2017 is drawing to a close, and I’m starting to see a lot of people post “year in review” posts on their blogs. I like reading them because I find them interesting. After all, we’re all kind of on this blogging journey together. So, I thought it would be cool if I came up with my own “year in review” post. And this is it. 2017 was a big year for this blog, because it was the year this blog began. I actually started this in the middle of October 2017 because I wanted an online outlet for promoting the many direct sales businesses I’m a member of. However, this blog quickly became much more than that. Now it’s dedicated to all things health and wellness, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m making it more about helping others, rather than just helping myself. And that’s (I’ve found) one of the best ways to find true happiness in this life. In the 10 or so weeks that this blog has been in existence, I’ve written 26 posts (including this one). Here’s a list of my 10 most popular ones: 5 Tips for Eating Clean 5 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System Stop Sabotaging Your Health! Why I Joined Norwex 3 Must-Have Productivity Tools Put a Little Mud (Mask) on Your Face Increase Your Happiness by Reaching Out to Others Must-Have Gifts for People Who Love Essential Oils Seven Ways to Beat Anxiety Naturally 4 Reasons You Might Want to Stop Drinking Alcohol … At Least for a Little While
LESSONS LEARNED IN 2017
- Don’t ignore StumbleUpon if you want steady, targeted traffic. In addition to my discovery that I needed to make this blog less about me and my search for online income, something else big happened in 2017. I learned the power of StumbleUpon. I started really buckling down and using it the right way (stumbling 10 of other people’s posts for every one of my own), and I saw a crazy surge in traffic. In fact, it is now my #1 source of traffic. Lesson learned.
Here’s what my traffic stats looked like in 2017
- October: 698 hits (367 unique)
- November: 4173 (1004 unique)
- December: 16,118 (5,798 unique)
Can you guess when I started upping my StumbleUpon strategy? Yeah, it was December. 2. You can’t (and shouldn’t) go it alone. I never really wanted to blog alone. Part of the reason for starting a blog is so you can connect with other people, but when you connect with other bloggers and help them develop their blogs while they help you develop yours … that’s something like magic. I joined ViralContentBee and started dedicating at least part of my blogging time to promoting the blog posts of others. In return, the others on the site promote my blog posts. Social sharing is critical when it comes to getting people to see your blog, and social social sharing is a win-win for everyone involved. I also joined a Facebook group for women bloggers (sorry, men!) that is really active and awesome. There are daily threads where you can post your blogs and/or social media accounts. You share other people’s, and they share yours. Again, it’s a win-win. Finally, toward the end of this month I joined what is probably going to be the single biggest deal for my blog going into 2018, the Wealthy Affiliates community and training program. For just $49 a month ($19 for the first month), you get access to what is basically an affiliate marketing university. It’s awesome. Oh, you also get unlimited access to the equally awesome Jaaxy keyword research tool. That totally makes it worth it to me. If you’ve never tried this keyword tool, you can try it out for free (up to 30 searches per month). But if you’re anything like me you’re going to want to opt in to the paid program because keyword searching becomes so addictive after a while. 3. You can make money, but you can’t make millions overnight. No matter what anyone tells you or what you may want to believe, you cannot make millions of dollars overnight with a blog. At least, you can’t do it without getting your site penalized for black hat tactics. I decided a long time ago that that was not the way I wanted to blog, and I’m sticking to it. My ultimate goal is to make $1000 per month with this blog, although I’d be over the moon thrilled if I got up to $5000 per month. I think I could quit my day job then. For now, my blog income is looking pretty pathetic. I wrote one ebook, one paperback journal, and one freebie checklist (all of these can be attained for free by signing up to my email list. I posted the ebook and the journal for sale on Amazon, and I’ve made a little bit of money selling those. In fact, I’ve had more luck selling the books than I have gaining email subscribers by giving the books away. In the three months I’ve been blogging, I’ve gained two email subscribers (and lost one – when I sent a “Happy Thanksgiving” email, go figure!). So, now I have all of 24. Building my email list is something I’m going to focus more on in 2018, for sure. Here’s a breakdown of my blog income for 2017 (don’t laugh; please don’t laugh! Everybody has to start somewhere, right?):
- October: $0 – Yep, that’s right. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
- November: $2 (ebook and journal sales)
- December: $7.67 (ebook sales and Amazon affiliate sales)
As you can see, I am pretty far from reaching my goal, but my income is steadily increasing. And, as I plan to release my first Thinkific course some time during January 2018, I’m expecting my income to increase even more. I don’t think my goal is as far off as it seems, although I know I’ve still got a lot of work to do to get there.
Blogging goals for 2018
- Learn how to increase email subscribers and do it.
- Finish Thinkific course and start promoting that through the blog (and the blog through the course).
2017 has been a year filled with blogging success for me. There have been a few setbacks and some disappointments, but overall I’m choosing to focus on all the progress I’ve made in these last few months of 2017. What blogging successes and/or failures have you had in 2017? What are your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments!