Originally, I was planning on doing a “My Blogging Journey” post at months 3, 6 and 12, but decided where is the fun in that?
Instead, I’ll be sharing as I go along. Let people know what I’m doing, my ideas, plans, goals, milestones and if I’m lucky maybe people will comment with some tips!
First, I should probably start by letting you know this is not my first blog, I’ve had a few others all of which have failed, or I should say, I abandoned before they could succeed.
So what’s different this time? Quite a few things, but I’d say the most important difference is with this blog I can really just blog about my opinions. On all the other blogs I tried to be too matter of fact, to experienced based, an expert in the field, and it just became boring. I’d make maybe $30 in AdSense and give up after 6 months. On this blog I can vent, shoot out my opinions, write self-helps, and that will just never get old.
August 24th, I purchase my domain.
I wanted a domain name that was catchy, not too niched, something that would allow me to blog about anything. I am very opinionated and happen to be reading Common Sense and The Federalist Papers when I came up with the name. While watching the news I said to my self “I’m really fed up with all of this” and so “The Fed Up With This Papers” was born.
For hosting I went with SiteGround and could not be happier. I’ve tried Bluehost and Hostgator in the past, and though they had strengths I’m much happier with SiteGround, and find my site to be fastest through them. They also have the most user friendly backend Dashboard panel I’ve ever come across.
I’m familiar with WordPress and love SiteOrigin for free templates and site builder. Very drag and drop user friendly. By August 29th the overall framework of the website is complete and now it’s just time to start rolling out content and fine tuning.
September 1st, 5 post and 5 pages.
There are a lot of behind the scenes things happening that take up HOURS every day, building pages, categories, researching plugins, tweaking the website layout, etc. I downloaded the Yoast SEO plugin and started optimizing everything. Added Google analytics to the site. Started applying for some basic affiliate programs and applied for Google Adsense.
September 10th, lots happening in 10 days.
While I continue to fine tune the site I’m also researching about backlinks, utilizing social media, and just different tips and tricks.
I started writing an eBook that I’ll eventually look to sell through my self-help section, about how to make money buying at auctions and selling online (what I used to blog about).
Learned about google’s “sandbox” period where I can expect pretty much zero ranking and traffic in the first 3-6 months.
Submitted my sitemap to Google and added a subscription box to the site with Convertful.
It’s also during this week that I learned about HARO (Help A Reporter Out) which is supposed to be a great way to build backlinks. It looks a little hit or miss, but I can definitely see the potential there.
- My Blog goals in first 3 months
I’ve structured my blog around 3 main talking points. Posts, Short Rants, and Self-help. Posts are content heavy, between 2,000-3,000 words. Short Rants are usually 400-1,000 words, and Self Help are at a minimum 2,000 words.
I figure with this structure I can stick to 1 “Short Rant” a day, this is just my random opinion piece about anything happening in the world that grinds my gears. For posts I’m trying to stick to 1 a week minimum, and Self Help I want to do one every other week at a minimum.
My thought here is somewhere in the 3-6 month period when I’m out of the sandbox I’ll have 100+ posts with plenty of content to help me ramp up traffic fast.
September 14th, Google Adsense and Analytics
It's been 2 weeks since I applied to Google Adsense and unfortunately still no update on their end. It says "this could take up to 2 weeks" but I've seen online people waiting for over a month. I'm not all that worried about it at this stage, but in the next 2 months if still nothing I'm going to get a little worried as I'll really be counting on that to help monetize the site.
Traffic is still pretty much non-existent at this stage, to be expected.
September 17th, Adsense approved!
I believe it took about 17 days but my Google Adsense request was approved. I decided to go with automatic placement of ads for now. I removed most from the main page and I don't like the ones that take over the whole screen so I removed those as well. I still have a solid 2 months of being stuck in the sandbox for now, but it's nice to know once traffic starts up I'll have what I need to start making some money on my blog.
September 21st, HARO
Today I submitted one of my blog posts to HARO (Help A Reporter Out). They are looking for someone who has experience in Real Estate investing, and what they would have told their younger self. I did a blog about my experience with real estate and 15 tips to get started. The whole process is super easy. You join, get emails, when something lines up you email the reporter your pitch. This is a great way to drive traffic, build back links and really just come up with fresh outside the box blogging ideas. I don't expect anything to come out of my first submission, but you never know. Now that I have a groove of posting about once a day I really need to build some quality back links or nobody is going to be able to read about my blogging journey. Well, expect for you, because you're clearly reading this right now.
September 23rd, Google Search Console and First Organic Search yay!
I received the following email from Google today "Google systems confirm that on Sep 21, 2020 we started collecting Google Search impressions for your website in Search Console. This means that pages from your website are now appearing in Google search results for some queries." I'm guessing this means my site has the potential to start showing up in search results, which I guess makes sense since according to Google Analytics, I got my first traffic from an organic search.
