After my first full month with this blog, it’s time for an update.
In April, I decided my main goal was to try to create content so any visitors who eventually found the site would have some posts to read. I stated in my initial blogging update that I hoped to get 10 posts written, and I ended up with 11 for the month, so I can check that box.
In terms of traffic, WordPress tells me that I had 29 visitors who tallied 107 page views. Going into April, I had no idea what to expect so I simply picked 100 page views as my goal. That ended up being pretty accurate, but purely coincidental. I only ended up telling a handful of people about my blog towards the end of the month, so I’m not sure where the other visitors came from. I’m hoping that once I’ve had the site going for a few months I’ll get a better feel for what drives visitors so I can leverage that to keep the total climbing.
In terms of social media, I did a very poor job last month. Much of that was by design since I wasn’t looking to attract eyes to the blog until I had laid the foundation with a few posts on different topics. I did, however, tweet for the first time just to get myself on the board. Since I believe my only 5 followers are bots I don’t think that did much in the way of attracting traffic.
What I did accomplish, however, was obtaining approval for Google AdSense, as you can tell. I actually applied before making any posts and got rejected because the site didn’t have enough (any) content. When I tried again late in April, I was approved and placed some ads. As I’ve mentioned, this blog is largely an experiment for me, so I want to see if I can generate any extra income as page views hopefully grow in the future.
Similarly, I implemented my first affiliate link, in a post crediting the book The 4-Hour Workweek with introducing to me the concept of designing your work to meet your lifestyle goals. I think the book is great for high school and college students who are still trying to figure out their career and life paths, and highlighting it as a resource for readers of this blog allowed me to also dip my toes in the world of affiliate marketing. This is important because many of the personal finance bloggers I follow have been able to make a few hundred dollars (or more) per month through affiliate sales once their blog hits a certain size.
Goals for May
For this month, I have a few goals to help grow the blog’s reach. First, I aim to publish another 10 posts in order to continue to seed the blog with content for new visitors.
I also want to guest post on another personal finance blog in order to grow the exposure for this blog. I have discussed this already with a blogger that I follow so hopefully I can get that accomplished.
I also would like to establish a recurring column, somewhat in the same vein as the Conference Call Recaps I plan to publish each quarter on a few of the stocks I follow. A weekly piece would be ideal but to this point I have yet to identify a topic that I think readers would be compelled to check in on. Let’s see if I can come up with something soon.
On the social media front I need to start engaging in some conversations on Twitter. This shouldn’t be too hard but I just need to take the plunge. I’ve also been urged to utilize Pinterest, but I need to get a handle on Twitter first and then see what’s next. Pinterest also would require me to add a photo to each post, and while it may be worth it, right now I’m enjoying the clean look of the site.
In terms of traffic, I’m still kind of flying blind here, but I’ll increase my page view goal to 250. I understand that is still very low, but this will only be the second month for the blog. From what I’ve read on other blogs, monthly page views need to get to around 50,000 – 75,000 in order for the AdSense and affiliate links to really start bringing in a few hundred dollars or more. Of course, many bloggers are able to pull in a few freelance writing assignments before their blogs get to that size, which I will also look to do in a few months’ time. But for now, I’m still concentrating on the basics.
I’ll be back at it again in early June to update my progress in May.