This Mama Learns Growth Project – Episode 4


growth project 4

Hey there!

And the October report is up! My name is Cath and I’m a freelancing, mom blogging, Pinterest loving gal from Oz. I started This Mama Learns as a way to make some money, keep me sane and simply, because I love blogging.

I’ve been trying to work out a way to make these report posts better and more helpful. I’m not a fan of the current incarnation, so I’m going to keep tweaking until I reach something I’m happy with. I’ve been sticky-beaking on lots of other bloggers’ income reports and I’m taking notes.

So first up, what’s the point of doing a blog traffic and income report?

The reason I do them is to show you my journey from zero to success, and all the blips along the way.

Currently, we’re in blip season. Pretty sure I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though! So stick with me, and read on into the inner workings of This Mama Learns.

If you want to read up on my last few months journey, here you go:

Episode 3 – September 2016

Episode 2 – August 2016

Episode 1 – July 2016

Let’s talk about October

I was in a funk in September. And that continued into October.

It’s been a big adjustment going from procrastinating about writing one blog post, to suddenly writing three per week for clients. (And trying to squeeze my own blog post in there somewhere too.)

It requires a level of organization that I’ve not yet ascended to! The pressure has kind of helped me identify where my systems and strategies are letting me down.

On the plus side, my freelance income has more than doubled this month. And you know what that means?

I started blogging after my baby was born because I wanted to stay home. I didn’t want to return to work, deal with the day care and commute thing, and spend the best part of my day working for pennies on the dollar once the day care fees are paid.

But now, for the first time, I can seriously entertain the idea that I don’t have to do that. And that’s magical. It’s also a huge adjustment in mindset. I’ve felt like there was a big timer counting down over my head this whole time. Now? I can breathe again!

Where’s the Secret Sauce?

I have an admission to make too. Well. Since I was making sooo much money, I also splashed out and spent some this month. It’s kind of embarrassing but I guess I was looking for secret sauce.

Have you been disappointed looking for secret sauce? Thinking that if you just get this or that, surely it holds all the answers to life, the universe, and making money from your blog?

Ugh. I should know better by now.

There is no secret sauce.

Repeat after me.

There is no secret sauce.

Anyway, to get back to the report I said I was going to get back to basics this month and focus on:

  • Increasing blog traffic
  • Converting visitors to email subscribers

Did I do it?

*drumroll*

Not really. Honestly, I’ve been so busy adjusting to life in the freelance lane, I haven’t paid my blog (and you guys) the attention it (and you) deserves.

1. Blog Traffic

I did very little promotion during the month. This was partly because every time I tried I’d get distracted trying to re-do my Facebook Group promo schedule, and partly because…

I didn’t like my posts.

Yep. I said it.

I feel really weird about promoting my traffic and income reports, especially when I have nothing particularly exciting to report. And my last post wasn’t up to my usual standard – it didn’t really contain any juicy valuable information to help you guys. I’m sorry about that. I’ll put it on my [humongously enormous] to-do list to improve.

So while I haven’t been keeping on top of promoting, other people have been sharing my posts! I logged onto Google Analytics the other day and nearly fell out of my chair from the spike of visits from Facebook to my post about Keyword Research and others. I’m curious as to where it’s coming from – is it a group? Am I in the group? What context is it being shared? I don’t think there’s any way for me to find out.

The numbers:

SeptemberOctoberDifference
Page Views30563979+923
Pinterest3,1003,351+251
Twitter6691014+345

Look at that growth! It might not be massive, but it’s heading in the right direction. Especially considering I’ve done very little for the last month. But that’s changing from now.

Goals for November – December 2016

Since it’s already halfway through November (I’m going to back-date it when I publish though #cheeky), I’m going to include December in these goals too and post the next blog check-in report in January 2017.

I’ve got some big plans for This Mama Learns for 2017. The first of which is this:

I’m going to start a new blog, in a new niche.

Why?

Because I’m tired of feeling like I have to apologize for being one of THOSE bloggers who blog about blogging.

So. I’m starting a new blog.

I’m putting my money where my mouth is and using everything I know about blogging to grow a new blog from scratch.

I’ll be documenting everything as I go, so it’s part experiment, part content creation (for This Mama Learns).

Apart from working on that, I’m aiming to:

  • Create a promotion schedule/checklist and stick to it
  • Post once a week
  • Explore batching, I’m sure people who batch have more fun.

2. Converting visitors to subscribers

It was not a bad month for list building – around 90 people signed up all in all. Which is pretty cool!

And I’ve started a new welcome email series (well I only have email 1 up just yet), and lots of people are responding and sharing their social media accounts and their blogs with me. I love it!

I love being able to see what you guys are up to.

When I think of how long it took me to reach my first 100 subscribers… it seems I’ve picked up some momentum.

