[Journey] A serious attempt at a blog

SoloZS

Newbie
Jan 5, 2022
19
19
Hello BHW,

I started my blog on January 16th 2021, as with all my attempts in the past, I wrote a few articles, didn't see instant results, and stopped.

Fast forward to August 2021 and I discovered a user on Reddit (Phil) whose blog inspired me to start putting out more content, which just so happened to line up when I discovered Shaunms' Youtube channel leading me to this forum and found the work ethic of a few users (Bloooop, Kikerinka, Juniorfast1, and blogmen) inspiring.

Work ethic is something I've always been poor with and it hasn't been until recently (start of December) that I've decided to actively improve upon my work ethic. This expands beyond just my blog but into all aspects of my life, from school to full-time work, I've always done the bare minimum and lazy off, and it's something I want to change.

In August I pumped out 14 articles - a record for me, the most I've ever done on any of my old blog attempts was 4 per month.

Also in August 2021, life happened, while my motivation was high, I changed jobs and it took priority. I sporadically added articles in the months of November and December, ending the year 2021 with 28 articles - while the amount of articles, when compared to other members, is small. It is the most amount I've ever written for any of my previous attempts.

Between Christmas and New Year's Eve, I got an expiration email regarding my domain and if I'd like to renew, I thought to myself surely if the guys mentioned above can smash out that amount of content, I can at least commit to 5 articles a week.

So soon I'll renew everything, giving myself this year to hopefully achieve a result I'm proud of.

2021 Stats

Here are my stats from January 2021 to December 2021

I haven't monetized my blog yet - I was aiming for 1500 to 2000 pageviews before attempting to join Ezoic.

MonthArticles (Total)Words (Total)ImpressionsClicksPageviews
Jan - Jul4 (4)3808 (3808)3252080
Aug14 (18)10272 (14080)408593
Sep0 (18)0 (14080)144040101
Oct0 (18)0 (14080)235061147
Nov5 (23)3123 (17203)5140129248
Dec5 (28)3272 (20475)12500517763

2022 Goals

- Write 5 articles per week
- Earn my first only dollar from a blog
- Earn $500/m before the end of the year

My Concerns/Questions

- I'm not super confident in my keywords or writing, I could be spending all this time and get zero or poor results.

- I'm currently using A2 Hosting, which expires in 9 days, considering moving to Cloudways as I've heard they are much faster, but worried about migrating and potential downtime.


Thanks for taking the time to read the start of my journey, I'm open to all advice, motivation, accountability, or anything else you guys want to share or comment.
I aim to do an update at the end of each week to at least keep me accountable for my 5 articles per week.
 
Good luck friend! Hope you will stick with this. I don't think your KW research is that bad as you are actually getting clicks.
 
Hi SoloZS, if you are on Wordpress, I can help you migrate your site for a new hosting if you need.
 
Work ethic is something I've always been poor with
Same here. Thanks for the mention, but my work ethic is not that great either.

A year ago I had your writing speed (1 article per week) and it has improved, but not by a lot.

I think more important than work ethic (although it's very important if you have it) is to follow the breadcrumbs. When you get clicks, fast ranking or sales, follow that, dig for gold, feed yourself with those small successes to stay consistent.

I'll be following. Good luck with your journey!
 
Consistency is key to a successful blog. If you want your blog to be a resource that people keep coming back to, make sure you post on a regular schedule. Soon you’ll reap the rewards.
 
Stay Positive, stay focused, be PATIENT & the success will come!

- I'm currently using A2 Hosting, which expires in 9 days, considering moving to Cloudways as I've heard they are much faster, but worried about migrating and potential downtime.

Most hosting providers offer migration nowadays. Usually DNS changes will propagate within a few hours, but it can take up to 48 hours for everything to propagate across the Internet. Many things affect propagation time, including your TTL, your ISP and your domain's registry. ( If your domain is behind CF you will just change the IP and you are done)

Good luck !
 
