What I Learned In My 30 Day Blog Challenge
We've made it! 30 full blog post written...
I took a mini celebration last night after writing my 30th blog post by seeing a movie in the park with my partner here in Austin. They were playing Guardian of the Galaxies.
We have to celebrate the small wins in our businesses because the major ones only come once in a while.
It felt fantastic knowing I had dedicated myself to a practice that takes so freaking long!
Every post I have made has taken me at least 2 hours and one post even took 5 hours to complete.
I have made a corresponding Facebook and Instagram post for every single article on this 30 day challenge.
I did keyword research before I even started writing a single word that probably took around 3 hours.
I'm not sure if you are a content producer but it is far from easy to create content on a consistent basis and stick with it.
Takes hours researching ideas, editing, creating media, writing out your post, and all the while keeping the faith that someone is actually going to read these things.
But the more I write the more I realize that this practice is about much more than just getting people to read a post or teach someone about Wix Ascend.
It meant I was willing to invest into a long-term path....
Like a lot of other small business entrepreneurs I suffer from shiny object syndrome and always feel like I need that one trick or one program that's really going to make the difference...
But I never give these much time before I'm off to the next program or trick trying to find my success.
This is the first time I have decided that I am dedicating my time to something bigger... I'm going to invest into what I have learned and stick with it.
So this is my review of what has happened in the past month since I've started writing these.
Some data from my Google Analytics, some insights into the resources and strategies I'm using, and where I feel this should be going next.
What Was The Starting Point?
In order for us to understand where we are it is important to understand where we started from.
This will give us some context as we continue to go over numbers and strategies.
I've had my website for about 1 1/2 years now.
I purchased the site from Wix back in January of 2018 and in that entire time had written exactly 4 blog post before starting my 30 day challenge.
These were pretty much all written in the month of October of 2018 with the exception of one that was written on Sept. 24.
The picture below is how many users came to my site in the last week of September all throughout October.
So, in total 50 users came to my site that month. Not exactly ideal....
Compare that to how many people came to my site in the month of January.
14 people!!!! Only 14 people came to my site in the month of January. Pretty terrible. This is pretty much the same for February and March.
In April and May, right before I start my 30 day challenge, my site traffic bounces back up to 50 users a month.
So it wasn't exactly clear if writing the blogs had any real affect on my traffic and plus, I had no strategy when writing the original 4.
I simply thought about a subject, wrote a blog about it, and then published on my site.
I tried to give the graphics some time using Canva and posted them on my social media as promotion but that was it.
I will go over why writing post and then only doing social media promotion is a terribly slow strategy if you actually want people to come to your blog later in this article.
Before the content challenge I was posting on social media just about every day. I was trying to grow my social accounts to get more credibility so I was doing a lot of marketing through those platforms.
I believe this is the reason for my traffic. I also have Upwork, Wix Arena, and Fiverr accounts which also adds to the traffic I was getting because potential clients want to check out what I have.
So, except for a couple of down months I was getting about 50 users every month, I had written 5 blog post, I had open accounts for freelancing platforms, and I was creating social media post every single day.
This was the extent of my online presence for Mercado Wix Design.
Why Blogging Though?
I have been DEEP in a digital marketing reconnaissance for months now.
I'd say it really started when I started getting obsessed with Russell Brunson and his teachings on becoming an expert.
I've been constantly trying to understand what my business really is and where I should be taking it.
This is my first entrepreneurial venture and needless to say I've needed some guidance so when I found what Russell was teaching it kind of blew my mind.
He talks a lot about being in the expert industry... positioning ourselves and creating content in a way that we can become of great value to others and, in turn, being seen as a expert in that field.
This is what opened me up to the world of digital marketing because he started talking about webinars and online promotions and sales funnels and website funnels and the whole thing was a little over my head but very appealing.
Although I learned a lot and will eventually get back into a ton of that material I didn't feel that was quite where I was. I still felt a disconnect.
So I kept digging...
I started finding some lesser known people who were teaching similar, but different, methods and approaches.
One of those brilliant methods was outlined by a digital marketer named Miles Beckler.
Once I found his material I knew that this is where I wanted to be.
Miles talks a lot about this "game" being a marathon.
How all the large marketing "gurus" are selling fancy cars and fancy lifestyles but Miles was telling me that it was going to take a long time and lots of hard work to get what you wanted but that if you could commit, it was a proven method.
I took a look at what he was doing and thought about everything I had learned to that point and realized what he was saying made sense.
Not only that but he was talking about committing to a single path and sticking with it which resonated very strongly with me.
His strategy is not exactly unique but the louder voices in the marketing world made it hard to find.
The strategy is this....
