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My First Year of Blogging Breakdown: An Annual Review

On July 1st I launched my blog. A lot has happened in the past year. In this post, I will break down what happened in my life and how that affected my blog. I will be sharing the key metrics for my blog including stats, traffic and the little income I received. Along with that technical information, I will be talking about the struggles I faced and some of my big wins. I find it very helpful reading about the insights behind the scenes of blogging. I'm very thankful to other bloggers who transparently share their income and traffic reports. So I thought it will be helpful to others to share what happened in my first year also. I plan to make this a yearly post so I can look back to see how I have grown.( This post contains affiliate links. Which means I make a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. The price of each item is the same for you whether you use the links or not. Using affiliate links helps me to maintain this website. You can read my full disclosure here )

On July 1st 2016 I launched my blog. A lot has happened in the past year. In this post, I will break down what happened in my life and how that affected my blog. I will be sharing the key metrics for my blog including stats, traffic and the little income I received. Along with that technical information, I will be talking about the struggles I faced and some of my big wins.

If you’re anything like me, you may find reading about other bloggers insights helpful. I love reading traffic and income reports. Bloggers in many different niches have shared their income and traffic reports. It was helpful for me to know what to expect my first year of blogging. So I thought it will be helpful to others to share what happened in my first year also. I plan to make this a yearly post so I can look back to see how I have grown.

My Blogging Breakdown: Understanding My Google Analytics

How Many Blog Posts Were Published?

I Only Published 44 Blog Posts! Here’s Why:

When I launched my blog I had 10 blog posts already published. In my entire first year (July 1st 2016-July 1st 2017) I published 44 posts. Including the 10 I started with that is a total of 54 posts. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, you could say I posted at least once a week. But that wouldn’t be accurate because I had a month or two where I didn’t post at all! I know how bad that sounds, but in my defense I did have a baby. Also being a stay at home mom of 3 boys under the age of  three was another factor that limited time I spent blogging.

My first year of blogging is I learned so much, mostly from my mistakes. Looking back I wish I had kept up with the content calendar I made. Being optimistic I thought I could publish twice a week. Not realizing how much effort that would take, I abandoned my content calendar after two weeks. Feeling overwhelmed I would often take long breaks from my blog. To keep publishing consistent content I now keep a back log of posts that can be published so I always have something to update my blog with.

How Many Emails Subscribers Did You Get?

I Gained 96 Subscribers Total

I made capturing emails a priority from day one. If you don’t get your readers emails, how will you reach them again? This is a very important thing for every blogger to do. I didn’t have a huge amount of growth with my email list. Most of my subscribers signed up for a giveaway I held in December. You can see this in the bar graph below.

email-subscribers-first-year-blog

After putting an email opt-in at the end of each post I noticed I was regularly getting a subscriber every week. While these stats seem low, I am not disappointed with them because getting someone to hand over their email is hard. People only want value in their inboxes and are trusting you to provide that. I am super careful about giving out my email address and I know others are the same.

I tend to think of subscribers as my biggest fans and encouragers because they actually want to hear from me. They want my emails and want to “see” me again. As a new blogger I think it’s good to remain humble. I’m very grateful for each and every person that subscribes to my blog. In return for thier love, I try to only send emails of value to them.

Did Your Traffic Grow This Year?

Yes! Since I am a new blogger I started with no traffic. Any traffic is good traffic when you’re starting out. In the past year, there were 2 months my blog saw very little traffic less than 255 page views. But then there were 6 months I saw an average of 5,000 – 6,000 page views. My best month was February with 9,759 page views.

Like I stated earlier I was not consistent in posting on my blog. I was trying to figure out a good schedule that would keep me posting regualrly. I noticed when I would post regularly that the next month my page views increased. If I didn’t then the next month they dropped.

In September I posted “How To Make The Ultimate Pallet Sign”  which went viral in October. I had my baby October 1st, then didn’t post a single blog post for the next two months. My page views jumped to 5,792 which resulted from 4,837 users visiting my site the month of October. All the traffic came from Pinterest. You can see in the snapshot below how many users I had in October.

Blog Analytics For KW

Looking at my analytics, you can see 63% of my traffic came from Pinterest! I had a total of 53,889 page views, 40,174 users, and 43,892 sessions. Even though my bounce rate is high 89% (i’m working on it) i’m very pleased to know I managed to generate that much traffic with my posts.

What Posts Were Most Popular?

I knew my most popular post was the pallet sign with the tree. That post was so popular there was a point I out grew my bandwith and it broke my website. I freaked out and had to call my hosting provider to upgrade my plan. After that post I really had no clue which posts would make the number 2 and 3 slot. So I looked at my google analytics and it told me that my most popular posts were:

#1. How To Create The Ultimate Pallet Sign

#2. 2017 Ultimate List of Baby Girl Names

#3. 2017 Ultimate List of Strong Baby Boy Names

Here is a snapshot below of the posts and how many page views they received. I find it amazing that the pallet sign post alone had 31,000+ views. From my website alone it has over 46,000 shares which means people were sharing it more than once.

kwblog

How Much Money Did You Spend This Year?

To answer this question, I will post what services were used and how much I pay below.

