Month 4 Update: Where Do We Go Now?
Here I go over my progress in the last month and the current achievements. This is mostly for myself, to be able to see my progress month after month. Feedback is very welcome though.
Lots of Little Technical Details and Statistics
Having dropped my first two website attempts, I'm now developing only one website and as we know, that is a full time job of itself. Being about creativity and well-being, it sits in the health and self-development niches, https://cpcpworkshops.com.
This website is a bit over 2 months old. It has 20 articles including the About Us page, and 9 pages have been indexed, 8 in the past month, and that by itself is awesome. Lyne wrote 3 articles so far, while I'm writing about 8 articles per month on average.
I write in spurts, sometimes 3 articles in a week, sometimes none. Nonetheless, I've been working realiably on the website my intended 20-30 hours per week. However, I won't be able to put in more than a couple of days of work over the next two weeks, due to my mom moving to a senior's residence.
Google Webmaster Tools
The website had 3 clicks from organic search so far according to Google Webmaster Tools, and they're all coming from the same page, the second oldest one to be indexed. This page had 84 impressions, so a 3.5% click rate. For the whole site, there were 122 impressions, and an average rank of 37. There have been no clicks from Bing, and only 1 page indexed by Bing. The sitemap.xml doesn't seem to help much.
Several of our articles embed videos that we posted on YouTube. The activity on YouTube is more encouraging. My top video had 60 views, from 51 unique viewers, 2 likes and 1 genuine comment. This is a 3 min video, that has been watched for a total of 67 minutes. I can see people gradually losing interest over the 3 minutes. In YouTube search, there were 398 impressions for this video, giving a click rate of 9.8%, based on one keyword. This video is 2 months old, and the views are distributed fairly uniformly over the 2 months.
We have about 40 short video clips on YouTube, about 1-2 minutes long. There's not much to say about traffic, except that there was a spurt of activity in the 2 days after posting them, which has dwindled to not much. My guess is that YouTube gives a chance to new videos, to see if they're the next viral thing, but when they see that they're not, they kinda get lost.
For the whole YouTube channel, over the past 2 months, there have been 201 views, a watch time of 142 minutes, and no subscriber other than myself.
On the side of Google Analytics, there have been 423 users in 534 sessions with a bounce rate of 76% and an average session duration of 1.34 minute. Most of this traffic comes from WA users working at leaving me comments, and robots crawling pages. The traffic is well-distributed over all our 20 articles. On PageViews, I can see 983 unique page views in the past month, compared to 604 for the month before, i.e. the first month, so that's better than a 50% increase month-on-month.
Site Health: WordPress, WA, SEOSiteCheckup
Next are the site health measures. In WordPress, I get 72%, with one mysterious critical issue: background updates not working as expected: "WordPress security and maintenance releases are blocked by define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );" Any ideas about that?
In WA, my Site Health oscillates between "Awesome" and "Pretty Good", depending on whether I've published one article recently, or whether I'm using 4 or 5 plugins. I've played around a fair bit with plugins, in an effort that has been rather frustrating. E.g. I never got to have commenters receive my replies, I could not get any kind of the many Lazy Load plugins toimprove site speed, AdRotate didn't work, etc. Right now, I have All-in-One SEO, EWWW Image Optimizer, SumoMe and YouTube. I'm probably going to get rid of the YouTube plugin. My Google Page Speed Insights, whether looked at from WA or directly on Google, are pretty awful as soon as I have videos, and especially on mobile. I've tried 4 different Lazy Load plugins to no avail. I decided not to worry about this kind of optimization for videos on pages that have so few views to begin with. Maybe Kraken will improve things when it's rolled out in the coming months.
On seositecheckup.com, my score is 79%, compared to one large competitor in the health niche at 88%. I conclude that I'm not doing too bad. To be honest, I don't know how to fix my 10 "critical" errors according to this tool, except an obvious one, which is that I'm not connecting to social media.
With SumoMe, thanks to AlyceG, I now have a email list form with myself as the sole subscriber so far, and social buttons for others to share my content, which hasn't happened yet.
I have 188 approved comments, an average of about 5 comments per article, plus my 5 replies. Many of them are rather poor, sorry to say, but thanks to you all for the good ones. I guess most WA commenters don't bother to read the articles. My strategy for next month is to systematically request that WA commenters ask a question. I'm guessing that will help with the quality.
I've been accepted into Google AdSense, but I've not managed to run one advert, using AdRotate. The ads don't display. I'm trying to have them show only in the side bar. I'm sollicitated to use Google AdWord, but I'm not interested in paying for this at all. It's funny how you can't trade AdSense for AdWord ;) i.e. you show my ads and I'll show yours for free...
Amazon Affiliate accounts
I've been warned by each of my 7 Amazon Affiliate accounts that if I don't make 3 sales in their respective stores within the next 90 days, my account will be closed. Now 85 days left and 0 sales... So far, my website relies on Amazon book sales as the sole potential source of revenue, so the foreseeable account closures will not be good for the financial future.
Hence, I'm thinking more about asking for charitable contributions, like the crowdsourcing/crowdfunding sites. I haven't started there yet. Anyone's got experience with crowdfunding in the context of financing the development of a website?
Writing Content is Key
Notwithstanding all the above, writing content remains a central challenge. It takes me only 2-3 hours to write an article with 1-2 thousand words, and I'm not doing research yet, only writing from the top of my head about my experience. So when I know what to write, the writing goes very well. But it takes me a while in between articles to get inspired to write the next one.
So much so that I feel like my website is more or less complete with its 20 articles. Ironically, the main topic for the website is creativity, so I ought to kick myself and get more creative about creating more articles.
Or decide that this 3rd attempt at website building isn't my niche yet. But I don't have a viable idea for yet another niche.
So Where Do We Go Now?
I have a need to read inspiring messages from the WA community. There are many. Just going through Kyle's blog is a sure way for getting remotivated. It's often noted how mindset is critical for success, but that's one of my weakest points.
To summarize, my progress on this young, 2 months old website, is very good. But I don't see that I can continue the trend. I have 37 unpublished articles, mostly just chosen keywords for titles, but I'm not inspired to continue any of them. Over the next month, it's likely that a good number of the old posts will also get indexed, and that traffic will grow from that. But if I can't keep writing, then this will be rather pointless, like for the other 2 defunct websites.
I'm very much in the 4-Hour Work Week camp of Affiliate Marketers. I'm hoping for success to come more easily than it has been. Anyhow, I'm not giving up at this point. Just working on getting remotivated, starting with something small.