There’s more to a blog’s journey than an income report

Iwantabitmore.com is going great guns for a new blog at the moment and I’m really happy with its progress. But I have a lot to do on it. I’m certainly not at that stage where I’m doing huge income reports and preparing to quit my full time job.

A lot of people post income reports on their websites once they are earning nice wodges of cash.

However even though my income is £0, I am really pleased with the first few months of progress and thought I would share how I’ve got here and some of the struggles that I’ve faced at this early stage.

Running a website may be easy when you’ve made a success of it and you can quit your 60+ hours a week job. But before that happens, building up a blog takes a lot of work.

What happens on a blog's journey BEFORE the income reports?

So here’s my journey so far…

Month 1: Launched blog

I launched the blog about ten months ago. By “launch” I mean I bought a domain, some hosting and chose a theme and put it all together. Ta daaaa! I made a website!

I excitedly found Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest profiles too. But it’s only really Pinterest I’m using at the moment.

Learning curve:

I spent a bit too long fiddling around with the styling and look of it. I am not a web designer so I had to figure it all out myself. That bit was fun but not really moving things forward so I wasted a bit of time on that.

Big success:

I was really happy with the name and lots of people have given me the thumbs up on it too.

Month 2: Writing stuff. Lots of stuff.

The life blood of a website is the content. Generating content is the most important part of making a website – writing stuff that people want to read. So I had to figure out what people are interested in and write about that.

That is ongoing! It never stops!

Learning curve:

Writing enough initial articles took a while. In fact, I should have written the content first before launching a site with barely any articles on. Writing took so long I outsourced a few articles to a freelance writer which was helpful at the time.

But now I have realised that I need to go back and rework them, so it was a bit of a false economy.

Big success:

I am now part of blogging club who spur each other on to write 500 words a day. If you are time poor, or writing doesn’t come naturally, this kind of support is incredibly motivating.

What happens on a blog's journey BEFORE the income reports?

Month 5: Posting regularly

About five months into my blog, I was in the groove of writing an article a week. I guess some people would get to that point a bit quicker than me, but as I don’t get home until 7.30pm I need to see my son and partner and eat dinner before I sit down to work at around 9.30pm.

Now I try and write a bit on my commute which helps.

As seasoned bloggers will know, every time you post an article to your website, there are extra bits of admin to do. You need to find photos that you are allowed to use (you can’t just post other people’s), and you need to fill out a few boxes to show what category your post is in, what keywords you are using (to help Google categorise your post and show it to people). You might want to link to other articles on the web or in your blog. All small things but they take a bit of extra time to do.

Learning curve:

Downloading the WordPress app on my phone meant that I could post and update articles from my commute on the train, which really helped.

Big success:

When I really couldn’t be arsed to work – after a day at work, seeing the other bloggers in my blogging group really spurred me on to keep going – especially when they had successes on the back of their efforts.

What happens on a blog's journey BEFORE the income reports?

Month 6: Getting to grips with Pinterest

So around 6 months into the blog, I felt that there was enough content on there to start promoting the website. I should have started on this much sooner, but there we go.

Pinterest is the way a lot of new and established content creators get their stuff out there. But I’d never used it before. I had a lot to learn!

At this point I relied heavily on the Billionaire Blog Clubto learn what to do and get help. The club is a network of bloggers and run by Paul “Scrivs” Scrivens. It’s a blooming lifeline! Scrivs has a few successful blogs to his name in all sorts of niches. He set up BBC to help other people create and make a success of their blogs.

The BBC is a combination of courses, books, and route maps to guide you through the steps you need to take to get a blog up and running. These are great, and the Pinterest material really taught me everything I needed to know to get going.

The best bit though is the community of bloggers. We all show up on a Slack group which is like a never-ending chat room. I would turn up with questions about Pinterest (and other things) and within a minute or two, I’d have the answer from one of the experienced people on the network.

There is a “Blogging Bootcamp” free course if you want a taster of the Billionaire Blog Club. Scriv’s style is no nonsense – be warned.

Anyway, between the courses, the Slack community and my hard work, I managed to get a really nice looking Pinterest profile up and running and get into a lot of group boards run by the BBC community. A brilliant head start.

There is so much more to a blog's journey than an income report...

Month 8: First Viral Pin

I’d been creating pins and pinning to Pinterest for just a few weeks when I had my first viral pin. A viral pin is when a pin gets real traction on Pinterest and gets thousands of clicks and shares.

One pin sent over 13,000 people to my website!!!

I couldn’t believe it.

The pin was one that I had pinned to one of my BBC blogger’s group board.

There is a lot that happents to a blog before the income reports.

If I had had any doubts that you can really make this stuff happen, that put them to rest. It was brilliant for motivation!

My traffic has since then dropped right back down, but it is slowly building up even without pins going viral willy nilly.

Learning curve: I realised that the article everyone was clicking through to, wasn’t actually that great. So the moral of the tale is make sure you are really happy with top content because if you do get a sudden spurt of readers, it would be nice if you were actually proud of what you were giving them. Doh.

Second learning curve was that there were lots of other things that I wasn’t ready for. I didn’t have a proper email signup form, or links to other articles in the post. So folks who might have wanted to stay in touch didn’t have a chance to sign up. That has been remedied now. Bring on the next viral pin…

Big success: Over 20,000 came to the website in August after just a few weeks of promoting it. Who wouldn’t be happy with that?

Month 10: Slow and steady wins the race

So a couple of months on and visitor numbers are up and down but nowhere near the 20,000 high they hit before.

I am just going to keep writing the best content I can, improve the content that still needs looking at and promote it.

I am aiming to have an actual INCOME report in the next few months. So watch this space!

A few more notes about Billionaire Blog Club

www.billionaireblogclub.com is the resource that has allowed me to build a blog from scratch and keep going, AND get my first viral pin whilst working full time, commuting and being a parent.

It is hard to know what to do and hard to keep up momentum when you are working on your own, with lots of other things to juggle. These resources and this network of bloggers have kept me going at a pace I would never achieve on my own. And there are others in the group who have had much more success, much more quickly than me.

Scrivs who has created this resource wants it to be the only place you need to go to find out everything you need on your blogging journey. So far that has been the case for me! And new courses and content are being added all the time. Membership is for a lifetime, so you never need to pay more for up to date info.

If you sign up to the blogging bootcamp for free you can get a taster of what’s on offer or sign up to the club here.

Disclaimer: If you come via this page and join the BBC, I will get a percentage affiliate payout, but at no extra cost to you. However, if you just want to google it and go without me earning a cent, that’s OK too! I genuinely think this community is brilliant and if you do join it, say hello to me on the Slack group. I will be thrilled to know you are there from reading this!