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

Kikerinka

Hey Man, I just follow you now and Today I just finished your blog updated 1 page out of 116. I want to finish your journey from 1 to 116.
All the best for your awesome blog journey. I want to start with you. thanks.
 

Kikerinka

Hey Man, I just follow you now and Today I just finished your blog updated 1 page out of 116. I want to finish your journey from 1 to 116.
All the best for your awesome blog journey. I want to start with you. thanks.
Hey mate, thanks a lot.
I just hope you're not late to the party. Just for the "last dance" for this site, of perhaps the entire niche, when it comes to blogging?

CRAZY
things going on lately in my niche. Today SimilarWeb published January 2023 numbers. I thought I was hit hard by the December updates. Well, it was nothing compared to some:

web_1.png

web_2.png

web_4.png
web_5.png

- These are all websites in my niche, 3 of them either on Adthrive or Mediavine, one on Ezoic. BTW the website from 1st picture (getting down from 530K to 170K visits in a span of two months) has really decent content online, it isn't any garbage website...

Historically, January is a much better month than December in the niche (December is the lowest month), and all sites should see at least 25%-35% growth. But all these sites experienced losses, and some huge.
I at least gained traffic month over month, though lost some year over year (as described in my latest update).


But that's just the start of the fireworks :) On 4th February there was an unconfirmed Google update (very little spoken of on BHW, if at all??), but you can check some info here: https://www.seroundtable.com/february-4th-google-search-ranking-algorithm-update-34859.html#comments

This updates shook my niche even more, and especially hard hit were websites displaying ads, having ads as their main (and often only) form of monetization. All sorts of SaaS & service websites running blogs on side (as a form of content marketing for their core business) & some edu/gov sites got a huge boost--these sites display no ads. I got BIG losses too by the way.


I sincerely hope (almost believe) this update will be reverted, since many search results are simply not relevant anymore in my niche, showing generic content from big sites/ SaaS/ Service/ Edu sites, instead of specific content the user targets with their query, content these sites simply do not cover...
Anyone of you guys noticed this update in your respective niche?


If the update is not reverted though, and now this Google's AI Bot is coming to take even more share of the traffic, it can very well mark the last dance for informative websites in my niche.

Well, I guess we can only sit and wait what will happen, because obviously neither I nor the other affected websites will turn off the ads... :)
 
We begin to know them updates of google and I think that they make a lot of big tests in order to see if they are in the truth or not.
We may talk about it again in the spring but you risk if the sites are qualitative to go up as suddenly as you may have lost.
After that, at your level Kikerinka, it's a loss of thousands of dollars and it's very annoying.
What to do? Well, keep working. And try to keep a vision of 3 or 6 months and never focus too much on the moment.

Google also lives on advertising and they have no interest in shooting themselves in the foot.
 
Anyone of you guys noticed this update in your respective niche?
I lost almost all the traffic of my new blog, but even if it happened around that date it was bing traffic actually.
now this Google's AI Bot is coming
They should keep the bot's answer shorter because on the demo screenshot it occupies 12 lines of text, almost all the phone's screen.
 
Update, 29th May 2020, Day 18

- Published 4 new articles today, 1362 words, 1130 words, 1113 words, 1282 words.
- Checked a new report in Webmaster Tools (Core Web Vitals), and the results aren't particularly good :). See screenshot below:

View attachment 136103
I have no idea whether this really has an impact on ranking or not, but when Google includes this in their Search Console then it is likely at least somehow important (or it will be in the future).

My problem is that when I ran a test, it's AdThrive that slows the site down, or more precisely it slows the metrics and indicators Google measures in this report. Because in reality the website is lighting fast for users, they see the content immediately (I tested this on different devices).
Not sure if I can do anything about it on my end, but will try to speed up at least something, and let's see what happens.


