Hitting Your Blogging Goals: 25k in May
For the first month, since I have been blogging, I hit 25K sessions in a month.
My goal was to hit 25k in May, and I hit the sessions last night with plenty of May left to spare.
Update: Since writing this post, the blog has continued to grow and surpassed 250k monthly page views in September of 2018, and in January of 2019 I published my 200th blog post.
A little bit of background: late last year, I hired a company to do some marketing for me, and they said you need a blog. Their argument was compelling and they set up a nice website for me and posted a few fluffy pieces of content. Reviewing the work they were doing, I wasn’t “proud of it’. So I wrote my first blog post, after a million revisions I felt I had something that reflected what made me different. I hung it out on the web and nobody showed up.
So I parked the blog for a few weeks, I didn’t know anything about blogs or social media. So I began studying. I began making connections on social media, I reached out to other bloggers, and I read anything I could get my hands on that could help me.
In February, I was ready and felt I had a plan. I was going to start posting at least once a week. I consider this the official start of my blog, its when I decided I wanted to turn the blog into a side hustle instead of just some cheesy branding effort.
It’s been a steep learning curve. Looking back to February, I realize even then I didn’t have a plan for the blog. All I knew then was I needed to post at least once a week. Luckily an opportunity presented itself, and I was able to get into a blog mentoring group with some amazing bloggers. The group has been supportive and it has really help me focus my efforts on what I need to do to grow my readership.
Special thanks to the blogger ESI. He has given me amazing advice and support.
Keep an eye out for more on how I have been using his system.
What I have Learned About Blogging
The prevailing wisdom is that it takes years to grow a blog to any respectable level. These are highly respected bloggers, and they are not wrong. Posting once a week or twice a week, and hanging the post out there on the internet, hoping Google will shower you with some love, is a slow, arduous process.
I have read multiple places it can take 2 years or more before Google starts to rank your content. It helps, of course, if you are an expert in SEO or write posts specifically to rank in Google. (FYI, I am still learning about that one!)
However, I don’t want to write blog posts for Google. I want to write blog posts for real people and share some of my experience. I told my wife (who has been amazingly supportive of this process), that “I’m going to write the posts I want to write, so I am either going to succeed or fail to do what I want, but I hope I succeed.”
I do not have three years to sit around waiting for Google to find me, if ever, or some editor at some big publication to think I’m cool and link to my blog. I knew the only way to get your blog noticed is to take it to the public directly on Social Media.
How Do You Get Noticed When You’re New
Social Media was the clear solution. However, one problem remained, how do you stand out in a crowded room where everyone is trying to talk over each other? Well, you do it by amplifying your voice, and you do that by networking with other bloggers and helping them reach their goals. So for the last few months, I have been working with fellow bloggers to not only grow my blog but also help them grow theirs.
Note: One tool I have been using is Blog Engage. Blog Engage syndicates your content and shares it on social media and with other bloggers. This has allowed me to expand my social networks and increase my readership. I believe in Blog Engage so much I signed up to be an affiliate, link is in the bottom of this post.
We have experimented and cross-tested several strategies and found out what works and what doesn’t. (I could write volumes and volumes of what doesn’t work.) I formed a networking group and invited some bloggers to join. Some of the bloggers have followed our system and seen great growth. Others either didn’t participate or do not put in the hustle to make it work, and as a result, are not seeing much traffic.
The reality is, if you want to grow a blog, like with any small business, you have to put the work in. There’s no secret. The way to get 25k sessions is to do what you did to get 2.5k sessions ten times. If you are willing to put the work in, then there are some things that will help you grow even faster.
Think about it like working out: if you hit the gym and lift weights, you will grow your muscles. If you eat the right foods and take the right supplements, your muscles might grow faster.
Blog With Us
We have put together a networking group to share ideas and help each other on Social Media. This group isn’t for people who are looking to drop link and not participate. This is for active bloggers that want to work hard and put in the effort to turn their blog in a profitable business. If you are interested in joining our group, contact me here and I will explain the details to you, and we can discuss if you would be a good fit for the group.
I hope that Side Hustle Week has inspired you to consider starting or expanding your own side gig. Whether, it’s running an eBay business like Michelle, blogging like Melissa, or flipping things like Norm, a side hustle can be a great way to earn a little extra money, pay down some debt, or even take your family on a nice vacation. Remember, life is about balance and you have to do what works best for you and your family.