THIRD MONTH OF BLOGGING (REPORT)

THIRD MONTH OF BLOGGING (REPORT)

How is it October already? I swear September has been the fastest month of the year. And yeah, it’s time for another blogging report.

But before I get any further, I decided to stop doing monthly reports and do quarterly ones instead. I feel like there isn’t much happening on a month to month basis, so doing them every three months will make more sense.

That means that in this post, I’ll share with you my third month of blogging insights. As well as a bit of an overview of the past three months.

Okay, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way.

DISCLAIMER NO. 1: This isn’t my first blog. I’ve been blogging on and off since 2008, professionally from late 2018. In early 2020, I decided to leave my fashion blog SaraViktorie.com. Then, there were quite a few months when I was working on Blogology before I officially launched it. By now, I completely abandoned my previous blog, but here’s my Instagram account I’m trying to revive at the moment, and here’s an interview with me with a company I used to be working with. I was cringing a bit when I was rereading it, so don’t read it if you don’t have to haha!

DISCLAIMER NO. 2: I’m not a blogging expert. I do have experience with starting and running blogs, but I don’t know everything that goes into blogging. I only teach what I know. In the venues where I’m still lacking, I provide you with other resources.

AND

DISCLOSURE: This blog post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Read my affiliate disclosure for more information.

Content

In the first month of Blogology, I was posting four times a month. However, in the second month, I decided to only post twice a month and I’m still sticking with that. 

In September, I published:

Did posting less affect my traffic?

Perhaps, a bit. You’ll notice later on that the traffic coming to my blog this month has been similar to last month. That said, I try to write long detailed posts which I can’t produce every week. For me, personally, I prefer quality over quantity.

Blog traffic report

In September, I generated exactly 1,192 pageviews from 1,063 users. If you look at my second month of blogging report, you’ll notice that this month is just slightly better than the previous month. 

Google Analytics third month of blogging report

My main source of traffic remains Pinterest. 

sources of traffic third month of blogging report

Moving on to SEO, I got exactly 60 clicks from Google in September. According to Google Search Console, I’m appearing somewhere in the search for 16 queries.

Google search console third month of blogging

In terms of backlinks, according to Moz, I have 6.3K inbound links. I checked them, and most of them come from DoSplash, which is a blogging community. And no, I definitely didn’t submit that many links there.

Moz third month of blogging report

What’s interesting is that Moz now tells me I have no ranking keywords. Last month, I had one, and it was “blogology”. I checked, and I’m still the number one result for that query. Having said that, I still have a lot of SEO related stuff to learn and practice.

Google

This is my September report from Bing Webmaster Tools. As you can see, it’s quite nonexistent. I’m appearing somewhere in the search for 35 queries, and quite a few of them are on the first page. But clearly, they are not very searched.

Bing webmaster tools third month of blogging

Growth strategies

Here’s what I do each week:

  • I pick 2 to 3 posts I want to promote that week
  • I tweet them on Twitter and submit them to comment threads in Facebook groups
  • Every time I post a new article, I also submit it to Blog Post Vote Up, DoSplash, Mix, and Bloglovin’. To be honest, I’ve only seen a few clicks from Blog Post Vote Up and DoSplash, other than that, I haven’t had much luck with the other two. But that’s okay, I’m putting more time into other strategies.

Social media

I’ve been keeping it pretty simple in terms of growth strategies. I don’t want to get overwhelmed with doing too much stuff at the same time. This is not the only blog I’m trying to grow.

That’s why I started with Pinterest for social media. At the moment, I’m pinning 5 fresh animated pins a day. I pin them to 3 related boards on average plus 1 or 2 group boards.

My descriptions are 2 to 3 sentences long and contain 3 keywords. I was previously using hashtags in my descriptions, but this month, I decided not to use them.

I’m also using Tailwind Tribes, but to be honest, I keep forgetting about them.

My impressions on Pinterest keep going down. I got over 300,000 impressions.

Pinterest impressions

That being said, my overall clicks are going up. According to Pinterest analytics, I got 380 link clicks. But then when I was looking at the traffic coming from Pinterest on Google Analytics, it said 577. So, yeah.

Pinterest link clicks

When it comes to Instagram, I decided to only post once a week for the feed to keep moving and look kinda nice. But at the moment, Instagram isn’t my priority.

A similar thing to Twitter. I try to engage on Twitter every day, but I don’t have a set strategy. Twitter is a great place to strike a conversation with real people, as opposed to Instagram.

Email marketing

Email marketing seems to be going great because we are now at 78 subscribers. 

