The first six months of your blog is tough. There is so much for you to do, from setting up your site, writing your first article, and learning how to start making money. But, what do you once you pass the half-year mark?
Those early months tend to go by quickly and are often a blur. But, by the time you reach the sixth month of running your blogging business, it is all starting to come together.
But what do you do next? Where do you focus your efforts?
Should you grow your list? Is it time to delve into Sponsored Posts? When should you create a product to sell?
What to do after your first six months of blogging
The truth is there is no black and white answer. Whereas for the new blogger, the focus is clear, it tends to get a little muddy as you go on.
Because once you pass your first half-year of blogging, your focus depends on your blog. The blogger who has at least 1,000 email subscribers is ready to move onto something new, whereas if you don’t have 1,000 yet, you need to increase your list.
There is no set schedule for what every blogger should do once they move out of a new blogger into intermediate blogger status. Knowing what to do varies for every blogger.
Instead, the next steps are based on individual milestones and achievements.
Email List Growth
You need an email list. You may have opted to start yours at month three or may have not worried about it until month five. When you start is not as important as the number of your subscribers.
Less than 1,000 subscribers
An email list is a powerful tool, and the more people you have signed up, the better it will work for you. Before you focus on using your list to make money, you need a list. That means you need to increase your subscribers.
If you aren’t yet getting people to sign up, look at your opt-in. Is it working on getting subscribers? What could you offer that would be better for your list?
Consider creating something new or changing the location for the sign-up form. Both could be effective for getting more people to sign-up.
Work on building your list.
1,000 or more subscribers
When you achieve this subscriber level, you are ready to start making a list to work for you. That means you can begin selling!
I’m not referring to the articles you link to that have affiliate links inside of them. While those are helpful, we are talking about direct selling to your list.
Now is when you can begin promoting various products directly to your list. Most of the time, you will start with affiliate offers (other than Amazon as you can’t put those links in your email).
For example, if you are an organizational blogger, there are all sorts of planners, tools, and binders others sell. Become an affiliate and sell their products to your list.
But, even better than that, now is the time when you can create your own products!! Once you reach the level of at least 1,000 subscribers, they are the first people you can sell to.
The 1,000 is a magic number that seems to be the point where selling seems to take off and returns a better ROI.
Of course, you will also continue to grow your list and turn those 1,000 subscribers into 2,000 and more.
While traffic is helpful, it is not the only means for making money on your site. If your goal is to put ads on your site, you need at least 10,000 pageviews. When you have products to sell or affiliate links in your content, it means you need people to see, click, and buy.
Less than 10,000 pageviews
You aren’t where you want to be right now. It happens. But, there are things you can do to get more page views on your site.
Invest more time in learning about SEO. That is going to serve you far better than Facebook or even Pinterest. Your site is just at that point where Google is taking notice, so you can now analyze the content. You have and start improving it for higher rankings in SEO.
I am not saying to ignore Pinterest. Not at all. But the truth is, Pinterest tends to be more volatile and less reliable in creating the sustainable traffic you need.
10,000 or more pageviews
Once you achieve this milestone, you are ready to sign up with a quality ad network, such as Monumetric. You can apply to others to this point, but the ads’ quality and how they affect site speed vary.
You will continue to work on your SEO for more traffic (SEO traffic tends to earn you more on your ads). Your next goals will be either 100,000 pageviews to move to AdThrive or 50,000 sessions to sign up with MediaVine.
Don’t throttle your growth – continue learning and improving your existing content.
You are blogging to make money. You’ve learned by now that all those income reports you read were not reality.
Don’t get frustrated. Find the ways you can increase your income.
Less than $1,000 a month
The truth is, reaching the first $1,000 on your blog is the toughest. It becomes easier to scale as you have seen what works and can apply those techniques to other areas of your site and business.
But, if you have yet to reach $1,000, you need to do more. You need to find ways to increase your income.
That means learning more about how to make affiliate marketing work. You need to increase the traffic to those posts that can make the income you want. You need to use your list and don’t fret about selling to them. If you have the traffic and stats, you may want to try doing sponsored posts.
At this time, investing in your blogging education makes sense as you are not yet where you want to be in your journey. If you don’t know what you are doing wrong, you will continue making the same mistakes repeatedly.
$1,000 or more per month
Congratulations – you’ve scaled the mountain. Getting here was not easy. Not by a long shot.
But you did it. And now, you are going to do it again and again.
Start by looking at the products that are selling and determine why. Are they priced right? Do they solve your reader’s problem?
Once you know what works, rinse, and repeat. Replicate what is working.
For example, if that organizing bundle you offered to your list made you bank, why not find create a blog post where you interview the creator or do a review? Your people have already told you they love it, so make it work on your site as evergreen content.
Look at the blog posts that earn you the most each month. What is about those posts that make it work for you? Figure that out and do it again and again.
If something is not working, stop doing it. There is no reason to continue promoting a product no one will buy from you. It makes zero sense.
It doesn’t stop here
You’ve reached a point in your blog where things are starting to happen, or if they aren’t, you know what you are going to do to pivot and make changes. But don’t stop.
Your blog is always changing and evolving. It means you will always do proper SEO. You will improve your content and make it better. There will be new products you can create or those you can promote to your list.
There will be courses that will take you further in your business. Don’t be afraid to invest in the intermediate or advanced courses, such as Six-Figure Blogger. When you fail to learn and grow, your business will suffer.
You are on the cusp of great things happening. Don’t stop now! Keep on learning and improving to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.