Grow your blog in a year.
A lot can happen in a year, especially in the blogging world! Last year I decided to buckle down and turn my blog into a business. I started with re-branding and redesigning on January first. For the rest of the year, I worked hard and saw the more growth on my blog than ever before.
There’s NOTHING like getting paid to do something that you love to do. Absolutely nothing. I know that a lot of you are bloggers as well, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned over the past year with you! It can be weird to talk about stats and earnings publicly, but I know that it can be so helpful to learn the specifics about what other bloggers are doing! I have been so thankful for those that have shown me all the little details of their blogs, because it has helped me to grow my own. I’m sharing with you today to encourage you that you can do this too!
The photo above is a chart depicting my monthly page views for last year. December 31st I switched over to the new domain and had to rebuild my following back up to what it was before the switch. By the end of February I was getting the same number of views a day that I had been before I switched domains, which was around 300 a day.
At the end of last year, I was averaging 3,000 views a day. 10X more than the beginning of the year!
I also wanted to start earning money with my blog, I focused on building up a good following first, and then began to monetize at the end of the year. January 2013 I was earning $0 a month, and by the end of the year I was averaging $1,000 blogging income every month (before taxes).
To some, those numbers are tiny, but to me they are huge and went far beyond what I thought I would be able to do with my blog in a year. I’m hoping this year to double my average daily views and double my income by the end of the year.
If you are a blogger, you can totally do this too! You may have been blogging for years already (I had) and not experienced this type of growth, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen this year!!!
I will warn you though, it took a lot of work. Blogging is not a “get rich quick” type of plan, but it can be a wonderful way to work from home doing something that you love.
My first step was to work on getting my page views up. I waited until I was averaging 500-1,000 views every day, before I started to monetize. I did this for several reasons. First, it allowed me to focus all of my energy into producing good content and become accustomed with posting more frequently. It was also nice because when I started earning, it was a substantial amount. I wasn’t cluttering my site with ads or sponsored posts until they were earning me enough money to really be worth it.
One of the most important things I learned was that you have to be willing to change. There were reasons I wasn’t getting more page views earlier in the year. I needed to change the way I was doing some things. There is always room to grow. Spend some time comparing your site to other, more successful, sites in your niche. Try to figure out what they have that you don’t. Maybe it’s snazzy images, or better grammar. Maybe it’s the length of posts or the way they market their posts. Study other bloggers and find where you can improve.
Another big change I made was in the type of content that I was writing. My absolute favorite thing to write is the heart-felt encouraging posts. Things like the Confessions of an Imperfect Mother Series and the recent posts about good moms. Those are my favorite posts to write because they come straight from the heart. Unfortunately, encouraging posts don’t typically see the same type of results that more straight-forward helpful posts do like budgeting tips or even posts about how to help your toddler adjust to the new baby. They aren’t always as fun to write, but those are the ones that get searched for on google and pinned on Pinterest the most.
I finally came to the realization that, I can still write what I love, but add to it, and write things that will do well in search engines and on Pinterest. I was only writing one really heart-felt post a week anyway, so instead of just writing one post a week, I decided to start also writing some things that I knew would generate lots of traffic to fill in the gaps during the rest of the week. I have not sacrificed what I love to do, and the quality of my posts have not gone down, just because I’ve added more quantity. You can have both quality and quantity, if you are careful and are willing to put in the work necessary to make it happen!
I take you step by step how I did it in this post: How to triple your blog’s pageviews this year. It’s a lengthy post, but each point is something that I specifically used last year to help me grow my own blog!
Halfway through the year I started to actively monetize my blog. I installed google adsense and joined many sites that connect bloggers to brands for sponsored post opportunities. The following are a few of my favorites, where I have found the most success (Affiliate links): Izea, Linqia and Social Fabric. I’ve used each of these for several months now and have had a positive experience with each. On these sites you are connected with brands who will pay you to write a post mentioning your product. Each brand has different requirements and you choose if you are interested in taking the opportunity or not.
I gathered up all of my monetization tips and put them all in one post, you can find them here.
I hope this post encourages you that you can see crazy amounts of growth on your blog this year, and maybe even more than you are expecting!!!
If you want to grow you blog to something profitable this year – check out the Profitable Blogging Framework. 50+ bloggers joined together to share their TOP tips and strategies about how to grow a profitable blog. Click the image below to get in on the awesomeness!
If you are looking for more blogging resources to help you along your way, here are some of the most useful things I’ve found along my blogging journey
If you are wanting to get serious about your blog this year and connect with other bloggers join my free facebook group Actionable Blogging. You can ask questions, network and share your goals!