The average open rate is still around 50% while the average click rate decreased a bit. But this is fine with me as both numbers are above average

email marketing

If you’re wondering, I’m using ConvertKit to capture emails.

I create various freebies that I’m offering all over my blog and I’m also sharing them on Pinterest. On my blog, I’m using a pop-up opt-in which you’ve probably already seen at this point, and I’m also using inline forms. Those are customized to fit the topic of the blog post and what I-m offering.

Blog income report

At the moment, I’m monetizing my blog with Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, and I also had a sponsored post in September.

Google AdSense

To date, I’ve made £5.19 from Google AdSense. At the time of publishing, this is roughly $6.72.

AdSense income report

Affiliate marketing

When it comes to affiliate marketing, I’ve only made one sale so far, and that was in August and it was $0.25.

Sponsored content

I had one sponsored post so far, and that was in September. I made exactly $200 from that post.

This means that to date, I’ve made $206.97 from Blogology.

Expenses

I didn’t invest in anything blog-related in August nor September. However, there were a lot of purchases I made before launching Blogology.

The investments count:

In total, I invested $548. That means I still need to make quite a few bucks to get my investments back.

Struggles

To be honest, there weren’t that many struggles in September. Yes, I still need to improve my sitespeed, and I’m still struggling with self-doubt, but I’m slowly trying to combat those things.

Conclusion

So, that was a blogging report for the third month of Blogology. Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up with my (from now on quarterly) blogging reports.

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    RELATED:
    First Month of Blogging (REPORT)
    Second Month of Blogging (REPORT)

    Featured image courtesy of Marcus Aurelius via Pexels

    HOW I MADE MY FIRST AFFILIATE SALE IN MY SECOND MONTH OF BLOGGING

    HOW I MADE MY FIRST AFFILIATE SALE IN MY SECOND MONTH OF BLOGGING

    Yes, that’s right! I made my first affiliate sale in my second month of blogging. But other than that, I also go spam-blocked on Pinterest for a week and burnt out.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself.

    In some areas, this month was more successful than my first month of Blogology and in some areas, it wasn’t.

    But why am I sharing this with you?

    Because I want you to know what it’s like to be a blogger and run a blog. I want to take you behind the scenes. That’s why I’m trying to be as detailed as possible.

    But before we go any further, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way.

    DISCLAIMER NO. 1: This isn’t my first blog. I’ve been blogging on and off since 2008, professionally from late 2018. In early 2020, I decided to leave my fashion blog SaraViktorie.com. Then, there were quite a few months when I was working on Blogology before I officially launched it. By now, I completely abandoned my previous blog, but here’s my Instagram account I’m trying to revive, and here’s an interview with me with a company I used to be working with. I was cringing a bit when I was rereading it, so don’t read it if you don’t have to haha!

    DISCLAIMER NO. 2: I’m not an expert at blogging. I do have experience with starting and running blogs, but I don’t know everything that goes into blogging. I only teach what I know. In the venues where I’m still lacking, I provide you with other resources.

    AND

    DISCLOSURE: This blog post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Read my Affiliate Disclosure for more information.

    Why did I start Blogology?

    Well, I have a few reasons:

    • Blogging has always been my passion and that one thing no one could ever take away from me
    • To test my content marketing skills
    • To show introduce you to the world of blogging and take you behind the scenes of running a blog
    • To make money online and be able to travel full-time

    Content

    One thing I decided to change this month was my posting schedule. Until now, I was posting four times a month – every Monday.

    In August, I decided to change that number to only three posts – main posts every other Monday and a blogging report the first Friday of the month.

    Why?

    Because my posts are very detailed and I try to get the nitty-gritty of the discussed topic. Researching, writing, and putting together these posts takes a lot of time.

    Also, this schedule will give me more space for guest posting and gain visibility that way.

    Posting less gives me more time to:

    • Create better content
    • Guest blogging
    • Promoting my blog

    So, apart from my first month of blogging report, I also published:

    Blog traffic report

    In August, I got exactly 1,145 pageviews from 1,028 visitors. The bounce rate could be lower. I’ve already started making some small steps to improve it. But, to be fair, I’m quite happy with the average time on page.

    Blogology Google Analytics

    Although, I want to make it clear that those two metrics are difficult to track and they are not the most precise metrics. I go over this in How to Measure the Success of Your Blog.

    What does the high bounce rate mean?

    Well…

    • My posts are either so good that my readers find all the information they need and they don’t need to click on any other posts to find for information
    • Perhaps my posts are so bad that people leave immediately
    • Or the users don’t even land on my page in the first place

    Hopefully, judging by the average time on page, it’s the first option haha!

    To be fair, I also have quite a few landing pages with email opt-ins and freebies where the reader won’t spend a lot of time. I keep promoting those pages a lot, so that might be the reason as well.

    As you can see, most of my traffic comes from social media. My highest source of traffic is Pinterest.

    Blogology Google Analytics top channels

    To be honest, at the moment I’m not having much luck with Google. But I’m aware that this takes time. I’m getting a few clicks from Google every now and then, but I’m not appearing on the first page for any of my articles.

    That being said, I do have a few pages that rank on the first page of Bing. So far, the CTR isn’t great, but at least I have some data and have an idea as to what to improve.

    Second month of blogging report Bing

    SEO

    As I mentioned, my results from SEO are close to non-existent at this point. Here’s a report from Moz:

    Second month of blogging report Moz

    What shocked me was the number of backlinks. If you go to my last month’s report, you’ll notice that the number is a lot different.

    I checked it and apparently, the majority of those backlinks come from DoSplash, which is a blogging community. A lot of those links don’t even come from my submissions, so I’m honestly confused about this.

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      Growth Strategies

      As I said, I started posting less. Did it affect my traffic? I don’t think so.

      Here’s what I do each week:

      • I pick three posts I want to promote that week
      • I tweet them on Twitter and submit them to comment threads in Facebook groups
      • Every time I post a new article, I also submit it to Blog Post Vote Up, DoSplash, Mix, and Bloglovin’. To be honest, I’ve only seen a few clicks from Blog Post Vote Up and DoSplash, other than that, I haven’t had much luck with the other two. But that’s okay, I’m putting more time into other strategies.

      Social media

      I mentioned that Pinterest is my main source of traffic. In August, I was pinning four fresh pins a day. I pin them to 4 to 6 boards (including 1 to 2 group boards). I generally keep my descriptions 2 to 3 sentences long and include 3 to 5 keywords.

      Throughout the month, I was also including 5 to 7 hashtags but I stopped doing that toward the end of the month.

      As you could notice in my first month of blogging report, the impressions on my pins were great. That wasn’t the case for the link clicks. I was happy when I got four link clicks a day.

      So, I decided to play around with my pin designs, colors, and also titles. Titles are the most important part. I started including different power words and just was trying to craft better titles that I thought might get more clicks.

      So, for example: How to Plan a Blog Before You Launch It became 6 Crucial Things You Need to Plan Before You Start a Blog

      See the difference?

      So, what were the results? Very good! Since last month, I have decreased the amount of daily fresh pins. Similar reasons for posting less on Blogology: I’m focusing on quality rather than quantity.

      Because of that, my account stopped growing in terms of impressions. My impressions remained at around 600k monthly viewers. But my link clicks started increasing. Suddenly I went from 4 link clicks daily on average to 30 link clicks on a good day.

      Second month of blogging report Pinterest impressions

      Well, until this all stopped.

      See the dip there?

      In week three, all of a sudden all my pins stopped getting impressions and therefore zero link clicks. After a few days of this, I contacted Pinterest Support. I heard that a lot of accounts are being mistakenly flagged as spam. All I got was a generic response that I should be pinning mainly my content and focus on producing fresh pins. Good to know haha!

      After a few days, I connected with a few other bloggers who had the same issue. I was advised to keep contacting Pinterest until the problem is resolved.

      Second month of blogging report Pinterest link clicks

      But then, exactly a week after it started, I noticed that my pins started getting impressions again. As of now, my account is almost back to normal. Honestly, no idea what the issue was.

      Other than this, I wasn’t paying too much attention to social media. That’s changing in September, so stay tuned!

      Blogger outreach

      This month, I decided to try a new strategy. I link out to other articles and blogs a lot. So, why not let the authors know and perhaps get some traffic from it?

      The way this works is that you link out to an external resource, let the author know, and if they like the content, they share it with their audiences. Ideally, you should pick bloggers that have similar audiences to yours.

      This was the case for How to Brand a Personal Blog. I demonstrate some of my points on three blogs. I contacted the bloggers a few weeks before publishing the post letting them know that I’d like to feature them and if it would be okay with them.

      All of them said yes, and then when the post was finished, I sent them the link. Some of them did share the post which also resulted in some extra traffic.

      NOTE: I didn’t ask for shares in any of my emails. I understand that not all of them would like the post and so I let the choice up to them.

