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I had never considered being a blogger. One night I was talking to my husband about potentially starting a blog to document his journey in beginning a wood shop in our garage. He was on board and I got to researching. The more I read about it the more I wanted to give it a try. The only problem was, the only idea we had for a blog was for my husband, and I wasn’t trying to swoop in and steal his thunder.
Instead of wait around, I decided to start brainstorming ideas for my own blog and figure out how to do this all before my husband got around to taking the leap himself.
I’m so glad that I did!
When I started out I intended to launch my blog with 5-6 blog posts. This didn’t happen. I ended up taking my maintenance page down after 3 posts were posted to show my dad and then decided to never put it back up.
Nobody would find my page without my promotion anyways right?
Well I was so excited about getting started, that as soon as I got everything technical squared away I started sharing my blog on Twitter.
How I got started (What I Spent Money On)
I bought a domain name from NameCheap.
I chose to buy my domain name separate from my hosting because I wanted to have the flexibility of moving my domain between hosting services easily if the one I chose ended up not being one I liked.
Luckily this hasn’t been necessary, but I like that I have it on a separate service and can renew it on its own.
It seems like a lot of bloggers use the same webhost. I know in my research I was coming across the same one over and over, it seemed like it was clearly the best choice.
I ended up finding some complaints about uptime and customer service from the host all the big bloggers were using and did some research into other options.
Most webhosts cost about the same price, so the only way for some competition is what they offer. Honestly don’t believe the “only $3.95 a month” hype. They only costs that if you pay for 3 years in advance and they all costs that. It’s not a special offer.
I chose GreenGeeks because they provided unlimited emails, free SSL, nightly backups, and as an added bonus they give back to the environment. If you want to check out more of what they do check them out through my link!
I wanted to make a free theme work for my site. I tried so many of them. Paid themes were so expensive and I didn’t want to spend more money getting this started than I needed to.
I was so frustrated that I couldn’t customize enough to make my page look exactly how I wanted it to with any of the free ones and ended up going to Etsy to purchase the one I’m using.
While looking on Etsy, I couldn’t decide which one I wanted because I didn’t know what I was going to need just yet. I ended up buying a pack of 12 themes for $18! This worked perfectly for me, it was economical and I was able to test drive a couple different options before deciding which one I like the most.
I tried to make my own logo, but I do not have the computer software to create anything that didn’t look completely amateur. In the end, I browsed Fiverr and got a budget friendly logo made.
I think that having a logo and a theme help make my page look so much better than free DIY options would have looked, so I’m very happy with my choices here.
I have been really surprised with Twitter. It was not something that I had used as a non-blogger, but I have found that as a blogger there is a really large encouraging community of bloggers on there.
They really make having a Twitter worth it.
I’m just now starting to reap the benefits of Pinterest.
Pinterest takes some time to build views. Over the last week I’ve had a steady although small stream of traffic from Pinterest each day.
For the first 2 weeks of this, Twitter had been my primary traffic source. As I have built my Pinterest up my traffic has been building and this weekend I have surpassed not only my primary traffic source with Pinterest viewers, but I’ve also surpassed my greatest daily views with traffic from Pinterest almost exclusively.
My Pinterest profile boasts more than 5K monthly viewers and all this was done with manual pinning. I have not paid for a scheduler at this point in time.
I wasn’t going to create a Facebook page for my blog at first, but then I started thinking about it. Before I had a blog I didn’t use Twitter. So if I had discovered my blog there would have been no way for me to keep up with new blog posts and I would have moved on.
At the very least Facebook gives my friends and family that care to keep up with what I’m doing here. I’m not a huge fan of taking to personal Facebook pages for self promotion and I didn’t want to turn into one of those people. I have a small following on there and that’s fine by me. I’m not using it as an organic reach tool, just as a tool to keep any followers who are interested informed of new posts
The goal is to make some money from home, so that I might be able to have an easier transition to being a stay at home mom when that time comes. I wanted to jump into this early on.
Here’s the methods that I have started on:
Slightly reluctantly I joined Google Adsense. I don’t like the look of ads on a site, so you’ll notice there aren’t many on my site. I have one banner ad on the sidebar of my site and I’m not expecting it to make me any significant money.
So far this is the only thing generating something. 10 cents!
I joined Share A Sale first and applied to a couple programs within. I got approval for one pretty quickly, but have been waiting for this post to use it.
I’ve applied to a few other companies, but they can take some time to approve or reject your application.
Recently I’ve also joined Flex Offers and have applied to a few programs with them as well. They have a really nice reporting system and a good size advertiser pool. I’m excited to do more through this affiliate network.
I would say that my traffic growth has been steady and is becoming more organic. Expecting something you write to go viral in the first month is unlikely. Honestly I’m just excited that anyone has been interested enough to read any of my stuff.
These things take time and in time they are growing. This weekend I actually achieved my highest traffic in one day through almost exclusively Pinterest.
My general goal for everything is that I just continue to grow and learn. I’m loving seeing the progress.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far in this! I couldn’t have expected this would have gone as smooth as it has and I’m looking forward to many more months.