[Journey] Building a Large Authority Site by 2024

Month 7 Update

The month of May did not result in as much growth as I had hoped, however, I'm not complaining. Even if traffic didn't grow as much as previous months, we now have a full month of income from Ezoic for reference!

What I've done

I've been super busy in May, which means I have not had time to optimize any of the previous content with Surfer. I also was not able to reach my goal of publishing 50 new articles, the total is now 236.

I am trying to look into my competitors and trying to figure out how they are monetizing each article.

Traffic

Well, I'm pretty happy about this months numbers, even though they are not up 100%. We did manage to grow the website to 8140 pageviews, which is an increase of 61% from the previous month.

Search console
Screenshot_2023-06-10-07-19-43-45_40deb401b9ffe8e1df2f1cc5ba480b12.jpg

Analytics (this will probably be the last update with Universal Analytics)
IMG_20230610_072831.jpg

SERPRobot
Screenshot_2023-06-10-07-20-31-06_40deb401b9ffe8e1df2f1cc5ba480b12.jpg

Earnings

Screenshot_2023-06-10-07-22-55-00_40deb401b9ffe8e1df2f1cc5ba480b12.jpg

Since May was the first full month with Ezoic, I'm excited to see where the coming months will land in terms of EPMV. We're off to a great start, almost reaching $50 in our first month! The EPMV could be higher, I would love to see $10+ EPMV, but we're getting there.

The average EPMV for May was $6.47. The website did reach $2+ on 3 different days in May, which is great. Let's hope we get even better results in June.

The coming months

With summer and vacations around the corner, I'm not sure how much time I will have to spend on this journey. I will try to update at least once a month but can't promise much more than that.

I don't think this site was ever in a sandbox, it still feels slower than an aged domain, but it has had amazing growth month after month. It will be interesting to see what will happen in late summer, will the infamous hockey stick show itself in the charts or will the traffic just stabilize? What's your personal experience around the 7-12 month mark regarding traffic and growth? I would love it if the site exploded and we grow to 50k visitors per month, but I have to be realistic here.

If I'm being realistic, I think we will see a similar growth in June as we did in May. The amount of unique visitors will grow to 8-9k, and pageviews will cross 10k. Ideally, and this is me being a bit more optimistic, I hope the amount of unique visitors reaches 5 figures this month. I also want my earnings to cross $100, which is not at all impossible.

That would be an amazing month 8 for the website, some major milestones are just about to get breached!

Reflections

I'm going to start adding some thoughts and reflections to these journey updates. If I were to do this all again, would I do anything different?

Since my end goal with this website has always been to sell it, I've started looking into the whole website flipping business. While the website has grown a lot, and in only 7 months it's earning $50/mo, it's not enough.

I've invested almost $5k on this journey, and 7 months of my life. An established website bringing in $50-100/month can be purchased for $3000 and I would have a major head start.


If I could do it all over again, I would probably have bought an already established site if I'm being honest. But that's too late now, just wanted to share in case it's helpful for someone else. Don't forget to do your due diligence and research the website properly if you decide to take this route.

With that being said, I do believe I have learned a lot during this journey, knowledge I wouldn't have gotten if I had bought a website instead.

Stats

Articles: 236 (+39)
Pageviews in May: 8140 (+61.6%)

Current investments

Hosting: $250
Content: $4520 (+$630)
Misc: $100
Total: $4870

Earnings

Ezoic: $48.49
Amazon: $0.21
Total earnings in May: $48.70

Total earnings to date: $67.48
 
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Awesome progress.

You can still buy an established website and merge them to gain more traction.
I have seen a few decent ones for sale in my niche, might consider this for the future. I'm probably going to buy one later this year anyways and try to flip it.
 
Great journey with nice honest stats and figures. Following, best of luck mate and thanks for taking the time to make this thread
 
Almost half of the month of June has passed and I'm seeing some great progress in terms of revenue. Not sure what happened but a few big-ticket items sold on Amazon and we're currently at $27 in commissions. In terms of Ezoic we just passed $30, yesterday was the biggest day yet with $3.06 total revenue for the day and an EPMV of $9.70.

Let's hope the trend continues and we cross $100 in June.
 
Month 8 Update

Right, I have not been able to work on this website at all in June. Really disappointed with the last batch of articles so I've been looking for new writers but not found any that fit my needs. However, I have finalized the e-book and put it up for sale, let's hope this will take off.

I've also been pretty busy with my other side project, the AI site. Didn't get approved by adsense so had to redo the entire website, edit the posts and add new thumbnails. I really do hope it gets accepted now, either way I will get it on ezoic no problem.

