Here’s how a reader, Lisa, started a new blog and in just 7 months already has over 140,000 social media followers and sees over 70,000 page views each month. Enjoy!
Building a website and driving traffic to it is no walk in the park, especially for people with no experience. There is an endless amount of information to learn, skills to adopt, and creative strategies to uphold.
I am Lisa from The Financial Cookbook. I am here today to share how I drove 70,000 pageviews to my blog in only 7 months with zero experience, while also working a full time job.
I am sharing the exact steps I took to reach that milestone, what helped me along the way, and what I recommend in terms of the most value for your time.
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What is The Financial Cookbook?
I’m Lisa and I’m the owner of The Financial Cookbook, a financial and career empowerment company who’s mission is to help women better understand finances, investing and real estate in an easy-to-understand way so they can start living the life of their dreams.
My passion for teaching women about finances stems from the fact that there is no guidebook when we graduate from school. I found that there’s essentially a gap in the market where we don’t know what we don’t know…and that can be intimidating.
That’s where I come in…to teach all of the things we should have been taught in school so that you can plan your future with an exact strategy for success.
I started The Financial Cookbook a year ago as a side hustle when I was struggling through a sports injury. Instead of marathon training for 2 hours a day, I suddenly had additional time on my hands to start a business I had thought about doing for years.
I had dragged my feet on doing it because I didn’t have the time and honestly wasn’t sure how to even get started or execute my ideas.
I work in the tech industry in a very demanding full-time job by day so being on bed rest for the injury at night was driving me crazy as I needed something to stimulate my mind. Therefore, I decided to put that extra time to work and jumped right in to building The Financial Cookbook as a side hustle. Now, I get to teach women about finances in my free time at night!
Starting a Blog With No Experience
When I say I had zero experience with building both a website and a company, I mean ZERO experience.
Yes, I work in tech, but I don’t know much about technology (clearly I’m not an engineer in my day job). In fact, I’m one of those people that has only 3 apps on my phone because I’m just not interested in technology and I try to keep my life as simple as possible. (Boy has that changed with owning a company.)
Therefore, starting a blog was a completely new thing to me. I will say that once I dove in, I was shocked by how much there was to actually learn, implement, and think about at all times. I had NO IDEA how much goes in to making a blog successful and driving traffic.
Blogging is very much a calculated effort. Every post, word, and sentence structure is carefully crafted in a way that has the potential to rank in Google. It’s actually been very interesting to learn, but also extremely intimidating and overwhelming.
However, I say all of this to say that if I can do it with absolutely no experience working on it at night as a side hustle, anyone can do it!
It’s not an easy road and it will take a lot of hard work, but it’s certainly doable!
I am going to share exactly what I did and share my best tips on how I increased my blog traffic to reach 70,000 page views in just 7 months.
How I Reached 70,000 Page Views on My Blog in 7 Months
Blogging is not the easiest side hustle, contrary to popular belief. It takes long hours and a lot of hard work and patience. Did I mention patience?
I was very used to always grasping things very quickly.
Needless to say, when I started blogging, it really humbled me (and still does every single day). There is a lot to continuously learn, but this is what I did to be successful as quickly as possible.
1. Set Up My Blog as A Business
The first thing I did was I set up my blog as business from the very beginning. I read countless blogs (including Making Sense of Cents) about the importance of setting up your blog to make money.
Since I knew I was starting The Financial Cookbook to be a side business, I decided to do it the correct way from the beginning and get a self-hosted blog.
Yes, it cost a little bit of money up front, but I figured I spend that much on a date night dinner anyway, so it’s definitely worth the investment to give it a try.
This step also involved setting up a website that looked professional.
This is extremely important for driving traffic to a website.
If viewers don’t view your website as professional, they won’t see your content as credible and will bounce right off to another website.
Therefore, I knew it was extremely important that I made my website look professional so that readers would view my content as more credible.
It took me weeks of playing with different themes to finally pick out what worked best for my vision. Again, this is a lesson in website experience. Since I had zero experience, it took me so much longer to learn how things worked.
However, once the website was set up and looking professional, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I started getting traffic to my website.
In fact, the night I launched, I thought I would just start getting views overnight. I checked the next morning, the next day, and a week later…zero views.
This brings me to my next tip.
2. I Set Expectations
I was confused as to why my website with great content wasn’t getting views yet.
