Hey “reader”! Strap in, because this is a long ride.
EDIT** I’ve renamed this post. I saw a lost opportunity and decided to take it. This is my BLOGRESS REPORT. And these will forever be my blogress reports.
I just realized it has been a full 3 (and a half) months since I started this blog. Crazy exciting, and I can’t believe how fast that went. But I wanted to write a blog prog (progress report, get it?) for you all to see how this journey has been going, and for me to document progress, set new goals, and hold myself accountable. No turning back now, it’s on the internet.
July was quiet. Very bloggy. Very learn-y. I’d been working with some copywriting clients, and that is where the bulk of my efforts were placed. August, however, got busy. More clients, more work, my kid brother moved in, and I prepared to send my husband back to school and simultaneously taking on single mom life.
At the end of August, we moved my husband up to New York for school.
During that moving weekend, one of my cousins passed away. I’m not trying to throw a pity party, but this absolutely shook me. It was very tragic. Transitioning to single, working mom life couldn’t have come at a worse time. But we pushed through, and the following weekend was the vigil, out of town. I had back-to-back blog free weekends. Not great for business, but understandable. I owed myself a break from some of my more ambitious #BlogGoals.
The weekend after that was then reserved for Hurricane Irma…. Need I say more? All of my local friends and family were unscathed, but the weekend (plus several days before and after) were shot. Altogether, September was off to a bad start.
Then I practically lost my mind. I almost broke from the stress of my husband being gone, my cousin passing, working full-time (and hating every minute of those 40+ hours), and being the only one caring for my baby, my dog, my house, and myself. There are a few extra details in there that I am leaving out, but basically… I quit my 9-to-5 and took on full-time motherhood. Luckily, I had been plotting my escape for over a year because this is where I wanted to be all along. I can honestly say I am so happy to [finally] be with my baby and spending my energy in a way that doesn’t make me absolutely miserable.
I launched this bad boy on July 2nd and worked on it at my office job. I can’t lie, it was pretty awesome to get paid to blog while I was stuck there anyway. Things were very slow. There were A LOT of distractions, and blogging isn’t THAT easy. The juggling act was pretty tough, and I’m a DIYer which didn’t help me on that learning curve.
But it was nice to take my time. I love to learn, so it was (and still is) hard for me to pay someone to do something that I could figure out on my own. Even if it does take several months. That probably isn’t the most profitable route for a blogger to take, but I can see myself loosening up on the reigns in the future!
Since I quit, things have been going NUTS. My traffic began to really pick up at the beginning of October, so I’ll save that for next quarter haha!
Mistakes I made
- Waiting to get on Facebook was probably the biggest blogging mistake I’ve made yet. Yes, pinterest is the biggest traffic driver, but my traffic started to SKYROCKET (on a baby blog scale) once I began connecting with bloggers on Facebook. The only thing that stopped me from making the leap onto the book was my own insecurities. Putting my blog out there for friends, family, and acquaintances made me uncomfortable, but I had a glass of wine and created my Facebook Page.
- When I first got this thing, I bought a theme through Mojo Marketplace. One word: waste. There are sooooo many free themes, and my paid theme ended up having so many bugs and crappy features that just held me back from my full potential. I am now using a free theme (suggested by Suzi at Start a Mom Blog) & I love it. I’ll probably get a new one eventually, but for now I’m focusing on what really matters in blogging: content!
- My Tailwind and Board Booster free trials ended… I will probably end up paying for them soon. I’m sad that I wasted my free trials so early on 🙁
Since I quit my job to blog/write/mom full-time, things have been busy. Maybe a little too quick for comfort. I purchased Suzi’s Blog by Number course to get a framework and find my focus, & she is AMAZING. I absolutely love her personality and teaching style. She has such an effective methodical approach to blogging and that is EXACTLY how I work. I’m so glad I found her. I had been very hesitant to purchase courses or anything, but it is truly awesome to see how much value some bloggers create. Much more than I expected.
I am a member of several affiliate groups, but I haven’t cashed in on anything yet. I’m still working out a lot of my content ideas/outlines. My inspiration has been out of control since before I began blogging. Big Magic has definitely gotten me fired up a bit too. I don’t let a single idea slip my mind, which makes focusing on the tasks at hand pretty difficult. With a new full-time gig as a work-at-home mom, I’m still learning how to use my time effectively.
A couple achievements: I was nominated by a Liebster for new bloggers and I was ranked alongside some of my fave millennial mom blogs. I was ranked #20 out of 30 & I couldn’t be happier! Utter insanity, if you ask me. I am so surprised and excited they found me through an organic search. Those weeks of studying SEO are paying off, I guess.
*excluding my copywriting gigs. I purchased a separate domain for my services, AshleyDicarlo.com!
I made $0 blogging, and I’m not even upset! It is a marathon after all.. I’m building up my stamina right now, and that is a lot of work.
Traffic: 1,107 views
From July through September. Not awesome, but I had to start somewhere! As I said, very learny… I find myself getting upset reading reports from others, but I realized we are at completely different places in life let alone blogging. No more beating myself up. I’m just happy to be here!
And as you can see, October is taking a turn in the right direction. This makes me sooooo happy I left my job, even if it is just a new form of stress.
Goals for Next Quarter
Build my email list
- I have a couple awesome opt-ins brewing in my mind. Creating them is another animal. Then I need to have the associated posts put together, but we’ll see which one happens first. I’m not opposed to rearranging the order of operations.
- I really just want to get to know the people who find me, and find a way to help them. Having said that….
Expand my focus to more topics that interest me/my readers
- I realize it isn’t advised to have a niche that is too broad, but I am still figuring out what works for me. Besides, I’m here to have some fun.
- Hopefully this lures in some more readers that I can get to know!
- My original traffic goal for the quarter was 2000 views. And I already passed that! Even before I hit it, I told my husband I wanted to increase it to 5000. He told me not to, but now I have to. So 5000 it is! 🙂
Work on my brand identity
- Enough said. I don’t know who I want to be when I grow up! Forgive me.
Improve my social media presence
- My instagram is mostly personal, but I’ve officially made the switch! I officially have over 500 followers! I’d like to reach 750.
- My facebook page is still about a month old, but hasn’t hit 100 likes yet. I’d like to set my goal at 200 likes by the end of December.
- Pinterest is my home, and I have almost 300 followers. Apparently that doesn’t matter. Ha! My pinterest goal is to organize my boards and join new group boards. As well as limiting my efforts with a scheduler/strategy.
Overall, I’m not super impressed with my first quarter performance, but I’m going easy on myself. Life is hard, and that’s kinda why I’m here? I’m excited to actually have goals written out this time around, and I can’t wait to update in January! No matter what, I’m here to stay I really love the community and all of the things I am learning. No one can take that away from me, so I’m gonna soak it up.
Thanks for reading!
All the best –