I can’t believe my first year of blogging is in the books!
I’ve been blogging for one whole year now.
It’s been hard sometimes, and a lot of work and hours, but most of the time it has been fun.
But what’s it really been like as a new blogger in this digital world? Well, I’m going to share some of that with you today.
Ironically one of the things I’ve learned about blogging is to not get too personal.
When it comes to blogging you might think it’s all about you, but it’s not. It’s actually about your readers and your audience.
When it’s all about you, that’s called a journal. And if you want to do an online journal, that’s cool. But blogging and becoming a resource on the internet is really for others.
You need to write things that you like to write about, yes, but you always need to keep your audience in mind and ultimately write for them.
But, let’s just throw all that aside for this post, just this one time, LOL.
When I think back on my first year of blogging I can’t help but pat myself on the back for all I’ve done thus far.
Highlights from my first year of blogging as a coffee blogger:
- There are over 60 blog posts live on my site right now, including 12 coffee reviews.
- I opened my site up to guest bloggers (if you are interested in guest blogging, fill out this form!).
- So. Much. Coffee. Seriously, I think I drink more coffee now than when I first started this blog.
- I actually made a little bit of money in my first year. Not much, just a few hundred dollars, which only covers some blog costs and coffee expenses (blogging isn’t free if you want to do it right). But at least it’s something!
- And lastly, I started an Etsy shop with printables for moms and coffee lovers!
When you are in the thick of it, it can be hard to see all you’ve accomplished.
But, I’ve been reflecting on my first year of blogging for the past few weeks and I’m really proud of what I’ve highlighted above.
I’m especially proud of the fact that I’ve embraced that I’m a coffee blogger.
Because for a while I didn’t want to call myself that; I just didn’t think I was one.
I don’t do fancy brew methods or guides on all the latest coffee gadgets and gizmos.
But just because I don’t do those things doesn’t make me any less of a coffee blogger.
I’m a coffee blogger who blogs for moms.
I’m a coffee mom blogger.
It’s been pretty cool to learn that over my first year of blogging and to write with that specific audience in mind.
And, I would say that’s the first lesson in blogging that you learn…figure out your niche and who your target audience is.
When I first started I thought I wanted to blog about motherhood and working from home. I liked the name KT Likes Coffee because it felt like a lifestyle brand to me. It still feels that way actually, but my target audience is moms who drink coffee.
That’s who I want to write for and connect with.
Working from home is still a layer to my blog, and frankly working from home in some aspect is what many moms who drink coffee do, but that’s not my main focus or what has connected me to my audience like I thought it would.
Instead, I’ve learned about my audience through coffee.
And I know I’ve connected some amazing moms to some amazing coffee brands they’ve never heard of because they told me!
So, that’s been my focus as of late…and I have to tell you it’s made blogging and creating content so much fun.
I’ve been learning more about coffee, trying new things, and connecting with other moms who love coffee.
Because you might not even realize it, but coffee is all about connections too.
And that’s another challenge you face in your first year of blogging, is building an audience and making connections.
Not only does it take time for people to discover your blog, but you have to promote your blog on social media and other platforms to get the word out.
Essentially blogging isn’t just writing…but no one wants to tell you that when you first start out.
You have to find a balance and I think for the first 6-7 months I really didn’t know what I was doing.
I think a lot of bloggers will tell you that too actually.
But now that I’m confident in my niche as a coffee blogger and I’ve put in some work to learn more blogging things (SEO, Pinterest, etc.), I’m really honing in and starting to see a little bit of growth.
Not a lot, but a little. And growth is growth. If you keep at it, it will continue to grow.
All that said, I’ve got some goals this year (Year 2!) and I’m putting them down in writing to hold myself accountable.
My Coffee Blogger Goals for Year 2:
- Reach 200 email subscribers. I’m currently at 85 active subscribers. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can join my general mailing list or KT’s Coffee Corner.
- Have 6 guest posts on the blog (I’ve currently had 3, so I’m halfway there already!).
- Make $1,000.
- Land one sponsored blog post.
- Reach 1,000 followers on Instagram (I’ve actually already done this…YAY!…so I’m revising my goal to 1,500 followers in Year 2!).
After a year of blogging, what are three things I would tell other bloggers?
First, and foremost, blogging is not easy.
Blogging, especially for any type of “mom blogger,” is often portrayed as this fast, money-making side hustle you can do at home with your kids in the background.
Blogging as a full-time working mom especially is far from easy.
#1 My kid never leaves me alone when she’s awake (now that she’s older and understands that mommy is working upstairs she sometimes yells up the stairs for me…).
#2 I have a full-time job.
#3 There’s so much more to blogging than making a website, writing a couple of posts, and making money.
Making any type of money blogging (after you deduct your expenses) usually takes years. Especially when you are talking about the kind of money that would equal a steady paycheck.
My second tip for new bloggers is to go at your own pace.
When I first started blogging, I wanted to write two posts a week. I had done some research and it seemed like a good goal for growth in particular.
But after a few months of that, I quickly realized it was not for me.
I was getting burnt out from writing already and knew I needed to revise my strategy when it came to my posting schedule.
So, I dropped down to just one new post a week and it changed my world.
I’ve since been able to produce better content and even get ahead on writing at times, which is great for my mental health and my evenings too (which is when I do most of my blogging stuff).
Because at the end of the day, I don’t want to spend all my nights and weekends blogging.
I want to watch TV shows with my husband (I’m a big Netflix watcher!). I want to go out with my daughter on the weekend to a coffee shop for a latte and a muffin.
But, sometimes you have to crash and [almost] burn at two blog posts a week to realize that.
Don’t compare yourself to others or do what they are doing. Do what works best for you in terms of blogging and find your own pace.
And my final tip, be prepared to learn.
I put a ton of hours into my website before I even launched it, but it’s one of the things I’m really proud of in this whole process.
I watched YouTube videos and did everything myself. It was hard and I know I will need to change it up as I grow, but I love how my site looks right now and that I did it myself.
You also have to learn search engine optimization (SEO).
You have to learn what Google wants and you have to find your target audience (and then get them to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media and then you still have to get them to actually click on one of your links).
You can do it, but you really have to be open to learning and want to do that aspect of blogging too. It’s not all fun and games.
Take some courses and really put in the work if you want to see results.
If you are serious about blogging some of my favorite resources/tools are below:
- Free 7-Day Blog Growth Challenge for Beginners
- Blogger Legal Templates (one of the best purchases I made for my blog!)
- 10 Blush Pinterest Pin Templates
- Ivory Mix Stock Photo Membership (even the Free plan is amazing!)
I’m still on every single one of these bloggers’/content creators’ email lists because their content is that valuable in my opinion!
Wrapping up my first year of blogging, these are the top posts:
- 15+ Coffee Quotes for Instagram
- 10 Unique Birthday Gifts for the Impossible Man
- 7 of the Best Podcasts for Moms in 2022
- 15+ Gifts for Coffee Lovers Under $20
- Great Leather Gifts for Him or Her – Celebrating Your Third Wedding Anniversary
The fact that three of the posts on this list are actually some of my oldest blog posts, goes to show you just how long it can take to get noticed anywhere on the internet.
If you’ve made it this far in this personal, yet somewhat informative first year of blogging post, THANK YOU!
Thank you for reading and commenting and just being a part of my little piece of the internet: our little piece of the internet I should say!
Your support means everything to me and I’m so glad I’m still doing this a year later.
Here’s to many more years ahead!