Blog Progress Review: Day 60 Update (May 2021)
Annnnnnnnd here we go!!
Today officially marks day 60 of this 90 day publishing challenge, and I’m going to take you through all of the progress and growth this blog as seen.
While I humbly admit that the numbers in and of themselves are not that impressive – what is impressive is the significant amount of growth this blog has seen in an extremely short period of time (two months!).
My intention in putting together this review is more than anything to show you what is possible with a little elbow grease and hard work.
As I’m sure you know by now, I’m not a huge fan to overly complicated solutions – I love doing things that are simple, but take some hard work and dedication to pull them off.
So in a show of full transparency – here’s a recap of everything accomplished over the last 60 days!!
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- 60 Day Review: High Level Overview
- Achieved Lift Off!
- Total Words Published
- Avg Words Published Per Day
- Articles Published In May 2021
- All Traffic:
- Geographic Location
- Traffic Source
- Organic Traffic:
- Geographic Location
- GA: May vs April 2021
- GSC: Last 16 Months
- GSC: May vs April 2021
- GSC: Biggest Growth In Impressions
- GSC: Biggest Growth In Clicks
- GSC: Avg Time To Peak Impressions
- GSC: Avg Time To Peak Clicks
- Becoming A Publisher
- Next Steps:
- Monetize Through Ads
- Improve Newsletter Signups
- Search Remarketing Campaign
So let’s get into it!
60 Day Review: High Level Overview
Let’s start with the big stats May:
(specifically May 3rd to June 1st, 2021)
Total Articles Published: 52
Words Published: 186,600
Avg Words Published Per Day: 6,220
Avg Words Per Article: 3,600
But in some serious news:
Achieved Lift Off!
On May 29th, 2021, exactly 8 weeks after publishing my first blog, this blog achieved Lift Off.
What is Lift Off?
I define Lift Off as when a blog get’s at least 1 organic click per day, for 7 consecutive days.
In other words, for 7 days in a row, the organic clicks NEVER drops down to zero.
Now if you look very closely at the graph – the blog nearly achieved Lift Off on May 20th, but after 5 days of consecutive clicks, it dropped back to zero for ONE FREAKING DAY.
So close! But without breaking a sweat the blog achieved Lift Off the very next week.
And so what is so significant about Lift Off?
When you’re launching a new blog, it is so demoralizing to keep publishing content day after day, and seeing that you’re basically getting no traffic. And even when you do traffic, it is just a short blip before tumbling back down to zero.
Lift Off is significant because it shows the blog has finally started to ‘take flight’ – it is now out there getting clicks every single day – EVEN if that is only one or two clicks.
The next phase after Lift Off is Blast Off.
I define Blast Off as getting a minimum of 50 clicks a day for 30 consecutive days.
And what’s the significance of Blast Off?
Once you’ve achieved Blast Off, you’ve officially started getting 1,500 organic clicks per month to your site, which in and of itself is impressive.
But more than that, it is symbolic that your blog has finally taken off, and reached a point where it legitimately has the potential to start earning money.
This is the sign that your blog is starting to blast off, and starting to take on a life of its own.
I’m more than impressed I was able to achieve Lift Off within 8 weeks (Day 60), and to keep this momentum strong – I’m setting a goal here to achieve Blast Off by Day 150 (Month 5).
Let’s make it happen 🙂
Total Words Published
Call me a control-freak and overly organized, but I keep a spreadsheet to meticulously track all of my publications, including the words published.
As of Day 60, I have officially published 310,200 words, at an average of 5,170 per day. This is for the entire last 60 days.
In order to publish 2 Million words in a year, I need to publish 5,500 words a day. Every. Day.
So I’m a little bit behind on my yearly goal. However, keep in mind that for 6 weeks in all of April and half of May I was full-time employed at an agency.
So it is really only the last 2 weeks in May that I’ve been able to dedicate full-time effort towards blogging – and I’ve been catching up like a steam roller.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Oh and fun fact: officially 3.1% of the way towards my total goal of 10 Million words written.
Oh boy – this is definitely going to be a marathon.
But I’m here to stick it out to the bitter end.
MOZ – Domain Authority
Now to make this article worth reading for you, I’m going to include a lot of behind the scenes screenshots, to really show you whats going on, and what it actually takes to build a successful blog from the ground up.
Let’s start with the Moz Link Explorer tool.
I’ve currently got a DA (Domain Authority) of 4, which to be blunt, is pathetic.
I mean, I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, it is an excellent start, but in the grand scheme of things, it is still the bottom of the bottom. A DA of anything less than 10 is effectively amateur hour.
But I gotta take my lumps.
Apparently I’ve also got 3 linking domains and 132 inbound links – who knew!
Because I thought it would be fun, I’ve also included the DA graph over time – as you can see, my DA has stayed a solid 4 for the past year. It’s been painfully stagnant. But dems the breaks.
