Bloggers August 1, 2020

20,000 Monthly Pageviews (7 months of Blogging)

Lim How Wei @notlhw

Hi everyone, this is my 7th-month journey of blogging.

I've been looking forward to sharing this for a long time. Indiehackers have been great so far, and I want to give as much value as possible to the community.

For newer bloggers, this article sums up what you can expect for your first 6-7 months of blogging.

How long it took me to get to 20k organic pageviews per month

As the title stated, it took me 7 months to get to 20,000 organic pageviews per month (no direct, referrals, social, mail, or display traffic sources).

This is strictly from organic search.

Here is the monthly traffic breakdown for the past 7 months (in pageviews):

Jan: 460
Feb: 793
Mar: 1,632
Apr: 3,367
May: 5,439
Jun: 7,914
Jul: 21,884 🔥 (present)

Looking at this breakdown, you might be wondering how I managed to go from 7,000 to 21,000 pageviews in one month.

This happened because I started a content-push in Jun to Jul. I haven't been writing consistently before that (huge mistake).

In addition, months 6 to 7 is where my articles started getting out of the URL-level sandbox and a couple of my articles started ranking in position 0 (snippet) on Google.

Unfortunately, most bloggers quit before hitting the 6-month mark.

Google takes a long time to trust newer sites, so it'll take a long time before you'll be able to see results. This has been proven over and over again—the Google Sandbox does exist.

Article breakdown

Moving on to my article breakdown, here are the total number of articles, words, and average words per article:

Total number of articles: 66
Word count: 102,750
Average words per article: 1,557

Here are the number of articles I published per month:

Jan: 6
Feb: 0
Mar: 6
Apr: 3
May: 7
Jun: 20
Jul: 23
Aug: 1

In Jan to May, I haven't been focusing much on content marketing because I was too busy promoting my site through other means.

I started watching tons of videos on YouTube and began to dive further into SEO and blogging. It wasn't until my first article started ranking on the first position of google did I realize the potential of it.

Swot Analysis

Here are the overall strengths and weaknesses of my site.

What I look forward to, and what I don't.

Strengths

  • Traffic is growing exponentially.
  • More than half of my articles are still in the URL-level sandbox.
  • The majority of my audience is from the US (higher RPMs).
  • The site is still in its early stage.

Weaknesses

  • High bounce rate.
  • Difficult to monetize.
  • Some of my articles aren't ranking in the top 100 on Google.*
  • Reliant on Google, and banned from Pinterest.

*Google has an indexing issue where URLs aren't correctly indexed (even though it's fully optimized), and some pages go in and out of the SERPs. Though Google claims that the issue is solved, a lot of people are still facing it.

Opportunities

  • Since the majority of my articles are under 3-month old, traffic is likely to shoot up in the next couple of months.
  • Many more keyword opportunities to rank for.
  • Might start a YouTube channel (cross-promote content).

Threats

  • Some articles that are written in Jan to May have yet to see traffic.
  • Articles aren't consistently ranking on the top 0 to 10 of Google (positionings fluctuate).
  • Close to 0 link building.

Final thoughts

Blogging is not dead—but changed. In the present, the conventional 'write whatever you want' style of blogging has evolved into informational content that people actually search for.

It takes a long time to see results in blogging, and there are lots of ups and downs.

I have to admit that this isn't easy for me. There are some days where I just don't feel like writing at all, and other days where I felt like this was a complete waste of time.

I hope this is of use to you, especially if you're looking to start SEO and content marketing (blogging), what you can expect, and how long it takes to see traffic.

Ultimately, if you trust your content and its keywords, you will be able to rank.

⚡️ P.S. If you liked this article, feel free to follow me on Twitter (I'll be sure to follow you back): https://twitter.com/notlhw. Might start sharing some SEO tips and tricks soon.

  1. 1

    This is awesome. Love it @notlhw. Great to see you making such good progress and having the patience to consistently grind out articles and reap the compounding benefits. Well done all round.

  2. 1

    Nice write up. Are you going after specific keyword with each post?

  3. 1

    Congrats 🥳 I'm excited to start my own blog now.

    1. 1

      Good luck!

  4. 1

    Congrats. And thanks for breaking it down for us.

    1. 1

      🙌

  5. 1

    Do you outsource writing or?

    1. 1

      Currently, I write all the articles myself :)

      1. 2

        I dig it. Added you on IG, you seem like a cool dude. I'm into fitness myself.

  6. 1

    Congrats, Lim! Totally agree that at a certain point, you have to go for volume and consistency. You seem to be doing great.

    Do you mind sharing the topic you're blogging about? Is it related to your SaaS product or something else? I'd be really curious to know if you're writing for your SaaS blog and how you decided which topics to focus on, and what types are resulting in customers. (Of course, to whatever degree of detail you feel comfortable sharing, I realize this could be competitive info)

    I've grown a blog pretty big before (130k monthly sessions, 90% via Google) but am struggling a bit with growing organic traffic to my SaaS. Part of that is definitely not writing enough, hence hiring some writers.

    1. 1

      Thanks!

      It's in the social media niche and most of the articles are how-tos and response posts.

      Unfortunately, most users bounce after finding the answer to their question. So, I'm still finding my way around 'driving customers' as a lot of the articles aren't converting that well.

      That's awesome, my goal is to hit 100k sessions by next year.

      1. 2

        Cool, thanks for sharing :) Good luck with it, seems like you have some great momentum!

  7. 1

    Very interesting to know about the insights on user grow on your site. Thanks for sharing. In your analysis, you mentioned about URL level sandbox. I thought search engines had mostly domain level sandbox effect? Is there any relationship between domain sandbox effect and URL level sandbox effect?

    1. 1

      Based on my experience, the 'domain-level sandbox' lasts for about 6 months, after that period, the 'URL-level sandbox' lasts for about 3.

  8. 1

    Really good practice insights and tips. I agree with you it take lots of efforts and consistency to start getting organic traffic. Few things I want to know, how old is your domain and what’s your website domain authority now and how much it improved in last few months

    1. 1

      Yes!

      The domain is 8 months old and its domain authority is 11 from Moz. I haven’t really done any link building so I don’t check the DA often.

  9. 1

    Enjoyed the read, hopefully, I can have this level of success too.

    I have an edtech business in Brazil in a niche that has a lot of organic traffic, some keywords have 80k/month volume, and there are lots of long-tail keywords with 1k/month volume.

    Also looking at Ahrefs, the overall difficulty is very low, like sub-10 on their metrics. Yet I'm not ranking at all.

    1st month I had 90 users
    2nd month 290
    3nd month(July) 185 (no idea why It's decreasing)

    I saw that some of my articles don't rank at all(they're indexed, but don't rank). Any idea what could It be?

    Thanks for the post, followed you on twitter.

    1. 2

      Thanks!

      If your articles are in the top 100 results on Google, there's a high chance that they'll rank higher in the future. But with the current Google's indexing issues, some articles might be stagnant on the SERPs.

      In the meantime, we have to hope that Google completely resolves its indexing issues.

  10. 1

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