Starting a Blog: Week 25

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Hello my dear readers!

For those who don’t know I decided that I wanted to chronicle my experience of starting a blog. The intent is so others can learn what it takes to start a blog, learn from my mistakes throughout the process, and to hopefully provide some humor and enjoyment to your day. I think I will run this “Starting a Blog” series for 52 weeks to provide a well-rounded beginning to starting a blog that you fully intend to turn into a business. (Please know, that affiliate links may be used in this post which means I would earn a little bit of money if you decide to purchase through some of my links. But, I promise to always be honest and to only recommend those things that I personally use and enjoy!)

 

If you want to learn how to start a blog, I created a tutorial on how to do so through Bluehost.

 

I’ve decided these weekly updates will be posted on weekends and will consist of 6 categories to help summarize my progress each week.

 

  1. Blog Improvements
  2. My week in Review
  3. Extra Income Earned
  4. Extra Income Received
  5. Goals I accomplished During the Week
  6. Goal for Next Week

 

I know this will be very similar to my monthly income reports, but I think having weekly and monthly goals are going to help me stay focused and break my bigger goals down into smaller ones. This should help me in accomplishing my monthly goals, but also allow me to celebrate additional small successes that may happen throughout each week.

 

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Blog Improvements

I am very proud because I have finally updated the template I will be using for my “Starting a Blog” series. Let me know what you think about it below!

 

Design Improvements:

  • I updated my profile picture. I don’t currently have a professional casual picture of myself, but I decided the wedding picture of me wasn’t indicative of my personality. So let me know what you think of the new one below!

 

Time spent on my blog this week:

  • Unfortunately, I did not start tracking this. My best guess would be about 20 hours. My typical schedule for working on my blog looks like this: I wake up at 5:30 am and work on my blog from 5:30 am -6:30 am Monday-Friday. That’s 5 hours just in the mornings. Then, I typically get home from work around 5:00 pm and either go to the gym or eat dinner and relax for about 30 minutes. Then I finish my other extra income tasks for the day, and then work on the blog for about 2 or 3 more hours before heading to bed. I tend to relax more on the weekends since I do so much during the week, but I still devote about 3-4 hours on Saturday and Sunday to blog related tasks. So, I am probably spending a lot more time on my blog than I think I am. Which is why I am going to do my best to track this from next week moving forward.

 

Blog Posts:

September 2016 Income Report

 

Plug-Ins:

  • Rapidology- This is a free plug-in that have been wanting to install because it allows you to place customizable opt-in forms in various places on your blog. I currently have an opt-in form in my side bar, and a pop-up form through another plug-in (Sumo Me). But I know in 2017 that pop-ups are going to start being penalized by Google so I wanted to start implementing opt-in strategies that would work for me long term. My goal for this plug-in was to install an opt-in form at the end of each post, and in the body of each post. I was able to successfully install the form at the end of each post, but I haven’t been able to get them installed on my page categories, and in the middle of my posts. I am going to have to do some more research on this because I’ve already devoted about an hour to trying to figure this out.

 

Affiliate Partners:

  • I did not add any new affiliate partners this week, since I am focused on getting my blog out of the beginning stages and into the growth stage. Since I feel like affiliate marketing is mostly focused in the growth stage, I am not going to be requesting to participate in any more affiliate programs until I am out of the beginning stages. This does not mean, I will not continue my efforts with the affiliates I already have in place, I just don’t want to stretch my focus too thin.

 

Email Subscribers:

  • I am at 50 email subscribers!!!! Unfortunately, I did not gain any of these subscribers this week. So I’m not sure what caused that decrease. I’m still happy though, because when I first started my blog, this was one of the goals I set for myself, to have 50 email subscribers by December 31st, 2016. So now that I have met this goal hopefully I keep gaining new subscribers! I am currently working on developing a “Freebie” offer to provide to readers. Hopefully, once I have this completed it will really start to work for me in gaining new subscribers.

 

Traffic Updates:

  • This will be the first week I’m tracking my analytics week to week. Here is what my analytics looked like compared to last week:
Last Week This Week
Sessions 434 419 -15
Pageviews 597 604 +7
Users 388 387 -1
Average Session Duration 1:00 1:04 +00:04
New Sessions 86.41% 87.35% +0.94%
Pages/Session 1.38 1.44 +0.06
Bounce Rate 82.72% 82.34% -0.38%

 

  • I have truly noticed a huge difference in the increase in my traffic since I purchased Finding Your Tribe Online by Jennifer Snyder. If you are looking for places to promote your blog and access to all sorts of groups and people in your niche, then I highly recommend this!

 

My Week in Review

 

Personal Accomplishments:

  • I finally set up a Roth-IRA account. I am only able to put in the minimum amount right now, but as our debt goes down I plan to increase the amount going into this account.

 

  • I met all of my blog goals this week for the first time ever!

