Welcome to my first (6-month) blog update!
I’m writing this because I love to keep track of everything, especially in regard to my new blog. Documenting helps a lot when it comes to maintaining progress and keeping momentum.
I usually track all things blog-related in my notebook: Search Console stats and analytics, number of blog posts, Pinterest stats, courses, subscriptions, plug-ins, and so much more. But it’s becoming harder to track it all in a notebook, so I decided to write a blog post about it.
Also, when I was searching for statistics regarding new blogs launched in 2020-2021, I never really found anything. Mostly, it’s older, more established blogs just “refreshing” their old articles for 2021. Sorry, but let’s face it, things are pretty different for new bloggers in 2021. Just because a blogger saw massive success in 2018, does not mean that things will work the same way for a new blogger in 2021.
So, if you are a new blogger in 2021 or are thinking about starting a blog, I hope you find this update on my new blog useful.
Now, let’s get to it.
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General information about my new blog
The following table sums up general info s on my new blog for the first 6 months. If you want the details, keep reading!
I started my blog around January 2021 so, as of today, that blog is about 6 months old.
But it’s not as simple. Here’s a more detailed timeline:
- May to July 2020: I started learning, researching, and reading about blogging. But, at the time I was also exploring other ways of earning a living online so I also “ventured” into Print-on-demand and Amazon FBA.
- July 2020: bought a 1-year hosting plan with Bluehost and a domain name, while still exploring other avenues.
- July to November 2020: I started playing around with different blogging platforms like Weebly, and WordPress. FYI, I do not recommend Weebly if you are serious about blogging.
I created 3 websites and they were UGLY as hell. That’s also when I learned lesson 1 for new bloggers: DO NOT spend months playing around with your website’s appearance. Just write and create content. WordPress gives you a default theme anyway. WRITE articles and hit PUBLISH.
During that time, I was also writing a bunch of stuff (unpublished), just to see what interested me and what the commonality was (i.e., my “niche”).
- December 2020: I published my very first article on my website.
- December 2020-January 2021: Holidays. Got sick. Very little happened with my blog.
- End of January 2021: That’s when I really decided to go for it and started to work like a motherf* on my new blog.
Number of articles published on my blog
As of June 19th, 2021, I have 48 articles published on my blog.
Average word count: 1 758 words per article
Shortest article: 340 words
Longest article: 6 046 words
My goal was to grow as organically as possible and get my traffic mainly through Google.
My strategy was to publish as many articles as possible as early on as possible because I want to see that hockey-stick shaped (organic) growth as early as possible. I also want to write about different keywords to see where my blog is more likely to rank (as “fast” as possible) on Google.
That is assuming, of course, that I do everything “right”, which, as a new blogger, I obviously didn’t/won’t.
However, there were/are a few obstacles to this goal:
- English is my 3d language, so I don’t write blog posts as fast or as smoothly as a native speaker would.
- I write about YMYL topics. Your Money or Your Life content is a type of content that “if presented inaccurately (…) could impact the reader’s happiness, health, safety, or financial stability” (Source: Semrush). Examples include Finance, Health, children, etc. Google takes this type of content very seriously and it can be particularly hard for new blogs to rank on search engines for these types of keywords because they haven’t yet established their Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Needless to say: there is a lot of time, effort, and research that goes into writing most of my posts and articles. So, yeah, it takes shitloads of time.
- I started an online store, but after over a month of working on it (3-6 months in truth, but 1 month straight in 2021 doing just that), I decided to close the store. So, again, many many weeks were wasted and no articles were published for at least 5-6 weeks in 2021.
- I’m also exploring coaching, taking courses on the topic, and doing other work on that front, and it takes time.
- I work full-time on my blog but during the months of May-June, I took a part-time job (which I have quit since).
