July 24, 2017

2nd Blogiversary

Brazen and Brunette is two years old!! Thank you to every reader who has helped make this blog a success | brazenandbrunette.com

Yayyy you guys as of yesterday my blog is TWO!! For a trip down memory lane, here is the post that started it all. I can't say thank you enough to each and every one of you for taking a chance on my random ramblings and sticking with me through my 1L and 2L years. This blog has literally been one of the highlights of being in law school and I'm so glad that y'all take the time to help make this blog a success. Still to this day I love getting to help prospective and current law students by messaging and commenting back to y'all. I'm not exaggerating on how the emails and comments I get from y'all completely make my day and I do still read the nice parts to my friends to brag about how amazing y'all are. Ok sappy shit over haha. I thought I'd do like what I did for my first blogiversary and take a little time out from my normal posts to give y'all an update on what's been going on here and Brazen and Brunette.

Blog Update

My blog hasn't changed as drastically as it did the first year, but I did do some things to try to help and improve it. I still love my blog design so I think I'll be keeping it here for a few years (if you're a blogger looking for a new blog design, this is the site where I got mine). 

Last year I went from being anon to public, but I actually still have only told a few of my friends and my sister. It's not that I'm trying to hide it, but I feel weird telling them that I'm a "blogger" because I think most people think of a 15 year old having an online diary when they hear blogger. Also the majority of my friends have nothing to do with law school so I know they wouldn't even care to read my post.

It wasn't even until this past semester that I even started adding this to the hobbies part of my resumé. At first I was too embarrassed to put that on a job resumé for the same reasons that I haven't even told all of my friends, but after talking to my school's career counselor (she's a DG too so we get along great) I decided to add it. She told me to put it on there because it will give interviewers something to ask me about so we can have a conversation where they get to know me personally. And she was right because every interview that I've gone in to since then has asked me to tell them more about it. I just make sure to explain it as a "how-to law school" blog so they're reassured that it isn't just a diary and I won't be writing any potentially confidential information.

One of the things that I'm most proud that I've started the Law School Blogs Pinterest group.  In less than a year it's grown to feature 21 different law school bloggers and over 2,000 followers! Not only do I love it as essentially a one-stop-shop for 0Ls to find a post about about any of their law school questions, it's also turned into a place for other law school bloggers to come together and for baby bloggers to be able to reach a large audience from the get go to help their new blog grow.

Another change from last year is that I've been working hard to make the name Brazen and Brunette grow, and it's been working! I've featured guest posts from reader Chandler and bloggers Heather and Jordin, was featured on a law school podcast, reached out to Quimbee and Plum Paper Planners so that I could get you guys discounts, become an ambassador for theSkimm, and have become a member of the Influence Her Collective, Activate by Bloglovin, and She Is Media. I'm excited because here pretty soon I have plans to work with other law school bloggers (spoiler alert it's this blog), have more guest writers, and work with more brands so my blog will continue to expand! PS - if you ever feel like you have something to say but aren't ready to start up your own blog, feel free to email me because I'd love to feature more readers as guest posts!!

Blog Report

I'm so so so happy that my blog has continued to grow.

2nd Blogiversary | brazenandbrunette.com

My page views have been all over the place and at first when they started to go down I was a little bit worried that I wasn't doing enough to write helpful posts or share it enough. But then I realized duh they're going down because most of my readers are 1Ls and once school started they were too busy to read my posts, which explains why it goes up in the summer. To make sure that I still am writing helpful posts, I'd really appreciate it if you could go here and "endorse" what you want to see more of! 

Even when page views went down, I still was happy overall because this time last year I hadn't broken 20k views and now that's closer to my average! Last year I set a goal to reach 30k views a month and I finally reached that goal this May but have been meeting that goal every month since. 

I've also seen my social media grow a lot faster this past year. I thank Tailwind for helping me grow my Pinterest and Hootsuite for helping me grow my Facebook/Twitter (more on those below). I have gotten a lot better about having two Twitters (one personal, one for the blog) and try to use my blog Twitter more as a way to interact with y'all. I'm still debating on what to do about Instagram because right now I just have my personal one and I'm not quite sure if I want to start sharing blog-related stuff (new posts, new favorites, and work/school outfits) on there. I want to start sharing more of my life with y'all because I love it when bloggers I follow do that, but right now most of my Instagram followers are my friends from high school and college who have no clue (and to be honest, probably no interest) about my law school blogging. But I'm just not sure if having an Insta just for my blog is being too extra or if any of y'all would want that. So if you have some thoughts, please feel free to comment or email because I need help making up my mind!

Goal for 2018: reach 45k views a month

Income Report

To repeat what I said last year, I'm not sharing these numbers to come off as bragging, but simply so that I can be honest with y'all about referral fees that I collect when you visit a website or sign up for something that I've recommended. 

Ads (google): $111
Affiliate: $578
Expenses: $129
Net: $560 (not too bad side money)

I had Google AdSense for about a year and just recently decided to take those ads off my site, so that's one change. I ended up deciding that their ads were starting to ruin the integrity of my site and it just wasn't worth it. I hate going to websites that are covered in ads that I accidentally click on, they always make pages load slower, they're distracting, and as the owner of my site I didn't really get much say in which ads were posted so I didn't like that I could potentially be endorsing a product or service that I personally wouldn't recommend. 

Instead I've realized that by working with brands directly, I can control what is being featured on my blog and making sure that you're not wasting your time with a crap product or brand. At first, the only brands that were reaching out to be were very fishy and I didn't even hesitate to decline their offers. Honestly some of these really annoyed me because I could tell from their pitch that these companies had never even visited my site or read one of my posts. But now I've learned more about blogging so I'm excited to collaborate with some genuinely good brands that are worthwhile.

Last year I set what I see now as a little too-high goal to make $75 a month and ended up averaging about $46 instead. I say averaging because some months were slow and it'd only be like $10 so I just want to be candid for any of you wanting to start making money off your blog that it's not exactly as lucrative as you'd wish.

I did have quite a few expenses, but in my opinion they've been worth it. One of my best investments for my blog has been Tailwind for sure. I blogged about specific stats in my 7 tools I use to blog post, but my Pinterest (and therefore readers) has definitely grown the most because of this. Another place that I've been focusing more on is Facebook. I use Hootsuite to make sure that I'm sharing posts almost every day and I've promoted my Understanding your law student and Law school as told by Elle Woods posts on Facebook and have seen pretty good results from sharing those less-serious posts. It's not in my budget right now, but I do plan on experimenting with promoting posts on Pinterest and Twitter and expanding Facebook ads once I can afford to do that. One thing I did try that I didn't feel I got a good return on was Google Ads. At this point I don't think that my blog is big enough for me to be doing that again any time in the near future.

Goal for 2018: reach $60 a month

Well that about wraps up my two year blogiversary! Again thank you all for listening to me, I can't explain to y'all how much this blog means to me and how fun it's been getting to help all of y'all feel a little less nervous when you sit in on your first day of law school. Feel free to pop open a bottle of André and celebrate with me!! 


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