[Journey] Building a Large Authority Site by 2024

I was born here and live in the EU.

Currently, I am in Durress and will be here until May.

I can't say much about what to do because I haven't explored it myself either, I don't live here, and I do not know what you like to do.

What not to do: drugs and gambling, both illegal.

If you rent a car, always watch out for other drivers. Driving rules and signs are not respected in many cases.

It is cheap compared to other Eu countries but not as cheap as it used to be years ago.

Let me know if you have specific questions and I'd be glad to help.
That's cool, so you're just traveling around? I like to go to antiques shops and try to find really old and cool items/books for a good price, if you know of any such shops please let me know.

What do locals think about tourists? Are they generally friendly and helpful or do they avoid them? I've been traveling to some places where it feels like everyone ignores you just because you are a tourist haha.
 
That's cool, so you're just traveling around? I like to go to antiques shops and try to find really old and cool items/books for a good price, if you know of any such shops please let me know.

What do locals think about tourists? Are they generally friendly and helpful or do they avoid them? I've been traveling to some places where it feels like everyone ignores you just because you are a tourist haha.
No, I am here to take care of some personal matters.

If you visit the main streets, you will find such shops, but I am not sure about the prices.

Locals are friendly and helpful but always use common sense. Bad apples exist everywhere.

Also, get used to people staring at you, especially if you look different. They are just curious.
 
Tiny update: I guess this is a pretty big milestone for a new blog. The past week has been consistently over 100 organic visits per day, with an average of 108 visitors! Will be interesting to see how much the website can grow in April, seeing as we aren't even half way through. If this continues I will have over 3000 visitors and close to 4000 pageviews by the end of the month, minimum.

Still not set-up with Ezoic, but they are super helpful and determined to get my site to show their ads. I just hope I will be able to show some income this month. Well, Adsense has been running for 10 days and doing about $5 RPM currently, I just won't be able to reach the threshold before switching over to Ezoic.
 
Does anyone have experience with SurferSEO? I'm thinking of giving it a try but not sure what's the best approach. Only 35 articles currently are not ranked top 30, so I'm thinking maybe I should go over them with Surfer and see if I can get them to rank higher. Would love some input from some of you guys, what do you think? Have you had any success with this approach?

A few days ago I got the 30 day Semrush trial, but I'm very disappointed. Almost everything I want to do is still limited and requires the Guru plan which costs a fortune. So probably won't get Semrush in the future. I'm also very disappointed with SERPRobot and I'm having a really hard time finding a good alternative. Has anyone tried SerpFox and can tell me if it's worth the money? Just want a good, reliable and daily updating SERP tracker (SERPRobot updates once or twice a week even if I set it to every 2 hours).

I've also been doing some keyword research and found a lot of very easy affiliate keywords. In the OP I said I don't want to have too many affiliate articles, but I think it's safe to get 20/80 or maybe even 30/70 affiliate/info ratio. Currently I only have about 10 affiliate articles and they are not ranking #1 yet. I really want to get some easy wins from Amazon, but also from another network I'm trying to get accepted in.
 
A few days ago I got the 30 day Semrush trial, but I'm very disappointed. Almost everything I want to do is still limited and requires the Guru plan which costs a fortune. So probably won't get Semrush in the future

You can try getting Semrush Guru account from these guys here on BHW Market. Actually, I use these from one seller and it works great. I pay 15 USD for regular, but from what I see, GURU costs 25 USD per month.
 
You can try getting Semrush Guru account from these guys here on BHW Market. Actually, I use these from one seller and it works great. I pay 15 USD for regular, but from what I see, GURU costs 25 USD per month.
Thanks, I will check it out. Would be nice to have multiple tools for a cheap price. How do you feel about the regular plan? What are your go-to features when doing SEO with Semrush? Do you have to actively pay your provider every month and get new login?
 
