One year blogging review

one year Blogging review

Three months after I had first started my blogging experiment I wrote what has been by far my most successful blog post. It was an account of everything I had learnt during my first three months, and crucially, it was honest. I had many people comment underneath telling me how they knew something strange was going on but didn’t know exactly what it was until I pointed it out.

I have written 73 posts this year with a total of 20,000 views, the three-month review post has 1800 of these views which makes it responsible for roughly 10% of my total views. If I had set myself a goal when I started blogging, I am sure I would be happy with where I have got to.

I am going to talk about what a lot of people will be thinking about when they start blogging: money. So, how much money did I make with 20,000 views? I lost about £30. I paid this money to remove adverts from my blog, and I also got to choose my URL. So, I have no adverts and no other source of revenue, and therefore I only lose money. If I paid for the premium account where I can place adverts in my blog, I think I would have lost around £70. If you’re not selling something from your site, and you’re getting fewer than 100,000 views I would not recommend paying for any upgrades, you will only lose money.

If you have to decide to start blogging to make some passive income, I would argue that you have been sold a lie. There are professional writers, who are much better than you or I, who make no money doing this, so why should you expect to? If you want to make money from your blog, you need 100’s of thousands of views per month, and to create enough high-quality content to achieve that you will need to work an awful lot. Most certainly a full-time job. As with any media-related job, it is only really the top 1% that make anything close to a living from their blogs.

Most of the people who make money from their blogs are usually using the blog as one of many ways to generate traffic towards their product; making money from merely writing blog posts is extremely rare.

I hope you other reasons as to why you would like to blog; perhaps you just enjoy writing and would like an outlet for it, or like me, you wanted to improve your writing skills, blogging is great.

Playing the blogging game

Aside from improving your writing/communication skills, you probably will want people to read your posts. To achieve this, you just cannot rely on posting and leaving the posts to spread by their own merit. If this were the case, marketing and advertising wouldn’t be the monolithic industries that they are.

So, how do you get the views that you may or may not deserve?

First of all, I want to show you my stats, not because I want to brag, but so I can illustrate my points. If I zoom out far enough, you can see my views for the year.

You can clearly see, that I discovered how to play the game much better in April. In February I published 9 posts and got 42 views; In November I published 4 posts and got over 700. The difference is that In February I had 10 followers and in November I had 2500. So more followers do equal more views; however, I started gaming the system in April and stopped in September, and in those months I had between 2.5 and 3.7 thousand views a month. These are tiny numbers in the big scheme of things but are a still an 8769% Increase over February.

In this post, I explained exactly how I achieved this, and the moral quandary I found myself in, but in short.

On WordPress, as of 2018, you can:


Like up to 120 posts per hour – doing this usually notifies the recipient and prompts them to check out your site. I have found that roughly 5% of posts you like return a view to your site.

Follow up to 60 people per hour – I have not done this other than to find out the limit, so I do not know what kind of returns you can get.

I have not done the research to see how many comments you can leave as I cannot be bothered, if you wanted to do this legitimately you would have to bother reading peoples content and then tailor the comment. Which I doubt anyone would do.

All the above, apply to other social media platforms, with slight differences, but the underlying principle is the same. It’s the ‘hey, come and look at this idea’; if you say this enough, some people will come.

Use this information as you see fit.

I suspect some people are making some money selling scripts to automate all this, but I have not found any with an extremely short search. Maybe there is an opportunity for you if you know how to code!

More advice to new bloggers based on what I have gleamed from a year of blogging.

Below is my stats for the year.



The ‘About this blog’ page is the first page someone will land on if they enter my site. This made up 25% of my views so I would recommend you try and make this your best page!

After that, it is ‘Homepage / Archives’, which is exactly the same thing, so I am unsure as to why it is categorised twice. Perhaps the ‘About this blog’, page was not the home page at one stage.

My blog posts only made up 60% of my views.

Looking at ‘Referrers’ it is apparent where most of the people who came to my site came from, and that is the WordPress Reader. All other sources have fewer than 100 referrals. What should I make of this?

Well, I had 0 following on any other site when I started, and I still have next to none, which is why all my referrals came from WordPress. If you have a well connected social media platform, that you would like to leverage, then you can expect much more views from outside the platform.

Whereas I am trying to grow my followers on other platforms, add me here. You will have a much better starting point if you have a following somewhere else.

That is all I have learnt so far.

I am sure there are ways that you can game the system even more.

One mystery I am yet to figure out is the re-blogging of your own posts. There is one person whom I am always seeing appear in my feed, and the likes on the posts are always around 350. If it was posted 5 minutes or 5 months ago, the likes are always the same. What on earth is going on?
It seems as if he is reposting his own posts every few hours, and they look as if they are new. I am not sure how this is happening, if you know, please post below.

Well, this wasn’t quite as much of an epic as my 3-month review, but I hope there was some useful insight in here. I am still learning so bear that in mind.

My advice for successful blogging based on a miniscule amount of experience (1 year):

  • Be consistent – this goes without saying to be honest. People cannot read what is not there and people do not normally read the same thing more than once. So you need to keep it coming. I have found writing a few months worth of posts in advance a great fail-safe for when I don’t feel like writing as I can still post regularly.
  • Don’t expect people will read your work just because you have posted it online, there are billions of blog posts online, how many of them have you read? You need to find a way for people to come to your site.
  • There is nothing wrong with thinking big, but be smart and understand that blogging is not a get rich quick scheme.
  • Don’t rely in on motivation as it comes and goes; discipline is the best way to reach your goals. Especially when they will take a long time to achieve.

