Middle aged you are thinking – and so was I. There has to be more to life then the regular 9-17 corporate rhythm. Preparing dinner, browsing the web/Netflix/flow-tv/insert your own habit, before turning in for the night.
So one day in early April I found my self setting up my first blog on WordPress.com. Not the .org version as I apparently mixed it up, as I would expect any rookie blogging newbie to do.
Wanted to write about my journey of becoming financially independent and obtaining that possibility of the promised land…early retirement.
Selected the premium plan on WordPress.com, as I found that was the cheapest one that will allow the WordsAds program so I could start monetizing my blogging efforts right away. Turns out it cannot do googles AdSense then. Wtf.
My initial strategy was somewhat clear, after initial sign up, familiarizing my self with the WordPress functionality, the app, the themes, the widgets, and so on. First of all, try to write 5-6 decent blog posts with in the subject I had chosen for my blog. I did this over the first 7-10 days. (Mind you though I do have 3 kids and a full time corporate job).
Kept an eye on my traffic count at the same time. First fact you will observe when starting to blog is that no one – absolutely no one in the entire universe of traffic on the World Wide Web will ever find your blog without some sort of marketing scheme. I tried initially to click a couple of other blogs on WordPress, followed them etc etc, but building a decent audience this way seems like the long haul.
My wife had told me about this other app she uses – bloglovin – so signed up for that one as well, spent time familiarizing myself with their app, claiming my blog on their platform, followed a couple of blogs etc…still absolutely no increase in traffic.
Decided to set up a Facebook page with reference to my blog site, and publish all my blog posts to that as well, and setting up the automated WordPress posting to my new Facebook page, for ease of publishing in the future.
Expanded my blogsite with contact formular, and an about page, which I had learned by now is also a must have.
By now, still almost nothing had happened, in terms of significant traffic.
I had initially decided on two things for my blog;
1. That I would not spend any money on marketing/boosting in order to reach an audience.
2. That I would be writing anonymously, given the topic of personal finances.
Nr 2, meant that I could not invite any of my Facebook friends to follow my blog, could not distribute it among my 2k followers in LinkedIn, and could not really share my blog posts in public, or even my closest family. So how do you overcome this barrier as a new wannabe blogger in spe.
My solution was to sign up for closed groups on facebook that had similar topic as the one I wrote about, and trying to select groups around the world where no one would know me. This sort of slacked the requirements around anonymity a bit.
This is right about where things started to change. First sharing on one of my posts in a rather North American group started to drive traffic in. Got up to just under 30 visitors on a single day, roughly a week into my blogging career.
So quick update on the blog advertising strategy basically meant to scout some good closed groups covering my blog theme, to share my posts in. Did this continually with my now accumulated back log of posts, and trying to only share relevant posts in relevant groups. This worked rather well for me, and over Easter and subsequent week drove traffic up to around an average of around 80 daily visitors with around 100-120 daily views.
Still kept learning; so signed up to the Google Search Console to verify my site with google, even though WordPress claims they will take care of all this for you. I just have a suspicion that waiting for googles web-crawler to actually find and index your site might take a good amount of time, and also the search console enables additional insights into your search engine traffic. Not that there was much of that at this point in time with a completely new blog site.
Initial thinking was to wait approx 3 months before signing up to amazon’s affiliate program. The thing with the affiliate program is that you have to make 3 referrals that result in a sale, so there seems to be a slight optimization problem in the – how much traffic do you need to have before entering the program in order to actually also produce 3 sales over the 180 day period. Upbeat by my initial success, I decided that I could not afford to forego the 50 daily visitors and the chance of referring them to amazon. So around April 22nd I signed up for the referral program. Coupled this with the drafting of a blog post 100% dedicated to trying to drive traffic to amazon, and filling affiliate links into some of my (now old) blog posts.
A this point I was also thinking about setting up an Instagram profile in order to potentially drive traffic. After reading various blog posts for and against this, I decided that at this point it would not be worth the effort. (Lots of primo and cons describing this if you just google it.).
It took a couple of days of watching blog traffic, and initial amazon clicks, before eventually – Heureka;
First order, shipment and resulting earning for the Minimal5 blog post. Thank you to the person that needed a 12$ salt and pepper set, who ever you are and where ever you are.
With this major milestone reached I decided to try to increase traffic even more, and as I had learned previously when researching into google search optimization, that it would also be good to have a Pinterest account, board, and verified site I decided to pursue this endeavor. So upgrading my old Pinterest account to a business account, trying to research goods strategies and tactics in Pinterest to increase traffic, visitors and views.
It goes something like pin, re-pin, pin on public board, comment, follow – BAM 💥 Pinterest Jail. – WTF…cannot log on to account – mail from Pinterest – we have temporally closed you account due to potential spam. So as of now, I am apparently in Pinterest jail, and trying to get my account opened up again. Good thing that I had absolutely no traffic from Pinterest when this happened. But still a bit of a setback.
So currently for almost a month of blogging the results are in, 1.110 visitors, 1.700 page views, 16 followers, 56 likes, 0.7$ of ads earning and 0.60$ of affiliate earnings.
Ps. Please follow, like and share my blog posts at http://www.minimal5.com or on Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/Minimal5.copenhagen/?ref=bookmarks
That would really be helpful, as I am trying to write this blog anonymously. Thank you 🙏.