Both traffic and earnings have grown this past month. This is the 8th month of the journey, but the site has only earned income for the past 2 months.

What I've done

As I mentioned, I've been focusing on trying to find new writers without any success. I have also created an ebook in my niche, using AI and fine-tuning it myself. It's not the best, but it's good enough I hope. We'll see once people start buying if they like it or not.

Traffic

The month of June started off pretty slow, not much growth the first couple of weeks. The second half of the month I started getting around 350 organic visitors per day, even a few days reaching over 400 daily visitors. If everything stays the same for July, I'm looking at just over 10k organic unique visitors.

This month, however, we only reached 8835 unique visitors and 12235 pageviews. That's an increase of 56% compared to the previous month.

Search console
IMG_20230701_165018.jpg

Analytics
IMG_20230701_163534.jpgIMG_20230701_163551.jpg

SERPRobot
Screenshot_2023-07-01-16-51-09-40_40deb401b9ffe8e1df2f1cc5ba480b12.jpg

Earnings

In terms of earnings, the site did a lot better than it did in May, in all possible ways. Ezoic started out pretty weak, an EPMV of around $7 and days around $2. The final week of June we improved our EPMV to $10 and are getting days between $3 and $4.50. The total earnings from Ezoic this month was $77.81.

Amazon did a lot better as well. Not going to go into detail but we made a total of $11.10 from Amazon.

Screenshot_2023-07-01-16-53-44-68_40deb401b9ffe8e1df2f1cc5ba480b12.jpgScreenshot_2023-07-01-16-56-20-35_e4424258c8b8649f6e67d283a50a2cbc.jpg

The earnings from Amazon was higher but some items were returned unfortunately. If they had not returned these items I would be over $100 total for the month.

What's next?

I'm really trying to find a good writer, might actually start writing myself soon with the assistance of AI but not sure about that yet. Looking at the trend it looks like July will be even better, Ezoic alone should reach $120+ for the month, not sure about Amazon though. Traffic will also keep growing, expecting the total amount of visitors to surpass 10k and total pageviews above 15k. Let's see if the e-book start selling as well.

Stats

Articles: 238 (+2)
Pageviews in June: 12235 (+56.22%)

Current investments

Hosting: $250
Content: $4520
Misc: $100
Total: $4870

Earnings

Ezoic: $77.81
Amazon: $11.10
Total earnings in June: $88.91

Total earnings to date: $156.39
 
Man, I'm excited for you - this is looking to be an epic journey!

Checked out your AI journey too and thinking I might start one just to see what happens.

If you get a chance to check out my current (very slow) journey, let me know what you think.

Keep it up, everything is looking promising!
 
Man, I'm excited for you - this is looking to be an epic journey!

Checked out your AI journey too and thinking I might start one just to see what happens.

If you get a chance to check out my current (very slow) journey, let me know what you think.

Keep it up, everything is looking promising!
Hey thanks! I have actually seen your journey before but it was way back. I think your site has a lot of potential as long as you keep working on it, consistency seems to be a big factor when it comes to Google nowadays. I hope we both get success in the end :)

Regarding AI, I agree that you should not use it on your main site, it's too risky. However, you should probably use it to speed up your process. Getting AI to give you an outline and something to start with should be safe, and it could perhaps help you get you articles done a little bit quicker.
 
Hey thanks! I have actually seen your journey before but it was way back. I think your site has a lot of potential as long as you keep working on it, consistency seems to be a big factor when it comes to Google nowadays. I hope we both get success in the end :)

Regarding AI, I agree that you should not use it on your main site, it's too risky. However, you should probably use it to speed up your process. Getting AI to give you an outline and something to start with should be safe, and it could perhaps help you get you articles done a little bit quicker.
Ah, it’s nice to hear you’d previously seen my journey! It’s a shame you saw me almost abandon it too :confused:

Back on track now though and your journey is motivating!

I’ll be following your progress and wishing you the best of luck mate.
 
Ah, it’s nice to hear you’d previously seen my journey! It’s a shame you saw me almost abandon it too :confused:

Back on track now though and your journey is motivating!

