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Blogging Monthly Review: I Made My First Online Sale

I made my first online sale this month despite certain challenges.

This month marks another blogging milestone where I earn my first ever affiliate marketing sale and made money online. Find out more when you read the post. #bloggingreview #bloggingtips #bloggingforbeginners


It’s so fast how another month has gone by.

As a way to focus on growth rather than comparing my journey to others, I’ve started doing a monthly blogging and creative biz review.

It is also my way of staying accountable for growing this creative biz.

Last month I hit a milestone of growing my email list by 50%!

And for this month I can’t believe I made my first online sale–my first affiliate marketing sale that is!

In March, things were different, but as I always say:

Slow progress is still progress.

There were a lot of things I could have done better and improved on but before we get into the specifics, here are my statistics at a glance:

Bounce rate: 73.24%

Average time spent on my site: 58 seconds

Total number of subscribers: 64

Instagram followers: 823

Facebook page followers: 1968

Twitter: 496

Pinterest: 110

Bounce Rate

I’m super happy to announce that my bounce rate decreased to 73.24% this month.

The goal is to keep lowering the rate every month.

The lower the bounce rate, the longer the people stay on your blog.

I’ve been able to write more than 1,000 words per post, which contributes to people staying longer.

What also contributes to this is that I make sure to link my other content to every blog post.

If you want to learn more about how I do this, you can read this post about how I organize my content.

Top Performing Posts

In terms of blog content, I was not able to post as much this month.

In fact, it’s been my worst performance since launching my blog.

I usually write and schedule ahead of time, but this March, I was in a bad place mentally, and this reflected in how I ran my creative business.

For the first time since launching my blog, I missed posting two weeks in a row.

I started writing a post ahead of time, but I was unable to finish it.

I normally work on my blog posts over the weekend, but it’s been crazy busy.

And one Sunday instead of pumping out new content and pushing myself to the limit, I forced myself to take a day off.

To be honest, it wasn’t a full day off since I was still checking on my Pinterest and updating Instagram.

The thing is, is that I needed a recharge after a stressful and emotional week. And good thing I did take Sunday off to recharge because the coming week was another stressful one.

Despite this, I was still able to make my first online sale!

View this post on Instagram

I harp a lot about consistency and it was only last year that I finally stopped struggling with consistency. I was able to deliver my one blog post a week schedule. In December, I took a two week holiday break so it was really part of the plan to recharge creatively; HOWEVER, this March was the first time I’ve missed my weekly posting schedule twice. ? And it’s been tough getting back into the flow and creating. The struggle is real. I felt so guilty about not posting on my blog for two weeks especially since I still have that post about how I made my first affiliate sale lined up. But I’ve been burnt out and feeling exhausted to even work on a blog post the last two weeks. It was so overwhelming. Despite this, I didn’t push myself to create because I knew I needed a break and so I would prioritise sleep and things that relaxed me (aka catching up on Korean drama and The Flash episodes). I need to start planning ahead and batching my content to avoid missing publishing dates, but I am also learning to listen to my body and put my health first. How do you deal with burn out? #ladyboss #blogs #sidehustling #creativeentrepreneur #bloggingcommunity #bloggerlife #entrepreneurship #femalefounders #filipinoblogger #timeforabreak #entrepreneurlife #lblogger #smallbizsquad #bosslady #bossbabe #contentcreation

A post shared by Izzy | Creative Business Tips (@izzmatias) on

The reality of running a creative business while having a day job is that it takes a lot of sacrifices and there are days where it seems too much.

And guys, the burnout is real.

My current dilemma is finding that balance to recharge while still being able to work on my creative business.

I tend to have that go, go, go mentality where I cannot rest until I finish something.

Even though I did not publish new content every week, I was still promoting my previous posts online.

Here’s a recap of the top-performing blog posts for March:

HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL CONTENT CREATOR AND START A BLOG

MY BLOGGING PROCESS: HOW I WRITE AND ORGANIZE MY CONTENT

BLOGGING MONTHLY REVIEW: I GREW MY E-MAIL LIST BY 50%

For this month, I’m keeping my goal simple, which is to stick to my weekly posting schedule.

Email Subscribers

In February, I was able to increase the number of email subscribers by 50%, but in March it only went up by 12.28%

I still find it surreal every time someone subscribes to my email list.

It makes me feel giddy because I struggled with growing my email list in my previous blogs, but now I see a steady growth each month.

With my previous blogs, if I did not host a giveaway, the growth was pretty stagnant.

I knew that if I wanted to make blogging a sustainable source of income, I had to grow my email list.

So every time someone new signs up, I feel closer to that goal and that things really are falling into place for this blog.

And also, I know what I’m implementing works because I see the results.

This April, my goal is to grow my email subscriber list to 80 or by 25%.

Instagram Review

Last month, I tried advertising via Instagram stories and saw how successful it was.

This month, I focused more on growing my following organically–without having to spend money on an advertisement.

I read a testimonial about how one blogger was able to hit her 1,000 Instagram follower mark by posting every day, using the right targeted hashtags, and interacting with the community.

Basically I applied Vanessa Lau’s advice on how to grow your Instagram organically.

And if you do the work, you’ll see the results.

I have not reached that 1,000 mark, but seeing how posting every day helps with my reach and engagement gives me that motivation to keep going.

Though I did not post daily this March, my Instagram engagement rate still went up to 79.7% from 39% by just posting every day for five days and then continuing to post every other day after that.

So just to recap, engagement rate can be computed as follows:

[ ( Likes + comments ) / Total number of followers ] x 100

Facebook Review

Though I was able to schedule my posts in advance for March, my Facebook followers count dropped.

