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

msanate

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Hi I have multiple blogger blogspot domain ( green niches ) created back in March 2013. Over 9 years old.
will it be easier to rank them by adding new articles on daily basis?
 

Kikerinka

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Hi I have multiple blogger blogspot domain ( green niches ) created back in March 2013. Over 9 years old.
will it be easier to rank them by adding new articles on daily basis?
This is a tough one for me to answer, since I haven't worked with blogspot in years... If they are aged sites as you said, maybe it could work. For sure it wouldn't hurt making a small scale experiment :).

On the other hand, if you are into building something bigger (eventually aiming for $1K+/month from your site), you should go with your own domain, instead of relying on services provided by someone else (who can easily block you anytime, and limits your monetization options)
 

MTT

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But OP, let's come back to the early stage of a website when you started from scratch.
When it was just a blank site. What did you do then?

Do good keyword research and write quality content and build links from the beginning?
Or do you wait for maybe 3 months and then start building links?
Or do you just completely ignore backlinks and focus on content?

Thanks, I'm a newbie here and need some clarity
 

ridersark

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Hey buddy!

Mid-year slump is common across the board. Nothing to worry about really. And I see that you are stable around 750k-800k traffic levels. So much upwards potential. I know you'll breach the 1M barrier.

And I just read about your accident. Take care, because fractures and dislocations are long-term discomforts to deal with. Even after healing completely, these things cause psychological limitations. Please take care and have fun on your trip :)
 

Mniscient

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Wow. It was wonderful reading. I learned a lot. Well.. I have 2 questions. Please do not ignore..

1. What if I outsource keywords from keyword researchers on fiverr or freelancing websites. Is that OK? I will give them niche or seed keywords and they will find me the keywords for topics?

2. When selecting niche. For example I selected niche.. Technology. Then I purchased a domain like techx.com(just an example). Now what should I write first? I mean tech niche is huge. I want to grow it into my buggest project. So i would not focus just an small audience. Where to start. I am in a loop and stuck there so far. Can you do a little push haha.

Thanks for readying.

Again.. you inspired me and I may go for a journey soon. Just sorting out the confusions left.
 

mezzofanti

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Hi @Kikerinka

How are your rankings after Google May Core Updated rolled out? I am aware that it is too early to make any final conclusions, but ...

Personally, two of my strongest sites (monetization: AdThrive + Amazon, a combination of review and info articles, both sites 400+ pages) have lost some 25% of traffic, two other much smaller sites (100-150 pages) have lost 50-60% traffic, etc.

Others?
 

JLeons

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Hi @Kikerinka

How are your rankings after Google May Core Updated rolled out? I am aware that it is too early to make any final conclusions, but ...

Personally, two of my strongest sites (monetization: AdThrive + Amazon, a combination of review and info articles, both sites 400+ pages) have lost some 25% of traffic, two other much smaller sites (100-150 pages) have lost 50-60% traffic, etc.

Others?

I wanted to wait it out a bit but it looks like my main site is way up:

Search results GSC.jpg

This allowed me to apply for Mediavine so fingers crossed. :)

I'm on Ezoic at the moment and it slows down my website a lot. I can't pass CWVs. I also didn't earn any significant backlinks in the previous months.

All my smaller sites are down 30-50%.

I added writer profiles and a thorough about page. I added a large number of articles so I think topical authority plays a bigger role than backlinks atm.

My conclusion: Jus hammer your site with content. 400 articles on a site is nothing to be honest these days as Google likes HUGE sites that cover a particular topic with dozens of articles (from my experience).
 

ecomsim

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In the process of reading this thread front-to-back (a second time), I've compiled a list of the most useful posts and split into 2 categories: writing and general.

