Bloggers November 2, 2020

70,000 Monthly Pageviews (10 Months of Blogging)

Lim How Wei @notlhw

Previous update: Month 7

It's been 3 months since I posted my last update, I've been really busy with writing content.

A lot has happened in the last 3 months (mainly good things), but my routine is pretty much the same.

I'm going to break this case study into three sections: Traffic, Articles, and Revenue.

Traffic

Organic pageviews:
Jan: 460
Feb: 793
Mar: 1,632
Apr: 3,367
May: 5,439
Jun: 7,914
Jul: 21,884
Aug: 36,974
Sep: 43,613
Oct: 72,849

Traffic has been growing exponentially month over month which is the kind of growth curve that bloggers would like to see.

However, one of my articles went semi-viral in Oct which explains the huge jump in traffic.

If I deducted the traffic that contributed to it, Oct would be around 68k pageviews.

The one thing that I'm frustrated about is Google's indexing issues.

Google removed its "Request Indexing" feature about 3 weeks ago to make some infrastructure changes.

Because of this, I can’t force index any of my newer posts.

Indexing is still painfully slow despite my site being out of the sandbox, it takes a week+ for my new articles to show up in the SERPs which hinders my traffic potential.

Articles

Jan: 6
Feb: 0
Mar: 6
Apr: 3
May: 7
Jun: 20
Jul: 23
Aug: 22
Sep: 22
Oct: 25

Total number of articles: 135
Word count: 209,746
Average words per article: 1,554

I began taking the blog seriously as of Jun and I set a goal of publishing one article every day.

The results definitely paid off as Jul-Oct soared in traffic.

In Oct, I focused on publishing content with a lower word count (around 1,200 to 1,400 words).

There are two reasons for that.

Firstly, I'll be able to publish content at a faster rate (which explains the 25 articles in Oct).

Secondly, it's less risky because if you were to publish a 3,000-word article, it's a huge waste of time if it doesn't take off.

Revenue

...
MRR (In USD)
Aug: $200
Sep: $354
Oct: $463

I started the site with the hope to monetize it purely with display advertising.

This is mainly because I'm focusing on informational content, and I'm a huge fan of writing them.

Moreover, Amazon cut their commissions by half in April which makes more sense to go to the display advertising route.

At my traffic level, I should be making $1k+ per month; which might seem disappointing for where I’m at.

However, I'm currently with Ezoic, and EPMVs are considerably low for my niche (under $8).

Other niches get around a $15 to $30+ EPMV/RPM, especially since it's the end of the year where ad rates are at its peak.

That being said, it's still 10x more than what AdSense pays.

It's also worth noting that I'm living in Asia, so USD is worth 1.36 more.

In addition, the site is profitable months ago and expenses are kept to a minimum (I'm only paying for hosting).

I'm planning to apply to Adthrive (another Ad Network) once I hit 100k+ pageviews, which will (hopefully) boost my RPM to a substantial level.

For now, everything is smooth-sailing as long as Google doesn't screw me.

Final thoughts

And there you have it—10th month of blogging & my mini-rant on Google.

I'd say that the hardest thing about publishing is consistency.

Once you're able to realize that and start taking action, the results will follow.

I'm currently in the planning stage of a concise e-book outlining the process of how I grew my blog.

But for now, you can find me on Twitter @notlhw, I'm sharing 3-4 actionable SEO tips per week through first-hand experience.

  1. 5

    One thing I see more often is that once people start publishing more often (>15 posts/month) their traffic rates start to grow exponentially.

    I'm quite curious about the reason behind this. Some theories;

    • Is the content getting better?
    • Does google favour parties publishing more often?
    • Is it a game of change, thus creating a bigger change of scoring viral articles?
    • Does traffic attract traffic?

    With the numbers shared I have created a few charts, and interestingly, even the average number of visitors per article keeps on climbing throughout the months, starting at 76 visitors/article/month in the beginning to 543 visitors/article/month in the end.

    Curious phenomena!

    1. 2

      I realised that as I write more, my keyword research and content naturally gets better as well.

      Back in the days you could publish an article and stuff it with keywords for it to rank #1 on Google.

