Hi, I've been lurking around this forum since back in 2010–and been in and out of IM with some success and a lot of failure. For the last month, I have been working on a new blog (I've sent the link to some of you for feedback). I also have tons of side projects, like a JV IM buisiness with some friends (in the planning), and other YT+Clickbank and article marketing stuff going on, but that's more to see what's working. I am 23 years old, and currently studying engineering, and working at an oil service company offshore. I decided to open this thread to keep myself motivated, and it helps me to take action! Quick about my blog: - Running the Thesis 2 framework - Niche: travel. This is a competitive niche, I know, but I have the advantage of being able to make tons of quality content in this niche. I have seasoned user accounts on several travel forums, where I can share my links without anyone questioning it as spam (as it adds value, and is from a reputable user). I also travel a lot, so my trip reports and pictures will be 100% unique. I feel this is the perfect topic for me, as I can write about it an there is some pretty good money in it. This is also a niche that I love to write about, so it is easier to motivate myself, even with bad analytics numbers, as I love to share my photos and writings. - Self-hosted Wordpress on Hostgator, branded .com domain. - Personal blog, I brand it as a travel log with some tips and tricks on the travel industry. Try to keep an informal tone when writing, and use my own name and my own travel pictures, but I also have some more "real content" in comparison to some other travel logs. I have always thought that people buy from people, and all the blogs I have bought stuff from (DIY-themes, Problogger etc.) are all written as a personal blog. My traffic method is rather simple: *I have two Tumblr accounts, one reblogging and posting general travel pictures, and one of my own with unique content. These posts pictures on auto from picloadr, with CT-link to my blog, some inner pages and some main page. When I launch a new article, Wordpress posts the content to my unique content tumblog, and I then add tags, and if I use good pictures it often gets reblogged 20-30 times. A lot of my traffic is from Tumblr. Some of this traffic, I try to get to join my FB page to "lock them in" * As mentioned, I post my links on travel forums. When somone is asking how they can take the bus from Rio to Saõ Paulo, I tell them how, and mention that I have a trip report from riding buses in Brazil at my blog. My second largest source of traffic. These also ranks well in Google, so when people search google for something like "Rio to Sao Paulo bus", and my link is in the first reply, I get even more traffic … even after the thread is "dead" * I track all my traffic, and most of it is from referrals, but I have also started to get some organic traffic on long-tail KWs. KWs I've never considered targeting, I can't believe the stuff people are searching sometimes, haha. * Recently I've gotten traffic from other blogs, which I really enjoy, because that means that people are sharing my content. An example, today, there was another blog mentioning my blog, saying that they should check out my blog for more info on that destination. This is the best form of traffic, I think, as it is targeted and the crowd is warmed, and you have trust from the first second! What have I done so far? * Written about 15 posts, all 500+ words, some even 1300 words. Good content with pictures, videos and 100% unique. * Installed Wordpress+Thesis from DIYThemes * Bought a few Fiverr gigs: ----one with 50 likes to my FB-page, to get it rolling ----one for a well-written "about me" page. English is not my first language, and since this is an important part of the page, I decided to outsource it ----Link pyramid and social sharing for my YT-videos * Installed these plug-ins: ----Yoazt SEO ----Jetpack ----Lightbox, for pictures ----Disqus ----Plugin so people can share content ----Plugin for social buttons * Started reading books on copywriting, motivation, blogging and writing etc. * Registered on CJ, awaiting approval from some airliners and hotel booking sites. * Set up adsense What I will do the following days: * Design a skin for Thesis * Add more pictures * Go through all my on-page SEO * Do some proper KW research in Market Samurai (just downloaded the free trial) * Read about tiered link building, and maybe invest in a tool. Any input here? * Upload my new "About me" page * Add a contact form * re-structure my categories * Finish two large articles, and schedule these, and write 3 "filler articles". * Find a way to automatically interlink my posts. I havn't considered monetization yet, I am a bit tentative towards adsense, and feel maybe just adding my affiliate links in blog posts is the way to go? Any input here? My goal right now is just to drive traffic. And thanks to all of you in here, who has shared your knowledge. I would not be able to do this project without BHW!