My internet business & blog is about one year old now!
In full disclosure, this is not my first business or internet business. My first business was an Ecommerce business I started in 2009 and sold in 2012. Between then and now, there have been many businesses; mostly offline home service businesses.
I separate the term business and blog because the actual business of lead generation is highly profitable from paid advertising systems. I firmly believe a 'business' must be able to sustain itself with paid advertising.
Any 'free traffic' from search engines or organic sources that turns into revenue is simply a gift that may be taken away at any time. That said, there is a value ie in capturing search engine traffic -- no secret -- particularly if you can brand and hold that audience.
In the year since I launched the business, we (my team) have been actively publishing the blog around our specific lead generation niche. HOWEVER it hasn't been a concerted effort. More less just a content dump that my team uses whenever they want to earn extra money. In other words, if my team members want a little extra $$$, they can publish on the blog.
There's been no plan. No keyword research. Hardly any review. If the topic fits, whatev's, we publish it.
That's gotten us 283 blog posts... most of them probably around 2000 words, of varying quality and formatting. Based on what I pay, I'm into it for about $30,000. While this may seem like a lot, that's only about 2 days of paid advertisement spend for me.
Here's the results from search console.
About 200 visitors a day. There's no monetization behind so revenue is $0.
Certainly some will say it's a "failure'. I don't see it that way.
Here's the deal, and if you've built time-tested content sites you know, for the first year or so of a website, it doesn't really matter what you do, your content will not get traction. The only content sites I have ever seen that get traction within 1 year, are up to black-hat SEO gimmicks. Yes they might spike things up, but they will crash & burn. That's not my style. I am building a business/brand that will stand the test of time.
So basically the content crap-shoot of the first year was just to show Google that we're here, and we're publishing. Yes I could've put concerted effort into content planning and strategy, but it likely would have gotten no results worth the effort, and just left me disappointed.
With the 'sandbox' period moving behind the site; over the last couple months I have gotten keen to start publishing strategic content and capture some of the Google Traffic.
Here's the basic the plan that is in action; create long form comprehensive guides for target keywords.
I'm not talking about just text and headings; I'm talking custom illustrations, exclusive rights stock images, interactive elements. Stuff that rivals 'Brian Dean's' Backlinko.com content.
I have identified 100 Keywords. I didn't plan on '100' it just so happened that's what the list is at now. 12 of them have more then 10,000 per month avg search volume. 50 of them have over 5,000 per month. All of them have over 1,000 per month. Search volumes are (US).
Keyword Competition? I don't care about it. We're going to be creating the best content pieces.
My process to create high level content...
- I created a general format for all pieces. (20 hours spend on it by me).
- Outsourced writer. All pieces. Delivers pieces in a doc format. The writer is hire via Writer Access. 6 star, at 10 cents per word. I'd estimate our average piece to be 4000 words so say $400 per piece.
- I will personally edit and revise the writing (I am a bit of an expert on this niche).
- Hired 'organic content manager'. She will be responsible for publishing, formatting, hiring illustrators and sourcing exclusive images. Estimate $300 - $1,000 for images per piece. $300-$500 for her work on actual post + project management.
Just doing some average math, I'll be into it for $1,300 per piece. Probably more, because things tend to go over budget. I'm looking at a solid $130,000+.
We just clicked published our first 2 pieces. Both of them on the higher side of search volume and upon indexing