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How To Build A Successful Blog From Scratch: Six Month Update

If you read my first update, you’ll know I’ve started a new authority site case study with both a site that I am building and one that my student is building. In my last update, I talked about how and what content I updated.

In this update, I focus on what comes next as well as how both sites are performing 6 months in. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been six months already!

This month’s update is extra exciting as you can see the traffic taking off – and Leanna just took a month off from her site!

I also want to remind you that this case study isn’t just about how to build a successful blog from scratch but also to show that you don’t need much time. Neither of us are working on our blogs anywhere close to full time. You don’t have to work a zillion hours to grow a profitable blog as long as you can be patient!

Ready?

If you haven’t read my last update, make sure you read it now here before continuing.

Want to start your own  site? Click here to download my New Blog Checklist. It tells you what to concentrate on in the beginning to set you up for SEO success so you don’t need to spend all your time online.

how to build a successful blog from scratch six months in

Site 1: Six months in

In my previous updates, I covered:

  • The monetisation strategy behind my new blog
  • Buying my domain name and creating my blog
  • Getting “starter content” up on my blog
  • Reserving my social media channels
  • Getting the site looking ok
  • Link building
  • Email list building
  • Starting to publish buying guides and making keyword plans
  • Outsourcing and publishing more buying guides and adding more easy content
  • Adding Google AdSense

Want to see all these steps so you can follow them yourself?

Click here to download my FREE New Blog Checklist.

My strategy

Between the four and six month updates, I:

  • Outsourced some more buying guides
  • Added more content

In the video below, I show what the site looks like at the end of month 5 as well as show you Google analytics, my main keyword rankings and discuss earnings. Note that at this point, Amazon AU still did not have an affiliate program.

You can see a great growth in traffic which only continued into month 6.

After this video was taken, I also added some affiliate links to eBay which helped increase my earnings.

My next steps were:

  • Adding more buying guides
  • Adding more content
  • Adding more links (ALWAYS!)

This is still what I am doing at the 12 month mark where I am today.

Note that the following table is at the six month mark whereas the video above is at 5 months.

Month 6 Traffic And Earnings

Traffic: 6734 users (up from 313)

Earnings : AUD$163 ($2 Amazon US, $71 AdSense, $90 eBay – up from $0)

Costs: AUD$0 (down from $620)

(I did not outsource any articles in month 6)

Site 2: Six months in

Site 2 is being built by DNW community member, Leanna.

She has two big goals for her site:

  1. To become THE authority site on her region of the US
  2. To make a full time income from her blog starting with affiliate marketing

Unlike my site, Site 1, which I started in September last year so I am giving updates on how it was performing 6 months in, Leanna is working on this site now and is 6 months into building it RIGHT NOW.

Leanna is still focused on only two things:

  1. Building links
  2. Writing articles to keywords. Some of these are based on ones that will convert well as affiliate articles and some are based on building her site up to be the authority on her region.

She is doing a great job and already has about 70 links published or nearly published and 25 keyword researched posts. However, only 8 of these are really affiliate focused (and mostly written in the last two months).

To give you an idea how much time this is taking, she is currently working 5-10 hours a week and she also took a month off during the last two months while she travelled in Europe with her family.

Month 6 Traffic And Earnings

Traffic: 1490 users (up from 652)

Earnings:  US$26.75 (up from US$23)

Costs: $12

(KeySearch subscription – keyword research tool)

The main “problem” at the moment is that most traffic is not going to the affiliate focused articles. Everything is set up well though and we hope this will change over the next few months. It’s also the time of year where I have always seen the least sales with sales picking up again at Black Friday.

Leanna is due to have a baby next month so soon she will stop working on this site for awhile. It will be a great test!

Looking for a list of exactly what to do for blogging success?

You can currently get a two-month action plan of exactly what to do to grow your blog’s traffic and income when joining Build Blog Freedom.

Click here for more details.

How is my blog progressing at it’s anniversary?

It’s going great!

The traffic is still stabilised which is somewhat annoying, but we did have our best month ever with over $600 profit.

I’m still waiting for Australians to jump on the Amazon AU train. C’mon Amazon, get your act together here! The platform is still nowhere near as awesome as it is overseas and Australians just don’t use it much yet.

I hope this update has inspired you and shown you what is possible.

I also hope it helps you understand what solid steps you can take with a new blog to start growing it in the least time possible.

You can have blogging success.

I’ll show you 🙂

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I’d love to know your thoughts on this case study in the comments below or let me know in the DNW Facebook group!

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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