I'm using these posts as reference while building my own authority website, so maybe this helps someone else too. I'll leave it here:

Writing​

  • Image resources: pexels (prefered), pixababy, unsplash
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-10#post-13390862
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-11#post-13416035
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-4#post-13262174
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-40#post-14002116
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-40#post-14005234
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-41#post-14041623
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-77#post-14793342
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-how-im-creating-a-six-figure-affiliate-marketing-and-ads-business.1385366/page-3#post-15065105

General​

  • Paid products transactioning - Paid Downloads Pro (WP plugin)
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-13#post-13466683
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-14#post-13496273
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-16#post-13546268
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-16#post-13552727
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-17#post-13567257
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-28#post-13751767
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-17#post-13568694
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/1000th-post-10-lessons-i-learned-in-seo-and-im-in-9-years-in-the-business.1170222/
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-42#post-14047642
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-42#post-14053638
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-48#post-14133983
  • https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-scaling-an-authority-website-to-10k-a-month-and-beyond.1230972/page-59#post-14256365
Amazing compilation that is very helpful to all of us. Thanks for doing this.
 

kimiroger

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I wanted to wait it out a bit but it looks like my main site is way up:

View attachment 212868

This allowed me to apply for Mediavine so fingers crossed. :)

I'm on Ezoic at the moment and it slows down my website a lot. I can't pass CWVs. I also didn't earn any significant backlinks in the previous months.

All my smaller sites are down 30-50%.

I added writer profiles and a thorough about page. I added a large number of articles so I think topical authority plays a bigger role than backlinks atm.

My conclusion: Jus hammer your site with content. 400 articles on a site is nothing to be honest these days as Google likes HUGE sites that cover a particular topic with dozens of articles (from my experience).
How many articles have you posted on your site? It looks very promising and growth is good. I’m stuck at 12k pageviews for the past few months with 125 articles published over 2 years. Most older articles have declined in traffic and newer ones are getting most of them.
 

Kikerinka

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Hello guys, I am back :).

Will hang out here a bit, checking what's new in other journey threads. Then I will try to answer the questions posted here in my absence.

Tomorrow, or Thursday the latest, I will post monthly update for my authority website for the month of May, and within 7 days also an update for my side projects.

Hope you all had a great time while I was away :)
 

seojen

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Hello guys, I am back :).

Will hang out here a bit, checking what's new in other journey threads. Then I will try to answer the questions posted here in my absence.

Tomorrow, or Thursday the latest, I will post monthly update for my authority website for the month of May, and within 7 days also an update for my side projects.

Hope you all had a great time while I was away :)
Welcome back @ Kikerinka, I missed your updates.
 

BabyJoker

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Hello guys, I am back :).

Will hang out here a bit, checking what's new in other journey threads. Then I will try to answer the questions posted here in my absence.

Tomorrow, or Thursday the latest, I will post monthly update for my authority website for the month of May, and within 7 days also an update for my side projects.

Hope you all had a great time while I was away :)
Welcome back champ!
 

Kikerinka

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But OP, let's come back to the early stage of a website when you started from scratch.
When it was just a blank site. What did you do then?

Do good keyword research and write quality content and build links from the beginning?
Or do you wait for maybe 3 months and then start building links?
Or do you just completely ignore backlinks and focus on content?

Thanks, I'm a newbie here and need some clarity
Hello mate, the problem is that what I did back then would be completely irrelevant today, and would not bring the same results :).

Did I build/buy links in the early stages of the authority website, which is 2011-2014? Yes, I did, and lot of them, such as submission to article directories (using a program called Article Marketing Robot), to bookmarking sites (using a program called Bookmarking Demon), to Web 2.0 sites like Blogspot, Weebly, and about 20 others, most of which do not exist anymore (I did this manually), etc..

But SEO and internet marketing is a quickly evolving game, and what worked then would not work now... That's why it makes no sense looking back that far, especially considering that I almost abandoned this website for many years after really coming back to it :).

As a newbie, focus on KW research, quality content, topical authority, and choosing a relatively narrow niche. You can find all information to it in my journey or some other BHW journeys. Good luck to you :)

Get well soon!
Thanks Thomas, I come back healed. Or least I hope so :D

Hey buddy!

