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When I started my blogging journey I never imagined that it could change my life in so many ways! Now blogging is an important part of my life and it offered me the chance to have a job that I really love!
I started this blog in December 2016 but I didn’t really focus on it until March 2017. That was the moment when I decided to become more intentional about my blogging journey. I started to put more time and effort into growing my blog and it was totally worthwhile!
I’ve learned so much in the past year! I took several courses and I invested in many tools and resources. And I’ve discovered a lot of helpful tips!
But one of the most important things that made a difference for me was interacting with other bloggers and learning from their experience. This kind of support was so important! And it still is!
I’m very grateful for all the help and support that I’ve received in the last year! This is why I decided to help other bloggers too by sharing my blogging journey and all the tips and ideas that help me grow my blog.
I’ve started this last year but I wasn’t as intentional about it as I would have wanted. And I felt bad about this. So a few days ago, when I wrote my goals for the second quarter of the year, I decided to focus more on this. One of the ways to do this is publishing monthly blog reports. And I hope that they will be inspiring for other bloggers!
Why I decided to publish these blog reports
For me, discovering tips and ideas that other bloggers share has always been helpful!
I hope that my reports will also help other bloggers find ideas and resources that will allow them to grow their blogs!
Also, I think that these reports will be a nice way to keep track of my blogging journey every month. And I’m pretty sure that it would be nice to look back at these reports one year from now.
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Still, there is one thing that I decided to do differently.
Many bloggers share a lot of numbers in their reports: traffic, social media stats, income, etc. While I often do find them inspiring, I think that they also make room for a lot of comparisons.
In my opinion, the most important metric to take into account is growth. Every blogging journey is unique and comparing stats and numbers is not always a good idea.
This is why I decided that the only metric that I will share in my blog reports is growth. And I totally recommend that you measure your success based on the progress that you make and not by comparing your journey with anybody else’s journey.
Now let’s dive into my first blog report.
What I did this month (and helped me)
Here are the main things that I did this month and that helped me grow my blog:
1. Using design templates
I’ve always struggled with designing my printables and Pinterest graphics because I’m not good at design at all. I was very glad when I discovered Kara’s blog (Simplifying DIY Design) because it had all the inspiration that I needed. I’ve purchased some of her products, including the design toolkit and they have helped me so much!
I used her templates to design my first ebook and I plan to use them for all the printables that I’ll create for my blog in the future.
2. Focusing on creating my first ebook
I wanted to create this ebook for a very long time but I never really blocked some time to focus on it. But in April I felt that I don’t want to postpone it any longer! Having my own shop on the blog is one of my main goals for this year and I’m glad that I did the first step towards reaching this goal.
I’ll write an article with all the details about creating and launching an ebook soon, in case you want to do this and you are looking for some tips and recommendations!
3. Cleaning my email list
This decision was not easy to take because I worked hard on getting subscribers on my email list and deleting them seem so hard to do! But I realized that having thousands of subscribers is not helpful unless they are really engaged with my content.
So I decided to clean my list and I deleted more than 1.500 contacts (the subscribers who haven’t interacted with my emails in the last 2 months). And it was a very good decision! My open rate has increased and this is really great! So I plan to clean my list on a regular basis for now on. It also helps with keeping the costs under control because I don’t want to pay for subscribers who never open my emails.
photo credit: Rawpixel.com / shutterstock.com
This month’s wins and fails
This month’s wins
Creating my first ebook – This is a big step for me and the launch of my ebook will be tomorrow, so I’m a little nervous about how it will go. But I’m very glad that I make this step and I hope to create even more ebooks and digital resources this year.
I hope to have an online shop with 4-5 products on my blog before the end of the year.
Signing a contract with an advertising network – I signed a contract with Mediavine in April but their ads have been launched on my blog yesterday so I’m still getting used to them. I never had ads on my blog before so this is a big change for me but I really wanted to work with the Mediavine team (because I heard some great feedback about them) and I’m very glad that I have this chance!
