July Monthly Blogging Report (3rd Month) – “Can I Sleep Now?”

July Monthly Blogging Report (3rd Month)

Hi! I can’t wait so I’ll just do my 3rd monthly blogging report right now. My first and second month reports are below and the first two months are more exciting than this one, I think. Check them out if you haven’t yet.

First month, woot woot!

Second month, yay yay!

This was a month of miscalculations and mistimings.

Let me perfectly summarize how I feel as a blogger, how I feel I did this month and how I feel about myself in general…

Goals For July:

Let’s review the goals last month for this month…

  • 5000 Pageviews

 

  • Twitter – 1,000 followers

 

  • Pinterest – 200 followers

 

  • Write 10+ Entries

 

  • Create Downloadable content

 

  • Thanks to Ms. FAF now I might be in a podcast now! Funsies! 😋

 

  • Instagram – 50 followers


July Results

I started my blog on the 22nd of April and I write my blog reports on the 22nd instead of rounding up to a new month (which would be smarter but here we are.)

3rd-month-breakdowns-summary

I screwed up in Google Analytics during the installation and Jared and I were tracking our own clicks throughout the month.

Hahahaha, fail.

You have to turn off that function manually for the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) plug-in. I think most bloggers are using MonsterInsights and MonsterInsights automatically sets it to off whereas GADWP does not.

To turn off self-tracking in Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Click GADWP in your WP bar and select ‘Tracking Code’ and it will say ‘Google Analytics Tracking Code’ on the top. From there click the tab ‘Exclude Tracking’ and select administrator (and any of the other ones if it applies) and voila! Thank Gym.

According to Jetpack – 8,616 Pageviews (Passed)

jetpack-3rd-month-stats
I know Jetpack isn’t as accurate but this is my official pageview this month.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……”

(Secretly screaming to myself…because I couldn’t break the fifth digit.)

Last month I said “I’ll be happy with even 5,000 because chances are I won’t get another Rockstar feature to save my rump again!” But what I was really thinking was “I want more and more and another Rockstar feature and another one and another one and more RIGHT NOW.”

My husband is smirking at me right now because he has to live with me and knows exactly how I am. I tend to do this with everything. And it’s usually something impossible because I’m an extremist. I think by the 3rd month we were together, Jared screamed at me something like “WOMAN THERE’S NO PLEASING YOU.”

But it’s true. Jared bends over backwards to make me happy all the time and I don’t really deserve it. I want to write a marriage post like Ms. FAF but I’m afraid I would make everyone hate me by the end and want to rescue Jared.

nervous chuckle

Back on track…

June I had a little over 6,000 pageviews but that number was really probably 3,000 if I didn’t get lucky with that Rockstar feature. This month, I hit my safe goal of 5,000 page views a little over mid-month. Good right?

Nope.

That means I have to up my goal and decide what I really want now. I’m an extremist so now it needs to be 10,000 page views…just because that’s how it’s suppose to be.

Well it’s already past mid-month. Hard goal but I can do it if I push out some good content!

Nope.

Found out Analytics was counting our own clicks so chances are even lower now but I’m still over 5,000 pageviews according to Jetpack. I should have set my estimate at probably 8,000 but since I already wanted 10,000 anything else now is a disappointment.

Now what?

No surrender! I’ll just push EVEN harder! I can reserve more time to pump out more content!

Nope.

My dad had to fly back to San Francisco to fix some paperwork mess-up. He’s gone for the entire month.

*Side bar: Thanks to collected points from our habit of churning credit cards, his round trip ticket was only $20 even though we booked his flight in the middle of July with only 2 days of advance notice. Frugal win!*

My dad handled the grocery shopping, cooking, house chores and taking care of Grace and Bunny.

blue-eye-white-bunny
Bunny…the bunny. We’re not creative with names here, the name should be pooping machine.

For the past week and a half, I have been running around filling in the household blanks, AirBnBs x3, Grace, Bunny and blogging. Car-free! Plus my usual tradition of dancing and exercising 2 hours everyday or every other day until I pass out. Good for the body…but not so much for productivity which leads to me another point…

My blog is not monetized.

