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There are many lessons learned after just one year blogging. It's the period where you make the most mistakes but also learn the most. Check out my insights

 

 

One Year Blogging Anniversary

Yay!  It’s my blog’s birthday today!!  Frugal Nesting is one year old today!  No…as much as I would love to do a fun little photo shoot with a smash cake, I will settle for a celebratory cocktail and dinner out with the fam!  Here’s to one year blogging!

 

I cannot believe that I’ve made it a full year into this extraordinary journey!  One of the things that this process has taught me is how important introspection is for centering yourself & creativity.

 

So I took some time today to sit and think about this past year and reflect on everything that has happened in my life.  And the overriding theme that really stands out is LEARNING {and growth} but mainly learning.

 

I always knew that I would be a lifetime learner because I love, love, loved college {and actually work at one now}!  I become easily obsessed with new topics and am in a constant state of seeking.  Nothing ever feels quite “good enough”.

 

That helps me in some areas, but can also be a weakness.  Regardless, this past year has been FULL of learning.  And I have loved every minute of it!

 

And today I want to help you learn…from my experience that is!  Below you will find some of the wisdom I have gleaned from my first year as a blogger.  You will find some processes, some wins, some fails & grand plans for the future!  So dig in to hear how it all went during my one year blogging so far!

 

 

Base Tribe \\

The first step I took as a brand new blogger was to build a base tribe as a sort of foundation or jumping off point.  My thought behind this was that I needed someone to share my content with.  I mean we do want people to engage with our content, right?  If not we would just write a pretty bullet journal for our eyes alone!  So I didn’t want to write a bunch of content just to hear crickets…no fun at all!

 

So I decided to focus on the logical…social media.  My initial goal was to build my social following to at least 1K followers per social media platform.  But where to start?

 

I did some research and determined that Twitter would be the “easiest” to build.  [I will post about my strategies for each individual platform later.]  From there I moved on to Pinterest, then Instagram and finally Facebook.

 

As of today, I have 1,984 followers on Twitter, 3,626 on Pinterest, 1,116 on Instagram and 853 on Facebook.  I’m still growing Facebook and really should be over 1K by now, but I’ve slacked off on my growth strategy due to various other things going on that stole my attention.  I do expect to be over 1K within two weeks though.  So, overall, I feel pretty good about the base tribe I’ve built over one year blogging!  I highly recommend this strategy if you are just starting out with your blog!

 

It Takes a Village \\

My next action step was to identify where the other bloggers hang out.  I wanted to find two very different communities.  First, I wanted to figure out where the successful bloggers were so I could rub elbows and hopefully, some of that positive bloggy juju would rub off on me!

 

And I also wanted to find a community of bloggers who were at the same place as me so we could grow together and share the trials & tribulations that are an inherent part of blogging.  What I figured out, after doing my research, was that Facebook groups were the holy grail for both!

 

I am currently a part of at least 30 different groups related to blogging.  Some are general online business groups, some are for mommy bloggers, some are specific to growing a certain social media channel, and my favorites are from two of the courses I’ve enrolled in. [I will post a list of great FB groups later.]

 

What I’ve found is that these groups are incredibly valuable for navigating your way in a completely unknown world.  It’s like having a blindfold on and having someone walk you through the darkness.

 

Anytime I have a question, a problem, need advice or help to choose between one option or another, all I have to do is post to one of my groups.  And within moments I get insight from tons of knowledgeable folks who’ve been there-done that!

 

I’ve connected with big name bloggers and forged friendships that I would have never had the opportunity for without blogging!  I would honestly be lost without my FB groups!

 

Related Reading

15 Minute Quick Start Guide to Create a Mommy Blog

How it Feels to Make a Living with Affiliate Marketing: An Interview with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

 

Doing It Well

Foundations \\

As I mentioned at the beginning, the thing that stands out most to me is the learning that I’ve done over the past year.  Some of that learning has been through direct interactions in my FB groups and on social media.  Some of the learning has been through honest to goodness research.

 

But some of the most valuable insights have come from a few very specific online resources that have truly propelled me forward to where I am today.  My philosophy is that if you’re going to do it, do it well.  And who better to learn from than the experts with demonstrated success!

 

There are two foundational resources that I only recently got my hands on and I so desperately wish I had found them when I first embarked on this journey.  The first one is an e-book called Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook by Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog.

 

If I could recommend any single first purchase for a new blogger, this would be it!  I say this because Abby truly starts from the very first step and walks you through all of the most important things that you must do to build your blog from the ground up.

 

I also adore Abby’s style of writing…she’s super down to earth and very relatable.  This is my favorite option for anyone who is looking for a big picture view with easy to implement action steps!

 

If you are looking for something similar, but more in-depth and guided then you need to get on the waitlist for Elite Blog Academy by Ruth Soukup of Living Well, Spending Less.  I am thrilled beyond words to be a part of this current class of Elite Blog Academy [EBA 3.0 to be exact]!

