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Blogging Behind the Scenes: Blog Growth Update

blogging behind the scenes~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

Hey guys! Welcome to my blog series, Blogging Behind the Scenes!

I started this series Blogging Behind the Scenes because as a new blogger there are a million things to do and a million more questions. I am documenting all the “Aha’s” and “Oh no’s” that happen while I build my blog Smart Cents Mom.

I have been trying to find a way to create extra income without having a traditional job (like my job as an elementary school teacher) since my first son was born over 5 years ago. I’ve had several side hustles that range from childcare worker at our gym to my current job as a search engine evaluator with Leapforce.

Smart Cents Mom was started because I realized that my side hustles were never going to make residual income and the only way to make more money was based on time (which I don’t have much of!).

A little about me

I launched my blog on September 5, 2016. Yes, I launched on Labor Day…which may or may not have been a bad idea. I picked the date way back in July and decided to just go with it because getting started and sticking to a deadline is the hardest part of starting a new blog.

Here’s a little background on me. I worked as a full-time elementary school teacher for 10 years. About 2 years ago, I left my teaching job to stay home with our 3 boys. I have never had a web presence before so my blog and social media sites are brand new!

I have been working for Leapforce as a search engine evaluator for 6 months and spent 3 months working as a virtual assistant for my dad’s small business writing blog posts and social media.

I keep seeing bloggers post their updates for each month. I’ve read hundreds of income reports. The one thing I’ve noticed is that there aren’t many who have no experience with social media or blogging.

All that to say…this little blog and experiment are brand spanking new!

Week 1 is in the books!

My word for the pre-launch and first week of going “live”…HUSTLE

I spent a lot of time connecting with friends and family who I thought might be interested in my niche topic of stay at home moms working from home and personal finance. I also spent time connecting to other bloggers to start forming a tribe. It hasn’t happened yet, but I have met some great bloggers and look forward to building friendships.

My first week in numbers:  

589 pageviews on my site.

It’s not stellar, but considering this is all new, it feels good to start to see some numbers! Facebook Groups have been a huge part of growing my pageviews. I can clearly see on days that I was active in a Facebook Group my pageviews show a clear increase in traffic.


I created an opt-in for my overall website called the 7 Day Extra Income Challenge. It’s a simple e-course that gives you loads of information every day about ways to earn extra income.

1 thing that hurt my pageviews this week:

My comments at the end of all posts disappeared. I spent HOURS trying to figure out where they had gone. I contacted my theme provider to no avail. By Thursday, I was ready to throw in the towel on this whole website thing. I don’t really do well when there is adversity! But in the final moments by God’s grace, I removed all my plug-ins and poof! My comment box showed up on all posts.

Somehow I lost my cell phone charger this week too. Ugh! You don’t realize how badly you rely on something until it’s gone. So I bought this phone charger and am back up and running. I do a lot of things for my blog on my phone. I promote content, write emails, research, watch video courses, and even write blog posts from my phone. I don’t think this directly affected my pageviews but it was definitely frustrating!

1 thing that helped pageviews:

I spent a month getting 30 blog posts ready for the launch week, so that when people came to my blog it looked more established. I think this helped with pageviews because people were able to click to other articles on the blog.

Pinterest 184 followers

My Pinterest following keeps growing steadily. I watched a webinar from Melyssa Griffin on how to gain followers on Pinterest. She is amazing and has Pinterest down to a science! I also listened to a podcast from Side Hustle Nation with Rosemarie Groener talking about how to use Pinterest. Check out this one little trick that I did to immediately see an increase in my Pinterest followers!

Facebook 99 followers. (Sooooooo close to 100!) 

I definitely plan on celebrating small victories so I can’t wait to hit 100! I have a lot to learn about Facebook, just not enough time to fit it in my day right now.

I really HUSTLED on my personal Facebook profile. I sent a message to about 200 of my Facebook friends who fell into the category of someone who might be interested in my blog topic: mom’s looking for work from home opportunities and interested in personal finance. I sent messages to over 200 friends and 45% of those friends LIKED my page and about 30% who LIKED my page also joined my email list!

