The blogging world has been filled with a lot of drama recently from bloggers scamming other bloggers to Instagram bots and he said she said kind of drama popping up all over Twitter every day. The blogging world however is also filled an enormous amount of wonderful inspirational people who have stories to tell, lessons to teach and businesses to build. One of these people is Kim from - a wonderful lady who's not just a personal finance blogger but also the ultimate debt destroyer! Together with her husband she has paid off $45,000 in debt in 2 years - I mean, WHAT?! And today she'll tell you about 5 mistakes she made in her first month of blogging (and how to fix them!). Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have!  

I hemmed and hawed for about 2 years before I finally took the plunge and launched my blog, a few months ago. And Im so glad I did! Its been a great ride so far and the best part has been connecting with folks from all different walks of life and working with them to achieve their financial goals.

That said, blogging is not as easy as I thought it was going to be and I made quite a few missteps especially during my first 4 weeks as a blogger. However, I used these blunders as learning opportunities and Im excited to share these with the Cityscape Bliss readers today.

🌸 Focusing on quality over quantity
For a short while I was obsessed with numbers -- the number of blog posts I churned out, the number of followers I had on each social platform and the number of likes I received for each post.

However, this approach isnt sustainable. On Instagram specifically, I found that while my following grew rapidly, the number of people who clicked on my blog link in my bio was on the decline. More people were liking my posts but that didnt translate into them wanting to visit my blog. Why? I was overdoing it with posts -- three or more per day -- and 2 out of 3 posts were not useful content. I was simply posting for the sake of posting.

At that point, I knew I had to go back to my why. My reason for starting the blog in the first place which was to help others with their personal finance and life goals. This switch in mindset led me to post less frequently on Instagram but also more thoughtfully and selectively as well. I decided to only post if I had something useful and helpful to say. I was surprised (and pleased) to see that my engagement levels actually improved significantly when I did this. I also took a similar approach when it came to content creation for my blog. Id rather post something a bit later than planned in order to ensure that it is high quality and well put together instead of rushing to ensure I have something up because it is posting day.

🌸 Finding my own voice
Although I had experience as a professional writer, theres a difference between writing for a newspaper or magazine outlet and blog writing. This was a big struggle for me at first. Initially, I tried to replicate the tone that other bloggers were using, which is a big no-no because your readers can usually tell when youre trying to be something (or someone) that youre not. After a few weeks of working on this, I found that I am not someone who comes up with buzz-worthy catch phrases and thats okay. Once I stopped overthinking it, I realized that my strength lies in being a conversational writer. My posts are now a lot more easy to put together and Id like to think that my readers are happier because I am speaking directly from the heart.

🌸 Learning about the power of Pinterest
I did not use Pinterest at all during my first month as a blogger because I had no clue that this quasi-social media platform was such a huge traffic driver. It took me a few weeks to properly set up my Pinterest, but once I did, the results were pretty much immediate. Not only did I gain more than 1,000 followers in a short space of time but more importantly, my blog traffic more than tripled. Here are a few things I did to grow Pinterest:
i.         Cleaned up all my boards (deleted any non-related boards like recipe boards).
ii.        Created pins for each post (seems like a no-brainer, yet I didnt have any).
iii.       Joined group boards like Bloggers from Blogstart and also created my own, Lifestyle BloggersRule.
iv.      Started using BoardBooster to automate repins for my content. I firmly believe this has been the game changer for me in helping to more than triple my traffic. You can start with a free subscription to BoardBooster here (I now use the $10 a month service). I also use Tailwind to schedule other peoples content which is absolutely key if you want your pins to start appearing regularly in Pinterest. You can get a $15 credit to Tailwind by following this link.

I also have a more detailed blog post about Pinterest which you can find here.

🌸 Creating a content calendar to stay organised
I created a posting schedule (Mondays and Thursdays) which Ive been pretty good about sticking to, with bonus posts on Saturdays sprinkled throughout the month. But unfortunately, knowing which days youd like to post isnt enough. What started to happen in my case was that Sunday would roll around and I had to scramble to come up with a topic, write a draft, edit it and find appropriate images. It all became very stressful. By properly utilizing my content calendar, I have the topics and outlines along with links to potential sources, already created a few months in advance. I have also set reminders and deadlines for myself to start working on posts a lot earlier.

🌸 Growing my email subscriber list
Although I stopped obsessing over numbers, I still need readers in order to grow my blog. One method that I am focused on using is growing my subscriber list by providing resourceful content that is actionable -- meaning someone can implement the tips in their own lives. I have finally created my first opt-in free downloadable guide which I cant wait to share on my blog. I have also been looking into creating a resource library and found this post to be particularly useful. 

🌸 Learning how to be patient
Apart from being a resource for my readers, I also wanted to be able to earn a bit of side income from blogging as well but in a way that isnt pushy, salesy or aggressive. I wanted to be able to do this by promoting products and services that I believe in and that can benefit my readers. However, earning my first few hundred dollars from blogging did not happen over night. It took a few months of learning and patience. I also took a course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing which helped me to create a strategy to start earning money from my blog.

My advice to any blogger who might be struggling at the moment is this - 
Set your big picture vision and break those down into realistic weekly and monthly goals. Then take it one day at a time. Also, dont be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I have formed relationships with more seasoned bloggers than myself who are always willing to share their tips which has been super helpful as well as encouraging.
And there you have it... the five mistakes I made during my first month as a blogger and how I overcame them. Im so excited to continue this journey and share my experience with all of you in the blogging community.

5 mistakes I made in my first month as a blogger & how I overcame them
5 mistakes I made in my first month as a blogger & how I overcame them
Kim Galeta is a personal finance blogger and freelance writer.
Along with her husband, Kim has paid off $45,000 of debt in two years
and loves helping others work on their debt free goals!
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5 mistakes I made in my first month as a blogger & how I overcame them