The Journal of a Blogging Journey Part 3. – November Blog Review + Resources
I write about my blogging journey for the record and to encourage myself. When I look back on how long I’ve come, I want to see things from a different perspective. Also, I think it can help and inspire other bloggers too, who've just started their blogs. I also make sure to share all the great resources I’ve found this month at the end of this post. Keep reading!
If you are only interested in the resource list I’ve found this month, jump right to the end.
November Blogging Journey
I still learn from free resources. This is not by choice though, it’s a circumstance I have to accept. I have figured out a lot from these free resources. It’s like a puzzle game – something I must make time for. That’s the hardest bit: creating content AND putting the puzzle pieces together take up too much time, so it is a real challenge to make them work. But I’m dealing with it and enjoying actually. I believe that it will pay off in the long run.
In November I learned about most areas of blogging, bit by bit. I mostly focused on learning about content and traffic, but I have great finds on monetizing too.
Finally, I’ve figured out how I should structure my cornerstone content and started to work on that. My current content is already connected to this main idea but the pillar posts still need to be published. I’m working on them. I realized that at this time of year my target audience is not hanging much on the internet, so I feel okay about loosening up my blogging schedule, and putting creating content to the top of my priority list.
My traffic hardly grew this month. What I’ve learned about traffic is significant though. Since Pinterest is not working the way that it used to – it’s on a roller coaster on both of my accounts -, I decided that focusing on SEO is the best way to go. I’ve learned about on-page and off-page SEO and Linkbuilding. I have learned the most by reading a few information-packed posts about SEO. I’m working on implementing what I’ve learned.
As an off-page SEO optimization, I’ve sped up my site by enabling gzip. I will also have to make other major steps in order to improve my site’s speed for the long term, but for now, gzip has solved the problem.
So far, I’ve been driving traffic mostly through Pinterest, and the majority of my visitors come from there, but it doesn’t work well enough. I see two reasons.
Maybe I confused Pinterest because I still don’t have a consistent strategy. I keep trying different ideas that I’ve read about here and there. Apparently, this is a bad strategy, but I can change this. I’m working on a strategy with this mix, that will work best for me.
The bigger problem is what I can’t do anythingabout, that people from Pinterest mostly don’t stay. The majority looks for nice niche-related pins and just repin on Pinterest without a click. Even if they come for the content, they pin it for later and then never come back. I don’t really know which is the worse scenario. Both – in my opinion, though I totally get it. I’ve been there too.
Pinterest lessons I learned
It matters whom you follow and who are your followers. I’ve always been picky about following but don’t have any influence on who followes me. I’ve had a lot of fake followers with not even a board or single pin, or full of spam, and some completely out of my niche. The last couple of months I had gained ONLY fake followers. So I took the leap and blocked these accounts, though it is not exactly recommended anywhere. I read only the principle explained and decided to do it based on that. For me, it wasn’t a big job, since I had only 224 followers. I reduced this number to 75. After a while, the right people started to turn up and follow: I gained 10 new real followers who are not following to pursue me to follow them back or whatever insane reason. Some fake followers still find me, but I immediately check everyone out and don’t let any spammers stay. Seeing the results, I guess it was worth the sacrifice and investment.
I read an article on the Pot Pie Girl blog that helped me to understand the concept of being a Pinterest Marketer vs. Consumer. I took her advice and created more niche specific personal boards to be able to pin more of my own content.
I’ve discovered a small hack: when pinning from a site I occasionally run into the problem that there isn’t a proper pin description and I don’t always find the right words to write one. BUT! If I highlight the text I find suitable as a description, the browser app will automatically copy it and add to the pin. Sorry, if you already knew this trick, but I have never ever heard or read about it anywhere.
Another trick I’ve tried after seeing Carly’s pinning videos, that I changed my location to US. This made me able to reach the promoted pin feature, which I’m not going to use just yet. But it also allowed me to reach an early access feature, called Audience Insights. I find it to be an awesome help to learn what my audience is interested in.
+1 experience:More than 2 months ago I applied for about 8-10 niche specific group boards and I still didn’t get any reply from any of the owners. Maybe group boards are not dead, but what about the owners?! Conversely, about 2 weeks ago – out of the blue – I got invited to a niche specific group board. I needed some time to consider because it seemed to be a dead board. Finally, I decided to join but all analytics have proved that I was right. I guess that’s the reason I got invited to it: spreading invitations is a desperate attempt by the owner to keep it alive. This board does not help me at all, or anybody as far as I see. The same goes for niche specific TW tribes. I have zero results. Whereas from my personal boards and blog I get decent pins and repins.
Mainly I focus on affiliating as the first leg of my income. So I’m in need of learning effective affiliate marketing. I’ve come across a couple of great resources, and though this is not on my priority list right now, I couldn’t miss these. So I’ve learned very important basic rules and practical tips and tricks too.
My Blogging Goals for next month
In December I will continue to create the pillar content I’ve been refining. I take my time because creating quality is a slow process for me. I also have to rework my posts and pages both qualitywise and SEO-wise. Around the holidays I’ll slow down a bit – my family must be compensated for the last 3 months of working day and night. I prepare for a ‘real launch’ in January with all the cornerstone content to gain more and real traffic.
The Best Free Resources for Bloggers
Courses and e-books
Lena from whatmommydoes.com had a really good SEO course called “Lessons from 15 Million Page Views”. This course made me realize first that I should focus on SEO. It is not available anymore, but she also has great e-books on SEO, like the Blog traffic Bonus guide. I highly recommend Lena’s courses. Her free offers are convincing that the paid courses and books are worth it.
The other great find is Jennifer Ledbetter, aka PotPieGirl. She has great posts and e-books, some for free. Those convinced me that she does know her stuff. She already helped me understand a lot. I’ve read her post about the Pin Signals with full of information and also the P.I.M.P post. They both made me very curious about her products. I’m currently reading 8 FATAL Pinterest mistakes.
Her Newsletters are also worth to sign up for because you’ll get a brilliant Amazon affiliate tip e-book, called Get the click. That is one of the resources I learned from about affiliate marketing.
This month I’ve found one more podcast I signed up for, and that is Angela Davis’ Affiliate Marketing Mentor Podcast. It is packed with practical tips and tricks and basic rules you must watch out for if you want to be a successful marketer.
I'm a wife to a wonderful man and mother of 10 amazing kids. I'm constantly working on being the mom I've always wanted to be and to make our house to be our dream-home finally. My goal is to help and encourage you to be the best mom you can be.