The formula is different. The feel is different. And so are my priorities.

For now, I choose time with my husband over a “hobby” like blogging. He’s already gone 12+ hour days and I only see him on the weekends. Weekends are what bloggers use to catch up and write their posts for the week…I have no posts lined up. I never do!

Everything I have ever written was written the night right before, just like how I’m writing this now.

My mom offered to fly out to Seattle to help me but I’m not drowning in work. I can get it done – it’s just more time-consuming but it is getting done.

I told her no, don’t come. I’m not 100% sure if she is going to listen to me. There is a 22.95% chance she will show up on our doorstep unannounced. She is mom after all.

I notice a surge in pageviews during those publishing days and it makes me happy. I still can’t believe people would read this.

Subscribers – 80

I didn’t think this number mattered but it’s actually way more important than pageviews. Personally I “follow” blogs but I never really follow blogs and definitely not through e-mail. I just hop on the website and check manually from time to time to see what I missed. I hop around Twitter like a hyperactive monkey and click on whatever I feel like I want to read from people I know that deliver the good-good content. –Shrug

(Also, I’m extremely addicted to Twitter. It’s everything now.)

 

Twitter – 1,169 Followers (Passed!)

My Twitter is starting to slowly growing itself now and I’m spending more time socializing with other bloggers than adding them. I don’t have a goal from here besides using it as a place to be happy, socialize and catch up on posts. Is it me or are PF bloggers extra funny and witty? I feel like a teenager grinning into my phone again!

Engagement rate – 3.8%

That’s actually good! I think the average Twitter engagement is 1%! YAY!

3rd-month-twitter-stats

 

Pinterest – 185 Followers (Half Fail!)

My very optimistic and near impossible July goal for my Pinterest was 200. I didn’t think I would make it past 150 followers to be honest, so I’m quite happy with this number.

But it’s not even the following that makes me happy. It’s the kindness of Ms. FAF (Frugal Asian Finance) and Cory (Dollars from Cents) who saved my sad as f- Pinterest game. I have a total of about 30-ish group boards now. Two of my pins went semi-viral on their own without much help. It gave me about 800 extra pageviews in 2-3 days.

Holler at me if you want to exchange group boards babies.

Not all group boards are created equal. Some boards anyone can invite and others only the creator.

My Pinterest advice is to get at least 100 or 500 followers first, add a showcase gallery, have 10 of your own boards with some pins, and install Rich Pins before requesting into other’s group boards. You don’t want to come off inexperienced like I did. It’s already really hard to crack and clique-y so come prepared.

The lucrative boards are usually closed or they’re extremely selective. It’s definitely clique-y and it’s naturally set up that way to protect itself. Pinterest is darn freakin’ powerful when done right. But I don’t want to depend only on Pinterest forever. I can dream about being Financial Samurai or Frugalwoods someday, right? Puppy eyes Sam doesn’t do an ounce of marketing and people still flock to him.

My goal is just to have something of value to contribute and for people who want to hear it to visit me directly, always and forever 🙂 Remember I’m an extremist! Love me – love me!!!

 

Write 10+ Entries – (Half Win!)

I did publish exactly 10 entries if you round up what I half wrote before June 22nd but half finished and published at a later date…half win?

Here’s another reason why I hate this month: I haven’t written anything I thought was noteworthy.

I may be painfully self-aware but it doesn’t make it not true: they just weren’t good.

They were all boring with the exception of accepting money from in-laws. That piece was a spur of the moment thing.

I have plenty of heavier topics in queue that I can dig into but they take a lot of research and time to kick out. I want to defend the topic properly. They’re not easy hitters like “X ways I did to save” or my blog/income reports. I’m jealous of Matt’s work because he’s pushing great stuff out that I’ve wanted to talk about since forever. I discuss this stuff with my husband all the time and sometimes, the conversations we have are actually intelligent! Nothing I’ve written this month has been intelligent.

Create Downloadable Content – (Half Win!)

My e-book is completed. As I read it over, I still see a lot of potential so I think it’s only 70% done actually. If I add and tweak 2-3 things, it might be valuable enough to jump start another project. I’m deciding what to do with it.