Lastly, just for completeness, I’ve included a screenshot of all the links to the site. As you can see most backlinks to the site at the moment are from my own sites, and I’ve got a grand total of 3 backlinking domains, all of which have a DA of less than 10. But you gotta start somewhere baby!
ahrefs – Backlink Profile
ahrefs is another SEO tool that offers some pretty cool insights. Interestingly, it gives a slightly different backlink profile than MOZ Link Explorer. I’m not exactly sure on the discrepancy – maybe it’s just a timing issue?
Either way, I’ve been enjoying that since January my list of Referring domains has been steadily increasing from 2, to 4, and more recently up to 6! That’s growth!
Interestingly, to get a bit more granular, I wanted to know when exactly each backlink was first picked up. Two out of the 6 backlinks were picked up in the last 10 days of May, which has me SUPER excited.
Why is that so exciting for me?
Because on the side I’ve been running a (very small) PPC campaign on Google, just to get some additional traffic to the site. And it looks to me like that PPC campaign is starting to pay off in terms of actually attracting some backlinks to the site (which was really the whole point, wink wink).
This is so exciting to me, because it means that people are actually starting to take notice of my content, and more importantly that a small PPC campaign can get some attention and start attracting links (which for anyone who’s tried getting backlinks, are NOTORIOUSLY difficult to attract).
Articles Published In May 2021
Alrighty – prepare yourselves – this is an aggressive list:
FIFTY TWO ARTICLES.
52 articles published in May. That’s almost an average of 2 per day.
No wonder my fingers and eyes are starting to hurt…
Traffic Review – All Traffic:
Let’s dive in and take a look at the traffic coming to the site. We’ll start with All Traffic, then take a look more specifically at Organic Traffic. We’ll break down between users geographic location around the world, and also the source they originally came from.
Geographic Location – All Traffic:
This was pretty cool – to see the growth and change in international traffic from April to May.
Also – this blog is only 2 months old, yet has attracted traffic from NEARLY every country of the world (common Greenland!).
In specific, the top 4 counties for traffic being the UK, US, India and Canada, with the UK and US showing massive growth in May, with India taking more of a back seat.
I will be very curious to review these numbers when there is more substantial traffic to be able to see which countries seem to stick around the longest and appreciate the content the most.
Traffic Source – All Traffic:
Now let’s take a peek at the traffic sources for all traffic. Interestingly, total overall traffic only grew 15% from April to May, which is not very dramatic – but the numbers get more interesting once we dive deeper into Organic (coming up).
Not too surprisingly, the bulk of the traffic is coming from CPC (yep – running that side campaign), but I’m very happy to see Google Organic coming in at position 2!
This is an early (very early) indication that all that blog writing is starting to pay off. So excited to see this thing grow.
Traffic Review – Organic Traffic:
Alright – let’s dive into Organic Traffic results – this is the part that’s really exciting for me, as it is directly related to the blog writing and publishing I’ve been breaking a sweat doing!
Geographic Location – Organic Traffic:
Now this surprised me, but my top 4 Organic countries were also the US, India, Canada and the UK, must be some relation…
But in exciting news, organic traffic to the site grew TWO HUNDRED PERCENT (200%!!).
I know that 75 organic visits to the site is still tiny, but hey, at 200% growth, we’ll be a million before we know it!!
GA: May vs April 2021 – Organic Traffic:
Love seeing this Organic Traffic just slowly and constantly ticking along on an upward trend (that was a crass inside joke and a snipe, maybe I’ll tell you the full story one day…)
GSC: Last 16 Months
And here’s the snapshot for the whole last 16 months. As you can see for the first 14 months, the site was basically dead, and then just these last two months since April 2021 have things really started to pick up (you know, that moment I started publishing n junk).
Top searches in 16 months – sorted by clicks:
Not too much going on in terms of clicks so far. Still pretty quiet.
Top searches in 16 months – sorted by impressions:
Now there’s a bit more juice when it comes to impressions – with Martial Arts Marketing keywords, really dominating the top of the impressions for the past 16 months.
GSC: May vs April 2021
Now this is juice.
May saw a 58% increase in impressions (7.4k up from 4.7k), and a 190% increase in clicks (46 up from 16, nearly 3x!).
I’m a little disappointed to see impressions slowing down a little bit from the rapid growth we saw in April, however I know that this is still just a lull before things really take off and just explode.
How do I know it’s just a temporary lull?
Because the impressions that exploded when I started in April, were impressions for blogs that I’d already written a year or so earlier – MEANING – we still haven’t really seen impressions for my new articles even showing up on the board yet.
I believe June and July are going to be some pretty crazy months with whole new swathes of keywords starting to show up.
GSC: Biggest Growth In Impressions
Nice little snapshot here, showing the top 5 keywords for growth in terms of impressions in May, with “Martial Arts Facebook Ads” really topping the charts.
