UPDATE #6 (Jan-Feb 2021)
Yup, I missed the January update. I got busy with a few other main projects and couldn’t write here. So, let’s check Jan & Feb progress together.
I wrote only 3 new content pieces in January and couldn’t publish anything in February. Despite my laziness, the traffic is growing at a good pace. During January-February period, I saw 47% increase compared to previous two months.
February also mark 6 months of starting this blog so below is a graph for overall progress so far. As you can see, the traffic is increasing at a good rate which is pretty common with SEO driven traffic. It takes 6 – 8 months for a new content to get google’s trust and start ranking for certain keywords.
NEW CONTENT: For now, I have stopped producing new content. Not because of my laziness (well partly maybe?) but I started another content site about camping (https://trucampers.com) and currently, I am focusing on it. On FTD, I have published 19 blogs so far and once I publish 50 blogs on TruCampers, I will comeback to this and start writing again. For TruCampers, I am not writing myself rather, I have outsourced all the content creation to people who have more experience with camping than me.
EARNINGS: Haven’t seen any noticeable difference in earnings so far despite an increase in search traffic. But I am not very concerned with the earnings for now. If you have traffic, you will ultimately earn so the focus is on traffic. I made around $10 during Jan-Feb so it’s still at $5 per month.
PINTEREST: Pinterest is still a good source of traffic but I noticed two things after leveraging it for 6 months. First of all, it requires new content regularly but since I am not currently producing new content, I don’t really have anything to post on Pinterest. Secondly, on multiple occasions, I have noticed that my own pins are outranking my main website content which is not really good. It essentially means I am sending my potential visitor to Pinterest instead of my own website. Although, this can be solved by avoiding something called keyword cannibalization in SEO (two pages competing for the same keyword) it seems like a lot of effort for now. So, I have stopped Pinterest for now as well but the old pins are still bringing in traffic.
That was a short update for Jan-Feb. See you all with March update and don’t forget to check out https://trucampers.com for all the good stuff about camping in the wilderness.
UPDATE # 5 (DECEMBER 2020)
December was not a good month for many bloggers. On December 3, Google announced update to its core algorithm which affected a lot of sites in SERPs. Some went up, some went down.
Core update is basically a change to how google algorithm view and rank pages against certain search queries. Whenever a core updated is rolled out, SEO world go crazy for a month till the dust settle down.
Fortunately, for FTD, the dip in ranking was only temporary. Also, since it’s a brand new site, any change in ranking doesn’t effect any revenue (since I don’t have any meaningful revenue yet). Below is the traffic chart for December.
See the gradual dip in traffic after December 3? That was the effect of core update. The traffic slowly recovered after Dec 9 and continued to improve throughout the month.
Despite core update, I saw 12% increase in Pageviews compared to last month.
EARNINGS: Revenue wise, I made a little over 8 bucks from Amazon affiliates which is good for a 4 month old site. In December, I signed up for a few certification courses as an affiliate and have already published a good piece of content to grab those big commissions.
PUBLISHING: This month I couldn’t publish much. Just managed to write one new article but it needed a good amount of research so it took time. Due to some other business engagements, I couldn’t give it enough attention but I am trying to make up for it during January so, fingers crossed.
PINTEREST: Pinterest is doing great as usual sending valuable traffic. I am going to ramp up the posting frequency via tailwind this month and focus more on viral-able (if that is even a term) pin ideas for existing articles.
NEW SITE: FTD was a test case to see if I like content business and after 4 months, I am pretty sure I do. So, I am going to start a new content site in outdoor adventure niche. More on this next month as nothing has materialized yet.
That’s it for December. If you want to start your own blog site and have any specific question, you can always reach out to me on Twitter handle @ahmednabik
UPDATE # 4 (NOVEMBER 2020)
November went pretty great. I learned a lot about the process of creating good quality content, mainly from Income School guys. I am enjoying the whole process. In fact, I just bought a domain name for a new site that I will be developing along with this one (more on this next month).