      In the present, time (and hundreds of other factors) plays a huge role in ranking—I like to call this the URL-level sandbox.

      For example, if you were publish a lot of quality content in Jan, you’ll see traffic flowing in for these articles 2 to 3 months later.

      So the more quality articles you publish, the larger the exponential growth.

  2. 2

    That's a very inspiring post. Makes it seem straightforward to see that the number one factor for you was consistency (beyond quality of course). Thanks!

  3. 2

    Thank you for sharing these details. What platform you're using for blogging?

    1. 1

      I’m using WordPress :)

  4. 2

    Thanks for the detailed breakdown and revenue numbers. Excellent post. Interested to know if you had known what you know now, how quickly do you think you could reached those revenue figures by. Your actionable tips on Twitter are also great thanks for sharing.

    1. 3

      That's a great question. I would like to think that I'd hit those revenue figures by month 6 if I applied what I've learned to a new site.

      But again, there are so many factors involved like luck.

      Some articles that I expected to perform really well ended up really badly while others (that I spent little time on) performed beyond my expectations.

  5. 1

    How did you achieved this traffic. Is it only via SEO or any promotion technique you used? Could you share. I would love to hear. Thanks

    1. 1

      Over 90% SEO (from Google Search). I tweet a lot of tips on my Twitter: https://twitter.com/notlhw!

  6. 1

    This is fantastic! Thank you. And congratulations on the growth and the numbers.

    I'm currently building a small community for African entrepreneurs ( www.notebook.red ) and I'd like to monetize it through display ads and sponsorships, and as we build our content, other platforms like YouTube, etc.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  7. 1

    Awesome post, thanks so much for sharing.

    Does your traffic come from you promoting it, or purely through SEO? If I posted daily, and promoted each blog on twitter, I imagine my twitter audience would maybe get tired of me constantly promoting myself. maybe I’m wrong.

    Very impressive and inspiring. I’m really impressed you can churn out posts that fast. It takes me hours and hours for a single post.

    1. 1

      I’m also curious how you have so many ideas to write a new post everyday. Also interested in your system for managing and queuing posts.

      1. 2
        1. I used to promote my posts every now and then, but I stopped because it's very time-consuming. Now I focus purely on SEO.

        2. I'd recommend refraining from tweeting blog posts unless they're genuinely helpful to your audience.

        3. It used to take me really long to write a post, but I got faster as I wrote more. It's partly because I got better at structuring them.

        4. Picking the right niche is important for this one. If you're writing in a niche that you have some domain expertise in, it's much easier to find underserved topics to write about.

        5. I don't queue posts—as soon as I finished writing an article I'll publish it!

  8. 1

    Hi Lim,

    First of all Congrats on achieving such a feat at a short period of time and secondly, thanks so much for sharing it with us. Stories like your really motivates us and keeps us going. Your posting run-rate and the average word count per article really impressive, I guess you love writing. Thanks again for sharing your insights.

  9. 1

    Brilliant read, i've been wanting to start this soon but the paid SEO tools and its so complex throws me off. Did you just use keyword planner and do you sell things / affiliate product through your links?

    1. 1

      Yes, I only use Google's keyword planner, there's really no need to pay for any SEO tools.

      Also, I currently don't have any affiliate links.

      1. 1

        Wow thats amazing, so how are you making money is it through ads? and are you new to blogging?

        May i also ask more about your blog please?

        Thanks

  10. 1

    Hi Lim, impressive numbers! Kudos on your consistency.

  11. 1

    Did you write all of these blogs by yourself? How do you generate this much content yourself? That's something I'd want to know because I've faced this challenge a lot of the time to keep up with blogging.

    1. 1

      Yes, I write all the content myself :)

      I'd say that the hardest thing about publishing is consistency.

      ^ It's definitely a challenge to write (a lot). One thing that helped me overcome this is that I'm blogging on a niche that I'm passionate about, so:

      1. I don't feel like it's a chore.
      2. I'm better at finding topics to write about.
  12. 1

    Amazing!

