“The greater our knowledge increases, the more our ignorance unfolds.” ~JFK
When I first decided to become a blogger, like most people I wanted to know what I was getting myself into. Blogging is one of those things that looks simple from the outside, but is actually more complicated than other businesses.
The beauty and trouble of blogging is that it looks different to every single blogger. You need to at least dabble in a hundred different areas such as:
- social media
- etc, etc, etc
At first, you jump in and do the best you can. Over time, you start to understand things.
A.) You are only beginning to learn how much information is out there that you know nothing about.
B.) Some of these things you actually enjoy. Others, you’re probably never going to like.
And that’s what makes every blogger different. You discover the things you want to “major” in. Some things you want to “minor” in. And the rest you’d love to hand over to a VA (some day).
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SMART Blogging Goals
Because blogging is so deep and wide, it’s important to define goals for your blogging. Otherwise, you can spin your wheels for days and accomplish little to nothing.
It’s no secret that I think SMART goals are important for everyone. And my blog is no exception. So I’ve set up some SMART goals that I’d like to see Medium Sized Family accomplish this year.
Last year, I set goals that I reached pretty early in the year. So this year, I want to reach for the stars.
By the end of 2017, I hope to see these numbers:
Twitter: 15,000 followers
Facebook: 1,500 likes
Pinterest: 6,500 followers
Instagram: 800 followers (I’m not really focusing here much yet.)
50,000 per month
$1,800 per month
Write 4 series.
Guest post 12 times.
Choose one focus every month.
Hire a VA.
Begin an ebook.
In January I wrote a 30 Day Money Challenge. Blogging every single day of the month kicked my butt, but I learned so much by doing it. It forced me to think about writing and research.
January By the Numbers
I’m making most of my money through freelance writing. In the interest of protecting my client’s privacy, I won’t post those numbers.
But I’m happy to share my other income. After making decent money in December, January was a little disappointing. But I was too busy writing to seek income opportunities, so it’s understandable.
I won’t share ad income until I’ve actually received a paycheck.
Adsense: $0 (Received last paycheck in December)
Last month I set up an ad waterfall. What that means is that instead of putting ads from Adsense in certain places and ads from Sovrn Meridian in others, I placed Sovrn ads everywhere.
Sovrn is a great ad company that accepts bloggers at any level of pageviews. They pay out at just $25 (rather than Adsense’s steep $100). I feel that they pay better than Adsense, but your mileage may vary.
Once you’ve set up your ads with Sovrn, you can put the code for your Adsense ads (the one you normally put on your blog) into the space labeled “Passback Tag” under each individual Sovrn ad.
That means that if Sovrn can’t sell that space to an advertiser for a particular time, they’ll kick the space back to Adsense instead. Instead of space sitting there empty or giving away free advertising, you have a second chance at selling the ad space.
If you do this, don’t set up more than 3 passback tags. Adsense doesn’t allow more than three ads on a given page, and if more than three get passed back you could be kicked out of their program.
The funny thing is that even though I’ve set my ads up this way, I haven’t seen any decrease in my Adsense pay. Which makes me think they weren’t utilizing my space very well in the first place.
In past months I’ve earned money through sponsored posts and other affiliates. I didn’t have that income in January. Blogging is a roller coaster business. Another reason it’s important to diversify your income!
Facebook: 610 My engagement on this page is way up this month, but gaining likes is tough!
These resources have been huge for me.
Sticky Blogging Formula
This free mini course changed my writing for the better. It helped me understand how to better relate to my readers, which makes them want to read more of my blog! I strongly recommend it.
I discovered Tailwind in March of last year. It was a game changer for me. For the first time, I started getting passive pageviews. Rather than fighting for every pageview from blog hops, linkies, and social media exchanges, I was able to get people to read my blog from Pinterest. Even if I couldn’t link up for a day, I was still getting views.
I had already joined several group boards (find boards that fit your niche here). Tailwind gave me a way to save my pin to each group board at different times of the day. I can also spread the pins out so I’m not flooding Pinterest with my same pin over and over again. Try Tailwind for free by using my referral link. Normally you can try one month of Tailwind for free. But through February, you can actually get 2 free months instead! Try it out before February 28th to get the extra month.
Even if you don’t decide to pay for Tailwind, be sure to follow them on Facebook and check their blog for free tips on being a better pinner.
This article on writing a good bio was super helpful!
I try to choose one area to focus my attention on each month. That gives me time to learn as much as I can about one aspect of blogging without missing out on other areas.
In February I am focusing on improving engagement on my Facebook page. I’m hoping to gain more likes by providing interest and value to my followers. Plus I love getting to know my readers on a more personal level. I’ve always enjoyed Facebook, and the funny thing is that the more naturally you use it, the better it gets!
I’ll share the resources and ideas that worked best in this area next month.
I also intend to get back to guest blogging. That’s something I haven’t had time for in the past couple of months.
That’s my blog plan for the year.
I’m pointing towards these statistics, but plan to still go with the flow whenever that’s the better plan.
What do you think of this post? Too much information? Do you find parts helpful? I’d love your feedback!