Last edited:
Looks interesting. Good luck.
I suggest you take a look at keyword chef to find queries ranking for UGC
 
A year ago I had your writing speed (1 article per week) and it has improved, but not by a lot.

This is something, I am aiming to improve upon.

Over the past few days I've discovered I'm able to write in short 20-30minutes bursts and then just need to step away for 5-10minutes and return. Ideally, if I can start getting those bursts up to the 45-60minute mark I'd start getting more content out.

I think more important than work ethic (although it's very important if you have it) is to follow the breadcrumbs. When you get clicks, fast ranking or sales, follow that, dig for gold, feed yourself with those small successes to stay consistent.

Yeah, I will be following those small successes I find along the way!

Really do appreciate you taking to comment, like I said in the opening post, yourself along with a few others have really inspired me.

make sure you post on a regular schedule

This is what I will be able to do!
Thanks

Most hosting providers offer migration nowadays. Usually DNS changes will propagate within a few hours, but it can take up to 48 hours for everything to propagate across the Internet. Many things affect propagation time, including your TTL, your ISP and your domain's registry. ( If your domain is behind CF you will just change the IP and you are done)

Thanks for this, I'm not so tech-savvy, so up until this point, I've relied on a lot of googling to get everything set up.

I assume CF is Cloudflare?
My domain isn't behind it at the moment, once I have more content up I was going to start looking into ways to speed up my website. I didn't want to spend a few hours on it only to then not produce any content and give up, as I've done in the past.

At the moment most of the pages of my blog are recording 80-90 on PageSpeed Insights, considering I haven't done anything to speed it up, I don't think it's too bad. Although it's an area I will focus on.
 
Update #1 - January 3rd to 9th

Week 1 of taking the blog seriously and I hit a little roadblock. Unfortunately got COVID, luckily my symptoms were mild but I found myself being way more tired than usual and I spent a few days just sleeping. But, I am all good now and back to normal.

I set a goal of 5 articles per week, I'm proud to say week 1, despite being sick, I was able to get 6 written and posted, beating my target by 1.
The word count for all the articles ranged from 600 to 1100 words.

On January 5th, it seems one of my articles got posted to social media as I had an influx of users from Facebook, it must have been from a Taiwanese FB group or page as all the users were coming from Taiwan. Traffic went on for a few days before dying out, I'll be sure to note this anomaly during my end-of-month traffic update.
This does give me a little faith at what I'm writing is at least somewhat decent.

Problems/Concerns/Questions/General Notes

- Probably my biggest concern, which I found out by accident when looking in GSC is that my sitemap hasn't been able to fetch. This hasn't always been the case and must have only happened recently.
I've removed and re-added it a few times, at one point it came up with Success but shortly after changed back to Couldn't fetch.
I've googled around, ensured that my sitemap is accessible but it seems that this does happen to others occasionally and that it resolves itself over time, so fingers crossed this resolves itself soon.

1641719843135.png
1641720130976.png

- My hosting expires in a few days, I was debating moving to Cloudways but have decided to stay with A2. At least for the time being, speeds are pretty good considering I've done nothing to speed the website up, so if speed does become an issue I'll start making some changes. Whether that is removing plugins or changing hosting providers.

Goals For Next Week

- Write 5 articles
- Renew hosting & domain

Goals For 2022

- Earn $500/m

This went on a little longer than I expected but I feel it's good to get my thoughts out, even if no one reads it, I'll still be able to go back re-read them. Nothing worse than forgetting an idea or thought you didn't write down.
 
Last edited:
- I'm not super confident in my keywords or writing, I could be spending all this time and get zero or poor results.
Remember that very few readers care about your writing voice, they're more concerned with getting the information they came for.

So long as you clearly present a solution to their problem you will find success. The trick is to learn what the "solution" to your given audience is.

Don't be discouraged. Best of luck.
 