  • A Small Orange Hosting (My Websites Home) – $57.19 /yr
  • Go Daddy Domain Name (My Web Address) – $19.46 /yr
  • Thrive Leads (Email Capture) – $67.00 (One Time Payment)
  • Buffer (Post Scheduling) – $10 /mo (I paid $80.00 total from NOV-JUN)
  • Canva (Graphic Design Software) $12.95 /mo (I paid $155.40)

TOTAL I SPENT MY FIRST YEAR OF BLOGGING: $379.05

I wanted to note that I also spent money setting up my blog before I launched. Above is everything I spent between July 1st 2016-July 1 2017. In addition to these, I also spent money on my theme. I got my website’s theme from theme forest. My theme is called Total and I spent $76.63 (One Time Payment) on that.

BUT…..How Much Did You Make?

Thats the real question, isn’t it? Let me start by saying I didn’t focus on monetization at first. I really just wanted to grow my blog. There weren’t many things I set in place to allow me a way to make money. I only had 3 posts with affiliate links in them. One of them was 15 Last Minute Gifts for Father’s Day. I made less then $2 off a sale. Many would see that as failure. I see that as a challenge!

My plan for my second year of blogging is to start recommending the products I use daily. Personally I have wasted money before trying out products. I love it when I find a blogger that reccommends a product they love, after having tried many others.  I want to use affiliate links for quality products I love that I know my readers will love too. I hope if I offer advice and point my readers in the right direction they wont mind me earning a little income from any purchases they may make. 

So to wrap this part up….I ALMOST MADE $2 (whoop whoop!)

Not much you can buy with that, I know. I plan to really focus on monetization in the coming year. It’s not all about money, but a website costs money and it’s important that it pays for itself.

Did You Get Any Nice Comments or Emails From Readers?

You know what? I was very surprised at the positive feedback I received throughout the year! It seemed like every time I would get down on myself for not posting consistently, I would get a little encouragement. For example one day I felt inadequate that my blog didn’t measure up to the “pro bloggers”. Someone messaged me and said they were very thankful for what I was doing.

A few times I heard “Thank you for sharing that, I needed it right now”. Which really helped me to press on with what I was doing. Some of the best comments I received were on Instagram and YouTube. It’s very sweet others were willing to send kind words my way. It was always when I needed to hear it most.

Did You Learn Anything New?

Yes, I did! I learned about myself, and my work ethic. Blogging is hard work. If you want to see growth and give people a reason to come back, you have to work hard. One lesson I learned is what full time blogging entails. I would go into further detail in this breakdown, but I wrote a whole blog post about it here: What I Learned In My First Year of Blogging

How Did You Challenge Yourself?

Well everyone views challenges differently. I think of a challenge as something I rather not do, but I push myself to finish it. For me, this included reading 60-80 articles related to blogging every month. I constantly was reading up on everything pertaining to it. I kept a Pinterest board of blogging articles I wanted to read in the future. I sat down at the beginning of every month and listed out the posts I wanted to write, and all my goals.

The main challenge I gave myself was to keep evolving. To push myself past my expectations,  raise the bar and then push past them again. Never settling and allowing myself to feel comfortable with what I was doing. Once I mastered something like making images for my blog, I moved onto learning how to write better headlines. I obviously haven’t been working on my grammar and writing…but hopefully, I’ll dedicate time to that in the future.

Did Blogging Open Any Doors For You?

The blogging community is awesome and I did make new friends. I reached out and applied to teach a class at the 2017 Arizona Pinners Conference. This was a BIG deal for me! They acutally approved my class and I am looking forward to presenting in October. You can read my post about it here: I’m Presenting At Arizona Pinners Conference 2017 (There’s also a code to save on tickets if you’re local or plan to travel to the event)

Did You Enjoy Your Year?

When I first launched my blog, it was scary to think people may not read what I would write. I was afraid of wasting my time. After being thanked by people for sharing ideas and helping them I am so glad I started my blog. It changed my life this past year. I truly believe I learned more the past 12 months then I did all 4 years of High School. Thinking about the next 52 weeks I am really excited to see what happens. You could say I’m pumped up and enthusiastic about year two of blogging.

These are my goals before I press publish on “My Second Year of Blogging Breakdown” in one year from now:

#1. Post content consistently (at least once a week).

#2. Have made 10x the amount of money I spend on my blog a year ($400 x 10 = $4000)

#3. Launch my own product. ( I have many ideas, & need to narrow one down)

There You Have It! My First Year of Blogging Breakdown!

What was ONE thing you learned your first year of blogging?

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( This post contains affiliate links. Which means I make a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. The price of each item is the same for you whether you use the links or not. Using affiliate links helps me to maintain this website. You can read my full disclosure here )

 

 

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This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. Super informative post! Since I just launched my blog I’m focusing on growing my following too! Congrats on presenting at the Arizona Pinners Conference! That’s huge!!

  2. This is full of so much helpful information! I’m only a few months in, but I feel like I’ve learned sooo much in that short amount of time. There’s still tons I need to learn and work on, and this definitely helps!

  3. I loved reading this breakdown of your first year! I really need to work on consistently posting, I’ve been so busy that blogging has been put on the back burner.

    Hopefully you make more than $2 for your second year of blogging 🙂

  4. It was great to see a breakdown of your first year. I just started in February 2017 🙂 Everyones journeys are so different! I really need to up my Pinterest game. That’s awesome that you went viral!! Good job <3 <3 <3

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