Nine Months of Blogging Progress

9 Months of Blogging - Goal check
9 Months of Blogging – Goal check

I’ve blogged for nine months and it is time to check in on my goals and blogging progress! So far it has been a great journey. I have learned so much along the way! When I started, I had no idea what SEO meant, let alone what a widget is! (For those non-bloggers it means search engine optimization and a widget is a tool to add different aspects to your blog without having to know coding). Whew! I’m glad to be done with those beginning stages. Now I am ready to focus on blog improvement and thank you for joining me on this ride!

When I started, I had no idea what SEO meant, let alone what a widget is! (For those non-bloggers it means search engine optimization and a widget is a tool to add different aspects to your blog without having to know coding). Whew! I’m glad to be done with those beginning stages. Now I am ready to focus on blog improvement and thank you for joining me on this ride!

Not that I consider myself an expert, but I am gaining knowledge and my goals for this year are looking good. As I reflect on the past nine months, I will take a look at my goals which include social media, page views, and posts.

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click a link and make a purchase or sign up for a service, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. 

Goals

Here are the goals I set for myself back at the three and six-month mark. Let’s check my progress and see what I need to work on!

Goal 1: Write an eBook and a course

I set some lofty goals when I started out! I really wanted to write an eBook and create a class. While these dreams are still in my future, I am pushing my timelines back for next year. Furthermore, I did not realize how time-consuming blogging and promoting can be and I decided to focus more on my blogging content, instead of creating a class or an eBook. Nonetheless, I plan to carry out these goals in 2018, as writing a book has always been a dream of mine and with online publishing, it can easily become a reality.

Goal 2: Post 100 blog posts

This post will be number 78, so this goal will be obtainable if I keep at it. I started my blog in October of 2016 so this will be my end of the year mark. However, I realized it is not as important how much I post, but the quality of my content that matters. Also, I worked hard this past quarter to write longer blog posts and publish only once a week. Publishing more was difficult for me because I have two little ones at home with me. Nonetheless,  I tried to focus on content that would be extremely helpful to my readers and this is still the focus of this blog. I would love to teach people about living within their means and becoming debt free. I’ve learned that my meal planning post

Nonetheless,  I tried to focus on content that would be extremely helpful to my readers and this is still the focus of this blog. I would love to continue to teach people about living within their means and becoming debt free. I’ve learned that my meal planning post are popular, so you will be sure to see more of them in the near future.

Suggested reading

1. Best Post Rrecap – Three Months of Blogging
2. Blogging Growth – A Promising Six Months
3. Epic Goal setting and Productivity

Social Media

We all know as bloggers, one way to dramatically increase page views is to promote our posts. I’ve read the 80/20 rule applies to blogging. This means to spend 20% of your time writing and 80% promoting. If you are talking to an empty room, no one is listening.

My favorite promotional method and social media tool is Pinterest! I was just telling guests at my son’s birthday party, Pinterest is a blessing and a curse. Moreover, I love looking at all the wonderful ideas, but then I want to try them all (made a Spiderman game, Captain America fruit tray, Hulk game, frozen Batman game and Batman pouches for his party…See what I mean).

Nonetheless, Pinterest has been the single best performing social media platform in gaining page views for I Heart Frugal so for that I am grateful. Many say Pinterest is more like a search engine than social media and I have tried using it in this way by including key words in my pin descriptions and creating multiple relevant pins for my posts.

Pinterest Followers

When I started my blog, I had around 100 Pinterest followers! I am happy to say that I have finally reached 5000! This was my goal for the entire year! However, I met this goal early and I still have time to grow my reach.

Pinterest is the main source of my page views and I continue to use it daily. Unfortunately, I have not had a viral pin as of yet, however, I have one that is close to 2000 Pins (see here) and another that is almost at 1000 (see here). Yet, I am trying to improve my Pinterest game by joining more Personal Finance Niche group boards and pinning high-quality pins.

Pinterest Strategies:

  • Pin daily (use the 80/20 rule – Pin 80% of other’s pins and 20% of your own)
  • Pin high-quality pins
  • use boardbooster for looping, campaigns, and analyzing how your pins do on boards
  • join group boards in your niche
  • create vertical pins with a text overlay that are relevant to your post
  • use keywords in your pin description
  • repin from group boards
  • create your own group board/boards

Suggested Reading: How to Rock Pinterest Followers

Twitter

Twitter is a fun tool! However, I have taken a little break from posting on Twitter daily as I was only gaining around four to five page views a day so I felt my efforts were better spent on Pinterest. I will get back into twitter after I join more group boards and have more time. I set a goal to gain 2000 Twitter followers for the year and now I am close to 3000! That is a win in my book.

Instagram

Unfortunately, I did not focus on Instagram when I started blogging. Although, I am sure you have all heard the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” This is how I felt about social media. I could really only focus on a few, so I chose Pinterest and Twitter. Yet, I am now getting into Instagram and have reached 501 followers. I am going to post on Instagram more because I like using it and have found some really amazing bloggers on this Platform!

Facebook

This was the main social media tool I used as a personal tool, but after I started I Heart Frugal I decided to create a business page. I continue to keep my personal Facebook private, as it is all family and friends and my intent is never to blog spam them. Usually, I do not post pictures of my kids as I feel keeping their privacy is important.