I wonder just like Budget on a Stick if frugal recipes are OK or is that too different from personal finance. I have to update my freebies tab soon and I have some of my mom’s frugal and authentic Chinese recipes.

Podcast – (Passed!)

I completed my first ever AirBnB podcast recording at Rental Income Podcasts and that will be published in 2 weeks. Thank you Ms. FAF, my darling sista, for the hook-up as always! If you’re a real estate investor, it’s a good quality podcast to add to your listening list.

Oh and somehow, I will be set for another podcast with His and Her Money in a few weeks. Totally not sure how or why BUT I’M NOT CHALLENGING IT, yaaaaaaaas!

I had a guest Q&A with Lance (Strategic Dollar) and that was also a lot of fun. I learned being personal and honest is good. When I submitted my Q&A to him at the time, I was afraid of it being published because it’s too sensitive. My fears were unfounded.

Instagram – 180 Followers (Passed!)

I had a low goal of 50 followers but I forgot this was Instagram and Instagram is the definition of POPPING! Everyone’s so social, thanks to Tub of Cash for the heads up.

Instagram = Pinterest, 5 years ago. I remember when Pinterest was just born, everyone went frantic adding each other trying to set up their clique. I was temping as a SEO writer at the time and I thought what in the world…is going on. How do I have 200 followers in 3 hours with no boards?

OK that’s it. The end…

Lol nevermind…something tells me I should write longer. OH fine, fine, no sleep. I’ll go into other stuff by shamelessly copying Ms. FAF.

Time Blogging

I didn’t keep great track of time this month with dad gone, I can’t even find my socks. I think I’ve probably spent less than 30 hours this entire month writing posts. Not good. I don’t consider the time I socialize with other bloggers (on Twitter for example) as time wasted/working so I don’t track those hours.

Twitter has been super helpful, more thanks to David (Zero Day Finance) for setting us little knuckleheads up.

Traffic Sources

Traffic sources upon Brad’s (Maximize Your Money) request! I don’t know how to decipher this…I’m looking at other bloggers and they have it in neat graphs.

3rd-month-twitter-stats-min (1)

Marketing

The only active marketing I did this month was social media related. It’s easy for me to plug in and connect with everyone from my phone. I can do it while handling AirBnB, on the bus, walking Grace, playing with bunny etc. So whenever I can be productive on my phone then I take advantage of it.

Twitter is my #2 all time referrer after Pinterest which is really great but that’s secondary to just the mere fun of connecting with others.

Accidental Affiliate

I think I made $65 dollars this month from Zero Day Finance. David signed up for Site Ground for his new website Zero Day Challenge with my affiliate link. I’m laughing because it’s so silly. Ladies and gentleman, that’s how I broke my affiliate virginity.

Running Costs

Blogging isn’t free. I am using BlueHost for the year (and I only signed onto the more expensive 1-year plan because I didn’t know what I was doing or if I wanted to stick with it.) I don’t track how much I really spend. $20 for the theme that I regret buying. Getting hosting for the year which was like $60. $5 for Board Boosters. $10(?) for domain privacy. $165 for Michelle’s course. $2 + the bus pass in my pocket that I dropped because I was grinning into my phone too much from other bloggers on Twitter.

I’m in the red!

But counting pennies and dimes here is not a good idea. I enjoy doing this and pathetically…the socialization and boost I get is worth it. 🙂

If I am making money, then these reports will be more interesting but right now…nope. It’s been a steep learning curve for me considering I came into this knowing zilch. I signed onto Michelle’s course yesterday during her sale (it’s over now) so the intention is there but I have no plans to implement anything just yet.

The Irony

The saddest part (and I told Jing this) as a blogger is you don’t have the time to read other people’s stuff. This is your passion right? This is your thing! But you can’t find the minutes to read because you have to post this by this, tweet that on Twitter, repin this to pin that and scale that photo to fit into this…and that’s just SAD.

