[Journey] Scaling an Authority website to 10K a month (and beyond)

Escehas

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The heat is crazy indeed. During winter months I often forget about climate change problems and everything, but during summer months the thoughts always come back to my mind...

I'd love things to change, but understanding a bit the complex labyrinth of human society & thinking, I do not see this trend reversing, and we'll have to bear with even higher temperatures down the road (if we are lucky to live by that time).

Anyway, to your question: There's no physical in-person testing involved in my main niche. I can just take the laptop and go. Of course though, if you go to live to the mountains for some weeks or months you need to take more than just your laptop :).
I am happy to hear that you can move somewhat freely. It's funny to think that when I tell people what I do for a living, they always think that I can go wherever I want with a laptop and continue working. No, my dears, I have so much equipment hoarded over the years that I could single-handedly solve the current chip shortages.
I hope you'll get better soon and be able to go into the mountains again. Also, let's hope that this month we'll all be able to break at least a milestone.
 

BarryTheBaptist

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This has to be one of the most successful journeys on the forum, especially in terms of inspiration it gives to other members.

I can't begin to imagine how many people got fired up and started their first blog after reading this thread.

You are an extremely valuable member. Even though I started blogging a long time ago I really appreciate what you are doing here. I refer all the people that ask about blogging to this thread.
 

seojen

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This has to be one of the most successful journeys on the forum, especially in terms of inspiration it gives to other members.

I can't begin to imagine how many people got fired up and started their first blog after reading this thread.

You are an extremely valuable member. Even though I started blogging a long time ago I really appreciate what you are doing here. I refer all the people that ask about blogging to this thread.
I think the same BarryTheBaptist, you wrote exactly what I always think of when I come to this Kikerinka's thread.
 

Kikerinka

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I am happy to hear that you can move somewhat freely. It's funny to think that when I tell people what I do for a living, they always think that I can go wherever I want with a laptop and continue working. No, my dears, I have so much equipment hoarded over the years that I could single-handedly solve the current chip shortages.
I hope you'll get better soon and be able to go into the mountains again. Also, let's hope that this month we'll all be able to break at least a milestone.
Thanks mate! Reading your replies here, seeing how you can describe the most basic stuff, I really think you're a pretty good writer. I mean enjoyable to read, and that's a big plus :). Keep it up, and good luck on your journey!

When it comes to milestones, I do not expect any miracles in summer. But you never know of course... If we break any milestone on the authority website, I will update on it here. Doing some interesting work these days, and let's see what the impact will be.

How? Similarweb is quite accurate compared to some other tools in the market.
In my experience as well. Not sure how their system works, but based on the data for bigger websites I know real data for, Similarweb does pretty well not only in search traffic estimation, but also direct traffic, social traffic estimation, etc. It is interesting indeed...

This has to be one of the most successful journeys on the forum, especially in terms of inspiration it gives to other members.

I can't begin to imagine how many people got fired up and started their first blog after reading this thread.

You are an extremely valuable member. Even though I started blogging a long time ago I really appreciate what you are doing here. I refer all the people that ask about blogging to this thread.

I think the same BarryTheBaptist, you wrote exactly what I always think of when I come to this Kikerinka's thread.

@BarryTheBaptist and @seojen thank you so much for your comments! Inspiring other members, and helping them to succeed on their blogging journeys, is definitely the no. 1 reason why I still keep this journey going :). I will try my best to maintain the quality of my posts down the road, and hope you will both enjoy reading them!
 

Squishia

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In my experience as well. Not sure how their system works, but based on the data for bigger websites I know real data for, Similarweb does pretty well not only in search traffic estimation, but also direct traffic, social traffic estimation, etc. It is interesting indeed...
Yes, I find it accurate in social traffic estimation.
 

BarryTheBaptist

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Thanks mate! Reading your replies here, seeing how you can describe the most basic stuff, I really think you're a pretty good writer. I mean enjoyable to read, and that's a big plus :). Keep it up, and good luck on your journey!

When it comes to milestones, I do not expect any miracles in summer. But you never know of course... If we break any milestone on the authority website, I will update on it here. Doing some interesting work these days, and let's see what the impact will be.


In my experience as well. Not sure how their system works, but based on the data for bigger websites I know real data for, Similarweb does pretty well not only in search traffic estimation, but also direct traffic, social traffic estimation, etc. It is interesting indeed...