Tiny update: I guess this is a pretty big milestone for a new blog. The past week has been consistently over 100 organic visits per day, with an average of 108 visitors! Will be interesting to see how much the website can grow in April, seeing as we aren't even half way through. If this continues I will have over 3000 visitors and close to 4000 pageviews by the end of the month, minimum.

Still not set-up with Ezoic, but they are super helpful and determined to get my site to show their ads. I just hope I will be able to show some income this month. Well, Adsense has been running for 10 days and doing about $5 RPM currently, I just won't be able to reach the threshold before switching over to Ezoic.
nice job man! will follow this!
 
Thanks, I will check it out. Would be nice to have multiple tools for a cheap price. How do you feel about the regular plan? What are your go-to features when doing SEO with Semrush? Do you have to actively pay your provider every month and get new login?

You buy it, and they send you a login and password. The account is valid for 1 month and then it gets deactivated. If you need it for longer period, then you buy another account. I use it for keyword research only, so I don't really buy it month after month. As long as I have keywords, I am good.

If you decide using it, I suggest you don't use your regular browser. I use Epic Browser with some free VPN installed as a plugin and I clear cache, cookies and switch location for each Semrush account. I am not sure if this is good approach, but I do it to minimize chances of getting this account closed before it expires. So far works for me great.

Actually the guy from whom I buy these accounts, he has other tools in his shop. I haven't tried them so can not say anything more.
 
I've been intrigued by some AI journeys on here and thought I would give ChatGPT a go. Not going to do any AI articles, that's too risky. But I do want to create a comprehensive E-Book that I can give away for free in an email opt-in and start building an email list.

Trying to get a first draft ready that I can then go over and fine-tune, insert affiliate links and then publish. So far I've gotten ChatGPT to create an outline and written the first few pages, and it's looking decent! This is not my main focus at the moment, just something I will work on in my spare time. Does anyone have any tips for monetizing an e-book? I probably need a disclaimer in the book as well. What WordPress plugins do you guys use for this type of email list and email marketing?

If you guys know of any websites that promote an ebook in their posts I'd love to see some examples. Would I create a banner and place above the fold, use an exit pop-up, or just put a box somewhere in the content/at the end of the post? I've never done anything similar before so any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Another small update: Two days ago I hit my first 160+ organic visits in a day, and yesterday I hit another! So two days in a row, we'll see if it's consistent or not. I'm excited, still not running Ezoic unfortunately but hopefully very soon.
 
We are in baby! Finally got everything set up with ezoic a few days ago, it's been so nerve-racking and I've been worried my site just was not good enough. Anyways, it's too early still but I see consistent $1/day and I'm expecting the EPMV to grow to where it is supposed to be in 2-4 weeks.

In terms of traffic I've crushed my expectations for April, over 100% increase so far. We'll see what happens these last couple of days of the month. Will give a more detailed update some day next week I hope.
 
We are in baby! Finally got everything set up with ezoic a few days ago, it's been so nerve-racking and I've been worried my site just was not good enough. Anyways, it's too early still but I see consistent $1/day and I'm expecting the EPMV to grow to where it is supposed to be in 2-4 weeks.

In terms of traffic I've crushed my expectations for April, over 100% increase so far. We'll see what happens these last couple of days of the month. Will give a more detailed update some day next week I hope.
Now you know what it takes to earn $1 a day!
Scale it 1000x times and make $1k a day bro! :)
 
Month 5 Update

(I need some help with Ad Manager/Ezoic, read further down)

Hey guys! The website is now 5 months old and growing every day. So, what has happened since the last update? Well, I've been pretty busy lately, and we're planning a trip to Albania in a few weeks so my mind is focused on that most of the time. However, I did manage to order 30 new articles in March, bringing the total to 165. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for 7 articles as the TAT is getting worse every month, so I really need to find another content agency or start looking to hire my own writer.