      I definitely will be using this technique in the future.

      Email marketing

      In August, I grew my email list to 35 subscribers. The good thing is that no one unsubscribed!

      Blogology ConvertKit email marketing

      I rebranded my newsletter to the “VIP Club”.

      What are you getting?

      Weekly exclusive tips, updates, and freebies. I’m also thinking about starting a series where we look at successful blogs, analyze them, and identify why they are successful.

      I want Blogology to be very analytical and well, sciency. In a way.

      But I’m not sure about this series just yet.

      In August, I released my pre-launch blog planner, which is my most popular freebie to date.

      How do I collect emails?

      I use ConvertKit to collect emails. I have a pop-up on most pages throughout my blog and I also have opt-ins throughout my content. I also pin my landing pages on Pinterest.

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      Join my newsletter to get access to exclusive tips and be the first one to hear about what’s happenning behind the scenes!

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        Blog income report

        At the moment, I’m monetizing my blog with display ads and affiliate marketing. I also own a business called The Blogger Assistant which I’d like to turn into an agency. I’m aware that some bloggers also include their freelance gigs in their income reports. I mean, this business has a lot to do with blogging. However, I’m not including my earnings from that in this report.

        AdSense

        Last month, I made almost $6 from AdSense. Well, this month, despite getting more traffic than last month, I received fewer ad clicks.

        If you didn’t know, AdSense is a CPC network. This means that I make a commission only if someone clicks on the ad.
        To be honest, AdSense is known to pay less compared to other networks, so I’m not expecting to make big bucks from this. Also, I don’t have the ads on all pages, and if I do, I have just one ad per page, since I don’t want Blogology to be covered in ads. User experience is very important to me.

        So, how much did I make from AdSense in my second month of blogging?

        £0.04 which is roughly $0.054 at the time of publishing.

        Google AdSense Blogology

        Affiliate marketing

        I’m a member of a few affiliate networks and programs. You can have a look at my affiliate disclosure to see which ones.

        I promote my affiliate links in my content where it makes sense, on my Tools page, and I also share my affiliate links on Pinterest.

        NOTE: I add #afflink in the description to make sure the visitor knows they are clicking on an affiliate link.

        As you can tell from the title of this report, I made my first affiliate sale in my second month of blogging!

        So, how much did I make?

        £0.15. This is roughly $0.20 at the time of publishing.

        It’s not much, but I was very happy to find out.

        Blogology CJ Affiliate commission

        So, in total, I made £0.19 or roughly $0.25 in my second month of blogging.

        Expenses

        In August, I didn’t have any expenses whatsoever! I invested quite a lot of money before launching (over $500) so I decided not to buy anything this month. Mainly because my SiteGround renewal is coming soon. They raised their prices a few months ago, so I’m bracing for the renewal haha!

        Struggles

        Pagespeed

        Similarly to last month, pagespeed has been an issue. I started taking some small steps to improve it. For example, I started embedding my email opt-ins in HTML as opposed to JavaScript. JavaScript is a heavy code and you should use it with caution. I also started cleaning up my database with the WP Sweep plugin.

        Blurry images

        I noticed that suddenly most of my images are blurry. I tried the Regenerate Thumbnails technique but it didn’t help.

        I remember that when I first started building the website, I had the same issue. I also remembered that to solve it, all it took was going to Settings > Media and change the image sizes to zeros.

        Oh, and yes, I’m talking about WordPress haha!

        I’m noticing that some of my images are still a bit blurry, but to be honest, I have no idea what the issue is. Perhaps it’s the quality of those images. But the thing is that when I’m viewing them on my computer, they are okay.

        Burnout

        After months of not taking a single day off and working my businesses, I burnt out. I saw it coming, but I tried pushing through it. Nope, it didn’t work.

        Putting myself out there

        I’m quite shy and introverted so networking and putting myself out there is pretty difficult for me. But I do want to step out of my comfort zone in September and change this.

        Conclusion

        So, this is all for my second month of blogging report. A part of me thinks that I could have done better and a part of me is happy with the results.

        What do you think?

        PREVIOUSLY:
        The Most Detailed First Month of Blogging Report You’ve Ever Read

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        Third Month of Blogging (Report)

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          THE MOST DETAILED FIRST MONTH OF BLOGGING REPORT YOU’VE EVER READ

          THE MOST DETAILED FIRST MONTH OF BLOGGING REPORT YOU’VE EVER READ

          What happened in my first month of blogging? Quite a lot of things!