Numbers of hours spent working on my new blog
It fluctuates, but I must say, starting a new blog alone takes a lot of work. A lot. Especially if, like me, you refuse to spend money on blogging courses. So I learned everything about blogging through a lot of research, sweat, and experimenting. AKA, the hard way but also the way that takes a lot more time.
Between February and May of 2021, I was averaging 12-14 hours of work on my blog per day. Sometimes I could work 18 hours straight on my blog.
Yep, it takes work to start a blog, but the fun part is, I wanted to because I was/am passionate about it. The whole point of starting a blog, for me anyway, was to spend my time doing something creative that I’m passionate about; in this case, finding ways to express and articulate ideas.
By “work”, I mean:
- Writing content: content creation and research (keyword research for example) is probably where you will spend most of your time if you start a blog.
- Learning: reading, taking courses, watching videos on Youtube or Skillshare, etc. Blogging involves so many different skills like writing, SEO (search engine optimization), website creation, digital marketing, sales, social media, design, etc. I was learning constantly.
- Creating pins for Pinterest, learning how to use Canva, etc.
- Website maintenance (plug-ins, updates, SEO, speed optimization, etc., and, of course, learning all that).
- And a bunch of other stuff like book-keeping, or figuring out the legal side of owning a business.
Of course, there are times, days, or entire weeks where I barely worked 2 or 3 hours per day, or sometimes 0 hours on my blog.
But in general, a new blog is no walk in the park.
Impressions, page views, clicks, and other stats
I started to get impressions on Google for my new blog after 4-5 months blogging, so around April of 2021.
That was one of the most exciting moments for me! For months I didn’t understand the purpose of Search Console (or Google Analytics). Now I do.
And since May 2021, my impressions have been growing slowly but steadily.
This means that after 4 months of hard work, my brand-new website (that I started in January of 2021) is finally starting to show on Google search results when people type in certain keywords.
I also started getting clicks to my blog from Google. I got my first click (organically) from Google after 5 months blogging. Within a month, between May and June 2021, I received 12 clicks from Google.
Most of these clicks come from 4 articles (out of 48), but one article sent over 70% of those organic clicks.
Ah, Pinterest. I can’t tell if I hate it or enjoy it.
So, Pinterest has been introducing some changes to its algorithm lately and it appears that the platform is no longer the Holy grail that bloggers claimed it to be.
But since I had already invested so much time (and money, finally) in courses and in learning Pinterest and Canva, that I decided to keep going with that platform. It’s also the social platform that suits me the most (vs Instagram of Facebook or Twitter), so I decided to stick to it for now.
I officially started pinning on the last week of April 2021.
Once I got the hang on WordPress, and writing, and SEO, etc., I decided it was time to tackle Pinterest.
I followed Carly Campbell’s recommendations, that is to pin other people’s pins to my boards for the first couple of weeks just to let Pinterest know what my boards are about.
- I officially pinned my own first Pin on May 5th, 2021.
- For 3 weeks I pinned consistently:
- I started with only 3 boards;
- I pinned 2-4 pins every 2 or 3 days;
- I used manual pinning, especially since I was pinning the first pins directly from the blog articles. I don’t think you can use a scheduler for that.
- Keep in mind I started pinning with an “inventory” of already 40(ish) articles published.
- By the end of May, I had pinned 29 pins (all my own) to 3 different boards.
- By May 28th, I had reached a total of 2 000 impressions, 2 clicks through to my blog, and 1 save.
- But then in June, I dropped the ball and barely pinned anything. And all my stats went down.
Pinterest: what my impressions looked like in May 2021 for my first month pinning on a new blog:
Pinterest: what my impressions looked like in June 2021, after pinning only 6 pins to my boards for the whole month:
That’s it for my new blog 6-month update! Hope you’ve found some useful information in there.
Starting a new blog is getting more difficult every year, so at the very least, I hope this post made you feel less alone in your blogging journey.
Now it’s your turn: are you thinking of starting a new blog or did you recently start one? Are you finding more luck? What are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments or send me an email 😊