I did also try Google Ads but it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. During the two weeks I ran the campaign I only got 32 clicks for $20, averaging $0.625 per click. Almost all visitors clicked the Amazon link as well, but no conversions sadly. Will try more later on, as now I only want to focus on getting started with Ezoic and seeing some motivational $$ signs.

As I mentioned in the last update, I created my own WordPress theme. I'm really happy with it, and it looks amazingly professional. It's a simple design, with no sidebar, and soft colors. Changing from GeneratePress didn't seem to impact the performance at all, probably since it's built very lightweight.

Another little side project I've been busy with lately: Last year I bought a starter site, it brings in about $10/month from Adsense, but the domain is so specific that I just can't grow it anymore. Been thinking about rebranding the website for a while but since the website was just sitting there I kind of forgot about it. In the past month, it's grown 100% in traffic and I feel I have to work on it at least a little bit. So last week, I bought a new domain and did the transfer. Fingers crossed it doesn't crash and burn now. My main focus will still be on the first website covered in this journey, just might throw a few articles per month on this one as well.

Traffic

In the last update, I predicted that the site would stabilize at around 50 visits per day with a few days of around 70 to 80 visits. I also said that we probably can't hope for a 100% increase in traffic. I was wrong on both. The traffic stabilized between 55-60 visits per day, and for 4 days I reached 90+ with the highest day being 95 visits. My prediction that the website probably won't reach 100% growth and 2000 pageviews was not entirely wrong, but I did reach 1975 pageviews, an increase of 98.8%!

March was so close to reaching 100 visits per day. But as you saw in my quick update a few days ago I have reached 100 daily visits and that seems to be stable throughout the first week of April at least. I have a feeling that the next update will have some amazing numbers in terms of traffic.

Search Console the past 3 months:

View attachment 249782

Google Analytics (Compared to last period):

View attachment 249780

SERProbot rankings as of April 1st:

View attachment 249779


My rankings have improved A LOT since the last update. Before I had only 4 keywords ranked #1, today I have 12. I really feel that I've chosen good keywords, and I hope the traffic will reflect that when more and more long-tails start to rank higher.

What I will do in April

As I mentioned already, we are planning a trip to Albania and I'm super excited. This winter has been a lot colder than usual and lots of very extreme snow storms (northern Europe). It's also my birthday next week, so I will spend the weekend with friends and family.

In terms of content, I want to reach 200+ articles. My goal for April was to reach 250 articles but I am not complaining, you should always count on some setbacks and deviations from the initial plan. There are still 8 months to go until 2024, I am confident that I will catch back up.

Get set up with Ezoic

Last week I joined Ezoic, just have to set everything up but not sure how. I am accepted in Adsense but for some reason, I got rejected by Google Ad Manager. Apparently, I already had a publisher account, closed it down, and now whenever I try to login to the ad manager I get thrown in a loop, sent back to the homepage with the login button. If I try to join again I get an error message on a blank page saying I'm not authorized and I have no idea what to do. I have contacted Ezoic with the issue and waiting for a response. Everything else seems fine and there should be no problems at all with the site or the content (I'm running Adsense just fine).

So the next update I want to be able to present a bit more income. I'm also going to update some more articles and insert Amazon links, hopefully bringing the Amazon revenue up a few $ as well.

Predictions for the next update

I can already see the traffic is here to stay, those 90+ peaks in March were not just random spikes, the traffic stays consistent. In April I want to see the traffic grow just a little bit more, stabilizing somewhere around 110-120 visits per day with a few days reaching as high as 150. Hopefully, the trend will stay strong and I will reach close to a 100% increase in traffic again. This would mean closer to 4000 pageviews and that's a good mark to start display ads in my opinion.

The revenue is still pretty much non-existent. I really need to get ads up and running to see where my RPM will be. But I'm not stressing, I don't care if I have to invest $10k in content before I make my money back, I'm in it for the long run and I can definitely see the potential in this website.