GSC: Biggest Growth In Clicks
Now this is fascinating – it’s the highest growing search terms by clicks with “healing wounded masculine energy” taking the top of the charts.
The reason this caught my eye, was because of how ‘new’ this article was – I’d only published it 7 weeks earlier and it’s already getting clicks!
GSC: Total OrganicKeywords Ranking
Just for completeness, over the last month the blog ranked for a total of 117 different keywords.
GSC: Avg Time To Peak Impressions
Now, I wanted to get more in depth with my analysis – and I wanted to better understand exactly how the Google Algorithm works, or more specifically to answer the question: How long does it actually take to rank on Google?!
This is a big question that everyone wants to know, that I wanted to definitively answer.
In this case, I’m looking at how long does it take for an article to peak in terms of impressions – so I’ve pulled the top 10 articles that grew the most in terms of impressions in May.
It took an average of 29 weeks from publishing to reach peak impressions!
Now a caveat, theres one article on this list I wrote a year ago, which substantially increased the average age. I’m guessing that next month that specific article won’t be peaking so hard (or maybe it will…who knows!), and as a result the average age to peak impressions will likely drop – we’ll see!
|April Impressions||Change In Impressions||Date Article Published:||# Of Weeks Since Published|
|martial arts facebook ads||574||5||569||28-Apr-2021||5|
|facebook ads for martial arts||510||16||494||28-Apr-2021||5|
|martial arts marketing||918||691||227||2-Mar-2020||65|
|marketing martial arts||546||349||197||2-Mar-2020||65|
|business book summaries||159||12||147||22-Apr-2021||6|
|marketing for martial arts||609||466||143||2-Mar-2020||65|
|location independent income||77||0||77||18-Apr-2021||6|
|martial arts marketing agency||354||314||40||2-Mar-2020||65|
|signs of wounded masculine energy||30||0||30||10-Apr-2021||7|
|snapchat ads agency||28||0||28||20-May-2021||2|
GSC: Avg Time To Peak Clicks
I completed the same experiment again but for clicks.
Again, the whole point of this exercise was to understand: how long does it take for an article to get impressions, and then how long does it take for that article to get clicks?
Now interestingly, in May, it took an average of 7 weeks to reach peak clicks.
Now I do need to stress that this is still early days, and we’re only talking about like 5 clicks total, so this is small data, and things should get more definitive and specific as we get more data in the system. Stay tuned for next month!
|Top queries||May Clicks||April Clicks||Change In Clicks||Date Article Published:||# Of Weeks Since Published|
|healing wounded masculine energy||4||0||4||10-Apr-2021||7|
|signs of wounded masculine energy||2||0||2||10-Apr-2021||7|
|martial arts facebook ads||1||0||1||28-Apr-2021||5|
|wounded masculine energy||1||0||1||10-Apr-2021||7|
|miles beckler 90 day challenge||1||0||1||3-May-2021||4|
|healing masculine wound||1||0||1||10-Apr-2021||7|
|wounded feminine energy in a man||1||0||1||10-Apr-2021||7|
Holy smokes what a month!!
I’m actually blown away that I’m already 60 days into this challenge, and the sheer amount of progress that I’m starting to see.
I don’t want to understate the insane amount of work that I’ve put into this project, but it is still incredible to me about how quickly these initial results are already coming!
Becoming A Publisher
The last point I want to make here is just about the process of becoming a publisher.
This is no longer just a ‘cute’ little side hobby that I’m doing, this has become a serious full-time investment.
And while I’ve only earned a few pennies so far (if you calculated the dollars earned per hour so far, it would be utterly embarrassing), I see huge growth in where this project is going. Onward!
So now we’ve completed the first 60 days of this 90 day challenge – so what next?
Monetize Through Ads
My next big step is to properly start monetizing the site with ads.
My goal is still to keep the site very user friendly, and keep ads limited, but I do want it to be enough to actually start earning some income.
Last week I put in an application to Ezoic, which is an ad network that also helps you to optimize your site. I’m still waiting to be formally approved for the program, but should be coming through shortly.
Improve Newsletter Signups
Yes! What an embarrassment.
In good news I did add an email subscribe option for the newsletter, and shockingly I’ve already had two people sign up for it (likely bots).
But it’s pretty embarrassing, and I need to overhaul the whole thing.
But the point is that my next step is to actually properly start collecting newsletter sign ups (and have some kind of automated system to actually follow up n junk).
Search Remarketing Campaign
Yes – the almighty Search Remarketing Campaign.
I’m pretty proud of this campaign – but it still needs some time to get fully built out.
Specifically I need to add more keywords, to help it trigger more often.
In short, I’m running a massive Google Search Remarketing Campaign, as a means of getting users back to the blog again and again and again – by delivering them more exceptional content.
And that’s all folks! This wraps up our 60 day review – stay tuned for day 90 – coming up in early July!!!
To your success and your journey,