Hey, it is me Shalin, and today I would be sharing with you, my journey on a website that has reached a Month-On-Month (MoM) Revenue of $1100 (approx Rs. 73,000/- a month) in a span of 9 months. I will be sharing with you the following:
- How it started and How you too can do it!
- What I did along the way to start earning those $
- What Worked and What could have I done better
However, I would also like to share more on some of the detailed insights, insider tips and secrets which I want others to benefit from. For the same, I am offering a FREE 4 Week Email course for anyone who is SERIOUS – By serious I mean absolutely serious about it and wants to build their blogs and grow them from a long term point-of-view.
Towards the end of this blog post, there is simple signup form for this FREE Email Course in which I will be sharing a more detailed, Step-by-Step Guide of this journey and my secret sauce with you.
My Journey from $0 to $1100 MoM revenue from Blogging in 9 months:
I build high traffic websites and as you know already by now, I am a full-time, professional blogger. But here is the thing, I love experimenting. I have this nagging thing in me which keeps kicking me from inside to keep pushing myself and trying new things.
In the online world things keep changing constantly and I like to stay updated with that and also understand newer and faster ways to grow my websites, build traffic and generate good flow of revenues.
Somewhere in March 2015, I decided to start a new project to experiment on a few things I had in mind. It was also a playground for me, to test whatever I had learned over the years and to better it.
So Here is How My New Blog Experiment Started:
I decided to pick a niche wherein there was a a genuine lack of information and knowledge online and people are actually looking for help.
At the same time I wanted to pick a niche which fulfilled the following criteria:
- Should be something that doesn’t require fresh content everyday.
Typically new blogs do need newer content on a regular basis, so this was something I wanted to avoid.
- Should be something that can sustain long term and keep me interested.
- Had to be a portal which had evergreen content, meaning the content I write today should be able to get me traffic even 2-3 years down the line
- Minimum amount of time, money and efforts required, so I can get high Return on Investment (RoI)
- More importantly, I should be a project for me to test newer SEO techniques, Growth strategies and be a playground on which I could not only experiment with what I learn, but also be able to build something which has a long term revenue generating potential.
- I wanted to start getting $1000 a month in a year’s time.
Something for you to note: The above criteria is also something you can follow and look for when starting a blog. You can ever refer to the tips over here to ensure your blog doesn’t fail.
Time to Experiment – ‘Social and Topic First Approach:
With the above criteria in my mind I froze upon a niche I wanted my website to target. This time however, I took the approach of Social and Topic First (I like to call it SoToF).
What is this SoToF Approach to Building Traffic:
Typically any blogger and even what I used to do, is pick a niche, start a blog or a website, build content and go through the regular process of SEO, content marketing and Social Media promotions etc.
But this time, I really wanted to take the route taken by a few other popular bloggers (shared in the 4 Week Email Course), who built a Facebook and Social Media fanbase and then used that to get traffic to the website. Also I wanted it to be Topics over Keywords model to drive me blog.
Before all that I needed to have something to publish on my Social Media Pages! Obviously people wouldn’t come to my Facebook or other pages and follow it for no reason. They need to find something useful, something of interest.
Using tools like Google Keyword Planner, BuzzSumo, SEM Rush, SimilarWeb (I will share how to use them to generate engaging content ideas in the 4 Week Email Course) I shortlisted topics that people would be searching for based in my niche.
So when my Facebook and other Social Media pages were ready and I started to promote it like crazy. I started posting small snippets of information on the kind of topics people searched for. I was OK even if I had a few 100 fans to start with. The whole idea was to generate engagement for the page.
Getting to the Blogging Part now:
Once I had a list of topics and my Social Page was ready, I was simultaneously busy making my new website battle-ready.
Here is what was needed:
- Domain of my Choice
- One Awesome Web Hosting
- An expense of $3.95 (approx Rs. 280/-) a month
Once I did that (got the domain FREE with my Web-Hosting Plan at just $3.95 a month) I had a site ready in like 5 minutes.
Something for you to note: A good web host + WordPress (I use it and love it) = FREE Domain and Awesome website or blog
The Real Deal – Time for My Blog to get into Action:
As mentioned above, I had a list of topics and now was the time to get my SEO part right. I did not go after keyword which had high traffic and seemed very lucrative. I wanted to rank faster, get high traffic sooner.
I took the LTK of LTK approach. It means that I didn’t even go after Long Tail Keywords, I got from the Primary keywords for the topics in my niche. I got LTKs out of those LTKs and made a list of all possible Topics vis-a-vis the LTKs I shortlisted.
Reasoning behind going after LTKs:
Generally if you were to go after the main, high traffic keywords, you will have stiff competition as believe me, there is always someone better out there with their blog or website. In my case as I targeted a niche which had very little information available on, still there were some high authority sites like Wikipedia and few others ranking for it (there is always a Wiki page, isn’t it 🙂 ).
