When I look back over the last three months of my blogging journey, to say that it has been nothing like I expected, is a complete understatement. Was I a little naive in my expectations? Yes! My pre-conceived notion that putting content online would somehow automatically recieve clicks and likes has been well and truly blown out of the water.
I recall preparing to launch my blog, after months of planning, organising and formalising. I had my logo, my brand, my blog platform and layout and my social media accounts. I had attempted to arm myself with everything that I would need in the first phase of blogging. And then I launched Wonderling.
Two days after my first post, I had received two page views (probably my mum and my best friend). Another day passed and I had managed to notch up another three (again, probably family). I posted a follow up piece and again, nothing significant happened.
I don’t really know what I expected to be honest. I had no idea of how many page views to expect, especially so early on. I had certainly anticipated more than a handful, but I was shocked that I had so little traffic.
This is when I started really reading up on SEO, social media and the blogging game in general. Not only are bloggers content creators, but also great marketers. I really underestimated how much time would be spent creating posts and then marketing them.
So here are a few of my 3 month stats:
Page views: These have gone from 3000 in Feb, to 7000 in March then to 9000 in April.
Visitors: These have gone from 2000 in Feb, to 4000 in March to 7000 in April.
Subscribers: These have gone from around 20 in Feb, to 70 in March to 120 in April.
When I started blogging, it was primarily because I wanted a creative platform to share my experiences, my inspirations, my motivations, my loves, my fears.. the list goes on. Over time I have come to realise that I am writing for an audience, not only myself. Creating useful and interesting content that others can relate to and take something from is the best way to engage readers and keep them interested in what is coming next.
As well as the narrative content, I seriously underestimated how important it is to include great quality, original images alongside posts, as no matter how great an article is, visiuals are needed to grab and retain focus.
Social Media Engagement
I joined all of the key sites including; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest when I was setting up Wonderling. I anticipated some effort would be needed to get a few followers, but I didn’t have any real idea of 1. How to use the platforms and 2. How and when to post. Perhaps a million google searches later I have a good idea of how to best use these, but in terms of when, the sheer volume of Insta’s, Tweets and Pin’s needed, has blown me away! I am yet to join some of the known scheduling apps (any recommendations would be most appreciated), but I am sure that these will help.
In all honesty I have really struggled with the social media side of things. For every 5 Instagram followers I get, 6 seem to drop off! This remains a mystery to me still. The same can be said for Twitter.
I have just changed my Pinterest to a business account and enabled rich pins as I have read that this should increase my reach. So many blog posts I’ve read from other bloggers have highlighted Pinterest as their main driver of traffic, so I am really looking to build my Pinterest in the coming months.
Posting an article is such a strange process. You create something that you are proud of and want to share with the world, somehow assuming that the world will find you. (My loose grasp of SEO really hasn’t helped also).
When I create a post, I share it on all of my social media platforms, and in various Facebook groups which I’ve joined, in the hope that it will reach a reader that can identify and relate to what I am writing. I engage in comment pods regularly and respond to questions on various online forums, referring to a relevant post for further reading.
I never really anticipated the sheer volume of marketing that would be involved in the blogging process. It takes up a huge deal of time to not only create the content, but then to market it, which, with a full-time job, a family and young children, doesn’t leave much time left over to manage all of this.
As noted above I have not yet received any income from my blogging. I have been approached with a couple of opportunities, but have not taken these up. I’ve signed up for an affiliate program, but am yet to utilise this.
This is because I want to believe in every product or service that I endorse. I want to write about things that interest me for that purpose, not for revenue generation. Yes of course, it would be a dream to be able to do this full-time, but for now I am trying to grow organically and will take on projects that I view to be ethical and promote values that I fully endorse. I also strongly believe that the work I create is of value. It takes up a great deal of time to put together from beginning to end. This time is time away from other things that I love, and receiving a ‘freebie’, in my opinion does not appropriately compensate for the time and effort put in.
Throughout the process I have found that there is a strong drive for bloggers to fit within a specific niche. In my opinion, the blogging world is overflowing and ever-expanding with volumes of amazing information for all to consume. In this sea of information, our best USP is ourselves. I want to share my story with everyone, in my words. I love all things beauty and fashion, but I also have a passion for music. I am a mother of two wonderful children, but also have an established career and a strong motivation to grow professionally. I simply cannot fit into one pigeon hole.
It has amazed me, just how many incredibly talented bloggers exist. Not only are they established in their position, but they are willing to share their expertise to help others grow. This has given me so much help in these early months, where my knowledge was limited. I hope to grow and share with more bloggers in the future. Not only as a blogger, but also as a woman looking to share my story. The kindness and genuine desire to help other is inspiring and something that I look forward to giving back to others as my journey continues.
Thank you for visiting Wonderling.