Interacting more with my readers – Thursday is usually my favorite blogging day of the week because it’s when I send my weekly newsletter. I love to see that people in many countries around the world read my emails and I’m glad to receive more and more emails from them in return!
The most popular posts during this month were:
- A love letter to my husband
- How to get kids to listen in a calm and positive way
- 5 powerful ways to help an anxious child calm down
- How to help kids develop a growth mindset (and why this is so important).
photo credit: fizkes / shutterstock.com
This month’s fails
Pinterest – Last month I mentioned how disappointed I was with the growth of my Pinterest traffic. Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better this month! I was part of a beta test for a Pinterest strategy and I didn’t want to interfere with it, so I didn’t test any new strategies in April.
The beta test will end next week and I can’t wait to see their feedback about my account. Then, I will be able to start implementing a new strategy that hopefully will bring me better results.
Pinterest was still my main traffic source in April but I know that it can do a lot better! My plan for May is to increase my Pinterest traffic by at least 10%.
Content creation – I wrote a lot this month but most of the content was for my ebook so I had fewer articles on my blog (9 compared to 13 in March). I wish I could have written more articles but focusing on my ebook was the right choice for me this month.
How my plan from last month went
Here are the goals that I mentioned in last month’s report and an update about them:
– Focus on finding a better strategy for Pinterest: Failed – As I explained above, I was part of a beta test and I couldn’t test any new strategy in April.
– Creating more content: Done – I created a whole ebook this month, plus 9 new blog posts.
– Implementing more of the tips from Carly’s affiliate marketing course: Done – I participated in 2 major affiliate launches this month and I am satisfied with the results, so Carly’s strategies definitely work!
– Finishing the courses from the BBC website: Done – I took the course about launching a product and it helped me have a clear vision about the steps that I need to take for my first product launch.
Best tips of the month
I’ve gathered here the best tips and ideas that I’ve discovered this month. I hope that this list will make this report more helpful for you!
– The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit will be available again soon for just 2 days. You can sign up here to get notified when it will be available. This bundle is one of the best investments that you can do as a blogger because it includes so many awesome resources!
– GDPR goes into effect in May so if you have subscribers from Europe, you need to make sure that you follow all the new rules. Here are 2 helpful articles on this topic:
– If you want to improve your subject lines when you send emails to your subscribers, here is a great tool to help you: the Email Subject Line Tester created by Coschedule (it’s free). I’ve used it for my last emails and it was easy to use and helpful!
– The List Love master course is available again! This course helped me build my email list and I totally recommend it to you if your goal is to increase your email list and build a strong community around your blog. Jennifer is an amazing trainer and I’ve learned so much from her!
– The Complete Bloggers Template Toolkit created by Kara from Simplifying DIY Design is the perfect resource if you are struggling with creating great designs for your graphics, printables, or products. I’ve used Kara’s templates to design my ebook and all the graphics for its promotion and this saved me a lot of time and stress. You can check out the toolkit here.
My plans for next month
It’s hard to make a list of goals specifically for April because I use the 12 week year strategy so my goals are created for a whole quarter.
But I will include here some of the plans that I hope to put into practice this month:
– Focus on finding a better strategy for Pinterest: I wasn’t able to do this last month so I need to start focusing on this as soon as the beta test ends.
– Launch and promote my ebook: The official launch is planned for tomorrow but the promotion will continue during the whole month.
– Create more content: Last month I spent a lot of time focused on my ebook so now it’s time to create some new articles for my blog.
– Update more old posts and create new pins for them using the new templates from the toolkit.
I wish you a great blogging month with a lot of inspiration and successful posts! 🙂
If you want to get more blogging tips and ideas, I invite you to sign up for the Smart Blogging Toolkit. It’s a free mini-course where I share all the tips that helped me grow my blog.
photo credit preview photo: Intarapong / shutterstock.com