So I did not want to go after high traffic keywords, as those would have taken time to show any impact. LTKs on the other hand have relatively lower searches, but the chances are because it has lower searches, it also has lower competition and thus chances of ranking are faster. And here I was going after LTKs of LTKs, so had little competition and decent amount of searches.
One thing you would noticed too, people don’t always like searching for exact terms, it is always a bit long form search and Search Engines relate that to the main keywords and gives results. Now if Search Engines were find content for precisely those kind of keywords, obviously they would rank.
Something for you: Never ever compromise on Content Quality or the Authenticity of information. Right Niche, Right SEO strategy and Good Content is the Ultimate Recipe to blogging success. Never forget that.
Time to Get the Content on my Site:
Remember I said I did not want to write everyday. That was the reason I froze upon the list of possible topics first and then started off writing content and publishing them in my initial few days of starting the blog.
Once my posts were published on my site, I used to promote them on my Social Media pages. I used Buffer for to schedule my posts to automatically publish on my Social Pages. This was done to drive traffic from my already engaged audience on Social Media to read content on my site.
Time to test the Impact of SoToF Approach:
Thanks to the SoToF approach, my gut feel and experiment seemed to be hitting the right chords. The very first active month – April 2015, brought me 1,000 plus users on my new blog with over 3,000 pageviews. Not much, but not bad either.
And as Expected, the major sources of traffic were Organic – Meaning People coming through searches and Social – See the snapshot below:
Note: I did not bother with the earning and monetization just yet, as it was early days for my blog and I had to focus on building traffic first.
Something for you: Always focus on the content quality and how to grow traffic and not on the money. Money will come if the first two are in place.
The primary source of revenue, I had planned for my blog was Advertisements. However, I did not want to place ads on my new blog from the very start. As I said above I was more focused in building traffic -faster and sustaining it.
However, if you wish you can start much sooner to monetize your blog. Some Ad networks do not appreciate you placing their ads before 6 months, but there are other which do not have such limitation. I will be sharing that in the 4 Week Email Course.
Finally the Time for Some Revenues:
The next 4 months, I was building traffic and by July 31st, 2015 my new blog was getting over 79,000 unique visitors a month and a pageviews getting close to 200,000 / month.
This was was a time I heaved a sigh of relief, knowing my experiment was going as planned.
But the main test was revenues:
Seeing the above numbers I felt this was a good time to generate revenues. As I said before, I wanted the primary source of income for now be advertisements.
So I placed the Ads and viola, in the first month – August, 2015 it generated over $350.
Income Reports for the Month of Aug, 2015
|Date||Approx. Earnings in $|
Time to Reach the Goal – Earning over a $1000 a Month, from my new Blog:
As on the day of writing this blog post, I have achieved the target I had set for myself and can safely conclude that the experiment was a success. In the last 30 days, I have hit the $1,000 mark. And it is not even 12 months (got 3 months to spare).
The traffic has grown phenomenally too. The blog crosses 150,000 unique visitors a month with pageviews at 400,000 plus a month.
And of course, a I said, it has hit the $1000 mark a month. See the income report for the last 30 days below.
Do Note: At the time of writing this post, a couple of revenue sources and the income from them is not accounted for. This is estimated to add another $80-90 or more. Thus getting me to nearly $1100 a month from my new blog in 9 months.
Income Reports for the Month of Dec - Jan, 2015
|Date||Approx. Earnings in $|
I will be updating this post soon with the final numbers. However, the excitement and thrill of getting to where I wanted to, and with 3 months to spare.
In the course of this 9 month journey so far I have upgraded my web hosting plan from the initial $3.95 a month to $14.95 (Rs. 990) a month. Yet I have nothing to worry about.
I simply get $1100 (Rs. 73,000/-) from a mere investment of $14.95 (Rs. 990/-)… I will take that any day.
How you too can do it:
I will be sharing the more intricate details of this journey in a Step-by-Step Actionable guide for all of you. I will also some tips that I haven’t discussed in this post. All you have to do is just fill the simple form below and signup for my 4 Week Email Course.
** Very Important **
To start this FREE course there are certain requirements you have to fulfill:
- You will have to be VERY serious… no very-very serious about starting your blog and growing it for the long term. Or else it will be time waster for you and I.
- You will have to get a domain and a web hosting package from our recommended partners. Be rest assured they are the among the best and the most affordable out there. Plus they have awesome after sales and customer support.
Only if you are OK with the above two conditions, please fill the form.
Blogging, WordPress, Building High Traffic Websites, Web Apps and Digital Marketing .... and yes, did I say I'm a big-time food junkie.
I'm currently reading:
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
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