It’s been three months since I started this new adventure with Nurse FERN.
In February — before life got weird — I was in Lake Tahoe with 30 other money entrepreneurs. I mentioned that I needed to get my new site up and running. Within 24 hours, Nurse FERN was born.
My first site is hosted on Squarespace, I knew Nurse FERN should to be a fully hosted WordPress site. Unfortunately, I knew nothing about WordPress and am actually mildly afraid of the platform.
Luckily, the group I was with is extraordinarily talented and generous. This site wouldn’t exist without the help of my new friend, Tom of Maple Money. With his help, my site (the set up) was done within an hour over afternoon snacks.
Here we are, three months later, blogging with no other intention than to reach my desired audience. I’ve learned a few things.
There are obvious parallels between my early financial life and blogging. There’s a little secret I’ll share, I sometimes feel like I missed out on building my audience. I missed a fantastic chance when I started paying off my student loans when I could have blogged about my progress, sacrifices, strategy, wins, and losses. Not unlike how you may feel about missing the best time to pay off debt, starting investing, saving, etc.
I’ve seen many successful financial sites birthed from the journey. But I didn’t do it. I didn’t really know it was an option, or something people did. So now, I’m starting from the other side of debt payoff and working double-time to reach those I value most.
Which brings me to the whole purpose of this post. Obviously, it’s not about nursing or money, it’s about the progress I can share with you.
I love tracking numbers (duh budget nerd) and looking at other people’s numbers. It’s borderline addictive.
I’ll tell you what’s fun but rarely works well — comparing your numbers to someone else’s. But we do it anyway, am I right?
Let’s go back to my Tahoe trip, some of the people there have highly successful and fully monetized sites. Their pageviews are in the tens of thousands. In comparison, Nurse FERN had less than 10 users a day in the first month.
Month three doesn’t look all that different, and that’s okay. Who my readers are and where they came from is what matters.
The pageview count from organic searches and Pinterest is growing, and that’s exciting to me. That’s a nod to sustainable traffic and shows people are finding the site without direct hustle from me.
I’m fully aware that many monetary channels require 20,000+ pageviews a month. That’s intimidating when I compare it to my current numbers. And yes, I would like this site to generate income for me in the future. But I want it to create an income because I’m attracting and helping the right people with their finances, not because I’ve learned how to play the internet game.
If I create the content you need and crave, the numbers will follow.
Like my debt payoff will most certainly look different than another person’s, my site numbers are going to be different. It only hurts me to compare and get stuck, wishing I was further along. There is a fine line between motivational and depressing.
Which leads me to my second confession, this post was inspired by one I found in the archives of a money blogger’s site who I actively follow. I realized it was a — now or never moment — to start sharing my own updates. Then I hit the part in her post where she said she had 30 pageviews a day at the start, that crushed me, I’m nowhere near those numbers.
It’s okay for me to wonder how she did it, why her situation is different, but it’s not okay for me to give up because I’m not there yet, I need to keep going.
What’s working well
Shiny object syndrome is just as real in business as it is in personal spending. I want all the fancy things, and I want to buy them now. It’s easier to buy something new that promises dreamy results than taking time to implement something I’ve already invested in. Sound familiar?
So, I promised myself I would focus on two things with my blog and become really good at them, Pinterest and Instagram. This means ignoring Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter, and whatever else is out there. It’s hard, but I know for my own sanity — and consistency’s sake — I need to do it.
Since January, I’ve grown my Instagram audience to 1300. These aren’t people who found me, it’s from direct reach outs. Through Pinterest, I can usually depend upon one to two website visits a day. I’m pretty excited to watch these numbers grow (I hope!).
My happiest moment so far was having a real person comment on one of my posts. The comment was genuine and made me smile. It really is the little things that help fuel more creativity.
I also really enjoyed having a fellow freelance writer contribute a piece utilizing her expert status. In the future, I hope to incorporate more articles from outside writers.
What I need to do better
Improving consistency, It’s that simple, and that hard. I’m too practical to think that each week the perfect post topic is going to grace my mind and motivate me to sit and write an engaging piece you can’t resist reading.
Truth is, sometimes writing sucks. Writing is hard, writer’s block is real, and without a plan, I won’t do it.
I’ve recently employed a tactic I use when doing money coaching. I found an accountability buddy. It’s harder to fail at something when you have to admit it to another human. Just like I never wanted to tell my confidant that I screwed up and bought something I said I wouldn’t, I don’t want to tell my business buddy that I blew off a commitment I made to her.
I’m failing at consistency this week, but you better believe I’m going to shape up before my accountability call next week.
Growing a blog audience is a slow go. My website analytics tell me I currently have 28 returning visitors. (That’s amazing even knowing one of them is probably me.) 28 of you have read something on the site and returned to read something else. That’s enough to put some serious pep in my step.