@BarryTheBaptist and @seojen thank you so much for your comments! Inspiring other members, and helping them to succeed on their blogging journeys, is definitely the no. 1 reason why I still keep this journey going :). I will try my best to maintain the quality of my posts down the road, and hope you will both enjoy reading them!
Followed the journey from the beginning.

I honestly thought that it will end after you reached the initial goal but the fact that you kept going definitely shows your primary motivation with this journey as you already mentioned.

We need more people like you :)
 

DieWiedekehr

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@Kikerinka you can't imagine how much your thread impacted my life and my dreams.

It's crazy.

Because of you, I recently decided to go all in on a similar journey and put my SEO consulting business on ice (the last paying customer just expired).

A big factor of working with it was because of needing the money to buy time to work on my niche website.

A website that I started primary because of the inspiration I got from you and your journey around 1 year ago.

But I recently lowered my rent immensely, and with that also realized that I have at least 1,5 years before my savings are out, so I decided to take the leap of faith.

I don't need much money to live, so hopefully, I can get things up and running just enough to spin the flywheel into becoming financially "independent", so I can reach my first and most important goal - gaining full control of my time and geographical location.

My website is around 1-year-old with a few articles already, reaching a bit over 1000 visitors a month with only 9 articles (2 of them generating the majority of traffic). These were written out of pure passion, with no keyword research or backlinks.

Here's a short brief on how I just did my initial keyword research (giving me 500.000 highly relevant and potential keywords):
- I found an updated list of +1000 websites in my niche (could also have been scraped with the right tools)

- I bought the Ahrefs subscription just above the cheapest option to unlock the Content Gap tool (unfortunately no more free trials)

- Then I took the top 400 hundred or so on the list of blogs - 10 at a time, and exported ALL the top 10 keywords they were ranking for. Including the bigger and smaller websites. Since my current website isn't ranking much, the Content Gap tool was used without relation to my website (be aware of the maximum reports you're allowed to generate is 500/month in Ahrefs on that plan - you can follow the usage under "Report usage" in their backend)

- The 500.000 keywords I ended up having, I sorted based on the number of words/phrases and KD (ignoring volume).

- Now I'm going through them step-by-step and checking the top 3 for:
  • Weak sites (like user-generated forums, etc.)
  • Not matching META titles
  • DA under 30
  • No rich snippets (videos, etc.)
  • Avg. words (preferably under 1.500)
Based on these findings but not explicitly I choose my keywords.

Also, I thought to myself that I should publish the same topics together, to gain more authority within a certain topic before moving to the next. What do you think?

What I just learned recently is that I have to go for the keywords which I can write on 1.000 - 1.500 words, without too many different topics that need research and specific photos.

Otherwise, I found it takes many days to write, which seems a bit insane compared to your and other people in this thread's writing speed. And makes me feel a bit incompetent and stressed out in comparison.

My first goal is to reach 4 articles/week to be able to reach my goals within the timeframe and take potential advantage of feeding Google freshness content regularly (Hubspot posted this: Companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month generate 4.5X more leads than those that publish 4 posts (or less) = around 4 posts per week. Though I know that correlation isn't necessarily causation).

And since I can spend all my working hours on this, it should be possible, but only if I find "simpler" keywords.

I know that you already mentioned rather having 100 articles with 1000 words than 25 articles with 2500 words.

What's your take on this? Do you have any take on how you find these more "simple" keywords?

Also, another thing I'm struggling a bit with is finding images.

A lot of the ones I need are very specific images, which are only possible to find on different businesses' social media.

I know I can't use images without consent, BUT I'm literally only doing positive marketing for the businesses I'm including, so not allowing me to use these photos wouldn't make sense.

But since they can still technically make a claim of copyright infringement, some would maybe decide to do this, if they think it's more financial benefitting.

What do you think about this? Do you think more general and free photos from any of the stock sites would do fine?

I have to be honest - I guess I already know the answer to this though ;)

Also finding the simpler keywords would actually allow me to use more general images I think, so that's another plus.

I know you're busy, and this was a long one, so I don't necessarily expect any answers.

Hopefully, my "rant" here can bring some inspiration to you and others in the thread.

Keep up changing the world for the better :)
 
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Dark Hat 007

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@Kikerinka you can't imagine how much your thread impacted my life and my dreams.

It's crazy.

Because of you, I recently decided to go all in on a similar journey and put my SEO consulting business on ice (the last paying customer just expired).

