Category Archives: Tale of a new blogger

This and That: Checking in With Wolfe Butler

Hello, readers! It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post about me. So much has been going on that I feel like I need to check in with my audience and give a quick update on everything from building a launch team to growing an ice plant. As a result, I’ve decided to take some time off from my different series.

As usual, Wolfe is trying to go in more directions than are humanly possible (I don’t know why I’m referring to myself in third-person.) If I didn’t, though, I wouldn’t be me.

From hiring editors to killing plants, here’s what’s been going on in Wolfe Butler’s world.

Why You Need a Professional Editor

If you’ve followed me for any time at all, you know that my debut novel, Getting Home, was a labor of love that took me 15 years to complete. I finally self-published it simply so I would stop working on it. My goal was to go back to it at some point so it could be polished to perfection.

A couple reader’s pointed out some small grammar and typo mistakes. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so those mistakes have become an obsession of mine.

I decided not to wait and to dust off the manuscript. I raised the price on Amazon so no one would be interested in buying it for the time being, and I decided to get the help I needed to polish it into the gem I know it can be.

Through a little searching, I was able to find a great editor within just a two-hour drive from where I live. I am working with the wonderful and talented Angela B. Wade. Even though the book was finished, Angela is helping me do a developmental edit. Angela can also be found on Reedsy if you want to work with a great editor.

 

Picture of an edited page

The Bad and the Good

When it comes to getting good and bad news, I always opt for the bad first to get it over with and so I still have something good to look forward to. Angela has helped me to see that there were some serious revisions needed in Getting Home due to plot holes and some confusion from inconsistent point-of-view.

On the positive side, as I work through the entire manuscript again, I’m finding that it’s actually a fairly decent piece of fiction. Yes, I know I shouldn’t say that about my own work, but I have been pleasantly surprised.

After almost seven months of not looking at it, I sat down to read it cover to cover. I was pleased to find some good writing. Yes, there are lots of things to fix, and I’m so thankful to reviewers like Kristy Jo Volchko for their kind reviews in spite of glaring mistakes. However, there is some good writing, so I can’t wait to do a new release for my passion project.

While I am disappointed with myself for putting my work out into the world in an imperfect state, I am so grateful to Angela B. Wade. She is helping me to put the book in order and has pointed out a few flaws that I would never have noticed on my own.

If you are an indie author, I strongly recommend that you consider working with a professional editor like Angela B. Wade. If you feel like a professional is outside of your budget, then, at the very least, find a teacher or other wordsmith in your life that is willing to give your manuscript a once-over before you launch.

You will be surprised at how many mistakes a fresh set of eyes can find.

Why Bloggers Should Include Pinterest Pins in Their Posts

Building a Launch Team

One of the reasons for today’s post is that I am looking to build a launch team. There are two main reasons.

One, as I just mentioned, Getting Home will soon be re-released. I would love some help spreading the word.

Two, my current work-in-progress, Paradise, is also nearly complete for book one. My goal is to have it live on Amazon by mid-October, which means I have a lot of work to do between now and then.

I am coming to each of you to ask for help. In the coming days, I will be creating Facebook groups for each book. Please consider applying to join my launch team. In addition to my eternal gratitude, you will also receive a copy of the book when it goes live.

 

Shuttle launch

What Does a Launch Team Do?

Many of us have done book tours, whether online or in person. Developing a launch team is very similar. All I would ask from you is that you read the advance copy I will send to you and then leave an honest review once the book goes live. It would also be great if you were willing to post about the launch on your blog or social media accounts.

Now, I don’t want to cross any lines, especially with Amazon. If I send you an advanced reader copy (ARC) copy of either book, you are under no obligation to write a final review. I would love it if you would, but would fully understand if you did not. It would be good to include in your review that you received an ARC, but I don’t think it’s a requirement.

Please reach out to me if you have any more questions on launch teams.

You Gotta Have Help

Another huge change I have made in my daily life was adding CrowdFire to help me keep up with my social media accounts. I was spending hours each week on social media, primarily on Twitter and Facebook.

I still spend a fair amount of time on each platform, but CrowdFire has cut out a lot of the I spent posting to separate platforms and keeping up with followers and unfollowers.

CrowdFire has a free option, so you can check it out and see if it is something that will work for you. For me, it has saved me hours each week and worth every penny I paid for the upgrade. It also will help you post and repost blog posts and will post to Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Shopify, Etsy, Vimeo and more.

The biggest way it is saving me time is by helping me add new followers and remove those that have chosen to stop following me or become inactive. It turns out, over the last eight months, I have unknowingly followed a large number of spam accounts.

Those accounts become inactive in time and bloat your numbers when it comes to the accounts you are following. Removing those inactive accounts gives you room to follow new, legitimate accounts.

The best news? It only takes about 10 minutes a day to keep things up to date, and you can do it all from the CrowdFire app right on your phone. Honestly, I do it most mornings before I even get out of bed.

The Versatile Blogger Award – Wolfe Butler’s Take

The World of Self-Publishing

When I self-published in November 2017, I knew nothing about the subject. I thought I had done a lot of research in advance, but the months that have followed have taught me just how little I knew at the time, and how little I still know today.

To help me grow, I have teamed up with a self-publishing group. I will be posting more about this in the near future. The short story is they are teaching me about book design, layout, and effective book promotion. I can’t wait to share everything with you in the coming weeks.

That said, I will also be sharing my updates on how self-publishing is working for me. Hopefully, that will mean lots of success story posts.

 

Ice plant

My Yard Hates Me

Okay, so maybe that statement is a little harsh, but I am really struggling this year, and I’m not sure what I’ve done wrong. I’ve had both pampas grass and knock-out roses die this year. Pampas grass! I didn’t know it could even die.

The Ice Plant I wrote about in Why You Should Drop Back And Punt is still not blooming, though it’s supposed to bloom all summer, and even my impatiens, which are one of my favorite flowers of summer, are barely blooming this year.

The only things I can think of is that we’ve had a lot more rain and a much cooler summer this year than normal. If you have any tips, please let me know.

There’s No Time to Read

Last, I want to comment on my lack of book reviews. With everything going on in my world right now, plus trying to still do some freelance writing, there has been very little time to read. That means that the books I have from talented authors like O.J. Lowe and Caron Allan are being neglected.

While I will eventually (probably not until winter) get to those books, I do want to see more reviews go live on this blog. To that end, I am talking to a few other bloggers and reviewers about posting their reviews on my site. Again, more on this will be coming soon.

If you are interested in writing a guest post book review for my site, please send me a note through the Contact Page link. Also, if you are interested in becoming part of my next launch team, please contact me as well.