Stats
Articles: 165 (+30, still have not received 7 of the ones I ordered)
Page views February: 1975 (+98.8%)

Current Investments
Hosting: $250
Content: $3280
Misc: $100
Total: $3630

Earnings
Amazon: $0.60
3600$
WOW! That's called create site.
 
Hey guys! I already have a few smaller websites up and running but wanted to start something big, and mostly hands-free. The website is a few months old by now, started on November 1st, 2022, but wanted to get some content up before making this journey thread.

Let's start with the FAQ since people always seem to miss them and keep asking the same questions.

Where do I get my articles?

I use a well-known agency for all my articles. Most articles are outsourced, and I pay $25/1000 words. However, I'm not very satisfied with the quality of some of the writers, will try some other content agencies as well in this journey. I might try hiring my own writers as soon as the website starts bringing in some steady cashflow.

Am I building backlinks?

Not yet, I will start with low-competition keywords and no link-building. Later on in the journey, I will start targeting medium to high-competition keywords and send them some guest posts and other powerful links. Probably in the second half of 2023.

Fresh or aged domain?

I'm using a fresh domain, no history, 2-word .com domain. I want as few reasons as possible for Google to hit me in any future updates.

What's the niche? Can you share your domain?

The niche is fairly broad, as I want to build a massive website. The closest I can give away is 'Home and Garden'. And no, I will not disclose my URL.

How will I monetize the site?

Until I reach a reasonable amount of monthly visitors I will mainly monetize with affiliate products. I want to use Amazon mainly but also one niche-specific affiliate network for each category. I've seen some crazy numbers from other sites that utilized smaller affiliate networks in this niche. Later I will go for Ezoic and then Mediavine. The content, however, is not affiliate-focused. I will strive for a ratio of 90/10 info and affiliate articles.

Now on to the journey!

As I mentioned, the website is about two months old as of now. I already have 63 articles (currently editing 9 more so in a few days there will be 72), all indexed and optimized for on-page. My goal is to increase the total number of articles to 600+ by January 2024.

I have a day job, as well as some chump change coming in from other websites. As I don't want to write everything myself I am going to outsource most of the articles.

My budget? Well, up until may I will have about 30-35 articles written per month. June and forward I will have more funds available and try to push for 50 articles each month. I will try to average 40+ articles per month throughout the year.

I know SEO is slow, especially for a fresh domain with no authority. But, I hope by the end of the year the articles will start bringing in some revenue that can be reinvested into more content. Ideally, I would like to push for 700+ articles but that may be a stretch.

This is my original plan but it might change over the course of the year.


November 2022

This website was started on November 1st. The Google spam update from October was fresh on my mind and I was worried my new website would have trouble indexing (as many people had reported around that time). Fortunately, as soon as I had 30 articles up and running and submitted my sitemap to GSC, the articles started indexing within hours.

Not much happened in November, as I mostly focused on doing keyword research and ordering the content. I ordered and uploaded a total of 40 articles in the month of November.


December 2022

At the beginning of December, the website started ranking top 3 for a bunch of keywords but the Google dance was keeping the rankings from sticking. There were a few clicks every day on Google which held my hopes up, and it continued growing.

In December I ordered another batch of 32 articles, bringing my total to 73 articles. These are all articles in the same sub-niche, as I don't want to spread myself too thin. It's all about topical authority, trying to get at least 100 posts per category before moving on to the next one.

Here are the stats for November and December:

Google Analytics (I'm still using Universal Analytics, as I really have no idea how GA4 works. I seem to get different stats from the two, not sure what that's all about. Will probably just start using a 3rd party tool for tracking my visitors.)

View attachment 238061

Google Search Console

View attachment 238062

As you can see, not much is happening just yet. I'm eager to see what will happen in the coming months with more articles.