          Before we begin, this isn’t your traditional “first month of blogging” income and traffic report. This is probably the most detailed “first month of blogging” report you’ve ever read.

          My aim with this report is to show you what it’s like to run a blog and what it’s like to be a blogger.

          I feel like there’s this misconception that blogging is mainly writing. It’s not.

          I want to start publishing super-detailed monthly reports to take you behind the scenes of running a blog.
          I want to be fully transparent with you about everything that’s happening on this blog.

          Perhaps, if you haven’t started a blog, it will give you an idea about what to expect in your first month of blogging.

          Before we get any further, I’d like to put here a few disclaimers.

          DISCLAIMER NO. 1: This is not exactly my first month of blogging. I’ve been blogging on and off since 2008, professionally from late 2018. In early 2020, I decided to leave my fashion blog SaraViktorie.com. Then, there were quite a few months when I was working on Blogology, before I officially launched it. By now, I completely abandoned my previous blog, but here’s my Instagram account I’m trying to revive, and here’s an interview with me from a company I used to work with. I was cringing a bit when I was rereading my answers, so don’t read it if you don’t have to haha!

          DISCLAIMER NO. 2: I’m not a blogging expert. I do have experience with starting and running blogs, but I don’t know everything that comes into blogging. I only teach what I know. In the venues where I’m still lacking, I provide you with other resources.

          AND

          DISCLOSURE: This blog post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a commission. Read my Affiliate Disclosure for more information.

          And now, let’s get into it!

          Spoiler alert! Yes, I did make some money.

          Why I started Blogology

          Now that we’ve got all disclaimers out of the way let’s address why I started this project.

          About a year ago, I started toying with the idea of starting this “the science of blogging” thing. After all, I’ve been blogging for quite some time, and I find blogging fascinating. I feel like at some point, having a blog has become a part of my identity.

          So, I started researching the existing competition and started developing a unique vision for the blog. Not gonna lie, I’m still working on the uniqueness. It takes time haha!

          I got really excited about this project, but then, my self-doubts were holding me back. I thought I wasn’t the right person to create this thing. After all, there are much more knowledgeable bloggers who achieved way more than me in a shorter time.

          But then, at some point, I said, “screw it!” and started working on the project.

          Long story short, Blogology is a project where I’m introducing aspiring bloggers into the world of blogging while testing various growth strategies.

          I want to teach you what I know while taking you behind the scenes of running a blog.

          The concept of Blogology isn’t about “how I did it”, but more so “how I’m doing it”.

          Before starting the blog

          Before I started working on Blogology, I spent months planning the blog, determining how to make the blog different from the thousands of other blogs, identifying and researching my competitors, and defining my target audience.

          After all, I decided that this time, I’m going to do “everything right”. Now, that’s an ambitious and unrealistic goal. You are going to make mistakes. And that’s okay. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to avoid mistakes.

          Alongside that, I was learning as much as I could about SEO. My biggest mistake with my previous blog was not implementing SEO and email marketing. That’s changed with this blog.

          Then I spent months working on the website itself.

          Before I launched Blogology, I set up social media channels, mainly to grab the handles so no one would steal them. After all, I’m not the first person to come up with the word “Blogology”. That’s why almost all of my handles are @theblogology, if you must know.

          I also started setting up my Pinterest account, creating boards, and pinning other people’s pins. But I’m going to go through my growth strategies in detail later on.

          Content

          In May, I started uploading the content I’ve written to the blog while having a coming soon page on.

          At the time of launching, I had four pillar pages:

          • How to start a blog
          • How to write a blog post
          • How to promote your blog
          • Ways to make money blogging

          Those are based on high competition keywords, and I don’t expect to be ranking for them anytime soon.

          Then, at the time of launching, I had a Tools page with the tools I’m using to run my blog, and these ten blog posts:

          • What is a blog?
          • 12 things you need to do before starting a blog
          • 10 skills every blogger needs
          • Beginner’s guide to the WordPress dashboard
          • How to plan your blog before you launch it
          • How to find the right niche for your blog
          • How to choose a blog name you won’t regret
          • How to define a target audience for your blog
          • How to research your blog competitors
          • What to do if you can’t find your blog niche

          Most of the content is based around a single topic – starting a blog. This is the topic clusters strategy from HubSpot. Also, interlinking related content is good for SEO.

          Blog traffic report

          I officially launched Blogology on July 1st.

          From my experience, I know that I can get caught up in the numbers. I can check the analytics at least ten times a day. So, I decided that I wouldn’t check my analytics the entire month.

          And that was a mistake.

