HAPPY ONE YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY FOR MY BABY, MONODREAME!
It has been one year since I launched Monodreame! Can’t you imagine that?
Why time flies so fast?!
When I set off, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I knew why I did it but I never thought that I would be this far.
2020 has been a very difficult and exhausting year for us. There have been low times and surprises that really challenged my belief in what I am trying to do.
I thank God for this year!
One year of blogging journey is REALLY great.
Although you read my contents and possibly never imagine how they get created, many of them have been my mini-miracles.
I get many messages via email or DM; with many people saying how much this blog helps them, especially in their blogging journey. The feedback has been overwhelming in a positive way.
It really has blown my mind just how much people actually read my content in a day.
I have so much to share in my 1st year, but only so much I can write.
For now, let’s dive into some of the detail on what this year has been all about.
GRAB YOUR DRINKS AND SNACK, this is gonna be along 3,000+ words post!
One thing that I didn’t prepare in the 1st year of my blogging career is: it takes a long time to write content, especially when I talk about blogging in a specific way.
If you have read my blogging tips, most of them explain to you in a very detailed way and hopefully could help you in solving your blogging problems. Maybe it can be so overwhelming because it’s not easy to talk about technical or practical things in a very simple way.
That’s why I want to share my experience and try my best to convey the contents in very understandable words which my audiences could use to build their blog.
Telling my story and journey of blogging has become my advantage.
Consistency & Productivity
In my post about productive things to do before bed, I said that I rarely watch TV and spend a lot of my time in front of a computer.
I mentioned before that I work freelance and blogging is part of it so it’s already like a full-time job now. I have 7-8 hours a day to create content, plan and run this site.
Anyway, a big win this year has been staying consistent with 1-2 pieces of content per week.
I started off with 3 per week, and it proved too challenging and I settled for 2.
The success in this area came from:
- I work alone – means I do all writing, then all editing, then all marketing, etc.
- Having structure – I create content in Notion. Each category has a specific date in the calendar and a specific blog post.
- Scheduling the week – I use Notion to schedule specific slots for work in the mornings and evenings.
- I say ‘No, thanks’ to most things.
As a new blogger, my 1st year of blogging journey has been a phenomenal year for collaborations.
After reading so many sources, I realized that pitching and getting a collaboration is not an easy task. It is a mindset, and the quicker you adopt it, the quicker you will see success.
Don’t be afraid to get rejected. I’ve been there many times. I got rejected mostly because of my current residence when brands want to send me products to be reviewed. That’s why I always tell them beforehand and don’t get my hopes up if I receive a product review opportunity.
One thing that I’m so proud of is that I successfully pitch and work with a client from Get Blogged. I wrote about simple ways to save plastic at home.
Because I don’t really have much experience in pitching, so I think it’s pretty normal when I have 2-3 brands to work on within a month and nothing for the next month. I’m working my way to go up step by step! You can do it too!
Time is so precious.
Balancing family life, social life, and running a passion is hard work!
I find it difficult to balance my family and blogging life. That’s why having a blogging schedule helps me so much to stay on track. Even though I experienced blogger burnout, I’m able to go back to blogging again because I know it’s my passion.
For bloggers, striking the balance has been tough and required a lot of prioritization.
Not enough rest
When starting my blog, I’m so eager to do everything at once. Researching, learning more about the blogging world, creating content, planning things, and scheduling social media posts.
With my limited English, it’s really difficult to write 1,000 words in less than 2 hours – I normally need 4-5 hours to complete a piece of content. This has by far been my biggest weakness in the last year.
And I live in a different timezone with my readers and blogging community. I’m the one who should match my timing with them. When I sleep, they work. And when I work, they rest. That’s why I ended up missing many DMS or emails because they were sent while I was sleeping ~ lol. If you read this, I’d like to request your understanding 😀
Although I have great plans for what I want to achieve, my life doesn’t have to focus on blogs only and I need rest.
This has gotten better though, although it’s still not perfect.
It never occurred to me that apart from realizing that someone was reading my content, even commenting, I was nominated for 3 blogger awards given by the blogger community!
I got nominated for 3 awards:
There was no way on earth I could have predicted this. I don’t even know that this Blogger Award exists so I’m very surprised to get nominated.
To have nominated in less than 1 year of blogging has been a lovely surprise.
It has also meant that I now have the opportunity to grow further and further…
Even though I and some bloggers said that number doesn’t really matter BUT traffic is still really important to bloggers.
Apart from creating quality content, it is more about traffic if you expect it to generate an income.