Update #2 - January 10th to 16th

It didn't feel like the most productive week for me this week but I still managed to get the 5 articles out that I set for my goal, so I am very pleased with that.
Word count is ranging from 630 to 1000

I added a scrolling depth tag to GTM in order to track how many users are making it to each 25%, 50%, 75%, and 90% of my pages. It's only been a couple of days but the majority of users are making it to the 50-75% markers which I am happy with but always room for improvement.

I also set aside some time to play with the performance of my website, if I wasn't able to get it into the 90s on GTmetrix I was going to move web hosts.

After a little bit of playing around and optimizing, these are the speeds I'm getting.

View attachment 198935

This is without using a CDN - my thought process was to get the website as fast as possible without a CDN and then add it to provide an extra boost.
In addition to no CDN, if I want to get things even quicker I'll move to Vultr, Digital Ocean, or Cloudways because it seems the slowest thing on my website currently is the TTFB.

The other goal I set for this week was to renew my hosting and domain, which I also did - this is now all set until next year (unless I change hosting) where I'm hoping this website will pay itself off and provide a little income too.

After renewing everything my total expenses for this blog is $286 AUD ($206 USD).

The sitemap issue I was facing last week resolved itself after a few hours so that was also good news.

Problems/Concerns/Questions/General Notes

- I felt one or two of my articles this week were subpar, I felt like I rushed to get them out and might have sacrificed on quality in order to stick to my goal.

- I have a super busy week of work next upcoming so 5 articles might be a bit difficult but will give it a go.

- I'm spending too much time looking at my analytics expecting something magical to happen when in reality I'm just wasting time. (Although it's good to see users are slowly creeping up)

Goals For Next Week

- Write 5 articles (With a busy week ahead I might struggle but I am going to give it my best)

Goals For 2022

- Cover the $286 AUD expenses
- Earn $500/m
 
Hi mate, good luck with your journey, and it seems it is working for you so far--you have this weekly habit of coming back, and between the updates you keep doing the work. I really hope you'll manage to keep this habit for ll 52 weeks of 2022. If you do, no doubt something interesting will happen :).
Work ethic is something I've always been poor with and it hasn't been until recently (start of December) that I've decided to actively improve upon my work ethic. This expands beyond just my blog but into all aspects of my life, from school to full-time work, I've always done the bare minimum and lazy off, and it's something I want to change.
That's a great resolution for a new year, and if you manage to see it through, it will change your life forever...

2022 Goals

- Write 5 articles per week
- Earn my first only dollar from a blog
- Earn $500/m before the end of the year
Five articles a week is 260 article a year. That's already a solid niche website. Some people here may be able to produce more, but consistency matters. If I understand you correctly, you have a job. Logically you cannot produce as much content as some of us who live from IM :).

In my opinion, it is also important not comparing yourself too much with others... They can be your inspiration, but at the end of the day you have your own life, obligations, hobbies, and you should focus on simply meeting the goals that are realistic for you at the moment. Good luck with that!

- I'm not super confident in my keywords or writing, I could be spending all this time and get zero or poor results.
You have 28 articles on a relatively new website, and 10 of them aren't more than two months old. Yet you already get close to 1K PV/month.

I would say it proves that you do not suck at either KW research or writing :). And sure enough the longer you spend in the niche (and the more data you collect, for example in GSC), the better you will get in these skills.

- Probably my biggest concern, which I found out by accident when looking in GSC is that my sitemap hasn't been able to fetch. This hasn't always been the case and must have only happened recently.
I've removed and re-added it a few times, at one point it came up with Success but shortly after changed back to Couldn't fetch.
I would not be concerned with that as long as your pages are getting indexed (after you manually index them in GSC). Sitemap is not necessary for getting stuff indexed.

I added a scrolling depth tag to GTM in order to track how many users are making it to each 25%, 50%, 75%, and 90% of my pages. It's only been a couple of days but the majority of users are making it to the 50-75% markers which I am happy with but always room for improvement.
This is interesting, not many people dig as deep as this with their stats. I believe it will help you a lot down the road, when you have many visitors. Then such data will be priceless for CRO or simply for improving user engagement metrics on your website.
GL to you, and I'll keep my eye on this from now no!
 