I wish you all a great 2019 and hope you achieve everything you have planned.

Author: Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

31 thoughts on “One year blogging review”

  1. ‘It seems as if he is reposting his own posts every few hours, and they look as if they are new. ‘ I think I’m following that guy too, and he has two different blog sites (with the same posts on both). Result is that I’ve unfollowed one and generally delete emails alerting me to most of the other posts; I haven’t unfollowed both (yet) because occasionally – very occasionally – he posts something useful. I’ve only been blogging a few months and I started very reluctantly because
    a) it seemed to be the thing to do if I ever get around to publishing anything,
    b) I don’t have the time to write and read as it is without committing myself to writing more (not to mention reading other people’s posts), and
    c) I didn’t know what to write about.
    I’ve enjoyed it more than I expected.
    It’s been an outlet – especially when one of our dogs died and again when I wanted a mini-rant recently.
    I’ve enjoyed the interaction so far (I don’t have many followers but have enjoyed reading and commenting on some of their posts, which I wouldn’t otherwise have come across.
    It’s been a way to share some of what I’ve learned with my writing group (I started the blog when I was editing our anthology for self-publishing on Amazon, in the hope that our members would read, mark, learn and inwardly digest before we compile a second volume.)
    It’s prompted me to research and clarify stuff I had only a hazy understanding of before I set myself the task of passing it on (and found that, in some cases, I was totally wrong).
    It’s built my confidence in my own writing.
    I can’t imagine ever emulating the dizzy heights of your stats (in fact, I rarely look at mine), but I’m not doing it to make money either – that would be depressing :(.
    I’ll just ramble on and see where (if anywhere) it takes me. And when it becomes a chore, I’ll stop.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Reblogged this on The Perils of Improbable Potholes and commented:
    On target. Blogging is a good place to receive feedback and to practice certain skills. Some people monetize it successfully, but they are frequently famous in some other domain. Over the years, my experiences have been virtually identical to this.
    The kicker is that I was trained as a “professional writer” but still cannot monetize it. Someone like Stephen King or James Patterson can probably make it work. But the best hope for most of the rest of us is to treat it as a hobby or a place to explore ideas. That is the entire point, start to finish, of “Improbable Potholes”: to explore ideas with no expectations of monetizing anything here.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This post id so useful specially to someone like me who started 10 months ago but got stuck mainly due to 2 reasons: 1) Don’t know what readers will like to read. 2) What I want to post is personal so will people judge me.
    Trying to overcome both the issues.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Love the honesty here, thanks for sharing. While I’m a fan of graphs and love looking at my stats, I am trying very hard to keep in mind my reasons for blogging, and avoid getting competative – a downside of the stats for a recreational writer like myself is that it can easily look like a gamification of something which was supposed to be super relaxed. Thanks also for your comments on the financials!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Hi I have had a quick read around your website and have seen your post about your stats I really love your page and I have just started blogging myself and was wondering if there was anyway I could get in contact with you and ask you for advice on how to get my page as successful as you have yours?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I loved reading your data driven view of blogging. It made me laugh such a lot. The logical and cynical take on blogging collided with my very happy illogical and very naively feeling based view of blogging which is putting my thoughts somewhere for me with not much thought for whether anyone will ever read them. I quite like that I was able to give you another one of your statistically based likes especially when I enjoyed reading the complete contrast to what you hadn’t read but had liked. There is something really humorous in that for me. So Thankyou Louis and good luck collecting your likes. I would love you to become the ultimate in blogging Likes 😊
    Now there is a beautiful dream!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Interesting! Although I couldn’t be bothered just liking peoples posts for the hell of it. Although I didn’t post about it in this years review https://fishthinkers.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/fish-thinkers-online-2018-in-review/, I had a quick look after reading your post to see how much of our traffic is driven by our social media accounts and it is around 1/4 which is less than I would have expected. Great consistency in posting so regularly by the way…that is difficult!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Good information. I like that you kept tabs throughout your first year. 8 just started a few months ago, so I think I’ll want to do the same.

    Have you focused any effort into SEO or trying to get backlinks? It seems like you are generating enough traffic from WordPress that you might be able to benefit from keyword optimization and bring in some more organic traffic.

    This is something that I playing with and testing. I have a few things I’m trying out now and plan to post my results if that interests you. Either way, keep up the good work.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Awesome! I’ll let you know when I get it posted! In the meantime:
        Back-links are simply links pointing back to your website. So for example, if someone links to your website in their blog post or on another website, this would be a back-link. If you have a ton of people linking to your blog post on their websites, Google is going to catch on to that and put your post higher in the Google search results.
        That is where keyword optimization can help as well. That is basically structuring your posts around a single or multiple keywords that you are trying to rank for (get on the first page of Google). Repeated use of the keyword, having the keyword in the title, having the keyword in your image alt-text can all play a role in helping you rank for a particular keyword

        Liked by 3 people

  9. I started my blog yesterday as a kind of way to express my feelings to the world even if no one sees it it helps that I have got stuff of my chest (Only done one post!) I wanted/want to keep it anonymous though, have you got any tips?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Keep it up! It depends on what you’re trying to do with the blog. If all you want to do is get things of your chest just keep writing. With regards to keeping it anonymous, just don’t ever mention any personal details.

      Like

  10. I just started my blog yesterday on wordpress this was so much help i was confused on how anyone made money with blogging. I am doing mine for a way to give back and share good information. but thank you this post was very helpful.

    Liked by 5 people

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