Blog Traffic Report #1

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I first launched the blogs, I’ve been so caught up in the new job that time has flown by. Sticking true to what I planned originally, I only worked on the blogs on the weekend, which means I didn’t really have much time to promote them.

About half way through I realized I needed to set some kind of traffic goals to motivate myself, so I aimed for 100 sessions in the first month (an easy goal, but a goal non-the-less).

Read on to see how my blogs went in Month 1, and find out about the next two blogs I’m starting.

 

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Programs and Products I’m Using For The Blogs

 

Contains some affiliate links (I get a small commission if you purchase at no increased cost to you)

  • WordPress – all websites are built on WordPress. It’s easy enough to build your own site on WordPress with little expense if you’re willing to spend time watching tutorials.
  • Siteground Hosting – This is where I host my domains. If you have only one or two domains I would recommend Bluehost, which is where I hosted my original blog when I first started.
  • Crazy Domains – This is where I buy the majority of my domains from. I also have bought domains from Bluehost and Siteground. NOTE: I found some great deals on Go Daddy and 1&1 domains this month for two future sites at under $2 each. Keep an eye out for sales!
  • Tailwind – Pinterest Scheduling
  • Various affiliate companies including Amazon.
  • Theme Forest – Where the majority of my themes are bought from.
  • Excel – I’m obsessed with excel and use it for everything. Editorial Calenders, Tasks, Statistics etc
  • Get Response – This is my email marketing company of choice (a free alternative is mailchimp if you’re not planning to do automation campaigns just yet).

 


 

Blog Monthly Report Overview

Blog #1 (TMI) Blog #2

Travel

YT

Channel

1 month 105 V/ 194 PV 113 V / 237 PV 1k views
3 months
6 months
9 months
1 year

I love that I’ve launched two at a time – the competition lover in me is bursting with excitement. It’ll be interesting to see which blogs do well initially, and overall, as the rest are launched.

Again, I’m launching multiple blogs as a fun experiment. If you are starting a blog, stick to one, and yours will grow much faster than mine will. Don’t do what I’m doing in terms of quantity as you are best spending all your time on one blog in the first year or so.

 

General Goals & Plans

 

  1. I’ve decided to set aside 100 dollars of my pay a fortnight to invest on the blog. I’m torn right now between Facebook ads or hiring a writing to increase my output per week. I have done a course on Facebook ads and I’m pretty impressed, but I think I need to have something to sell (rather than affiliates) to make it more cost effective. Hence, I’m leaning towards hiring a writer to write the shell of some articles. I have templates for different article types so it would be easy to take someone on.I know I want to spend it on something that helps me reach my first big main goal: getting 2 sites into Mediavine within 12 months.
  2. Write a monetisation plan: Now that I know a little about Facebook ads I’m eager to start attempting them, but I want to wait until I can earn a bigger profit margin. That means deciding on what products I can sell, making them, and setting up a marketing plan.
  3. Improve Pinterest game: I got some really good ideas this month for Pinterest, and they make a lot of sense, so I want to try them out. Pinterest is what grew my original blog to 25,000 monthly visitors by month 6, so I definitely need to focus more on it for this blog. I don’t think I’m going to have the same success so soon, but I need to set a solid foundation.
  4. Note: It’s a little harder to do promotion while starting new blogs, as for some (crazy) reason I decided to launch each one with two months of content scheduled.

 

Site 1: Blogging Niche (Sep 2018)

This blog is chugging along. Not much to report here.

It had a bit of a boost from Flipboard early on – not a lot, but it made up 40% of the first month’s traffic.

 

  • Social Media: I’m assuming numbers are the same, as I haven’t done anything to grow them.
  • Traffic: Just over 100.
  • Income: Zilch
  • Blog Age: 1 month

 

Goals for Month 2:

  1. Promote the article I write in month 2 more thoroughly, and promote last months articles. This site is a little weird because I’m not sure if I should promote it until the blogs are a bit older or not. It’s annoying to explain in each article that my advice is based on a previous successful blog I had, not the current ones.
  2. Finish my article steps file for each article: I have a checklist of tasks to do in each article but I’ve left certain things for later. So I’d like to finish those tasks for each article I’ve already written. Some tasks include adding in internal links, call to actions, promotion of other channels etc.
  3. Get 100 shares per article: This sounds difficult in theory but should be easy with the help of Pinning threads.
  4. Start the accompanying Youtube channel: I have the channel set up but still need to add graphics, and film and edit some videos.
  5. Set up email list opt in: I’m thinking of something simple at first, either offering a post as an ePDF or two extra tips type thing. I also have quite a few organisational files (Promo tasks, editorial calender, statistics & goal file, that I find invaluable so I could maybe offer a template of one of those as an opt in. I’ll think of something a bit better once I have an email marketing plan.

