I’ve decided to keep track of my blogging activities and stats as I (hopefully) grow Alive In The Middle into a thriving, connected and happening blog community. This is mostly for me, as I’m slightly obsessed with stats, facts and all things bloggy and geeky. My chronic back issues have been playing up recently, so I have had little else to do but sit propped on a precisely stacked pile of cushions against the headboard of my bed – and work away on my laptop. As a result, I’ve gotten quite a bit done in this last 2 weeks.
A few dates to start with:
- Blog concept / name / domain name registration: July 2017
- Basic outline designed (no posts yet): Went sort of live on 5 August 2017
- Went on holiday, which was freaking amazing: 14 – 31 August 2017
- First blog post published: 3 September 2017
Here are some visitor / follower stats. Bear in mind that on 1 September these were all at 0! As of 17 September we’re at:
- Total page views – 721
- Unique users – 506
- Facebook Group – 41 members
- Facebook AITM page – 28 likers / followers
- Twitter – 126 followers
- Instagram – 51 followers
- Pinterest – 4 followers, but I don’t really rate by followers, my pins are gradually getting more and more exposure, hurrah!
Blog products and services used
*Disclaimer – some of the links below are affiliate links, which mean that I may receive a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking. This is at no cost to you, and I use and love them all myself!
Domain registration and hosting: GoDaddy – I have used their services for several blogs over the past few years and have found them pretty much unbeatable on price and service. I also signed up with a pretty sweet deal, which was $1 per month hosting, which helps a newbie blogger with no budget out a whole lot! I’m also able to share this special with you, so do have a look and see what they can do for you. $1*/ mo hosting! Get going with GoDaddy!
Website building – WordPress.org. Please note that this is NOT the same as wordpress.com. Wordpress.org is totally free ‘open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app’ which is self hosted (in my case, with GoDaddy). Wordpress.com hosts pages on their own servers, and there are a lot more limitations on what you can do with your site. I’d HIGHLY recommend going self-hosted!
Theme – I use DIVI, by Elegant Themes. As with GoDaddy, this is a product I’ve used before and really like. If you’ve got the coding skills of an overripe pineapple, like me, Divi is perfect because it uses pretty easy drag-and-drop blocks so you can customise your site exactly the way you want it.
I also use 2 of their plug ins – Bloom for email optins and Monarch for social media sharing. The way Elegant Themes works is that you basically pay a membership for the year (it’s under $100) and you have access to all of their themes and plug-ins. They do have heaps of other themes besides DIVI, but I love my DIVI!
Graphics – I use Canva, which is a FREE online tool, and is really easy to use. You can pay to upgrade to the professional version, and I have chosen to do this as this gives extra tools, such as saving your branding colours and fonts etc. I use Canva to create Pinterest pins, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page and post images. They have all of the sizes preset for these, which is a major time saver!
SEO – I use a really good free WordPress plug-in called Yoast SEO. It helps you tweak every page and post to maximise your SEO and is very user-friendly and easy to learn. They also have a paid version, of course, and I will probably upgrade to this at some point but, for now I’m ok with the free version.
Email / Subscriber management – I have always previously used Mailchimp, and was happy with it, but was advised that if my list grew I’d be better off using ConvertKit instead. So, when starting this blog I bit the bullet and signed up for ConvertKit right from the start. It’s had far better reviews by other bloggers, and seems to have a lot more options, especially as your list grows, including list segmentation, tags etc. I’m still learning my way around it, but so far, so good!
I think that’s about it for the products and services I’ve used to set up Alive In The Middle.
In the next few days I’ll post Episode 2 and continue some of the steps I’ve taken in preparing / launching / promoting the blog, and discuss what I’ve been up to on social media, as well as telling you about a couple of amazing online courses and books that have helped me on my way!
How long is it since you started your blog, or are you just considering starting one up now? Do say hello in the comments and let me know what your experiences have been, or ask any questions at all.