October 2018: First Month Blogging Report

Happy November, Lovelies! I am sure by now, many of you have seen inspiring monthly posts of various bloggers detailing there traffic, income and how they got there. I have been obsessed over these reports. Isn’t is just fantastic seeing the growth path taken by these fantastic bloggers and realizing how it is absolutely possible to make money online as a blogger.

What has blown me away is how all these bloggers started. It is fantastic to read their reviews of the first few months. These reports have so inspired me to share my own with YOU today. Hope you find it useful.

October 2018 was was a milestone month for me. It was when I started this blog. How did it go? What were some of my learnings? Let’s find out.

October 2018: Goals and How I Fared

If you have read my September 2018 review you would remember that I set out the following goals for myself.

1. Continue daily budgeting and doing a periodic review.

I have been regular with tracking my expenses. This one has been such a game changer.

Tracking expenses and budgeting makes you intentional about your money. You have greater control over your expenditure and feel empowered about your spending decisions. If you are working with limited resources it is easier to work towards achieving your financial goals. Being empowered increases your motivation to march stronger towards your financial dreams. You feel more confident about your self and your ability to overcome tougher times.

If you think budgeting is difficult or boring, let me assure you it is neither. Like any habit it takes a little while to form but once you start seeing the benefits you will feel motivated. Here are some simple ways to start and continue budgeting regularly.

2. Open savings account(s)

When: By October 15th.

I have been wanting to set up a separate savings account for the large, yearly expenses like Christmas, insurance payments, school fees. These expenses are set up as ‘funds’ in my monthly budget – which means I keep money aside for them each month (rather than having to cough up the entire amount in a single month).

It is better to actually put this money aside into a separate savings account. That way I earn interest on my money and I don’t end up spending this money accidentally.

Did not get this done. Rolling this over for this month because it is essential.

3. Take part in #Blogtober – Which means blogging daily during October.

I got a new post out each day for the first 14 days of the month. After that I decided to publishing an article every alternate day. In all I published 22 articles during the month.

As far as creating content goes – quality counts over quantity. So once the blog had a few articles which could be used to direct my readers, if they were interested in reading more, It was time to start digging deeper into topics and covering them more extensively.

Here are some recent articles:

4. Pinterest and Social Media

The target was to have 50 Instagram followers, 20 on Twitter and 10 people like my Facebook page.

Instagram: I have 56 followers.
Twitter: 30 followers.
Facebook Page: 19 people liked the Pennies For Cents page.

I hadn’t set out a target for Pinterest since I wasn’t sure which metric would be a good indicator of performance. If you are using Pinterest for your blog what information do you look at?

5. Get my subscription form going.

Got a very basic one going using MailerLite. I realize I have to learn so much more.

6. Walk an average of 6000 steps each day

Failed. This one is embarrassing. I walked an average of 2000 steps a day.

Even if I had done 6000 steps per day my lifestyle would be a low-active lifestyle. But I did not even get that done. My lifestyle is totally sedentary.

7. Start planning for Diwali and Christmas

My Diwali planning is complete. The decor preparations are done. Last years decor has been taken out, checked and kept ready to put up.

October 2018: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly 

The Good

Blog Traffic

Blog Traffic for October 2018

Awwww! Look at my baby numbers out there. They may be small as compared to many others but they give me so much motivation.

  • Pageviews: 257
  • Users:
  • Sessions:
  • Average session duration:

Now, let us take a look at where all the traffic came from:

October 2018 - Where the traffic came from

  • Social: 55%
  • Direct Traffic: 33%
    (this is defined as the user typing in the URL directly or clicking their bookmarks)
  • Organic Search: 8%
    (I haven’t understood this one. The source is Amazon. If anyone know how this happens could you help me here. LOL. Thanks)

Within Social Media, here are some interesting observations about how Pennies For Cents is being found by you all:

October 2018 - social media observations

  • Facebook: 80 sessions: The vast majority of my traffic is right now coming from Facebook. This can be attributed to the amazing Facebook groups that I am a part of. These groups have several weekly prompts to share a post you have been working on and even more lovely fellow bloggers who are so supportive of your work.
  • Pinterest: 19 sessions: Pinterest can be a major source of traffic for many bloggers, probably even the top source of traffic. I have only recently started working on Pinterest. I know more work is needed to be done here.
  • Twitter: 3 sessions: Okay so Twitter is rather small currently, but did you see the average session duration. How engaged is the traffic that comes from Twitter. I know the numbers are too small to establish this as a trend. It could well be an anomaly. But for the time being, I am excited.

