Blogging Goals: Looking to 2021 and Beyond

No one can deny that 2020 has been the year we planned. With Coronavirus taking over our daily lives, including social distancing, national and local lockdowns, being separated from our families and friends, furlough schemes, working from home, homeschooling and not forgetting travel bans, being told to wear masks and watching the daily briefings in the hope that they might have it all wrong and we can go back to normal (we can only dream of normal). I thought it was time to share my 2020 blogging goals with you and looking to 2021 and beyond. Who doesn’t need a little motivation come the new year!

Cheerful woman opening box and using laptop
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

I launched A Little Bit Social in January 2019 as my little passion project, no real plan, no goals, no structure, I just wanted to write about the things I cared about. It was a big deal, so much so that I didn’t share it with my friends and family. I was terrified of failing and everyone calling it a ‘hobby’. It took me over a year before I would be brave enough to share it with my family and friends.

The personal growth that the coronavirus gave me (apart from grey hairs) is the time to work on myself, being furloughed allowed me to work on my blog, work out my goals, structure, and where I saw myself in five years. If the pandemic taught me one thing, it’s how important family is, whether they are infants, children or teenagers, they still rely on you as a parent. It was quite eye-opening during our homeschooling days to realise that it was never going to work if I had to be in an office 9-5, so I left in July and given the remainder of this year I am so glad I made that jump.

Starting Out with a Blogging

Blogging isn’t for everyone, in fact, my first few months, I struggled to get any views at all, but I wasn’t consistent, I had no target audience (apart from the odd friend) and no niche. I created mostly family and lifestyle content, but I knew very little about SEO, traffic and engagement. I realised pretty quickly that I needed to learn, I needed to know my DA’s (domain authority) from my SEO’s (search engine optimism).

It takes a lot of hard work to attract millions of followers or to be making hundreds of pounds a week, and I like the organic approach. I don’t want to pay or trick any possible followers into following me. My growth over the last two years is what I would expect for finally sorting the little details out but enjoying the race.

I also didn’t want to obsess over making a couple of pounds here and there but knew that I might want to make a bit of cash eventually. 2019 was slow, in September I moved to a self-hosted site, so the data only starts from then, but I thought I would share them anyway.

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020

As a new blogger, I will admit that I didn’t even care much for the statics in those early months. I just wanted to write, but I realised towards the end of 2019, that they matter, but I was still extremely proud of my 2019 content.

As a new blogger, I will admit that I didn’t even care much for the statics in those early months.

Now the important bit Blog Stats for 2019 (including before I went self-hosted)

Here are some highlights from 2019:

  1. Are Mum’s Being Forced into Minimum Wage Jobs
  2. How Accessible is Paulton’s Park
  3. Navigating Legoland Windsor with a Disabled Child

2019 was the year I learned how to write better copy, take better images, that SEO mattered, have a DA, and read my posts.

What Happened in 2020

I wasn’t expecting 2020 to involve being furloughed and homeschooling my children due to a global pandemic but it made me look hard into where I needed to shift my focus and in July, I declined to renew my contract with work as I knew that I wanted to write for a living.

Although to many bloggers, 11k page views are small because some are getting this daily! Going from just over 1k and hitting over 10k in 12 months has blown my mind.

Updated as of 26th December 2020

This year, I have worked hard to be more consistent to post at least once a week (at least) and to promote. I didn’t really pick up some of the obvious things until later in the year, so I will say that 2021 may be the year for better content.

I wasn’t expecting 2020 to involve being furloughed and homeschooling my children due to a global pandemic but it made me look hard into where I needed to shift my focus.

I shifted my niche to a family lifestyle and travel blog, and once I did this, my pageviews really hit off. Suddenly people were finding my blog and enjoying my writing.

Now the important bit Blog Stats for 2020

There is nothing like being stuck at home for most of the year to give you a little perfective. Here are some highlights of 2020:

  1. The Easiest Ways to Save Money During a Pandemic
  2. Planning a Girls Weekend in the UK
  3. How To Get The Most Out of Your Stay at Home Holiday

2020 was definitely the year of finding where I belonged to find ourselves then lockdown and unable to travel. It wasn’t the best start to finding my niche, but I managed to make a little bit of money, and I thought it would be a nice idea to show you how.

How Much Did I Earn Blogging in 2020

I’m not going to lie, and it wasn’t anywhere near to some of the bloggers I read over the last few weeks. They were earning a proper yearly salary, but I can confirm before modest expenses I earned £727.15. I am so proud of this achievement as it wasn’t easy for little old me.

My Blog Income:

  • 70% – Sponsored Content
  • 28% – Influencer Networks/Blogger outreach
  • 2% – Google Adsense

Breaking it Down

My income only started in August, so this is only for four months of 2020, and I actually turned a few jobs down due to misaligning with my blog and my own ethics. I thought it might be a good idea to break down how I made what I did.

Sponsored Content/Link-building

In April, I was contacted by an agency specialising in guest posts with built-in links, called backlinking in return for financial reward. I made £495 in 2020 from this kind of content.

I get emails regularly asking me how much I charge for just adding a link into one of my already written posts. Some of them going into great detail of the link they want to include in which post. Some offering more than my rate, but after a few emails, they disappear. I’m assuming I just get added to a list somewhere.

Beware of the ones who offer you less, for what feels like more in return. My rate is per link. However, one agency offered me less in return for at least three links per week. I have yet to receive one link offer!

It was great for a blog starting, at £15 per post with minimal work it was easy, but it’s really not for everyone and going into 2021 I will be moving away from that type of content in favour of my own.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Influencer/Blogger Outreach

Very early on, I signed up to whichever influencer network or blogger outreach service that would accept my blog DA or social media followers. It was a mixed bag with getting nowhere until I hit a DA of 10 in June.

