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I can’t believe I’m even going to tell you this. May 2nd, I decided to launch my blog. A blog that had 10 whopping posts ready, no logo, and no real plan. It was my day off (honestly, having a day off was really the biggest motivator), and I *thought* – “easy peasy. I’ll click “launch site* and boom, it shall be”…..
Ok, ok, quit laughing at me!! (Now, let me quit laughing at myself, too!)
No. It wasn’t easy peasy. I spent the ENTIRE day getting on the live chat with various bluehost tech support. I managed to break it so badly at one point, I couldn’t even get to the wordpress dashboard. I still can’t really tell you what I did wrong, or what fixed it… but the bluehost tech support helped me get it up and launched (finally). (And it was entirely my fault. I watched a few youtube videos and started clicking here and there, thinking I was a tech master when I clearly wasn’t! Pro tip: You should never actually alter any of the CODING to your site. Don’t do it, even if the you tuber seems confident. They probably have a computer science degree, and you don’t.)
By the way, I set up an easy step by step guide of setting up your own blog, so you won’t have to suffer like I did. Do as I say, not as I did!!! I want this to be easier for you than it was for me!
Why did I launch with a bare bones site that had 10 posts?
Why did I choose to launch something that had no logo/design? No direction? Simply because I find it easier to work from a live, working site. I’ve listened to enough “Do You Even Blog?” podcasts to know that probably isn’t the correct way to do it. But, I like to live dangerously…. I also know myself, and if I continue to work in temporary mode until it was “just right”, I likely would never launch or go live. Being live would push me to work a little harder, and pull all the loose ends together faster.
The Pinterest Debacle
I decided to get myself a business Pinterest account. I managed to convert my personal account to a business account. (Pro Tip: that’s not reversible, do it right the first time.) I never did figure this completely out, so I guess I will just go with my personal account now being my business account.
Everyone kept saying group boards is where it is at. I’m working on this. I’m a member of five boards right now, and slowly adding/requesting to be part of more. I also downloaded tailwind yesterday for the free month trial, so I will have more about that next month….
I applied for Google Adsense.
The first time I did it, I did it right before I broke my blog. So, I got a denial at first and it said I needed to basically fix myself. Once I – I mean the bluehost tech support – got the site running again, I went and checked off a box that I had fixed it and they could look again! At first, I thought I must have done something wrong. It sat like it was in limbo, and still waiting for me to post the code. So, a week or so went by, then one day — I had ads! I guess it just takes a while? I’m still not really sure what I am doing with this whole ad stuff. I know I have them. I know how to log in and see my click rate. I’m still so lost on this, I don’t even have a pro tip.
Tigers, and Bears, and Affiliates, Oh my!
I chose three affiliates to start with. I started with Amazon, as I had some knowledge of it. I chose Craftsy. I actually went HUNTING down how to be an affiliate with them. I LOVE them, and I own a billion classes! I also chose Bluehost – I actually used them, and they were actually super helpful. (When I tried another blog long ago to promote a business, I used Host Gator, and wasn’t super happy with their customer service.)
Building an Email List
Researching how to make an email subscriber list, I found out you need to list your address. Legally. Well, that is a snag. I didn’t want to list my home address (hellllloo, creepers), but I also didn’t know if I wanted to dish out MORE money for a PO box. I am trying to save and money here, not spend it!
Well, I did manage to get a virtual address for now. And figured out how to get subscribers via Mail Chimp. I chose Mail Chimp because it’s free up to 2000 subscribers. This is the best way for me to be frugal starting out.
So, grand total of any money made: $0! (Well Google Adsense says I’ve made some change (read like 60 cents), but I don’t think it counts until you can reach $100).
List of purchases I’ve made:
- Bluehost, for hosting — came with free domain. I paid for my year up front.
- Picmonkey, to make pinterest pins and images mostly. I paid for one month for now. I will pay monthly until I’m financially able to do a bulk purchase.
- Fiverr – Yes, I paid $5 for my logo. It was so worth it. I wasn’t able to make anything I liked, and I like this logo. It works for now. I’ll eventually upgrade it, and I plan to use Fiverr again for it. You can make purchases from $5 and up, so you can invest more for nicer logos. It also was delivered to me within a day, which was amazing turnaround and service.
So, that’s my first month. Lots of learning curves, money spent, and no money made.
I knew that I wanted to write some form of income report, goal report, or something along those lines. When starting my blog, I found that these articles were very helpful and insightful. I actually enjoyed the income reports that were more like “How I made $232 from my blog this month” rather than the six figure ones. They seemed more my speed and grounded in reality. So I made a very quick post in May to get some bare bones goals – so let’s review those and see if I succeeded in the slightest:
- Get 50 individual views (I have no idea to be honest. I have no idea if it’s me or other people for the views, but I know there is a way I can do this with Google Analytics, and it’s on my to-do list.)
- Join one affiliate marketing group MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I actually joined up with TWO affiliates!
- Blog twice a week at least MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
- learn as much as possible!! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Seriously, after writing this blog post I can see just exactly HOW MUCH I learned. It wasn’t a small or easy task, but I’m proud of all the information I’ve processed and implemented!
- figure out Google Adsense (The verdict is still out.)
Blogging goals for June:
- Have 200 individual views.
- Figure out Google Analytics!
- Continue with only the three affiliates I have, and promote them. (I like these affiliates, and use them personally, so I’d rather spend time on them instead of add new ones.)
- Tying into the above, make 1 affiliate sale.
- Continue to produce 3 blog articles a week that are original, fresh, good content. I’m not saying each will be an epic post – some may be recipes or such, but still of quality and worth putting out there. My goal is to help my audience and readers. If it’s not helpful, I’d rather not blog about it. I am also finding it takes a while to get the hang of writing in general. I’m in health care, so I don’t write anything creative. Heck, we don’t even write in full sentences in health care and we have our own abbreviations that make no sense to the outside world. So, yeah, writing has been an adjustment!
- Continue to promote in the FB groups I’ve joined – those have been helpful, but also fun! Met some great people this way.
- Now that I am a member of a few Pinterest group boards, I plan to join more and keeping using those!
- My biggest goal is to stay positive and have fun. If this isn’t fun, it’s not worth it.
I hope you enjoyed my round up of my crazy month, trying to figure it all out while juggling the rest of my life. Do you have any pro tips to share? Funny stories? Disaster stories? Share them!
If you have a link to help me figure out any of my questions, please share it in the comments!