Content plan: 

  • 1 monthly review
  • 1 helpful article monthly

Site 2: Travel Niche (Sep 2018)

 

I’m proud I was able to fix up a crazy 9-10 articles for this blog in 5 days for the launch. However, much like with this blog you’re reading, I didn’t really do much beyond writing the articles. In the next month I’m planning to up my promotion game.

Also I realized there’s not much point in keeping this blog secret, as it’s my main travel blog. However,  I’m going to wait until it has a bit more content and looks better – I’ll start naming it from month 3-6.

I also had a Facebook win – I was able to finally change the name of my old blog’s Facebook page. This is a little difficult to do when a page has over a thousand likes as Facebook doesn’t want to let you do it. The secret is to do it gradually! Add your new name to the old name (so both names are present), then a week or so later remove the old name.

 

With Instagram I have posted a few pictures this month, but nowhere near the daily posts I wanted. I have noticed regular commenters still commenting despite the name change.

However in the last week I’ve posted 4 times and one of my photos did really well, with an extra 300 likes than normal!

 

The coolest thing was that it was a photo I took post-breakup that did extra well. This means a lot to me, because in the past I always had to fight to get my photos put on the Instagram account, as I was told they weren’t good enough. And when I invested in filters to help my photography, this person took my filters away so I couldn’t use them. So it felt good to have a small victory.

Maybe that gives a little hint towards explaining why I threw away a profitable blog, as a few people have been confused as to why I did it.

 

  • Social Media: 38,919 – Wow, I’ve risen by one since last month.
  • Traffic: Just over a 100
  • Income: None
  • Blog Age: 1 month

 

Goals for Month 2:

  1. Use theme from old blog:I’m really not happy with the theme on this blog. I’ve been moving and updating articles from my old blog and the older one looks so much better. Now that I’m earning money from my day job I’m thinking of hiring a web designer to replicate the look.I have the theme (so it’s not built from scratch), but I found it impossible to update the theme myself. Most times when you buy a theme you can easily set it up the way you want to, but this one has me baffled (the theme on the old site).
  2. Instagram every second day: I think I’ll be more likely to stick to it if I work my way up to twice daily posting.
  3. 300 sessions a month: I’ve set myself a goal of 10,000 sessions by twelve months, ideally I’d like 25,000 but I want to set a reasonable goal. I’ve worked out a gradual increase of sessions I’d need each month to get there – wish me luck.
  4. 100 shares per article: As above.
  5. Affiliate links & internal / external links: As above.
  6. Start looking at influencer apps: I have signed up for a few through my old blog, but its time to start applying for jobs with this blog. With my old blog I didn’t do too many sponsored posts on Instagram, mostly just on the blog itself, so it’s a newish area for me. Luckily I’ve got a small, but decent following  (7k & 12k) on the accounts for this blog already, so I can start earlier than those building accounts from scratch.

Content plan: 

  • 2 x Weekly indepth, seo driven articles: I’ve upped the content to 2 posts a week, hoping to bring it up to 5 with the help of writers over the next few months.

 

 

Site 3: Travel Hybrid Niche

 (Oct 2018)

This is a less populated travel niche with two big competitors, but little else. It’s a hybrid site of sorts with decent crossover between travel and another niche. I plan to grow this website with primarily SEO and Pinterest, and monetize heavily with amazon affiliates, and eventually ads. I have a keyword related domain name, predominantly because I couldn’t think of anything better.

This is the second website that I’ll be hyper focusing on to get into Mediavine, alongside Blog #2.

 

I feel like this site will either do very well, or very poorly, due to the chosen niche. I also think it will take a little longer to establish itself, but then should grow quite quickly. The competitors in this niche have been ridiculously successful, likely due to little competition. From what I can see they’re both earning over 100k a year, traffic is in the low-mid 6 figures, rank well in both search and Pinterest, and earn most of their income through affiliates.

This niche is covered sparingly on a lot of travel blogs, but is never the main focus. I believe this is why the two sites have had such big success, as Google sees them as an authority on a wildly popular topic, and sees them as those authorities as it’s the sole focus of their blog. Hence, it directs more traffic their way.

