Tale of a New Blogger – Part 3
It doesn’t seem possible that it can be time for March Madness already. Bring on the excitement!
It feels like I have barely blinked my eyes since writing the last installment of this series and now it is time to write again. What a month it has been!
My March Madness post this week is all about my blogging journey. This is part of a series where I am sharing my first year, and hopefully many years thereafter, of my experience.
There are all kinds of great things to share today so let’s jump right in.
Where Did the Time Go?
First up, as planned, I faithfully kept up with tracking my time throughout February. It seems unreal, but I devoted 134 hours to blogging in the month of February. 134 hours!
That is mind blowing especially since my last month of working full-time I only worked 128 hours. And, in addition, I also did a number of freelance gigs during February.
Something had to go, so I gave up sleeping.
No, not really. Though I am sleeping less.
I am a huge TV fan. For the time being, that is the sacrifice I am willing to make to produce a successful blog. I am way behind on all of my favorites shows. I may have to start reading episode highlights until I have time to watch again.
Now where do I find time to read those? Hmm…
Here is a breakdown of how I spent my time:
It is important to me to track where I spend my time, and for two reasons.
1. I want to be able to look back in the future and tell people truthfully what it takes to start a blog.
2. I wanted to give me readers a glimpse into what it takes to have a money making blog.
As you will see further down, I am far from making money with this blog. FAR. FAR. FAAARRRRR.
But I know that will change, and in time I can refer back to these posts as I continue to tell my story.
Frankly, the people saying they spend four hours a month on a highly successful blog are full of crap. Either that or they have a whole team of people doing the work for them.
The biggest lesson I have learned so far is that blogs take time. A LOT of time.
Where Did the Money Go?
Despite my original plans, I did decide to spend more money on blog courses in February. I do not regret that decision at all.
I made three main purchases in February.
First, I decided to learn more about Pinterest from someone who is rocking the Pinterest world. So I bought Carly Campbell’s book, Pinteresting Strategies.
Carly has a completely different take on Pinterest from most other courses and her method is really working. It is not uncommon for her to get 8-9k views a day on Pinterest. A large number of those click through to her website.
I purchased this course on February 22, so I can’t tell you a whole lot about the successes so far. I can tell you that on Pinterest I went from averaging about 100 views a day to 800.
You can see I started to implement Carly’s method immediately. I decided to try her methods for just a couple days. The impact is undeniable.
Unfortunately, I have not been disciplined about working the system the way I should be, but the possibility of the impact is really exciting. I will share more with you on this journey next month.
My other big outlay in February was for Billionaire Blog Club. I am not taking this course myself, but I paid for my personal assistant to take it. He is interested in starting his own blog and will be working on improving this one.
Right now he is only eight days into BBC’s course. There will be an update on this journey next month.
Third, I have a new obsession. This is the biggest reason I got sidetracked from working Pinterest the way I should be.
I discovered Canva.
Note: I am not an affiliate for Canva, but I would love to be in the future.
Several bloggers have pointed me to Canva, but I was perfectly happy with using either Powerpoint or Publisher to make the graphic images I needed.
Man, was I missing out!
If you like designing and creating your own graphic images, you have to check out Canva. Even if you don’t especially love graphic design, if you have any need to create images, no system is easier than Canva.
What Happened on Social Media?
I didn’t spend nearly as much time on social media as I had the prior two months. My growth in followers will show that. Of the 30 hours, much of that time was spent on implementing Carly’s Pinterest methods.
Still, there was growth.
The positive takeaway is that there was growth in every area. I am most surprised by Facebook and Instagram because they were definitely my neglected step-children this month.
And The Money Kept Rolling in…
So, here’s the part I am not as excited about. Income, money earned, changed very little in February.
I knew that I was looking at a six month or longer period before my blog produced any income, but I truthfully hoped it would happen quicker for me.
The grand total for February, and this is earned, so not even in my pocket yet, is $3.05. And that is all from Google AdSense.
This means that optimizing my posts for both SEO and monetization has to priority this month.
Sorry, but at some point this blog has to pay the bills. I will try to keep ads to a relative minimum.
If you haven’t already noticed, I started sharing my current science fiction project in February. The working title is Paradise and Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are now available to read and the plan is to publish a new chapter every Tuesday.
Please keep in mind this is a first draft, so there will be some obvious errors. I want your comments, though, so please let me know what you think.
On the freelance side, I was able to get a few gigs going and make some real income in February. This will be a pet project for the time being as I intend to keep the blog and Paradise my primary focus.
How was your February? Please share your news in the comments below.