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How To Build A Successful Blog From Scratch: Seven Weeks In

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 the things we did first to get our sites off the ground.

In this update, I’m focusing on what comes next as well as how both sites are performing 7 weeks in. I’m also going to update how I am monetising my site today which has changed in the last week thanks to the Amazon Australia affiliate program finally opening.

I want to remind you that this case study isn’t just about how to build a successful blog from scratch but to show that you don’t need much time. I really have not been putting in the zillions of hours many bloggers think is required for monetisation and blog growth.

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.

Site 1: Seven weeks 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

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

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All these things were done quickly and I only spent a couple of hours x 2 working on this.

I don’t see any point spending huge amounts of time on a blog until I have proved it is profitable.

Next, I added subscriber boxes to start growing my email list. The following video was made when the site was just under one month old.

From there, I concentrated on building links and putting up the occasional post (not to keywords).

You can see how the site looks at the end of October, about six weeks in, here:

My next steps were:

  • Getting a logo for the site
  • Putting something on the social media channels (but not start using them)
  • Outsourcing buying guides
  • Planning some content I could write about our upcoming trip

At this point, I still did not have any articles written to keywords. If you have the time, I do recommend you do this as soon as you can but, if you don’t, link building is the more powerful way to spend the time you have.

Week 7 Traffic And Earnings

Traffic: 75 users (up from 53)

Earnings : $0

Costs: $0

(I used an email marketing service and subscriber box subscription I already owned. You may need to budget for these)

This is exactly what I would expect since I had done zero monetisation and marketing. A small amount of traffic came from the links built in the first month. I also had 1 hit from Google

Site 2: Seven weeks 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 going 7 weeks in, Leanna is working on this site now and is 7 weeks into building it RIGHT NOW.

Leanna is currently working 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

You only need to do one area of blogging well to have blogging success. It’s much better to focus on this at the beginning than five different areas and never really perfect any.

She is doing a great job and already has about 20 links published and 10 keyword rich posts.

To give you an idea how much time this is taking, she aims to work 15-20 hours a week on her blog but is currently working 10-15 hours.

Week 7 Traffic And Earnings

Traffic: 90 users (up from 0)

Currently showing up for 108 keywords in Google search.

Earnings : US$1.43

Costs: $12

(KeySearch subscription – keyword research tool)

It was fantastic to make her first sale on Amazon.

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 my blog is progressing in its eighth month

As mentioned above, Site 1 was started in mid September so it is currently in its eighth month.

One big thing has changed since my last update – the Amazon Australia affiliate program has opened!

My monetisation strategy for this site does revolve around this program so it is great to have it operational.

However, it is not as exciting as it could be as Amazon is just not big here in Australia (yet). There is not a big range, prices are high and I don’t know anyone who has bought from it.

I’m confident this will change in time, but, for the moment, conversions are VERY low like I expected. I have had a few sales and it has inspired me to pay for more content for this blog but I’m still in wait and see mode.

I am still using eBay as well. The majority of earnings from that came from one post so I have kept those links as eBay. Most other posts are now Amazon. Ad revenue continues to rise slightly as traffic goes up. My page views are now well over 20,000 per month.

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 minimal time possible.

You can have blogging success.

I’ll show you 🙂

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You can read the next update, at three months, here.

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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