I said I was going to look at my content upgrades and add to them and improve them. I didn’t do that, but I did have a look at what’s working. There’s a couple that are being downloaded like hotcakes (Facebook group list)… and there are some that I thought were way more useful that have been downloaded like once (Pinworthy pin guide). EVER.

You might’ve seen I plan to launch a free e-course. I’m still doing that. It’s about Pinterest and should launch in early December. I’m probably spending far too much time on it, but oh well. It’s going to be awesome!

3. Income

I’m not going to focus on income for the next little while (apart from my freelance writing.)

Numbers:

October 2016 Income

$22.50 – Wealthy Affiliate

$3.50 – Tailwind

$1000+ Freelancing

October 2016 Expenses

ConvertKit – $30

Genius Bloggers Bundle – $97 (ahhh – too many courses and ebooks to read!!!)

Highlights of October

Some great things happened in October.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before on the blog, but I started a new welcome email series (I’m only finished with email 1). And, I’m getting replies from new subscribers nearly every day. It’s awesome!I got a new computer (cue shifting all files and various organizational crisis). This means:

  • I can now use Canva properly! Finally!
  • I  can see my colors for the first time in months and… I’m not sure I like them. They’re so bright!!! Maybe it’s just that I’ve been using too much red recently.

I also decided that as much as I LOVE the font Sifonn, I don’t love having to guess where it’s going to end up moving to when I download my image from Canva. So I’m changing fonts too. (Canva knows that there’s an issue with some fonts not staying put when they’re downloaded)I guess I’m having a mini a rebrand. Though I might leave things as they are right now to plan out what I’m going to do.

What’s Next?

Have you started planning for 2016? I’ve been in the thick of it recently, and it’s really helped me recover my mojo. I’ve taken TIME to think about the blog and its direction, not just stressed out about my next blog post being due.

How was October for you? Did you make progress on your goals?

Pinterest Power UP

6 thoughts on “This Mama Learns Growth Project – Episode 4”

  1. Hey Cath!

    What?! Another blog! But I love this blog…what kind of blog will it be? Don’t neglect this blog!!

    I have two blogs and it’s hella hard. I didn’t even have a blog post for this week for TM!! ahh.. it sucks.

    Congrats on your growth and new colors. Yes it is bright! But nice! Like the new rebrand in your images too.

    That’s awesome that one of your posts got picked up. I found out one of my EC posts got a feature snippet on Google. I might write about that on TM but no time. I have these epics client posts and I’m procrastinating (well I’m adding new lessons to my course so I’m super busy).

    So happy you feel relieved now that you know you can make money online! I’ve always known it: the quickest way to make money online is freelance blogging. It’s amazing.

    Catch ya later!

    1. Hey Elna,
      Well, I might be crazy! Especially considering my patchy posting record recently >.<; Can I really manage 2 blogs? We'll see. 🙂 Thank you for the kind words about the changes - I'm not 100% happy with it yet. It's a work in progress I guess. We'll get there. I'm trying not to spend too much time and energy on it, because I have a lot on my plate already without becoming a novice web and graphic designer as well!That's cool you got a feature snippet! 🙂 I definitely understand the no-time thing. Can't wait to see the final updated version of the course! I'm going to have to post about it here soon (actually it's on the top of my list).

  2. Way to go with the freelancing income! That’s one area I’m focusing on for 2017 – at least the first half of it. I am currently deciding what I want to do in the new year. I’d really like to start a second blog but I also want to release some courses and ebooks. I have to get it all prioritized and planned out for sure!

    1. Thanks Kecia! I definitely feel you on wanting to do all the things. It’s great you’re focusing on freelancing – honestly, it’s probably the quickest way to make significant money online AND it also builds your reputation and relationships with other bloggers. Wins all round 🙂
      There’s so much to do… Definitely need a solid plan for 2017!

  3. Cath, looks like so many people were in a funk in September – me included. It’s hard juggling freelancing, a blog and little ones.

    When I think I’ve gotten the hang of it, months like September happen 😉 Kudos to you for sticking it out. I’m excited about your new blog and can’t wait to hear more. I’ve been itching to start another one too but don’t think I could write about anything else other than marketing.

    And so happy to hear your welcome email series is getting you good engagement. That’s fabulous! Enjoy your freelancing achievements. You have lots to be proud of! 🙂

    1. Hey Meera
      Oh yeah, it’s really hard! #thejuggleisreal (love that hashtag).
      Sometimes I think I might be crazy to even think about starting a new blog… and I love writing about marketing too…
      It’s not quite a series yet 🙂 I intend for it to be a series but haven’t written the next emails yet. I spent a lot of time reading your posts about welcome emails 🙂
      Thank you for the kind words. I tend to get caught up in the competition, should-do-more-better mindset, so sometimes I forget to celebrate my achievements!

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