PULSE CHECK: 30 DAY BLOGGER NEWBIE
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I’ve made it! 30 days into blogging!
If many of you don’t know, Drink Coffee & Prosper is my first blog (my first and only blog, really) and only 30 days old!
I’ll be posting periodic pulse checks as time goes by, so I can share my progress and we can travel down this blog road together, to any new bloggers out there.
Before we get started, here’s a little background:
I started this blog exactly 30 days ago. I’ve always wanted to blog but I’ve had so much on my plate for a long time, I just thought I didn’t have the time.
The thought of an online diary, a forum to vent, share my successes and learn from others, was so incredible to me. It was also appealing to think I could make a nice living from something I truly enjoy, writing and sharing with others.
I grew up in Central Texas. I moved to South Texas to pursue college. 12 years and 2 degrees later, I’m still here. I started working in banking in finance while still in school. When I graduated I moved onto a larger company and worked there for 7 years.
The company was great but I really hated my position. I wanted to do something I was passionate about and I longed for spending more time with my toddler.
My last year at the company I opened an online boutique. At the one year anniversary of my store’s opening, I was earning enough to be able to QUIT MY DAY JOB! It was such an amazing experience to have all my time back! I worked in the store for the next 2 years and flipped it for a profit in 2016. By this time, I was operating 2 other stores.
I combined the 2 stores into 1 company and wha-la, more time available in my schedule to blog! So here I am.
You might enjoy: How to Make Six Figures Through Marketplace Selling
STARTING THE BLOG
Before I actually started the set up, I did TONS and TONS of research. I had so many questions:
- What platform do I use?
- How much will it cost?
- Where do I get a theme?
- How do I get traffic?
- How do I actually monetize this thing?
All these questions and more flooded in. I thought, who better to learn about blogging than from other bloggers so, I turned to Pinterest to find my answers. It took me about a week of research to educate myself about blogging and learn enough to be able to launch Drink Coffee & Prosper. By the way, some of my favorite blogs newly found from Pinterest are:
These blogs are rich with information about starting a blog and making money blogging. There are several more blogs that I like but these ones above I frequent the most often. So, 1 week in, I started the build.
Here was my checklist:
- Pick a niche
- Brainstorm a domain name and purchase domain from GoDaddy
- Get hosting through BlueHost
- Set up site through WordPress.org
- Pick a theme
- Write content
- Sign up for affiliate links (Shareasale and Flexoffers are recommended)
PICK A NICHE
This is a crucial step. Picking a niche was relatively easy for me. I asked myself:
- What are you passionate about?
- What can you teach people?
- Can you write a LOT of content about this topic?
- Are you an expert?
I made up my mind about the niche I picked and moved onto brainstorming.
Brainstorming a domain and blog name took a lot longer. There’s no real system I used. I just thought and thought, finally coming up with the name, Drink Coffee & Prosper.
Domain purchase through the fabulous GoDaddy.
I’ve been using them for years for every single domain I have purchased. You’ll love their streamlined site navigation and tools to check domain name availability.
None other than Bluehost! I’ve tried other hosting companies in the past. Bluehost gave me the best experience and their 1-click WordPress activation made it easy for me to get the blog up and running in a snap! Check out Bluehost!
SITE SET UP
Setting up the blog was easy peasy, literally. I already had an overall theme in my head of how I’d like the blog to look. I knew what categories I wanted, etc. Setting everything up was so simple with WordPress.
I actually purchased and tried out 2 themes before I decided on the final look. How your blog looks isn’t nearly as important as the content, navigation, user-friendliness and more but at the same time, I wanted it to look pretty.
Bluchic has some incredible themes.
They even supply you with plugins and a few graphics thrown in. It was easy to plug everything in and get the theme running.
Updated: I moved into a Genesis Framework theme from Studiopress about 3 mos into blogging. Love it!
My goal with content was to write and publish 1 article a day. I started writing in week 2. I did this successfully for about 2 weeks but week 3 and 4 slacked a bit due to my mini vacation.
Publishing 7 articles a week is pretty aggressive. You may not necessarily need to publish at this rapid rate.
I know many successful bloggers who publish new content once a week or once a month even! I decided to take this aggressive publishing approach because I knew I wanted to make the blog popular fast and I wanted to monetize it even faster!
Check out my BEFORE and AFTER of my Alexa stats:
I’m so proud of these stats. This isn’t even where I started. My first check showed an Alexa rank of 24 million and last check was a global rank of about 3.5 million and country rank (U.S.) of around 560,000.
There are many ways to monetize a blog:
- Affiliate links
- Ebooks or other digital products
- Ad networks
My goal is to be represented by ad networks in the future. The ones I’m interested in start accepting folks at 100,000/mo. pageviews so I’m a long way off but once I get there, I won’t hesitate to reach out to them. Here are some of the merchants I represent today:
Most of these merchants were found through the Shareasale network (highly recommended)
STATS AND INCOME REPORT
I set up Google Analytics from day one as well as a visitor tracker plugin from WordPress. I found it really odd that the plugin results were WAY OFF from Google Analytics.
I reviewed GA a few days ago and found that my site ID was input incorrectly. Since updating it, stats are more closely matching and I’m hovering around 200-300 pageviews daily.
I started monetizing the blog a few weeks in with little promotion.
I added links here and there with no real strong emphasis on trying to earn an income yet.
My focus was to build up the site and fill it with content. Since I have about 3 page full of posts now, my goal is to work on the monetization. Income for month 1 is zero.
And, that’s it! I’ll be updating you regularly on my progress and with income reports hopefully, so stay tuned!
Find out my strategy for skyrocketing my Instagram following by growing to over 150k followers in about a year! Get the latest copy of the guide here.
WEALTHY AFFILIATE: The best beginner blog training I have taken. It spells everything all out! 7 phases total and helps with everything from setting up your blog on platform to PPC advertising to Facebook and more! Truly amazing. Highly recommended.
BLUEHOST: Amazing web hosting starting at as low as $1.95/month! Streamlined set up and easy integration with WordPress. Check out The Foolproof Way to Start a Blog. Bluehost is currently the host used for this blog, Drink Coffee & Prosper. Highly recommended.
CONVERTKIT: Newsletter services to your subscribers AT ITS FINEST! I have to admit, I am not a techie, AT ALL! ConvertKit makes it all so easy. Lots of easy tools, streamlined newsletter creation, affordable packages. It takes me a few minutes to shoot out a newsletter to the blog’s thousands of subscribers. Easy peasy. You’ll love ConvertKit!
BOARDBOOSTER AND TAILWIND: I’ve tried these Super Pinning tools separately but I have BOTH! The minute I made that change, my repins increased by 200X, no joke! I love the features and tools from both. You’ll like the simple, easy navigation of Boardbooster. Not too complicated at all. Tailwind has tribes! Another awesome way to connect and grow your pins exponentially. They are both very affordable. A must have and my secret weapon for exploding my blog pageviews!
MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING COURSE: Join the ranks of Michelle Schroeder and be on your way to earning $50,000/month in affiliate income like she does! In fact, she had a record SIX FIGURE MONTH in July 2016! Learn from the very best. Read my full review of her course on my post, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Reviewed.
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