Blogging Behind The Scenes: April Progress Report

Posted in Blogging Resources {For Mommypreneurs}
on May 5, 2017
Get a sneak peek at what it takes to run a blog...

Is it just me, or is it hard to believe that May is here already?  Where is 2017 going?  Good grief!

Every month I sit down with my Erin Condren Life Planner {AKA My Baby}, and I plan out my month, set new goals, and decorate the pages with stickers and markers.

I’ve always been a goal setter, but hardly ever a completer of those goals.  So, in an effort to do a better job at living intentionally and setting and reaching achievements, I am going to document my successes {maybe even some failures} and goals for each month.

Some bloggers call these “Income Reports” which I really enjoy reading.  It gives me a front row seat into their lives and how they run their blogs and earn money.  And, those posts also help me as a new blogger know where to focus my time and energy.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to call these posts “Income Reports”, but for now I’ll refer to them as “Progress Reports” since I’m still working toward making “the mulah”!  🙂

Here’s a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at how I started and maintain my website, and what goals I’ve set for the coming month…

Get a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at how I started and maintain my blog.... 

April Successes On The Blog

I’ve been blogging now for 10 months….10 MONTHS!!  Where has the time gone?

I decided to start my blog, only 10 short months ago, to share my story.  I wanted to encourage and empower other women going through infertility, miscarriage, and loss.  Sometimes, our journey to motherhood takes a bit longer that we’d planned, so I wanted to share my extra long journey with the world in hopes of being a helpful and supportive voice.

As the months have gone on, my blog has slowly evolved into a much larger “project” than I could have ever imagined.

Now, I enjoy writing not only about my spiritual and emotional journey to start a family, but also DIY Pinterest Projects, Travel, our Bucket Lists & Adventures, Blogging, & more with a sprinkle of inspiration and faith.  It’s kind of taken on a life of it’s own.

This month I hit a lull in my writing and creativity.  I had a million things to write about, and another thousand projects to complete.  But, I had lost my “gusto”, and felt incredibly uninspired.

I took a week off in mid-April to read, learn, & connect with other bloggers.  It was the best thing I could’ve done for my blog and my spirit.

Can I suggest to you, dear friend, if you have been inspired to share you story but find yourself feeling frustrated and unsure of what to do next, take a moment {or maybe even a week} to breathe and reconnect.

I needed that time to reconnect with the purpose and the plan for my blog.

After my quick but necessary break, I wrote “A Message To Mommy’s At Heart This Mother’s Day”, an open letter of grace to those women who also long for little ones this Mother’s Day and every day.

That single blog post, led to so many more opportunities for me and Lattes, Lilacs, & Lullabies. It always seems to be the posts that I second-guess before posting, that really strike a chord with readers.

Here’s what came of that one blog post….

1. Nominated for the Liebster Award– The Liebster award is an award given by bloggers to new bloggers.  You can read about my Liebster Award Acceptance & Nominations here.  This was such a great honor.

2. Nominated for the Sunshine Award– Then a day later, I was notified that I’d been nominated for the Sunshine Award by another blogger.  The Sunshine Award is given to bloggers who are inspiring, creative and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and other fellow bloggers.

When I read that, I cried.  How amazing to think that my story could be inspiring and bring a ray of sunshine into other’s lives.  What a humbling and awesome “job” we have as writers.

3. New Record High Pageviews In One Day {303}– My traffic greatly increased after that post, and because of new Facebook groups & new pins on Pinterest.

4. Cultivate Book Launch Team– In the midst of that slump in mid-April, I discovered Lara Casey’s website.  I instantly was inspiring by her spirit and her message.  I saw that she was recruiting other ladies to help with her newest book launch, and took the plunge and applied.

I was shocked when I received the email at the end of April stating that I’d been chosen to be part of the Cultivate Book Launch Team.  I applied on the very last day they are taking applicants, and I doubted that I’d be selected since my blog isn’t a massive operation {…yet!}.

You’ll be hearing more about this incredible book in the coming weeks.  It dives into lies we tell ourself, and tackles them with truth and God’s promises.  It is a book that encourages intentional-living through grace-filled goals.  I can’t wait to share more with you, but for now check out this promotional video….

 Other accomplishments in April include…

5. Adding 8 new Pin-Worthy Posts To The Site– My monthly goal is usually 10+ posts, but since I took a week off it was a lower amount this month, and proved to be absolutely fine.  I’ve been experimenting with making Pinterest-Worthy Images, and typically use PicMonkey.  But, this month, I made my first infographic on Canvas & I love it!

Here are my April Posts & Pin-able Images…

Blogging Basics: 6 Easy Ways To Increase Pageviews This Month

6 Easy Ways to Increase Blog Pageviews....

Life Lately: LegoLand Discovery Center & Johnny Rockets

New Mommy Series: Ultimate List of Baby Gear 2017

20 Must-Have Gifts for Your Baby Registry in this Ultimate List of Baby Gear 2017

A Message To Mommy’s At Heart This Mother’s Day

A Message of Hope for Mommy's At Heart/Infertility/Miscarriage/Infant Loss/Rainbow Baby

Blogging Diaries: Liebster Award Nomination

An award given to bloggers by bloggers.....

Mother’s Day Giveaway With Lemongrass Spa

Products Review & Giveaway

6. Sending my 1st Newsletter- I was so excited to finally send my very first Monthly Newsletter.  I included that month’s most popular posts, as well as a special Spotify Playlist & iPhone/iPad wallpapers.  I’m constantly thinking about how to “pamper” my email subscribers.  I’m currently using Mailchimp, but am thinking about changing over to ConvertKit for my email system.

7. Celebrating My 1st Affiliate Sale– I was shocked to learn during my one week hiatus, that I’d made a whole 32 cents on Amazon from my affiliate program.  I’ve never been more elated over 32 cents.  Making my first affiliate sale was nothing short of pure awesomeness.

8. Hosting a Spa Giveaway with Lemongrass Spa– In April, I partnered with a friend of mine to host a Mother’s Day Spa Giveaway.  It was a lot of fun to try out some of Lemongrass Spa’s amazing products, and then give a lovely at-home pampering kit away to one lucky lady.  Giveaways are always fun to host.  I’m already thinking about what to do for my 1 Year Blog-iversary in June!

9. Updating Some Oldies, But Goodies– I also took the time this month to update some of my older posts with Pin-able Images & better links and such.  I want every post on my site to helpful, informative, and awesome.  So, slowly but surely I’ll be working through old posts and editing them throughout the next few months.

Here Are 2 Posts That Were Updated In April…

When Infertility Steals Your Joy

A Message of Hope & Encouragement for Mommies Still Waiting...

The Ultimate Cookie Jar Recipe Collection

20+ Cookie Recipes for the Baking Enthusiast...

10. Joining 15 New Facebook Groups– I have been talking a lot lately about how important social media is in the growing of your online business.  It has certainly been helpful for mine.  Pinterest has been my main focus, and I began pinning 25-30 pins a day on Tailwind, which spiked my blog views in March dramatically.

So, in April, I decided to focus more on Facebook.  I found 15 Facebook groups for bloggers that were more in my niche…faith-based, mommy bloggers, feminine websites, and so on.  I have seen a lot more traffic coming from Facebook this month than ever before because I reached out to those groups, introduced myself, and began interacting with bloggers similar to myself.

April’s Google Analytics Numbers & Data

Total Pageviews: 3852

Sessions: 2607

Users: 2241

Email Subscribers: 32

Facebook: 509

Instagram: 263

Pinterest: 1469

Twitter: 26

I know that some of these numbers aren’t as impressive as other bloggers, but I’m hoping to share with you an honest reflection of what 10 months of hard work as a blogger could look like.

Most of the beginning of my blogging journey included a lot of learning and setting up my site.  So, not a lot of time was spent promoting.

I suggest Abby Lawson’s Building A Framework as a wonderful resource for bloggers who are just starting out, or for bloggers who’ve been at it a while and need to refocus.  She has built a tremendous website called, Just A Girl And Her Blog.  I refer to her Blogging Handbook often to see where I need to “up the ante” so to speak.

Her Handbook challenges me, and has helped me build this website from a place where only family and friends would visit, to a website that is rapidly growing and reaching many more people.

For a Free Guide from Abby about how to boost your blog traffic, click here!

April’s Budget: Total Revenue

Amazon Affiliates: $1.35 {yay!}

Share-A-Sale: Affiliate Program– $0

Genesis Framework: The backbone of my entire website. Learn more about StudioPress Sites here– $0

Tailwind: My Pinterest Scheduling Mastermind {Grab your affiliate link here}- $0

Fairhaven Health Fertility Products: My favorite nutritional supplements & fertility products.  I personally use the OvaCue Fertility Monitor, and the FertilAid for Women & OvaBoost Fertility Supplements- $0

BlueHost: My website hosting company which basically means that if I ever run into any trouble with my website, BlueHost is there to help.  I own my website name, but BlueHost is behind the scenes making sure everything is running smoothly.  Peace of mind for $3.95/mo!  It’s well worth it!- $0

Building A Framework Blogging Handbook by Abby Lawson: My #1 Recommended Blogging Resource- $0

Grand Total: $1.35 

{I was very excited to make that $1.35!!}

April’s Budget: Blog Expenses

Tailwind- $11.24

PicMonkey- FREE

Canva- FREE

MailChimp- FREE

Spotify- FREE {Trial Period}

So, currently right now, it is only costing me $11.24/month to run the blog.  I paid for my hosting on a 3 year contract, so I don’t pay for that monthly.  I also pay $18 every 3 months to secure a P.O. Box for my business.

