Friends, I have in no means ‘made it big’ in the blogging world, but I have found the balance right now of striving for success and having fun. We all have different goals in mind and different definitions of success for our blogs.
If some of your goals are:
1. Seeing growth.
2. Reader engagement.
3. No deadlines.
4. Less than five hours of blog work a week.
5. Running a family first and then a blog.
6. A small side income.
This may be a good post for you.
This blog has been around for about two years. It started as a partnership with a different name. We’ve changed domains. We’ve changed the content. We’ve changed the logo…multiple times. We’ve changed the sole reason we started this site. My corner of the internet has evolved immensely.
I saw steady growth through 2016, but in January of 2017, my husband and I rolled out a few changes to the blog, and our hits more than tripled in one month.
Here’s what I changed:
1. I accepted the fact that I needed to define my niche.
I wanted to be a lifestyle blogger. I like reading about people’s lives. I like seeing inside their homes and hearing about how they do life. I wanted to be a blogger that inspired and left my readers wanting to see more.
But, let’s face it, my life is not interesting. People would click through and leave. They weren’t fascinated or drawn into my simple life in a subdivision with three little boys and a husband.
I finally accepted the fact that I needed to define my niche. I was reluctant. I was contemplating the decision to talk about fabric and patterns and thread and sewing every week. What about my faith, my family…all the important things in life?
Yes, my hobbies of quilting and sewing fall far from the top of the list of priorities, but I can still find satisfaction and reason in perfecting a handicraft and being creative and sharing inspiration and connecting with others who also love this trade.
I made the switch. I became a website dedicated to sewing and quilting.
I’d read many times over that a blog is something that I should have started five (or ten!) years ago. Plenty of bloggers are still read every day, but those are the ones who started a long time ago. It’s hard to gain traction in a very saturated blog world.
I saw over and over again that the vast majority of my blog hits came from Pinterest and search engines. I knew that meant I didn’t have loads of followers clicking through to my homepage every day.
I was attracting visitors looking for a specific set of instructions. I learned that my greatest strength was writing tutorials. I have the patience to take thorough step by step pictures and write simple instructions. This is what my viewers were looking for, and I needed to switch gears to focus on writing tutorials and having an easy means for my readers to find them.
I got rid of my blog reel and found a means of looking more like a website.
This has been huge for me. Previously, it was difficult to navigate my site, and my gallery page of sewing tutorials was less than impressive. After contemplating for a few months, I had in my head what I wanted my site to look like. I searched through many WordPress themes but couldn’t find anything that really suited my needs.
I found a theme on AngieMakes. I had used one of her free themes in the past, but it was time to pay a bit extra. It’s been totally worth it. We downloaded the Honeycrisp Theme off her site. I now have a static homepage and multiple gallery pages for ease of navigating and scrolling. I narrowed down my scope to four categories, yet I left a blog reel of sorts (my ‘What’s New Here?’) so I still had the freedom to write outside those four categories.
We did a bit of html writing to sort everything by category, and it’s been worth the investment and the bit of time and learning it took to change over the site.
We are still hosting with Blue Host and haven’t had any trouble working with them!
(Please note that affiliate links were included in this post.)