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out CrowdFire for social media management. The free version will give you a good idea as to whether it is the right tool for you.

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Wolfe Butler shares what's new with his personal blogger experience. | #blog #blogging #WolfeButler

 

5 Important Things June 2018 Taught Me About Blogging

Hello, readers! I can’t believe that another month is already here. I’m officially starting my eighth month as a new blogger, and June taught me some valuable lessons about blogging.

If you are a new blogger or a veteran, you probably know that June 2018 was a little crazy for a lot of us. Many bloggers that relied on BoardBooster were terrorized by messages from Pinterest about how BoardBooster was not an approved partner. Then, when things didn’t look like they could get worse, BoardBooster shut down completely near the end of the month.

Life is constantly changing, and blogging is no different. Here are the things I learned as part of my blogging experience last month.

 

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon Services, LLC. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post also contains affiliate links. Any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission or referral fee, at no extra cost for you.

 

What is the first year of blogging really like for a new blogger? Read part seven in this ongoing series chronically Wolfe Butler's path. | #blog #blogging #blogger

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 7

Each month, I publish a post about my real-life experiences as a new blogger. I share the good, the bad, and the sometimes very ugly. In time, I hope to have an amazing success story, but there is a lot of hard work and time that goes into building a blog in the meantime. You can read the previous six posts by clicking this line.

As I stated, June was a rather eventful month for blogging communities. All the blogging Facebook groups and all the chats over at Billionaire Blog Club (BBC) were on fire over the BoardBooster issues, but even in the face of trials, there are always important life lessons to be learned. Here are five of them from June.

 

1. Life is about change

It’s been said that the only constants in life are death and taxes. Everything else changes. That is especially true of blogging. In the seven months I have been a new blogger, things have changed in large and unexpected ways more than a few times.

BoardBooster, if you did not know, was a means of putting blog content on Pinterest. It was super easy to use and created a ton of new traffic for those of us that were using it. Many of us, myself included, were devastated when they couldn’t reach an agreement with Pinterest and were thus forced to close their doors. They will be missed!

But, as they say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. (That’s really an awful expression. Who would ever skin a cat?) Into the rescue stepped Tailwind. Well, actually, Tailwind was there all the time. Their product has many of the same features that BoardBooster had, so a great flock of us made an exodus to Tailwind.

I will devote a future post to Tailwind because I am still only a couple weeks in and just learning my way. However, I am happy to say that my Pinterest traffic did not fall as a result of losing BoardBooster.

June 2018 Pinterest Traffic
June 2018 Pinterest Traffic

This graphic shows my average monthly viewers on Pinterest and average number engaged with my posts.

As you can see, I was just finding my way with BoardBooster at the beginning of June, and my numbers went up dramatically as a result. I stopped using BoardBooster around the 20th. There was a negligible dip for a few days, but then things headed back north. I will keep you posted.

 

2. The best bloggers honor their commitments

You will likely see me write a lot about BBC in the coming months and years. I have rarely been overwhelmingly impressed by a company or person, but Paul Scrivens, or Scrivs as he’s better known, the man behind BBC, really impressed me in June. Within days of BoardBooster’s announcement, Scrivs created and launched a series of detailed training videos about Tailwind for BBC members.

I wrote in detail about BBC in Tale of a New Blogger – Part 6, so I won’t go into a lot here. Billionaire Blog Club is a program you can buy into for a low fee that pays for your membership for life. Once in, you have access to all the new products and training materials as they become available, without ever having to pay again.

The last few days I have been learning about search engine optimization (SEO) and affiliate marketing. BBC has 23 step-by-step training videos about SEO and 22 about affiliate marketing, with more coming soon.

BBC is currently closed for new members, but should open again in the next few weeks. If you would like to see if it would be a good fit for you, I highly recommend the 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp. It’s 100% free and will give you a good idea of Scrivs’ writing style, and what things you can hope to learn if you become a member. My membership has already more than paid for itself.

 

3. You gotta have help as a new blogger

Twitter is still my favorite social media platform. However, my Twitter obsession was taking up so much time that I was not properly writing, editing, or formatting new content. I still don’t have a good email list program in place, and there’s two other blog series I’ve been meaning to start for some time now.

There are several products available to help you simplify your social media life. I have fought against the idea, especially after I spent two months on one product and was thoroughly underwhelmed by it.

That said, in June, I stumbled upon CrowdFire. I was very negative going in, but it was free, so I decided to give it a shot.

I’m not going to lie to you. CrowdFire doesn’t do everything I would like it to, and a few things not in the way I would prefer. That said, it does do a lot of things that save a ton of time.

Most important to me, CrowdFire has been unbelievably useful in cleaning up my followers and accounts I’m following. When I started on Twitter last November, I didn’t know much about the platform. As a result, those first months, I followed pretty much everyone I came across.

That process lead me to following hundreds of spam accounts. In just one month, CrowdFire has helped me clean up almost all of them. It also works well with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and seven more platforms.

The free option gives you a lot of functionality. I have no reservations about recommending it. I chose to go the paid route once I saw all the time it could save me, but the free option is definitely worth checking out. Click on CrowdFire to take a look, and help me out in the process.

4. Blogging is a fickle mistress

Every time I think I am finally getting a handle on blogging, something completely blindsides me. My assistant started a blog of his own in March of this year. His blog is Speaking Bipolar, and you should check out his posts on dealing with mental and chronic illnesses. He’s on a mission to get more men especially talking about mental health.

 

June 2018 Blog Stats
June 2018 Blog Stats

 

Well, you would think that since this blog is four months older than his, my traffic should be at least some higher than his.

My June traffic was up. In fact, June for a record-setting month for me.

However, record setting was only 820 total views from 527 visitors, which isn’t terrible for a new blogger. For Speaking Bipolar, he saw nearly 3,000 page views from 2,300 visitors in June. For July, we are comparing our processes to see where I am falling behind.

 

5. Social media is key

As much as I don’t always love the idea, social media is the most important thing for a new blogger. Unless you buy ad space, which is something I am considering for July, the only way to increase traffic is to increase exposure on social media.

The good news, my Twitter account continues to grow rapidly. Using CrowdFire and following their tips has continued to grow my list of quality followers.

Twitters state June 2018
Twitters state June 2018

 

What most excites me the most about Twitter is that my followers are probably 80% bloggers and writers. I seem to be picking up quite a few musicians in recent weeks, but I’m great with that, because I love music almost as much as books. Almost.

I hope to have 10,000 followers by the end of July. That’s not too bad for a new blogger. Sorry, I just had to pat myself on the back for that one.

My other social media accounts are not growing as fast, but that’s because I don’t give them the care they deserve.