Do keyword research, like obsessively do keyword research. More keyword research then you have ever done in your life. If you pay someone on Upwork to get you 50 keywords then you are probably doing it wrong unless you paid a large amount with a reputable freelancer.
Miles recommended a tool called KWFinder that he uses for his research. It's a paid tool but you can sign up for a free trial period. I HIGHLY recommend signing up for your trial period and testing the tool out. I immediately bought it after trying. It's amazing.
After your keyword research you create what are called content silos. These consist of one large mega article like "ultimate guide to skiing" and then you write supporting articles like "skiing in america" and "skiing in europe" that link back to the ultimate guide.
ALL OF THESE are based on your keywords.
These articles are also highly SEO optimized meaning they have all the proper headings, proper keyword density, meta data, word count, etc.
And then you keep writing.... and keep writing.... and keep writing.... till your fingers hurt.
And eventually google will start recognizing that your articles are amazing and start ranking them higher and higher on the first pages of Google.
If it sounds a little too good to be true you aren't completely wrong because there are more details that make this process a lot of work but you can't really argue with the results.
Right now Miles Beckler has over 100k subscribers to his youtube channel and has claimed to make over 2 million from his and his wife's online business by following these methods.
He has a youtube channel and this is probably the way to go if you are just starting. Video is where everything is headed in the online world.
I chose blogging as my vault for content because it was a lower barrier to entry.
I had already written 4 blogs so I was familiar with the platform. I don't even have a youtube channel so for me it just made more sense to start on something I knew and hit the ground running.
I think the platform you choose is ultimately less important than committing yourself to the path and staying with it. The results will come either way but you have to make a decision that you are picking a single option and investing into its success.
Where Are We?
On to the good stuff!
What are the numbers???
Here is a quick breakdown of the numbers and I'll give some details below.
Words Written: ~60,000
Days Needed: 34
Website Visits: 191
Most Visits For Single Post: 55
Bounce Rate: 31.3%
Session Duration: 1m 39s
So what does this mean?
I planned on making this content a straight 30 day challenge but after some talks with my partner I realized that I should probably make some time for the relationship so I took every Monday off.
Remember earlier in the article when I mentioned my site getting 14 visitors to my site in January...
Well since I started writing these blogs I have received 191 visitors to my site! That's a 1250% increase!
Except for January and February, my average site visitors were really around 50 a month and that is still a 280% increase in visitors!
I had a post about Wix support that got me 55 readers that ended up being the most visited post I've written so far. I did a little extra to get that post seen which I will tell you later in this article.
I had another post about Wix Ascend that got me 36 views and a couple more over 20. Other than that my post have around 3-7 views per post.
Not huge numbers but you have to remember that even 3-7 views is more than zero and if this is what I can do in 30 days from basically just writing and posting then think about what the potential can be if I start ranking on Google?
My bounce rate was 31.3%. I'll be honest I have't done a ton of research into bounce rates but according to this article anywhere from 26-40 is considered excellent.
Bounce rates identify how many people come to your site and leave after only viewing one page without clicking navigating to any other area of your site.
Google will place higher importance for sites with lower bounce rates because it uses this metric to determine if people find your site valuable.
Compare this with the previous month of May which was 62.16% and we can immediately see how impactful a blog is on a site if done correctly.
According to the article 62.16% would be considered higher than average and getting close to the danger zone, especially for a blog.
April had a 69% bounce rate....
By offering more on my site than my about page, contact page, and portfolio I was able to give more people a reason to visit different articles and different areas of my site making my bounce rate lower.
Without giving people this value they would have a hard time finding me and would have little need to see my site unless they immediately got a good impression from my homepage.
Now they can learn about all things Wix and even some mindset techniques.
My session duration was 1m 39s and compare that with the month of May at 53s I feel pretty great about this number.
I would ideally like to see this around the 2m range and will cover some ways I plan on growing my numbers in the next section.
Session duration is another metric Google uses to see if people find your site valuable and if it should be ranked higher in Google search results.
This is the average time people spend on your site per visit.
So when I wasn't writing blog post people would come to my site, see my homepage, maybe visit the about or portfolio and then leave.
Now people stay to read some of my articles to see if they are interested in the material and then they might visit some more articles or other pages of the site.
This is the same idea as your bounce rate, you want people to stay on your site longer and visit more pages.
And it's not just about chasing numbers and percentages...
You have to remember at the heart of content marketing and writing blog posts is a need to provide abundant value, to be recognized, and to be appreciated.
I have a deep desire to reach those entrepreneurs who know that a traditional life wont make them happy but are lost in how to grow their business.
This is my struggle...
So when I am writing Wix blog post it is for the sole purpose of helping that person who is trying what they can to grow their business but are looking for a path that can set them there.