- Yesterday I promised to explain something about my writing habits, to give some inspiration to people who try to produce huge volume of content but struggle to do so. A few rules I stick to:
  1. Eliminate all distractions while writing
  2. Do as much work as possible in the morning
  3. Rotate between different topics (sub-niches) or types of articles during the day, in order to not get bored writing about similar things again and again, and to keep creativity running high
  4. Write the most difficult article first, and the least difficult last
  5. Take at least 1 day off each week from writing (typically during the weekend)
  6. Minimize the screen time when you are not working on your website/project

In an ordinary day (for example today), it looks like this:

- I typically wake up early (without alarm, it's just natural for me), do morning routines (breakfast and stuff) and right after that sit at the computer. Typically before 7am I am already working, sometimes earlier :).
- I open 1 browser window only, with two tabs. In one I log into WP, second one is for research purposes. I pick a difficult topic from my list of content ideas, something I need to do some research about or something that is very technical. I do some research, make notes in notepad, and start writing.
- I keep my working table clean, no phone, no glass of water, nothing. No visual or sound distractions, no music...
- Typically by 8:30 I am done with the first article - writing, editing, adding pictures, publishing. Just then and only then I check my emails (both private and business), see how many digital products we sold last day, I also check Google Analytics and may spend cca 5 minutes in their interface, checking various stuff for this website and other. I also open BHW and may reply to some threads, or reply to some emails.

- 9am I am typically back to writing, 2nd article of the day. I pick a different type of article this time, with slightly lesser difficulty. Typically for the 2nd article of the day I not have to do any research, I know the topic from real life experience or from heart. But it is a sort of an article when I need a lot of creativity, content is 100% unique and often something I haven't written about before. 2nd article is more like writing a story, and it's typically the article I enjoy writing the most during the day.

- 10:30 or 11am I am normally done with the second article. I check rank tracker briefly (it updates at 10am each day), and may do a bit of cleaning in the house etc. Then I go for a lunch with someone, or cook a lunch at home for myself.

- After lunch I typically have some program outside (sports, walk with someone, work in the garden, etc). I typically won't start writing the 3rd article before 3:30pm.
- Again I choose a slightly different topic/type of content, to not repeat the same sort of writing I've already done during the day. Things go a bit slower this time, because there have been already many distractions during the day (mostly of pleasant kind), and the mind isn't so sharp as it is in the morning. But anyway, by 5pm or 5:30pm I am done with the third article.

- From then on the program really changes from day to day. I may have a meeting with someone in a cafeteria, do some sports, go to cinema or for a dinner, or may just read some book or listen to some music and cook dinner at home.

- If I am home by 8pm (or earlier) I will write one more article. For the 4th article I pick a content idea that is very easy for me, and typically a keyword with little monthly volume (<150).
- No research is required for the 4th article. Mind is tired, there have been many thoughts and distractions during the day, and the 4th article typically has a slightly worse quality than the other 3. But since it is an easy topic I am done with it quickly, typically within 1 hour.

- 9-9:30 pm - If I am at home, I check BHW and update this thread :). I may also check emails once again, and reply to some of them.

So that's basically it. In my opinion, it is possible to write 3-4 quality articles a day, 1K + words, and still have some life outside of IM :). But you must have a good system in your work and stick to it, day after day.

That's it for today, any questions, do not hesitate to ask, and have a good night!
I also start my work early in the morning and it's a blessing for me
 
So another day, one article published already, and I can answer your question Zaidmohd. With a fresh morning mind :)
My checklist when writing an article:

1. Who's my audience? Teenagers, working people, retired? Mostly men, or women? What's the average intelligence of a person searching for the topic? What style of communication do they prefer?

For example, when I know that most readers will be high school students and teenagers, I will use a more simple language, even slang, short sentences. I will inject a piece of humor or irony here and there. Basically to write in a style the target group enjoys reading...

2. What information are they really looking for when searching for a given KW/ topic? Basically I try to understand their purpose, and than meet it perfectly with the article. Writing for purpose can sometimes be totally different than writing for keyword. Even some big players in my niche (with in-house writers) do not understand the difference correctly, and I am sure they have very bad on-page metrics.