          On July 22nd, I got a strong urge to check my Google Analytics, and this is what I saw:

          First month of blogging BLOGOLOGY Google Analytics error

          Now, I knew that I wasn’t receiving any traffic at all. I was getting comments from visitors, and I might have been tracking the link clicks in my Pinterest analytics. I might have also been checking the impressions on my opt-ins in ConvertKit haha!

          I’m going to address the error in Google Analytics that happened later on in Struggles.

          So, here are my analytics from Jetpack:

          first month of blogging BLOGOLOGY Jetpack traffic report

          As you can see, I received 792 pageviews from 485 visitors.

          I’m really upset about the Google Analytics error as I wanted to give you a more in-depth overview of my traffic, such as bounce rate, and what I should do to improve it.

          Growth strategies

          Let’s have a look at how I was driving traffic to my blog in July 2020. To avoid being overwhelmed with social media, I decided to focus on Pinterest and Instagram.

          Mid-month, I decided to switch Instagram for Twitter. I was also Facebook a bit, and I started submitting my posts to blogging communities.

          Apart from that, I optimized my blog for SEO to my best knowledge and was collecting emails.

          SEO

          SEO isn’t my forte. I’ve been focusing on creating long-form keyword-rich content.

          As a beginner, my main focus is on-page SEO.

          In terms of technical SEO, I’m making sure my website is mobile-friendly, and I’ve been trying to keep my site as fast as possible, but more about that in Struggles.

          In July, I didn’t have any backlink campaigns yet apart from commenting on other blogs.

          Those are my results from the Google Search Console:

          first month of blogging Blogology Google search Console traffic report

          At the time of writing, I have 12 ranking keywords. But the only one where I’m ranking on the first page is Blogology.

          Pinterest

          I started building my Pinterest account in May. I started creating boards related to my niche and optimized the account for Pinterest SEO. I started filling my boards with other bloggers’ pins so that Pinterest could understand what my account is about.

          In June 2020, I started creating pins that were linked to my blog posts. I knew it would take time for Pinterest to start distributing my pins, so I started doing it this early.

          At first, my account wasn’t growing, but it changed in mid-June.

          Then in July, I launched the blog, and my pins started getting traction. I’m now at around 600k unique monthly viewers.

          At the beginning of July, I invested in Tailwind.

          At first, I was building upon the existing pins and was creating 15 to 20 new pins a week, pinning them into at least five related boards, the most related one being first. All while pinning a lot of other bloggers’ content.

          I was using a Pinterest group board to submit my pins. I tried contacting more group board owners but with no response. I was also adding my pins to a few Tailwind tribes.

          But then, the Pinterest algorithm changed, and the strategy with it. Pinterest now favors “fresh pins”. I started coming across advice that you should be creating around 100 fresh pins a week. With the algorithm change, Pinterest wants us to be focusing on creating new content instead of pinning other peoples’ content.

          So, I ditched the group board and Tailwind tribes.

          As you can tell, creating 100 pins a week is f***ing difficult, tiring, time-consuming, and unattainable.

          So, in my last week, I decided to pin just four fresh pins a day. Those pins are a combination of blog posts, landing pages for my freebies, and affiliate links. I pin them into 3 to 5 boards.

          I joined two new group boards and started using Tailwind tribes again. I do a combination of pinning from both Pinterest and Tailwind. In general, I try to pin at least one pin a day from Pinterest.

          In terms of descriptions, I generally write descriptions three sentences long, containing 3 to 5 keywords. I’m also using 5 to 8 hashtags in my descriptions.

          At first, I was using a combination of static and video pins. Now I’m using only video pins.

          I noticed that my pins were getting impressions, but they weren’t getting a lot of link clicks. So, in the last week of July, I decided to step out of my visual branding comfort zone (black, white, and red) and started experimenting with different colors, fonts, and layouts.

          But we’ll see how that goes in the future.

          So, these are my stats for July:

          Pinterest impressions Blogology
          Pinterest link clicks Blogology July 2020

          The first are impressions and the latter are link clicks.

          In July 2020, I grew my Pinterest account to 124 followers.

          Instagram

          My initial intent was to post on Instagram every day to build the feed and then start posting every other day.

          Well, I was promoting SaraViktorie.com mainly on Instagram, and after two years of posting every single day, I developed a toxic relationship with the platform.

          After a few days, I stopped.

          I also wanted to post a new photo on my Sara Viktorie account, where I haven’t posted in around six months, updating everyone on where I’ve been and casually mention Blogology.

          Long story short, I. Just. Can’t.

