One Month In: Tales of the Rookie Blogger
Prior to having my daughter, I was always the primary bread winner in our family. I was the one who bought our house and our cars, paid for our vacations and made sure our bills were paid each month. Even then, I was always looking for ways to stretch our dollars, but we managed to live comfortably. My husband contributed to our household, of course, but he is quite a bit younger than I am, and up until recently he did not earn anywhere close to what I was making.
Before I had my baby, I had always intended to go back to work after my maternity leave was up. We had saved up enough money to cover the weeks that I would be gone and our hospital bills, but we really didn’t have much savings beyond that. Motherhood, however, has a way of changing things in ways we cannot always anticipate. During my pregnancy, I became super anxious over the well being of my daughter, and my anxiety continued to build after she was born. I had to go back to work at my office just 2 months after giving birth. I was still hormonal, and I had a very unexpected emotional upheaval when the time came for me to leave my baby with someone else. I cried every day on my way to work and I was super stressed out about being away from her. My milk supply started dwindling because I couldn’t get away to pump most days at the office. I felt like I was failing my baby! Then the last straw came when I had a conflict with someone at work: I remember thinking to myself “why am I here dealing with this crap from someone I don’t even like, when I could be home with my baby instead?” Soon after, I gave notice that I would be leaving the office and focusing on being a mommy. It was a huge relief to me to be able to have my baby girl in my arms on a daily basis again, but suddenly our family income was heavily reduced, and we were faced with a whole new set of problems.
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We spent the next year struggling with our finances, and my husband and I fought a lot over the budget I imposed on us in order to get by. I brought in some money each month working as an independent contractor, but it wasn’t near the amount of what I was making on a regular payroll. My husband constantly pressured me to go back to work full time, but I just couldn’t face being away from my baby any more. He was not exactly understanding, and our relationship suffered big time.
I felt so defeated! I knew I was giving my daughter the best start I could by being home with her, and I absolutely relished my time spent with her. But outside of being a mommy, my confidence was shot and I was always on edge because my husband was mad at me. I looked at other moms who were balancing a normal work life with motherhood just fine, and I constantly questioned myself over why I couldn’t make it work for me. I felt like such a failure at life and I didn’t know what I could do to help our family succeed financially.
Why I Decided to Blog
During that time, I kicked around a ton of ideas for how I could make some extra income. I am shy by nature and terrible at chit-chat, so I knew cold calling and direct sales was out for me. I had thought about doing a blog for some time, but wasn’t quite sure how to get started, how to make money doing it, or what my niche would be. After thinking about it for awhile, I saw an ad on Facebook for Suzi’s Start a Mom Blog course bundle, and my curiosity was piqued. I looked into it some more, and her story about how she got started blogging really resonated with me. Although it would stretch our budget that month, I decided to take her advice and invest in myself, and I signed up. I am so glad I took that leap!
How to Get Traffic to a New Blog
My first official blog post was just one month ago today, and I hit the “Publish” button on it while I was still knee deep in Suzi’s “Blog by Number” course. I didn’t promote it on Pinterest right away as I continued on through the course and got a better idea of what I was doing, and worked on getting more content up first. Throughout the month, I’ve since added 11 more posts, and 2 pages of content to my blog, all of which I’ve now started promoting regularly on Pinterest. My page views didn’t take off right away (you can see the huge jump where I first started pinning in the chart below, my first pin was my best one thus far!), but they have steadily gone up in the last week since I’ve been using Tailwind.
First Affiliate Sales with a New Blog
Even with my limited time promoting my blog, I have managed to get over 1,000 blog page views, increase my Pinterest views by over 1,000%, and I’ve made my first commissions from affiliate sales, all within the first month! My successes might seem like small potatoes to some, but I am extremely proud of myself for getting my feet wet and putting myself out there in the blogging world.
Affiliate sales report. I’ve sold 7 items total with a conversion rate of 2.87% sales!
A lot of what I’ve posted so far has been primarily for the clicks on Pinterest, and I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed designing my pins and creating fun content. But, I’ve also posted some of my own deeply personal stories from my journey to motherhood as well. It’s been a little scary and nerve wracking to hit the “Publish” button on those posts, but it’s also helped me heel some old wounds by being able to share my story.
I have gotten emails and comments from people who have actually read what I’ve had to say, telling me that my writing has touched them, and I cannot tell you how personally rewarding that has been for me! I’ve had people that I’ve known for years tell me “wow, I didn’t realize what a talented writer you are” and “oh, I had no idea you were going through that”, and I feel like at last, I’ve found my voice!
There is so much more to having a successful blog that most people don’t even have a clue about. I’m so glad that I started off on the right foot with Suzi’s courses, because I truly feel like I’ve been ahead of the curve from day one. I have joined Facebook groups where I’ve seen the other ladies asking for help and advice on everything from where to host their blogs, to how to start driving traffic to their blogs. I’m thankful that I don’t have to struggle with where to find those answers because Suzi lays it all out beautifully in her courses, and I can go back to her videos and go through things with her step-by-step whenever I need.
Taking the Next Step and Growing the Blog
As I mentioned before, in the last week or so, I started using Tailwind, joining tribes and setting up regular posting schedules. I also started a Twitter account, and I’ve been engaging with other moms on Facebook and reading their stories and realizing that a lot of these women are out there busting their butts to help their families succeed just like I am! It has been so encouraging to know that I am not alone, and it has made me appreciate my progress so much more.
I’ve been fortunate enough to do a couple of guest posts on other more established blogs, and I am hopeful that it will help to boost my online presence even more significantly. The engagement with my readers thus far has really helped bolster my confidence again, and my husband is really proud of all of the work I’ve put into my blog. I am excited about the prospect of getting to stay home permanently with my daughter, and I’m hopeful about bringing in more money for my family as things progress! Fingers crossed for me, and for all of you mommy’s out there who are hoping to do the same!
Beginning Blogger Progress Update
I have been blogging now for about 7 weeks, and my numbers have continued to grow. I have quadrupled my blog page views over the last 3 weeks, and my audience on Pinterest has grown to over 105,000 monthly viewers! I have gained a lot of new followers on Pinterest, and my following on Facebook and Twitter has grown a bit as well. Things seem to be moving in the right direction, and I am super proud of that!
Aside from my growing numbers, my knowledge of blogging has continued to grow as well. I’ve learned more about using different blog plug-ins to do different things like post slideshows and email subscription pop-ups. I’ve added in a few things to help my blog appear more professional and create more of a branded look. I have learned more about Tailwind and how to join tribes and have been working hard on creating really pretty pins to attract viewers.
I have gotten more collaboration requests from people who have read my blog and liked what I’ve had to say, and I’ve started doing sponsored posts as well which is a great way to get some free stuff! I’ve added another affiliate to my blog, and my Amazon sales, while still not huge, have increased as well. The great thing about my Amazon sales is that I’ve had three different sales that came directly from different posts, so I know which ones are getting the most clicks and which are actually attracting people to buy. I’m hoping that with time and continued consistent posting, I will be able to start making more money through my efforts.
Mindy Felisiano is a work-at-home mommy-preneur and children’s book author. She is a proud wifey to a hardworking and sometimes hardheaded hubby, and an even prouder mommy to a sweet, rambunctious and inquisitive toddler. On her years-long quest to motherhood, Mindy realized that she was lacking in camaraderie with other women who had been through the same things she had, and so she started her blog, TheMisadventuresOfMindy.com to create an online community where mommy’s of all stages could come together in support of one another. Here, Mindy shares her stories and anecdotes with her own humorous and creative spin, along with the tips and tricks of motherhood that she’s learned along the way.