(This post contains affiliate links. This is no cost to you, and can even save you money! In no way does any affiliate relationship affect my views on the product, my opinions are all mine!)
Alright ladies and gents, I’ve hit my official 90 days of blogging! I have read in numerous places that most people quit in the first 90 days, so I’m proud to say I’ve made it! It hasn’t been easy, there has been a lot of learning and time spent, but it has been fun! I wanted to review my first 3 months in a blog post for anyone who might be thinking about starting a blog, or for those who just want to read my experience!
I’m going to narrow it down to the top 5 things I’ve learned and were useful these past 3 months.
I wanted to share with you that I use Siteground for self-hosting my blog and I love it. After doing some research, I found that they seemed to be the best option and were I chose them after doing some research and I found that Bluehost was causing other blogs to load slowly or have problems loading in general, and that blog pages would come up as an error. I would recommend doing your research before you pay for a self hosting program, but I do recommend Siteground! Right now they run at around $3.65/month, depending on the plan you pick. It is a little more expensive than some others, but I think it’s worth the money!
What have I learned?
- It takes time- Yes it actually does take time, more time that I thought it would. If you know nothing about blogging you have to do a lot of research about setting up your blog, promotion, pictures, pins, etc. And if you want to use affiliate marketing, that is another kind of battle. Fortunately there are A LOT of resources out there and people that want to help. I’ve found the blogging community to be really helpful and they want you to succeed. Remember to patient with yourself. Getting views, clicks, followers, etc all takes time. It won’t happen overnight. And there will be slow days. Just push through it!
Work ahead: To keep up with everything, I try to write a blog post over a few days when I have time, and then I review it and finish it on the weekend. On the weekends I also set up my pins and schedule them so that everything is ready to go at the beginning of the next week. Stretching it out like that helps me not get overwhelmed. I also make up pins when I have free time on my lunch break at work. It can take longer than you think! Iwould recommend before you start your blog, have a few post ideas in mind and maybe start writing them so you are ahead of the game.
- Pinterest and Facebook Groups– I highly recommend being a part of several. Pinterest groups are a little bit harder to get added to, but I was accepted to some right away. These are great ways to connect with other people in your niche, and just other bloggers in general. These also help get your blog out there because Facebook groups have daily threads that you can share your posts, social sites, pins, etc. You have to share other bloggers posts in these threads, but it had been really useful with my traffic. This takes time as well, but it is definitely worth it. To search Facebook groups, search “blogging groups” and a ton will come up. On Pinterest, I just looked through other bloggers I am following and found group boards. Pinterest is a little more tricky because you have to email the board administrator sometimes, and sometimes they don’t get back to you..ever. But there are some out there that are easy to join! Here are a few of my favorite Facebook Groups:
- Boss Girl Bloggers
- Blogging for New Bloggers
- Blog Booster
- Grow Your Blog
- EBooks– Alright guys, I’m a firm believer if you want to make money, you have to spend money. But that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to be frugal about it! I did a lot of research about ebooks on affiliate marketing, and found two different ones that I love. They are also not going to break the bank, especially in comparison to some out there. These two are my favorites:
- The She Approach: Ana has an entire bundle that is great to get you started in affiliate marketing. She really took the time to explain her process in her book, but also made an organized form full of affiliate programs for every niche, and an easy way to track them. She also offers a few freebies! You can check out her whole affiliate bundle here, but she also offers her EBook separately, and she offers the affiliate masterlist program separate as well. I would recommend reading about each one, because you might feel like you only need one of the sections! Affiliate marketing is confusing and takes time to learn about, so if you’re serious about your blog, I think it’s in your best interest to invest in an EBook. Her blog is great too, and is all about helping you grow your blog, and how to become a successful as a blogger! She started at the bottom not that long ago as well, which is inspiring!
- House of Brazen: Elise’s EBook How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours is all about affiliate marketing using Pinterest! This is ideal not only if you’re a blogger, but if you want to just make money using Pinterest. I mean really, who doesn’t love Pinterest? I use it all the time, and I have been using it way before I started my blog. So why not potentially make money pinning? It’s really simple and you can use Canva to make pins, which is free! They have options to pay, but the free version is great! I highly recommend this EBook. The content is a steal for the price point, and you get a lot of useful information that is easy to follow as well as implement. This is a great EBook, and for the price, you can’t beat it!
- Affiliate Marketing- Affiliate marketing seems great. Who doesn’t want to make a passive income?! One thing I never read anywhere is the amount of time it takes to become an actual affiliate. Some sites have specific requirements, such as a specific amount of views per month, specific number of followers, etc. Keep in mind that some affiliate programs will review your blog before approval. I would recommend before applying to make sure you have a few posts up with good content, and that your content matches the programs you’re signing up for. Otherwise you won’t get approved. I know that affiliate marketing can be exciting..the potential to make money passively sounds great! But set up your blog and take time on that for a few weeks. It’s important to have a blog with good content, graphics, and layout before you try to sell things. You want your followers to take you seriously..a first impression matters! After you get all settle in, move on to affiliate programs. They will still be there! When you do start to apply for affiliate programs, some of them can be confusing after you get approved. There are all different kinds of codes and links, and it can be confusing where to put them. I used Pinterest to figure out how to use them. This was really helpful. The EBook from The She Approach gives you a huge list of programs you can join. My recommended affiliate programs are below!
- Don’t Try All Social Media-It may be tempting to want to promote your blog on all social sites, but I would suggest picking 2 or 3. It takes time to promote, and if you’re like me you have a full time job as well, you will only have time to focus on a few sites. This is also beneficial because you can make real connections with people on those sites and focus on them. I mainly focus on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. I would also recommend making a separate account from your personal account for your blog. It helps keep it more organized and easier to focus on. Picking your social sites for your blog I think is personal preference. There are pros and cons to each I’m sure, but I picked the ones I was most comfortable with.
Where do I want to go from here?
I started blogging as an outlet to help me with anxiety and reading about things I love is a great distraction. It has been enjoyable to connect with others all over the world! From here I would like to work on the following:
- Start really working on affiliate marketing. It has definitely been a struggle, but I want to be successful. I know I can do it!
- Connect with more people. I want to grow my social sites
- Learn more about scheduling pins…that has been a little confusing as well. I’m currently using Tailwind, and I sort of have the hang of it!
What tips and tricks do you guys have? I’m all ears!!