          My main issue with Instagram is that you need to keep creating posts for your main feed, stories, and IG TV to grow your account.

          Now, you don’t have the option to add links to your feed posts, and the swipe up feature in stories is just for accounts with more than 10k followers.

          As you can tell, it’s not the best platform for website traffic. Instagram is one of those platforms that grow as a result of your brand growing, and not the other way around.

          Twitter

          I decided to replace Instagram with Twitter. Now, I didn’t have a strategy for it as I do with Pinterest.

          After all, Pinterest is my main focus apart from SEO.

          So, all I did here was tweeting about my new posts, using a retweeting account to get more eyes on my content, and participating in blog comments Twitter threads.

          Facebook

          On Facebook, I have a page set up, but I’m not getting traffic from that.

          What’s working very well are blog comments threads in Facebook groups. Now, this is not a viable long-term strategy, but if you’re just starting out and are trying to lift your blog off the ground, it can help tremendously.

          Some of those visitors from Facebook translated into email subscribers.

          Also, a big part of my growth strategy is getting my content in front of existing audiences. Generally, that’s guest posting.

          But, in my mind, submitting my content to Facebook groups for bloggers is getting it in front of the eyes of existing audiences.

          After all, all of them are bloggers, and many of them are looking for blogging advice.

          Those are my favorite Facebook groups:

          Blogging communities

          I was also submitting my content to blogging communities.

          Those were:

          During the entire month, I received just four clicks from Blog Post Vote Up. I’m going to keep submitting my content to those communities, and perhaps I’m going to see more traction from them in the future.

          It’s fair to say that I wasn’t using Mix and Bloglovin’ actively, so there’s no wonder I didn’t see results from them.

          Email marketing

          I’ve already mentioned that I wasn’t collecting emails on my previous blog, so this is entirely new to me.

          I’m using ConvertKit for email marketing. Now, I send a weekly newsletter to my list. It contains tips related to my latest blog post. If there are updates in the blogging industry, I let them know as well.

          At the moment, my freebies are a blog launch checklist and a blog post checklist. I’m going to change these over the course of July for more exciting offers.

          During July, I gained 15 email subscribers and lost 2. I was also checking the unconfirmed subscribers, and there’s quite a few.

          If you didn’t know, your subscribers need to confirm that they want to be on your email list.

          As for the opt-ins I’m using, I have one or two opt-ins in the content and after, and I also have a pop up opt-in that appears after the user scrolls down to 30% of the page.

          ConvertKit email subscribers BLOGOLOGY July 2020

          Blog income report

          I’m monetizing Blogology with Google AdSense and affiliate marketing.

          How am I promoting my affiliate links?

          I have them on my Tools page, I add them to appropriate blog posts, and I promote some of them on Pinterest. For now, that’s it.

          My affiliate links did get a few clicks, but none of them has translated into a sale yet.

          As for Google AdSense, it’s the ad you saw at the beginning of the article. AdSense is a PPC provider, which means you only earn a commission if someone clicks on the advertisement.

          So, in July, I earned £4.45. I was living in the UK when I was applying for AdSense, that’s why it’s in GBP. Unfortunately, I can’t change the currency of my account. At the time of publishing (Aug 3rd), this translates to $5.82.

          Blogology first month of blogging income report Google AdSense

          NOTE: There’s a threshold of £60 or $100 I need to pass before I’m eligible to receive the payment

          Expenses

          Since I’m talking about how much I’ve earned, it’s also fair to mention how much I spent.

          In my opinion, I invested quite a lot. Keep in mind that some of those purchases happened prior to the blog launch.

          This is what I invested in (tax included):

          • Domain – Namecheap – $8.88
          • Web hosting – SiteGround (I was only upgrading to the Grow Big plan) – £57.60 = $75.49
          • Tailwind – $119.88
          • Legal templates from A Self Guru (I wasn’t going to buy it yet, but she had a 4th of July sale) – $247 (it’s the premium bundle)
          • Elegant Themes (I’m using the Divi theme) – $96.80

          So, if I include what I’ve earned, in total, I lost $542.23.

          I don’t have any plans to purchase anything in the upcoming month. I’d like to invest in the paid ConvertKit plan and upgrade the Tooltip Glossary plugin, but as you can tell, running a blog can be quite expensive.

          Struggles

          Let’s get into what bugging me off in my first month of blogging.

          1. Hacker email

          On June 29th, two days before the launch, I received this email:

          It’s safe to say that I was terrified.

          I ran through several crawls to find some trace of actual hacking, and I didn’t find anything.

