Hey guys! I have officially been blogging for 6 months. Yep! This blog was started on May 29, 2016, so it’s time for an update. If you want, you can read my 3-month update before diving into this post.
The last three months have been very different from the first three months. For starters, I started college, so my schedule was much fuller than before. This meant that my blog wasn’t taking as much priority as it should have. Even so, I am very proud of how far I’ve come with this blog.
I’m formatting this update a bit differently from last time. Just a fair warning.
//Reflecting On The Last Three Months
The last three months have be pretty crazy. The last time I did a blog update, I was like a week into college. Overall, college isn’t that hard, but that’s ’cause I went to a college leveled high school. This is a huge reason why I was able to update more than once a week.
My traffic was consistently around 10,000 pageviews, which is really good for a beginner. Considering how bad I was about marketing this quarter, that’s pretty high.
Even though my traffic isn’t as high as it was in my second month, I am happy with the results. I am getting more quality readers who keep coming back. My blog posts have gotten significantly more comments than before. I have also gotten emails and messages on social media from readers asking questions and giving comments. This really makes me feel great.
With my blog gaining traction, I have also gotten sponsorship opportunities. Here’s a quick tip for newbies: Always pitch a higher price than how much you always want. This seems like common sense, but the first time someone offers you money, you are going to get too excited to think about this stuff.
Overall, I’m not exactly where I would like to be at this point, but my expectations were probably a bit too high. That’s fine. I plan on making more realistic goals in the next three months.
//Balancing College And Blogging
In the last few months, I had to find a way to integrate this blog into my school life. Of course, blogging brings me a ton of happiness, but with college starting, I didn’t know how to prioritize my time. The time I spent writing and creating images could’ve been put towards work or school. Blogging has sometimes been a way for me to procrastinate on my assignments. (I’m doing that right now, actually)
Blogging has been my way of procrastinating productively, which is why I named this update “creating balance.” I switch off between my schoolwork and blog work. This really keeps my mind awake. (Doing this for the last few weeks has been tough, but I will get into that in my November Recap in my next goals post.)
Sometimes the scales are tipped, though. At times, I prioritize my blog over schoolwork (like right now, because it’s officially been 6 months and I want to do this on time). The same goes for school work. A lot of this has to do with me filling up my schedule. I tend to schedule more blog posts than I can handle. I just have SO many ideas! I have such a long list of blog posts I want to do, but sometimes, it’s just not possible to write them all.
Even though this has lead to disappointment, I am proud of myself for knowing what my priorities are. School and sleep are much more important than adding 5 more blog posts this month calendar. No matter how much my readers would like that.
It’s all a balancing act.
I wanted to add a little organizational update, too. I don’t have a traditional editorial calendar because my schedule changes a lot depending on how much work I have. Instead of planning a certain post on a certain day, I have a list of the blog posts (There are usually 6 or 7) I plan on publishing that month. I write them on a post it note and put it on the front of my planner.
Once I publish the post, I cross it off the list. This has been a great way to keep me motivated, but not too stressed out over a deadline. This has been working for me so far.
//Getting Noticed By Bloggers I Love
On a completely different note, I was so excited to see how many bloggers I love read my blog! I honestly hadn’t noticed until Sara, from Sara Laughed and College Compass followed me on Instagram. I then looked through my followers on Pinterest and Twitter and saw that there are a ton of other bloggers I admire who have read my stuff like Dani from Dani Dearest and Tori from Chase The Write Dream (To name a few). That is such a cool thing to find out! It also makes me wish my blog was nicer, but I don’t want to compare my blog’s beginning to another blog’s middle.
So that was definitely the most exciting thing about blogging in the last few months.
//Before I get to my goals for this quarter, I need to ask…
Am I the only one whose pageviews double the moment she doesn’t check her blog for days. This has happened to me a lot. In fact, when I was at Disney World for a week, I got 2,800 pageviews in a DAY. Am I going crazy? I can’t be the only one who gets more traffic and profits when they take breaks (I’ve heard other bloggers also experience this). This isn’t one of those humble-bragging things. I am genuinely confused.
- Install Design and Make Tweaks – I have already bought a design that I am absolutely in love with. Their are so many cool features to it. I would’ve uploaded it already, but there were some problems with the code and I don’t have time to fix it until school ends. Don’t worry. You’ll see it soon.
- Create A New Logo + Re-Brand – My current logo is pretty boring. I made it quickly on Canva last summer. I love my website’s brand now. It’s nice and cohesive, but it’s time for a change.
- Take Pictures Of Myself For Blog – I’m actually a pretty good photographer. I just haven’t been able to showcase that on this blog that much. I plan on taking a bunch of self-portraits for this blog, so stay tuned.
- Join The InfluenceHer Collective – I really want to make connections with more bloggers in the next three months. For those of you who don’t know, the InfluenceHer Collective was created by Her Campus. It’s a HUGE group of bloggers, most of whom are around my age. I would love to join and make other blog friends there. There are also many fun opportunities that come with being a part of the collective. I would’ve joined before, but blogs need to be live at least 6 months before they can join.
- Re-Read Blog Posts From The Last 6 Months And Make Necessary Changes – There are probably many spelling and grammatical errors in the near 50 blog posts I have uploaded thus far. I just want to go through and maybe reword a few phrases.
- Add Affiliate Links To Old Posts – There are plenty of old posts I can add affiliate links to. I’m going to do that once the break starts.
- Create a resource library for college students – I am so late on creating something to grow my email list. It has somehow grown without me doing anything, but that’s not enough. I have so many ideas for this resource library! The only problem was that I had no idea how to create good quality opt-ins for the site. After some research, I have figured it out. I plan on having everything implemented by the end of January.
- Do A Blog Audit – I’ve actually done this already, but since I plan on adding a bunch of new features to the site, I want to do one again at the end of February.
- Start Doing Income Reports? – I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this yet. I love reading income reports of other bloggers because I find them inspiring and helpful. I’d really like to do that for my readers, but there’s a certain judgement that comes with posting one’s income. This, of course, isn’t a blog about blogging, but it also isn’t necessarily a blog about college. It’s a blog about my life and accomplishing my goals, so if doing income reports inspires people to accomplish theirs, I guess it’ll be worth it. We’ll see what happens. I’m gonna stop babbling now.
- Write More Personal Blog Posts – I’m a really open person and am willing to talk about my personal life, I just don’t know how to word everything. It makes my day when people read and pin this post because I know how helpful it can be. I would really love to write about having a brother with autism, but I have no idea where to start. There are also so many things that are applicable to college students like anxiety and sexual assault. I have so many stories to tell, but those are pretty heavy topics. I want to dig into that stuff more in the next few months.
(I also have some pretty ridiculous travel stories, but those’ll come later)
- Make connections with other bloggers – I have made a few connections with bloggers, but those were just by chance. I really want to put an effort in making more blog friends this next three months.
- Increase My Social Media Following – I actually have increased it by a lot in the last few months (Nearly tripled!), but it’s not as extensive as I hoped. Even so, I didn’t take social media as seriously as I should have. I spent way more time on Pinterest (Which is a search engine, not a social media account). I’m not going to put a numerical amount for this quarter. I’m just going to keep this goal on my mind with hopes of doing better.
- Do A Better Job At Marketing – I was so great about marketing in September, but that sort of tapered off Mid-October. My traffic stayed fairly consistent despite this, but I don’t want to make the same mistake again.
Phew! This post is around 1800 words. No wonder I can’t pump out more blog posts! Overall, this has been a great few months. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to, but that’s fine. My expectations were a bit too high.
How were the first 6 months of your blogging experience? What tips do you have for new bloggers?