It’s my one-year blogging anniversary—hooray!
Coincidentally, it’s also my nine-year wedding anniversary, and I suppose that’s just as important. 😉
It’s been a great year and I’ve learned a ton about the business of blogging. I thought I’d take the time this week to give you a behind-the-scenes peek and thank you all for reading (unless it really is my mom who’s been hitting “refresh” thousands of times and leaving incognito comments under my posts. Hi mom!).
I had no idea what I was doing when I got started. I still kind of don’t know what I’m doing; most of the time I just feel like I’m flinging cooked spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
I’m a scientifically-minded person who needs data, variables, and most of all a sufficient sample size to test out new experiments—something I haven’t really had for most of my first year. In fact, here’s what my traffic looked like for this whole first year of growth:
Not too bad, but my inner competitive person is always pestering me with thoughts like you can do just a little bit better.
It was also difficult to keep writing when I was working so much on ramping up my freelance writing business. Each paid piece that I write for clients helps me inch my way out of debt, while the blog is largely unpaid at this point. That’s not to say it isn’t worth it at all; I write blog posts for other blogs, and having my own blog helps teach me the needs of other bloggers.
Another major obstacle I faced was writing consistently. I spent much of the summer working at my day job in one-week-on/one-week-off rotations. When I was working, I was traveling around remote areas in Wyoming with no Internet access (and no running water for much of the time too—thankfully the internet doesn’t have smellovision yet!).
Related post: How I Got Started As A Freelance Writer
It was tough, but I treated writing this blog just like any other job. When I was in town, I frantically wrote and pre-scheduled my blog posts to go live while I was on the road somewhere in the hinterlands of Wyoming. When I was based in the office, I woke up at 4:30 am to sling words on a page before heading to work, and then I refined them when I came home.
I’ve met some amazing people over this past year, both online and in real life. The personal finance community has some awesome people in it, and I’d never been exposed to these kinds of people and ideas before. It’s simply blown me away.
I’ve challenged myself this past year in ways I’ve never been challenged since the Geeks Who Drink Geek Bowl. I didn’t know if I could hold out for a year (my last blog failed after a couple months), but I did it!
Where I’m Headed Next
This year, I learned the basics of blogging. Next year, I’m going to focus on growing my readership and even (gasp) making some money with the blog.
I’ve invested in some cool tools and training opportunities, like BoardBooster (a Pinterest scheduling tool), Convertkit (an email newsletter service), and the Elite Blog Academy (a blog training program). I’m excited to see where I can go with it!
I’ve set a goal to reach 10,000 pageviews/month by the end of 2017, and make $100/month from the blog. I’m planning on doing this a few different ways:
- Learning (and using) SEO techniques (I’ve put very little focus into this area thus far)
- Nailing down a good email freebie to get more email subscribers
- Developing some affiliate marketing campaigns for helpful financial products
- Capturing and taming a wild unicorn
- Possibly developing a debt-related online course
Most of all, I want to thank all of you for sticking with me and the blog this year.
Here’s to an even awesomer 2017! 🙂