My goal was to read & comment on at least 5+ articles a day but it’s starting to overload me a bit. I should just focus on writing more if I want to grow as quickly as Ms. FAF wants to aim for 😛

Hiccups

#1 Analytics

Google Analytics tracking our own clicks, woops. Also the load time Analytics is spitting out has to be wrong. It says my average load time for the website is 16 seconds for the month of July?! It is not right? The other speed tests I did said 2 seconds!

#2 Theme

I’ve been told my theme looks nice by several other bloggers (and strangers) but the real back-end coding is sloppy so please don’t get my theme. It was a total waste of $20. I think it might have actually done more harm than good with it missing a hCard and all. I don’t recommend cheapening on one. I’m debating if I should change themes but it does take time to reset things and I’m already running a little behind.

#3 Dad’s gone

I didn’t realize how much he was doing. It’s like 3 hours of work every day from trimming the bushes to emptying the potty box to sweeping the deck to removing Grace’s fur from…everywhere.

#4 Mailchimp mess

I didn’t have a campaign but I somehow punk’d myself thinking I did. For the first 2.5 months of blogging I was not sending anything out to subscribers. I also had a broken email sign up widget on the bottom of my website.

I had to enlist Jared for help. It took my husband almost 3 hours to set up a Mailchimp campaign. Jared’s works in tech for God sakes. He’s a genius when it comes to computers and it still took him 3 hours!

On the bright side, I’m finally in your inbox now! –Grin

Going Forward

There’s only so many times you can write about “how I did X to save money” and although it’s fun to read different writing styles and perspectives, it’s not sustainable.

I had a few spin-off ideas that I want to dig into. Unlike TFG, I wanted to put some real planning into them. Everything I’m learning now is applicable so this is all a long-term plan. I have pin pointed this as something I want to do, that fits my lifestyle and can help with where I want to go 10-20 years from now.

To reference back to my first month when I stated why I started:

I started blogging because I realized my privilege was being wasted and there’s nothing more ungrateful than wasting privilege on the self. I am an individual with a functioning wallet, mind, and body. Plus I live in a great country with free speech and fast web access.

The most important thing about blogging is simply finding the time it takes and the effort necessary to push yourself.

And always…

Carry on.



66 thoughts on “July Monthly Blogging Report (3rd Month) – “Can I Sleep Now?””

  • I think my head just exploded. Damn, girl. I’m all like…gee, I hope I increase 20% across the board. Duh. I need to up my game to keep up with all you youngsters! Congrats! Well deserved success!

  • You’re doing so well!! I love how both our husbands are software engineers and something “easy” like setting up mail campaigns takes them hours, LOL. Pinterest is such a time suck- I agree that part of the not-so-fun part of blogging is not having enough time to read other people’s content. There’s so many great bloggers out there and I feel like I’m just madly clicking around on Twitter.

    It sounds like you’re having a bit of an adjustment with your dad gone- I’m sure you’ll find your groove shortly!
    Ying-NavigatingAdulthood recently posted…How We Maintain A $280 Monthly Grocery Budget For 2 People In Boston

    • Oh your hubby helped with Mailchimp too! Awesome haha! Twinning! And it’s not just reading but leaving a helpful/insightful comment that’s the other challenge. But it’s worth it!!!

  • Right back at ya!!! Congratulations on a successful month, Lily! And thanks a bunch for the shout-out. Sending kisses and hugs your way! <3

    When I saw your tweet about the new post on Twitter, I was literally holding my breath when I clicked on your post and waited for it to load. You're doing amazingly well, especially given how much busier you've been this month.

    I'm so happy we're in this together. It's not just Pinterest but also other fronts of blogging that we work so well together. Did I mention that I missed a Metro stop the other day because I was too busy chuckling at your message on Twitter? 😉
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance recently posted…How Finding Substitutes Saves Me Money

  • That’s a pretty impressive record for just three months of blogging. I also find it impressive that you’ve already earned some affiliate income from your work. Keep it up!

  • Go get some sleep!

    This is awesome and inspiring, congratulation on the great work, Lily! Your humor, whit and perspective has been fun to read and I look forward to continuing to follow your blog!!! 🙂

    And I’m totally with you… a majority of my posts are written between 8pm and 2am the night before/morning of posting… such is the life of a part-time blogger I guess!