 

June 2018 Referrers
June 2018 Referrers

 

The numbers are low, but I’m getting about 12% of my traffic from Facebook, and that’s with doing little more than posting new blog posts to my page and account. Clearly, Facebook is deserving of some TLC even if it’s not my favorite brand.

 

Odds and Ends

 

Am Editing

To finish up today, I want to share with you a few other things. One, I took the plunge in June and connected with a professional editor. I am working with the talented Angela B. Wade who is based just a couple of hours south of me in Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you are looking for an editor, I strongly recommend Angela.

She works with authors from everywhere, so don’t be disinclined just because she is from Tennessee. I have learned a lot from her already, and we’ve only been working together for a couple weeks.

Together, we are working on revising Getting Home. I know, I said I was going to let it sit for a while, but it desperately needs a better cover. I decided that if I was going to update the cover, then at the same time I should finish polishing it. Getting Home is my most precious baby, so I’m not sure I will ever be completely done with it.

 

I’ve Learned Series

You may have noticed that I am posting less often in the I’ve Learned series. The reason why is that I have decided to turn it into a book. That was actually my goal from the beginning. So, as far as that series, I’ve been spending more time on editing and revising posts and content than on writing new. Never fear, it will continue to be an ongoing series for as long as I am here.

Working with Angela has taught me so much about how a book should be written, so I am trying to get this one right on the front end. More coming on this topic in the future.

 

Printable Coming Soon!

One of the new series I am working on is a collection of writing tips and techniques. As part of that series, I will be creating printables. The first one, which will be free to everyone, will be on character development. I hope to have it out by the end of July.

 

Take Aways

Tailwind is a great product for scheduling and posting on Pinterest. They are an approved partner, so there should never be any issues with Pinterest. Try the free trial to see if you like it. You can also post to Facebook and Instagram through Tailwind.

Check out Billionaire Blog Club’s 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp. It’s free and with no obligation. It will give you a great chance to see if BBC might be something you are interested in down the line.

CrowdFire is a great app for managing Twitter and for posting to Facebook, Instagram, and more. There’s a lot you can do with the free version, so you have nothing to lose by checking it out.

Please show my assistant some love, and visit his blog:  Speaking Bipolar

If you are looking for a talented and professional (not to mention eternally positive and optimistic) editor or freelance writer, contact Angela B. Wade. She would be happy to give you a quote for any of her quality services.

That’s it for my new blogger experience for this month. What’s going on with you? Please share your latest news in the comments below.

Blogs grow primarily be readers sharing their content. Please share this post on social media or by email. I thank you in advance.

Until next time…

 

What is the first year of blogging really like for a new blogger? Read part seven in this ongoing series chronically Wolfe Butler's path. | #blog #blogging #blogger

 

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 6

Pity-Parties and Successes

I’m having quite a lot of difficulty writing this month’s post. As you read last month in Part 5, April was a little of a disappointment. Okay, so that may be a bit of an understatement.

Since I am sharing the real blogging experience with this series, I am going to flat out tell you: April sucked. May was worse.

I let myself get so discouraged by April that I stopped doing even the things that were working. That caused a further decline in numbers. In fact, the numbers are so terrible that I am not even going to share most of them this month.

Much of my time during my May pity-party was spent out in my yard. At least I can say I wasn’t entirely unproductive, though I also won’t be getting a call from Lawn and Garden magazine anytime soon.

My favorite thing about working in the yard is that it gives me lots of time to think. Whether I’m pushing the lawn mower or pulling weeds out of the flower beds, my mind is usually free to think about other things.

Happily, several things became clearer during the process of getting my yard in shape. I started June with new zeal and a better attitude. So, what went wrong? Did anything go right?

Read and follow directions

Read AND Follow Directions

In total, I have spent nearly 88 hours learning about blogging this year. I have faithfully continued to keep using a time tracker, which has both it’s good and bad points. On the good side, I know just how much time I’ve spent getting educated.

Knowledge is power. I have always been one that set out to learn as much as I could about any task I was assigned. My goal was always ultimately to become the expert in that area.

In most of the jobs I’ve had over the years, that process worked well. Typically, over the course of time, I became the go-to person when someone needed to be trained or when unusual questions came up.

Learning is something I am passionate about. If someone has already invented the wheel, then all I should have to do is follow their directions. It doesn’t have to be invented again.

But…

In the corporate world, almost everything I learned for my business was immediately put into practice. It was important to me to be a force for good in improving office efficiency and staff effectiveness.

Somehow, over the last few months, I have misplaced that lesson.

Yes, I spent 88 hours watching webinars and reading blogging tips and advice, but I failed epically when it came to putting that knowledge into proper use.

It was a painful realization that hit me while working in the yard last month. A plant may or may not have been thrown across the yard as a result.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, there is no additional cost to you, but I may receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.

 

Billionaire Blog Club

A few months ago, I invested in Billionaire Blog Club (BBC). If you’ve not heard of BBC before, here is a quick rundown.

1. BBC is a blogging course

Becoming a lifetime member of BBC gives you access to all of the books and videos that site owner, Paul Scrivens, AKA Scrivs, has put together. Scrivs is extremely (almost scarily) intelligent and has successfully launched dozens of blogs. I may have lost count, but I think right now he is running 15 and they are all massively successful.

Scrivs started all these blogs to prove that a blog could be successful in any niche. He then shaped that knowledge into a step-by-step video series that covers all of the things he does to take a site from ground zero to major income.

2. BBC is a motivator

In addition to all the courses, Scrivs sends out regular emails. He’s not one to waste his time on salesy material. His emails are written specifically for BBC members. Since when you buy into BBC you become a lifetime member, he’s not selling us anything.

Instead, he concentrates on sharing his knowledge and inspiration. As he learns new things about the blogging world, he passes that information on to the members.

The thing that I find most valuable, though, is the fact that he’s not afraid to be brutally honest. In fact, it was one of his especially strong emails that pushed me out of my pity-party mode and back to work.

In a nutshell, he said that the biggest mistake bloggers make isn’t in not knowing what to do. No, instead, the issue usually comes from not doing what they know they should do.

The email could have been written personally to me, because that is exactly what I’d been doing. I had the plans to build a wheel, but I was spending all my time in my workshop trying to make a wheel without using that information.

3. BBC is a community

The other thing that is amazing, and maybe the most useful part of being a BBC member, is the community you become part of. Through forums available on Slack, all BBC members can freely share inspiration, joys, triumphs and failures (happily not many of these) with each other.

Since everyone is working toward the same goal, conversations are very positive. Everyone is working together so that everyone can succeed.

I’m not one to join in many of the conversations, but keeping up with the questions other members ask and the answers provided has resolved many of the issues I’ve had with my own blog.