Coming back to November update at FTD…
Traffic: Traffic started picking up by the end of October and grew to around 50 Pageviews per day during November. Considering that the oldest content is just 2-3 months old, this is pretty good. Compared to last month, the traffic grew by 493%, and the site got a total of 1357 Pageviews.
Revenue: Interestingly, I made my first cheque from Amazon. It’s just $4.47, but the excitement of the first dollar from any new venture is always great. It cements your belief in the process. The site will make hundreds of dollars per month after a year from now, but the first paycheque’s excitement is always there.
Apart from Amazon associates, I will be writing about a few good pilot training courses for commercial flying. A good amount of affiliate commission will come from there as well.
New Posts: I published 5 new articles and wrote 11,000 new words. I was planning to write more, but things were pretty busy at Aurochs due to Black Friday & Cyber Monday, and I had to spend a lot of time working with marketing to push out new campaigns and take care of daily operations.
Backlinks: No new backlinks. I am waiting a few months to see if the organic links are coming in or not. If they don’t, I might start manual outreach & guest-posting if necessary.
Pinterest: Pinterest is doing great and has already started pushing some good traffic towards the site. I hardly spend an hour a week to schedule new pins for the next 7 days and forget it. Crazy how automation makes your life easy. After Google, Pinterest is the core of my marketing. Facebook and Twitter are there just for social presence and won’t drive any meaningful traffic.
Will be back in January with more progress report. If you want to start your own niche site and have any specific question, you can always reach out to me on Twitter handle @ahmednabik
UPDATE # 3 (OCTOBER 2020)
Things are getting exciting as I further understand the intricacies of SEO. This is turning out to be an interesting game where you sort of ‘guess’ the rules and see if you were right. I have been reading and watching a lot of SEO content over the past few weeks and to be honest, I have never enjoyed any other form of digital marketing that much (I have been studying and applying digital marketing since 2015).
Coming to the progress update, I saw some unexpected traction during the first week of October which I am going to discuss below.
Publishing: During October, I wrote 10,000+ words spread across 5 articles. During this month, I learned a few basics about good SEO content which kind of changed my perspective and I am not focusing more on the quality of the content than before. We have a new product launch on Amazon this month due to which I couldn’t push more articles but I think 5 good articles a month isn’t so bad when you are the only writer. Hopefully, this will change once I have a few writers on board.
Backlinking: No new backlinks acquired this month but to be honest, I didn’t make any effort as well. My entire focus was on publishing so the backlinking got neglected. Also, I learned that once I have 30+ high-quality posts published and ranked in lower SERPs, the organic backlinks will kick in and I think that’s a more sustainable way of growing the DA rather than outreach and guest posting. Let’s see how it goes from here.
Traffic: I saw an unexpected traffic growth at the start of October because a few of my new articles got ranked. I said ‘unexpected’ because it normally takes 6 months for articles to get into the top 100 positions. Maybe my Keyword research was very on point or maybe the quality of content worked but whatever it is, the traffic is here 4 months too early. It’s small but it’s growing (see my GA screenshot below)
See the little uptick at the end of October? That’s from one of my posts that secured a search featured snippet for its main keyword. In October, I received 325 pageviews which is a 21% increase from the previous month.
Starting early October, Google is facing an indexing issue where new articles are not getting crawled as often so most of the articles i wrote during October are still not indexed but that’s something I can’t influence. So, no worries. I am just going to focus on writing more posts and Google will pull itself together eventually.
Pinterest: I saw huge growth on my pins this month as well (see the below overview). I have automated the pinning using Tailwind which saved me a ton of time compared to manual pinning. I am thinking of hiring someone off Fiverr to make around 500 pins, schedule them, and forget about them for a few months at least. This is a huge social cum search traffic source I capture this correctly.
Monetization: I did register for Amazon Associates program and monetized all the links in my old and new posts after seeing an early sign of traffic. If the traffic growth continues, I might see my first affiliate check during November. The first dollar from a new venture is always exciting. Later on, when the money grows, the excitement is not there anymore for some reason. So, fingers crossed 🙂
UPDATE # 2 (SEPTEMBER 2020)
During September, I fixed the overall layout of the website, including native pages, and set up the theme templates to make it more presentable and readable.
