERE  (You can try it for 30 days and receive a full refund if you decide that you don’t like it!)

  • Pinterest!

Follow me 🙂  –> HERE

After joining group boards, I started noticing my pins being saved more and more. Pinning is great, but I’ll admit that it feels like most of my pins were saved into the Pinterest black hole. Let’s face it, who actually goes back to their board to click on their saved pins on a regular basis?

Goal: make more “clickable” pins. 

pinterest.JPG

What Didn’t Work?

Instagram.

I started off focusing on my Instagram following. I posted regularly, genuinely liked hundreds of photos and followed people within my niche.

I would get followers back and think, “aww! I’ve made a friend! OMGosh her outfit is so cute! Mannn, she is so cool!” Then she would unfollow me a day later.

Sometimes the same people would follow me weeks later (I remember names and faces really well. #teacher). Then they would unfollow me again.

Girllll, Jesus is watching you!

…So I have yet to figure out how to grow a genuine Instagram following, but I hope to try more this month!

Lessons Learned

My mind was blown on how many blogs I’ve looked at my whole life not realizing the person behind the blog is making a profit! That fabulous holiday cookie recipe I looked up on Pinterest… yeah she is making thousands every month. It’s mind boggling! I never knew that bloggers could make THAT much money. (Is this common knowledge?!)

Likewise, I didn’t realize how frustrating and tough blogging could be. Sure, the positives definitely out weigh the negatives, but MAN my blog can make me moody! When I had a day with low views, I would get so grumpy!  I’ve definitely learned to just accept the slow beginnings!

Lastly, content is key. I wasted a ton of time just staring at my statistics and waiting for things to grow. I really wish that I used that time to write! As a full time teacher, time management is going to be a tough one.

Check out my –> Favorite Blogging Tools for this month! 

September-October Goals

  • Blog Posts: 15 new posts 
  • Monthly Views: 1200
  • Pinterest Group Boards: 50 total 
  • Pinterest Followers: 100
  • Instagram Followers: 100
  • Venture into Facebook Groups
  • Venture into Tailwind Tribes
  • Make a post/pin go  over 1k re-pins
  • Income Earned: $20

If I were to leave you with an inspirational quote, it would be… “start a blog.” Seriously! If you’ve been thinking about it, just do it!

It has been such a fun journey this past month. I’ve learned so much about online businesses, marketing and even a little bit about myself (not to sound cheesy).

I definitely have a monument of work to accomplish!  I cannot wait to report back on how September goes!

Best Wishes to You and Your blog (or future blog!)

signature

Make Money (1)   & (2)   Make Money    Make Money Blog  How to use   

***Sorry! There seems to be a glitch with my comments section on this post. For some reason they are labeled as “closed”.  I love reading your feedback & comments! Please don’t hesitate to contact me on another post’s comment section or on my contact page. 🙂