However, based on my Google Analytics, Facebook overtook Pinterest as my top source of referral traffic meaning among all the social media channels, my posts on Facebook drove traffic to my blog.

Scheduling out my posts has its pros & cons, and I’ll continue scheduling out my content in April to sustain it as a referral traffic source.

Pinterest Review

Last February my Pinterest monthly views hit an all time high of 41,000.

However, in March, it dropped significantly because I was not able to schedule my Pins in advance on Tailwind.

In addition, I’d been looping the same pins over and over to the same boards, so Pinterest might have marked this as spam.

I’m still experimenting to see how I can balance sharing my blog posts vs other people’s content on Pinterest to achieve that optimal growth.

After taking Elna Cain’s Pinterest course, I followed her advice to join more group boards.

I did encounter difficulty with these Pinterest Group Boards because of the following reasons:

1. Some boards had no instructions as to how to join the group board.

2. Those with instructions simply said “follow my account” but did not link the account in the description box.

Eventually, I figured out that you can find the username in the link of the group board.

For example, here’s a link to a Pinterest Group Board I created:

My username is right before the group board name. That’s how you find out which user to follow.

For Group Boards with no specific instructions, I reached out via direct message and asked how to join his/her group board.

You don’t have to be following someone on Pinterest in order to send a direct message, so that super helpful in reaching out to them.

3. A lot of the Pinterest group boards I found online were already closed to new contributors. This is why I decided to start my own. If you want to join, click this link.

I focused on joining group boards this month, so moving forward, it’s time to schedule in my Pins to those group boards.

Other achievements:

I made my first ever affiliate marketing sale since starting a blog.

I’m thrilled because it’s my first online sale!

If you’re curious to know how I made my first online sale, here’s a detailed guide about the different ways you can do affiliate marketing to make money online.

Other things I did this month to grow my blog:

  • Continued to create new pin designs for my existing blog posts
  • Focus on my mindset and created a journal with a list of positive affirmations for when I’m feeling sad or burnt out

Looking ahead / Moving Forward

Last month I mentioned how my main goal was to increase my website traffic to 2,000 average monthly views.

However, I was unable to achieve this goal because I missed out on posting two consecutive weeks, so this goal is carrying over to April.

Instead of feeling guilty about not achieving this goal, I’ll focus on the things I can do moving forward to achieve this.

I have yet to take Elna Cain’s Ready Set Traffic course and test out multiple opt-ins to increase my email subscribers.

Here are my other goals for April:

  • Improve my bounce rate to 70%
  • Stick to my weekly posting schedule
  • Grow my Instagram following to 850
  • Have 80 people subscribed to my email list

How did you do with your blogging goals in March? Let me know in the comments below what your goals are this April!

This month marks another blogging milestone where I earn my first ever affiliate marketing sale and made money online. Find out more when you read the post. #bloggingreview #bloggingtips #bloggingforbeginners

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8 Comments

  1. Hi Izzy,

    I just discover this post through Pinterest. So good job on that.

    As I was reading your post, I wanted to tell you a couple of things, just to keep you motivated and on track.

    You shouldn’t worry too much about your bounce rate. In your post, you’ve mentioned that when your bounce rate is getting lower, your readers will stay longer on your page. But a bounce means simply that someone visits a certain page on your blog and they don’t click through to other pages.

    For example, if your post answers someone’s question and you gave them the answer, they are satisfied and might leave. But this doesn’t have to do anything for example with your rankings in Google.

    It’s all about the time on site indeed. You want people to stay longer on your blog and when you create more content, you will more opportunities to link to other articles on your blog.

    So don’t worry about it for now. Especially if you’re just getting started, your bounce rate will always be higher.

    2. When it comes to the Pinterest views, I would encourage you to disregard that number of monthly views. I know those high numbers will excite you, but it just means that 41.000 people saw a pin that you’ve pinned.

    What you want to focus on is the number of clicks you’re getting. You can check your Google Analytics specifically to see how many visitors you get from Pinterest.

    3. You want to grow your email list. May I ask you what it is that you do for your subscribers?
    Meaning, growing your list is important, but what’s even more important is to build those personal relationships.

    You can reach out to those 80 people 1 by 1 and ask them something specifically to them. I know this is more work, but it’s the best way to build solid relationships.

    I often get emails from people who I signed up for. Then they will send me 3 emails that are helpful and from the 4th one up to the rest are all sales emails for their program.

    This is when I sign off.

    Just a few things to consider.
    Nevertheless, you’re off to a great start and don’t you dare to give up.

    1. Thank you so much, Chris for your super insightful comments as well as sharing tips. I’ll definitely check my Google Analytics regarding Pinterest. And yes, I’ve created a funnel for people when they subscribe, though I like how you recommended about emailing them personally. I think I’ll try that out. 🙂

  2. Congrats on the first sale!!! That must be exciting!!!! It’s hard to juggle 2 jobs so be persistent and you will achieve your goals

  3. I really love how transparent you are in sharing your blogging goals. This was really interesting to read and it made me feel like I’m not the only one who struggles with growth as well. Thanks for sharing your experience! xo, Brittany Nicole | http://www.theblistblog.com

    1. Hi Brittany Nicole! Thank you. Writing about my blogging goals helps me stay accountable, and I also love reading about other blogger’s progress so it makes it much more relatable to see the growth journey. What are your blogging goals for this month? 🙂

  4. Congrats on the first online sale! Just one step closer to achieving whatever you aim for next: bigger and better x