When I first started blogging back in 2015, eventually I set up some blogging goals. They might seem quite generic but for me, at that time it felt like a big deal! However, it took me 5 years to actually reach them…
The goals were quite classic: 10K monthly visitors, consistent passive income, great readership with invested readers, etc.
At the end of the day, I just wanted for my blog to make it.
I believe you might be on the same path and seeking ways to reach the same goals now.
So have a read and prepare yourself for a wild journey!
Now, it’s June 1st 2020 when this post gets published and I JUST finished my SECOND 10K traffic month. Second. In five freakin’ years. It’s huge for me. But also like… what the heck?!
The main reason why I was able to bring this much traffic now is all of my strategies shared in Master Your Pinterest. With all the most recent updates, it has given my website a HUGE boost I was never able to reach before.
Let me be real’ honest here.
For the first year and two NOTHING was happening as I wanted it to.
I got more serious about making money blogging in 2016. That’s when my first products were created, I started looking into affiliate marketing, growing my mailing list and all the other must-dos.
At some point, I started thinking, well… maybe this is just not meant to happen for me! I put in HOURS of work and my traffic didn’t grow. I researched and wrote loads and loads of content. I shared, grew my community, challenged myself with Facebook Live and other marketing methods.
I created one failed product after another. I changed the directions of my business. I niched down.
I was running around like a wild goose.
I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SOME REAL PROGRESS. Something to hold on to, some kind of hope.
Sometimes my traffic grew, a post or two went viral on Pinterest and I got really excited. MAYBE THIS IS IT? Well, it wasn’t.
True that in 2017 one of my posts went viral on Pinterest and is STILL going strong every-single-day. But it’s not really the success I was going for. Especially, since the post was completely unrelated to my main focus…
Now, in 2020 things started to shift.
The mindset shift
I’m turning 26 this year and have been doing more or less the same for the past 6 years. It gets tiring to not be sure of what the future holds! And while 26 is not the end of the world and many of my readers are probably smirking about me even mentioning this, I know I’ve spent enough time in my business whirlwinding without a good destination and it REALLY. HAD. TO. CHANGE.
One other important personal change that urged me to set my mindset straight was the plan to finally settle down in my home country. As we speak, I haven’t done that yet but that’s the plan for the later part of 2020.
Until now, I’ve been traveling and living a digital nomad lifestyle, therefore, this freedom and uncertainty was a part of the ride. But as I want to settle down, I knew my business perspective has to change asap.
And after all, as cliche as this sounds, when that 30 hits, I just really want to be able to show something for the past TEN years. Something more than “yeah, I’m working online, that’s quite fun”.
So why did it took me so long to finally get my mind straight and finally reach my blogging goals?
Here are some mistakes you can learn from!
Why it took me 5 years to reach my blogging goals?
MISTAKE #1: I was afraid to invest
When my account was balancing at around $50 after paying for rent, food and gym for the month, there isn’t much to invest.
Purchasing a monthly subscription of $20 just doesn’t seem like an option. And you can always find something similar for free, RIGHT?!
So for years and years, I kept SAVING wherever I could.
In late 2019, I bought my first expensive WordPress theme ever and it cost me around $70. Yes, I CALL THAT EXPENSIVE.
As a website designer myself, I’ve changed and updated my website around 10 times at least. I’ve tried free and cheap themes, Elementor (which I still use and love!), tried and tested plenty of options just to find the cheapest and most convenient design that I’ll love.
Now, when I opted in for this purchase, EVERYTHING CHANGED.
It sounds dramatic… But I’m honest.
I paid more attention to my blog. I was so goddamn proud. I wasn’t scared to share (which, weirdly enough, somehow happened in the last few years). I actually love the small features and I absolutely stand by this design.
It’s the first time ever when this has happened for more than a month!!
I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect based on the price (since it’s pricier I maybe see it as cooler…) or maybe it really has changed some bigger perspectives… But that’s when the real change started!
I’m also constantly thinking about investing more.
For the first time ever, I bought website hosting for TWO years, not one. Which was an investment of around $250 and, for me, paying $250 for something other than plane tickets in one click is a scary move but it felt so freeing. I’ve been using Siteground for all my blogging years and after trying other hostings for my client sites I’m sure I don’t want to leave them. So why not to invest?
I’ve made an email marketing upgrade from MailerLite to Flodesk. I’ve been using MailerLite as one of the cheapest options in the market. It has been satisfying but with the number of signups increasing, I’d need to invest more and now seemed like a great time for an upgrade.
Usually, Flodesk costs $38/monthly but you can get it for $19 (forever!) with this link. It’s my new favorite, for sure!
It’s true what they say – investing makes you more dedicated, you start taking yourself more seriously.
Now, I’ve even started thinking about purchasing courses for hundreds of dollars, coaching sessions… I’m not ready quite yet and it’s still a big investment for me but I can only imagine how much of a business upgrade I might get out of that!!
MISTAKE #2: I was lacking FOCUS
This has been a huge issue for me but I believe there’s no shortcut to learning this. You just have to make your own mistakes.
You know that feeling… that just around the corner there must be something better?