So 1 month in after buying my domain, with full on SEO work, submitting sitemaps to Google, writing 20 blog posts, fully optimizing all my photos and working on the site every day... I had 1 visitor! If you're starting out you may want to start your own "my blogging journey" because the reality is, this is a lot of up front work with no instant gratification. You have to keep at it, and I find this little ongoing blog post of mine is really helping!
October 1st, Every Day Blog Posts are Hard!
I really thought I could post a blog every day. Turns out that is waaaay harder than I thought. I suppose if you literally have nothing better to do with your time you can sit around writing blogs, but not this guy. I'm still trying to post as frequently as possible especially in the first 3 months. But I'm finding it to be much more difficult than I originally thought. So my advice from this week is, try to post as often as you can. If you can't do every single day, don't be hard on yourself. I missed 2 days of writing and didn't even realize it because I was so busy with life getting in they way.
Ultimately, I don't want this blog to become a new full time job. I want it to get to the point where I can do maybe 2 blog posts a week to keep it active. This is just 1 part of my "Retire early" plan.
October 12th, Vacation made me lazy
My family decided to do a last minute vacation at the Jersey Shore, enjoying the final warm days. It's very difficult to blog in a small beach house with 10 family members making all types of noise, so I decided to just enjoy the time and ignore the blog for a few days. Though I didn't post anything for almost 2 weeks I did realize someone. I'm awesome at saving money. I come from a frugal family and it's something I could easily post about in my self-help section.
Ultimately this blog is going to transition into mostly a self improvement type blog with tips on how to break away from the 9-5 norm, when you're finally "fed up with this". I figure a frugal/diy section could fit in perfectly!
It's funny how when you take a step back you can sometimes find what you're looking for without even realizing you were looking for it.
November 17th, ....I suck at this...
I fell well short of my plan to blog every single day. I started out strong, but I was also out of work when I started this blog. I since started a new job, and in the age of Covid, it requires 100% of your attention. The onboarding process has been awesome, and the training is going surprisingly well considering I haven't met a single co-worker in person, but still, it's a lot.
I'm mad at myself that I wasn't putting out at least one blog post a week. I'm coming up on 3 months already and I'm hoping traffic will grow at some point, I really need to try to keep this blog more active. As I settle into my new role at work (commercial finance sales) I'm hoping I can take a couple breaks during the day and pump out blogs.
I've also decided to get away from politics, especially now that the election is over. My focus needs to be more on being "Fed up" with the day in day out grind. I'm good at side hustles, and saving money, I'm well on my way to an early retirement without being a trust fund baby or software genius. Time to start switching my focus to that.
December 5th,... This is way harder than I thought
Anyone starting a blog probably imagines that even with the littlest bit of work that the traffic will start rolling in. News flash.. it doesn't. Its been a little over 3 months and I next to zero traffic. So, I'm changing the entire website, focusing on new key words and just moving on.
I've been keeping busy outside of the internet word, but need to stay true to the idea that I'm "fed up with this" and looking for my own personal freedom.
December 13th, I'm back baby!
I spent a nice chunk of the day redoing the format of the blog. Getting everything laid out how I want it and adding a couple blog posts I had written over the week. I'm really happy with the new lay out. I know I shouldn't be too focused on the layout this early on, but the better you feel about your blog the more time you'll put into it. I probably ended up putting 20 hours into the blog this week without even realizing it, which feels nice. To my surprise I had a few organic clicks come through this week and have made $0.55 so far woooo! (sarcasm). I have 3 more blog posts ready to go that I plan on putting out over the next couple of days. I think my new strategy is going to be sitting down on an early weekend morning and just start typing. I find it's much easier to sit down and write 2-3 blog posts in one shot then it is to try and consistently write them every week. then I'll just stager the posts.
December 28th, Analytics improving and Pinterest
I'm approaching 4 full months of my blogging journey, I honestly have no idea how bloggers can put out posts "How I made $60,000 my first year of blogging". It seems impossible. With that said, my analytics are starting to turn around. I'm consistently getting daily visitors now. The first few months I'd go a week with maybe 3 visitors all directed from my Instagram posts. Now I am getting a little organic traffic, and it seems someone visits the site every day.
Part of the reason for the improved traffic is jumping on Pinterest. I've never really understood Pinterest, but if you look at it as a visual search engine it starts to make sense. I still think I'm not using it 100% correctly, but my pins are getting some clicks. I've made boards that mirror the topics of my blog and post each pin the the correct board, I think that's pretty much it. As I fill this site up with more content I'll eventually try promoting my pins on pinterest to see what type of traffic it drives. I don't want to promote just any post, I want something I'm really proud of, a cornerstone piece with perfectly placed affiliate links.