I'm currently tracking my keywords with SERPRobot, but will probably switch in the near future. Here are the stats as of January 1st:

View attachment 238063


Goals for this month
  • I put in a lot of extra hours at work in December, so I will try to order around 60 new articles, bringing the total to 130 articles.
  • Would also like to see some steady traffic (even if not much) as the website is closing in on 3 months.
  • Buy keyword research. I want to try out some keyword research packages from here and will target a new sub-niche/category for these keywords. Keyword research is so time-consuming and as I mentioned in the beginning I want to build this website as hands-free as possible.
That's pretty much where I am at today. As I'm ordering articles in bulk every month I won't have a lot of news to update about during the weeks. However, I'm sure there will be some sporadic weekly updates as well, as some traffic and sales start to roll in.

Goals for this journey

In April the website will be 6 months old and have 250 articles. I'm hopeful that by this summer the website will get 5k+ sessions per month with some income from Ezoic and Amazon.

The goal for January 2024 is to reach 600+ articles and 50k sessions per month. I would love to have some income during Q3 and Q4 of 2023 to reinvest in articles and backlinks, bringing the total amount of articles closer to 700.

By 2024 I will have invested somewhere around $15k, which means I need it to be valued at $15k+. To achieve this the website will need to generate around $400-500/month. However, I'm sure the website will be able to do more than that if everything goes as planned.

Sometime in mid-late 2024 I want to sell the website. My hopes are that the website will be generating at least $1k/month so I can sell it for $30k+.

I will update once a month and try to do some updates in between if something major happens.

Stats

Articles: 63 (+ another 9 being uploaded in a few days)
Page views in November: 65
Page views in December: 130 (+100%)

Current Investments

Hosting: $250 (Paid for the whole year, VPX hosting)
Content: $1730
Total: $1980
Wow! Well done, good efforts, keep progressing
 
Month 6 Update

A bit late update but here it is. Wow, what a month! The website is now officially 6 months old. April started out with 2 weeks of 105-110 daily visitors and stayed very consistent. Then all of a sudden it jumped up to 165, then dwindled down to 130 for a while. In the second half of April, I saw multiple days of 180+ daily visitors with the highest being 239 on April 30th! It's safe to say that I was wrong in my predictions for the month yet again. In the previous update I predicted the traffic to stabilize at around 120 daily visitors with a few days of around 160.. April was a great month in terms of traffic, pageviews increased by over 100% and it looks like May will be an even better month.

Traffic

As I mentioned, we crushed the predictions for the month, pageviews increased by 149% which is more than the previous month's increase of 98.8%. The website is now only 6 months old and the month of April brought in 4925 pageviews. If we can keep growing like this the website will soon have over 10k monthly pageviews.

Search Console (previous 3 months):
gsc-feb-apr.jpg

Google Analytics (compared to previous period):
analytics-apr.jpg

SERPRobot rankings:
serprobot-apr.jpg

Let's hope the strong trend continues!

Earnings

AdSense: April did bring in a little more than previous months, mainly from AdSense. I only showed ads for 2 weeks in April and managed to get $11.31 in total revenue. With an RPM of $3.75, I feel this is too low, hopefully, Ezoic will give me a higher RPM. I'm sorry but I can't bother going into AdSense to pull the earnings screenshot.

Ezoic: As I've mentioned before, I applied to Ezoic a while back and had some problems getting accepted by Google Ad Manager. Well, I'm now officially accepted and just getting started with showing ads on the site! So excited to see where this will lead in the coming months. Ezoic has now been running since April 26th and in April we generated a total of $6.05. I'm hoping May will have higher numbers both in terms of pageviews but also EPMV.

ezoic-apr.jpg

The website also made $0.82 from Amazon. I did get two conversions but for some reason one of the items has not been shipped yet, or maybe it was refunded. Anyways, I have not been focusing on affiliate as much as I should have, I'm just happy I get a few sales here and there for now.

Next month

In May I want to double my traffic once again, it would be so satisfying to see numbers around 8-10k. I'm not going to make any predictions in terms of traffic for May, other than around a 100% increase in traffic.

