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My blog, Garden of Aquarius, had its first anniversary on February 6, 2019. In this article, I will give you the first month’s blogging recap, what I did and how I did it to achieve the results described here.
Before I decided which company would host my blog, I did a little research on the two companies that most people recommended, Siteground and Bluehost.
I dug through blog post after blog post looking at the pros and cons from users around the world. Both companies charge $3.95/ month and they both are highly recommended. I went with Siteground simply because users rave about their customer service response.
I figured a new blogger can use all the help they can get, so I went with Siteground. It’s been easy to use, the tutorials are great, and I haven’t had any issues.
If you want to use Siteground to start your own blog, click on the Siteground hosting ad directly below and I will receive a small commission that doesn’t affect your price.
If you do this, I will receive my first affiliate income! I’m still waiting for that day to come. Waiting and waiting and waiting. Anyway, here’s the button for that.
I paid for a year of hosting and for my domain name which came out to be $114.95.
The fun part was actually choosing a theme and getting started with some content. I wish I would’ve written five pieces of content prior to getting started so that I could launch a healthy looking blog.
Instead on day 1, I wrote a piece of cornerstone content and another article. I experimented with plug-ins and tools on the WordPress site. I picked a free theme because my goal was to spend as little as possible on
Picking a theme was exciting yet frustrating as I was already thinking about my “brand”. So much to think about.
Here is a great article on getting started from a new blogger friend of mine, Isa Lillo. She also has excellent articles on SEO, more on that later.
Depending on what your goals are will determine your need to use social media. My goal is to write for money. It’s that simple. While I’ve always wanted to write and be a writer, I never intended to do it for free.
That means I needed to promote to people outside of my circle. I have a healthy Facebook and Pinterest and a menial Twitter and Instagram. So this is what I did based on recommendations I read in my research
I started a new Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest Business account. I connected them all to my website and started from ground zero.
I don’t really understand how Instagram is helping me. At the end of month one, I am bouncing around with about 454-475 followers. A lot of people unfollow you and it’s a constant back and forth of unfollowing and following people.
What a big fat waste of my precious time.
On Instagram you can have one link in your bio and mine is the website home link. Users have to click on your bio and then on your link if they want to see your website.
My Instagram has travel pictures, flower pictures, and food pictures. Pretty much things I write about on my blog. I don’t post anything with text, just pictures and a caption.
Also, I learned how hashtags help people discover you on social media, but I am still a novice at that.
Download the free app Followers. This helps you see who unfollowed you on Instagram
This app loads really slowly even on my brand new phone. It’s easy to use and see who plays the follow/unfollow game. But again, this seems like a lot of work for little in return.
With that all being said and the work I have put into this account……
I’ve had 9 clicks over the first month from Instagram.
It may be time to cut the cord on that one but I’ll give it a little more time and worry about it less this month.
I used to use T
My Twitter account was created halfway through the month and it has taken off! Start using this resource on Day 1.
Again, learn about hashtags to get the most out of your Twitter account.
I searched for hashtags about blogging and found an entire community of bloggers around the world. This part has been great. I have met new people and worked with other bloggers.
Here you can see what everyone else is doing and how they do it. You can learn so much from these groups. Everyone there gathers together in support of one another. It’s a good experience and I actually look forward to it outside of the goal of blog promotion.
Twitter generates a healthy amount of traffic to my blog. It is the 3rd behind Facebook and Pinterest, but it is a close race. It’s enough traffic to continue to promote using this source.
Follow me here on Twitter @Aquarius_garden.
I have a fun group that is in the UK and another I follow here in the US. I enjoy this community! Come follow me and learn something new.
Ok, so the Twitter stats are:
- 500 Followers
- Ranked 3rd in site traffic to my blog
- Pros: Educational, Community, Worldwide reach with
- Free and doesn’t take a lot of time
- Hootsuite is a social media post generator that I plan to start using next month to make the time spent on social media more streamlined.
So the decision to stick with Twitter is an easy one for me. I truly enjoy it!
