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My first month of blogging – expectations vs reality

One of my primary goals why I started writing a blog, was to share my experiences and concrete results with you. I don’t think my results are so bad, but there are lots of posts on the Internet about how someone is earning thousands of dollars in the first month already. This is possible if they haven’t started from scratch, or if they already had an audience that followed them, if they prepared some money for promotion and so on.

My first encounter with reality happened when I realized I wrote just 4 posts, one each week. I thought I would had more time, along with my regular 40-hour-a-week job, since I had so many ideas. Each post took a lot of time, from research, finding resources, to the design of infographics and analyzing keywords. So, as you can see, I didn’t have plenty of time in this first month. Of course, you can add and edit some things later, but it’s certainly important to have a quality, at a decent level, at the beginning. After publishing, you’ll first share your post everywhere but then you don’t want to have a semifinished post.

The thing you are most interested in is the number of all the visits in the first month, so here are my blog traffic stats from google analytics:

blog traffic stats

As you can see, bounce rate is high. There can be many reasons for this, one of them is that I just didn’t have enough content on the blog, and the other can be that there isn’t only targeted audience. Also, here is the organic search with 114 sessions. Google search console says that my blog appeared for 29 queries and got 9 clicks.  Everything else is fairly good considering the amount of time that I could spend on the blog, and it’s only a few hours per week.

blog visits

Blog visits from social media

blog visits

Some of those finding from Social media traffic were a bit surprising for me. Personally, I have never been particularly active on social networks. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of articles about how Twitter is dying, but I still believed that the price could climb up there. However, I suffered a disappointment. Simply nobody, except your followers, will see your tweet if you don’t put some hashtag or mention someone. Not even all of your followers will see your tweet. Even if you do everything right, there is little chance for your tweet to go boom and to catch some viral.

blog traffic stats

On the other hand, I experienced a lot of positive surprises using Google+. There are so many communities with many people who follow them. They are very similar to facebook groups, but everything here is somehow simpler and clearer. The interesting thing is that when you are posting something in the community, you must choose one of the subtopics. That’s good because, in an indirect way, leads you to post only something relevant to that community. I admit I’ve never understood Google+ and I haven’t looked at it before as a social network but only as an unimportant addition to my Gmail account.

blog visits

Of course, there is one social network that I hadn’t changed my mind after the first month of blogging. It’s LinkedIn. Nothing bad can happen on the network where everybody is focused on business and where you can find groups of people who are interested in the same things as you. I still didn’t try to write posts directly on LinkedIn, I’m still searching for the right advantage of that compared to writing on my own blog. In the last month, I got about 80 connections here and most blog visits from this social network, as you can see.

Another social network where I was relatively good, but not enough dedicated, is Instagram. I don’t know if I’m right, but my opinion is that there are far more people who see what you post with the use of the hashtag, compared to Twitter. Of course, I assume you don’t have any followers in the beginning. I think that my performance here could be improved by sharing some other private pictures that are not so much related to my posts. Also, here is one bad thing that irritates me, links that are placed in the description of the images are not clickable. So you really have to engage people to copy that URL and look at your post. Or you can put the link in your bio and let people know, when posting, where the clickable link can be found.

Of course, there is a Facebook too. I won’t talk too much about it, we know how it works. I’m just shared posts in various groups. The only bad thing is that it’s quite difficult to promote facebook page without paying advertisements. Since no longer possible to use facebook as a page instead of your profile, your options are very reduced. Basically, you can only post your article on the wall of your page.

As you can see, there are two other social networks that I used: HackerNews and Reddit. HackerNews’ advantage is that it’s very simple, there you have complete freedom, and it has high number of visits. I started using Reddit more intense in the last month and I like the amount of subreddits there. You’ll surely find something that interests you. So, people who follow these subreddits are very precisely targeted. On Reddit, you have to take care of your karma because there are some subreddits where you can’t post your text or link if you don’t have enough good karma. Of course, it’s determined in relation to whether people love what you are posting and whether you participate in discussions well. I got 33 visitors from Reddit and 45 form Hacker News. My accounts are still fresh, so I’ll keep working on this for sure.

Notification and email list

Here are some more numbers that are certainly interesting.

blog visits

blog traffic stats

The first link is a mailing list, here are pretty bad results but I believe the reason is that I’m at the beginning and I’m not forcing people to subscribe. Indeed, I didn’t do anything special about this, so I am not surprised at these results.

Second link are notifications. I started using plugin for WordPress named OneSignal, about two weeks ago. I added the option for visitors to receive notification alerts via browser when I add a new post. These results are slightly better, probably because of the simplicity and limitations of this option.

Affiliate links

At the beginning, I thought that I won’t do this at all but later I added few affiliate links so I could share my experience with you.
You can’t lose anything if these links are naturally placed in your content, without excessive intrusion and highlighting. Keep in mind that choosing the affiliate links will also take some time. So, maybe, it’s a good idea to leave this job for later, after writing the post. And here are my results:

  • instapage clicks: 21 refferals: 2
  • ucraft clicks: 17
  • mailget clicks: 16
  • wishpond.com clicks: 7
  • mythemeshop.com clicks: 4
  • aweber.com clicks: 4
  • drip.co clicks: 1

During the first month of blogging, I was mostly learning a lot about it, and I keep learning.
Obviously, one of the conclusions made from the results is that I need to write more often. Another one is that writing is perhaps only 50% of what makes the blogging.
The point is that you should want a lot, and stay motivated, but you should also know you can’t expect too much to happen, especially not at the start. That shouldn’t discourage you! So keep going!
I know that my first results were far from perfect, so I expect from you some tips, suggestions and tricks that I could apply.

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