I started my blog on January 16th 2021, as with all my attempts in the past, I wrote a few articles, didn't see instant results, and stopped.
Been there, done that.

And, I am going to venture here to say the vast majority of all successful bloggers started out like that.
I discovered Shaunms' Youtube channel leading me to this forum and found the work ethic of a few users (Bloooop, Kikerinka, Juniorfast1, and blogmen) inspiring.
I know what you mean :D :p
2022 Goals

- Write 5 articles per week
- Earn my first only dollar from a blog
- Earn $500/m before the end of the year
Those are great and VERY doable goals!
My Concerns/Questions

- I'm not super confident in my keywords or writing, I could be spending all this time and get zero or poor results.
When it comes to keyword research there´s nothing to worry about as this forum is filled with AMAZING golden gems on that topic.

Thankfully, my buddy @RealDaddy took the time to publish a curated list of those golden gems a few days ago..

https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/m...ord-research-guides-methods-from-bhw.1381923/
All BHW resources!

He also wrote keyword research bibble based on Ahrefs so, if you have the budget and access to Ahrefs I can´t stress enough you get this ebook.

https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/c...-buy-keywords-when-you-can-find-them.1239033/
Lastly, when it comes to writing, confidence will come with practice. The more you write, the better you will get at it.

Alternatively, I will leave here some resources that have helped me a lot through the years when it comes to developing my writing skills...

Lastly, evaluate what the top-ranking pages are doing in terms of how they are structuring their content. Try to dissect and break down their articles, this has also helped me a lot with my writing. Once you know what you need to write and focus on, it makes the process easier.

- I'm currently using A2 Hosting, which expires in 9 days, considering moving to Cloudways as I've heard they are much faster, but worried about migrating and potential downtime.
Cloudways is one of the best cloud-based hosting solutions today. Make sure to get the Vultr High-Frequency plan the second tier ($26 p/month).

Why?

They are giving away their Object Cache Pro plugin for free!

Object Cache Pro is a caching plugin that eases the load on your database and server hardware to deliver queries faster and thus speeds up your applications, but if this is outside your budget stick to the first tier ($13 p/month) and that will be more than enough.

Cheers and gl!!
 
You have 28 articles on a relatively new website, and 10 of them aren't more than two months old. Yet you already get close to 1K PV/month.

When you put it like that it does provide me with a confidence boost that things are on the right track.

This is interesting, not many people dig as deep as this with their stats.

I love having analytics and stats in front of me, it makes everything easy to measure and ensure things are working. Although, it sometimes is a downfall as I can get lost in the data for days without doing anything actionable.

Lastly, when it comes to writing, confidence will come with practice. The more you write, the better you will get at it.

Wow thank you for all the resources, it's truly appreciated!

Cloudways is one of the best cloud-based hosting solutions today

For some reason the screenshot of my website speeds didn't paste in my update - but using GTMetrix my page performance is 96%
If this was sub 90, I'd be moving to cloudways almost instantly... most likely will still move to them but it'll be down the track when my website performance starts to slip.
 
but using GTMetrix my page performance is 96%
Unless the vast majority of your incoming traffic is coming from desktop devices, don´t use GTMetrix to test your site´s performance because unless you have a PRO account you won´t be able to run a test based on mobile devices so those results will almost always skew because of that as desktops devices will process requests and load your site´s pages a hell lot faster than a mobile device on a mobile connection.

Personally, I believe WebPageTest is the best speed and performance audit tool on the market. Perhaps it might not have a UI as user-friendly as GTMetrix but if you spend enough time using it you´ll see all the valuable info it provides.

Also, their twitch and YT channel are filled with tutorials and advanced tips as to how to get the max out of the tool.
 
This is going to be a successful journey and you're going to learn a lot.
Best of luck op!
 
Back
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features and essential functions on BlackHatWorld and other forums. These functions are unrelated to ads, such as internal links and images. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock