The October Daily: What I’ve Learned About Blogging So Far

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Today is day four of The October Daily, hosted by Mary over at Secret Obsession but since I did Day one on October 2 I’m a day behind.  (Did you follow that?)

In her “rules” Mary says, “You may choose to skip a day.”

Day 3’s topic is “Share a high school memory that you will never forget.”

I’d rather not.

There were some fun times. I enjoyed marching band and being a summer camp counselor.  My awesome best friend from then is still my awesome best friend now. I discovered my love of writing in those days.  Other than that, I’ve blocked huge portions of my high school years out.  Literally.  I run into people who know me and say things like, “remember how we sat next to each other in Mr. X’s class every day for 4 years?” and I just stand there like a deer in the headlights thinking, “I have no idea who you are or what class Mr. X taught.”

By my senior year I was dating an older guy, working 2 jobs and my worldview was focused outside the halls of the school.  I couldn’t wait to get out and I don’t really care to look back.

So I guess I’m playing my “skip a day” card early in the month. Though, maybe what I just wrote counts as a post?

Anyway… moving on!

Day 4: Share your experience during your first few weeks/months in blogging

I started blogging with zero knowledge about blogging.

I had a blast!

I felt like, in starting to write again, for the first time in years, I had re-connected with a dear old friend.

My first month I had a whopping 9 views per day on average.  I’m pretty sure my husband, best friend, and family were those 9 people.

Like a foreigner picking up a language through immersion, I started figuring things out.  Slowly but surely I gathered a tiny little following, many of whom are still with me. Thanks guys! It really does mean more than you know!

Mmm. Ice cream.

Mmm. Ice cream.

I soon realized that there were other people being paid to do this. What?! That’s like being paid to be an ice cream tester or the person on whom massage students practice!  Yes, please!

I applied to host Google AdSense.

They looked at my 3 posts with a total of 20 views and told me to come back again later. Go figure.

A year and a half later….

What?!

Sometimes time gets away from me.

Anyway, a year and a half later I had built quite the following. I was averaging more than 40 views a day! Impressive, right?   I had been offered some exciting opportunities. I got to write a bit for Huffington Post and be on HuffPostLive, but none of that really did much to promote my blog.

Then, in April of this year I got curious about something. If GMOs are so obviously bad, why does anyone use them?  So I asked a bunch of farmers and did a bunch of reading and wrote What I Learned About GMOs from 9 Farmers, A Monsanto Employee and A Whole Bunch of Reading.

Within one hour of posting I had over 100 views!

I confess: I spent the entire rest of my day refreshing my stats screen.  The next day too. And the day after that.  Lazy Hippie Mama was officially viral!  Woo hoo!

After a few weeks things started to slow down but the blog had a momentum of its own now.

Poor Hippie-Saurus Rex!

Poor Hippie-Saurus Rex!

A few weeks later I posted about a disastrous Pinterest Fail and my 2nd, more successful, attempt. Someone suggested that I submit it to Pinterestfail.com so I did and I suddenly had a SECOND viral post!  Even babycenter.com picked up on it!

I was getting a LOT more page views per day. Some days there were several thousand but my regular readers/followers/commentors weren’t increasing by much.

Then I was invited to link up to a blog party.  I didn’t quite get it.  I did it wrong. I thought my page was supposed to look like the hosts page and… well… yeah. But the host was gracious and gave me a “like” and so did a handful of others.  I learned how it was supposed to work and I tried again and got another handful of followers. And the first group stayed around to like and share and comment!

Suddenly I was 21 all over again. I was at every party I could get invited to and a few I crashed just for fun.

In a year and a half I had gathered about 150 followers (blog, Facebook and Twitter, combined). In about a month I gained about 700 more!  Weeha! Now we’re cooking with gas!

So things were swinging and I even found a handful of people to pay me for writing! Hooray! I love getting paid!

On the other hand. I STILL don’t have Google Ads.

Why not?

Because my beloved WordPress doesn’t allow it. Apparently this was in the fine print way back on that first clueless day. They also don’t allow… well… basically they don’t allow pretty much anything that will allow a blogger to make any kind of real money.

It’s VERY frustrating!

I have learned in the past few weeks that, if I want to “take my blog to the next level” I’m really going to have to invest in a web host.  Now I’m in the process of figuring out exactly where to go and what to do about that and saving my pennies because, while web hosting is advertised as “Just $4 a month!” you have to buy it in bulk – at least 12 months at a time, paid in advance and there are other fees for security and such.

Once I figure out who I’m going with (leaning toward Hostpapa for their reputation for being green and working well with WordPress) and front my dough (AKA: scrape together some money) we’ll take the next big leap and see where we land.

Who knows.  Maybe next month will bring another thousand followers and my first big paycheck.

Or maybe I’ll just end up sharing some thoughts with the folks who are already here and… you know… as much as I love to get paid, that would be OK too because you guys are awesome! You’re so much fun and so kind and the journey so far has been so very pleasant that the money really is just frosting on the cake.

This is what "work" looks like for a blogger. I'm sprawled on the couch, proof reading and being attacked by a toddler who wants to take selfies.  It makes my heart happy.

This is what “work” looks like when I’m blogging. I’m sprawled on the couch, proof reading and being attacked by a toddler who wants to take selfies. It makes my heart happy.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email, Facebook or Twitter to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

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8 responses »

    • Thanks. I’m a little nervous about it. I’m VERY not at all “techie” so doing stuff like that is always sort of intimidating for me. Not to mention kind-of expensive on our current budget. I think the time may be right, though.

  1. I know I rarely comment anymore, but I do read pretty much every post, and I must say I’d be pretty sad if you ever went away. I hope things work out for you to start being paid for doing what you love( and are so good at)

  2. I’ve been thinking of finding another host site too, I’m on wordpress right now! Thanks for liking my page, and congrats on all of your viral posts recently, that’s awesome! 🙂

    Francesca

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