Although I didn’t start the blog with a traffic goal, I became obsessed with achieving 5,000 sessions in a month.
- Most Viewed: Increase Your Blog Traffic With These 12 Unique Tips (1,000+ PV)
- Total blog posts for one year: 122
- Number of Page Views: 31,000+ (sharp growth from Janury 2021)
- Total Users: 6,000+
I need to do more work on Social Media:
- Pinterest followers: 300
- Instagram followers: 1,135
- Twitter followers: 2,145
- Facebook Likes: 270
What have I learned from the blogging community?
I’ve learned a LOT of things and NOW I could handle things like editing, designing, even simple coding. It’s hard work and not easy when starting out, so I’m really PROUD of myself when looking at my blog. Do you feel the same?
I’m beyond happy when getting simple and short compliment messages both on Twitter and Instagram recently about my blog’s design, contents, etc. And yes, when you have quality content, good blog design, connecting on social sites – brands will reach out to collab with you! I started to get some emails to collab this year!
Here 6 things I’ve learned in my 1st year of blogging journey.
You’ll Develop Your Skills
I started my blog with just a laptop, wifi, a planner, and a dream. I’m being a bit dramatic here. But in all seriousness, I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I wanted to be a writer, I love sharing what I know, sharing my experience, and expanding on my journey.
To be honest, I’m not really a beginner at blogging, in fact, I’ve known this world since I was in junior high school. And operating WordPress isn’t something strange for me because I had two free WordPress blogs: one for fun (now in private mode) in 2010-2014 and one for my translation job (2019-present).
I realized that after 6 months of blogging, I’ve gotten better at a lot of things like writing, editing, researching, and mostly, designing my own graphics – especially for Pinterest templates and my blog’s graphics.
To reward my one year blogging anniversary,
I’ve launched 4 packages of Pinterest templates which you can get at a special price.
You can also purchase 4 in 1 Pinterest bundles (130 templates)!
You’ll Be a One-Woman Show
I thought being a freelance translator made me a jack of all paper things but being a blogger gives that a whole new meaning.
But after a year of blogging …
I’m now the manager, planner, developer, social media specialist, communications expert, accountant, tech support, producer, graphic designer, editor, personal assistant, negotiator and there’s no one else who is going to get things done, fix an HTML crisis or put out the fires except for YOU.
Your Goals, Hopes, and Dreams For Your Blog Will Grow As You Do
I graduated in 2017 with a BA in English Literature. I got my first office job in 2018 as a marketing assistant and in 2019 as a personal assistant for a skydive start-up company. I decided to go freelance at the beginning of 2020 (before the pandemic).
Being freelance means there will be months where I receive a lot of projects and times where there are absolutely no projects, especially when a pandemic occurs so my income is not very stable (I still live with my mom but still, I need money for supporting my family).
Oh, when I was in junior high school, we had this kind of newspaper for school students which we get weekly from the local government. This newspaper accepts writings from the local community, especially students, in the form of poetry, rhymes, funny stories, etc. I used to write 5-10 funny stories and in exchange, they paid me around $2 per story. For students in my country, it’s a lot and I’m so proud of myself that I could earn money. So you know that writing stuff has been my passion for a long time.
In fact, almost in every country, people tend to underestimate people who work freelance rather than people who work in the office (for the government). I understand it fully but for me as long as you enjoy your job and make money from it, why not? Every job is respectable.
I have always been an open-minded child. I don’t care what other people think of me as long as I do something good, which makes me happy, and doesn’t bring harm to others. I don’t care about public schools or universities because I believe that what matters most is the willingness to study, not the place where we study.
I dress modestly and comfortably on my own not to satisfy the eyes of others. I don’t care about other people’s lives or appearances because I value someone’s personality more. Similarly, I don’t care about other people’s jobs because everyone’s situation is different, you don’t know what passion or dreams they have.
Therefore, soon after I started my blog, I found myself putting more time and effort into my little baby blog, and the more I started to begin cultivating ideas of working for myself. I started fantasizing about no longer having to “work for someone”.
I decided to stop shying away from my true passions (writing) and shrinking down because I felt like I wasn’t worth the success I wanted but wouldn’t admit I wanted out of fear. I always have a dream to be a writer or be my own boss – I don’t have a problem working under someone, but I think my passion lay in THIS.
After a year of blogging, I want to do it by being MYSELF. Simple as that. So I put it out into the universe and started manifesting my own destiny. I’m still nowhere NEAR a full-time income, but it’s just proof that your goals change as you grow and learn. It’s the way humans work and it’s such a fun daydream to toss around.