Mid-year slump is common across the board. Nothing to worry about really. And I see that you are stable around 750k-800k traffic levels. So much upwards potential. I know you'll breach the 1M barrier.

And I just read about your accident. Take care, because fractures and dislocations are long-term discomforts to deal with. Even after healing completely, these things cause psychological limitations. Please take care and have fun on your trip :)
Hey mate, hope your website is closing on that 1 million visits or PV :).
You are very right about the psychological limitations, and that's something I will surely have to work on to limit or perhaps even eliminate.

Thank you again, always glad to see you around!

Wow. It was wonderful reading. I learned a lot. Well.. I have 2 questions. Please do not ignore..

1. What if I outsource keywords from keyword researchers on fiverr or freelancing websites. Is that OK? I will give them niche or seed keywords and they will find me the keywords for topics?

2. When selecting niche. For example I selected niche.. Technology. Then I purchased a domain like techx.com(just an example). Now what should I write first? I mean tech niche is huge. I want to grow it into my buggest project. So i would not focus just an small audience. Where to start. I am in a loop and stuck there so far. Can you do a little push haha.

Thanks for readying.

Again.. you inspired me and I may go for a journey soon. Just sorting out the confusions left.
I never ignore :). There's too much ignorance in this world, and the last thing I want to do is to add my bit to it.

I just didn't reply to you earlier because I was away, and didn't visit BHW once during my trip. But here we are again. To your question:

1. You can give it a try, but the problem is you typically get what you pay for. I would rather suggest you to watch some videos from @Shaunm , learn the process yourself (it isn't hard, it just take time), and do it on your own. In my opinion, the later you start spending money the better. Because many things in IM are interrelated and learning about one thing you actually learn something about other things as well. Doing such repetitive tasks on your own also helps with building the habit of discipline, which you will really need in IM :)

Another alternative would be using programs like KW Chef or similar, to help you automate the task. Most often then not the freelancers you hire for the job would use some software anyway.


2. First of all, please do not go for general tech niche :). Niche down, pick something specific in a tech niche. The more specific the better. For example: computer mouses, Bluetooth headphones, or even grow lamps...

These niches may seem small for the outsider, but believe me that in each of them you will find websites with 100K+ monthly visitors. This can be your big project, whereas trying to make a big website in general tech niche can end only a big failure. I do not want to discourage you, just want to be honest with you :).

So first of all niche down, and once you niche down you will know what topics/keywords to focus on and write about. Hope it helps somehow, let me know i you have any other questions!
Hi @Kikerinka

How are your rankings after Google May Core Updated rolled out? I am aware that it is too early to make any final conclusions, but ...

Personally, two of my strongest sites (monetization: AdThrive + Amazon, a combination of review and info articles, both sites 400+ pages) have lost some 25% of traffic, two other much smaller sites (100-150 pages) have lost 50-60% traffic, etc.

Others?
Hi Mezzofanti, sorry to hear that your big sites were impacted.
I was impacted by this update as well it seems (checking it just now).

The authority website wasn't impacted, though it may seem so at the end of month May, but there was this Memorial day weekend, which is bad for my niche. Anyway, now the numbers are back to pre-update levels.

However, 7 of my MNS sites were impacted, and also one of my three side projects I update on in this journey. The impact on MNS sites was in average about 25% loss of traffic, ranging from 15% to 70%.

Having said that, I always knew this was just the question of time, since I haven't updated these MNS sites for years, and really on all of them 90% of traffic was brought by 1-4 articles on each site. What all these 7 sites have in common:

  1. I presently run Ezoic ads on all these websites.
  2. Astra theme with sidebar on each one
  3. Not updated in a long time, or just super minor updates. I think on any of these sites I haven't published a single new article since 2015!
  4. The biggest losses (50% on one website and 70% on another) are on two of these sites that are most related to YMYL ("your money and your life") from my entire portfolio.