    • Thank you darling :3 I don’t even know how you do it. You and Ms. FAF with full-time jobs. AND BABIES. IT’S INSANE! When does sleep happen for you guys?!

  • Amazing!! Great job Lily : ) What a crazy time-crunch it’s been, but you’ve still kept up and kept at it, and you’ve got results right there staring straight at ‘cha!

    // pump and hoot

    Hope it only keeps growing from here!

  • You continue to amaze me! I feel like every corner of the PF internet world I look, there you are 1000X more engaged than I can dream of being!

    I love reading your blog and I admire how committed you are to being involved in the community- it’s definitely one of the reasons you are so successful!

    Also, your bunny is freaking adorable. I am SO jealous.

    I totally hear you on being so busy with your blog that it’s hard to read other bloggers. But for me it’s the opposite! I feel like I’m so busy reading other bloggers I forget to write my own content hahaha. I’ll sit down at the computer like, “IT’S PERSONAL FINANCE TIME KATY” then I’ll sign onto the forums and read everybody’s articles and get sucked into a black hole of amazing blogs…. never to be heard from again.
    Katy @ Best Life Kay recently posted…What To Do If You Don’t Win The Lottery

    • That’s just me being social! And that’s because I’m addicted to Twitter lol!

      Lol Katy I do that too!!! I didn’t set any goals for next month like I usually do in my previous reports because I’ve been too focused on growth and not enough on quality of content. I have to dig deeper this month.

      My pooping machine is pretty cute, I agree your diagnosis hehehehe.

  • Great job on growing the blog! You’re doing great for being three months in. 🙂 I loooove reading about your full-time AirBnb gigs, so keep up the good work! I do say it becomes less stressful if you’re able to schedule posts in advance. I’m scheduled about a month in advance, which has been fantastic for my sanity. I was able to catch up with my own content by relying on guest posts to fill in the time.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend! July 23

    • I can’t believe people like reading the AirBnB thing. I’ll write more – I have some other stories up my sleeve…just need to find the time!! Huzzah!

  • Hey Lily,

    Thanks for this honest post! I can definitely relate to working really hard and being hard on myself. Some of my posts are not 100% perfect, and it sucks to publish something that doesn’t meet your standards. My husband tries to tell me to “just get something” up, and if something isn’t good enough to me, I will wait a day until it’s better. So I feel you there. It’s like I’m my worst critic. I’m also a ‘night-before’ blogger, and it’s a stressful place to be. So jealous of those who are months and months ahead! Like, how does that happen??? One day I hope to be there.

    Love the referrer chart! Looks like Pinterest is really working for you! I clearly need to do something about Pinterest, but there are too many other things to work on right now. I’ll probably hit you up when the time comes!

    You’ve got great numbers to show, but don’t feel so stressed about meeting the goals every month. Especially as this is your hobby!
    The Luxe Strategist recently posted…How I Bought My Wedding Outfits from eBay and Saved 70% Off

    • Your pretty little self need to get on Pinterest now! I still think you would find massive success there!! So much wedding stuff trending…so much…O_O

      I can’t believe you’re a night before blogger! I didn’t get that at all from your posts! They’re always dead on in terms of content, length, composition and grammar. Really!?

      I need to stop pushing. I didn’t set any goals for next month because if I don’t focus on quality, then I’m not going to go anywhere long-term anyway. I started to summerize a mother list of posts I need to stamp out in order to move any further. (This was advice from Financial Samurai – to have several pillar posts to define who you are.)

  • I’m afraid to even check out my stats . It looks like you’re doing great, nice work! I do agree it’s sometimes a challenge to read other blogs and comment, when there’s so much else to do. I try not to pressure myself and prioritize into writing a bit each day. But your idea of writing on the fly is cool too and I’m sure gives a boost of motivation.
    SMM recently posted…Get Quality But At A Bargain

  • Wow you’re doing amazing for three months!! I just started a few weeks ago (started a blog in 2009 and sold it in 2012) and it’s a whole different ball game 7 years later! You’ve put in a lot of work and it and looks like it is paying off for you!