 

I actually heard about this right around the time that I started my blog last year, but it’s only open for enrollment once a year for like a week.  And I had just missed the window! Pooh!  Anyway, I immediately went on the waitlist and later signed up as soon as I got the notification email that enrollment had begun.

 

I’m still working my way through this amazing course and cannot say enough good things about it! {PS: This is also why you may have noticed some areas of my blog are under construction as I fine tune the structure}!  By the way, if you are on the waitlist & anxious for it to open, I really do recommend that you purchase Abby’s book to tide you over!

Growing

Those two are the incredible foundational resources that I am loving right now!  My very favorite resource and the very first one I purchased is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents.

 

Don’t even get my started on how much I love this course!  I got in on the original launch & have been a part of the community since the beginning.  And that is one of my absolute favorite things about this course is the private Facebook Group that you get access to with the course.

 

This has truly been my lifeline over the past one year blogging.  Michelle is an amazing “host” and the group is chalk full of well-known bloggers that I idolize and supportive folks all along the same path.

 

But the course itself has been the catalyst for the success and earnings that have come my way on this journey.  I mean really…the marketing materials say “Learn How Michelle Went From $0 to $50,000 in Affiliate Income”…how can you lose? And as someone “in the know”, I can tell you that she’s now earning over $100,000/MO online.  Seriously.  Let that sink in.

 

So those three resources have been my go-to’s for lighting the path along my journey over just one year blogging.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without them and just love all three so very much!!  I also recommend Traffic Transformation: 21 Strategies I Used To Go From 17k to 400k+ Monthly Pageviews in 10 Months by Lena Gott, Pinteresting Strategies by Carly Hurst and the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit from Ultimate Bundles in case you are looking for other awesome resources!  Let me know what you think if you try any of these!

 

Blog High \\

Some non-bloggy folks can’t quite seem to wrap their heads around the draw of blogging.  What’s the big deal, right?  I mean, how cool could it actually be?

 

I became almost instantly addicted to blogging.  Something about the creative outlet, the potential, the community, and that ever-present opportunity to learn something new just grabbed ahold of me.  One of the coolest things about this community is simply being surrounded by people who are following their passion and moving toward living their dream.  That’s pretty infectious!

 

But what really clinched the deal for me was an experience that I had about 4 months into my blogging journey.  I’d had very slow, but steady growth from May through September.  Until one day everything changed.

 

My very first blog post had suddenly gone viral, completely out of nowhere!  You can read the whole story of how I went from 64 to 4,315 pageviews within 48 hours in The Day My Blog Exploded.  After that, there was no going back.  Blogging just reeled me in!

 

Missed Opportunities \\

In hindsight there were so many things I should have done, but didn’t.  And I would love to feign that it was all in hindsight, but in all honesty, I did know much of it in the moment.

 

I will cut myself some slack because I do work full time, manage a home & family of four, am a full-time MBA student and pump/nurse my 18-month-old to this day.  So I have been a little busy over this one year blogging.  That was always my excuse.  However, I do wish that I had done the following right away:

 

  • Mapped out my blog structure immediately
  • Created a content calendar highlighting seasonal topics
  • Posted consistently at least 1X/month
  • Implemented a proactive email growth strategy including lead magnets
  • Focused more intensely on specific affiliate launches
  • Not slacked off on my Facebook page growth and post promotion
  • And I wish I had tracked my social media stats more consistently over the course of one year blogging

 

Room To Grow \\

As much as I’ve learned and experienced over the past twelve months, it is truly just a drop in the bucket.  I haven’t even begun to reach the full potential of what I know Frugal Nesting can do.  I have big plans to expand to YouTube, to flesh out my email strategy, do online tutorials, go to conferences, and on and on!

 

It’s true that many of my friends were able to quit their day jobs by this point.  And I am definitely NOT there yet after just one year blogging!  I won’t make that jump until I’ve completed all of Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and paid off my mortgage!  I have way too much anxiety to take that leap prematurely!  That being said…yes, Virginia, you can make money blogging!  And every resource I’ve purchased has more than paid for itself…not too shabby!

 

What about you?  Where are you in your blogging journey?  What goals do you plan to achieve before saying goodbye to the 9-to-5?  Tell me in the comments below!

Conclusion

In conclusion, this has just been such a roller coaster of an amazing one year blogging!  I am so thankful and feel truly blessed to have found, what I believe to be, my calling.  And being a part of this blogging community has enriched my life.  In ways I didn’t even know I was missing!

 

I hope you will join me on this next leg of the journey for year #2!  The plan is to make this a tradition to write a birthday/blogiversary post at this time every year.  I can’t wait to see what this next one brings!  The sky’s the limit I hear!

 

Thank you so much for being here.  I know how lucky I am to have you as part of my tribe after one year blogging!

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