I decided to take this approach after watching a webinar with Melyssa Griffin and Darrel from Convertkit.

Email Subscribers 37

I am using Convertkit as my email provider right now. I started in August with MailChimp and Hello Bar. I had problems with Hello Bar showing up on my page. I loved that MailChimp was free, but I was going to have to upgrade for $15 per month. Hello Bar (free version) didn’t work for my site, so I looked into the Sumome app that has landing pages and forms that pop up when readers visit my site. Sumome is fantastic at converting readers with the great layouts they have, but it is to expensive for me right now.

So I opted for Convertkit because they have forms and landing pages that are easy to build in their system. They also have a tagging and segmenting system that is really useful in sending effective emails.

I didn’t realize that I had to publish my automation ( 7 Day Extra Income Challenge opt-in). Ughh!

So once I published my automation, my subscribers started receiving their Challenge. Oops! Lesson learned!

Here’s the cool news…out of my subscribers I have a 45% open rate for my first newsletter I sent out that basically introduced myself. I also have a 36% open rate for the Opt-in and 14% click through rate!

That got me excited!

Courses I have been using:

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: This course is all about affiliate marketing from Michelle Schroeder of Making Sense of Cents. I started my blog to be a business, and I love that Michelle teaches you how to have a legit business through affiliate sales. Michelle regulary makes $50,000+ per month through affiliates on her site. The material in her course has been AH-mazing to have as I start my blog. I’m doing things the right way from the beginning so I won’t have to go back and change them later. Eventually I’ll write a review of the course, but for now you should know it is an awesome course! One of the best parts is she acts as your cheerleader and mentor through her private Facebook group for the course. This is a website and not a course, but Melyssa Griffin is ALL about pinterest. Her free courses about Pinterest are so full of tips and tricks for growing your Pinterest traffic that I haven’t had time to get her course Pinfinite Growth (course you pay for). My advice sign up for EVERYTHING with Melyssa, you won’t regret it!

Here were my top posts from this past week:

Legit Work from Home Jobs that Pay $10 per Hour

Women Seeking Financial Freedom

Smart Success Stories: Interview with Dawn Nicole

Goals for the Rest of the Month:

  • Create new images for popular posts and promote those pins on Pinterest
  • Finish setting up Boardbooster
  • Spend 30% of time writing/creating content and 70% of time promoting posts
  • Commenting on my 5 favorite posts on a regular basis

Thanks for stopping by! Hope this gave you a little insight into my first week as a blogger!

Related Posts You Might Enjoy!

Products You Need:

  • Bluehost Hosting: This is super easy to use web hosting that you can get for as low as $2.95 per month! The setting up process is streamlined and integrates easily with WordPress. You can see my Bluehost Guide and How to Start a Blog for more info!
  • Convertkit Email: Convertkit is easy to create newsletters and automation (sending emails in a sequence like for an email course or product launch). Convertkit is simple to use with the abilities of more expensive email services (like tagging and segmenting) without the big cost. They even have landing pages and forms (not very good looking but if you’re on a budget, definitely usable!).


  • You sound so organized! I need to get better at this. Thanks for the email subscription advice for sure. SumoMe and MailChimp were not options for me so I’m going to try ConvertKit like you recommend!

    • Hi Harmony! I wish I were more organized 🙂 I started working on my blog in July preparing for a launch instead of jumping right in. I think I could have spent another 3 months planning. But I’ve learned so much from being “live” so it’s all good. Congrats on your baby announcement! We just had baby number 3 (all boys) and I’m 34. I can totally relate to all you’re going through. I enjoyed looking through your blog.

      Convertkit is great! Here is my link if you decide to check it out

  • Hey Ashleigh,

    Saw your comment on my blog and headed on over (like I typically do). Nice blog. This post caught my attention so I read it first.

    Congrats on launching your blog. I like this series. It’s cool to know the behind the scenes of your blog!