I’ll be following your progress and wishing you the best of luck mate.
The important thing is that you always seem to come back to it. You just need motivation to keep pushing, and getting even just a few $ will do that. Don't neglect your main money makers though :)
 
First of all, congratulations. You have earned your reward for your hard work.
I have a website that is in a similar situation as yours. I invested about $5000 and made a monthly profit of $100. Maybe we can talk more about it.
But I faced a big problem. After adding articles for several months, the daily traffic went up to 300, but then dropped to 100 (even though I kept adding articles). I was very confused. I was increasing my investment, but the traffic was decreasing, which meant that my income was not growing, and I had to stop investing. I haven’t added any articles for half a year, but the traffic has slowly gone back to 300 per day in the last six months.
Do you have any advice or plans for my situation? Or any other experts who can help me? On one hand, I have to invest more and more, but on the other hand, the traffic is going down. I don’t know if I can keep going like this.
 
First of all, congratulations. You have earned your reward for your hard work.
I have a website that is in a similar situation as yours. I invested about $5000 and made a monthly profit of $100. Maybe we can talk more about it.
But I faced a big problem. After adding articles for several months, the daily traffic went up to 300, but then dropped to 100 (even though I kept adding articles). I was very confused. I was increasing my investment, but the traffic was decreasing, which meant that my income was not growing, and I had to stop investing. I haven’t added any articles for half a year, but the traffic has slowly gone back to 300 per day in the last six months.
Do you have any advice or plans for my situation? Or any other experts who can help me? On one hand, I have to invest more and more, but on the other hand, the traffic is going down. I don’t know if I can keep going like this.
Hey thanks for sharing! I'm no expert but it sounds like you either got hit in a Google update, and on a later update they reverted the hit. It could also be seasonality, even if you don't think your niche is seasonal it could still be that people just aren't that interested in your niche during these months. What time of the year did you drop in traffic and when did you recover? If you have access to any keyword tool you can check if your competitors dropped in traffic during this time as well.

Sounds like your traffic is up again so you should be able to grow the site even more :)
 
Thank you for your detailed answer. How do you cope with algorithm updates that affect your site?
I have worked on other sites that had some initial success, but after reaching certain milestones, such as 10,000 views per month, they started to plateau or decline. This was very discouraging for me.
Since I do this in my spare time, I can’t post many articles every month. It took me a long time, maybe a year, to get from 0 to 10,000 views. But during that year, I followed the same strategy and posted articles consistently. After the downturn, I kept posting articles for a while, but the traffic didn’t bounce back or increase. I have read many stories from other people on the forum, and many of them said that once a website is hit or penalized by algorithm updates, it’s hard to recover. They suggested creating a new website instead.
But do I really have to start over? That’s very frustrating for me. My goal is to get 50,000 or even 100,000 views per month or more. But I can’t get past 10,000, and most of the advice I get is about going from 0 to 10,000 again (which might take another year)… I feel like I will never achieve monthly visits of 50,000 or 100,000, because I’m stuck at 10,000. I became a failure. :weep:
Right now, your site’s traffic chart looks amazing. It’s steadily growing and trending upward. It’s very stable and hopeful, which is great. I’m very envious of that.
Hey thanks for sharing! I'm no expert but it sounds like you either got hit in a Google update, and on a later update they reverted the hit. It could also be seasonality, even if you don't think your niche is seasonal it could still be that people just aren't that interested in your niche during these months. What time of the year did you drop in traffic and when did you recover? If you have access to any keyword tool you can check if your competitors dropped in traffic during this time as well.

Sounds like your traffic is up again so you should be able to grow the site even more :)
 
Hi ... forgive me, but I skim-read a lot of the thread ...

I'm concerned. Well ... actually I am more curious.

It seems you have made a stunningly small amount of money, from all that traffic.

My agency helps influencers build products for their specific audiences. Have you tried that idea?

For example, instead of sending visitors off-site, you instead build an email list and then attempt to sell them something.

Once again - please forgive me if I'm jumping the gun here, because I haven't read the entire thread.

But wouldn't it make more sense to try and sell your own products to this magical traffic?
 
Thank you for your detailed answer. How do you cope with algorithm updates that affect your site?
I have worked on other sites that had some initial success, but after reaching certain milestones, such as 10,000 views per month, they started to plateau or decline. This was very discouraging for me.
Since I do this in my spare time, I can’t post many articles every month. It took me a long time, maybe a year, to get from 0 to 10,000 views. But during that year, I followed the same strategy and posted articles consistently. After the downturn, I kept posting articles for a while, but the traffic didn’t bounce back or increase. I have read many stories from other people on the forum, and many of them said that once a website is hit or penalized by algorithm updates, it’s hard to recover. They suggested creating a new website instead.
But do I really have to start over? That’s very frustrating for me. My goal is to get 50,000 or even 100,000 views per month or more. But I can’t get past 10,000, and most of the advice I get is about going from 0 to 10,000 again (which might take another year)… I feel like I will never achieve monthly visits of 50,000 or 100,000, because I’m stuck at 10,000. I became a failure. :weep:
Right now, your site’s traffic chart looks amazing. It’s steadily growing and trending upward. It’s very stable and hopeful, which is great. I’m very envious of that.
Websites are a though business model. There's always something that has the potential to screw you over, commission fees getting cut, Google algorithm, some spammer destroying your site, etc. I'm actually terrified that my sites will get hit as well, I've just been lucky so far.