The Monthly Expenses

My total budget for October was roughly 10 percent lower than September’s. Guess what, I spent even less. Fist bump.

Let us how I could budget for lower expenses

  • Travel and Birthday. Unlike September, there was no travel in the month of December. Also September is my daughter’s birthday, so there were some money spent to celebrate that.
    Then again, October may have been an exception. I have a trip planned for November. Then there is Diwali. The total budget for November is going to be greater than that of September.
  • Did not have to get the car refueled. Luckily the gas that I got filled last month has been enough to last me through this month. I made fewer trips for groceries etc and was able to combine more jobs in a single trip.

Diwali Preparations

In many way Diwali is pretty similar to Christmas. There is a lot of joy and cheer during the celebrations but the weeks ahead can be pretty hectic.

Luckily for me I have plenty of decorations left over from the previous year. These were taken out of their storage boxes and checked. They are ready to go. The only thing we needed were new lights for the house.

Executive Education

The husband applied for an executive education program at one of the top-3 business schools of the world and was selected. It is a huge investment that will help him advance his career goals.

READ MORE: Is Executive Education a Wise Investment? Read to find out how you decide it it is.

The Bad

Migraine

7 episodes of migraine in the month. They can be quite debilitating. Productivity goes for a toss on these days

Fitness

I walked a laughable 2000 steps on average each day. Need to focus on my fitness.

The Ugly

Income

Another month when I earned zero income. If I want to continue blogging successfully, I know I cannot ignore the income goals/

November 2018 Goals

  1. Budgeting and tracking expenses regularly.
  2. Enjoying a healthy Diwali with family while being intentional with my expenses. Diwali is a lot about joy, family, friends, food, firecrackers and much merry. Need to be mindful about the sweets and the spending
  3. Publish new articles twice a week – Monday and Thursday. I will be taking a break from blogging activities next week. From the following week I will publish two articles a week.
  4. Social Media and Pinterest
    Social Media (especially Facebook) has been the biggest source of traffic for my blog. It is important to continue building on this
    Instagram: From 56 to 90
    Twitter: From 30 to 55
    Facebook page likes: From 20 to 40
    Pinterest: I am still not sure which metric I should be targeting. Recently I have started looking at the number of average daily impressions and number of average daily viewers to my site. I am aiming to take both these to four digits by the end of the month
  5. Email Marketing
    Gain 50 new email followers. Create a valuable opt-in freebie that will to increase email subscriptions.
    I am a complete beginner to email marketing and need to learn a lot from the very beginning.
  6. Blog Monetization Strategy
    So far my income report is in red. Would love to see the color change to green very soon. This month would be coming up with my strategy to monetize my blog along with an action plan.

So there you have it! My very first month blogging summed up for you. I must admit that I can’t wait to see how Pennies For Cents grows and is received by you.

I would love to hear from you in the comments below. How do you think my month was? Is there anything else I should be tracking?

Pssst; PIN THIS now and come back to this article whenever you want to.

A look back at the first month blogging with this baby blog. Keeping it 100 and totally honest. Nope not had thousands of page views or made hundreds of dollars but there has been lots of learning. See for yourself. #penniesforcents #monthlyblogreport
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Image: Pixabay.com

1 Comment

  1. Ai | The Wise Budget

    November 2, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing! This is good! Remember, baby steps are super important. I’ve been blogging for 4 months but haven’t earned anything from affiliate sales and I haven’t reached the payout for Adsense yet. Halfway there, but hopefully it won’t take another 4 months. Despite that though, for me, the important thing is that we love what we’re doing! Good luck!

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