You start a product… and then see another idea… and think “damn, how did I not think of that??”
You’ve set up your website, all fancy and new… and then see another blogger’s site and think “WOOOOW, that’s a nice design, where do I get this??”
For me, this has always been part of the journey. Running around, chasing my own tail.
Once I came up with one product, another idea popped up so the first one never got marketed properly, I just moved on.
When I niched down to passive income, I realized that so many people want to hear about online courses… I got to writing about courses… Just to realize I actually want to write about website setup… But my knowledge is in design and tech stuff… So probably that… But also mindset and growth because I’m really into it!!
You see where I’m going with this?
That’s exactly how I’ve led my business for years. I’ve been a hot mess, to say the least.
But I’ve always known that. SO WHY DIDN’T I DO A THING ABOUT IT.
I guess it just wasn’t the right time.
Only after testing and failing, I found my true audience and my focus. It took me YEARS of speaking with my readers, of doing 1-on-1 client work to figure out my perfect niche and, therefore, my offer.
That’s when I was able to FOCUS.
Focus on specific products to offer.
Create FOCUSED funnels. Starting from theme-specific freebies, leading to valuable offers.
Focus on affiliate programs that my readers will be interested in.
And this focus, knowing what and WHY you do, brings a lot of clarity, making the life a whole bunch easier than before.
MISTAKE #3: I played it small
I started working online when I was 20 and my first freelance design job was to design quotes for the rate of $5/hr. I hear you laughing! But for me earning $5/hr ONLINE, ALL ON MY OWN was a huge deal.
Eventually, I grew my rates, started selling digital products, did some 1-on-1 projects… But even after almost 6 years in the business, I still often feel like that 20-year-old.
Who’ll trust me?
Who’ll take me seriously?
I probably don’t have enough experience anyway, right??
Let me tell you. In the last 5+ years, I have learned A LOT. I’ve helped plenty of clients, built and rebuilt my own business, shared my knowledge with others, inspired people around me to take on working online, learned new and more in-depth info on all I already knew. Again, again and again.
It was time to realize that I KNOW MY SHIT. Like, for sure.
It was time to stop downsizing my knowledge and BE MORE PROUD.
One great hack that helped me was from She Did It Her Way Podcast and it went something like this
“Imagine being in the role of those who you admire. What would they think? How would they act? What would they do? Do that.”
UPGRADE YOUR MINDSET.
Whether you’ve been in the business for a year or five, you’ve evolved, learned new things, you have knowledge and skillset to share.
It’s time to start admiring yourself.
MISTAKE #4: I didn’t have enough good systems in place
Systems save time, help the focus and BRING RESULTS.
Here I’m talking about all kinds of systems. Any system that will help and improve your daily life, your business, your health and well-being.
What systems to create? This will depend on your specific business.
Here are just some of the systems I’ve developed over the years:
- A clear working schedule. What, when and how will get done. Having a schedule HELPS.
- Email marketing. It’s been a huge pain in the arse for me but ever since I moved to Flodesk it’s A LOT more enjoyable experience. I can honestly say that putting my email marketing in place has been a great pleasure and an enjoyable experience (that took me way too long, for sure)
- Automatized digital product selling. I’ve worked hard to improve my sales. Automatizing has taken a while and quite a lot of planning. From freebies and opt-in placements on my blog to upsell pages, email sequences and connecting the dots (as in, the offers) one with other.
- Templates prepared. Pinterest pin designs to work with, email answers to the most popular questions, comments I often do on Facebook. All of these small things can go a long way!
- Healthy habits. My every morning starts with a book. I go for a 10km run 3 times a week. And do yoga almost every day. While this is more of a habit than a system, it works in my schedule so seamlessly that I can’t help but to add it on the list!
MISTAKE #5: I wasn’t investing enough time
It’s hard to take THE leap. It’s hard to believe that your blog can be anything but side income. IT’S SO GODDAMN HARD.
I’m working with successful bloggers constantly and I see HOW it’s absolutely possible to start earning twice as a full-time income. However, with no real assurance, it is hard to trust the process.
But I always felt the urge. The urge to actually invest more time. Whenever I work on a blog post, I get ideas for 5 other posts. I just know I won’t have the time to make them all happen…
When one freebie comes out, I have this crazy idea about a possible automatization with other freebies and upsell products and final offers. SO MANY IDEAS. So little time.
So most of the time I just downsized my huge dreams and left without looking back.
When I actually let myself invest more than 50% of my working time in the blog, I started seeing CRAZY results.
I’ve always invested A LOT of time in my blog. It’s always been a very big part of my life and I’ve invested loads of hours in it. I mean it! But there was just a bit more I could do and I discovered how much it can change.
Now, I still do my client work but I’ve allocated MOST of my working time for blog and I’m focusing on optimizing every inch of this place. It takes a lot of time, believe me… But I also feel the results so it’s all absolutely work with!
Now, as I’ve mentioned through this article, there’ve been quite many different mistakes that have played their role in my struggle through years. However, now I was able to grow my traffic to stable 10K/monthly all thanks to Pinterest! If you’re just learning how to operate that, make sure to join Master Your Pinterest!