A big factor of working with it was because of needing the money to buy time to work on my niche website.

A website that I started primary because of the inspiration I got from you and your journey around 1 year ago.

But I recently lowered my rent immensely, and with that also realized that I have at least 1,5 years before my savings are out, so I decided to take the leap of faith.

I don't need much money to live, so hopefully, I can get things up and running just enough to spin the flywheel into becoming financially "independent", so I can reach my first and most important goal - gaining full control of my time and geographical location.

My website is around 1-year-old with a few articles already, reaching a bit oveexperiencetors a month with only 9 articles (2 of them generating the majority of traffic). These were written out of pure passion, with no keyword research or backlinks.

Here's a short brief on how I just did my initial keyword research (giving me 500.000 highly relevant and potential keywords):
- I found an updated list of +1000 websites in my niche (could also have been scraped with the right tools)

- I bought the Ahrefs subscription just above the cheapest option to unlock the Content Gap tool (unfortunately no more free trials)

- Then I took the top 400 hundred or so on the list of blogs - 10 at a time, and exported ALL the top 10 keywords they were ranking for. Including the bigger and smaller websites. Since my current website isn't ranking much, the Content Gap tool was used without relation to my website (be aware of the maximum reports you're allowed to generate is 500/month in Ahrefs on that plan - you can follow the usage under "Report usage" in their backend)

- The 500.000 keywords I ended up having, I sorted based on the number of words/phrases and KD (ignoring volume).

- Now I'm going through them step-by-step and checking the top 3 for:
  • Weak sites (like user-generated forums, etc.)
  • Not matching META titles
  • DA under 30
  • No rich snippets (videos, etc.)
  • Avg. words (preferably under 1.500)
Based on these findings but not explicitly I choose my keywords.

Also, I thought to myself that I should publish the same topics together, to gain more authority within a certain topic before moving to the next. What do you think?

What I just learned recently is that I have to go for the keywords which I can write on 1.000 - 1.500 words, without too many different topics that need research and specific photos.

Otherwise, I found it takes many days to write, which seems a bit insane compared to your and other people in this thread's writing speed. And makes me feel a bit incompetent and stressed out in comparison.

My first goal is to reach 4 articles/week to be able to reach my goals within the timeframe and take potential advantage of feeding Google freshness content regularly (Hubspot posted this: Companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month generate 4.5X more leads than those that publish 4 posts (or less) = around 4 posts per week. Though I know that correlation isn't necessarily causation).

And since I can spend all my working hours on this, it should be possible, but only if I find "simpler" keywords.

I know that you already mentioned rather having 100 articles with 1000 words than 25 articles with 2500 words.

What's your take on this? Do you have any take on how you find these more "simple" keywords?

Also, another thing I'm struggling a bit with is finding images.

A lot of the ones I need are very specific images, which are only possible to find on different businesses' social media.

I know I can't use images without consent, BUT I'm literally only doing positive marketing for the businesses I'm including, so not allowing me to use these photos wouldn't make sense.

But since they can still technically make a claim of copyright infringement, some would maybe decide to do this, if they think it's more financial benefitting.

What do you think about this? Do you think more general and free photos from any of the stock sites would do fine?

I have to be honest - I guess I already know the answer to this though ;)

Also finding the simpler keywords would actually allow me to use more general images I think, so that's another plus.

I know you're busy, and this was a long one, so I don't necessarily expect any answers.

Hopefully, my "rant" here can bring some inspiration to you and others in the thread.

Keep up changing the world for the better :)
Hey, how about you create a journey? They motivate and it looks to me you know how to be detailed on your tasks. However, did you experience any Google Algorithm drop?
 

Kikerinka

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@Kikerinka you can't imagine how much your thread impacted my life and my dreams.

It's crazy.

Because of you, I recently decided to go all in on a similar journey and put my SEO consulting business on ice (the last paying customer just expired).

A big factor of working with it was because of needing the money to buy time to work on my niche website.

A website that I started primary because of the inspiration I got from you and your journey around 1 year ago.

But I recently lowered my rent immensely, and with that also realized that I have at least 1,5 years before my savings are out, so I decided to take the leap of faith.

I don't need much money to live, so hopefully, I can get things up and running just enough to spin the flywheel into becoming financially "independent", so I can reach my first and most important goal - gaining full control of my time and geographical location.

