This post contains affiliate links to products I love and personally use. Please read disclosure here

Before you start reading all of this I want you to know, I was an overwhelmed newbie not long ago. And now 5 weeks in I’ve become a much more comfortable blogger with a strong foundation. So sit back while you read, and if you have any questions do send me an email and I would be happy to answer them. I knew I wanted someone to be an online blogging buddy as I had new questions pop up in my head every minute. So don’t be afraid if you need answers to a hundred questions, I know how it feels 🙂

A little background story:

Starting a blog is the most overwhelming experience there is. Especially if you are someone that has never blogged before or has “zero” techno skills (like myself-ha). I had researched for months online, to see if blogging is something that would suit me, and to make sure I wasn’t going to get bored with it over time.

Since I had never blogged before I had to learn everything about blogging from scratch. Posts, ebooks, courses, whatever I felt would equip me to be a successful blogger. Like most other newbie bloggers, I needed to learn and understand 3 key things:

  1. How to start a blog – all the tech stuff including self-hosting, installing WordPress and setting up a theme and customising it.
  2. What was this affiliate marketing people were talking about?- I wrote a post about this in the simplest easy to understand language for those starting out.
  3. How to increase traffic and build an email list- gaining blog readership

Learn how my messed up blog launch made me a winner, and so can you!

So how did I mess up?…

A lot of bloggers show income reports with high page views with just a few months into blogging. But most of them had blogs that were either a “blog about blogging” or a “personal finance” blog. So I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Silly as it sounds I went straight for it as I thought that was the “best niche” in the blogging business.

Ok, now the part where it gets even sillier. Just 2 days after launching my blog…. I didn’t like the niche I had chosen!!

Alright, I’ll give you a few seconds to finish laughing… But, true. I got my niche all wrong!

I just knew I wasn’t going to be interested in writing about it over time. I didn’t want it to carry on like this and wanted to set things straight right at the start. Blogging about food had always been at the back of my mind and so “Plan B” was launched. I closed my site down for a couple of days and it was right back up with 2 sparkly food posts! I was so proud of it in all honesty.

Was I upset? Maybe a little bit, because I had done so much homework -prewritten email series, created tons of blogging ideas and posts in that niche, a good number of pinnable images ready to go, and signed up for 15 affiliate programs to get my “personal finance blog” going.  So yes was a little disappointed that “plan A” didn’t work out, but it felt satisfying.

Lesson learned:

Choose a niche you will be happy about. Don’t follow someone else’s passion just because their niche seems to be doing better. If you do what you love your creativity will surpass all that, and will show in your writing. And when there is passion in writing there will be a loyal following.

Still confused about your niche? My answer – Pick a domain name that doesn’t give away your niche that easy. Like I was messylifesorted.com, worked well as a personal finance niche( sorting out finances) and now as a food blog (sorting out healthy food habits).

What helped me when I had no blogging experience or technical knowledge?

I wanted tools that taught me everything in plain simple English, even the word “web hosting” scared me at that time. There was a lot of “trial and error” when I was choosing companies for web hosting or theme or email service provider. By the way, these would be your only initial investments that you might need to make when you start.

The only 2 rules I had in mind to join these companies where,

  1. Quick customer service, if not instant 24 x 7 access – I just knew I needed someone to guide me through this whole process and answer all my silly super basic questions. I couldn’t afford to email someone today and get a response tomorrow or the day after to fix what I needed. Bad enough there was making images, writing blog posts and promoting them!
  2. Service that was worth the money! I bet you agree.

Why I talk about these blog resources, are because when you use a comfortable easy to use service, you can forget about your email system failing or your website playing up, or your theme breaking up. And best of all, it makes your blog look very professional and very state of the art. I’ve been super excited, with just a month into blogging I’ve had a few brands try to team up with me even though I only have a few hundred followers on social media, but the feel of my blog gave them an idea of professionalism. This is something you definitely need to work on to attract customers.