 

I know a lot of people say to find a niche that has no competition but that’s rubbish. I think if there are highly successful people in that niche, it means you have a good chance of succeeding as well. Even in crowded niches like food blogging or travel, there are always new people becoming successful. It’s about being unique and trying to improve on their weaknesses.

I’m really proud of the articles I’ve written so far. I’ve turned a 300 word topic into 2000 words packed with value and extra, helpful information. It’s similar to the later articles written by the competing sites, but a bit better. I hope its enough to crack into the market. Luckily, if this blog turns out to be a dud, I can add these articles into my main travel blog.

 

  1. Social Media: 2,069 – not a focus
  2. Traffic: 0
  3. Income: 0

 

Goals for the first month:

  • Launch with articles for 2 months scheduled
  • Start getting traffic from Pinterest
  • Move over articles from old blog that suit this niche
  • Start an Instagram: I’ve gone back and forth over this but I think it would help get the name out there and build a community.

Content plan:

  • Atleast one article a week. I’m keen to do more here in the push for Mediavine, however, in order to compete with the authority niches in this site I need my articles to be better than theirs. These articles are a little time consuming, but made much easier with the use of my article templates. Seriously, make a template for your articles, it will change your life.
  • Pre write month 3’s content with 2 articles a week. I’ve written the first two months worth of content, and am starting on month three now.
  • Stick to article template written for the main articles on this site.

 

 

Site 4: Travel Niche Blog (Oct 2018)

This site focuses on a less targeted niche of travel, and is a personal passion of mine. Traffic plan is primarily through SEO & Pinterest, monetization will be through travel company affiliates and later on, hopefully brand deals / sponsorships.

I think this blog could do well if I target the right keywords and attract the right audience, as it focuses on a particular type of travel that isn’t targeted heavily by other bloggers. There is competition, but as most new bloggers are still trying to be an “everything blog”, there’s not enough competition to make it too difficult to establish myself as an authority figure in this niche.

With this blog I can see it being less profitable than the others, but more beneficial in means of partnerships, authority and sponsored travel if I can get it to a certain level. I also think it’s a good niche to grab while there is less competition. It’s also a niche that I can grow old with, as I think most of the travelers who are focused on it would be older (40+). Finally, a reason to be excited to approach my thirties and forties.

  1. Social Media: 15,777
  2. Traffic: 0
  3. Income: 0

 

Goals  for the first month:

  • Write and schedule the two months of articles
  • Move over articles from old blog that suit this niche
  • Start getting traffic from Pinterest

 

Content Plan:

  • One article a fortnight. I’d love to write more but I have to prioritize my time.

 

 

Key Takeaways From This Month

  1. Organizing time will get more difficult as I launch more blogs. I’ve decided to only write on the weekend for the blogs so far, so I learn to work fast. This way when I reach the point I run out of time, I can open all the free space available in the week day afternoons. I’m hoping this tactic will increase my productivity. I’d say I’m 50% productive currently.
  2. When I was blogging full time I was a time waster, I honestly feel like I get the same amount of work done over two days (at 50% productivity) that I was with 7 full days. I can watch 7 episodes of a forty minute program over the weekend and still write more articles. Better yet, these articles are atleast double the quality. I would never feel the motivation to write and would get caught up in useless tasks while doing it full time. Either that or I’d put off work knowing I had more time. This was most likely due to going through a break up and having all my energy zapped.
  3. It’s freeing never having the subject of being a blogger come up. If someone asks me what my job is now, I obviously can’t say blogging, and instead talk about my day job. While I must admit it was pretty cool over those 7 months to tell others I was a full time blogger, it always left me feeling a way I can’t really put into words. I always felt like a phony, and always followed with the fact that I could live off my earnings in Asia, but not the west.
  4. I feel like I definitely made the right choice to close my old blog. Majority of my earnings weren’t passive anyway so it took up a bit of time, also the name would always make me cringe. Still, I feel like travel blog names are quite cringy in general.
  5. I’m not telling any of my co-workers that I have a blog. The cringe level is as strong as it was back when I first started my original blog. In fact, I don’t think I’ll tell really anyone the name of my new blog, I’ve told a few people I started a new one but I’d love to have a bit of privacy until I can make some decent money. I am making a conscious effort to not talk about blogging in general, I’d love to surprise people out of the blue one day once my main blog is half-successful. Like, surprise I did it again!

 

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