I managed to secure a few high paying jobs with Intellifluence and earned £198.91 in 2020. A mixture of product, app and website reviews. These were spread across a variety of mediums including my blog, testimonials and social media. I actually turned down more opportunities than I accepted as some of them were not suited to my target audience or required more than I felt they were offering in return.

I have avoided those who were pushy, including a few items in return for an Amazon review. We all know this is against Amazon’s policy. The product wasn’t something I could review given the type of product. These are few and far between.

Google Adsense

In September 2019, I joined Google Adsense. Given my low page views at the time, it didn’t exactly do well. It also didn’t help that my blog was unapproved during the start of the coronavirus and took me a good few months to get it back.

I changed my front page from my blog to a static homepage, and that really helped, and I have made a total of £8.51 this year which isn’t great when I read the average blogger earns £65 a day! Probably a little too early considering my average page views are now 2k a month, but it’s a start and it’s there.

What Hasn’t Worked

With the good comes the bad and in my case things to learn from. When my blog started growing, I jumped on extra blogging tools, but it was an unnecessary expense.

Suddenly I paying for premium services I didn’t need yet or I ever would because another blogger with 10k views a month recommended them through an affiliate link.

By the end of 2020, I realised that it won’t matter yet unless I’m earning thousands.

Freelancer Job Sites

I’m not going to lie, and I am not the best person for selling myself or my services. I set up accounts with Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr and struggled to find work. Then was offered opportunities but not within my niche, or they wanted a commitment. Receiving offers from Fiverr, but they wanted more than one writing piece for barely any money. I know, I know, it’s for the experience and my portfolio. I will attempt it again in the new year when I have more time, but it didn’t work out in 2020.

Social Media Influence

I was naive to think that when I reached a certain amount of Instagram followers that I would be inundated with offers of free stuff and/or sponsored posts. Call it new blogger stupidity.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve had a few companies reach out and offer me the opportunity to be ambassadors for their product or service. Giving me free products and a code for my Instagram, but the products aren’t something I’d use as a lifestyle blogger.

That’s not to say it won’t happen, but I’ve been overly cautious about what I fill my grids or posts with.

2021 Blogging Goals and What’s Next

Looking towards 2021, I can’t help but feel motivated and positive. The world may be a crazy place right now, but it doesn’t always feel so bad from the comfort of my dining room or sofa.

I also need to be realistic about my future blogging and/or as a writer. So I’ve written some blog goals for 2021.

Pen on to Do List Paper
Photo by Breakingpic from Pexels

Making Money with my Blog in 2021

I decided to take it slow in 2020 but 2021, I want to step it up and start earning a proper income or a least be on the way to being but 2022.

My blogging goals for 2021 are:

Affiliate Marketing: I’ve been a member of Amazon Affiliates for a few months, but I keep getting removed because I don’t hit their target. I have plenty of clicks, just not enough follow-throughs but I’ve so been working with Awin for the latter part of this year. Awin is an affiliate network, that brings creators and businesses together to increase consumer reach so 2021, I want to start receiving income.

Collaborate with brands: This whole subject makes me feel slightly overwhelmed and I have only contacted one brand to partner with so far. I need to feel more confident and keep trying until that one collaboration comes along.

In 2021, I am looking to further grow my blog and find a few more creative streams maybe in an attempt to make a bit of money.

I am currently investigating:

Selling Products/Services: I have been working on two e-books and I hope to release them both in early to mid-2021. They aren’t ready yet and need a good proofread but it’s definitely something I want to add to the table next year.

Blog Growth

I am going to leave you with a few things I am working on to increase my blog traffic.

  1. Blog Collaborations – I’m looking to work with other bloggers to make some content, maybe some guest post swapping etc. I attempted a small amount of that in 2021 but using Facebook groups I really want to push this.
  2. Attend Blog Events – This is something that will happen in 2021, I live in a small town in Hampshire but it’s very isolating not having any blogger friends to chat to about content or even ideas. So 2021 is all about making some friends either online or by attending local and national blog events. This was a bit of a stinger this year, having to lockdown so here’s hoping for a social 2021.
  3. Social Media – 2021, I want to push my engagement, followers, links, likes, link clicks and impressions to the next level. I hope to triple my social media following an increase my engagement on Instagram too at least 10%.

Other Sources of Income

I guess my main dreams for 2021 is linked to my blog but also separate as I dream of securing paid work as a freelancer on a more consistent basis and having been writing blog posts for Family Fund for the last year and enjoying sharing a little bit of our world, in 2021 I would like to write for larger publications or more local ones. I need to investigate this more, but having my name on the byline would be amazing.

There you have it! 2021, the year of big things for this blog! Are you a blogger? Do you fancy yourself as a new blogger or vlogger? Do you believe that blogging is dying and being replaced? Please let me know in the comments.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, it’s always really interesting to see how other bloggers have done in the past year- especially as I’m currently trying to earn a little money from my blog too x

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      Thank you Eleanor. All I seem to find our bloggers who earn thousands and then you read through the whole post to find their side hustle is a property portfolio and has nothing to do with the blog. I wanted to share some pointers for us little bloggers who need a little support. Thank you for reading

  2. Fab post! I hope you have lots of success with your blog in 2021! x

    Sophie |

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      Thank you Sophie, I am enjoying the journey.

  3. Thank you for this honest and useful overview of your blogging journey. I can relate on so many levels. Wish you all the best for 2021.

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      Thank you Stella. I think it helps motivate me for the year to come. Wishing you all the best for 2021 and your blogging journey.

  4. Yay! That’s amazing! I’m happy and excited to see your blogging goals! I hope to make money from blogging this year as well. Cheers to 2021 xo

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