Nonetheless, my business page is obviously public and it is a great way to find my current posts! I have added 500 followers from scratch, so I am feeling pretty good about my Facebook page. I would love to grow my reach on this platform as well.

Other Social Media Platforms

Some other social media platforms I use but are not as popular as the above are Google +Bloglovin, and Stumbleupon. However, I do not receive much traffic from these sources. Yet,  I used to get a lot of traffic from Stumble but for some reason, although I share other’s work often, my reach has gone down drastically. Moreover, I am looking at other forms of exposure including Reddit and Slideshare, so you will see more about this in my next blog update.

Total Followers including my Newsletter subscribers: 9,407 as of today!

I am truly humbled by this number! Help me hit 10,000 and follow me below!

Pinterest

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Bloglovin

Stumbleupon

Google +

Blogging goals

Income

I’m making a very small income on my blog. Yet, it is too small to write home about, but I am grateful for every penny. It feels good that I am helping people and working a little Side Hustle along the way. My income has come from Ebates, Ibotta, and Linqua sign-ups. I’ve also made around $20 with media.net ads and $10 with Google Adsense.

Suggested Reading: Side Hustles: My Ultimate List of 75 Ways to Earn More Money

Page Views

I had my best month ever in July. My page views were over 4,000. This is good for me, but I am working hard to get my page views up little by little. I think if I have more time, I will be able to improve aspects of my blog that will increase engagement. My kids will be in school next week and I will have six hours a week to myself for the first time in five years. I plan on using this time to work on my blog and really grow my page views and user experience. If you have suggestions, please leave me a comment. I am planning on purchasing a few SEO books other bloggers have recommended.

Best Posts

My best five posts are as follows! I’m learning to analyze my data to interpret what my readers want. As you can see, two of my most popular posts are meal planning posts. Meal planning is such an amazing way to save money. If you don’t have time to read my meal planning posts, pin them and save them for later (Budget-friendly Meal Plan pin & $40 Meal Plan Pin).

Making money and getting out of debt are also popular subjects over on the blog! Another best post is a guest post from onlycanistervacuum.com. Check it out!

  1. How to get Out of Debt in 11 Steps
  2. Budget-friendly Two Week Dinner Meal Planning – Under $75
  3. Side Hustles: My Ultimate List of 75 Ways to Earn More Money
  4. 5 Borderline Genius Cleaning Hacks to Save you Time and Money
  5. How to Create a $40 Meal Plan Your Family Will Love

Subscribers

I am proud and humbled to say, I have 112 email subscribers and 38 blog followers. This is truly a blessing because these are the people who truly care what I have to say and are my loyal readers. Also, I signed up for Mailerlite instead of just having people subscribe to my blog and I love their service so far. If you are interested in Mailerlite you can check them out with my link (affiliate link).

Newsletter signup

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Google Analytics

I finally got google analytics to work on my blog. This was a struggle for me. There was a glitch when I installed the code to my website and it was only registering four page views from other countries. I was using Jetpack to check my stats but continued to try google analytics but with no success and when I played around with it, I felt like I was wasting my time because it would not work properly.

I tried adding it again last month and it finally started working. Although I love jetpack I am excited about the information google analytics will bring me.  At least I will have an exact google analytics account for the month of August!

Personal

I set a goal to run a 10K this year. The plan was to run the 10K in June, but unfortunately, my family and I got sick in May. It lasted around 3-4 weeks before we all completely recovered. I think it was a bad version of the flu and the cough lingered and made it difficult to run. Yet,  I started back running mid-June but wasn’t that motivated.

Then I found another race close to my house but my husband is working on that morning, so I am going to push the kids in a jogging stroller. Now, I have done a 10K before and it took me around an hour. I realized there was no way I could push my kids totaling 75 lbs. combined for that long, so I settled on the 5K.

We are planning on doing another 5K in November, so we all know what five plus five equals (seriously, does that count?) I will put the 10K on my 2018 goal list. Sometimes you have to know how much you can handle and I don’t think I will have time to train for anything longer than a 5k this year.

My kids are going back to school. This is another bittersweet moment for me. I have had so much fun with them all summer and I will miss the lazy, fun days we have had. We made so many good memories. Although they will only be in school three hours and we will still have plenty of time to make more fun plans!

I am looking forward to having some alone time for the first time in five years, and I plan on using it to improve my blog.

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed my goal report! As you can see I need to work on my Instagram account and Facebook page. Also, I am working on SEO in the next few months to increase page views from search engines. I am going to continue my Pinterest strategy and continue to research ways to improve this as well.

Keep your eyes peeled for my new email freebies. I am working on a meal planning freebie and a budget template for my next budgeting posts. Also, I am going to try posting more than once a week and see if that helps my google traffic. I’m hoping to blog full-time at one point and although I’m sad my kids are starting school, I will be excited to use the time to make improvements!

Please leave me a comment! I would love to hear about your blogging journey or any goals you are working on!

Take care – Sarah

 

2 comments on “Blog Progress – Blog Better with Awesome Results”

  1. Good for you! It’s always great to set goals. I’m doing the same, myself. I’d like to quit my full-time office job by June of next year to blog and become a freelance writer. I’ll be subscribing to check out your journey and find extra motivation. 🙂

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