It’s been just over three months since I started blogging here at The Million Dollar Mama. I have blogged before (years ago I was a pretty big Tumblr fan) but it wasn’t until a few months after giving birth to my son that I decided to start blogging seriously. (To clarify – when I say “blogging seriously”, I mean blogging as a job, not just throwing up some random post whenever I feel like it. When it comes to other aspects of my life, anyone who knows me well knows that I’m rarely serious 😉 )
Three months is certainly not a long time in the blogging world. Most blogs don’t make it past the 6-month mark, but don’t worry – I’m not goin’ anywhere! I have big plans and goals for The Million Dollar Mama, and while I don’t know every single thing there is to know about blogging (I don’t think anyone does, to be honest!) I’m going to share some of the lessons I’ve learned in the past three months.
Lessons I’ve Learned In Three Months Of Blogging
It’s really important to have a decent amount of great content on your blog before you start promoting it – you want people to have a reason to stick around. The only way you’re going to build up a cache of great content is by posting regularly. Try to find your happy medium – you don’t want the quality of your content to suffer because you’re trying to publish a new post every day, but you do want to regularly update your blog with new content.
All I Do is Pin, Pin, Pin No Matter What!
One of the first blogging courses I enrolled in was Melyssa Griffin’s Pinfinite Growth course (I lovingly refer to myself as a course junkie) and one of the biggest things I learned was you need to pin, pin, pin to win, win, win. The course is actually WAY more in-depth than that, but learning how to properly use Pinterest is a HUGE part of any successful blogging strategy.
Sharing is Caring
It sounds cliche (because it is) but it’s also true. One of my favorite things about blogging is the community – almost everyone I’ve interacted with in the blogging world has been friendly, helpful, and more than willing to give ideas and advice. Rosemarie from The Busy Budgeter, David from Young Adult Money, and Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, are 3 of the nicest, most supportive, talented people I’ve come across – make sure you go check out their great blogs!
Besides sharing advice and tips, it’s also important to share great content you find from other blogs, instead of just constantly promoting your own posts. I try to regularly pin, share on Facebook, and tweet great posts by other bloggers.
There’s So Much To Learn, But There’s a Lot of Noise
Blogging is just like any other profession – there’s a lot to learn before you can truly call yourself a pro. But the problem is, there are so.many.courses. and so.much.information floating around on the interwebs. I can see how people get overwhelmed and end up just throwing in the towel. To avoid information overload, I recommend focusing on a few courses.
1. A course that will teach you how to properly use Pinterest for maximum results. Melyssa Griffin’s “Pinfinite Growth” course is the one I chose, but there are a lot out there. I personally enjoyed the course and Melyssa’s style of teaching.
2. If you’re planning to monetize your blog at any point, then you should consider taking Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.” If there’s anyone who knows about Affiliate Marketing, it’s Michelle. I mean, come on – she makes over $100k a month from her RV! (This course also includes the Pinterest strategy used by Rosemarie from Busy Budgeter. I love Rosemarie and look up to her a lot, so knowing that her Pinterest strategy was included in the course was a huge selling point for me.)
3. Three words – Elite Blog Academy. Elite Blog Academy is run by Ruth Soukup from Living Well, Spending Less – one of the most popular blogs on the entire web. Ruth turned Living Well, Spending Less into a SEVEN figure business, and in Elite Blog Academy, she shares the exact steps she took to get there. The course isn’t cheap, and it can take a long time to work through, but it’s amazing. It’s also only open for enrollment once a year – the next time will be sometime in February. Click here to get on the waiting list and you’ll get a free copy of “7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight.”
(While you’re waiting for Elite Blog Academy to open, I highly recommend checking out Ruth’s book – How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul.) This is the book that convinced me to enrol in Elite Blog Academy – I thought if Ruth shared so much valuable information in her book, imagine what she would include in a full-length course.
Don’t Try to Be Someone You’re Not
You might read a story of someone who’s making $50k a month from her blog. She’s loud, she’s extroverted, she cusses a lot… And she’s raking in the cash but you’re not. It’s working for her so…
Don’t be tempted to change who you are, or try to be someone you’re not! The reason why it’s working for her is because that’s who she genuinely is. She’s being herself. You need to do the same. Just like in real life, if you try to be someone you’re not, you’ll come across as fake, and people can see straight through that.
People like genuine. People want to see the real you. Whether you’re a quiet introvert, a loud, outgoing extrovert who cusses like a sailor, someone who loves to joke and is rarely serious *raises hand*, a bookworm, a sports-nut, religious, an atheist… Whoever you are, embrace it!
Good Images Are Everything
Ok, good images aren’t everything. You need good content, too. But good images are a HUGE component of a successful blog. There are so many blogs out there with great images which means if your images aren’t stellar, you’re not going to be able to compete. So how do you get great images for your blog? First, you need amazing stock photos. (Here are 30 places to get free, feminine stock photos.) Then, you need to become best friends with PicMonkey – that’s what I use to create all the images you see here on the blog.
And while we’re on the topic of images – a great blog design is equally as important. And you don’t have to be a web designer to get your blog looking pretty – there are plenty of pre-made themes you can purchase (and then tweak, with a bit of CSS.) I purchased the Glam theme from Restored 316 Designs.
If you look at the Glam theme, you’ll see that while the “bones” are the same on my blog, the design looks pretty different. That’s because I tweaked things using CSS. I learned CSS from taking a few courses on Udemy and joining Team Treehouse.
*These are the courses I took on Udemy*
Don’t Give Up
Blogging is so much fun – seriously! I absolutely love blogging – I love writing, I love the chance to be creative, and I love helping people out by sharing the tips and tricks I use to make money, save money, budget, etc. But blogging is hard work, especially if you want to turn your blog into a business. If you start a blog intending to make money right away, you’ll be disappointed. While I have made money from my blog (I’m planning to write a post detailing exactly how I made money in my third month of blogging) it’s definitely not an easy road.
In the beginning, you’ll feel like you’re blogging your heart out and no-one is reading what you’re writing. (And that’s probably true until you learn how to increase your pageviews!) In my first month of blogging I received 1263 pageviews – that’s about 40 pageviews a day. Not much. But it’s steadily grown from there, and a big part of that is because I haven’t given up.
I read a great quote recently from Grant Cardone. He was talking about building a million dollar business and how you’re not going to know the exact steps you need to take but that “you need to commit first, and then figure out how to achieve your dreams later.” Blogging is just like any other business, you need to be 100% committed. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Cliche? Maybe. But I think it’s true.
Most importantly – have fun! I love writing, I love designing images on PicMonkey, I love sharing what I know, and what I’ve learned. If I didn’t find those things fun, I probably would have quit blogging a week after I started (or never started at all.) But I’m having the best time blogging, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!