One year ago today, on the 16th September 2018, I published my first ever blog post on This Brilliant Day!
It’s fair to say that I had very little idea of what blogging involved when I first started this blog. For the first few months, I would just quickly type up a post and publish it within a couple of hours or less. I didn’t think about any formatting, images, SEO or any kind of social media promotion.
Admittedly, I didn’t want to promote my blog for the first few months because I still saw it as a tentative work in progress. It was only in January that I started sharing my blog on social media. But before that I really had no idea just how much work would be involved in creating good quality posts and promoting them. My recent blog posts definitely take a lot longer to write, and I see this as a sign that I have made good progress during my first year as a blogger!
Things I have learned during my first year as a blogger
- There is so much more to blogging than meets the eye! Taking photos, optimising posts for SEO, social media, managing comments… The list goes on!
- There is a fantastic community of bloggers out there. Blogging may seem like a solitary activity, but it certainly doesn’t have to be!
- It’s important to put your own spin on your blog posts and include your own unique experiences, because this sets your blog posts apart from the millions of others on the same topic.
- I’ve learned how to use Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, none of which I used before I started blogging.
- Making money from blogging does take time and hard work. But if you can set up a system that makes you even a tiny amount of money, then it can and will grow over time.
- Most blog stats go up and down from day to day, and sometimes it can seem very erratic! But focus on the general trend over a longer period, rather than expecting a steady increase each day.
My blogging achievements
These are things that I am proud to have achieved this year:
- Writing and publishing 113 blog posts covering 20 different topics.
- Posting consistently for the whole year with a maximum of 6 days between blog posts.
- Being nominated for 4 different blogging awards.
- Taking part in ‘Blogtober’ before I even knew it was a thing! I posted every day last October (although I later deleted one of the posts because I wasn’t happy with it)
- Getting accepted for Google Adsense in January.
- Earning nearly £30 in total through Google Adsense.
- Focusing on social media and spending an hour per day browsing other blogs in February.
- Spending June setting up and focusing on a Pinterest strategy.
- Spending an hour on blog improvements nearly every day in August.
- Collaborating with 1 brand (this is a recent venture, so the post is not up yet!)
My blog stats from February to August 2019
I want to show my blog stats, not to show off, but as an example of what can be achieved in your first year of blogging. This could of course differ a lot depending on how much time you are able to put in, and other factors. But I hope that this will inspire some new bloggers and show them that it is worth putting the time and effort in, because your stats really will grow!
I also think that it is generally interesting and motivating to read the blog stats of other bloggers, so here you go:
As you can see, I have only been recording my blog stats since February. I record weekly stats as well, but you can see the biggest difference in the monthly stats.
Green cells mark an increase, orange means it stayed the same, and red marks a decrease. A green cell with a white border means it is the biggest number yet, i.e. it beats my previous record.
My Google Adsense earnings and my blog users / views have been erratic, but the general trend has been upwards. The reason I got so many views in February is that I had a large spike in traffic from one of my blog posts being shared on a popular Facebook page.
The stats I am most pleased and excited about are my Google search clicks and impressions. These have been steadily increasing since I started recording them, and I look forward to seeing them increase even further!
My blog subscribers have been slow to increase, but have increased nonetheless. I have had some issues with my set-up for blog subscribers, and I plan to resolve these and work on gaining more subscribers.
All my social media accounts have grown, and I am having considerable success with Pinterest which I first started using in April. Pinterest is currently my top source of traffic.
My domain authority is on 6, and I am hoping to see this go up in the coming months.
With the serious stats out the way, here are a few fun and interesting facts about my blog.
Top 5 most popular blog posts:
- 7 Lessons I have Learned from Studying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – 3796 views (mostly from Pinterest)
- What To Do With Those Little Ribbons You Cut Off Your Clothes – 1538 views (mostly from Facebook)
- My Experience with Detox Foot Pads – 1522 views (mostly from Google search)
- Hairburst Shampoo, Conditioner and Elixir – My First Impressions – 533 views (mostly from Google search)
- Hairburst Update – 6 Weeks – 193 views (mostly from Google search)
Top 6 months with the most blog posts published:
- October 2018 – 30 posts
- December 2018 – 9 posts
- November 2018 – 8 posts
- March 2019 – 8 posts
- May 2019 – 8 posts
- June 2019 – 8 posts
Top 7 posts with the most comments:
- Book Review – The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan (No Spoilers) Plus Book Giveaway! – 24 comments
- What To Do With Those Little Ribbons You Cut Off Your Clothes – 24 comments
- How to Get More Exercise Without Putting In Extra Time – 16 comments
- The Mystery Blogger Award – 15 comments
- 6 Unique Self-Care Ideas – 14 comments
- How to Cheer Yourself Up When You Are Feeling Upset – 14 comments
- 7 Lessons I have Learned from Studying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – 14 comments
My top 7 commenters
While I appreciate everyone who supports my blog by commenting, I want to say an especially big thank you to these 7 bloggers who have commented 5 or more times! I haven’t put them in order of the number of comments because I appreciate all these people equally.
I encourage you to check out all their blogs because they are amazing.
- Jessica – jessierenea
- Lauren – Bournemouth Girl
- Michelle – Blessings by Me
- Millie – MSB Life
- Naomi – Inching Forwards
- Nyxie – Nyxie’s Nook
- Ruth – ThatAutisticFitChick
Plans and goals for my blog’s second year
These are some things I plan to work on and achieve in my second year of blogging:
- Take part in ‘Blogtober’ or a similar blogging challenge.
- Take part in more collaborations with other bloggers and PR opportunities with brands.
- Write guest posts for other blogs, and accept guest posts on my blog.
- Participate more in social media and get to know more fellow bloggers better.
- Continue to post at least once every 6 days.
- Carry on making improvements to my blog.
- Continue to see a rise in all my blog stats.
Outside of my blog I have changes planned in my life, and these should prompt some new topics that I haven’t written about on my blog before. Watch this space!
- Reach the threshold (£60) to cash out my Google Adsense earnings by the end of November 2019 (to actually cash out in December).
- Be reaching the threshold and cashing out within a month by June 2020.
- Be cashing out at least £500 per month by September 2020.
- Earn money from other sources including affiliate programmes and PR opportunities.
A year from now
It will be interesting to look back on this post a year from now and see whether I achieved (or exceeded) the above goals, or whether my blog went in a totally different direction. Whatever happens, I am confident that my blog will continue to grow, develop and improve, and I am excited for what the next year will bring. Here’s to continuing my blogging journey!
How long have you been blogging for?
Are you a blogger? Are you fairly new like me, or have you been blogging for many years? Did you have a similar experience to me in your first months / year of blogging, or was it very different? Let me know in the comments!