My website is around 1-year-old with a few articles already, reaching a bit over 1000 visitors a month with only 9 articles (2 of them generating the majority of traffic). These were written out of pure passion, with no keyword research or backlinks.

Here's a short brief on how I just did my initial keyword research (giving me 500.000 highly relevant and potential keywords):
- I found an updated list of +1000 websites in my niche (could also have been scraped with the right tools)

- I bought the Ahrefs subscription just above the cheapest option to unlock the Content Gap tool (unfortunately no more free trials)

- Then I took the top 400 hundred or so on the list of blogs - 10 at a time, and exported ALL the top 10 keywords they were ranking for. Including the bigger and smaller websites. Since my current website isn't ranking much, the Content Gap tool was used without relation to my website (be aware of the maximum reports you're allowed to generate is 500/month in Ahrefs on that plan - you can follow the usage under "Report usage" in their backend)

- The 500.000 keywords I ended up having, I sorted based on the number of words/phrases and KD (ignoring volume).

- Now I'm going through them step-by-step and checking the top 3 for:
  • Weak sites (like user-generated forums, etc.)
  • Not matching META titles
  • DA under 30
  • No rich snippets (videos, etc.)
  • Avg. words (preferably under 1.500)
Based on these findings but not explicitly I choose my keywords.

Also, I thought to myself that I should publish the same topics together, to gain more authority within a certain topic before moving to the next. What do you think?

What I just learned recently is that I have to go for the keywords which I can write on 1.000 - 1.500 words, without too many different topics that need research and specific photos.

Otherwise, I found it takes many days to write, which seems a bit insane compared to your and other people in this thread's writing speed. And makes me feel a bit incompetent and stressed out in comparison.

My first goal is to reach 4 articles/week to be able to reach my goals within the timeframe and take potential advantage of feeding Google freshness content regularly (Hubspot posted this: Companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month generate 4.5X more leads than those that publish 4 posts (or less) = around 4 posts per week. Though I know that correlation isn't necessarily causation).

And since I can spend all my working hours on this, it should be possible, but only if I find "simpler" keywords.

I know that you already mentioned rather having 100 articles with 1000 words than 25 articles with 2500 words.

What's your take on this? Do you have any take on how you find these more "simple" keywords?

Also, another thing I'm struggling a bit with is finding images.

A lot of the ones I need are very specific images, which are only possible to find on different businesses' social media.

I know I can't use images without consent, BUT I'm literally only doing positive marketing for the businesses I'm including, so not allowing me to use these photos wouldn't make sense.

But since they can still technically make a claim of copyright infringement, some would maybe decide to do this, if they think it's more financial benefitting.

What do you think about this? Do you think more general and free photos from any of the stock sites would do fine?

I have to be honest - I guess I already know the answer to this though ;)

Also finding the simpler keywords would actually allow me to use more general images I think, so that's another plus.

I know you're busy, and this was a long one, so I don't necessarily expect any answers.

Hopefully, my "rant" here can bring some inspiration to you and others in the thread.

Keep up changing the world for the better :)
Hey mate, nice to see you around again, and the write-up isn't that long (I've made many longer ones in this thread :)). Typically I reply here only in the mornings, but I head for mountains for a few days tomorrow early morning, and I did not want to leave this one unanswered for such a long time...

So, where to start?

- First of all, 1.5 year is in my opinion a really good financial cushion to have, and you did a good decision to keep up with the clients until now, hence you won't be in stress or rushing things just because the money are running out quickly.

- Secondly, getting 1K monthly traffic with only 9 articles published, and basically with no keyword research done (as you said you wrote them from pure passion) suggests that you have picked a good niche, with a great traffic potential. For me, such numbers would definitely be encouraging enough to move forward with the website, and devote a lot of time to it (should it become my main money maker).

- It seems you did a really good job with KW research, and have a big bank of keywords. If things like Forums, Reddit, Quora are in top 5, you can definitely beat that, and should go after them. Half a mil keywords is a LOT, not sure if you're in food niche or what niche that it is so huge :). I think no need to go over all of them now, perhaps once you have a good list of 300-500 you can start writing already,and just leave the keywords sorting for later.

- With the topical relevance question, this depends on how broad you went on your KW research, and also how big you want the website to eventually be. For example, if your niche was Food (as a whole), or even just "Vegetables--and everything related to them", but your goal is to eventually maybe make this website 400-500 pages big and not more, you definitely should niche down in your eventual writing, and cover just some sub-niches of these huge niches.