If you are a little confused which way to go, do read on…

With WEB HOSTING, I first thought Bluehost was my answer. But then heard a lot of well-experienced bloggers suggest that Siteground offered a lot better service for just a dollar more. Why would I risk my site for just a buck? And you want to know what else…

They have a super speed 24 x 7 online chat service- No joke! They come online in under 10 seconds of you typing your question! JUST WHAT I NEEDED!! I didn’t need to read any “how to start a blog” tutorials. Just went on my computer, had one tab opened to their chat service and the other tab opened to the Siteground website and they walked me through the entire process and even installed WordPress for me! They stayed with me the whole 20 minutes! Now apart from that, when you go with Siteground they never let your site slow down or have a downtime, always up and running and my site loads super fast. If you are serious about blogging I don’t think you should think twice about the safety of your site. I paid for privacy, domain and an SSL certificate (to keep your site secure) and that was it. If I remember right, these add-ons can be done later on as well.

Again with THE THEME. Coding..Coding..Coding… and more coding. I was Oh-so afraid of that word. Many bloggers that have started monetizing their blog had blogs before as a hobby or as a part-time thing, so they had a feel of “how to blog”, but not me. Zilch. Zero. None whatsoever! My prayers were answered when I found Divi from the Elegant Themes. With most themes you need to go to the back end of your WordPress site and type all your info, then hit preview to see what it looks like, and then again go back to the dashboard and make changes.

Its different with Divi, you type right on your webpage and you can see how it will look to your readers whether they view it from their Desktop, Tablet or mobile. This helped me save so much time, and they have “modules” which are like premade sections, for creating barcodes, countdown timers (awesome if you have a product to sell) and much more. They are like premade modules, so you don’t have to worry about creating them from scratch.

And best part again excellent customer service. Send them an email and they reply back with your answer in just a few hours. The only time I’ve had to get to them is to ask for a code to insert into my theme to make it suit my look. Purely for aesthetics. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about my blog visuals and I owe it to Divi.

With EMAIL MARKETING, I haven’t been able to concentrate on that a lot yet. Still, need to get a lot of posts out.Still only have about 9 or 10 I think. I use Convertkit, I agree its a little high end, and next in line would be Mailerlite. But I decided to go with it. I started with Mailerlite, but if I have to be honest I wasn’t able to follow the instructions given by them. For me personally Convertkit was a lot less fidgety and straightforward, and when I found myself having to deal with making any alterations when customising my form, the team at Convertkit would just create the form for me- easy peasy!

This blog is created by me and me alone. I needed RELIABLE people to count on, so I could spend the time writing and creating recipes for my blog and promoting it and not sitting for hours in front of my computer wondering why my image is not showing up!

MY BIG DAY!

With all that’s said, I completed “Month number one”. Looking at my blog statistics always scared me. But I have always wanted to create a first-month blog report, even before I started blogging. So I was praying and hoping I did something right somewhere, to be able to create a report that will motivate me, and inspire others. I knew with only 8 posts out, there wasn’t a lot I could do, other than sharing the same posts on social media. And I also knew there was a gabazillion (if there was a word like that-ha) other food bloggers out there, and was wondering who would want to read or share my new blog with not so much information?

I WAS WRONG!

4,084 times viewed the first month!

I was super duper excited! I wasn’t spending a lot of time promoting it or writing posts as mommy life was taking over me, so this little win (well, big for me) was enough motivation to keep me going.

Yes, this is an achievable goal for any niche, so If you are someone that is stuck with not enough page views or not gaining a readership, don’t give up that easy. There is a way and, I have decided to write a whole detailed post on it. Not the usual pin it or share it, but show you how people view content, where to post, how often to post, and how to time it. This is something anyone in any niche can implement.

I had invested in Convertkit only mid- October and have managed to gain 35 email subscriber. I don’t have a freebie opt-in yet, it’s just a simple sign up for my newsletter one.

Note- Freebie opt-in is the best way to get subscribers, I just didn’t have the time to come up with a freebie idea. My brain does freeze sometimes :D.

I do owe a lot of my success to the RIGHT blogging resources I invested in. If you would like to do the same, I would be super excited if you would use my affiliate links below, thank you 🙂

You may click the links below if you like to check them out!

SITEGROUND- WEB HOSTING

DIVI – FROM ELEGANT THEMES

CONVERTKIT- EMAIL MARKETING

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Until then, you can reach out to me for any blogging questions, and I will be happy to help 🙂

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