It’s very impressive to me that Scrivs makes himself available through the forum almost every day. He does this to make sure that each member is getting the direction that they wanted when they first purchased their membership.

However, even if he is not available, there are always other members online. Many of them are experienced enough that they can answer lots of the questions that come up.

4. BBC is not for everyone

As much as I love BBC, it is not the right program for every blogger. I respond well to the way Scrivs teaches his video courses, and I am determined to be successful, come what way.

It’s also quite an investment. In fact, when membership opens up again in a few days, the purchase price will be $397 US. In my mind, it is well worth that price because the information I have gleaned so far has more than paid for itself.

But it’s a hefty investment, so you should not buy it unless you are very serious about putting in the time and effort that is required to make a blog successful. It’s hard work and takes a lot of time, at least in the beginning.

The good news is that if you think you might be interested, there is a free Blogging Bootcamp available on the top of the main Billionaire Blog Club page. The Bootcamp lets you learn a little more about Scrivs and his teaching style without any obligation.

Note: Scrivs is very real and not afraid to say whatever needs to be said. Personally, I need that type of mentor, but some people might want someone that is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. That’s not Scrivs, though he is awesome and super funny.

Anyway, back to the free Blogging Bootcamp. If you decide to give it a try, you can see what BBC is all about and then make an informed decision on whether you feel the investment is worth it.

Back to May

Wow, I really did not intend to make this a Billionaire Blog Club infomercial. I have learned a lot from BBC, though. It is directly responsible for many of the right decisions I have made along the way.

More happened in May, though, that I want to share.

June 2018 Twitter stats - Tale of a New Blogger Part 6
Stats as of 6/12/2018

One, I will share this number. For whatever reason, I am a little obsessed with Twitter. I’m not entirely sure why it resonates with me so much, but I find myself on the platform several times a day. As a result, I am up to 8,900 followers as of today. If we’re not already connected, be sure to look me up on Twitter and say hello.

I continue to be astounded at how many amazing and talented authors are on Twitter and how encouraging they are to other writers. I mentioned a few of them in Lesson 15 of the I’ve Learned series. There’s not enough room in a post to list everyone that has encouraged or inspired me.

Another win (see, May wasn’t entirely bad), is that my blog continues to gain followers through WordPress. I think I’m at 122 now, which isn’t earthshaking, but very exciting to me.

If you are one of my followers, thank you so much for being here!

Getting Organized

Another win I can count for May involves getting better organized. On another blog I read an article about AirTable. AirTable is a database and spreadsheet hybrid, for lack of a better definition. I intend to devote a future post to detailing just how I am using it.

It has been instrumental in getting me organized, especially in regard to keeping up with my blog posts and posting calendar and with tracking pin activity for Pinterest.

The Pinterest thing is finally starting to come together, mainly because I am actually following the directions. I talk about that a little in my post on why you should include Pinterest pins in your blog posts.

What I love about AirTable, more than Excel or Google Sheets, is the versatility of their system. For instance, I am in the process of making multiple pins for each blog post. Tracking what board or tribe I then place that pin on was getting a bit chaotic.

Not only can I now track pin activity and placement, I can also drag and drop the pin image right into the tracking spreadsheet. This is an image of part of my tracking sheet.

AirTable image

AirTable autosaves every few minutes and can be accessed from any internet connected device, so I always have access to my information and it is always up to date.

The best part? Many of the most valuable features from AirTable are free to use. In fact, I have not paid one penny so far for using it. However, it has done a lot to get me properly organized. At some point I may upgrade. For now, the free features are plenty to get me where I need to go.

If you need to get better organized, I strongly recommend giving it a test spin. Remember, it’s free, so you have nothing to lose.

When Did I Get So Wordy?

In the very early days of starting my blog (like six months is really a long time ago), I read a lot of articles about how the most successful blog posts are 1000-2000 words long or longer. Those numbers scared the life out of me. After all, it took me 15 years to write an 80,000 word novel.

Happily, that fear has quickly gone away. As you can see, one thing I have learned to do is to sit down and knock out a detailed and informative post at well over 2000 words. Woo hoo! Another win!

The other happy benefit is that this ability to sit down and write is carrying over into my other works as well. My science fiction work-in-progress, Paradise, is finally getting the attention it needs, and the story is going in the right direction. I can’t wait to share the coming chapters with all of you over the next several weeks.

Thank you for visiting this blog

It’s All Because of You

I want to close this month by offering a heartfelt thank you to all of you that visit my blog on a regular basis. Every time I see that page view count or follower count increase, my heart jumps a little.

Launching my debut novel in November was scary. I didn’t know if I had any real talent or if my writing would connect with anyone. Many of you are coming back week after week. That means either I actually have a little talent, or y’all just like bad writing. I’m hoping for the first one.

Whatever brings you here, thanks for coming. I hope you keep coming back.

Be sure to think about trying the Billionaire Blog Club Blogging Bootcamp and the AirTable organizer. Both are free and may solve some of the issues you might be facing. If you have any questions on either one, please contact me.

Finally, blogs grow by being shared. If you enjoy the content on this site, please share it on social media and with your friends. It will mean the world to me if you do.

Until next time…

Share in the honest, real experience of a new blogger. This post looks at the wins and losses from the sixth month. | #blog #blogger #bloggingShare in the honest, real experience of a new blogger. This post looks at the wins and losses from the sixth month. | #blog #blogger #blogging

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 5 of the Blogger Experience

Blogger Experience: The Month That Should be Forgotten

It is with much frustration that I write this installment of Tale of a New Blogger. I would love to skip this month from my blogger experience entirely, and that is probably why it is already the middle of May and I am just now sitting down to write about April.

Blogging is a bit of a roller coaster. Some month have amazing highs while others feel like you are plummeting to your death. April was a month of downward spirals.

My intention of starting this series was the write the real experience of a new blogger. True to that conviction, here goes.

Sickness is a Different World for the Self-Employed

April started strong. The end of March saw some increase in momentum. I was finally starting to feel like I was getting into the right groove.

Then the universe decided to see how many things it could throw at me.

First, I had a week of issues from a chronic health condition I live with. Next, a severe chest cold led to weeks of difficult breathing and minimal sleep.

Just when I felt like I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the pollen explosion had me wishing I could literally scratch my eyes out of my head.

Experiencing an illness when you have a traditional job can be a bad experience. But you at least have the comfort that the business will keep functioning and you may even have the benefit of sick or vacation pay.

When you are a business of one, even a moderate illness brings everything to a screeching halt. Production, customer service and income generation all stop as you do.

I tried to keep up with my blog and posted at least one new post each week. Social media got some attention as I tried to get on at least one of the platforms each week.

