Reaching 5 Million, Blogging, Pinterest And Not Giving Up
Reaching 5 Million, Blogging, Pinterest And Not Giving Up
Sometimes I just want to jump up and down and shout in excitement whereas other times I want to scream and rip my hair out! (Not literally) but blogging can be such a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs, highs and lows and so much in between and as such it can cause you to feel so many emotions.
I have been blogging since January 2015. I started out with a blog named Days In Bed. The aim of the blog was to share my life, experiences and of course living with Adrenal Insufficiency. During the first year of blogging I won a massive award, the MamapreneurUK Blogging Award for best voice in the U.K and The blog started to earn little amounts of money and begin getting reviews and collaboration opportunities.
By October 2016, I made a huge decision. I rebranded and started a blog from scratch. I named the blog The Inspiration Edit. I still wanted to write about family life. I still wanted to share how we make the most of life with Adrenal Insufficiency and make my blog Inspirational! However I wanted to share inspiring ideas which people loved as well and felt The Inspiration Edit would be a great new name.
Making such a huge decision to rebrand knocked me back a good six months. I had to start rebuilding my DA score. (Domain Authority) I’ve written a post all about that if your interested. The Bloggers Guide to Domain Authority, No Follow and Do Follow links. Building a DA score is never easy and I am just beginning to reach the same level DA that days in bed had. It has taken me 18 months.
I chose a lovely header when I started my new blog, however since doing so more and more bloggers have used the same illustrator and sadly my branding has become less unique. I had to change my blog template a few times because it was so popular and everyone was using it and it’s hard to stand out in the blogging world when your look is so similar to 20 other bloggers.
However I finally found a good unique template and style for my blog around a year ago. I’ve been so reluctant to change my header and the images of my blog however last month I decided it was time and I’m excited to announce that I replaced my lovely header with a new and better (but similar) one. I’m making my branding more consistent across social media. I’m nervous but excited. It was not an easy decision but I want to be unique! I want to be me.
Last year when I was a finalist at the BritMums Awards, I went out of my comfort zone. I walked around the boat on the River at Thames and introduced myself to everyone. Little did I know that I would be introducing myself to the founder of Mediavine a blog advertising guru visiting from the USA.
I was invited out to dinner the next day and I took up the offer. I went to Wagamamas. It was so good! In fact it was my first trip to Wagamamas where I was allowed to eat anything I wanted. I fell in love with the food (the meal was amazing) and I learnt all about advertising on your blog and how it is possible to earn good money by placing adverts and amazon affiliate links onto the blog.
I was invited to make an application to a Mediavine however sadly after being reviewed my application was declined. I was disappointed as anyone would be. It sounded like such a great opportunity and with only the odd paid sponsored post here and there It would have been great to earn a steady amount of money each month!
So I determined I would not give up. I got to work for the next 8 months and worked harder than ever before. I decided I would find a way to make my blog, my traffic and my content good enough for MediaVine or any other ad network.
I’ve worked so hard creating content, writing about my life, sharing fun and fantastic ideas and doing social media engagement. I’ve worked into the night many times and sometimes through the night, when I have been unwell and unable to sleep. My husband has supported me and worked alongside me doing his photography and together we have been determined to make The Inspiration Edit a greater success.
I’m pleased to report that I finally have the Domain Authority I had when I started up The Inspiration Edit. it’s back to 38 and I am hoping to grow it from here.
This week I hit 5 Million views on Pinterest. Come Follow Me! I’ve been working so hard on Pinterest and although I thought I didn’t know what I was doing, it turns out I’m really very good at it and I’ve been reassured by a few people who teach Pinterest courses that I am becoming a pro! I have a lot to do to grow my following which is at 8K but the impressions are good.
I do all my own Pinterest work! I make sure my blog posts have pin worthy content! I then create my own pins, pin, schedule, pin other content, share and rinse and repeat. It takes a lot of effort but is a good skill to learn. Hopefully one day I can hire this work out but for now it has to be done by me.
They say content is King but for me Pinterest is Queen. I am doing brilliant and 5 million views is converting to a good amount of daily traffic. Although, I do want to increase significantly over the next year.
I’ve tried really hard on Instagram. I grew from 3K to 7K within 18 months which was not easy to do. I don’t share a post every single day on Instagram, although I do try but I am making an effort and some of my latest Instagram stories have been viewed between 1-1.8K times per story.
That’s promising and although it’s not every time I post, I am getting good views on my stories and hoping to eventually earn some money from that! It all takes time and effort and I just have not been able to focus on this platform when a lot of attention has been going into blog content and Pinterest management. However some progress is better than none.
I’m plodding away at Facebook which has algorithms which change all the time and it feels like the more I try the less views I get on my Facebook page but I am consistently sharing and engaging and have grown from 3 to 3.5-K in the past 4 months which is great.
My Twitter is going okay. I have 20.7K followers and I honestly have not been putting too much effort into this social media channel due to lack of time but I am working toward 21K and hope to hit that by the end of May 2018.
The thing is sometimes when you try hard the rewards do not come as you wish or in the timing you’d like. I found that from November last year right up until today I have had very few sponsored post opportunities. Seriously the work was dead in December and right through till now, my blog has been incredibly quiet in terms of paid work.
I’ve had a good number of unpaid reviews which is always so fun to do and we do love to review toys and products for the home on The Inspiration Edit so that has been lovely. I decided rather than pitching for paid work and chasing it, I’d sit back and plan and focus on producing good content instead. After all I am quite unwell every day with my Adrenal Insufficiency and searching for paid work is just one task too many. I have started a facebook group focussing on Kids Books and Fun Craft Ideas.
In January I made a brand new business plan. It is an amazing plan, with so much clarity and I know exactly the direction I want to take the blog. I know who I am as a blogger, the type of content I want to share and what social media’s I want to focus on.
My blog will always be about my life, my family and having fun. It will always be informed by my chronic illness and my weight loss battle which is something I have talked about since the very beginning and I will always stay true to that!
I have exciting content plans in the works. I have some wonderful crafts and food posts to share and I plan to continue sharing my weight loss journey and health journey. In fact I’ve been taking with Cura a company who have invented a machine for testing cortisol levels and I’m hoping to get involved and test this out. It’s not the answer to my health issues but could make a difference. I will not know unless I try it out! I’m going to give it a shot.
I’ve come a long way in 3 years and had some very supportive readers, Michelle Barker, Jessie and Kim just to name a few. I’m grateful I’ve never given up even when it’s been tough and I’ve been so so unwell. Like I said in a post once, I don’t want to quit and wonder what could have been.
So in the coming weeks I have some exciting things happening.
- I am updating my header/banner for this blog.
- I am sharing some Frog themed learning activities for Spring.
- I am sharing some fun Star Wars and Avengers themed blog posts. Look out for these!
- I will be writing about the new Cortisol Measuring tool. (For Saliva free cortisol)
- I will be reviewing some awesome toys with my daughter Sylvia
- I will keep working on my social media channels.
- I will start earning an income via Mediavine!
Yes! After 8 months I reapplied and was finally accepted. I signed my contract a few days ago and this is going to take the pressure off my need to find sponsored work. I will be able to focus on content and sharing my story, my narrative and The Inspiration Edit.
Watch This Space!