I have been reading and researching blogging like crazy since I took the plunge to create "Living the Diagnosis" and make it into a more... I hesitate to say at this point... but... professional blog.
One thing I have seen several bloggers doing is posting monthly Blog/Income Reports. So, I am going to do the same! I appreciate the transparency, and I figure it may help someone out, as they watch me flopping around like a fish out of water!
I started this blog on October 1, 2015. I wrote and gathered content most of the month and starting "promoting" it on Halloween.
I am trying to make this blog into a part time business and earn some money while doing it. I absolutely love what I am doing, writing posts, but also curating content for the site by reaching out to people all over the world to tell their stories and bring awareness to medical conditions!
I have kept a family blog for many years now, but it is "private" and so I have never worried much about "promoting" it and trying to get it out there for people to see.
So far though, it seems to be doing ok. No, I am not getting thousands and thousands of views, but, it is being read. This is from Google Analytics for the month of December. The numbers are WAY LOWER than what the stats on Blogger say... so that is really disheartening.
I have started a Facebook page, joined Twitter and made a Pinterest Board just for this blog. I have invited all my "Facebook" friends to like my page. Of my 280 friends, I currently have 40 likes.
I have been posting on the Facebook page and trying to "reach out", but so far, I am not getting much involvement from it.
On the other hand, I started my Twitter account on November 18th and currently have 82 followers.
The weird thing with all this is... most of my traffic comes from Facebook and hardly any comes from Twitter. So, clearly, I don't understand how social media works. It will be interesting to see how things progress from here...
When I began this, I started with my family to see if they may share their experiences on my blog. My Mom and Dad both wrote for me and did a FANTASTIC job.
Then I began reaching out to Facebook friends. Some people remember names, some numbers... I remember what medical conditions people are living with. I know, odd right? Anyway, many of my friends have been willing to share stories, and may I add, they are AMAZING!
After a while though, I realized I was going to have to go outside myself to find more stories to share.
My first "guest post" was a cold email to Brenda from An ADD Woman. I introduced myself, and gave a little information about my brand new, infantile blog and asked if she may consider writing her story for it.
I'll be honest, I didn't expect anything, but you know what she wrote me back and she wrote this absolutely great post about living with ADHD during the holidays. I was really grateful for her help! And, to be honest shocked, because almost every article I have read about it says DO NOT ask powerful bloggers to write on your little tiny unknown blog!
After that, I realized I needed to find a way to reach out to people... easier. So, that is where Twitter comes in. What I have found is that Twitter is AMAZING for finding those who are interested in sharing their stories.
Thanksgiving week happens to be GERD Awareness week. So, I looked up what foundations seemed to be promoting it and followed them on Twitter. Then, I decided to "tweet" to them something like...
"Hi! Do you know anyone who would be interested in sharing their story on my blog?"
Again, totally didn't expect anything... but hey! About an hour later, my phone dinged. Whoever tweets for them had private messaged me with the contact information of someone they thought may be willing to share.
I emailed her, Miss Melissa, introduced myself and my blog and asked if she would share her story. Well, within minutes she emailed me "her story". I was so amazed! It was awesome!
From there, I took it and placed it on my PC's notepad to "strip" it so to speak. Then I copied and pasted it into my blogger post. I did some minor editing, bolded and italicized to make certain parts stand out, added pictures (because I like pretty posts), and sent it to her to make sure she was ok with how it was presented. It is an amazing story about living with Gastopareisis, and you can read it here.
I posted it the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It blew up, well, for a little tiny blogger it did. To date, it has had 1286 views and over 400 Facebook likes! Awesome!
From there, I have been making wonderful connections with others via Twitter.
So, I am doing ok finding people who are willing to share on my blog. However, at this point, I have not had anyone "reach out" and offer. I am hoping as time goes on, people will read this blog and want to share their stories. That is one of my goals.
Ok, so as for monetizing. I have signed up for the Amazon Affiliate program. It is neat because I didn't have to have a set number of page views or meet certain stat requirements, because at this point I would not qualify.
So far, I have only placed a few links in my posts. I do not want to be obnoxious with it, so I am trying to be discreet. In one post, I added the little pictures to the post. I felt that was a bit obtrusive, so the next time, I added text links instead, and felt that was a better way of doing it. But, if you read one of my posts and want to click on one of the links, I will not stop you!
So, for the record... my income so far has been $0.00.
As for expenses, so far, I have had to pay for my domain name and purchase photos. I have been able to use my own photos for some of my posts, but since it focuses on stories, I will have to use other photos to accentuate the posts.
I think images will be my major expense. I have found a few "free" stock images and they work fine. But, my Dad purchased credits from 123rf.com for me for Christmas and I have been using those images lately, and there is no doubt they make the posts look better. So, with that said, I will pay for images to help my site look more professional.
I have a few more plans on the monetization front, but first I want to build my audience more and... make a prettier website/blog.
Thankfully, I have a wonderful little brother who is AMAZING and has offered to design my blog for me. So, in a couple months, we will be working together to create what I hope is a much more professional looking blog!
I have so, so much to learn. But, I have joined many Facebook blogging communities. One happens to be an Alaska Bloggers group, so hopefully I can make some great connections right here where I am!
Well, I think that is a pretty good overview of how things are going so far! Cheers!
Labels: Blog Income Reports