    I also have the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) plug-in, how do you turn the self-clicks? I am pretty sure like half of the page views so far are from myself HAHA…

    • Thanks “GYM” 🙂 How much did you sell it for?! Ha, welcome back to the game. They always come back.

      *I should add this to the post hehe*
      Click GADWP in your WP bar and select ‘Tracking Code’ and it will say ‘Google Analytics Tracking Code’ on the top. From there click the tab ‘Exclude Tracking’ and select administrator (and any of the other ones if it applies) and voila!

  • Congrats Lily! These results are amazing! I have no idea how you do it even after reading your summary! I’ll have to try harder to up my pageviews, and I agree, reading other people’s content is the funnest part yet the thing I feel I have the least amount of time to do 🙁

    I’m so excited to hear your review of Michelle’s course! Maybe I’ll snipe it through the next sale, or if you have your own great affiliate deal 😛

    My issue is every post feels like it takes a million years. I could literally spend 30 hours writing 3 posts! So it’s a huge time suck. The easiest thing for me to do is tweet and it’s for fun. But because it’s for fun, I haven’t really figured out a great way to optimize it.
    Jing recently posted…Money Diaries: July Week 3

    • DM me!! xD no one should struggle as much with Mailchimp as we have lol! It takes me a long time to write a post too – I can spend an entire afternoon and bam it’s 10:30PM and I’m just wrapping up! Boo!

  • You’re doing great Lily!

    Way better than me but I’m actually looking up to you and Ms. FAF. I’m glad I made some friends while blogging :)))))))

    Can’t wait to see what’s in store as your blog grows.

    Ouuuu and thanks for the shout out. I have to do the same for you and my blogging peeps in the coming weeks.
    Cory @ Growing Dollars From Cents.com recently posted…Best User Testing Websites To Make Money: Earn Money At Home Idea

    • Keep hustling Cory! We’ll all do it together!

      Ms. FAF’s growth is so much crazier than mine! She’s doing better than the bloggers who has been for yearssss. I look up to her, let’s both look up to her *_*

  • Simpsons gifs ON POINT, haha. Your blog growth in incredible, I’m so impressed! Doubly so that you’ve managed to figure out Pinterest. I love the idea of creating freebies/writing an e-book… it’s a great area to grow the blog’s brand (but not easy to do).
    Your report format is also super fun to read. 🙂 Already waiting for the next one!

  • My blog is not monetized and I am in my 10th year. Remember, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are thousands of paths to take. Keep your priorities first and formula second. Your family is always priority #1.

    • I absolutely love your passion Pamela. 10 years to resist the sale, you are an expert!!!
      “Keep your priorities first and formula second” – that will make into my 4th month post! I love it!

  • Keep doing your thing Lily! I totally agree about twitter. To be honest, its my favorite social media platform. And it seems like I have the most engagement from it.

    Again, love the transparency with your monthly reports. We bloggers have to help each other out.

    • Thanks Reid 🙂 I didn’t think about transparency. I just write what my energy allows me and what I remember at that time (probably 2AM in the morning) haha.

  • You are doing a great job in a short amount of time – would love to hear some of the ways you’re engaging so many people.

    Your voice is one of passion and compassion! We haven’t monetized yet either, but have been having a blast writing the blogs without it…maybe one day if we feel like it :D.

  • When you said “Thanks to Mrs. FAF” you’ll be in a podcast, I thought you two were teaming up to create a podcast! What a dynamic duo and a fun podcast that would be =) I am definitely interested in rental income though I only have one property (out-of-state) I’ve considered doing a vacation rental out-of-state as well but that sounds a lot more risky. NYC real estate is way too expensive for me to buy but I’m sure it would do great as an AirBnb…

    • AirBnBs are illegal in NYC Andrew!! They actually cracked down on a host for like $50K for renting out his home. It’s crazy!

      And you’re psychic!!! Mrs. FAF and I will be in a podcast together soon – just as guest though. Not hosting 🙂

  • Hey Lily, your update cracked me up. I can see so much of myself in it. Anyway, I’ve just taken your advice and set up the showcase feature in Pinterest. Never even occurred to me! Thanks for the tips.

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