I can’t believe my little blog is already 3 months old! In some ways, it feels like I have been doing this forever and other ways it feels like I am still in the baby stage. It has definitely been a rollercoaster. The first two months I spend time just trying to get content on my site and figuring out this beast we called WordPress. WordPress has a steep learning curve but I think I have finally got a handle on it! I wanted to start a blogging report to show my growth and what I am doing to turn this baby blog into a full-time business. That is my end goal. We are going to start with month 3 of blogging and share my October 2018 Blog Report.
A Bit about Me
Welcome! My name is Sara and I love to spend money. Well, at least I use to enjoy spending money, even if it wasn’t money I had in the bank. Ugh. Lesson learned!
In July 2015 my husband and I found ourselves in a tough position financially. My husband wanted to leave his corporate management job. He had talked about it for almost a year before we finally made the decision in July to do it. However, we had over $83,000 in consumer debt when the decision was made. We needed to do something fast. Fast forward to July 2018 and we have paid off over $50,000 in consumer debt. It was a long road but we are finally coming out on the other side of this mountain we created.
Why I started Budget and Bliss
Budget and Bliss was born from the idea of living a happy healthy on a budget. We have had to find ways to save money and cut back. However, we still try to find balance and enjoy some of our money. It helps us thrive. You’ll see the tagline “find balance and thrive” on the main page of this site. That is exactly what I am trying to do and help others do the same. We have many opportunities as American’s and if we really put our minds to it we can become debt free. We can live like no one else and really create a legacy for our family. I am exploring that on this website and sharing as I go along.
Money is the main topic on Budget and Bliss. I talk about budgeting and living within your means. I also talk about other money topics like saving money at the grocery store, finding deals ta back to school time, and even traveling while in debt. Money is the main essence of what this website is all about.
I also talk about life in general. It’s hard to talk about money and not talk about lifestyle topics. I mean, money pretty controls everything we do. Even if you don’t fully believe that it’s true to an extent. In the Life category, you’ll find gift guides, menu planning, productivity, travel and much more. This is the catch-all category for all of the other interests I have.
The last major topic I cover is blogging and online business. This may feel a bit disconnected from the money topics but the main goal of Budget and Bliss is to create a sustainable business for my family. Creating a money making blog is not easy and takes time and hard work before seeing a return on your investment. However, it is definitely doable if you stick it out. I will be sharing exactly what I do to create an income. These monthly recaps will share what I did right and what I did wrong throughout the month. I will also be sharing reviews of courses and software that I am using and trying. Hopefully, honest reviews will help you decide if you should invest your hard earned money.
Budget and Bliss October 2018 Blog Report
This is the section you will find everything that I experimented with this month. You’ll see what I did to grow my traffic and the investments I made this month. Some investments are monetary while others are time investments. Both are essential to growing a profitable blog. If something is not working for me you’ll also see that here! I pride myself on honesty and will not promote a program that just didn’t work for me.
I officially joined Tailwind on October 7, 2018. I had done a free trial in September but wasn’t ready to commit the time to actually promoting my content. It takes time to fill the Tailwind queue and actually figure out a pinning strategy. I have seen significant growth this month that I am excited to share with you all.
July 2018 75 pageviews (my site went live on July 2015)
August 2018 376 pageviews
September 2018 419 pageviews
October 2018 1337 pageviews
Do you see that increase in pageviews? That is crazy! My traffic increased by 219% all because of Tailwind and Pinterest. I know relying solely on Pinterest for my traffic is not going to be my end goal. Pinterest is a visual search engine so normally someone is looking for an answer to a question or to be inspired. They don’t necessarily become raving fans of your content.
I also added Tasty Pins to my arsenal of blogging tools. Tasty Pins adds a Pinterest description field to your images. This allows you to use the alt text for SEO purposes and still have a place to enter a Pinterest description. This makes both Google and Pinterest happy which is the end goal. Both search engines are important but they want different things from you. Tasty Pins takes the confusion out of what text to enter into what field. I am not sure if this plug-in is adding to my success on Pinterest since I bought it when I started with my strategy.
I joined the VIP membership of Ivory Mix this month. I originally purchased a three-month Elite membership but when Kayla said she was adding more personal finance pins I decided to join the VIP membership (1-year membership). I am loving all of the photos she is adding each month and the variety that is available. She really listens to her customers and our needs when deciding on images to create for the month. I also love the fact that there are images added every single month. There is always something new! Read My Full Review of Ivory Mix
25 Post Challenge
I am a member of Just Keep Blogging Mentored Membership and this month Kim Anderson (my mentor) challenged the group to publish 25 blog posts. Back in late August / early September, I had written 30,000 words in 30 days so I knew I could complete this 25 post challenge. Some days it was a struggle but it basically doubled the amount of content on my site. I think this is a great exercise for new bloggers. It is hard to get in a rhythm of writing content and challenging yourself to something like a daily post or even a specific word count is empowering. I knew there were days I wanted to give up but I kept pushing through. This also gave me more content to promote on Pinterest which drives traffic to my site!
Genius Blogger Toolkit
I purchased the Genius Blogger Toolkit from Ultimate Bundles this month as a way to have a variety of courses and ebooks for an affordable price. There are a few courses I would like to go through and this bundle allowed me to get them at a lower price point than buying them outright.
Budget and Bliss by the Numbers
Budget and Bliss November Goals
Publish 13 posts
I am on a mission to have 100 published blog posts. I have heard this is the magic number when good things start happening for your blog. I am currently at 55 posts so I have some work to do over the next few months.
Create an E-Mail Opt-In
I need to start my e-mail list. Creating opt-ins have been intimidating for me and I have been pushing it off for the longest time. I did receive a two month trial of ConvertKit with the Genius Bloggers Toolkit so I will be using their service from the beginning.
2019 Goal Setting
There are only two months left to 2018. That is so hard to believe. It honestly doesn’t feel like the holidays here. Anyway, I want to work on my goals for 2019. I know where I want to end up at the end of 2019 (replacing my income) so I need to work on my strategy to get there. I will be using the 12 Week Blog Growth Strategy from Kim Anderson to create my goals.
Remember blogging is a long-term game!
I hope you found my October 2018 Blog Report helpful. I feel like most bloggers don’t talk about the beginning of their journey. It’s honestly not exciting to say I made zero dollars this month! However, we all have to start somewhere. I am building this business from the ground up. I had zero followers when I started and I am now working on building relationships and reaching an audience. It is definitely a long-term game. It is difficult to not feel discouraged some days when I look at big bloggers but I know if I stay the course I will get there too. I am only three months into this blogging journey and am already seeing growth.