Even if THAT isn’t the same growth you want, your goals will still grow and get bigger as you chug along on your blogging journey. You’ll come up with new ideas for posts, new ways to put your work out into the world, new dreams that align with your growth and so much more. It’s exciting and exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.
You’ll Spend a lot More Screen Time and By Yourself
One of the blogging secrets you need to know – blogging is obviously done 100% online and much of the creative process is a solo effort.
I always check my phone, have emails pop up as notifications, replying to comments from social media platforms, and writing/editing/email/work at every opportunity. At first, it’s hard to find a balance between work and real life, but eventually the two blend together now.
There are no set work hours and because of that my screen time exponentially increases. It can be a big adjustment if you weren’t previously a computer person. I recommend wearing blue light glasses when you’re working hours in front of the computer.
Not Everyone Wants You to Succeed or Thinks You Can
Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of people who WILL believe in you, support you and your passions. BUT, there will also be people, both other bloggers and people in your real life that try to warn you against it.
Most fellow bloggers are genuinely supportive and helpful. They remember what it was like when they first started – which makes them more willing to give advice or support you by commenting on/sharing your work. However, I have found that there are others who just … aren’t like that.
Whether they’re too busy, feel like you’re beneath them, whatever it is. Some will give you the cold shoulder – which you’ll learn to be fine with and you don’t want any part of that anyway.
There will be a situation where people just want to get free advice from you and when they find success they will soon forget about your help.
You’ll just learn to steer clear instead of wishing you had that connection/networking. I’ve learned to give and accept support from some and that I can be successful without the support of others.
The same holds true for people in your life. Most will be encouraging, others will doubt you and think you’re wasting your time, efforts, and money doing this and offer their words of wisdom that usually sound like, “if you don’t have anything better to do, I have a huge list of things that need to get done around my house,” or something to that effect.
Ignore it or use it as fuel to prove them wrong! Both work in this scenario. Just don’t ever believe them. You got this!
Your Success is Entirely Up to You and It’s So Rewarding
Your results are a direct reflection of the effort you put in. You have as much or as little to gain from this as YOU would like. Unlike being at an hourly or salaried job where you’re getting paid regardless of if it’s a busy day or if customers are walking into the store you work at, this job is 100% based on your efforts alone.
I’ve learned to be better at time management, asking for what my time is worth, and that you really have to be self-motivated because no one is standing over you reminding you to do this, giving you deadlines for that, or writing you a check on payday.
You might put in a ton of effort and not see the fruits of your labor for a while (and I mean months) but if you keep at it, once you do start seeing your hard work pay off it is way more rewarding.
Maybe it’s an opportunity you never expected. Maybe it’s your first $$ from Gumroad (true story – that was the first amount of money I made from this blog and I was THRILLED). Maybe it’s a brand asking for collaboration or offering you sponsored posts.
Success can come in many forms that will be meaningful to you but it will always be incredibly rewarding because no one can take credit for it except you. You’ll know that it’s entirely YOUR success because you worked for it.
Don’t be afraid to celebrate your successes, big and small, because you earned them! Even if it’s a small dance party in your room before you get back to work, always be so, so proud of the milestones you reach along the way.
There are so many things I’ve learned in a year and I’m grateful for all of them. It’s opened me up to even more new passions and brought me hard lessons I’d rather not have had to experience.
All said and done though, I’m forever thankful I took the leap and started my blog. Regardless of what happens, it’ll always be my own corner of the internet where I can share my experiences, passions, and anything and everything in between.
It’s given me the outlet I didn’t even know I needed and something to be proud of. I’m sure I’ll learn even more in the following years and I hope to bring you all along for the ride as I do!
Do I Make Money From The Blog?
Just in case you’re curious, I currently do not have ads show on my blog.
However, I do receive sponsored/paid opportunities and also offer advertising slots for bloggers.
All income generated by Monodreame is currently reinvested into the site development, projects, etc.
Thank you to all who continue to support me through various means.
I have a ton of ideas for the blog and where I’d like to take it for the second year.
Below are some of the dreams and ideas I have:
- Social – Better engagement on Social Media
- Brands – I’ll only ever promote products that we believe will help you. As such, I’ll seek out more brands and products.
- eBooks & templates – I expect to create more digital downloads to help you in the future.
Most importantly, I’d like to hear your views as the audience.
What would you like to see more of?
Blogging Tips, Life-hacks, Self-development, self-care? Or other ideas? Will you interested if I talk about Bali, the place where I was born and live?
All in all, this year has been fantastic. It has been very tough in parts, but overall, very rewarding.
I thank you once again for continuing to read and support Monodreame!
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