Goodbye, October. This is the first Fall that made me really dig the season. The cold weather, the crumbling leaves. Fall usually makes me feel somewhat depressed. Not this year. I feel hopeful and reenergized.

I started exercising and getting stronger through bodyweight training. I’ve also been doing some yoga, which has been way more emotionally powerful than I expected.

I have so many ideas, but haven’t had the time and discipline to execute them. I have this whole new positive mindset and I can’t wait to get to work!

I’m only in Bucharest for one more week, and next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Florence. Excited to visit Italy for the first time!

October Income Breakdown

October Expenses

  • TOTAL: $34.99

October Traffic

Nothing to report here! The usual.

I’m working on my first blogging course!

Super exciting.

In October, I reached out to my mailing list to gauge if there’s enough interest in me writing an eBook about working with brands as a blogger. I received great feedback and started drafting the eBook when I thought… wait. There’s too much material here. I need something more substantial.

And then it hit me. What could be better than creating a course about working with brands? I still want this information to be accessible, so I wouldn’t be pricing it super-duper high. But I do have interesting tips and guidance when it comes to this topic, and I know you’ll love what I come up with.

This will be a powerful course that gets results (brand collabs, sponsorships, samples — whatever your goal is). Does that sound good?

The free course will also NO LONGER be available starting next month.

These past few months, I’ve been particularly stuck when it comes to content. I fell into the trap of creating nothing but “useful” content. Each post needs to teach something, to bring value.

Which is fine.

It’s how a blog becomes genuinely helpful.

But because of that mindset, I’m constantly censoring myself and refusing to post anything that isn’t “of real value”. Every post here is blogging-related.

To the point where it’s like… who the fuck am I? Who’s behind this blog?

A personal post here and there wouldn’t hurt. I have a feeling it would be better. More relatable. More human.

The truth is that I’m a very emotional and sensitive person, and I’ve learned to censor my emotions to an unhealthy degree. I grew up with this belief that emotions aren’t to be shown, and that they’re almost shameful. I hide so much of myself.

One of my goals with this website, Rosevibe, is to stop hiding. I want to post content I truly care about, even if it’s not in line with “teaching you how to blog”. I want to stop being so rigid when it comes to blogging, and find the freedom to be myself.

“Finding the freedom to be myself” is a good way of putting it. That’s true freedom. Not being confined by external factors.

Back to blogging: HTTPS

This is important if you have your own self-hosted site.

In October, I moved from HTTP to HTTPS. Part of the reason why is because my SSL certificate for “courses” page expired, which means those pages were down for a few days (until I noticed — oops).

HTTPS is a secure version of HTTPS (the “S” stands for secure). It means the data exchanged between your browser and the website’s server is encrypted (it can’t be read by a third party). Until recently, only e-commerce sites were using HTTPS (to make sure the customer’s credit card information couldn’t be stolen).

Recently, Google issued a statement that beginning this October, any website that doesn’t have an HTTPS connection will be marked as “non secure” in Chrome. Basically, they’re going to incentivize visitors to leave your site because it’s not safe. Worst case scenario, the warning message could be similar to this:

To move your site to HTTPS, you need to purchase an SSL certificate (I don’t have any particular company to recommend, but some are as cheap as 99 cents). If you have your own self-hosted blog, move to HTTPS before it affects your traffic and rankings.

Email Marketing + The S-Word

I’m seriously on the fence about spelling out S-P-A-M in this post. Because I wrote a post about 7 Ways To Promote Your Blog Without Being Spammy, and hilariously enough, it’s attracting every damn spambot’s comment.

My list building efforts got me down lately. When I started building my Rosevibe list, I also started emailing the small number of subscribers I had. It went great. Nothing in the spam folder, big open rate.

After neglecting the list for 1 year, I must have lost my “reputation” because everything is ending up in the junk folder. I currently have close to 5,000 subscribers, but my emails aren’t reaching them.

To test out every email, I use Mail-Tester.com, which is free and highly useful. It gives your email a “spamminess” score and tells you exactly what might be wrong with your email.

It also alerts you of any blacklists you might be on (if you’re on a blacklist, your emails have a lower chance of being delivered). It turned out that I’m on 2-3 blacklists, but here’s the catch: I’m using SendGrid to deliver emails, which means I’m sharing my reputation with all of their customers.

In other words, part of it is out of my control. But I could have avoided having my emails go to spam by building my own reputation and emailing my list regularly.

So if you you’re building a list right now, don’t let it go stale. Use it. Email.

To combat this, I send new subscribers to a new page that sobbingly begs asks them to mark my emails as “not spam”.

Autoresponder Adventures

In August, I started adding emails to my autoresponder series — something I had been meaning to do foreverrrr. Autoresponders are the bomb.

Now, I’m learning more and more about email marketing and I’m realizing that I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.

I haven’t been creating segments (groups of people that share a characteristic or performed a specific action). For example, I hate emailing about sales, but I do it every once in a while anyway. Instead of emailing everyone about sales, I need to only email one or more segments of people that are genuinely interested in sales. Win win. They get notified of a sale, and I’m happy because I make them happy — plus they’re more likely to make a purchase.

I’ve also been emailing sporadically instead of providing consistent value. Hence why autoresponders are so great. They automate everything.

I changed my strategy completely when it comes to emails, and it’s been working out pretty, pretty well so far. I only have the first 4 emails in the series and I’ll write the rest as I go. So far, my open rates are decent even considering what I mentioned above. Fingers crossed, I’m slowly building up my reputation.

Thank you to everyone who’s reading this! I can’t wait to have more content on Rosevibe for you. This past year hasn’t been the easiest, but I’m ready to kick butt now.

Much love,
Suzi