My first month of Blogging
In August, God called me to blogging (More on that later). I set up my blog and made a post or two… but then I stopped. I just didn’t feel like I was doing anything productive with my time. In January, God hit me hard. He said, “Yo, Chrissy (Okay, He didn’t say yo) you know what I’ve called you to do… so why aren’t you listening?”
I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to spend my time doing what I want to do. Selfish huh. I was basically saying, “Alright God, I know you have this great thing in store for me but I really just want to watch netflix right now. I worked all day and I just want to relax.”
Chasing the wrong things
God showed me that I was chasing after the wrong things. Not necessarily bad or sinful things but not the things God was wanting to pursue. Now listen to this… This is one of the biggest reasons why I am now giving this “blogging thing” my whole heart. Everything that I was chasing, God was trying to give me.
- I was chasing after a new job… Blogging is a job, it’s just one of those that takes a while for it to produce any income; you have to put in the work before you get something out of it.
- Chasing after a better relationship with Him… This is definitely not a bad thing, so hear me out. I would use that as an excuse not to blog. “I need to spend time with God so I can’t blog.” The thing is, is that I didn’t use all of my spare time with God. It was just an hour or two.. Now that I have a Christian blog, I pray all through out the day, I study my bible way more, and overall, just spend a lot more time with Him on top of the normal amount of time that I would without a blog. This is helping me grow as a Christian way more than if I hadn’t listened to God.
- Chasing sleep… I say chasing sleep because I have insomnia. I barely ever sleep and I wake up at 3:30 everyday for work. Insomnia and a job waking up that early don’t mix. Most nights, I just stare at the wall until my alarm clock goes off. Right now, I may barely be getting sleep but once God brings me to a place where I can quit my job, I won’t have to wake up as early.
See, God was trying to answer all my prayers but I was trying to find my own way of getting these things.
So January I began my blogging journey that God chose for me. I’ve had my ups and downs within this short month but my knowledge has increased from it all. I will be sharing some of the things I have learned, things I wish I did better and some tips.
6 Things I learned from my first month of blogging
I know, I know… Everyone is wondering why I think I’m qualified to write a post on blogging because I’m not experienced enough but I feel like I have learned a lot and believe it will help other bloggers starting out. Here it goes.
- Blogging is very time-consuming
Obviously, I knew this from the beginning. I knew it was going to take up my time but how much, I underestimated. I thought blogging was just writing a post and publishing it and hoping people stumble upon it. No… Blogging is so much more. Blogging should be about 20% writing/creating and 80% promoting.
I go into work at 4:00 am and get off at 12:00 pm. Then right after I get off, I would begin working on my blog. I would do blog related stuff from the time I got off work until the time I get ready to go to bed which is about 7 or 8. So my entire day is constantly working. I do that Monday-Friday minus Wednesday because I go up to the church right after work. Then on Saturday, I blog most of the day and spend all day at church Sunday.
So yes, If you are wanting to become a blogger, you need to put a lot of time into it.
- You don’t always get instant results
After reading a bunch of blog posts about people making $10,000 their first month blogging, I was prepared to be just as successful. After two weeks of blogging and 3 pageviews a day, my hopes dropped. Then, the third week I started seeing a small increase in numbers.
From January 10th-January 31st, I received around 4,000 page views in all. That’s nothing too crazy but it was enough to help me realize that blogging is not an overnight thing. Expecting big results fast, will end in you being disappointed because most of the time, that doesn’t happen.
For some it takes a month to be successful, for others it takes a year. I am steadily growing and I’m satisfied in the small growth I get. It’s early in February and my page views have already doubled last months. I wanted thousands of committed readers right away but that doesn’t happen too often. Right now, I’m just thankful and blessed for the ones that I do have.
- Money doesn’t coming rolling in
If I wanted to I probably could have made some money my first month but I knew God didn’t want me to make money my first month. He wanted me to focus on the writing and promoting first. Even if I were to try to make money, I probably would have made less than $10. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick thing. It takes a while and lots of commitment. You may not make anything more than a few dollars in your first few months blogging. Be patient.
- Quality, not quantity
My first whole week blogging, I posted every single day, sometimes more than once. I just posted quick posts that I threw together within half an hour and published it so I could have a bunch of posts. Doing that will burn you out. I read a book that talked about good content being the key. You don’t have to post 5 pretty good posts a week when you could be posting 2-3 really good posts a week. Your posts are what keep your readers coming back. If you haphazardly put blog posts together, why expect people to come back.
Take your time on the few posts that you do make and spend some time making those perfect!
- Be consistent
Don’t post 5 times one week, 0 times the next 2 weeks, then 2 times the week after that. Your readers will never know when to expect a post from you. Usually, they stop reading after you do that. Pick out 2-3 days a week that you want to post. Don’t just commit to writing 2-3 posts a week… actually pick the days. I try my hardest to post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you stay on a schedule like that, your readers will know when they can find a post from you.
- Be proud of your blog
Don’t hide your blog. Show it off. When I first started, I would not share anything about it on Facebook with my friends and family. It was almost like I was embarrassed to blog. I kept it from my family, friends, and even my boyfriend (who was secretly reading every post I posted from the very beginning). You are going to need other people’s help. Blogging isn’t something you should do alone. At the start, I wanted to remain anonymous. So I didn’t put up any pictures of myself and used my rarely used nickname, C.J.
For a few weeks I hid myself but soon realized that I am putting a lot of work into something I don’t even want to put my name on. One night, I finally ‘spilled the beans’ to my lovely boyfriend and ever since then, I have not been able to stop talking about my blog and the amazing things God is now using me for. And you can finally call me Chrissy, and not C.J. Although, some of my posts still may say it at the bottom.
7 Tips for your first month blogging:
- Find two or three social medias that work for you and stick with those. I tried Twitter and Facebook and I’m not too big on them. I post a little on each one but my main focus is Pinterest and Instagram.
- Promote on Pinterest. When I first started on Pinterest, I was getting no traffic from it. I wanted to give up. Then I started posting quotes from inside my blog posts onto Pinterest. I have many different pictures for each post so that more get shared all across the world. The length of you picture needs to be way longer than the width (should be about 2 times your width).
- Continually learn. I avoided many, many mistakes that beginner bloggers make just by simply doing my research. There are thousands of pins on pinterest and videos on youtube that teach you the blogging dos and don’ts. Research lots on SEO, how to promote better, how to make better posts, literally, learn as much as you can. Make sure to write down what you learn so you don’t forget
- Get an email mailing list from the start
- Make sure your design is good (If it’s not, work on it. Your design and look is what draws in the reader to actually read your post.)
- Set goals. Set up some long-term goals and some monthly goals that you want to meet. Every week, see what else you can do to meet your end of the month goals.
- Get a Cat. This is not me being funny. Well, sorta but… anyways- I’ve noticed that most bloggers have cats. Step on the bandwagon and get a fluffy furball to hangout with when you are spending countless hours alone in your room. They cuddle and keep you company. I just got mine a week ago, so I feel like I’m officially a blogger. I named him Batman and he is currently laying right next to me encouraging me to finish this post.
*Update: A few minutes after I wrote that last bullet, Batman left me. Now I’m sad and can no longer finish this post.*
Just kidding. So, over all, with all the research I did and all the ebooks I read on blogging, I skipped over a bunch of mistakes that I could have made. Obviously you will make mistakes but why not learn from other people’s mistakes as well to skip some frustration. If you are starting out, please don’t give up. Work hard and it will pay off.
Good luck to all my fellow bloggers!