On the contrary, if your niche isn't that big, or if you somehow plan to eventually grow this website very big, it doesn't matter that much if you focus only on some topic clusters or just publish stuff for any low comp keywords in the niche. As long as there si some relvance and they are low comp, as the website grows bigger you will rank for them.


- Simple keywords: I definitely suggest you to start with them. It makes no point writing one article for a week, just because the topic is super difficult or technical and needs a lot of research, etc.

Of course, not everyone can write articles as quickly as Shaun for example, and you should not try comparing yourself with others in this regard. But the key is to pick keywords you can write articles quickly for, regardless of what exactly "quickly" means for you and your writing speed (can be an article an hour, one in four hours, one in a day).

And how to find such keywords? Well, it is a question of feeling--when seeing a KW on your huge 500K keyword list, only you know how easy it feels to write that one, whether you will enjoy writing that one, etc.

You can make some experiments, and if you enjoy writing an article for certain type of topic, and it takes you much less time than it normally does to write an article to you, than you can look for similar types of topics on your list, and write for them, one after another.


- With images, it really depends on the niche, and how important the images are :). you will find online websites with millions of visits/month that barely use any images. On the other hand, in some niches images are very important.

But I would say that if the images from websites like Pexels and Unsplash etc are at least somehow relevant for the content, you should start with them. No need to complicate things right from the start. You can always come back later to the ranking articles and change the images to other images, if you feel it can make a difference for the readers...


To end this long reply I just want to wish you all the best on your journey! Most imposrantly patience and discipline, but of course also passion and joy from working on something big that can change your life :). Good luck to you, and I hope you will see this through, and one day come back here and say that you achieved full control of your time and GEO location :)
 

Escehas

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Hi again. I am curious if you have experienced a serious decline in the ad revenue this month so far. I know that we entered a new quarter, but comparing to the last couple of years, Adthrive would usually recover by this date, at least a bit. It feels like in January..
 

Kikerinka

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Hi again. I am curious if you have experienced a serious decline in the ad revenue this month so far. I know that we entered a new quarter, but comparing to the last couple of years, Adthrive would usually recover by this date, at least a bit. It feels like in January..
I've experienced the same. Just as things can snowball in a positive way, they can snowball in a negative way. With everything going on in the world, sales have been down in most industries.

This is how it goes: Sales are down -> companies lower their marketing budget and ad spending -> less marketing leads even to less sales -> companies have to lower their marketing budgets again -> ....

I tried to somehow fight the negative trend with enabling video ads on mobile (were disabled before), and also with allowing more in-content ads on longer posts (I had a limit of 5 if I remember correctly, now there's no limit but the density is the same, which means the number of ads remains the same as before on posts with up to 1,500 words, but every 300 extra words or so of content in the post allow for one more in-content ad).

Even with these "remedies", my July RPM this year so far is $3 less than in July last year, so definitely it can feel a bit like in January :). Actually the RPM for January 2022 was more-less the same like it is so far in July :).

We just have to live through this. RPM cannot grow infinitely. Let's work on getting more traffic, that is something we have control of, at least to some extent :)
 

Escehas

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I've experienced the same. Just as things can snowball in a positive way, they can snowball in a negative way. With everything going on in the world, sales have been down in most industries.

This is how it goes: Sales are down -> companies lower their marketing budget and ad spending -> less marketing leads even to less sales -> companies have to lower their marketing budgets again -> ....

I tried to somehow fight the negative trend with enabling video ads on mobile (were disabled before), and also with allowing more in-content ads on longer posts (I had a limit of 5 if I remember correctly, now there's no limit but the density is the same, which means the number of ads remains the same as before on posts with up to 1,500 words, but every 300 extra words or so of content in the post allow for one more in-content ad).

Even with these "remedies", my July RPM this year so far is $3 less than in July last year, so definitely it can feel a bit like in January :). Actually the RPM for January 2022 was more-less the same like it is so far in July :).

We just have to live through this. RPM cannot grow infinitely. Let's work on getting more traffic, that is something we have control of, at least to some extent :)
Yes, it does make sense. It's just that the affiliate website that I was using was doing great, so people seemed to keep on spending. Which is why I was a bit conflicted about what's going on with the ads. I guess the companies simply cut the ads expenses quite a bit this year due to fear of potential catastrophe. Hopefully, we'll see better results soon enough, especially since this month was so promising until a week ago..
 