    Thanks for sharing this, with anything nowadays beyond content itself distribution also has a big play to the game

    I'd love to learn how/where you've been distributing your content, or is it pretty much just pushing it out and let the google bots figure you out?

    Thank you!

    1. 1

      The second point!

      The vast majority of my traffic is from Google (Organic).

      I don’t like the idea of publishing and promoting because it’s not going to be sustainable in the long run.

      It’s best to go all in on SEO right from the start.

      However, social sharing can quicken the indexing process, so that’s one thing to consider.

  13. 1

    Cool summary. So did you try Adsense and it paid 10x less?

      1. 1

        Hmm, strange. With that much of visitors, I'm earning about $450 from Adsense. But surely its niche dependant. Can you send your blog URL?

  14. 1

    Respect.

    This and more bloggers out there amaze me. I'm six months into writing (part time). I don't monetize and am currently 30 posts in.

    I get ~100 visits a month.

    My SEO is absolutely terrible and I try to be active on twitter.
    What would you recommend doing for marketing if it were not for search indexing.

    I don't care about monetization at the moment and am still happy to receive feedbacks, but with numbers like that. I'd really like to grow visitors that's it.

    https://Knowledgeday.in < Incase you'd like to check

    1. 3

      I never really focused on promotion (via social media, forums, etc.) because it isn't sustainable.

      SEO is crucial if you want to grow your traffic. I started learning it from Income School on YouTube (it's great for beginners!).

      1. 1

        Thanks for the pointer

  15. 1

    Any tips on how to get first readers? Last weekend I had an idea to start a newsletter about react.js. I've pushed a simple landing page with a signup form, and posted it on Product Hunt.
    I was able to get 16 emails in a couple of hours, although I'm not even sure those are real people, lol
    Any advice on how to start building audience?

    https://www.producthunt.com/posts/discoverhooks-org

    1. 1

      Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with growing newsletters so I can’t give you any advice on that 😅

      But if you want to build an audience fast (e.g. Instagram), you can join follow for follow communities.

      Reddit has some good ones: r/Instagram, r/Followback, r/FollowForFollow.

      1. 1

        Yeah, but what quality it would give? Those are gonna be just numbers, with exceptionally low conversion eventually. WDYT?

        1. 3

          I’ve been using these communities for more than 3 years and I manage one outside of Reddit.

          I also grew my Twitter from nothing using the “Follow each other” threads on Indiehackers.

          For Reddit communities, there are (surprisingly) a lot of users (especially the ones from r/Instagram) who give consistent engagement. There are also others who don’t.

          So, it’s important to only follow those who are in the same niche as you.

          Specifying your niche is also important so that you only target the people that are interested in your content. This will increase your engagement rate.

          Conversion rates are low for the most part, but this is typical for social media platforms.

          I think the short/long-term goal is to establish trust which would naturally lead to some conversions.

  16. 1

    Another question what SEO tools are out there that you think are worthwhile

    1. 2

      The Google Keyword Planner is sufficient enough for me and I’ve been using it since the beginning.

      I haven’t paid for any SEO tools so far :)

  17. 1

    Really appreciate how thorough this was, thanks!

  18. 1

    Hey Lim! Excellent write up.

    Wanted to see if you can help me here.

    I manage my company's blog and every month I have written 3-4 articles <1000 words.
    We are not getting the traffic we want. Do you think it's because of low number of articles or small size of them?

    The blog was started to get SEO traffic for our Sales Based SaaS, targeted towards Salespeople, Marketer, and Founders.

    1. 1

      Are your articles ranking well on Google?

      If they aren’t (even after a few months), then it’s either because the keyword you’re targeting is too high in competition, or it isn’t structured well enough.

      If an article is ranking but gets very little traffic, it might have a very low search volume on Google.

      The most important thing to carry out is keyword research (based on the factors above) prior to writing an article.

      Hope this helps :)

  19. 1

    Respect. With these kinds of numbers you could create a course/ebook on blogging and I expect people would be interested.

  20. 1

    Great post.
    very inspiring to see your results and work process.
    I'm creating our comapny's blog and really wish for this numbers.
    Thank you for sharing

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