But, all in all, April and the first part of May were a dismal blogger experience.

Why Be Patient When Working Towards Success

Did Anything Good Happen?

Gloom and doom are not typical parts of my personality, so let’s switch gears and talk about the positives of the blogger experience for the month of April.

For one, even with my limited posts for the month, visitors and page views for the blog held fairly steady. To me, that is a huge win because it means the blog has finally developed some momentum and is growing organically.

While page views held pretty flat, the number of visitors on the site saw good growth. The trend also seems to be growing in visitors visiting more than one page during their visit.

My blog now has 110 blog followers. That means I need to finally get an email program up and running. The steady increase in followers makes me optimistic that I am producing valuable and engaging content.

Both Facebook and Instagram were woefully neglected. The small drop in Facebook likes is not surprising.

Twitter continues to be my social media platform of choice. I can’t say why I prefer that platform so much. Part of it is because most of my followers are writers and bloggers. Being able to interact with such amazing individuals and at 280 characters or less brings me much joy and inspiration. I might explore the other reasons why in a later post.

Twitter was also neglected during my illness, but the relationships I have nurtured and the presence I have built kept a steady increase in followers even on the days I wasn’t able to get online.

Pinterest started very strong. The blogger experience lesson learned here is that, no matter what other bloggers will tell you, manual pinning is important.

I use Tailwind and am very happy with the automated pinning product. Campaigns are set to pin 30 pins per day at various times. Even with Tailwind working properly, you can see near the end of April, when I was too sick to spend any time online, impressions dropped dramatically. However, I was only pinning about 10 pins per day with Tailwind at the time.

Pinterest was responsible for 12% of the traffic driven to my site for the month. That may not sound like much, but in the previous month, Pinterest only brought in 4% of the traffic. That large increase in such a short period means I will be spending lots of time on Pinterest in the coming weeks.


Be Constantly Improving

Whether you think of it that way or not, a blog is a brand. If you are an author, your name or psuedonym is also a brand.

Brands only continue to grow and gain popularity by buidling new and meaningful relationships with existing and potential readers.

I hate marketing. There’s no sugarcoating how negative I feel about the subject. Marketing is a necessary evil in the blogger experience, and is especially important for bloggers and indie authors.

During my illness, I read a particulary moving post about mistakes that authors, and by extension bloggers, frequently make. Here is the link to the post:

Help Me Understand Why Writers Still Do These 3 Awful Things

In her post, Meg Dowell discusses three mistakes that many authors and bloggers make. The point that resonated the loudest with me deals with interacting with readers on social media.

I have to admit that I have fallen into the bad habit of primarily using social media to promote either my book or content on my blog.

Meg’s post reminded me that readers follow writers because they want to get to know more about the author as a person. Most followers already read your work, so social media is a chance for them to get to know the person behind that work.

Much effort is being directed at improving this bad habit. I’ll keep you posted on the positive results I see down the road.

12 Awesome Motivational Quotes You Should Know

And in Other News

If you are not already following my science fiction, work-in-progress, working name Paradise, be sure to click this line. There are now 11 chapters available in what I intend to be book one in a series.

The feedback from the chapters posted has been positive and brings me much joy. I would love to have more insight. Please share the story with others you know that like science fiction. Even if someone is not a big sci-fi fan, they will likely enjoy the story because it is mostly character driven.

April was poetry month. While I intended to write a poem every day, I only ended up writing one poem for the whole month. I plan to post that poem later today or tomorrow.

Now it’s your turn. How did last month go for you? What lessons and tips did you learn about the blogger experience? Were there any triumphs? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Until next time…

7 Lessons About Blogging That Last Year Taught Us

The internet is a constantly evolving animal. Blogger advice received today might not be accurate tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean there is not lessons about blogging to be learned.

Well, maybe not that quick. It does often seem like things change overnight.

Last year was a huge year for blogging. That knowledge is a big part of what prompted me to start this blog in November.

I’m a big numbers person. If you’ve read my Tale of a New Blogger series, you already know that. In my free time, not that I have a lot these days, I enjoy looking at stats. I know. I told you I was a little crazy.

 

Blogging is a constantly changing world. Last year taught us many new lessons. This post reviews seven of them. | #blog #blogging #blogger #Bloggingbeginners

Recently, I was curious about how many other bloggers got their start last year. There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer to that question. I pulled up estimates from 5 million to 200 million.

Part of the difficulty is that sites view blogs differently. I tend to think of sites like mine as blogs. But many statisticians view profiles on social media like Tumbler, Facebook, and Twitter to be blogs. Hence, the big difference in estimations.

The other reason for no answer is the big blogger platforms have stopped releasing blog stats.

While I was researching this question, I came across two great posts that reaffirmed some of the lessons I have already about blogging and a few new ones. Here are the top 7 lessons about blogging.

 

7 Lessons About Blogging

 

1. People Love Blogs

Blogs have become the go-to for people looking for advice, instruction or purchasing recommendations. An astounding 81% of internet users feel that blogs are a reliable source to get this information.

That means that 4 out of 5 people reading your posts trust what you have to say. There’s great power in that but also great responsibility. It’s one of the most important lessons about blogging from last year.

That said, most readers prefer to skim posts. On overage, only 37 seconds is spent on a blog post. Readers tend to skip as much as 60% of blog content.

Does that mean you should write shorter posts?

In a word, no.

Why You Should Drop Back And Punt

 

2. Size Does Matter

In further reviewing lessons about blogging from last year, Google states that their top-ranked content from blogs was between 1,140-1285 words in length.

In addition, word count is increasing overall per last year’s stats. The average length of a blog post in 2016 was 1,054. In 2017, that average jumped to 1,142.

Why?

Long posts perform better. In fact, if your post is recommending a product or service, 9-times as many leads are produced from long posts when compared to short posts.

Longer posts, even if the reader only skims half of it, engender trust in your reader. Of those readers, 61% will ultimately make a purchase based on that recommendation.

There are some bloggers writing very short posts and being successful. As a rule, though, the longer posts produce more page views and better lead rates. Writing longer posts may be a crucial one of the lessons about blogging from last year.

 

3. Pictures Draw Traffic

The next of our lessons about blogging from last year is the importance of pictures and images.

Everyone likes a nice picture. Think of the posts you are most drawn to as you are browsing social media.

This fact is sometimes forgotten by bloggers. Stop forgetting. The blogging stats in this area are impressive.

Blog posts with pictures and/or infographics average 94% more page views than text-only posts. That’s nearly double.

Videos, and this was a surprise to me, increase results from organic search by as much as 157%.

You may see videos on this site in the near future.

