I spent a lot of time planning my blog before I launched it. It wrote articles, threw around names, and researched the designs of other blogs. I considered the type of content I would be interested in, and checked out other blogs that offered similar topics. I wrote enough enough content to post everyday for a week so that once I launched I could always stay a week ahead of myself. Once I was ready I signed up for WordPress premium with my chosen name. I spent a good week designing it and uploaded 4-5 articles to start with. I previewed my blog on my laptop, phone, iPad and my husbands phone. I spent hours troubleshooting how to fix different design elements and reading about how to launch a blog. I made a conscious decision to not tell family and friends about the blog. I really wanted to have complete artistic freedom to write and try this without them knowing. However this meant that I had to get followers from scratch! My articles needed to have headings that made people want to click and read. I needed images, excerpts and subheadings. My early articles are not my greatest but with each article I wrote I got better. It also helped to read other peoples articles and focus on how they formatted them. I’ve chosen not to go back and edit my past articles instead I offer them there for you to see how I’ve grown and learnt along the way.
In the first week of launching I was glued to seeing my views and visitors. To be honest I was pretty stoked with 6 views on the first day considering no-one but me and my husband knew about it. Day 4 was awesome and Day 11 was a low. I quickly understood what people were talking about when they said not to read these stats on a daily basis. Let the blog be, let it live and grow on its own. Come back monthly instead and see which articles got the most hits. Analyse why people liked them, was it the heading? the imagery? was the writing style different? content? that way you can make informed changes to the direction of your blog in the future.
This is a breakdown of the first 3 weeks of my blog, as you can see it fluctuated greatly. I found a huge correlation between my Pinterest ads and views specifically 2-3 days after the ad was launched. I also found that people would like my articles without viewing them because of the tags I used so make sure you utilise this feature.
My goal for the next month is to get over 50 views a day.
I wanted my blog to look really unique. I’d seen a few mum blogs and all of their pictures on Instagram and Pinterest looked really similar. Plus I’m just not great at photography so illustrations was a great solution. I decided I would use illustrations all in the same style on my blog. The day before I launched my blog I hired an illustrator on Fiverr.com. I initially sent the concepts of the illustrations I wanted to three illustrators on fiver for quotes. One illustrator seemed to grasp what I wanted more so I paid for one illustration $5 as a trial. Luckily I loved it and had him design two more for me. About a week after launching after I was really happy with my decision to start a blog so I hired the same illustrator to design a logo for me. I sent him images of logos I liked and we discussed colours. He was fantastic and happy to make alterations. Once I had the logo I uploaded it to my Blog, Instagram and Pinterest profiles and posts. Its really important for getting your name out there. A week later I ordered 4 more illustrations. I wanted to make sure I had them ready for my Christmas articles and to maintain the style of my blog. All up I spent just under $100. I really saw this as an investment in my blog. It’s a long game and I intend to try it for an entire year, posting everyday on my Blog, Instagram and Pinterest.
I love Canva templates. I recommend scanning their homepage to see the latest trending designs and picking from their in the beginning. I use Canva to create Pinterest Pins linked to my articles and Instagram Posts of quotes and article links. I like to design a few in the same style just changing up the colour and save them so they’re ready to go in advance. If I can I include my logo on them too to raise awareness of my brand. Canva uses the same free imagery as WordPress Premium so it’s really simple to use the same pictures on you Blog Posts and Social posts. You can also do a 30 day free trial of Canva-Premium which gives you access to extra templates and images. This is awesome if you’re working in advance because you can design them and download them before your free trial ends.
My first Pinterest add ran for 3 days costing me $1.45. I started the add on Day 2 of my blog and you can really see how it increased my daily views by Day 4. In the early days I would put a maximum daily spend of 0.50c and just slowly built up my followers on Pinterest which in turn increased my views on the blog. Although Pinterest seems to be giving my blog hits I haven’t quite cracked how to get more Pinterest followers.
After a week of having a blog I set up a Instagram account. I used Canva to create custom quotes, and previews of my blog articles. Here’s how to set one up without your private account followers knowing:
1 | Open the Instagram app
2 | Select your profile.
3 | Tap the 3 horizontal lines in the top right corner
4 | Select Settings
5 | Scroll to the bottom of the menu. Tap Add Account.
6 | DO NOT LOGIN! Select SIGN-UP
7 | It will give you the option sign-up with Facebook. Don’t use this option if you use Facebook privately! Instead choose Sign Up With Phone or Email.
8 | Enter an Email NOT used by your private account.
9 | Instagram will email you to confirm the email address, open you email and confirm it
11 | Next get to customise your blogs Instagram. Add your Profile Pic, Name, Bio and Password.
12 | Then create a unique username (this should be your blogs name)
13 | Start Posting your content- make sure the link to you blog is in the bio so people know where to read your posts!
14 | Gain followers by joining local ‘loops’ these are essentially groups of Instagramer’s who want to gain followers and do so by hosting events in which you share a loop image, like a bunch of people they’re following and tag people in the loop. I found the tagging part hard because I didn’t actually have any follower I knew, but I just randomly started tagging some of my followers and never got any complaints. By using loops I managed to get 800 followers in just one month. The next goal is to hit 100k!
I’d love to hear how you’re going setting up your blog, and any real life experience you have of making it work!
Mumma Z xxx