As I said though, for me money coming from these small sites was just a bonus, and it wasn't much anyway nowadays :). Grateful for it to keep coming, and I will likely still keep these sites, but do not plan to try to do anything to save them or revert the impact of the update.

The only one that worries me is one of my side projects, but more on it and the effect of the Google update once I post a update for my side project here...

Search Console screen for the most impacted MNS site:
gui_MNS.png

I wanted to wait it out a bit but it looks like my main site is way up:

View attachment 212868

This allowed me to apply for Mediavine so fingers crossed. :)

I'm on Ezoic at the moment and it slows down my website a lot. I can't pass CWVs. I also didn't earn any significant backlinks in the previous months.

All my smaller sites are down 30-50%.

I added writer profiles and a thorough about page. I added a large number of articles so I think topical authority plays a bigger role than backlinks atm.

My conclusion: Jus hammer your site with content. 400 articles on a site is nothing to be honest these days as Google likes HUGE sites that cover a particular topic with dozens of articles (from my experience).
Super happy for you mate :). You've been around long enough, I am glad to see that things seem to be finally clicking in place for you!! With the traffic you have, you can make a decent amount of money from ads! Please let us know if your website got approved.

With what you say about Google I agree more or less... Of course, not every niche has a potential for thousands of articles, and Google likely understands it too.
But I agree that big sites were the winners in all recent Google updates (in several years), and MNS sites are a thing of the past.

Thanks mate, it always moves me to see how much time some people spend exploring my journey :). I think your compilation will help many people here, especially those new to the thread.

Welcome back @ Kikerinka, I missed your updates.
Thanks mate, now they will keep coming :D

Welcome back champ!
;). Thanks mate!!

100 articles / mo is optimal, but the number will probably grow in next years. Pillar content and all this stuff is norm.
100 articles/month is great and super ambitious, but you should also realize that different people here are in different positions, and for some the upper limit can be even 10 articles/month. It really depends on so many factors.

In my opinion, the key is to set a realistic publishing goal for yourself (considering all nuances of your life as well as the niche), and then stick to it month after month after month :).
 

Fixentin

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My conclusion: Jus hammer your site with content. 400 articles on a site is nothing to be honest these days as Google likes HUGE sites that cover a particular topic with dozens of articles (from my experience).
That is a good quantity of articles. You should also try to maintain a high quality for the articles
 

Melody96

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I am gonna go through this journey the entire night tonight, looks pretty good!

Kudos to you PO
 

Kikerinka

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Monthly update, May 2022

Analytics:
  • Visits: 740,845 (+5% vs last month).
  • Page views: 878,364
  • Average time on page: 6 mins, 38 seconds (-1 seconds vs last month).
Screenshots from G. Analytics:
Analytics_May_2022.png
- As you can see on the chart, traffic went slightly up each week of May. The only exception is last week, when it dropped a bit with Memorial day weekend.

may2022_vs_may2021.png
- Year over year comparison. The relative growth continues to drop, now down to 39%. It was 49% in April. As I wrote many times though, I expected this, since not much has been published on the website in last 12 months, and most articles (especially from the first two content pushes) have already reached their full traffic potential. Plus of course other things are also going on, such as some competitors publishing content with a crazy pace :).


Earnings:

- Adthrive: $16,436 (+4% vs last month). It could have been better, but the RPM was rather disappointing in May, only $18.71, which is actually 33 cents lower than in April.

This certainly reflects the uncertainty in the world and the many problems the world economy faces. For example, last year the RPM grew by 41 cents from April to May. I wonder what will happen in June, because last year in June the RPM grew by almost $3 when compared to May. I do not think we will see something similar this year though. At least hope it won't drop :).

