Wow – who’d have thought my one year blog anniversary would come around so quickly.
Today’s post is a review of my first year of blogging. It is reflective and like my 6 month blog review, is about setting myself targets for the future.
I can’t believe it, but I have survived a whole year of blogging. The one year blog anniversary of Budgeting is a Challenge was on the 2nd June! So I’m here today to offer an honest reflection of where I am at, so you can get an idea of the highs and lows of blogging as a potential side hustle.
This post contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, but rest assured, I only promote products I believe in and trust.
Successes so Far
Setting up My Blog
Firstly, I wanted a certain look to my blog – this I feel I achieved in the first month. Being a clearly branded website has helped my blog, when I have asked to be included into group boards on Pinterest, and when I have applied to write guest posts for other blogs.
1. Increase Page Views – up to 20,000 New Target 3,000 page views per month
So successful blogs rely on page views right? Since Christmas, my figures have been growing steadily. No prizes for massive growth, but growth nevertheless. I have re-evaluated my goal of 20,000 page views a month, to a more realistic figure of 3,000 a month by December.
On my one year blog anniversary, I need to remember that there will be times when traffic will rise and fall. It seems like there is a temporary dip after Christmas, and I will monitor over time, when these peaks and troughs occur.
Blog Views November 2018
Blog Views March 2019
Blog Views April 2019
Blog Views May 2019
To grow this traffic, on of the key things I did was to invest in a product, from someone who really knows a thing or two about blogging.
Ana over at thesheapproach.com has a couple of ebooks I purchased to get me going on the road to increasing my blog traffic.
One of them is Boosting Your Blog Traffic. She gives a simple, no nonsense explanation of things you can action today. As a beginner, I had no idea where to start to bring in any traffic at all. Ana helped me get a basic understanding of Pinterest and other platforms and how they could help me grow.
Making Pinterest Possible is the next ebook I bought from her, and this refined how I use Pinterest. Now, the majority of my traffic comes directly as a result of implementing the things Ana taught me – it has taught me things about Pinterest that only someone with years of experience would know.
With my voucher code, TSA5OFF you can get $5 off the price.
2. Take a course in affiliate marketing to fully understand how it works.
This target I have smashed, and enjoyed doing so. In order to meet this, I saved and bought Michelle Schroeder’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. It’s not the cheapest course around, but there were so many amazing reviews around for it, that I took the plunge.
Michelle is so clear in her teaching, and I’ve been going back and editing my top posts to reflect her successful approach to affiliate marketing. She breaks it down into manageable tasks, which is great if you’re a beginner and when you work full time – you can do 10 minutes here and there.
3. Make $500 dollars in affiliate marketing
Making real numbers from my blog is still a target to achieve. I feel I need to produce more related valuable content and this will happen over time. So I am extending this target to December.
So far I have made the grand total of £2.66 on Google ADsense! I’m going to retire straight away – haha!
4. Produce online content – budgeting course
Omg, I can’t believe what in terms of producing online content, I have produced!
- a free budgeting course via email
- a budget binder
- cash envelopes
- ebook – Get Rid of Fleas at Home.
I’m super proud of what I have achieved here – so the next thing I want to do is create an online course on a related topic.
5. DA from 7 to 25
Oops – on the video I talk about a DA of 13 to 19 but I was on a DA of 7 at 6 months in! Woop more progress than thought! Domain authority is how Google measures your site. Read more on Common Blogging Mistakes to find out more about domain authority.
I still can’t believe I have transformed this score so much. If your DA score is higher, you will show up on search results, higher up the list.
One of my proudest moments, was having my first ever guest post published. I honestly never thought it would happen, when I emailed out to the bloggers I had seen. These blogs were so successful, had a domain authority of far higher than my blog and have large audiences. Read my article, featured on the Humble Penny.
My advice, is that this is a great way of building a network with like-minded bloggers, it enabled Google and your audience to regularly see you reporting on your specialist subject.
Therefore this builds confidence and trust in your content. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be featured on this award winning blog. Ken has been awesome – you should check out his content – it is full of brilliant budgeting ideas and ways to get out debt, and build wealth. Have a couple of posts spare if you can, so you can pitch an idea, then send it to the blog, if the subject is agreed. Also, have a professional sounding initial email draft ready to go, so if you see an opportunity, you can take it with both hands and act on it!
My next high point was having a guest post published on Tuppenny’s Fireplace. Tuppenny has been so supportive of my blog right from the beginning, so it was an honour to feature on her highly successful blog.
You can read the post here:
Guest Posts on My Blog
Again, this was very exciting. Tuppenny’s blog secrets were revealed on my blog and Emma from over at Emmadrew.info featured, talking about ways students can make extra money. I still can’t believe these highly successful bloggers have taken the time to be featured on my baby blog!
Read the posts here:
More guest posts from fab bloggers!
Stacey over at kissyourmoney.com
Leap into Vlogging
This was one thing I needed to do – omg I have dived head first in and set up a youtube channel. Every week, my target is to produce a piece of video content that relates to my blog post or posts for the week.
Here is my linked video:
Organising my Time When Blogging
I’ve refined this recently with Coshedule – it is saving me so much time, and I can publish related campaigns direct to social media, because everything is linked together. Find out more about Coshedule.
If you need some ideas about how to be more productive, read the posts below:
Lows so Far
The only lows I’ve experienced over the last 6 months, I would say are:
- things like – ‘Will I start to make passive income soon?’
- Am I helping my audience enough?
- balancing my homelife, a full time job and blogging.
All these things are pretty normal to feel, and I have regularly got great support from my fellow bloggers, in the various Facebook groups I am part of. That has really made a difference!
My ongoing challenge will be to properly monetise my blog, so it is producing passive income. This is my challenging plan – aghh!!
- Increasing my blog traffic to(DEC) 3,000 page views + / JUNE 2020 10,000 page views +
- Learning how to use affiliate marketing – ongoing
- Make $500 of affiliate sales – DEC 2019
- Learning how to drive traffic to my blog using Twitter, Instagram and other social media – Use Coschedule
Other Blog Targets
By December 2019
3 more guest posts on successful money blogs2 more guest posts either on my blog or others
- 5 more interview posts in my ‘Successful Bloggers’ series 3 to complete
- Domain authority up from 7 to 25 – DA 19 (JUN 2019) Try for DA 30
Keep growing social media:
- Pinterest followers
110431 up to 2000 – follow me here
- Instagram followers from
66144 to 1000 – follow me here
- Facebook likes :
812 to 1000 – follow me here
For the next six months my dreams would be:
- To produce online content such as a
free ecourse, about budgeting.Online Course using Teachable Expand my range of budgeting help resourcesDebt trackers, savings challenges
- Get enough page views to start monetizing the blog with Mediavine (you need 25,000 sessions, not just page views a months to be considered for these ads)
Back to You
This is where your views are very important. What is it about my content that you find so useful? What would you like to see more of? Feel free to leave comments, email or get in touch via social media, to let me know. My mission is that this blog is useful for everyone out there, whether it be your blogging journey or your journey into budgeting and financial independence.
If you found my review useful, here’s some related posts for you, on blogging:
For the resources I use when blogging:
In depth tutorials
As you can see, although sometimes it has been tough, my journey to my one year blog anniversary so far has been amazing and successful in some ways.
I might not have built my blog traffic as high as some people say they have, but I bring you my reality. That juggling a 60 hour job and this is possible. You can achieve blog growth over time – it just needs consistency.
If I could sum this journey up so far, it would be – consistency and balance lead to success over time. I am so excited for the next year!