Currently, I am using the Free Programs on PicMonkey and Canva to make my Pinterest Images, and using the Free email service through MailChimp.

Here’s my aspirations for this next month…..

Blog Goals For May

1. Post Consistently & Often– Ideally, I would like to post 2-3 times per week.  What I’ve noticed in my analytics, is that if I post every couple of days I get the most consistent traffic to my site.  It gives me new posts to share on social media and new pins for Pinterest.  I would like my posting schedule to be every Tuesday and Thursday and then a bonus post on the weekend when my traffic is the highest.

2. Increase My Tweeting– A little birdie told me {pun intended} that Twitter is a great place to gain new readers and share your blog. However, Twitter feels like reading hieroglyphics to me, so I’m hoping to debunk Twitter this month and figure out a good posting schedule. One blogger I know, suggested to Tweet 5x a day about my posts.  So, I’ll give it a whirl.

3. Join a Tailwind Tribe– I’ve been hearing more and more buzz about Tailwind Tribes.  I’m hoping to upping my Pinterest game with on of these mysterious tribes!

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

4. Update Website– This month I would really like to update my categories, about me page, and sidebar.  Now that I feel a little more focused on what this blog is all about, it’s time to update things a little bit.

5. Write 1st Guest Post– I’ve been asked to share my infertility/miscarriage story on a fellow blog.  I’m super excited about this opportunity, and need to get crack-a-lackin’ on this post.  How exciting!

6. Write 1st Sponsored Post– I’ve also been approached by a company to review some fertility products in a post….for $$$$!!  Like, actual green crisp dollar[s]!!  Yes, plural dollars!  So, hopefully my progress/income report will look much more impressive next month!

7. Take An Instagram Class- more on this later 🙂

8. Figure Out Google+- Once again, this is a mystery to me also.

9. Promote 2-3 Pins– Now to just decide which ones.  I’ve heard that promoting a couple of pins every month really boosts traffic.  I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes!

10. Create A Resource Library– My goal is to have a password sensitive Resource Library for my email subscribers filled with guides, printable handbooks, printable quotes & verses featuring my watercolor floral logo, and more.  So, stay tuned!

11. Apply To More Affiliates– I’ve already sent in an application to Linqia, and would also like to apply to a few others to get more sponsored post opportunities.  What affiliates do you like most?  I’m always looking for good ideas!

12. Explore Google Adsense– I’m not convinced yet that I’d make a tremendous amount of money from adding ads to my site, but a lot of bloggers do.  So, I’m hoping to explore this revenue option this month.  If you have any opinions on the matter, please leave them for me in the comments.  Thanks. 🙂

13. Update 5 More Old Posts– I’ve already got my list going of what old posts I need to update before the summer.  I can’t wait to doctor the photos and add more links and so on.  I’ll share these with you next Progress Report as well.

14. Let’s Talk Numbers– Here’s what I’d like to accomplish number-wise in May…

Total Pageviews: 5000 {would like to average around 200 visitors each day}

Sessions: 3000

Users: 3000

Email Subscribers: 100

Facebook: 600

Instagram: 300

Pinterest: 1600

Twitter: 50

$$$- $200

Well, I think that’s a hefty amount of goals for the blog this month, don’t you?  I better get started!

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own blog, first things first, you’ll need a self-hosted WordPress Blog.

The term “self-hosted” is a little tricky, because it really means that you pay for your website name typically through a hosting company, like BlueHost.  You then own your blog, and your hosting company manages the behind the scenes business that bloggers don’t want to worry about.

I’ve loved working with BlueHost, and for a small fee of $3.95/month {I paid for 3 years up front}, I have peace of mind knowing that my website will run smoothly.  Their step-by-step instructions took this fearful, non-techy gal & made her into a website creating machine.  Ok…maybe I shouldn’t say that. 🙂 But, there’s no way that I could’ve set up my website without BlueHost.

Type your dream blog name below to see if it’s still available for purchase.  Go ahead and get started on this dream…

What goals have you set for you blog this month?  What successes are you proud of last month?  Please share how your blogging journey is going with us in the comments.  And, if you have any questions about blogging, please feel free to ask.

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  • Reply Harmony, Momma To Go

    CONGRats on your affiliate sale! So I’m a month or two behind you! Love reading these types of posts! Congrats on a really good April

    May 7, 2017 at 7:10 am
  • Reply Carrie A Ostergard

    Love this idea. I also nominated you for the Liebster award. Your blog is amazing!!! And only 10 months well you are rockin this 🙂

    May 7, 2017 at 10:19 am
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