Dark Hat 007

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Just as things can snowball in a positive way, they can snowball in a negative way

This phrase has been a bit instrumental in my handling of recent events. My traffic tanked by 95% thanks to the great Google Core updates.

I've recited this line multiple times to keep my head in the game.
 

Konroy pp

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Awesome journey!
I have a question. Curently I'm promoting a service in a one page website, the website is only dedicated to this service. Do you think I need to make a blog in the website to make more content and gain rank on my homepage.
Thanks , and again awesome thread, I'm learning a lot!
 

Kikerinka

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Yes, it does make sense. It's just that the affiliate website that I was using was doing great, so people seemed to keep on spending. Which is why I was a bit conflicted about what's going on with the ads. I guess the companies simply cut the ads expenses quite a bit this year due to fear of potential catastrophe. Hopefully, we'll see better results soon enough, especially since this month was so promising until a week ago..
I was simplifying a bit with my description of the situation, just to make it easy to understand :).

Of course some products are still doing fine, and some are even rising during crisis or summer. Sadly it is not the case with any of my digital products :D.
As a whole the industry is down though, which reflects on the RPM we see in our dashboards.

Bad news is that even Adthrive in their latest email to publishers said they are unsure about the development and we may see further drop in August. Since they are typically very positive and encouraging in their communication with publishers, it is almost guaranteed the RPMs will drop even further in August. Hopefully not by much...

This phrase has been a bit instrumental in my handling of recent events. My traffic tanked by 95% thanks to the great Google Core updates.

I've recited this line multiple times to keep my head in the game.
95% is brutal. How was your traffic distributed? For what % of traffic did the top 5 content posts counted for before the drop?

Google updates can be rough on affiliate sites, but still, 95% is too much. You should look back and analyze things, because I feel you must have made some mistakes when you were hit so badly...

What's your plan going forward?

What is the current backlink profile of your site?

Can you share ahrefs Screenshot with us?
I do not have ahrefs, and do not build/buy links. I've noticed on a MOZ bar that the "domain authority" of my website went up quite a bit recently, but honestly I have no idea why, and also I am not sure if it makes any difference anyway....

Awesome journey!
I have a question. Curently I'm promoting a service in a one page website, the website is only dedicated to this service. Do you think I need to make a blog in the website to make more content and gain rank on my homepage.
Thanks , and again awesome thread, I'm learning a lot!
Most definitely yes!
I discussed something similar with one member here in PM. If you promote service--your service or someone else's, doesn't matter, you need to work on content marketing. Now it doesn't necessarily mean writing just for the sake of improving the topical authority of your domain and ranking higher with the homepage.

The main goal is to rank for different long tails and keywords related to the service (both closely and distantly), and use those pages as landing pages, which means that from the ranking articles you can navigate the visitors (with the right "sales pitch") to the homepage, so they can eventually purchase the service.
If you promote some service or SaaS, this is the way to go.

Hope it helps, and good luck with your project!
 

Rpeturva

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I decided to create this journey primarily to monitor my progress, but hopefully it can also serve as a motivation for some of you guys, plus maybe you can also motivate me a bit :).
It's a journey and a case study at a same time. Let's see where can it take me/us.

Basic background & overview:
- The website is 9 years old, evergreen niche
- Informative content, currently monetized with digital products & AdThrive
- Current stats - 339 informative articles + 80 other articles (sales pages, about stuff, etc)
- The best monthly income from this website so far: February 2020, $5,778
- The niche is quite heavily impacted by covid 19, but this should be a temporary thing.
- Goals: To at least double the number of informative articles by the end of 2020, and to reach 10K/month from this site in one year from now.
- No links will be built in the process. I will try to achieve the goal purely with quality content creation, on page SEO, and optimization for conversions (increasing the RPM of existing content). That's what maybe makes this an interesting case study...

GWMT, last six months:
View attachment 134898
- notice the heavy drop in the middle of March when covid restrictions really started in US and other major English speaking countries. The situation is the same for all sites in this niche...


A bit longer background & overview:
This is actually the first website ever I started in IM as my own website (did SEO for clients before), back in April 2011.

I worked on it quite a lot at times, and did nothing at other times. For example: Entire year 2014 - 0 articles published, from May 2015 to August 2017 (over two years) - 0 articles published...

