I can’t believe that it’s been eight months since I started this blog. Initially, the blog was started as an outlet for me to express myself as well as keep myself accountable on my debt free journey. Now, this blog means so much more to me. The blog has been my way to escape life’s hard realities and focus on something fun. With that being said, I have decided to take my blog more seriously now. I enjoy blogging so much that I would like to improve my blog and focus on reaching more people. It would also be nice to eventually generate an income.
During February, I began the Elite Blog Academy course offered by Ruth Soukup. The course is basically an ultimate step-by-step guide to creating a successful blog. Now, this course was an investment made specifically to help me improve my blog, so I’m hoping that I will see a return.
I know that the process to improve my blog will take time so I’m going to go slow and complete the course carefully to ensure that I do not skip any steps. This post will be the starting point of my journey because I am starting from scratch as I work through EBA. My initial posts consisted of me blogging as a hobby and I didn’t post much during months when a lot of things were going on.
I am currently planning my posting schedule and brainstorming ideas to keep me on track. There is also going to be a theme and logo change in the coming months. I’m really excited about this.
What Have I Learned?
- The more you write, the better you become. I never thought of myself as a writer, and writing was never my dream in life. The first few posts on the blog are evidence of this, but using the Grammarly grammar checker has taught me a lot about the way that I structure my sentences and use punctuation. I have the extension for Google Chrome and it has made writing posts a breeze. I am planning to go back and revamp my early posts using this extension.
- Blogging is fun. I have never enjoyed writing. Research papers for school took me forever to write and I was not interested in the topics. Now, I love to write. I write about things that interest me and it has become fun. Every time I feel down or happy or excited, I immediately think about writing a blog post about my experience.
- The blogging community is so supportive. I have never done anything where people offered complete transparency to other people that were their “competitors”. Everyone is so nice and offers great tips without putting others down or giving them the runaround. If you need a post shared, just ask another blogger and most of them will be happy to help.
- Social media takes a lot of time. There is a huge difference between personal social media posts and blog social media posts. Posting on my personal page is a breeze. Creating posts to engage with my readers and promote my blog posts take a lot of time. I want to put out quality content that will keep my readers interested, so I am very selective about what I post.
I’m a bit nervous to put my current numbers out in the open because I know that they are low. What if they don’t grow? What if I never reach my goals? Is it going to be impossible to improve my blog?
Ruth Soukup sent out an email the other day that talked about being uncomfortable and stepping out of your comfort zone. Her advice was to “Do It Scared”. This is exactly what I’m going to do.
Total Posts: 44
These posts were written inconsistently. My plan now is to put out one post per week. I think this is pretty reasonable being that I’m still working full-time outside of the home.
Blog Followers: 20
My blog followers are the people on WordPress that have found my blog and clicked the follow button. There are one or two of these readers that read each post and I am very grateful for them.
Pageviews: 5,251 Unique Pageviews: 2,606
This number includes the data from July 2016 to February 2017. I’m hoping to reach 5,000 page views in one month in the future.
Email Subscribers: 0
I have an email opt-in form on my site, but I have not encouraged anyone to sign up. I am going to play around this month with a simple popup, but I won’t spend too much time on it. There is a unit in EBA that talks about emails so I will wait until I get there to work on email subscribers.
Twitter: 48 Facebook: 4 Instagram: 30 Pinterest: 50
I started each of my social media platforms at different times. My current goal is to post at least once per day on each platform to increase engagement and gain new followers.
I haven’t made any money from my blog as of February 28, 2017. It is worth it to note that I write for an online magazine and occasionally get paid for writing sponsored posts. Although I have been writing with them since December, I have not received a payment at this time. It takes 30-90 days to receive payment for sponsored posts, so I have a couple of pending payments.
I plan to include revenue from the magazine for two reasons. One, because I am using the things that I am learning in EBA to write posts there. Two, because I will use the money made from the magazine to invest into my own blog. Income from the magazine will be clearly noted in the future.
To start the blog, I purchased a host and a domain. Both of these are essential to being in charge of my own blog. Both of these were purchased through Bluehost and I have been very pleased so far. There was one point where I had a small issue, but customer service solved the issue right away.
Next, I purchased the Genesis Framework and the Lifestyle Pro theme from StudioPress. They have been wonderful as well. Customer service answered each of my questions before I made my purchase. I like the theme that I have now, but I don’t think it is the right theme for the direction that I would like to take my blog, so I will be purchasing another one from StudioPress soon.
I also purchased a lightweight laptop so that I could blog from anywhere. The laptop wasn’t something that I absolutely had to have, but I wanted a laptop that was more portable. Storage and other major details were not important to me because I have a main laptop already and I can easily purchase an external hard drive if I need one. I chose to get this Asus laptop from Amazon and it has been amazing. I only use it for blog work, so it is perfect for my needs.
The last thing that I purchased was Elite Blog Academy. This has been the biggest investment to date. I saw that a few of the more established blogs that I read have gone through the course and they gave excellent reviews. Their posts have encouraged me to improve my blog, so I signed up for the EBA waiting list. When the doors opened I was ready to purchase. I was aware of the price up front, and I knew that the only way to improve my blog would be to invest in it. My purchase was made with no hesitation.
My hosting and domain were $132.64. The Genesis Framework and layout were $99.95. I also spent $228.91 for my laptop and a carrying case. Elite Blog Academy is my largest expense. In November, the course was offered as an early bird special for $499. Although we didn’t get access to the course until February, the discount was better for my budget. Going forward the course will be more expensive so I’m glad that I purchased early.
Goals To Improve My Blog In March
- Reach 700 page views for the month.
- Gain 20 new followers on each social media platform.
- Post 3 times during the month.
Whew! I commend you for reading this post all the way to the end. Going forward they shouldn’t be so long. I wanted to make sure that I laid out all of the details. This is documentation for myself and maybe my progress will encourage some of you to start your own blogs. I invite you to come back monthly and check on my progress. I plan to improve my blog one post at a time. Leave your suggestions for me in the comments!
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