This is when I set out to look at blogging reports on other blogger websites.
I soon realized I needed to realign my expectations.
I truly thought websites just start getting page views after launching. Haha! Cute, right? (Did I mention I really had no experience…)
After doing more research after several weeks, I realized that getting traffic to a blog is calculated. There are many things that go into creating a blog that will rank in Google. I also found that it could take 6 months to a year to start ranking in Google. Yikes! If I had known that, I may not have started my blog, but I’m so glad I did!
In fact, most of the blogging websites I read explained that it would take 2 years on average to start seeing good page views and make money from your blog.
I had no idea!!
I quickly realigned my expectations and told myself I would give it at least a year of solid consistency and work before I reassessed, but would like to give it 2 years before I made a decision on what to do with the website.
Changing my expectations changed the game for me.
I went from checking my Google analytics every hour to checking them once a month and focusing my time on building great content for Google to look at in the future.
This realignment of expectations was great for me because every milestone I had made me extremely excited!
I wasn’t comparing myself to others. I was just having fun with the process since I was passionate about my content, my website, and learning!
In fact, I was having a blast and wasn’t concerned with statistics or metrics. I just had to trust the process.
I believe readers could see how passionate I was, which drew them back to my website for more content.
3. Took Blogging Courses Right Away
Once I realized this blogging journey wasn’t as easy as I had thought, I started taking it more seriously.
I immediately invested in courses from other bloggers. In the beginning, I wasn’t making any money from The Financial Cookbook so it was a personal investment into the business.
However, it was a risk I was willing to take (especially since I wasn’t paying for expensive marathon races in the meantime due to my injury).
I did a ton of research and took blogging courses from the most successful bloggers out there. I knew I had a lot to learn and figured, why recreate the wheel when someone that has been successful is sharing their best tips/tricks?
It made perfect sense to me to make the investments into learning, and I’m so glad I did!
Some of the courses I took to start off my journey included:
- Mike Pearson’s Free SEO Course
- Debbie Gartner’s Easy on Page SEO Course
- By Sophia Lee’s Perfecting Blogging Course
- Carly Campbell’s Pinteresting Strategies
These courses taught me how to set up my blog, tips to drive traffic, how to set up Pinterest properly, how to market the blog, and how to earn money with my blog!
I saw these as a way to fast track my success.
4. Started all Social Media Platforms
Now, this is going to be different than a lot of the recommendations I’ve seen from other bloggers. This is just what has worked for me.
Many successful bloggers recommend starting one social media platform and focused on growing that one platform before moving to another platform. This way, you don’t get burnt out.
That makes complete sense to me.
However, I actually started social media accounts for my business on several social media platforms: Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
Is it overwhelming? 1000%.
Does it cause stress? Yes.
Is it worth it? Totally!
The way I saw it is that if I was creating social media posts for one platform, I could easily repurpose that content for all platforms without much additional effort.
It made sense to me and it has worked well for me!
I was able to not only drive more page views through these social media channels, but it helped me build a following of people that enjoyed my content. It also helped encourage me to keep going because I was receiving kind messages telling me that my content is changing their lives.
Now, when I write my blog posts, I think of those lovely women and write my blog posts with them in mind, since they are my demographic!
Since I was able to start building a brand through social media, I’ve noticed that I receive a lot of organic traffic through Google from people searching for my company, so it’s been extremely helpful in driving traffic to my website.
5. Took Pinterest Seriously
Pinterest is the absolute best and without it, I don’t even know if there’d be much of a blogging community.
Pinterest makes it easier and quicker for websites to drive traffic than for them to wait for Google to rank them. Google is a much longer game than Pinterest.
With Pinterest, a website can start gaining traffic overnight through one pin!
When I started on Pinterest, my pins were horrible…like the worst things ever. I received no traffic from them.
After taking courses I mentioned in step #3, I set up my Pinterest so that it could be as successful as possible.
I started with a new business Pinterest account and stuck to a strict strategy.
I tested so many different strategies from different bloggers over the months, but eventually landed on a strategy for myself that worked well for me (everyone is different) and it wasn’t a strategy anyone else had talked about.
I don’t get the same reach that other bloggers get from certain strategies and I’m sure others don’t get the same reach I get from my strategy.
This is why it’s important to test many different things for months at a time on Pinterest until you find what works well for you!