In regard to infographics, their use grew from 50% utilization to 58% in just one year. Condensed infographics are frequently the top performers on social media as well.

One of the best ways to add pictures to a post, is to be sure to include a tall image that can be pinned to Pinterest. Read the following post to learn more.

Why Bloggers Should Include Pinterest Pins in Their Posts

 

4. Frequency Makes an Impact

So I’m a little torn on this one. When I first decided I was going to start a blog, I visited many sites that recommended posting every day. When I browsed those sites what I frequently found was an abundance of garbage.

I hate to be brutal, but that’s the truth. Some of the bloggers are getting a lot of page views, but I honestly don’t see how. At least, I can’t imagine them getting much return traffic.

With this blog I’ve tried to follow the quality over quantity mindset.

But I might have to rethink that concept. I hope to never publish garbage, but I am seriously thinking about increasing post frequency.

In the continued lessons about blogging, last year, of more than 1300 bloggers polled, bloggers that posted more than daily saw more than double the results as those posting once a week. Those posting daily saw about a 10% increase as opposed to those posting 2-6 each week.

Again, I’m not sure how I feel about this stat. For one, these results are from a poll, not hard data.

Can polls be trusted?

Some people are not entirely honest when it comes to polls. Two, I can’t help but wonder if the increase in results in not purely just a result of putting out more content.

This brings two expressions to mind. One, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then. In this case, even a terrible blogger will produce something of value from time to time.

The second expression is something one of my old bosses used to say in regard to sales, “If you throw enough stuff at the wall, something is bound to stick.” It applies both to sales and to lessons about blogging.

One hard stat I could find was that 16 blog posts a month seems to be the magic number if you can’t post every day. Per one study, posting 16 times in a month produces 3.5-times the results as posting just once a week.

I am going to give this topic some serious thought. Probably I’ll stalk a bunch of blogs to see if I can discern real value in posting every day. I’ll write a later post on what I find.

One caveat, I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my “garbage” comment. If I follow your blog, please know that means I don’t think your blog is garbage. The ones I was so disappointed in will remain nameless. If you visit many blogs, you likely know which ones I refer to anyway.

 

5. Odd is Good

It seems like I have heard this somewhere before, but it still surprised me. List posts with an odd number of items are 20% more effective than those with an even number.

Yes, that is why this post has an odd number in the title.

On the top of lists, up to 36% of readers prefer a list article over a traditional text post.

I’m more than a little odd, so you will see me continue to be so. At least now I have a valid reason for it.

 

6. Updates Are Worth Your Time

If you’ve been blogging for any time at all, you’ve been told not to forget your old content. My blog is less than six months old, so I don’t really have any old content. Well, maybe some of the earliest stuff. But I digress.

Taking the time to update an old blog post can increase search result value by 75%. Merely changing the title of an old post can raise click rates by more than 10%. Yes, only about 55% of bloggers revisit old content.

Ask yourself, what is easier? To spend a day, or 3.5 hours on average, to produce a new quality post OR to spend an hour revamping an old post? Actually, changing a post title takes less than five minutes.

The older I get, the more I need things to be easy. This morning I revamped two blog posts to increase SEO and improve quality. It took me less than an hour total to refresh both posts.

 

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 6

7. Content Shouldn’t Be Deleted

I imagine that over time it may be tempting to delete old posts or poor performing ones. That recommendation is that you don’t.

About 10% of posts continue to increase in traffic generation over time. They are referred to as compounding posts and produce around 38% of total blog traffic.

There doesn’t seem to be a clear path to what makes these posts compound. Most were well-performing posts at publication.

Occasionally, and apparently, at random, an old post will sometimes take off. Maybe it’s just a matter of the right person sharing the post at the right time.

Whatever the case, as a blogger you quite literally put your blood (okay, hopefully not blood), sweat and tears into your blog. Don’t diminish the value of that effort by deleting posts.

If the post is truly bad, take the time to turn it into something great. But don’t delete it.

 

Additional Stats of Interest

Of the posts that go viral, 25% inspire a sense of awe or shock from the reader, 17% make the reader laugh.

A business can see an increase of up to 97% in inbound links from having a blog.

There are a lot of social media, content, and email marketing stats I did not use in this article. If you would like to read those or refer to the site that I consulted for most of these stats, you can do that here.

Have you learned any blogging lessons recently? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Blogs grow in popularity through recommendations. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others or on social media. I will be eternally grateful.

 

Blogging is a constantly changing world. Last year taught us many new lessons. This post reviews seven of them. | #blog #blogging #blogger #Bloggingbeginners

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 4 – Path to Becoming a Successful Blogger

It’s been a roller coaster ride. Blogging is a new adventure every day. Some are great. Some… well let’s stay positive. So it goes on the path to becoming a successful blogger.

For the most part, it’s a fantastic journey.

This blog went live in November 2017. In this series, I am sharing my real blogging experience as a newbie and as it happens. Share in my triumphs and downfalls as I continue to learn how to be a better blogger.

Work! Work! Work!

If you want to be a successful blogger, you have to be prepared to work. I continue to be surprised at how much time it takes.

To blog with the ultimate goal of making a living from your blog, you must be willing to put in the time along with the blood, sweat and oh so many tears.

Don’t get me wrong, I am having a blast. Every night as I am preparing for bed, I think about how thankful I am to be living the life of a writer.

I really hated the last years of my career in financial services. But this, blogging, I enjoy every day.

Even the days with less than anticipated results.

In total, I spent just over 100 hours on my blog in March 2018. Just glancing at the numbers I can see some of my mistakes.

Actually, my number one mistake was fear. I am so concerned about money coming in that I am sacrificing my blog time to take freelance gigs.

The tradeoff means that my blog isn’t growing at the rate I would like.

For the remainder of April, my goal is to produce more quality content each week, promote more on Pinterest and to learn as much as I can about successful blogging.

 

 

Continue to Learn

In Part 3 of this series, I mentioned how my assistant has joined Billionaire Blog Club. Unfortunately, his time in March was also commandeered by things outside of his control.

What he has learned so far has been really helpful. Together, we have been working to increase SEO and Pinterest presence following the tips that Scrivs and other bloggers share through the Billionaire Blog Club network.

If you have thought about joining a blogging community, BBC is the one you want to join. The wonderful bloggers in the community have created an atmosphere or encouragement and support.

BBC is only going to be opened for limited time periods so that the owner, Paul Scrivens, or Scrivs, can concentrate on helping all of the members without being spread too thin.

But even if the program isn’t currently open, I can’t recommend the Free Blogging Boot Camp enough.

It’s a great way to get a better idea of whether blogging is for you. You will also see Scrivs style so you can decide if it’s a good fit for you. Being part of the Boot Camp also means you’ll be notified the next time BBC opens to new members.

