The Blog Experiment – Month 1

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This post may contain affiliate marketing links and references.

Welcome back to Get A Side Hustle!

Ok, I have officially had my blog for 1 month now……..and I think I hear the roar of a small crowd as I sit in my chair and pageant wave to all of my new blog friends. I have learned so much in the past month and I am positive that there is so much more for me to learn and share with you.

I look forward to sharing my blog experiment with you. The experiment will be a 12 month experiment and I will write a monthly post about “lessons learned”. I can’t wait to see where I am 12 months from now! 🙂

The Blog Experiment – Lessons learned – Month 1

Oh my gosh… is all I can say! Creating a blog has been both exciting (and stressful) but I have already learned a lot. It is so rewarding to sit down and write about things that could be helpful to others. In addition, I have found writing to be very therapeutic and that has been an added bonus.

I have always enjoyed being able to help other people. What a great way to help others by being able to document my experiences with trying to create a “successful” blog.

You can define success in many ways. I personally would like to grow my blog to a level that would allow me to write full time. I am not even close at this point but I am positive that I have the drive and ambition to make it happen. The awesome thing about success is that you get to determine what defines your success!

Don’t let fear or a lack of confidence keep you from doing great things for yourself and others. It takes a little faith and a lot of effort but you can do it! 

In this post, I will be covering the answers to the following questions below.

  1. How and why did I choose my “niche”.
  2. How and why did I choose my blog platform.
  3. How and why I chose my hosting service.
  4. My domain name.
  5. How and why I setup my first affiliate program.
  6. My site traffic for the first month.
  7. Upcoming improvements.

Alright….well Let’s get started!

My “niche”

  • I initially started my blog to discuss the topic of getting a side hustle, but soon after I started the blog I was faced with the situation of losing my six figure job. I could have chosen to keep this life event to myself but instead I saw it as another opportunity to be able to share my experiences with others.
  • Why? As I have mentioned in my other posts, I firmly believe that “Things happen for a reason”. I have always loved the thrill of having a side hustle. I am passionate about finding ways to make money. It seemed like a great topic for my blog since I can’t shut up about it. And that is how I determined my “niche”. It really is true, pick something you are passionate about and it will all fall into place.

My Blog Platform

  • There are many blog platforms out there to choose from but after countless hours of research…..drum roll please…. I chose WordPress.org.
  • Why? If my ultimate goal is going to be blogging full time, then I will need to be able to monetize my site. WordPress.com is a great site if you plan on blogging for fun or just as a hobby but it should not be your choice if you ever want to make money from your blog. WordPress.org is a self hosted site that allows you the capability to customize your site in order to make money.

My Hosting Service

  • As mentioned above, there are many hosting services to choose from as well. Again, I spent countless hours researching this topic and ultimately decided on BlueHostYou won’t be disappointed.
  • Why? I decided to go with BlueHost because they had a great pricing model and most importantly, they have excellent customer service. They really are your best choice. You will be so happy you chose them.

My Domain Name

  • I decided to order my own domain name instead of using the domain that contained the wordpress name. There are a lot of sites out there to get a domain name, just be sure to read the fine print.
  • Why? Simple answer….it makes your site look more professional and legit. If you plan on monetizing your blog, then I would not skip out on grabbing your own customized domain name.

My Affiliate Programs

  • And this ladies and gentlemen is where you start to monetize your blog! I have signed up for numerous affiliate programs. They are free and very easy to sign up for. You simply go to the website and look for the affiliate link. Follow the instructions to sign up and copy your affiliate link into your post. It is a really simple process.
  • Why? I only work with affiliates that I use and stand behind. You could obviously choose many other affiliates to work with but I would not be able to provide feedback about an affiliate if I don’t use them myself. I am very selective in this process and I can’t wait to see the final financial results at the end of my 12 month experiment. Can’t wait to share the results with you along the way.

My Site Traffic – January 2017

  • This particular subject has me a little irritated (at myself). I didn’t realize that I did not have my SEO option turned on until January 28 (insert loud screaming and pulling my own hair out with frustration). Definitely a rookie mistake!
  • What is SEO – Simply put, it is the ability for the search engines (ie: google, bing, etc.) to “crawl” your site and add it to the search options. AND DID I MENTION THAT MINE WAS OFF!
  • Who knows what my traffic would have looked like if I had the SEO turned on so that the search engines would have indexed my site.
  • Back to the details…. I did ok for my first month but nothing to write home about. I had a total of 123 views my first month. Let’s be clear…..I am not hitting the front page news with these numbers but I am still super duper excited!!! Honestly, I would have been excited with 10 views….after all….it is my first month.

Upcoming Improvements

  • After careful consideration, I have made the decision to move forward with a custom blog designer. This means that I will need to make an investment in my blog (other than my time).
  • Why? I am dedicated to making my blog both professional and user friendly. I already have the designer in mind and I can’t wait to start working with her. She comes highly recommended and I am positive that my investment will pay off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you need to run out and have your blog re-designed after a few months, most people wait until they are making good money from their blog before getting it re-designed.
  • So why wouldn’t I wait too? That is a great question that I am definitely prepared to answer. I have run across numerous successful blogs that continue to say that their blogs really exploded and took off after they started investing in their blogs. Investing meaning, professional site re-design, dedicating 10-20 hours weekly to posting content and ensuring they have creative content. Many of them wished they had made the investment sooner so that they could have achieved the success earlier. I am “in it to win it” with this site so I might as well get busy investing in something I believe in!

I hope that you have found my feedback useful. Tune in next month for the 2nd update in my 12 month blog experiment as well as updates about the re-design of my site.

Until next time my friends, Christie

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