The reason I'm building this website to sell is that I know I won't be able to personally grow the site to 100k+ visitors per month. To consistently do this you would need a marketing team, unless you get lucky and get in at the right place and the right time. (I know, spam blogs, PAAs, etc can do this but it will cost a whole lot more to setup properly.)

Building websites to 10k or 20k visitors is not very hard though, and it's my belief that we have to work on bettering the monetization. Don't get me wrong, I'm still working on getting the monthly visits up, but I'm most excited about my RPM increasing right now. 10k visitors with $10 RPM is $100, getting to $20 RPM is easier than getting to 20k visitors. Besides, there are other options like affiliate, digital products, e-commerce and so on that you could try to increase that number.

Most people who make substantial money online does not have just 1 website, they have 20-50 and a team behind them.

How many posts do you have and when did you last update any of them? While you keep working on keyword research for new articles, some other player has found your previous keywords and is now competing with you in the SERPs. Maybe you could search all your old keywords and see if some articles (especially the ones that used to give you a lot of traffic) can be improved upon and updated. Google loves fresh content.

Hi ... forgive me, but I skim-read a lot of the thread ...

I'm concerned. Well ... actually I am more curious.

It seems you have made a stunningly small amount of money, from all that traffic.

My agency helps influencers build products for their specific audiences. Have you tried that idea?

For example, instead of sending visitors off-site, you instead build an email list and then attempt to sell them something.

Once again - please forgive me if I'm jumping the gun here, because I haven't read the entire thread.

But wouldn't it make more sense to try and sell your own products to this magical traffic?
Hi thanks! Yes I agree 100%, most people I've seen and heard that are open about their blogging business say that digital products stand for the majority of their earnings. I am looking into this and have already created an ebook in my niche. I've just been so busy that I haven't had the time to properly set up the promotion.

Currently no one has even clicked on the link so I know I have to create a better banner/link and do some A/B testing.

Let's say I decide to change my strategy and instead give the e-book away for free, in exchange for their email. What are some good products to sell to my list? This is something I'm thinking about a lot. Maybe I could sell them another digital product I've created, or send them different affiliate offers for monthly signups etc where I would get recurring commissions.
 
Hi thanks! Yes I agree 100%, most people I've seen and heard that are open about their blogging business say that digital products stand for the majority of their earnings. I am looking into this and have already created an ebook in my niche. I've just been so busy that I haven't had the time to properly set up the promotion.

Currently no one has even clicked on the link so I know I have to create a better banner/link and do some A/B testing.

Let's say I decide to change my strategy and instead give the e-book away for free, in exchange for their email. What are some good products to sell to my list? This is something I'm thinking about a lot. Maybe I could sell them another digital product I've created, or send them different affiliate offers for monthly signups etc where I would get recurring commissions.

What I would suggest is … instead of selling an ebook, instead … integrate your “premium” content behind a pay wall. Charge super low and make it super easy for them to pay. Test it out, get some traction first.

As for what to sell … the smart thing to do is run a quiz or popup asking for their email address and straight up ask them what they would buy. Give them say five options and let them choose.

Or identify the relevant “People also ask” questions for your niche.

They key, is to isolate and address their key pain points. Then write about that.
 
What I would suggest is … instead of selling an ebook, instead … integrate your “premium” content behind a pay wall. Charge super low and make it super easy for them to pay. Test it out, get some traction first.

As for what to sell … the smart thing to do is run a quiz or popup asking for their email address and straight up ask them what they would buy. Give them say five options and let them choose.

Or identify the relevant “People also ask” questions for your niche.

They key, is to isolate and address their key pain points. Then write about that.
Thanks for the tip! I'm not sure this website would work with as a members site but I will look into different alternatives. I definitely need a pop-up for my email signups.

Which one have you seen work the best? A pop-up that shows after a few moments when they land or an exit pop-up? Gonna have to split test a lot of things to learn what works and what doesn't.
 
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