The first week of May seems to be pretty stable at around 200 daily visitors and an average of 250 pageviews per day. I'm expecting the site to keep growing, but if it stays like this for the whole of May we would reach 6000 visitors and 7500 pageviews, which would be an increase of just 50% from April. I'm sure the site will grow more than that though.

In terms of articles, I will try to publish 50 articles in May, pushing for closer to 250 total articles. I also want to start optimizing some of the low-ranking articles with Surfer and try to get them to rank higher. The focus now is to get more affiliate content and try to push my Amazon earnings a bit higher, I have already lined up some keywords for this.

In April I set up an account on Wise Bank, want to get all the earnings sent there in the beginning because it would help with having it all in $ rather than my shitty currency. Currently, it's only a personal account but later I will change it to business and have all my money go through there. The white blank card looks pretty cool imo.

Stats

Articles: 197 (+31)
Pageviews in April: 4925 (+149%)

Current investments

Hosting: $250
Content: $3890 (+$610)
Misc: $100
Total: $4240

Earnings

AdSense: $11.31
Ezoic: $6.05
Amazon: $0.82
Total earnings in April: $18.18

Total earnings to date $18.78
 
Does anyone know how long it takes for Ezoic to optimize the ads on your website? I've got automatic placements but have modified a few because they kind of broke my UI. The EPMV is steady at around $6 and it's now been 3 weeks. Do I have to wait until I get to higher levels/tiers before the EPMV will increase?
 
I use a well-known agency for all my articles. Most articles are outsourced, and I pay $25/1000 words. However, I'm not very satisfied with the quality of some of the writers, will try some other content agencies as well in this journey. I might try hiring my own writers as soon as the website starts bringing in some steady cashflow.
Create AI articles and edit them manually for high quality if you are not satisfied with the articles produced by your writers.
 
Does anyone know how long it takes for Ezoic to optimize the ads on your website? I've got automatic placements but have modified a few because they kind of broke my UI. The EPMV is steady at around $6 and it's now been 3 weeks. Do I have to wait until I get to higher levels/tiers before the EPMV will increase?
Depends on niche and volume but would say 4-8 weeks
 
You will see your revenue and p.v. grow exponentially. One of my websites i haven't published on in over 3 months and it has continued to scale up in raw traffic and ranking. It will be even quicker with additional posts.
 
Depends on niche and volume but would say 4-8 weeks
Thanks, I really hope it will increase soon. I've read home and garden usually has higher RPM than most other niches so I'm expecting at least $10 EPMV but hopefully higher.

You will see your revenue and p.v. grow exponentially. One of my websites i haven't published on in over 3 months and it has continued to scale up in raw traffic and ranking. It will be even quicker with additional posts.
Yes that's my idea. I always believed in the sandbox but this site seems to never have had been in it to begin with. Or maybe it is in the sandbox and the traffic will rocket in late summer and reach 40k visits per month, who knows? I hope it will keep growing for another year without slowing down too much.

Create AI articles and edit them manually for high quality if you are not satisfied with the articles produced by your writers.
Thanks, but I have decided not to do any AI on this blog. I have used it to expand a few articles that I felt was a bit short but nothing more than that.

I do have a separate website that I'm experimenting on with some ChatGPT. I could probably automate it but I'm not very good with code, I also just want to see if the website will rank or not. The niche is so braindead I just Google a category of products, put the product names in my keyword phrase and press enter (there's no other website writing about this at all but a lot of searches). I ask ChatGPT to make it not detectable by AI detectors and then I slightly edit the output myself. I just don't think this would work very well for my main site as it's very informational and AI is not good with facts.

If the site starts ranking I will probably start sharing the results here, but it's only one month old.

Edit: Actually, I might post a separate journey for this experimental site. Just checked search console and it's got 116 clicks and 4.2k impressions since I started it April 1st. Did not expect that, considering I only had 9 articles until about a week ago when I added 11 more.
 
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