Blogging

First Progress Report: March 2018

Hello March!

I launched Tickle Me Thirty in the last week of February after a lot of contemplation and research/ exploration of various blogs and other outlets. (AKA we’re headed into WEEK TWO, talk about NEWBIE.) I understand that blogging is a whole new world and there is a steep learning curve. Therefore, it’s important to have goals and to check back on the progress.

I invite anyone who lands themselves on this post to travel along with me. Whether you’re an experienced blogger who can offer tips from back in your startup days or an amateur like myself curious about what steps others are taking, your presence is valued. Don’t forget to link your website in the comments so I can follow you.

What I’ve Done So Far

Obviously, I started a blog (I bought my self-hosted domain) and spent too much time playing around with free themes. So far, buying a domain is my only “blog expense.” And since I’m a new grad looking for jobs, I need it to stay that way for now. A few other things I’ve done:

On The Blog

  • Posts: I launched this blog with five posts. I have about five more in my drafts I need to touch up. And another dozen or so in Notes on my phone.
  • Page views/comments: Starting from scratch – This is a completely new startup blog and I’m a completely new blogger. Starting from scratch is of course anxiety-provoking, but I assume it will be more rewarding in the long run now that I started this progress report from da bottom.
  • Subscribers: I created a free Mail Chimp account to begin collecting a mailing list. I didn’t have any intention of having a newsletter but from what I’ve read, a lot of bloggers wish they started earlier so here we are. I had to watch tutorials to get a grasp of all this.
  • Keep it simple: I installed the Easy Google Fonts plugin and while I still have it, I switched everything back over to basic fonts. Although I love design, I felt like I was cluttering my site. I’m still not head over heels with the appearance, but I know that will come with time.
  • Plugins: I created a free account with Askimet after I got all excited about comments coming in only to be let down that they were likely all spam. Lesson learned. Other plugins:
    • Google Analytics to track my views/comments (I also watched a tutorial about how to exclude my own views to my site)
    • Yoast SEO (this is all so foreign to me but from what I’m understanding it’s a must-have!)
    • Shortcode Ultimates: Help me really format things like adding carousel and slider images into my posts as well as a bunch of other format options I can’t wait to play with.
    • Contact Form 7 and Contact Form Mail Chimp Extension
    • Currency Converter Widget (for international readers in one of my posts)
    • Widget Options: Allows me to hide some features of my sidebar on my homepage vs. my blog posts
    • Jetpack, Page Builder by SiteOrigin (I honestly don’t even know if I’m using these)

On Social Media

  • Pinterest: I already have a Pinterest account that I’ve had for a few years. Nothing big: 151 followers and I use it to pin random things. I kept my name Carlie but created a “Tickle Me Thirty” board and updated my bio so it fits in with my blog.
  • Twitter: I created an account using my name and blog title. As I write this I am starting with 8 followers. You read that correctly. Gotta start somewhere, right? I read a few articles about using Twitter for your blog (if I come across them again I will link them but I wasn’t keeping track at the time.)
  • Facebook groups: I have joined one Facebook group (Boost Your Blog) to get a feel of how bloggers interact with each other on Facebook. I also joined a group tailored for traveling healthcare workers since I recently graduated PA school and have posts drafted about my experiences.
  • Personal accounts: I’m open to connecting with y’all so I have my Instagram linked on this blog. However, I’ve chosen not to use my personal Instagram and Facebook pages to promote my blog through them. I would like to keep those for connecting with family and friends. Pinterest and Twitter are my main focus for blogging at this point and they’re keeping me plenty busy!

March Goals

I feel like I’ve done so much (hah), but there is oh-so-far to go. For this month, I plan (to get a job) and  focusing on:

  • Consistency: Something I keep hearing about. I need to figure out what number works well for me, but I have the time and a lot of content I’ve written, so I’ll aim for 2-3 posts per week.
  • Mailing List: Allow the option to sign up for when I’m ready to send out the first newsletter; Put subscribing options after each blog post so if the writing really registers with my lovely guests, there’s an easy way to sign up without having to look for it.
  • Pinterest: 1) Join group boards.
    2) Learn how to effectively schedule pins with Tailwind.
    3) Pin each new blog post using images made with Canva.
  • Twitter: 1) Set up some sort of Twitter scheduling for my posts.
    2)Spend 20 minutes per day engaging with people without using links to my page; Purpose is to genuinely interact with more bloggers without needing to promote myself. Interacting with random people is actually more fun than I realized.
  • Facebook: Join more blogging groups. I have a list of some I’ve collected from reading others’ blogs and what boards they prefer. I will update later which ones I decide to join.
  • Learn, learn, learn, learn! I will soon be starting an intense medical career that will consume a lot of my time, so I want to take advantage of the time I have now to at least get a grasp on some concepts behind the world of blogging.

That’s a wrap. First progress report in the books.

I needed to make the first report pretty detailed so I can build from here. As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any comments, advice, tips, questions, or if you just need a virtual hug. I got you.

♥ Carlie

2 thoughts on “First Progress Report: March 2018

  1. Carlie,
    You’re off to a great start with your blog, I’m loving it! You’re setting great goals for yourself and you’ll reach them in no time! We’ll be Newb Blogging Buddies together! Haha. ❤

    1. Thank you, Kayla!
      Newb Blogging Buddies has the perfect sound, I like it! Looking forward to seeing your future content 🙂

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