          I’m using Wordfence Security to protect my blog. As far as I know, my reputation isn’t being destroyed, but I’m still wary.

          According to some articles on Google, it’s just a Bitcoin scam.

          That being said, I’m noticing a lot of blocked malicious attempts, but no one has hacked my blog.

          2. Page speed

          So, page speed has been a big issue. No matter what I’m doing, my blog doesn’t seem to speed up.

          Mid-July, I installed Cloudflare. Well, I did it wrong, and my site was down for a few hours. I contacted SiteGround, and they resolved the issue immediately.

          I also started deleting and replacing some plugins with more lightweight ones, which is also the reason for the Google Analytics error. One of the first plugins that I removed was Monster Insights. I figured that I could check the Google Analytics app instead of having it displayed on my dashboard.

          Well, I forgot that Monster Insights was connecting my blog to the analytics, and without it, it couldn’t track anything. I already fixed the issue by adding the HTML code to the Headers and Footers plugin.

          Now, some of you who are more aware of this might be wondering: “So, you deleted Monster Insights to speed up your site, but kept Jetpack?”

          Yes, I did. As I said, I was worried about the hacker attack, so I kept any plugin that had an anti-malware function.

          3. Someone with the same blog name

          A few days ago, I noticed a blog on WordPress.com with the same name as my blog’s.

          I did a lot of research before picking the name The Blogology and made sure there was no blog called this particular name and that it wasn’t trademarked.

          What can I say?

          Pick a different name, dude!

          4. Starting a business

          I was very busy in July. I’m starting another blog and online business. So, yeah. I thought I’d release more and better freebies, but yeah.

          5. Social media aversion

          Despite posting on IG for two years straight, I’m not a social media girl. I’ve always been on everything but were hardly ever active. I’m shy and introverted, so his social media and networking don’t come naturally to me.

          6. Pinterest changing their algorithm

          I’ve mentioned that Pinterest has changed the algorithm, and with that came some struggle.

          Like I said, creating a 100 pins a week just isn’t doable for me. I’d much rather create fewer good-quality pins than a lot of low-quality ones.

          7. HelloBar integration error

          At first, I was using HelloBar for my pop up opt-in.

          Even though I connected it to ConvertKit, for some reason, the emails weren’t showing in my ConvertKit dashboard. I’ve since switched to ConvertKit’s forms.

          8. Missing sequences in the free version of ConvertKit

          I’ve mentioned that I’m using the free version of ConvertKit for up to 1000 subscribers.

          The only issue I have with the free version is that it doesn’t have the sequences function. That means that I can’t set a welcome email that would be sent automatically to new subscribers.

          Instead, I have to send them manually, often hours after the signup.

          9. Tooltip Glossary plugin

          You might have noticed that there’s a tooltip function on my blog.

          Some expressions such as niche, bounce rate, or SEO, display the definitions on hover. I thought this would be a cool feature.

          The thing is that the free version shows the meanings of the expression on all pages every time it’s mentioned. The issue with that is that I have two blog posts about blog niches, where I’m mentioning the word “niche” a lot.

          See what I mean?

          Now, this isn’t a huge problem, but I’m going to invest in the premium version sometime in the future. But you’ve seen my expenses, so it’ll take some time.

          10. Crafting clickable headlines

          I’m still struggling with crafting “sexy” titles for my blog posts. It’s a skill I’m trying to learn.

          11. Self-doubts

          I’d say that self-doubts have been my main struggle.

          I’m still comparing myself to other bloggers even though I’m trying not to. I feel like there are many bloggers who know way more than me about blogging, so I shouldn’t be doing this.

          But at the same time, I feel like I have my own unique perspective, and I know that there are people who will benefit from my content.

          Argh!

          12. Finding low-competition high-volume keywords

          Finding low-competition high-volume keywords is a real struggle for me. I’m still trying to develop this skill.

          Conclusion

          In July, I received 792 pageviews from 485 visitors.

          I gained 12 email subscribers.

          I earned $5.82.

          After deducing what I invested, I lost $542.23.

          Looking back, I’m very happy with my first month of blogging. I didn’t have high expectations whatsoever. Even though there are blogs getting much more traffic in their first months, this is my most successful first month of blogging to date.

          I’m expanding my growth strategies in August, so stay tuned for that!

          If you want to keep up with my strategies, sign up below!

          RECOMMENDED READING:
          How to Start a Blog

          READ NEXT:
          How I Made My First Affiliate Sale in My Second Month of Blogging

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