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Three days after I launched the blog Get Mom Balanced, I shared my first quote: “Irony: When you launch a blog on balance, and life immediately becomes unbalanced.” (Yes, I wrote that! You can quote me!).
I couldn’t believe how quickly I went from researching, planning, and waiting, to get started to being 100% in it. Though I had been planning and preparing for months, I figured I would have a soft launch in May 2016: I could slowly ease in, take my time getting posts up, and invite a few friends to read. Then in the summer, I would really start promoting.
Well, here’s what actually happened my first month of blogging
I wrote a post about marriage being hard after kids, and secured a guest post for the site about multi-tasking at the park: playing with your kids and fitting in a workout. While these posts didn’t go viral in the true sense of the word, I had 550 page views by the 4th day the site was live. I thought “oh wow- I guess I really need to figure this out now!”
Since I needed to have a better handle on the ins and outs of being a blogger, I turned to social media. I learned that Facebook is filled with AMAZING resources. In the first few days of May, I “liked” a few pages related to blogging, which meant that I was receiving targeted ads for things like free webinars and seeing really great information I just needed to have.
In the next two weeks I had signed up for about 30 opt-ins, attended a dozen live webinars, watched recordings of another six or so, and had become a member of about 20 new Facebook groups. I also attended Teachable’s online Book to Course Summit.
I like to learn. But it may have been a bit much. And, for every free webinar or opt-in, people want to sell you things. I get it- I’ll probably do the same one day. But it’s easy to think that you need to get signed up for one of these courses in order to succeed, as well as be overwhelmed by how much you’re learning and also the realization of how much you don’t know.
Aside from researching and learning, in the actual blogging department, I was aiming for two of my posts a week, one guest post, and one Friday Fave. So in addition to my own posts I was working on securing posts from my network, and also making connections with other potential guest bloggers. I also jumped right into social media marketing and even though my original plan was focus on Facebook and slowly build up Pinterest, I realized I needed to really focus on Pinterest because the potential there is oh-so-amazing.
Oh, I ended up starting on Twitter too. By the third week in I had done a guest post, was approached by a company about a blogging opportunity, and was talking with more people about guest blogging here. As if I wasn’t overwhelmed enough already. I was less than a month in, excited about my progress, and also overwhelmed. I’ll add that at the time I had an almost 4-year-old, a 7-month-old, was working from home, and didn’t have enough child-care for all of the work I was suddenly doing; my oldest was watching way too much TV.
The irony should be very clear by now: my blog is meant to support moms finding balance with everything they juggle. All of a sudden I was juggling more than I had in a long time and though some of it was going well, I definitely needed to take my own advice. My kids felt my stress, my husband felt like I was always working, and I knew I could do better. I realized I needed to practice what I preach in terms of self-care, mom mental skills, organization and balance.
Are you starting a blog? Or still early on?
5 essentials to remember to help you survive your first month of blogging
- Utilize social media resources like Facebook and Pinterest to help you learn, but be selective about how much you consume. I dove in deep and ended up in way to many groups and trying to keep track of too many resources. My favorite ongoing source of information is Melyssa Griffin (http://www.melyssagriffin.com/). She has so much information and cultivated a fantastically supportive group of individuals. Find the few that really speak to you and ignore the others or file them away for later.
- Education and support does not have to be expensive or through one of the many eCourses you’ll be pitched when you watch all of those webinars. It was through Melyssa’s Facebook Group that I connected with a kind, generous and knowledgeable blogger who ultimately became my “Fairy Blogmother” (I gave her that title- she doesn’t call herself that, but I think she may want to re-brand!). I would not have been nearly as productive in my first three weeks had it not been for Krista of Blog Beautifully (blogbeautifully.com). She helped me with the technical aspects of blogging, teaching me so many great pieces of information, helped me prioritize my focus, and cheered me on. She now has a course on WordPress where she covers all of the information she taught me in my early weeks of blogging. This type of support from someone who knows what they’re doing is invaluable. She now offers a couple of courses including one on WordPress and one on Pinterest. (As a side note, I took Pageviews to Paychecks with Chrystie V. in my 3rd month of blogging and found it hugely helpful, and also loved the Twitter Legend course I took).
- Self-care is a must. And, ironically was the topic of the guest post that I did in the first week after I launched! So, I continually need to practice what I preach. I need to step away from the computer sometimes, to take time to relax and reconnect, and to make time to take care of myself. My life, my family, and my blogging will be better because of self-care. I need to use the skills I teach to others such as deep breathing, goal setting strategies and managing my thoughts when they run away with all of the things I feel like I need to do. [bctt tweet=”My life, my family, and my blogging will be better because of self-care. ” username=”GetMomBalanced”]
- Blogging needs balance. I cannot let my blog about balance take over my life. In one month, I realized that can easily happen. I need to make choices about what my priorities are and remember that I am only one month in- I have plenty of time tackle all of the things that are on my “to do” lists (yes, lists, plural). I’m always getting better at this but growing a blog and a business is very exciting and very consuming.