Blogging is not for everyone, and neither is BBC. That said, I do think it will be an important tool in becoming a successful blogger. We are really enjoying the program so far and learning a lot.


Promote More

The one area I feel like a successful blogger for last month is social media. My Twitter account has finally reached a point where it continues to grow organically whether I am able to get online or not.

Pinterest, with the help of both Billionaire Blog Club and the wonderful course I purchased from Carly Campbell, Pinteresting Strategies, is showing real improvement.

March 2018 Daily Views

You can see from both images that I didn’t really get serious about Pinterest until near the end of March. But the impact has been phenomenal.

Average daily impressions for the prior month were just 335. But this month they were 1,553, and that’s with not really getting active until the end of the month.

March 2018 Monthly View Average

I can’t wait to see the final numbers for April 2018!

Another things that has really pushed the Pinterest growth was adding Tailwind. I started with the free trial and fell in love.  Tailwind is like having an assistant to handle some of my work for me, and I can’t imagine working with out it.

I upgraded to a higher level to have access to more options, but this investment will pay for itself in no time.

 

 

Interact

Visitors to my blog were down in March. Page views remained pretty consistent.

I am honestly not sure what caused the drop. There was less content published in March and that no doubt makes up part of the difference.

April is off to a great start and traffic is starting to roll in from Pinterest. These numbers should change a lot in my next report.

Connect with me on Pinterest

As you can see, Facebook and Instagram were a little neglected in March. Both still saw some growth so I am happy with that.

Twitter is probably the channel I enjoy the most. Of my now 7000+ followers, almost all of them are creators and most are authors or bloggers.

Being part of such a large community of writers gives me the encouragement I need to keep writing day after day, and will in time lead me to become a successful blogger.

 

Where’s the cash?

Earn?

My hope was to be one of those bloggers that had an amazing income story to tell after just a few months.

The truth is, in March I earned maybe $1.00 in total. I am not even going to look for the numbers because I know they are quite low.

There is no one to blame for this downfall but me. I have been so concerned with immediate money coming in that I forgot the time spent on my blog is an investment in my future to become a successful blogger.

That said, moving forward I am scheduling time to work on and promote the blog each day. The numbers may not increase a lot in April, but I am confident that the May numbers will show results.

12 Awesome Motivational Quotes You Should Know

Recharge

Having a blog means there is always something you can be doing. It’s important to take time to step away from you computer or phone to recharge.

I read a post over the weekend, 50 Unique Self-Care Ideas, and it got me thinking that it has been far too long since I have spent any time on just me.

Down time and excursions are now being added to my calendar like anything else I need to do.

An income is worthless if you aren’t finding enjoyment in life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. But my friends were missing me. And I was missing them.

50 Unique Self-Care Ideas for Mental Health

Takeaway

In conclusion, here’s a summary of what I learned this month:

  1. Community is important. Billionaire Blog Club is giving me the support and encouragement I need to really grow. Go visit Scrivs site today.
  2. Learning is important. What I learned through Pinteresting Strategies has helped create real and tangible growth on Pinterest. Take a moment to visit Carly.
  3. Investing is important. Really it’s a not a significant amount if you choose the monthly option, less than most people spend at Starbucks each month. Tailwind is growing my Pinterest base even when I can’t be manually pinning.
  4. Recharging is important. Take yourself on a date. Just you and you alone. 50 Unique Self-Care Ideas has many great ideas to help you recharge.

Until next time…

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 3

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 3

Tale of a New Blogger tells the true story of a blogger experience. This series shares the real stats, triumphs and epic fails experienced along the way.

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.

Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2.

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 and my blogger experience 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.

 

 

Carly Campbell – Mommy on Purpose

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.

Billionaire Blog Club

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.

BBC offers it’s own unique blogger experience. If you buy in, you get a lifetime membership to all of Scrivs training and entry into a large and supportive community of likeminded bloggers.

Right now he is only eight days into BBC’s course. There will be an update on this journey next month.

You can test drive BBC by signing up for the free 12-day blogging boot camp found on the top of the main page.

Third, I have a new obsession. This is the biggest reason I got sidetracked from working Pinterest the way I should be.

Canva

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. A blogger experience is primarily about changing and then changing again. Or so it seems.

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.

 

Other News

 

One exciting tidbit is that Gundi Gabrielle reached out to me on Twitter after reading my review of her book series. I was so touched! It inspires me to keep writing and publishing.

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.

Resources to improve your blogger experience:

Billionaire Blog Club

Carly Campbell’s book, Pinteresting Strategies.

 

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 2

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 2

In a continuing effort to share my true blogger experience, Part 2 of this series looks at my blog 60 days into the process.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Calendar

It is unbelievable that another whole month has already gone by. I started this blog in November 2017, thinking I had a good grasp on what owning a blog would be like, only to be quickly shaken to the core with the reality that I did not know anything. Not. A. Thing.

Still, I am having a blast and truly enjoying my blogger experience.

More than once in the last few weeks I have been overwhelmed by the ocean of information available about promoting and monetizing a blog. The latter had not been my original intention. I am quickly learning that I will not be able to concentrate on my blog and other writing like I want if I am also having to concern myself with making an income.

Writing will have to become my income source, as it should be, because that has always been my dream.

Disclaimer: Wolfe Butler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links. Any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission (or referral fee), at no extra cost for you.


Actual Numbers

As I stated last month, I think it is important to post actual numbers. Most bloggers only start sharing their blogger experience and stats when they are making $500 or more per month.

For many of those blogs, they were six months to two years into their journey before they saw that monthly income. What happened during their earlier months? That is what I am most interested in learning right now and what I plan to share.

Maybe I am doing everything wrong, but I am making progress, and that makes me very excited.

500 Page Views!

Let me start with my blog. Total page views for January 2018 were 612, up from 210 in December 2017. That is a 290% increase! That number will not create, and did not create, any substantial income, but it is an excellent step in the right direction. Total visitors grew at almost the same percentage going from 88 to 260.

My very first blog goal was to hit 500 page views in a month. I am ecstatic to have reached that goal in my third month. My next goal is 5000.

01 2018 Blog Stats

About 70% of my blog traffic is coming from social media.

Promoting yourself on social media takes A LOT of time, or at least it has for me. I started this blog with no real social media background.

In fact, I did not even have Twitter or Facebook accounts before November of last year.

Everything is brand new, and while I am happy with my progress, I still have much to learn.

Read Part 1 of Tale of a New Blogger here.

In the beginning weeks I spent most of my time on Twitter. What excites me most about my Twitter followers is that the majority of my followers are writers and bloggers. They have been a tremendous source of inspiration and encouragement.

