I am excited to announce a new series here on blog ambitions: the New Blog.
A few months ago, you might have noticed me advertising for a person who wanted to start a blog that hadn’t launched. I interviewed several people who wanted to start blogging. I had them submit an example post and did Skype interviews with the final contestants. It was fun to see all of the ideas different people have for their blogs.
It was actually hard to decide on one blogger to work with, but have been so happy with my choice.
I have partnered with a brand new blogger to show you what it is like to start, build, and grow a blog. Every month I will be reporting on the New Blog’s progress and sharing the blogging strategies we implemented during the month.
Why the New Blog?
While I have a lot of tutorials for seasoned bloggers, many of my posts are geared towards helping new bloggers get started blogging and become better bloggers.
A lot of new bloggers (and even long time bloggers) wonder:
Can you be a successful blogger in the first year?
Does it really take a long time to get blog traffic?
Can you really make money blogging? Or is it just a big hoax?
I think that you can.
I want to help you share your ideas and expertise with the online world and profit monetarily for doing it (because while helping people and following your passion is nice, it’s even better to earn something for all of your time and energy.)
Follow the New Blog and put the things we do with the experiment into action on your blog!
The New Blog went live this Monday, with a good number of followers and a great first day of traffic! (we’re talking in the hundreds – you’ll see at the bottom of the post.)
About the New Blog
The New Blog is going to remain anonymous because I want all of the traffic to the blog to be “organic” (side fact: i dislike that word). Here is what I will tell you about the blog and blogger:
- It is a healthy lifestyle blog: posting recipes, workouts, and other well-being related posts.
- The blogger has never blogged before
- The blog’s platform is self-hosted WordPress
- The blog is using the Genesis framework + Restored316 theme
- The blogger plans on publishing new content 2-3 times a week
- The blogger will work on the blog for about 15-20 hours a week.
Goals for the New Blog
- Have a social media following and newsletter list before going “live”
- Steadily grow traffic and following without plateauing.
- Earn at least $2,000/month by the end of one year (working only part time on the blog)
What would you like to see the New Blog accomplish in the first year of blogging?
What we did the first month
These are the actions we took on the blog from July 10th – August 10th. The New Blog went live on August 10th.
- Completed the 19 steps outlined in my How to Start a Blog series.
- Researched blogs within her niche and blogs that complimented her niche.
- Had a profile picture taken for social media accounts, blog sidebar, and about page.
- Wrote a brief coming soon statement + what readers can expect to see on the blog.
- Created a coming soon landing page to collect so that she could:
- Work on building a social media presence and newsletter list – tutorial on how we accomplished this coming soon! Subscribe to my newsletter to get email update when the post is on the blog.
- Set up the theme and customized the colors.
- Completed 2 weeks worth of posts. These posts are formatted in WordPress and ready to go. The first month of blogging is hard, because you spend so much of your time promoting yourself. We felt it was important for her to have a good start on blog posts. This way she can focus on promoting the blog and have time to come up with new content without feeling rushed to publish something.
Traffic and Follower Report
We set up the coming soon landing page on July 21st and started promoting and tracking on July 22nd. From July 22nd – August 10th only the coming soon page was visible. It included her coming soon statement, an email list opt-in and links to social media accounts. During that time she had 515 visits (sessions).
Social Media Followers before going live.
- Twitter – 111
- Pinterest – 541
- Facebook – 266
- Instagram – 200
- Bloglovin – 0
- Newsletter Subscribers – 122
Income and Expense Report
- BlueHost – $59.40 for 1 year of hosting – did you know that blog ambitions readers get an additional discount off already reduced prices? All you have to do is click on this link.
- Genesis Framework – $59.95
- Restored316 Designs theme – $50.00
Total Expenses: 169.35
No income to report yet.
Day 1 – Launch day.
At the end of day one, I got an email from the blogger that said this:
“I feel like a hustler. I really don’t even know what that means but I just feel like all day I’m just promoting, pinning, commenting, sharing, etc etc. LOL!”
Yep. That about sums it up.
Here is what the first day looked like
- The blog went live with 2 posts: a welcome/introduction and one post within her category.
- An introductory newsletter went out announcing that the site was live and thanking everyone for following her in her new blogging adventure.
- The blogger participated in relevant link parties to promote the post
- The blogger participated in Pinterest and commenting threads in Facebook blogging groups to help her posts get more exposure.
- The blogger shared her posts on all social media accounts. You’ve probably seen my famous graphic. It’s true. You can’t just build it and people will come. You’ve got to like it, pin it, share it, tweet it, etc… and then they will come.
Traffic for the first day
How many visits did you have the day you went live? I did not follow my own advice when I went live with this blog. I had 6.
Takeaways to apply to your blog.
- Facebook is still alive! The blogger has been very successful with Facebook. Yes, it is hard to show up in the feed, but a lot of people still use Facebook – making it a valuable platform to focus on.
- Let your friends and family members support you in your blogging adventure. A lot of people are hesitant to tell their friends and family members about their blog. They don’t want to be judged or the don’t want to seem too pushy, but the truth is they can really help jump start your blog traction. Tell them about how excited you are about your blog and they’ll be excited for you too. The more people that share your blog, the better.
- Commenting on blogs really does help you build relationships and get traffic to your blog. I’ll go into this in more detail on my post about how to have traffic and followers before going live with your blog, but a large portion of the blog’s traffic has come from commenting on other blogs.
I will be sharing the New Blog’s traffic and income reports every month. Check back next month to see how the first month of blogging goes!
What do you think of the New Blog experiment? Do you think we can accomplish our goals? What else would you like to see a new blog accomplish in the first year of blogging?