I need to make sure my content is pretty darn good if I want to help people so I need to make the most helpful post I can which hopefully every finds useful.
If they do find the content useful then they will read it more, stay on the site longer, and help all of these numbers and percentages.
Data is a way for us to measure our work but it should never be a compass for what we value.
What Promotion Did I Do?
The biggest promotion I have probably done for my blog was through my other social media accounts.
Every single article I have written has had a corresponding Facebook and Instagram post on my business accounts.
I have also shared select post through my personal facebook account. Maybe 3-4 in total.
I also started doing some research into backlinks which I will talk more about in the next section but I took a simple method and used it a couple of times with great results.
See, when you start writing content that gives immense value to your readers then you will ultimately want to start including links to other sites and resources they can use.
So when I was writing these articles I started including other people in my Wix community that I thought provided excellent value.
After my backlink research I realized there was an opportunity to reach out to these people and communicate with them to share what I had written and to ask them to share if they liked the article.
And what happened?
Someone that I respected actually shared it on their Facebook page giving that post more visits than all my other post.
From one simple outreach....
And they gave me great compliments on what I had written. It really meant a lot to get their response and realize that they appreciated not only being mentioned but the article itself.
So instead of just asking for a share cause I thought it was great I had included their business, reached out showing my appreciation for their value, made them aware of the mention, asked for a share if they liked it and if they didn't I asked for constructive criticism.
I did one more outreach where I had written an article that I felt was relevant for my niche and the timing of a product that was being released.
People were asking a lot of questions on the forums about certain aspects of this product release so I wanted to make a comprehensive guide for them.
I don't any blog promoting on the Facebook groups in my niche because it isn't looked upon very highly but I felt it was highly useful for people and I spent a ton of time on it so I made a post.
It became my second most visited post and I even got into a wonderful conversation with a women in the comments of the post.
So outreach to someone I respected. a post on a Facebook group, and social media post for every article is what I have done to promote my blog to this point.
For a 30 day challenge I felt like this was more than enough to keep up.
But I feel with a lot of what I am currently learning that I can grow what I have just created much larger...
I consider this challenge a success on so many levels and it really has changed how I approach my business.
It has literally changed services and what I offer so I know that it is having a direct effect on my business but it's also more than that....
This has put me on a long-term online sustainable path.
Trying to get to the front pages of Google is a long play and one that if done correctly can pay off in ways businesses dream about.
It's obviously getting there that is the hard part...
And although I believe just writing blog post can get you there, I also believe this is an unnecessarily slow method.
If I just wanted to write blog post then the idea is that I would need to wait somewhere between 6 months - 1 year to start seeing real results.
If you have that time then fantastic! Stick with the path and do not get distracted!
But there are many ways to rank higher in Google and one very important way is backlink building.
This plays a huge role with how Google ranks sites because if you have a bunch of reputable sites that link to yours, or what we call backlinks, then Google thinks your site must be important and it ranks it higher.
Building backlinks is actually one of the fastest ways you can rank higher in google.
Which is exactly why people started getting their sites penalized by Google for obtaining backlinks in what Google deemed were inappropriate ways.
But if done right, what is called white hat link building, then this can have a huge impact for your SEO.
I strongly suggest you creating the content first and then worrying about backlinks is because this will cause you to learn so much more about your business and what your audience finds valuable than simply building links to your site.
What I will be doing now is starting a 1 week challenge where I began to research and reach out for a backlink building campaign.
I will be starting this on July 17th and go till July 23rd.
The goal is to use a bunch of different methods that I have been learning from people like Brian Dean from Backlinko and see what the results this has on my SEO.
Currently I ranking for a couple of keywords in my niche but not on the first page results. I'm not really too worried about this yet but after the backlinking campaign I will take another look at everything.
Starting a blog means more than just creating content or trying to get people to your site.
It means you believe the key to long-term, sustainable online success comes from this practice of giving value to your audience and receiving their feedback.
It doesn't even have to be a blog and video is where all media is headed so I suggest starting your youtube channel today with a simple video that you make for you because chances are people aren't going to see it anytime soon.
There is a lot of ways to outsource this process if you have the resources to do so but I highly recommend writing the content yourself at least for 30 days.
Understand the process and find your voice before you start putting that responsibility on someone else.
If you have a question about the 30 day challenge that didn't get answered then please comment below or message me and I'll support the best I can.
If you enjoyed this post and received great value then please like and share because as you read, these take so...much...time! Every interaction someone makes whether its a like or comment or whatever means the world to know that I was able to help.
As always, I offer free, 10-minute support sessions for all Wix needs, digital marketing, content marketing, blogging, and any other questions you have. Click below.
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Please reach out because I would love to talk with you! I know your business is awesome and my mission is to prove it!