I’m a total pro at Facebook. I keep an active presence with pictures of my food, garden, family, and happenings. I have about 300 +/- friends and try to keep that list to people that are relevant to me.
I invited just about everyone from my friends list and ended up with about 100 followers with decent engagement. My friends are generous in inviting others to join and sharing links.
I never really thought anything about it being more than a chance to drive a little traffic to my blog.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Facebook and Pinterest battle for 1st place in driving traffic. Honestly, I am completely astonished by this. I never expected much out of Facebook, but something good is happening there and I plan to work on that next month to cultivate that source.
- 103 Followers
- #1-2 in generating blog traffic
- All of this with very little work
Pinterest holds a dear place in my heart. I have been using it for years and years to find just about everything I want to read about. I had a decent following and reach with my personal account, but really never noticed, nor cared.
Then I started a new account for the blog and made it a business account by linking it to my website. Doing this allows you to see traffic and analytics about your pins. You definitely want to do this so that you know what is working.
I started with zero followers and ended the month with 1100 followers and a 23k reach. Not too shabby in my opinion. Pinterest is right up there with Facebook in driving traffic to my blog.
Making pins for Pinterest is a whole blog post in itself that I will write soon albeit I am no expert, but my game has improved. I have researched and read and watched other’s boards to gain insight.
Here are the tools I use for Pinterest:
- Tailwind & Tailwind Tribes Click HERE to join my Tailwind Tribe
- Group Boards-Find a list HERE with Pingroupie
- Unsplash for free stock photos
- Go to my Pinterest board Blogging Resources HERE to see all of the information that shaped my progress.
- 1100 Followers with a 23k audience reach
- #1-2 in driving traffic to my blog
- I personally enjoy Pinterest as long as I’m using Tailwind
Here is the cost breakdown of Tailwind because that is the only additional service that I pay for at this time. I think it’s that valuable. $15/month is a small price to pay for what they provide in my opinion.
You choose the pins that you want to “schedule” and Tailwind pins them at the peak times for the most exposure. You can schedule for days in advance and then forget about it! One less thing to do.
The cost-benefit for this service is immeasurable. I was spending a lot of time pinning until Tailwind. This saves hours worth of work and my time is very valuable to me. Definitely worth the 15 bucks. If you join my Tribe HERE, I will benefit as well with a free month of service.
Tailwind has a lot of video tutorials and free help to make the most of the service. I highly recommend them!
Here is a post that helped me learn more about Tailwind. Read it HERE. This is a great resource.
I’m not sure where I found this site but I’m using it. It’s only generating a handful of traffic to my blog but it’s very little work.
Essentially you sign up, it’s free, and post your blog posts. Once they approve the post, they put it out on social media. You can pay 1 Euro for a post to be boosted to multiple social media avenues or free for one avenue.
I don’t pay for this. I let what happens, happen. Like I said, a handful of visits, but it’s as easy as posting a link. I’ll keep doing this for now.
Check them out HERE.
Advertising and revenue
I found one that will let you place ads without minimum requirements, Media Net. So I signed up and placed ads on my blog posts. By the end of the month I had generated $0.17.
Psst. That’s a Media Net
This isn’t great, but it’s just getting started. I reached just over 1000
I’ve had a bit more come through this week and I’m up to $14 I think. I’ll keep them going until I can impress some of the bigger companies. I just signed up with Share a Sale, but haven’t received acceptance yet. More on that later.
Here are the end numbers on February 6th after one month of blogging.
- Blog posts – 22
- Page views 1156
- Twitter – 500 followers
- Pinterest 1100 followers, 23k audience
- Facebook 103 followers
- Instagram 450ish followers
Goals for month 2
- Work on my SEO (great article here)
- 10 new pieces of content created
- Build an email list
- Twitter following to 750
- Facebook following to 200
- Pinterest following to 2000
- Decide what I’m doing with my Instagram
I am pleased with how things turned out this month. While it has been a lot of work that has consumed a lot of my time off, it was a launch and I expected that.
This month I plan to better schedule my time and use the tools that make it more efficient.
Stay tuned for month 2 which ends on March 6th and I’ll recap all of the stats. Thank you for reading.