In some ways, it’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year. In other ways, not so much. That’s because it has gone by relatively quickly, but at the same time, SO much has happened.
Either way, it’s true – the very first post on this blog was on March 14, 2018.
It’s been quite the ride since then. I’ll be totally honest – I definitely had the existential crisis many bloggers experience at the six-month mark. I wondered whether there was any point in continuing. I wasn’t getting the traffic I had hoped for and felt like I was floundering.
I wish I could say things are vastly different six months later. They’re not. At least not when it comes to traffic here on the blog.
So, what changed?
I think the only thing that really changed was my mindset.
If you peruse Pinterest, you’ll find a lot of posts that may lead you to believe you can build a hugely popular blog in three months. But the reality is that unless you’re already an expert who has built numerous other successful blogs, that’s probably not going to happen.
But you know what? That’s okay. Things that are meaningful take time to create. They take effort. They aren’t going to be built overnight.
I made it past six months and fully intend to keep going.
TFF First Year Highlights
And besides – my goal here is not to be negative about the experience. For instance, let’s look at some of the highlights for the first year:
- Attended my first FinCon. This was a great experience! Like so many things, I was reluctant at first. And although it was a bit overwhelming for an introvert like myself, I was glad I went. I plan to return this year in DC!
- Had my first major Rockstar Finance feature. This was such a nice surprise and very much unexpected. I got 1,500 views the day that came out. So crazy. I haven’t gotten anywhere close on my own – not yet, anyway.
- Several features on Camp FIRE Finance.
- Had my first podcast interview. Shout out to Steph and Erik for putting up with me!
- Became part of an amazing community on Twitter. For all the negative things people say about Twitter, it has easily been one of the best ways to meet other bloggers. It allowed me to connect with them before FinCon, making the experience much easier. And, of course, I continue to stay in touch.
…and really, these are just the highlights. There are so many great people out there who are so helpful, and that’s probably what I am most grateful for.
It’s really amazing when I reach out to someone, not expecting much, and they answer my question and more. You know who you are. I don’t want to go into naming names, because that will be an extremely long list. But I seriously appreciate the crap out of all of you.
Challenges and Goals
As mentioned, traffic has increased, but not as much as I thought it would after a year. I am seeing some bloggers who have been blogging for six months or less who have many times my traffic.
And while I don’t really care about the numbers myself – advertisers and brands do. If I am going to catch the eye of some of them, I’m going to need more traffic. As such, I am going to go be upping my promotion efforts over the next year.
I may dabble in some cheap Facebook ads, but I am still very new to those. Otherwise, my main strategies are going to be further refining my Google SEO, as well as putting more time into Pinterest.
I see some big-name bloggers out there making thousands of dollars every month. Okay, sure, they have 100 times my traffic (or more). But some of them do make it sound easy.
Well, let me clear that one up for you: it is not. Boy, is it not.
Not that I’m complaining. I actually enjoy writing and it’s fun to create something through the blog. I try to provide genuinely valuable information. And compensation is not expected, but to at least cover blogging costs is probably a goal for next year.
Another one of my efforts this year is going to be better collaboration this year. The reason for this is two-fold. For one, it could help me to improve my own authority by gaining more links. If you know anything about Google SEO, this makes sense to you – if not, don’t worry.
But in addition to helping myself, I’d also like to help others more. Even though I am still relatively early in my blogging journey, there are some who are even newer. I would love to be able to pay it forward as well in whatever way possible.
More Communication Via Email (Freebies?)
I know a lot of bloggers do this. I haven’t been great about email, although I wonder how well-received that would be. It’s definitely something I have thought about, but never really had the time.
This year, it looks like I’m going to have more time (more about that in another post). If you’d be interested to get more emails from me, let me know! I haven’t worked out what that would look like yet, but I have certainly considered it.
I know many bloggers have freebies as well. They’ll either email them or use them as an opt-in. This is something I will have to think about and consider this year.
…Above All, Keeping it Fun
Honestly, that is what this is all about. Sometimes it doesn’t always seem like fun and games. I try to keep myself to a deadline, and sometimes that isn’t easy.
Plus, when you are newer, it can feel like no one is reading your content. I know this is normal, but I want to be sure blogging stays enjoyable this next year.
I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to do that. But if it means taking a break at some point, I may just do that. We’ll see.
At the end of the day, I want to be sure I’m creating content people actually want to read – and not just posts my blogger friends will comment on, because they’re, well, awesome.
Because if I can’t do that, what’s the point?
Anyway, I really appreciate you all. You’ve been great and I hope to keep doing this a lot longer if you will put up with me.
If so, I think I’ll get to work!