I’ve got to admit I’m a bit surprised to see myself reach this milestone. I also need to admit that I’ve been considering shutting this blog down for about a month now.
I started this blog with dreams of doing much better than I did this last year. From the very beginning I hoped for thousands of daily views, a giant following on social media, and a steady income.
Turns out blogging (successfully) is a lot harder than I expected. In the very beginning I struggled to learn the ins-and-outs. Gaining followers on social media isn’t as easy as it sounds, creating a blog that looked the way I wanted it to was definitely not something that came easily, and drawing people to my blog took me months to figure out.
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Then there’s that money making part. I’m still not making a steady income, but I am being approached by companies more and more these days. Making a hundred bucks a month isn’t that hard to do if I’m willing to put forth a little effort.
That’s my next problem. And it’s the reason I’ve been considering ending my blogging career.
Staying motivated has been an issue now and then throughout the year. This last month has been the hardest, though. I really hate a lot of the things going on in my life right now and blogging is seriously on the back burner. We moved to a new state and Hubby got a new job in April. Both things I wasn’t thrilled with. In our old house I blogged from my (giant) kitchen counter. It wasn’t the ideal setup, but it wasn’t horrible either. I dreamed of turning our 3rd bedroom into my office/spare bedroom once this blog began brining in a decent amount of money. Sadly, that never happened.
The house we are living in now is tiny and there wasn’t enough room for all our stuff. I had to throw away, give away, sell and donate a LOT of our belongings, keeping only what we absolutely needed. That wasn’t horrible, I could manage that. What’s really bothering me now is that living comfortably isn’t possible even with the downsizing.
Bee’s bedroom is 7’x7′. Her crib barely fits in there and with her toy organizer and dresser there’s barely room to walk around. The living room blows. With our TV and couches there’s room for little else.
We have neighbors that are absolutely disgusting. They have over 7 dogs (one just had a litter of pups), at least 3 cats, 4 ducks, who knows how many chickens, and recently acquired 5 kids. They can’t throw their garbage away, either. The aroma coming from their yard is unbearable once the temperature gets above 70. The dogs are always barking. The kids are always doing something extremely annoying like using my yard as their own or asking insanely stupid questions every time I walk out my door.
Then there’s the computer situation.
There is no room, at all, for a desk. There’s no space in the kitchen for me to blog at my counter like I used to. Our computer and printer sit on our dresser in our bedroom. It’s definitely not the ideal space for blogging related activities as the dresser is short. I can bring my laptop into the kitchen and blog from my tiny kitchen table, but it doesn’t take long for the battery to die. It makes it difficult to look forward to doing anything at all on the computer, blogging included.
I find myself feeling just down and depressed whenever I spend time in this house, especially since I finally finished unpacking all of our stuff. Now that life has returned to “normal”, I really just hate it. I can count on one hand the activities I enjoy doing now, and blogging isn’t one of them. Will I close up shop and end A Frugal Desteny’s life? I really don’t know yet.
What I do know is that today marks 1 year of my blog being live. I know that a lot of my fellow bloggers love monthly and yearly updates, so I’m sharing my stats and tips with you now.
It was tough in the beginning, but between Jen Snyder’s Finding Your Tribe Online and a post going viral, things turned around for a bit.
Unique users: 46,943
Page views: 72,149
Email Subscribers: 68
Pinterest has been the easiest platform to grow, although I’ve really been slacking on it for the last 6 months.
June 2016: $0.00
July 2016: $13.90
August 2016: $6.84
September 2016: $124.85
October 2016: $71.50
November 2016: $57.55
December 2016: $121.36
January 2017: $19.30
February 2017: $40.55
March 2017: $61.52
April 2017: $12.84
May 2017: $119.88
Definitely not everything I’d hoped for, especially considering there have been a few expenses. I’m not positive, but I think it’s safe to say I either broke even or made a little money from this hobby. It hasn’t made me rich, though.
I’ve written 78 posts on this blog over the last 12 months. I’d hoped to reach 100, but once we decided we were going to move in January, things started going downhill. Here are the 10 most popular posts:
Stop Turning Your Little Boy into a Little Girl – 20,962 views
25 Amazing Soup Recipes – 8,168 views
Folgers Flower Pot Craft – 4,733 views
30 Slow Cooker Dinners – 2,730 views
It’s Your Fault Your Kid is Being Bullied – 2,415 views
The Best Christmas Gifts for a Rugged Guy – 2,307 views
Do You Want an Easy Way to Save on Groceries? – 1,578 views
My Secret Trick in the Fight Against Dog Fur – 1,490 views
Carpet Shampoo Recipe – 1,264 views
The Best Christmas Gifts for Your 18 Month Old – 1,139 views
Controversy definitely helped draw in readers. Round ups are a good go-to, as well.
Jen Snyder over at Women Winning Online came out with a really great resource for bloggers last year called Finding Your Tribe Online. Back when I purchased it, it was only $17. Since then she has added a ton of content and it costs $97. I definitely think it’s worth the money. Finding Your Tribe Online includes over 400 Pinterest group boards and Facebook groups organized by niche, a full blown marketing plan, access to her private Facebook group and more. It really helped me up my game!
My most popular post brought in more than twice as many readers as my second most popular post. Some people read it because they knew they would hate it and left me angry comments. Others read it and agreed. Those people started following me on social media and subscribed to my mailing list.
I didn’t think that post would get nearly as much attention as it did. I just wrote how I felt on the subject. Sure, I knew that most of the people I know didn’t agree with my opinion. I did not, however, think so many people would have such strong opinions on the issue, too.
Most of my more popular posts brought in people looking for help. Some people wanted to see a bunch of recipes in one place, others wanted to learn how to turn a coffee can into a flower pot. Genuinely trying to help readers was the next best way I was able to draw in new readers.
Over 32,000 people found my blog through Pinterest! It’s definitely something to take seriously. Jen and FYTO helped me learn that and every time I really work on spreading my pins around I see a boost in traffic.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
Posting random ramblings about my life isn’t interesting to anyone but me. I did it a few times, though, because I really had no idea what I was doing or what to write about.
If that’s something you are wanting to do, first ask yourself if you’d read a post like that written by a complete stranger. Ask yourself what it is this post is offering your readers. If it has nothing to offer people, don’t even waste your time writing it.
MAJOR LIFE CHANGES
This isn’t something that applies to everyone, but it definitely applies to me. Things on my blog really started going downhill when Hubby and I decided we were going to relocate. Then, when we finally made the move, it only got worse. Hopefully this is something I can change, but right now I have no clue how to do that.
ABOUT A MILLION OTHER THINGS
The first few months I spent a lot of time in a lot of Facebook groups that didn’t help me at all. I wasted way too much time trying to figure out the “trick” to StumbleUpon (tip: there is no trick, it’s all luck.) I read hundreds of blog posts claiming to share the “secret” to a successful blog before coming to the realization that there is no secret. Yes, some rules apply to every blog. Like don’t post stupid stuff and stay consistent. But, at the same time, every blog is different. What works for one blogger won’t necessarily work for you, too.
This blogging thing is really just a bunch of trial and error. Hopefully I’ll find a way out of this slump, figure out how to make blogging enjoyable again, and return to doing what I know worked well for my blog before. Or maybe I’ll just close up shop. Only time will tell. Check back next year to see which route I end up going!