I don’t believe there’s a secret sauce for everyone, but I do know that consistency is key.
I showed up every single day on Pinterest (and still do). It was a must when it came to driving traffic to my blog!
6. Consistent Blog Posts
One of the biggest ways I drove traffic is by blogging consistently.
Many bloggers recommend publishing a blog post 2-3 times a week.
I thought that would be no problem for me (again with the expectations being off). Ha!
I soon realized that blog posts took me 6-10 hours to write. Yes! Isn’t that crazy!?
In fact, they still take me that long to write!
It’s not just the content itself, but the editing, the photos, the SEO strategy, the marketing, etc. It takes a long time.
Therefore, I set out to give myself a goal of posting once per week.
I then followed it to a T.
I made sure to always post at least one blog post per week. This way, Google would see my website as up to date and consistent so I figured I’d have a better chance at ranking.
In addition, viewers of my website would see that I’m consistently creating new content and would find value in that!
7. Started an Email List Early
Another thing I did that contributed to my page view success is that I started an email subscription list early on.
Many bloggers don’t start an email list until quite some time in to blogging, but again, I jumped all in (there’s a trend with me. Go big or go home, right?)
In fact, I believe I had an email subscriber list within 2-3 months of blogging.
This allowed people that were interested in learning more to have a direct path to get content. I aimed to not overwhelm their inboxes, but to have intentional emails directed at topics they were most interested in.
As I received responses and feedback from my readers, I was able to further direct my content toward their wants and needs.
My email newsletters assisted in growing my website traffic as I had direct access to readers that were interested in my content.
Side note from Michelle: The company I use is Convertkit. Convertkit has great customer service and a free trial for new customers too.
8. Made it All About The Reader
The majority of the viewers of my site end up going to another page on my site. This is extremely good as it means my content is keeping them interested.
I believe this is due to the fact that I try to make my posts geared toward the reader.
I aim to write with the reader in mind. I constantly remind myself that it’s not about me, it’s about them.
They want to know how they can grow, benefit, achieve, etc and if they are spending their valuable time on my website, I need to help them achieve their goals.
9. Learned Continuously
Since I was such a beginner (and still am), I made sure to constantly learn new things.
I found that every video, book, article, or podcast I viewed, I learned something new that I could implement on my site.
Therefore, I still learn new things every week as I’m still very much a beginner. I have so much more to learn and I find it very interesting (and fun)!
In fact, I found that I loved learning about blogging so much that I’d have to limit myself so that I still had time for social media and a blog post each week. (That just goes to show that when you’re passionate about something, you will see learning as opportunity, not another task.)
In addition to blogging courses, I was consistently learning in many different ways (and still do) by doing the following things:
- Watching YouTube videos about blogging
- Listening to Podcasts about SEO and blogging
- Reading Books about starting a business
- Looking at Blogging Forums on Reddit
- Joining Blogging Groups on Facebook
- Reading blog posts from other bloggers
- Listening to my viewers about their requests
How Much Can You Make with 70,000 Pageviews?
Everyone’s blog is VERY different so my numbers will vary drastically from someone else who has a different monetization strategy and is in a different niche.
By the time I reached 70,000 pageviews, I was making a consistent $2,200 a month.
It wasn’t a full-time income, but I was super excited about it since it’s a side hustle for me.
Monetization of a website is a constant learning curve and blogging is a juggling act. I’ve learned that time management is extremely important when growing a website as the work never ends.
There’s always something else that needs to be done!
Therefore, I recommend using a time blocking strategy to accomplish your goals within your designated time frames to remain focused (and keep your sanity). =)
Driving Traffic to a New Blog Summary
Driving traffic to a new blog is no easy to task, but consistency and intentionality was extremely important for my growth.
I believe I was able to grow so quickly because I was genuinely passionate about my content and about making a difference in the world, instead of just doing it to make money. People can tell the difference when they’re reading articles.
As you can see, I dove feet first into all different avenues of blogging.
Did I bite off more than I could chew? Absolutely! In fact, I feel like I’m never caught up because I have so many moving parts.
However, all of those moving parts worked together to build a solid brand, which, I’ve found, has significantly helped to drive traffic to my new blog!
If you have any further questions about how I drove this traffic or any financial questions you’d like to ask, I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also view my blog at thefinancialcookbook.com.
Are you interested in start a blog? Why or why not?