Third Quarter Blogging Assessment
When you assess blog goals even if blogging is your hobby, you may find that you accomplished more, not just in blogging, but in life.
GOAL #1 MONETIZE MY BLOGS
I signed up for two classes with two professional bloggers, Chris Brogan and Jon Morrow to get more serious about blogging. Mark Brinker, a web developer, cut to the chase with me. He made a video for me to show me some things that are wrong with my blog, and with me as a professional blogger.
Affiliate sales have not been an easy way to make money for me. How many of you click on someone’s link to go to buy a product they recommend? I’m guessing not many.
I love Grammarly, in spite of the little errors it makes from time to time, but I made no sales. The same is true of Amazon. I have not made any money with either of them. I don’t write additional articles and don’t set up pages with items to buy, like a catalog. I’m not sure Amazon even encourages affiliates to do that anymore.
I also don’t need a platform for my books. I don’t have enough time to finish them. So at the end of the third quarter of 2017, I’m ending my monetization experiment. I won’t undo any of the links, but I will remove the advertising widgets and replace them with something more productive.
If my blog does produce an income somewhere in the future, that’s great. After expenses, I have several projects I’d love to support with my blog.
I offer a journal for free and another for sale. One other blogger I know sends out a free journal each month. Journalling improves life and blogging, and if I can encourage and help you, I’d love to help you.
The third way bloggers make money from their blogs is to provide services. Two services that I’ve done this year are
- I’m doing some guest blogging. That is a lot of fun. I’m looking for guest bloggers on my site as well.
- Social Media Marketing
- I’m still training students to work as virtual assistants for some of the nonprofits I manage. I enjoy doing this. If anyone wants to hire me to help them with social media, I’d be happy to help. Rates vary.
GOAL #2 FINISH MY BOOK BECAUSE OF BLOGGING BY JUNE 30 – still not done
That goal bombed 100%. I did not devote one minute to achieving it.
GOAL #3 GET OUT A WEEKLY NEWSLETTER USING MailChimp – Not this quarter
I’ve been too busy getting out newsletters for other people to create one for myself.
GOAL # 4 WRITE ONE AUSTRALIA OR TRAVEL POST EVERY WEEK
Between three bloggers, we took thousands of great photos, each of which might become a blog post. Nothing could have been more amazing than to visit two bloggers, Leanne Cole and Carol Sheritt across the continent and spend three lovely weeks touring that fantastic continent. That said, I have not been able to write twelve posts this quarter.
GOAL #5 WRITE ONE BLOGGING OR WRITING POST A WEEK ON – TARGET
According to my records, I have 70 posts about blogging that I’ve written in the past year. As bloggers, you and I run into lots of problems, and when I spend time researching them, I pass on my information to you. Your feedback rewards me and I enjoy improving all of our skills.
GOAL #6 ONE A+ BOOK REVIEW A WEEK – DONE
I’ve published about 60 book reviews including some of yours. Currently, Kevin Cooper is writing a series on writing reviews that are great! I review both indie and traditionally published books excluding horror.
GOAL #7 INCREASE TWITTER TO 3,000 FOLLOWERS BY JUNE 30 – STILL WORKING
Twitter followers rose from 852 on Dec. 31, to 1,625 on March 31 to 2,289 on June 23, and on October 16 there are 2,576 followers. The more important result is that I enjoy using Twitter more than I did a year ago. When I finish reading an excellent post, Twitter is the first place I share. What is your favorite way to support your favorite bloggers?
GOAL #8 INCREASE FB TO 400 FOLLOWERS BY JUNE 30 – Done
Somehow, I forgot to set new goals in social media. I made it to 430 by the end of September when I attended a webinar and decided to try Kim Walsh-Phillips’ technique for gaining 10,000 Likes in three days. for about $100. It worked, but again I had some misunderstandings with Facebook and the price of their ads, so I went over and spent approximately $120. I ended the campaign with 14,417 Likes. At any rate, I’m down to 14,388 on October 16, 2017. I’m still adding followers as well, but the net is a loss of about 30 in two weeks.
GOAL #9 INCREASE INSTAGRAM TO 200 BY JUNE 30
It’s fun to post pictures on Instagram which go to Twitter and FB automatically. Instagram went from 221 to 282. I am following 589 up from 517 and have 444 posts up from 362.
GOAL #10 INCREASE GOOGLE+ TO 300 BY JUNE 30
Google + lost a follower and is at 256. Does anyone do well with Google+? Good on ya if you do. That is one goal that I’m dropping.
GOAL #11 INCREASE FOLLOWERS OF TRAVELING & BLOGGING NEAR AND FAR TO 3,000 BY JUNE 30 – DONE
The astounding results on Facebook showed up on both of my blogs. My original WP.com blog is at 17,418. The actual number of visitors has stayed about the same. I try to post about once a week on this blog, and twice a week on Always Write.
GOAL #12 INCREASE FOLLOWERS OF ALWAYS WRITE TO 1,500 BY JUNE 30
Always Write increased to 18,204 thanks to Facebook last quarter. Colleen Cheesbro told me about Bitmoji In September, and I’ve gone a little Bitmoji crazy, but it makes blogging more fun. Not only that, I can picture myself looking like that slim little cartoon sort-of-me. Today I learned how to add wrinkles. They look better on her than on me.
Google Analytic (GA) also measures statistics.
This quarter I ignored GA. So I’m dropping it for the last quarter.
I also set additional somewhat measurable goals for this site in April.
- Fix comment section – “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill unless you want to blog seriously. I charge $125 an hour and use Studio Press. If you change themes, you won’t have that problem.” Mark Brinker. Good to know, Mark.
GOAL #13 TRAIN A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL
I’m going to continue the Virtual Assistant program this year through the Key Club, the Kiwanis high school program.
Always Write’s year of experimenting is almost over. Even though I love blogging, I doubt that I have the heart to make money doing it. On Friday I will share about blogging at Career Day at the high school. When I signed up, I was excited about a career in blogging; now I may be a professional blogging fraud. However, two days ago the counselor for the high school told me that they were considering having all students blog their final portfolio instead of collecting their important academic work in a binder. WOW! Sometimes I think I may have made a tiny an impact in my community.
Last quarter I did one successful podcast and one flop. I made friends with many influencers in the blogging and writing industries which encouraged and discouraged me. Also last quarter, I wrote one guest post for Sally Cronin and one for Colleen Cheesbro.
My copywriting and marketing skills have improved, but it takes a lot longer to write a post than it did a year ago. That said, I’ve loved guest posting, and I want to do more of that this year.
Canva makes my creative juices flow, and I love creating flyers, brochures, and illustrations for posts. This year I’ve hardly used my camera, but rely on my iPhone, which is much easier to carry and works well for blogging.
I’ve started doing newsletters for my church and Woodlake Botanical Garden. Two weeks ago the mayor approached me and complained that I hadn’t been writing about the positive things the city had done for the Garden.
Wow! He may not like them, but the mayor of Woodlake reads my newsletters! That’s not a colossal brag. Woodlake is a small town. But it’s my town, and I’m thrilled to have influence.
All in all, it’s been a great quarter. How has yours been? Attach links to your assessments in the comment section. Or just leave me a message. Tell me how you’re doing.