Pinterest is a bit of a different animal, and I am struggling some figuring it out. I am optimistic, though, because even with only six followers, I had over 1000 views and a 10% engagement ratio. My engagement ratio on Twitter tends to hover about 2%.

01 2018 SM Stats

Invest in Your Blog

Investing in yourself is one of the most important things you need to do as part of you blogger experience.

In the past 90 days, I have visited hundreds of blogs and read dozens of ebooks trying to set up best practices that work for me.

One of the items I enjoyed the most in January was a live cast by Ana Savuica, owner of The She Approach.

Ana was incredibly engaging and motivating in her presentation, so much so that I purchased her bundle at the end of the presentation. I cannot recommend it enough.

Ana’s ebooks are well written and full of important and relevant information for growing and monetizing a blog and improving your blogger experience. She has an abundance of valuable free information in all her blog posts.

If you have not already visited her blog, I encourage you to do so today. I am thrilled with what I am learning from her. Click the picture to learn more.

Bundle OFFICIAL POSTER

For February, I am starting something new. One of my biggest struggles has been with time management and trying to schedule how much time should be spent on which activities. I don’t know how much time I have been spending on each task and that is important to know what needs to change.

To help myself focus, I have downloaded a time tracking app on my phone. When I am writing my March post, I will be able to look back and see how much time I have invested into my blog and growing my social media base.

I am tracking things like writing and formatting posts, time spent learning about blogging, and time spent interacting on social media.

Show Me The Money

I have saved the monetary details for last. If you are thinking you can start a blog and quit your traditional job tomorrow, you need to reconsider. While there are some who had quick and substantial success, for most bloggers it is a process of at least six months before they see any real income from their blogs. As you can see from the graphic below, I am going to fall in that category. Still, my blog produced some earnings for January and that is empowering.

01 2018 Earnings Stats

 

It is encouraging to me that you have chosen to come along with me on my blog journey. If you haven’t already, please take the time to connect with me on social media.

I am posting my links below and will be happy to friend or follow you back. I would also love to hear your feedback. Are there questions you would like me to cover next month? Please leave comments below or send me an email through the contact link.

Be sure to take a minute to go visit Ana Savuica’s site, The She Approach. You will find an abundance of great blogger resources to help you improve your blogger experience.

Also, be sure to check out my newly designed Resource Page with essential tools for blogging, being an indie author, and posting on social media.

Until next time…

Connect with Me on Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wolfe_butler

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wolfebutlerauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/butler.wolfe/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/wolfebutler/

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Tale of a New Blogger – Part 1

As a new blogger, it’s sometimes hard to find your way. Many posts will tell you about an exciting and unbelievable blogger experience. The truth is that most of those posts are unbelievable because they are not true.

This blog is taking a different route. I will be sharing my blogger experience as it happens. The good, the bad and the ugly. Hopefully not too much ugly.

Part 1

In October 2017, I decided that it was time to change my life. I had a job that was creating much more stress than it was worth. I was missing leisure time with family and friends due to demands from said job. My overall joy in life was largely lacking.

What was probably an insane decision, I set out to change everything. I dusted off the novel I had been working on periodically over that last fifteen years and set about self-publishing on Amazon. I put a plan in motion to quit my job, to start freelancing and created a blog. This is my blogger experience.

Disclaimer: This site is a participant in the Amazon Services, LLC. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links. Any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission, at no extra cost for you. It’s how I keep the lights on. I only promote products that I use and have benefitted from.

Changing Everything

Let me mention here that I was in the position to quit my job and have no income for a few months. While I hope that this turns into a record-setting journey, I cannot say with certainty that everyone will have the same experience.

I have mentioned before that I thought I was ready to become a blogger and self-published author. As with most things in life, there is a big difference between planning and practicing. Most days I feel like I have done everything wrong. I can see progress, though, and my vision of the future is bright.

Prior to November, I was not a social media person. However, social media is a necessary evil in the world of self-publishing and the lifeblood of promoting a blog.


Diving Into Social Media

Since the beginning of November, I have dove headlong into my blogger experience and social media. I created accounts with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. That alone has been a major learning experience but a necessary part of any blogger experience.

Side note: I have a blog post about why every blog post should include a tall-pin for pinning on Pinterest.

I think I am doing something right as I am up to 4600 Twitter followers. I have 180 likes for my Facebook page, 74 followers on Instagram and 41 followers on my blog.

Those numbers may not seem impressive, but since all of those numbers were zero just two months ago, I am pretty happy with the results.

 

Workplace with notebook on black background

Crunching Numbers

I am a numbers guy. Working in financial services for the last twenty years has put my mind in constant numbers mode. I am constantly thinking of rate of return and tracking progress. Numbers will continue to be an important part of my blogger experience.

Every day I am figuring out things to improve my online presence. I decided to write a post about my progress so you can go along with me on my journey. I intend to update my progress at least once a month.

I am doing this for two reasons.

  1. I want to have a written record of my journey. I could put everything in my personal journal, but why not put it out there for the whole world to see? Hopefully my words will help someone else.
  2. Two, I have read dozens of blogs of how individuals are making thousands of dollars a month from their blogs. I want to believe they are all true, but the skeptic inside me is not sure.

4 Ways to Beat Procrastination – With Frogs

What Happened During The First Months?

I am also noticing that most bloggers are not listing their progress until they are 6, 12 or even 24 months in. What happened at the beginning of their journey? I would like to have those numbers so I can see where I compare.

Should I be happy with 4600 Twitter followers or should I have 46,000 at this point? Is 200 page views for the first full month of a blog a good number or sadly lacking? Should I be expecting any income from affiliate marketing?

I did not imagine I would make anything from my blog the first few months. I was not far off. I think I am up to about $5.00 earned from all sources combined for the past 60 days, counting all income sources.

Please note that is earned so I have not even received that amount as of today. If I were to break that down to the hours I have put in, I am making less than $0.01/working hour. At this rate I should be living on the street by summer.

Thank goodness McDonald’s has free wi-fi.

Ultimate Resources for Bloggers and Writers

 

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Building a Foundation

With any building project, a good foundation is the key to success and stability. I would say I am easily putting in 60-80 hours per week. Knowing that things will not stay at this magnitude, I am willing to put in the time and effort now.


About half of my time has been spent on learning, reading advice, watching videos and corresponding with other writers and bloggers. If knowledge is power, I intend to have superhero strength.

Ultimately, my journey is my journey. No two people have the same journey in any endeavor. Even what I will be sharing here will not necessarily be your journey. In any case, let’s take the journey together and see where it takes us.

If you a new to blogging, or maybe not so new, please share one of your blogger experience below.

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