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How To Build A Successful Blog From Scratch: Seven 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 what content we were adding six months in.

In this update, I focus on what comes next as well as how both sites are performing seven months in. What is exciting is that there was a huge growth in traffic on my 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.

Site 1: Seven 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 six and seven month updates, I:

  • Outsourced some more buying guides
  • Added more content
  • Grew more links (ALWAYS!)
  • Added eBay affiliate links
  • Added more ads using Google Auto Ads

In the video below, I show you what the site looks like towards the end of month 7 as well as show you Google analytics, my eBay and AdSense earnings. Note that at this point, Amazon AU still did not have an affiliate program.

I am limited in Australia with affiliate program options which is frustrating. With this level of targeted traffic, I would expect to be making at least a few thousand dollars a month if it was in the US.

My next steps were:

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

I put a hold on buying guides as I wanted to make more money before I outsourced more.

Note that the following table is at the seven month mark whereas the video is a week or so behind this so the numbers don’t match perfectly – it kept going up nicely after I made the video.

Month 7 Traffic And Earnings

Traffic: 14,529 users (up from 6734)

Earnings : AUD$304 ($6 Amazon US, $99 AdSense, $199 eBay – up from $163)

Costs: AUD$450 (up from $0)

(I outsourced three articles in month 7 – you could do easily do this yourself by working 10 hours a week on the site)

Site 2: Seven 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 seven months in, Leanna is working on this site now and is seven 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 90 links published or nearly published and 29 keyword researched posts. However, only 9 of these are really affiliate focused (and mostly written in the last couple of months).

To give you an idea how much time this is taking, she is currently working about 10 hours a week BUT she did take some time off as she just had her second baby – CONGRATS LEANNA!

Which is also hopefully a good kick up the butt to people reading this who need it. Leanna is doing this with a brand new baby and a toddler. If she can find time, so can just about anybody!

Month 7 Traffic And Earnings

Traffic: 1758 users (up from 1490)

Earnings:  US$41 (up from US$27)

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.

My feeling is that this site is going to see big growth over the last couple of months of this year – I look forward to finding out if I’m right!

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 13 months?

It’s going great!

I’m looking at making about $900 for October, so my best month yet.

I’m still frustrated by the slow growth of Amazon AU but I’m slowly getting better conversions. I’m hoping with Christmas and Boxing Day sales coming up (Australia equivalent of Black Friday which happens after Christmas) that more Australians will get into Amazon and I’ll see better sales.

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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