3. Is the article split to meaningful sections, sentences, and are they short enough? People are not patient, they lose their attention quickly. I prefer to have a new heading each 200 words, or even sooner. There is always some formatting present (bold, italics, bullet-points, etc). When I use a picture (and I virtually always do), it is also to induce some visualization in the reader, wake something in their brain, etc. It also helps with keeping their attention.

4. Using questions. The best articles in all niches are like dialogues you lead with your reader. I often ask the reader a question in an article, making them think, challenging them intellectually for a short time. I may answer the question later or not, this really depends, but I am convinced this helps a lot with engagement.

5. Minimizing the use of technicalities. Unless I write for an audience of technicians, I will avoid any technicalities. As soon as a reader don't understand a word or two, they will leave the article, or at least there will be some block in their comprehension, and everything is a downward road from there on... This is also something many big players in my niche do not understand. Their articles are terribly difficult to read, you almost need a dictionary when reading them. Such reading is tiring and most people hate it.

6. Call to action, encouragement. Call to action does not have to be a call to buy something. Sometimes I just navigate the readers to some other page of the website, and sometimes I may just encourage them to do something that even has nothing to do with my site. Maybe this won't have a direct benefit for the website, but can have many indirect benefits. When they end their reading on a high note, they are more likely to share the article on social media, bookmark it, etc. All of these are positive SEO signals...


So, this is my checklist :). If you expected stuff like "have the main KW in the first and last paragraph", or "alt texts of an image should contain partial KW or LSI", I will disappoint you.
In my opinion, the traditional on-page SEO approach that focuses on keywords in the article is outdated
.

In 90% of my articles I use the main keyword (in my niche this is minimally 3 words, but sometimes as much as 10-15 words) only once--in the title. You won't find it anywhere else. As I already said a few times in this journey, I write for people, not for bots. :) It seems it works.

That's it for now, have a nice day, and I am back to writing.
This is an awesome strategy. I just like it. Could I follow this strategy right now for my blog?
 
Very good question. In 95% of cases I use a pronoun perspective, and mostly it's You.
As I mentioned in one of my answers few days ago, the best articles (in almost all niches) resemble a conversation you lead with your reader. If they feel as if the writer is actually talking to them in particular, and perhaps even asking questions here and there, the engagement will be MUCH better.
This TIps I just Noted it. Thanks, buddy, I'm learning from you. is it so late for me to start blogging.
 
Hi Kikerinka

I have a bunch of posts that are about a year old and not ranking well.

Do you have a process that you use when updating old posts?

Do you check the keywords rankings to decide or impressions/CTR is search console?
 
Hi Kikerinka

I have a bunch of posts that are about a year old and not ranking well.

Do you have a process that you use when updating old posts?

Do you check the keywords rankings to decide or impressions/CTR is search console?
I am very much interested in Kikerinka's advice, but in the meantime please, listen to this Niche Persuits interview. At some point this guy explains how he updated all of his old posts. Out of many I listened to, I think this particular one is gold. Definitely worth the hour spent:
 
I am very much interested in Kikerinka's advice, but in the meantime please, listen to this Niche Persuits interview. At some point this guy explains how he updated all of his old posts. Out of many I listened to, I think this particular one is gold. Definitely worth the hour spent:

Thanks for the video.

I'll check it out :)
 
Hey all, sorry for late answers. We have fantastic weather here this week with snow & sun, so I was in the mountains all days :). The future is uncertain, but I still enjoy the perks of this business model, the flexibility it offers...

We begin to know them updates of google and I think that they make a lot of big tests in order to see if they are in the truth or not.
We may talk about it again in the spring but you risk if the sites are qualitative to go up as suddenly as you may have lost.
After that, at your level Kikerinka, it's a loss of thousands of dollars and it's very annoying.
What to do? Well, keep working. And try to keep a vision of 3 or 6 months and never focus too much on the moment.

