TALES OF A BLOGGER - CELEBRATING MY THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Yesterday marked my three year anniversary of being a blogger.

The past year has gone by SO quickly, right? I can't believe everything that's happened in the past twelve months, so much so that I've sort of flown past it. So today, I wanted to reflect and think about my growth so far.

I thought it would be interesting for my readers to see how I'm doing with my blog, online presence and freelance business. How much have I grown? Will freelancing ever become my full-time job? What's worked and what hasn't?

We’re about to dig in!

tales of a blogger - celebrating my three year anniversary

MY WEBSITE & BLOG

For those of you who don't know, the ABOH site started off as a lifestyle blog on Blogger. But last August, I migrated across to Squarespace (#bestdecisionever), and now this blog has turned into one that purely helps people build a fulfilling online presence and get a breakthrough with their blog, through tried and tested strategies that really work.

Then in February of this year, I released my first ever lead magnet - the 28-day Blogging Breakthrough challenge eBook. There'll be more on that later ;)

I've never shared my analytics on here before, but I wanted to show you a snapshot of what's happened over the past few months. Here's a screenshot from my Google Analytics comparing May (the orange line) with August (the blue line).

tales of a blogger - celebrating my three year anniversary

This has been possible due to you - all the wonderful readers that comment and follow me on social media.

But it's also been made possible by the type of referral that is now my number one source of traffic - Pinterest. 

I've been working really hard to market my blog over the past few months using social media and it's paying off in a big way!

tales of a blogger - celebrating my three year anniversary

I've also got a couple of other exciting projects going on behind-the-scenes and next up, I want to start experimenting with video. But we’ll have to wait and see!


THE BLOGGING BREAKTHROUGH COMMUNITY

When it comes to my email list, growth is a little more stagnant. This is frustrating for me, especially as there's so much on offer - weekly letters, a monthly magazine AND a free eBook!

Whether I've been marketing it in the wrong way (or not marketing it enough) I don't know. It’s something that I still need to work on.

But from the almost 500 people who do sign up to my list and have read the eBook, the feedback has been really positive!

blogging breakthrough challenge

Thanks to everyone who has taken the Blogging Breakthrough challenge and who continues to read, respond to and appreciate my weekly letters. I really appreciate you.


FREELANCE WRITING

I currently have three sites that I regularly guest post for. Previously, I also had one fantastic client that I regularly wrote for (and that paid me), but they recently restructured.

And I've just started working with a new journalism content marketing business which is really exciting.

That's it for now - but that's because I haven't carved out the time in my schedule to start pitching consistently yet. I'm definitely excited to start taking more clients on that need multiple posts per month. 

As of now, I'm doing this part-time as I carry on with my day job as a Marketing Coordinator for a sixth form college.

I've started my rate at £50 for every 500 words, but depending on a client’s needs, I also make sure to offer packages as well if that fits into the inquiry.

I think this is the rate I'm going to stick to for now until I build up the amount of clients I work with.

The clients I work with right now are mainly in the digital marketing industry. So my speciality topics include: 

  • Email marketing
  • Branding
  • Content marketing and blogging
  • Social media marketing
  • Photography
  • SEO
  • Copywriting 

But I also write about entrepreneurship and lifestyle topics that relate to women in our generation.

I wanted to pick out three highlights that have really stood out to me during my journey so far.

  • I'm a writer for Launch and Hustle, and I have been for just over a year now. It was founded by Brett Relander - a complete digital marketing guru. This was one if the first sites I pitched to write for and I'm so thankful they said yes.
holly sutton launch and hustle
  • I was a featured writer on The Freelance to Freedom Project. This is something I set myself a goal to do when I saw them looking for writers, and I'm so glad I went for it!
     
  • I've started guest speaking. I've done two workshops at the University of Central Lancashire (with another one coming up in a couple of months), and one for Lancaster university. I'd love to add this type of work to my business a lot more so watch this space.

I do find it difficult sometimes to stay on top of all the writing I want to do in terms of guest posts. Plus, I want to start doing more single guest posts on other websites. 

But overall, I'm very happy with the direction my business is going in. Eventually, I want to create some paid products and who knows what else!

I'm still at my full-time job because that is great in supporting me on this journey. Not just financially, but in terms of how much I'm learning too. It's going to be a hard struggle for the next year or so - especially as Tom and I have started hunting for a house together.  So fingers crossed it'll all work out and be worth it.


MY OTHER SERVICES

I also offer social media management and editing services for bloggers, entrepreneurs and small businesses. You can view my current rates for these services here.

Social media was a no brainier for me. It's my day job and it's something I get asked the most questions about. When it comes to editing, I've got a qualification in that from my Masters course, which is why I thought that would be another useful service to add.

Obviously if some potential clients are interested in more than one service, I'll happily put some packages together.


PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

So what's going to happen next? Well, my biggest hurdle at the moment just balancing my blog and freelance business alongside my day job.

But soon enough, my evening work starts back up again for my day job, which will leave me with even less time, depending on what's happening week to week.

I don't plan on getting up any earlier. And I don't want to burn myself out working late into the night.

So it's not ideal, but it's definitely manageable. With the new schedule Tom has helped me create, I feel like I can conquer anything! Plus, I now know that I have room to add more clients to my business - especially with my view to take it full-time.

Tom is also thinking of launching a new project that I'll be working on too, so keep your eyes peeled for that!


A FINAL NOTE

I'm really excited for what my life is going to look like in a few years time. My own business, a business with Tom and a place of our own? It all sounds like what I've been dreaming of.

But for now, things are going really well and I'm looking forward to seeing where things go over the next few months.

 

Do you enjoy reflecting on your growth as a blogger every so often? Here's to another three years!


Want to be a Breakthrough Blogger?

BY JOINING THE COMMUNITY YOU'LL RECEIVE WEEKLY INSPIRATIONAL REMINDERS, A DIGITAL COMMUNITY MAGAZINE ONCE A MONTH AND GET A FREE COPY OF THE 28-DAY BLOGGING BREAKTHROUGH CHALLENGE EBOOK

 

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