Tag Archives: monday musings

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.

 

4 Lessons I’ve Learned About My Blogging Journey

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. I only promote products that I use and have benefitted from.

It is overwhelming. The shear volume of information available about blogging could fill an entire library by itself. I would describe it as a tsunami but that word may not be a big enough metaphor.

Wave

If you are thinking about starting a blog you should do it. Anyone can do it. You can do it. I believe that wholeheartedly. Like achieving most things of value, a successful blog requires lots of time and hard work. And, as this blogger is finding out, lots of learning.

In the past month I have spent over 40 hours just learning about blogging.

Four items stick out in my mind from the last few weeks. I wanted to share them with you today.

1.      Blogging About Blogging is Not for Me

While I am very interested in sharing my journey as a blogger, I have decided I do not want this to become a blog about blogging. This may be a crazy idea as there seems to be a lot of money in blogging about blogging. My passion doesn’t spring from writing about blogging. If I let blogging become my niche, I fear I would quickly run out of enthusiasm.

Fiction writing is my true passion. Second to writing is reading. I love books. I mean I really love books. I have more book cases in my home than all the other furniture combined. And still some books are piled in corners around the house.

Great writing and reading are the identity I want for my blog. My intention is to hold true to that vision.

Book Pile

This does not mean that I am going to end the Tale of a New Blogger series. I enjoy writing that post once a month. It gives me a chance to take stock of my progress and to renew my enthusiasm about my blog in general. Look for that series to continue.

2.      SEO Requires Real Effort

The letters SEO meant very little to me just four months ago. I knew they stood for Search Engine Optimization but little more than that. One of my projects for February is to learn more about SEO and to update my existing and future posts accordingly.

But WOW. You won’t believe how much there is to know about SEO.

First of all, there are some 200 rating factors Google uses in SEO. 200! I had no idea. As I read through the list, I knew about five of them.

You can read the complete list on Backlinko’s website by clicking this line.

Just reading the complete list took considerable time. Brian Dean does an excellent job listing all 200. He gives a brief description of each item making it easier to understand all the rating factors.

Learning

The good news is that now I can honestly say I understand SEO.

Well, sort of.

The time and effort comes in with using SEO correctly. The best way to increase your SEO results is to do research before you write your post. That will take some time, especially when you are first starting out like I am. This is an item I will come back to in future posts when I am better qualified to offer advice on the subject.

Another great SEO resource is Gundi Gabrielle’s The Sassy Way to Ranking #1 in Google – when you have NO CLUE!: A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization. This is book 6 in her blogging series. I have read four of the books, including this one, and they are full of valuable information. If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read them all for FREE.

3.    Social Media Takes Time

Yeah, yeah, we all know that. Who of us hasn’t wasted an entire evening catching up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Trying to grow a blog following on social media is even more time consuming.

I am thrilled with my results so far. I have grown a considerable number of followers in just a few months. That said, trying to keep up with commenting, pinning, liking, sharing, etc. is more than a bit daunting. It can easily take up the whole day.

Ana from The She Approach just released a great new FREE 5-day affiliate marketing course. If you are looking to monetize your blog, this is the advice you need. I’ve learned so much from her that I have to recommend it to others.

Enroll for Free Now

Setting up time limits seems to be helping me keep social media under control. If I know I only have an hour, I don’t spend a lot of time writing lengthy replies or looking at kitten videos. Yes, baby animals are my weakness.

4.    Writers Need to Write

This blog has taken up the bulk of my time for the last two months. I am not complaining. I love writing blog posts. And I love learning new things so learning about blogging is a fascinating adventure. But I don’t want my fiction writing to ever be sacrificed for the success of my blog.

I love to write. I NEED to write. That is the number one priority.

I haven’t really given a writing update for a while. I am currently working on two novels. Plans are also rolling around in my head to write a non-fiction book on mental health experiences. And I want to turn my I’ve Learned series into a Kindle book.

My goal is to publish all four books this year.

This year? I know that sounds crazy, but we’ve already established that I am crazy.

Bear with me a moment. I have the circumstances right now to write nearly full-time. Some of my time is going to freelance gigs. It probably doesn’t have to be, but part of my brain is panicking about no money coming in. But the majority of my time is free for writing.

Writing

Since that is the case, there is no excuse for me not writing.

I was disappointed to realize last week that I had not worked on my primary WIP since January. For over two weeks I had not even opened the file. The books I am planning will never get written at that rate.

Toward the end of last week, I set out to rectify that problem. On Friday I decided to write before I did anything else. I wrote for less than two hours but knocked out almost 3,000 words! I am ecstatic about that.

It proves to me that my true love doesn’t need to be neglected for the success of my blog.

To give myself some accountability, I will share my goal. I intend to have the first draft of my sci-fi adventure completed by the end of March. In future posts I will comment more on that writing journey.

What lessons have you learned recently? Please share your comments below.

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

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