100 subscribers, 0$ on ads and 6 months

So, I hit 100 subscribers a few days ago. Coincidentally today is the exact 6th month anniversary of my blog. 6 months ago this day, Wix.com seduced me with a juicy 70% off offer, and I started my blog. From the beginning, I had a few assumptions about my blog, and how I would manage it:

  1. I will never narrow down to a niche,
  2. I will write weekly no matter what,
  3. I will write about the things I would love to read myself,
  4. I will not use any ads, and I will not spam my friends to signup,

Throughout this post, I will let you know how each of these assumptions crumbled, and I ended up managing this thing that is now the best and proudest project of my life.

But first... how much I spent during 6 months of blogging?

Overall I spent 400$, which is a lot, and launching a blog can be done much cheaper. My cost breakdown is:

  1. Super cheap yearly membership of Wix - 70$ which is still active until August and now I'm using it for my other project,
  2. Annual membership of Webflow - 190$, on this platform I'm running my current blog, and I'm delighted with this purchase,
  3. Yearly membership of Fathom analytics - 140$, this is the transition to ethical tech that I wanted to do for a long time, and now I'm satisfied with the results.

Of course, I could go on with my Wix membership for a long time until August and stop at 70$/year budget, but as I started to spend more time on this blog, I wanted to make my blogging experience as smooth as possible.

Efficient budgeting is one of the reasons I started this blog, and I also have a blog on how you can kickstart your business only with 240$/year budget.

Now that we got the numbers out of the way, let's go through the list of my assumptions about blogging that I had.

I will never narrow down to a niche.

I could still stand by this to some degree. Currently, if you go through my blog, you'll see that I always try to post on very different topics. Like analytics, growth, freelance, etc. However, the central theme that I try to have is growth with no ads, budgeting, and efficient automation. Everything else is my idea and thoughts on products and startup and maker community.

So have I settled for a niche? Yes, and no. I'm always posting a growth/analytics related article once a week. The second weekly article can be on other topics (surprise you're reading the second type of material now).

However can't emphasize that when I started to write on this schedule, I gained most of my subscribers so, being more concrete is always a plus.

I will write weekly no matter what

Heh, hello, my naivete. I declare myself guilty of this step. This was not the strategy I was following. The schedule worked sometimes, and, some weeks, it just didn't. I had 2 other software development projects, and they took a lot of time and energy. So no, I didn't write every week. The longest I went without any articles was three weeks. It was strange that the central part of my growth went down during the time when I had 0 promotion and didn't publish any new articles.

Getting along with a schedule is very tricky. If you create one great! If you miss a day, it's not the end of the world.

I will write about the things I would love to read myself

This point is the main reason that I kept on with my writing. Every time I wanted to solve some small problem that I didn't find any alternatives, I decided to write an article about it. That's how a lot of content was done on Google Data Studio and Google analytics.

In the future, I'm incorporating a lot of tricks with ArtableDashDash, and other tools that are helping to create all in one analytics experience with small effort.

I believe this writing strategy is the best way to get value out in the world, and not write yet another article on "10 ways to create a sticky product" (yet again guilty, I actually have a piece like that on this blog)

I will not use any ads, and I will not spam my friends to signup

Not using any ads and spamming is the one unshakable principle of this blog. It started as a statement that I don't wanna use big tech companies data to get to my subscribers. Also it was very interesting for me, to see how much time it would take me to hit certain numbers without leveraging the help of ads. How people did it when these tools were not available? How much effort it takes to start something and use only the vastness of the internet, without any initial audience, to get somewhere. Just about 2 months ago there were only 20 subscribers and I can't tell you how much I regretted not using ads. However with each new subscriber I was encouraged.

Up until today. It took me 6 months. I understand that it is a very long time, and if I was launching a brand from the beginning 6 months would sound like a death sentence to me. I believe that ads are not the solution, connectivity and dialog is. And taking just enough time to get into that dialogue is as much important as a groundbreaking marketing or growth strategy.