Why didn't I do anything on this website for such long periods of time?
- At certain periods I worked on other, smaller sites (MNS) in the same niche (had more than 30 at peak times), since back in the day it was easier to rank them, and they brought in vast majority of my online income. That's not the case anymore, of course, since MNS is almost a dead strategy...
- At other times I devoted a lot of time to traveling and non-profit ventures, not working in IM at all.

Why do I start this journey now?

Actually my original plans for 2020 were completely different. I didn't plan to work on IM much.
Had some offline business/non-profit plans in a certain country in the south of Europe which I love a lot.

However, due to covid situation I can't realize the plan this year... What's more, covid has a lot of impact on my other non-profit and personal ventures, so basically almost everything is stopped, and there's suddenly a lot of time to work on my authority website :) .

One of the lessons I learned in life is that there's nothing like an entirely good, or entirely bad situation (speaking about business, relationships, whatever).
Certainly it's a pity that I can't realize my original plans this year, but instead of crying and complaining I try to find something positive in the situation, and make the best out of it...
Perhaps it can be this journey :).


Other things and methodology of work:
- I will write 80% of new content myself. 10% will be written by an expert in certain sub-niche of my niche, a guy I've been cooperating with for a long time. 10% I hope to actually sell as free/paid guest posts on my site :) (not starting any service or whatever, simply replying positively to a few serious outreach emails I get each month)...

- My main goal of this project is not making money, but building something of true value for people. When there is value, money will come. I've been following this philosophy a lot in my life, and so far it's been working. That's also one of the reasons why I will write 80% of content myself, becasue any writers I tried before (for this website and others, instead of the one guy I mentioned in previous paragraph) just didn't meet my quality standards. Either in writing style, or in expertise (mostly in both :) )

- The plan is to focus 80% of time on content writing for the rest of 2020 (20% on improving monetization and on page SEO). From January to April 2021, almost all focus will be on improving monetization (increasing RPM), since all new articles should be published by that time, and I will drop the frequency of publishing to 1 article/week.

- The journey should end by May 12, 2021

- Will try to update this journey daily, to keep track of my progress. However, there are days, sometimes more in a row, when I am simply offline, not touching my laptop at all. On such days I won't make any updates... I will make for it once back.
Will also try to post some interesting ideas at times, so you guys can also benefit from my journey, while working on your own projects.

That's it guys. If you have any question, do not hesitate to ask. I will try to answer everything relevant, but won't monitor this thread more than twice a day, simply to focus on the main work :).

P.S. If this journey ends up a success, I'll buy 3 people who post here (anytime during the duration of the journey) Jr. VIP, or any service of their choice from BHW of the same value. The members will be chosen at random once the journey ends (if it ends successfully).
How long does it take your articles to rank please?
 

Konroy pp

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I was simplifying a bit with my description of the situation, just to make it easy to understand :).

Of course some products are still doing fine, and some are even rising during crisis or summer. Sadly it is not the case with any of my digital products :D.
As a whole the industry is down though, which reflects on the RPM we see in our dashboards.

Bad news is that even Adthrive in their latest email to publishers said they are unsure about the development and we may see further drop in August. Since they are typically very positive and encouraging in their communication with publishers, it is almost guaranteed the RPMs will drop even further in August. Hopefully not by much...


95% is brutal. How was your traffic distributed? For what % of traffic did the top 5 content posts counted for before the drop?

Google updates can be rough on affiliate sites, but still, 95% is too much. You should look back and analyze things, because I feel you must have made some mistakes when you were hit so badly...

What's your plan going forward?


I do not have ahrefs, and do not build/buy links. I've noticed on a MOZ bar that the "domain authority" of my website went up quite a bit recently, but honestly I have no idea why, and also I am not sure if it makes any difference anyway....


Most definitely yes!
I discussed something similar with one member here in PM. If you promote service--your service or someone else's, doesn't matter, you need to work on content marketing. Now it doesn't necessarily mean writing just for the sake of improving the topical authority of your domain and ranking higher with the homepage.

The main goal is to rank for different long tails and keywords related to the service (both closely and distantly), and use those pages as landing pages, which means that from the ranking articles you can navigate the visitors (with the right "sales pitch") to the homepage, so they can eventually purchase the service.
If you promote some service or SaaS, this is the way to go.

Hope it helps, and good luck with your project!
Thanks for you reply ! So I will write some article. Since my english is not my first langage, how do you suggest I get started ? In the beginning, did you translate your texts on translation tools like DeepL ? Or do you have some software to correct your grammar ?
Thanks again !
 
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