- Product sales: $4,238 ( -3% vs last month, gross sales, deduce approximately 7-8% PP fees to get real profit I can eventually transfer to my bank account. Out of it:
  • The BIG product (general one) generated $1,572 in revenue (compared to $1,557 last month, so virtually no difference).
  • The many small specialized eBooks generated $2,666 in revenue (compared to $2,806 last month). Sales of specialized products are still incredibly down when compared to the same period last year. For example last year in May we made over $5K from specialized eBook sales.

- Affiliate program: $77. Three commissions.

- Total earnings from the website in May 2022: $20,751 (+2% vs last month).

- Expenses: $39 (VPS).

- Profit: $20,712.

- Daily average: $669, slightly worse than last month actually, but still not too bad :).

- I didn't monitor the earnings on daily basis, so won't report on best & worst day of earnings this month. However, I am sure there wasn't any $1K+ day in May. The sales of DP were spread out relatively evenly, and the best day on Adthrive was $749. Hence the best day in May was likely somewhere around $950.

Adthrive screenshot:
adthrive_may_2022.png

Observations:


- May marked the month 24 since the start of this journey. Time flies, but in a way it also seems a long time ago to me...

Sometimes I wonder what has happened with some people who used to post here regularly early on, but I do not see them around anymore.

Maybe they quit IM, maybe they bought a private island, and maybe they struggle somewhere for a living, and once in a while remember this journey & the dreams that do or don't come true :).

Anyway, I'd like to use this opportunity to post some charts and perhaps compare year 1 and year 2. Technically the journey started in mid May 2020, but for the purpose of this report I will start with first full month, that means June 2020. So here we go:

1. Traffic growth from June 2020 to May 2022:

traffic_all_journey.png


2. Earnings by month in a second year of the journey:
earning by month 2nd jear on BHW.png
- The website made $233,003 since 1st June 2021 to 31st May 2022. For comparison, it made around $110K in the first year of the journey, so the earnings doubled.


3. Adthrive, last 24 months, earnings by month.
adthrive_last_24_months.png
- It feels almost unbelievable that just 24 months ago, we barely made $2K from ads. Fast forward and in March this year we came closely to $20K from ads.
The trend is more straightforward when compared to earnings from all monetization sources, which is caused by drastic drop of digital product sales in recent months.

For sure some of you considered me a lunatic when I was talking about a $30K month in May or June this year :D... But was this goal really out of the world? Let's do a bit of Math and see.

When we divide earnings from product sales by traffic in May 2021, we realize that each visit, in average, brought us $0.012 in terms of product sales (in May 2021). If this number stayed the same (and I actually thought it could get better due to improved sales funnels), we'd make $8,778 on product sales in May 2022.

And if the Adthrive RPM didn't go down from month to month but actually went up (which I really expected considering that I also added sticky out-stream player last fall, which improved RPM by 10% almost instantly), and the RPM wasn't $18.71 but let's say $23 (it was $20.18 in May 2021, when I haven't yet activated the out-stream player ad unit, so $23 is realistic in all means), we'd make over $20K from ads this month. And the $30K goal would be very close.

At the end of the day though, it makes no sense thinking what could have been, would have been, or even should have been. Either in IM or in life. Math and expectations is one thing, reality another :D.
Things are as they are in the world, and it has impact on everyone. My authority website is no exception, and I am very grateful for everything, regardless of whether or not I ever achieve this or other goal...

Let's see what year no. 3 will bring. I do not think income will be better than in year two, but I also do not expect it to drop in some major way.
So does this 'almost' passive income thing work or not, once you build it on a really solid foundation? I plan to continue updating the journey so we can all see :)


Plans for June 2022
:
June's already half over, and I really do not plan to do any work on this website, except of publishing the regular 4 new articles (to keep the frequency of 1 new article/week). I won't work on my side projects either, but I want to spend some time in Analytics & GSC for all projects, and do some analyzing and planning for moving forward.

That's it for today's update guys. Thank you for your support, and for following this looong journey that will soon reach 100 pages on BHW :). As always, any questions, do not hesitate to ask!
 
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