 

  • I went to the gym twice this week. Baby steps guys!

 

  • I made my first crock pot meal of the fall season!

 

Productivity Tips & Tricks:

  • I figured out that I was going about setting my goals each month the wrong way. I would just create goals for a bunch of different things I needed to get done. But I finally figured out that there is always going to be more to do, and that I needed to really narrow my focus. I’ve known this for a few weeks but I finally did it this week! I first created a goal list for this month that only consisted of tasks that would help me get out of the beginning stages of blogging. Then I created smaller action steps for each overall goal. Then I listed them in order of importance and started tackling them in order.

 

  • I stopped thinking about my goals as being something I can choose to meet or not. I was tired of setting these great goals each month and not accomplishing many of them. Now I don’t give myself a choice because I am going to meet these goals. However, I still keep my goal list reasonable.

 

Webinars

  • I attended 7 Steps to Starting Your New Freelance Writing Business From Scratch by Gina Horkey at Horkey Hand Book, and co-hosted by Michelle Schroeder from Making Sense of Cents. I actually really enjoyed this webinar because I really want to know how to get started in the freelance writing business. Personally, I like webinars to move quickly because time is valuable and we just don’t have the time to waste. I also like webinars to provide me with a lot of value. I know that webinars are an opportunity for them to offer me an additional product or service, so I don’t mind that and I appreciated that she mentioned it from the very beginning. I thought Gina taught at a fantastic pace, didn’t waste my time, and provided me a fantastic amount of information and value for free! I genuinely wanted to buy into her program, but I know this would have detracted from my current focus so I may pursue this at a later time.

 

Setbacks

  • I don’t necessarily see this as a setback, but my husband and I have been arguing lately about many things. One of them being how little time we have to spend with each other. As I’ve mentioned before he works overnights and doesn’t have the weekends off. I work days and I work Monday-Friday. This leaves us with 3 weekday nights each week to spend time together. However, I am always working on something, whether it be my side hustles, my blog, or just general tasks. So, we came to a decision that we needed to devote one of those nights to each other. I will not work on my blog, and we will find something we can do together. I think this is a good plan that works for both of us.

 

Extra Income Earned: $32.71

(If you would like to learn how you can start earning extra income, check out my Resources page) Please note I do not include Google AdSense income here because it isn’t confirmed until a month later.

 

Survey and Offer Sites$3.71

American Consumer Opinion: $3.60 currently in this account. (+ $3.10)

Inbox Dollars: $23.34 (+$0.48) (I’ve been using this site for paid emails which give me $0.02 every time I click an email and I can cash out once my account reaches $30)

Swagbucks: 2,608 points (+13 SB) (I have now earned enough for a $25 gift card!)

 

Apps: $1.00

ShopKick: 3,117 kicks (+0 kicks) If you sign up please use my referral code lincoln56422

Ibotta: $3.75 (+$1.00) If you sign up using my referral code RKIOW, you will instantly start with $10.00 in your account, and I’ll get $5.00)

 

Mystery Shopping: $28.00

Company #1: $28.00

Company #2: $0.00

 

Ebates: $0.00

 

Affiliates: $0.00 (Bluehost)

 

Referrals: $0.00

 

Extra Income Received: $148.00

Mystery Shopping Company # 1: $148.00

 

Goals I Accomplished This Week

  1. Update my About Me Page- Pass! Go check it out here!
  2. Add a disclosure policy to my site-Pass! Go check it out here!
  3. Add my email subscription opt-in to hot spots in my blog- Pass! I used the Rapidology plug-in to add an opt-in form to the end of my posts. I attempted to add them in the middle of my content, but was not successful at this yet.
  4. Publish my September Income and Traffic Report-Pass! Go check it out here!
  5. Have my post written and ready for next week-Pass! I can’t wait to show you!

 

Goals for Next Week

  1. Figure out how to add my disclosure policy as a link in my footer and remove from my pages category.
  2. Add a plug-in that automatically places my disclosure policy in my posts so I don’t have to manually.
  3. Create my freebie
  4. Add a landing page to my blog
  5. Publish 1 post this week
  6. Write 2 additional future posts

 

Guys this blogging business is so much fun!!!! I am so committed and I can’t wait to see how my blog continues to grow! I hope that you are feeling inspired to start your own blog or to follow your own dreams! If you’d like to start your own blog, I created a tutorial on how to do so using BlueHost. Check out my How to Start a Blog Page to start your own blog!

Share below what you have been doing this week to meet your blogging and personal goals!

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4 Comments

  1. This content is really cool. I have bookmarked it.
    Do you allow guest posting on your site ? I can provide high
    quality articles for you. Let me know.
    Reta recently posted…RetaMy Profile

    • Thanks Reta! I do allow guest posts on my site. Feel free to use my contact me page to let me know what you may want to write about and I’ll let you know if I think it would be a good fit!

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