Google also lives on advertising and they have no interest in shooting themselves in the foot.
Thanks man, I hope your website wasn't affected much, especially now when the traffic grows nicely for you.

I agree with you, that Google often tests things, and I saw more than once (on both my websites, and websites of people here who shared their domains with me), that traffic can come back as quickly as it has dropped. As I said, the results for many queries are not relevant now in my niche.

For example, imagine that you are looking for a way to teach your dog a particular trick. With the results you see now, instead of seeing articles/videos that dive into that particular trick and how your dog can learn it, you will see both long & short articles on "dog training" in general, from all sorts of big websites/sites that sell dog collars, vet clinics, etc. I believe the results (the clicks) will show Google that the change wasn't good, and they will take it back.

And when it come to focusing on the moment, my personal philosophy is actually to live in the present moment :). But that's more about not worrying about the future or the past, and not about the way you look at your business, and consider whether it moves in right direction or not....


I lost almost all the traffic of my new blog, but even if it happened around that date it was bing traffic actually.

They should keep the bot's answer shorter because on the demo screenshot it occupies 12 lines of text, almost all the phone's screen.
Is this the blog from your new journey? I had no idea you had Bing traffic, always thought it as google :).

Yeah, the demo is crazy, let's see how it looks in reality. In an ideal case, they would include it in a separate tab on their homepage (something like "try asking the Bot/Bard/Retard"), and people will have to click on that option. In such a case, I believe the impact would be minimal. But if the demo you talk about will come live, on the main search page, I have no doubt the impact on my niche will be significant.

I also start my work early in the morning and it's a blessing for me
Mornings are the best :).

This is an awesome strategy. I just like it. Could I follow this strategy right now for my blog?
You definitely can! In a long run, this is the winning writing strategy, and I do not plan to change it, for this project or my other present/future blogging/content creation projects. Writing for people, for your target audience, in the language they like, is the best...

This TIps I just Noted it. Thanks, buddy, I'm learning from you. is it so late for me to start blogging.
Batter late than never :).

Interesting journey
Thanks, see you around here!

Hi Kikerinka

I have a bunch of posts that are about a year old and not ranking well.

Do you have a process that you use when updating old posts?

Do you check the keywords rankings to decide or impressions/CTR is search console?
Posts can be ranking badly for a variety of reasons... The most common I see, talking about sites of other people who shared them with me here over the last years, is simply bad keyword research.

If you write an article for a topic you have no realistic chance to rank for, changing such a post isn't going to help... You may keep it online, if you hope to grow your site to huge authority and maybe in 5 years or so you'll eventually see some traffic to it.

In a case when you did a good KW research but the post isn't ranking, you should try making it better, prolonging it, adding something that posts ranking ahead of you have but you don't, etc. No doubt data from search console can help too, especially when you think about paragraphs to add :).

I am very much interested in Kikerinka's advice, but in the meantime please, listen to this Niche Persuits interview. At some point this guy explains how he updated all of his old posts. Out of many I listened to, I think this particular one is gold. Definitely worth the hour spent:
Thanks mate, I may watch it as well now!
 
We have fantastic weather here this week with snow & sun, so I was in the mountains all days
Spain or your homeland?
Is this the blog from your new journey? I had no idea you had Bing traffic, always thought it as google :).
Yes. I think I mentioned a bing boost but that's gone now, just like the google boost. I'll post an update next week.
 
Spain or your homeland?

Yes. I think I mentioned a bing boost but that's gone now, just like the google boost. I'll post an update next week.
Because of the the things that happened here a few months ago, I prefer not sharing my whereabouts on BHW (or elsewhere online). So it can be Spain, it can be my "homeland", it can even be a third country.

Perhaps mountains is enough to say, because to tell you the truth I often feel that's where my real home is ;).

In terms of your blog, I still think those boosts are a sign of an excellent keyword research. You got the "grace period" as I called it in my journey, simply because the keywords/topics you wrote for aren't covered online. Now your website is in the sandbox, as any other new website would be. Once you are out of sandbox, however, the traffic for those posts will come back, and more.... Looking forward to your updates and hope you won't stop updating the journey!