- There is no point of comparison. I’ve tried to figure out if my overall page views are “good” or if my opt-in conversion rate is “high.” Is my Pinterest growth strong enough? How many Facebook likes should I have? Though I’ve tried to figure out the answers so that I understand how I’m doing, I realize that while there are some standards that could be used, each blogger and their journey is unique. We all have our own niche, our own voice, our own methods. That means that all of our stats are going to be different from each other.
The first month of blogging was not at all how I pictured it would be, and I am more than okay with that. I don’t think I would have learned nearly as much if my first month had gone according to my plan. While ironic, it does seem fitting that my blog about balance would throw me into complete unbalance for a while- it forces me to do for myself what I want to do for others.
If you are starting a blog, or are new to the blogging world (or even another small business), take 15-20 minutes to:
- Take the time to reflect on how the most recent month or two of your business.
- What is going well?
- What needs tweaking?
- Pick one of the five ideas above to incorporate into your next month.
- Plan, specifically how you will incorporate or utilize that idea for the next month.
Be sure to check in regularly to see how your plan is progressing and at the end of the month decide if you are ready to shift gears or if you want to continue with your most recent focus.
Bloggers: how was your first month and what has changed since then?
My first month, I mainly wrote just to write…now i’m working on getting my reach farther and taking advantage of blogging tools like twitter and pinterest
Hi Jasmine- social media is definitely a whole focus of it’s own!! I think that’s part of what makes blogging a challenge. Writing to write can be great, but if you’re looking to build your brand and business, there is so much to it and that can become overwhelming!! (PS- keep it up!!)
What a great read and super helpful to me just starting out. I’ve been on a slow start as well – just really got working on things these past couple weeks. I’m still learning so much everyday! You give me hope I can keep the ball rolling for months to come 🙂 Let me know if you have any more advice to share!
Thanks, Megan!! I was a little hesitant to start blogging about blogging 🙂 but I felt like it could be helpful, so I’m glad it was for you! There will definitely be more posts on blogging mixed in with all of the others!! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and chipping away at it- it will happen!!
Thanks for this great post, Sara! I love reading about what is working for other new bloggers! I am super-new, launched this month, but so loving blogging so far! I love how you mention self-care. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in learning and writing and social media and forget to actually take care of ourselves!
Thanks, Heather and congrats on launching! I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started, but I have learned so much in such a short time…both about blogging and how to take care of yourself personally while you dive in! So glad you found this useful 🙂
I really enjoyed your post and can most definitely relate. The writing is what I enjoy most of all, but there are the necessary evils of website design, formatting, setting up social media channels, learning about SEO… The list goes on and the hours can get eaten up with research. But that one great comment/Like/share, well, that makes it worth it, right? ?
Thanks, Amy- yes, it can definitely be a rabbit hole if you let it!! I knew blogging would be a lot of work, but I didn’t realize how much until I actually started!! (And I’m constantly reminded!)
I stumbled on your blog and love it. I am in my second month blogging and havent nearly done what you did in your first month. I really dont know what I’m doing, but slow and steady babysteps is my motto lately…. Point me towards a fairy blogmother! that sounds amazing! lol
I have 4 kids and am a recent stay at home mom, trying to start a blogging business for income. I also love connecting with other bloggers. I needed the self care section for sure.
I laughed when you wrote you signed up for 30 something opt ins and watched webinars… that has been me. so much so I have hardly blogged!! lol trying to learn what I should be doing is actually taking away from doing.
So I should get back to the actual writing part. Thanks for the post!
Hi Kathryn- Welcome to the world of blogging! So glad you found me 🙂 It’s amazing how fun and overwhelming blogging can be! There is so much information out there so try to break your goals into small steps and tackle it all one piece at a time. And try not to compare your progress to others- we all have our own strengths, goals and timelines. Good luck!!
I am in my first month of blogging. I found this post extremely valuable. I have a 3 yr old and an 11-month-old as well as 2 recent pet additions to the family (we got my 3 yr old 2 kitties for her 3rd bday)
My husband feels like I am on the computer 24/7. Which I am. I need to get balanced. I already decided on refocusing my niche just a tad. I’m in the same general niche but I am expanding the “specific” aspects of it. I stumbled across your site a week or two ago and fell in love.
Thanks so much – I’m luvin everything you have to say. Some great tips!!
Great post, I’m a week and a half into my new blog and it’s completely overwhelming trying to implement every strategy and social media platform all at the same time! Time to slow down and take a step back!
Thanks, Brittany! The beginning can definitely get overwhelming. Blogging is like a rabbit hole, so slowing down and taking a step back is a great strategy. Best of luck!