Publishing: My target was to publish 20 articles in September, but I only managed to publish six articles, and three other articles are in progress. For October, I will surely pick up some pace and hopefully hit the target.
Backlinking: BL building without quality content is a tough job, so during the first month, I only managed to build a few social links and one DA90 do-follow link from a big site. Once I publish some pillar content like buying guides or flight checklist, I will then reach out to other content owners to do some quality link building.
Hiring: Interviewed and tested a few content writers but haven’t found someone I am fully satisfied with so far. My previous hiring experience in other businesses is that it takes a long time to find the right people, but once you find them, it’s totally worth the effort. Good employees always make life easy for you. That’s why I am not in a hurry to sign up the first person I see
Traffic: On the traffic front, I am not expecting much during the first six months. The site is still in Google Sandbox and has the lowest possible Authority (DA1) right now. But still, I managed to get some clicks mostly via social media distribution. This does not include clicks from my own browser as I have filtered my IP in the GA view.
Social Media Profiles: During the first month, I created social profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Reddit. I am very optimistic about Pinterest since its a great source of organic traffic, but I have yet to verify it for this particular niche. I have automated Pinterest using tailwind, and after I publish a post, I create a few related pins and schedule them inside tailwind, and it takes care of the rest. It usually takes 4 – 6 weeks for the pins to rank inside Pinterest, so looking forward to some Pinterest clicks as well.
Monetization: It’s a bit early to talk about earnings as the site is brand new with little traffic. One I reach 1000+ hits per month, I will apply some monetization techniques, most probably through affiliate sponsorship.
That’s all for now. See you in November to talk about some more progress.
UPDATE # 1: SITE IS LIVE
[28 August 2020]
In July 2020, out of the boredom of eternal quarantine, I decided to start a product review site where I can write about something that I am already passionate about and build an online community of likeminded people around it. As a digital nomad, I love talking to people I have only met online (mostly on twitter). Some of the best people I know are those I have never met in real life (maybe someday), so I thought it would be fun doing this at scale.
I tweeted about starting a product review site one evening, and then the idea got buried under so many other side projects (even my side projects have side projects lol). In August, I took two weeks off work to visit my ancestral home in Chitral. Cut off from the internet, I started thinking about the website again.
The question was simple but tough to answer. What product or topic am I already passionate about? There were so many things that I wanted to write about, but deciding which one to go with was quite tricky.
Back in Engineering school, I was very passionate about building Unmanned aircraft (UAVs or Drones). I was very good at making them but not that great at flying them, so most of my models would end up crashing into trees. I also participated in several competitions, including one organized by the Ameican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in Tucson, Arizona, in April 2014. We didn’t win, but the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Flying part was pretty awesome.
Anyway, back to the story.
I decided to write about the world of drones. Since 2014, the technology has evolved so much that you can find a great multirotor drone with good flight time and a great camera that you can control right from your smartphone. It’s like you have an extra eye in the sky (especially if you are using FPV goggles). I was already passionate about the product, knew everything about the technology, and had built them myself a few years back, so it was a perfect fit.
I bought a domain name that was a good fit (Fly That Drone), designed the website, did some basic branding, and it went live yesterday (27 August 2020) with just one article and tons of broken internal links and grammatical mistakes (going to fix them in coming days)
I will be updating this project page with monthly details about my progress with the site. Some major activities that I have planned for September are:
- Writing and publishing 20 articles.
- Getting at least four backlinks from DA20+ sites, hopefully.
- Creating an outline for my weekly newsletter.
- Finding 1 or 2 great writers with existing knowledge about the topic and outsourcing all future writings (I will be only editing final copies before publishing)
On this project page, I will be sharing my progress in terms of published articles, secured backlinks, DA improvements, and, most importantly, the SEO traffic (although it will take 6 – 8 months to see some). At some point, I will be monetizing the site via different affiliate programs so that I can fund the site from its earnings and also make some good side profit.
If you have any questions or suggestions about this project, you can send me an e-mail at email@example.com or reach out to me on twitter @ahmednabik
See you next month 😉