BTW, on the YouTube side of things, one of the guys you recommended me--"Passive Income Geek", quits YT as well. Soon enough there won't be anyone of follow in that space anymore...
 
I'll keep updating for sure.

He seems disappointed by the AI frenzy.
I think that there is a decent chance he lost a big chunk of traffic too, considering the strange last updates. At least in my niche, informational websites monetized with ads are losing traffic heavily (Morten has just such sites), whereas all sorts of services/SaaS/business websites, running blog just on side as a form of content marketing, are getting a boost.

Maybe he wants to get back to the drawing board, consider everything, and prepare for what lies ahead. Also I do not know how many sites he owns, but he may as well try to sell some at this point...
 
he thing is that first of all, I have no motivation returning to such a grind :D.

Secondly, I am running out of topics. Unless I want to grow horizontally, covering topics falling under other sub-niches of the big niche my niche falls under, I just do not have keywords to write for. And if I want to grow horizontally, here is the problem I see:

- Due to a structure of my website, and how focused it is, I have no topical authority for those other niches, and it will be hard getting it, and getting any traction.

- The content in most of those niches offers little room for creativity and uniqueness, and in some of these niches it can be produced with AI easily too... Hence considering everything going on in blogging now, and how much content there already is online for these niches, I do not see it viable entering them.

- Other niches I can expand to horizontally have another problem - "the only no. 1 result counts" problem. In them no. 1 spot gets 90% of traffic really and other positions almost make no sense. Again, considering how well covered they already are, I cannot reach the no. 1 position and do not see it viable entering them.


Basically with the keywords I have in my bank now, I can continue the 4 articles/month publishing schedule for this year, and occasionally throw in a small content push of 10 articles. And then, at the end of the year, find in GSC another 70-80 content ideas for next year, falling into my specific niche, without expanding horizontally :). This is realistic, but if I went to publish 2-3 articles/day for a month, after the first month I would simply run out of keywords :D.
That's an impressive Passive income stream, If i may ask, how much time you used to spend on that website daily on the first year, compared to now ?
 
I think that there is a decent chance he lost a big chunk of traffic too, considering the strange last updates. At least in my niche, informational websites monetized with ads are losing traffic heavily (Morten has just such sites), whereas all sorts of services/SaaS/business websites, running blog just on side as a form of content marketing, are getting a boost.

Maybe he wants to get back to the drawing board, consider everything, and prepare for what lies ahead. Also I do not know how many sites he owns, but he may as well try to sell some at this point...
Most of his sites are down by quite a lot from the latest updates. Also, every single one of them has received the so-called sitewide snippet ban that Google still refuses to admit publicly is a thing. Here are a few of his bigger ones that have took a beating:

morten1.png

morten2.png

morten3.png

I'm noticing the same trend across all the big players in my niche and other niches as well. I would be hard-pressed to find someone that has benefited from the last updates and gotten his site on an upward trajectory.
 
That's an interesting observation and I'll add something interesting I noticed.

Of all the sites in the niche of my main site (travel related), two have survived. One hasn't posted since December 2020 and another has only added about 150 articles since that period.

The site that didn't post anymore has a ton of unique images and also posts these on Wikipedia. The site that only posts about 1 article a week has a massive Youtube channel on which about one or two videos a month are posted.

My conclusion is that the EEAT factors play a major role in search today. If you can show first-hand experience in your content or on other sites linking to your site you can still do well even if you don't post a lot.

What convinced me is that the site that hasn't posted in over 2 years as a massive boost around August / September last year (from 100K to 250K visitors according to search tools). The site with a Youtube channel has steadily grown from 1 million to 2.30 million visitors in the same timeframe.

Funny enough, Morten started posting videos on his YT channel of his niche site about 2 months ago, perhaps he came to the same conclusion.... :)
 
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