1 year Progress - Slow Progress

Last Update: August 03, 2017

I'm about to get my 1 year badge here and thought that's the perfect time to write a progress report. It might not be the most inspiring though things are VERY tough atm. Its quite long too, sorry.

The first few months were very shaky, minimal progress and really not committed. Eventually I started work in earnest on my first website. But the work was incredibly technical and the niche VERY small and the competition while light was very high quality. I couldn't see a future in this niche.

So come November and the BF offer I committed to one year and a new project. It was Travel site based around reviewing City/Attraction passes, which are high value and very popular. This Niche hugely interested me and I was really excited about the project. I went back through the training (I find this a great way to set up a new site) and got up and running. 3 months in and my Day job went Crazy. all site work stopped while I worked hard at my real job. At this point it was 20ish posts with 5/6 ranked page 2-3 and receiving no traffic.

after 6 months I had a little more time and started returning to the site. I found I had made a sale ($30 profit) and this seriously motivated me, and I started churning out some hard work. Rankings had dropped right off though and traffic was zero.

this brings us to now with my Site at 8months old. I have 47 posts and get around 5 visits a day. with 9 posts at page 2-3. and I am making $0.

As I said not the most inspiring progress.

But I had a plan and I intend to stick to it. And that plan is to commit to one year so until my yearly renewal in November I'll keep on churning out posts and seeing what happens.

But I tend to believe in being a bit more proactive than just hoping for the best. So I have tried to analyse why my earnings are so low. The one sale shows I am able to convert. So the reason for low earnings is simply the almost zero traffic. Which is a direct product of the low rankings I am getting. So why am I getting low rankings?

This is the question I struggle to answer. My last two posts have ranked in less than an hour at position 15-16. these were both very low competition keywords (11 and 16) My highest recorded rank was 11! I get the odd better rank from random SLI's but targeted keywords are stubbornly in the 11-30 range.

My Competition is VERY stiff there are many site targeting this niche and obviously there is trip advisor as a big foe. I worry this is the reason and my content is just not good enough to match them. On the flip side, I have seen NO improvement in ranking since 1 month in. The speed of ranking has improved but the positions are still second page.

I'm praying this is Google keeping me on a leash, or in the sandbox as they say. On my other abandoned site I also couldn't rank but then at around 8 months it all changed. I even rank pg 1 for product names only on that site now rather than just product name + review. And I'm above the manufacturers OWN site for product name + review!!! ..Maybe I should have stuck with that.

As for my content I am pretty happy with it. It may not be the best, but its certainly as good as I can get it right NOW. my posts are minimum 1000 words and many reach 3000 and are very image rich including my own work. I'm pretty happy with it really. I know there is work to be done to improve user experience, and conversion but that's stuff I don't think Google could pick up on?

I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to go from here for improvements. I have been given other ideas of how to raise traffic and that's all great but SEO is the Bread and Butter if I can't get that right the rest is just gaming IMO. Its stuff I intend to do but only ONCE I get the SEO right and build the traffic organically.

Any Ideas would be great feel free to check the site out:


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StPaul Premium
Dear Friend,

Thanks a lot for the detailed post and its motivating....

Just focus on writing quality content things will change.... Never ever give up.... You can do it
CraigUKTV Premium
Hi Stephen,

Big kudos to you for writing such a detailed progress report. Clearly, lack of earnings is due to lack or traffic.The reason for no traffic is due to poor rankings. Poor rankings could be due to lack of posts or no engagement via comments.

I appreciate trying to juggle 2 jobs is very demanding but if you want to push forward you need to be writing consistently. Eventually you will be able to write a post in 3 hours. So, if you can spare 9 hours per week that would give you 12 posts per month or 144 in one year.

I know you are aware of this but it's the only way to scale it up. 3 posts per week minimum will set you on the right path. I am now up to 173 posts and I am aiming for 200 in my first year (one month left). That is why my traffic is good. Sorry, I know you are aware of all this but that's all the advice I can offer.

You're website looks great btw, very professional and pleasing on the eye.
sgregcrx Premium
Hi Craig,

Thanks for the reply (and for the Comment on my site!)

As you say, I know what you say is all true, that's why its all you have to offer, as its the truth, if you were to tell me anything else you would be wrong!

I am along way off writing a post in 3 hours, my latest post took almost a full day and it was intentionally brief as an experiment on how shorter posts rank! My longer review posts (3000words) can take nearly a week.

Its not that I'm not fast typing or fast at using a computer. I am. Its thinking of the words to type that slow me down lol I'm sure I could type 3000 words in an hour it would just be junk.

My biggest worry is my competition though. Its very fierce and its a big ask to break into this niche. But the only way to do it is to keep posting. All the fretting and worrying won't help just got to write. If I'm to break it it has to be through content.

With 49 pages and posts I'm hardly prolific in my writing. I'm trying everything to keep the consistency but two posts a week is challenging. (and I'm seriously regretting he 2-3months inactivity I had)

The 173 posts you have managed is truly incredible. You fully deserve all the Success you ARE going to get. Your $500 is only going one way. When people wonder why they are not getting success they only need to look at people like you. Put that amount of effort in and you will see success.

Enough jabbering for now more content.
CraigUKTV Premium
Hi Steve, great attitude and with an attitude like that I am confident you will succeed. Most people give up instead of being relentless but it sounds like you won't be one of them.

3000 words is a lot and none of my posts are that long. Minimum is always 1000 words and usually no more than 1500 but to be honest, I'm okay with that. In my niche it's difficult to write a review that long and I prefer to keep them that length but I can see why your niche is better to write longer posts.

No worries about the comment, I like to pay it forward when I can.

sgregcrx Premium
Yeah I do worry about the length, I worry I'm rambling on. But in the end I'm trying to get people to part with $400-800 I think people will like a bit of depth. And also Travel is one subject people will get excited about and read ...hopefully.

I can see why your reviews are quite brief, I love how a lot of the products in your niche are rubbish, and your reviews are really just "this product isn't very good....buy this one instead!"

If people trust you, an I see no reason they wouldn't its a great tactic. and I think its come from nothing more than honesty, not an intentional sales tactic.

My problem is limited products and they are all really good, and high value, I just need to break PG1. really annoying as I have 5-6 main review posts all sitting at pos 13-18 Just taunting me of the profit to be had if they just went up a few places lol
StPaul Premium
Thanks a lot for your valuable advice.... Consistent writing is the key which i am not doing so will focus on it for sure ...Thanks again sir...
CraigUKTV Premium
Absolutely Steve, I agree that your posts should be longer. People crave information about places before they go there so you have to be detailed.
sgregcrx Premium
To give an idea of how slow my traffic is. Yesterday My Traffic more than doubled, simply as I posted this!
AnthonyMLM Premium
I was looking at you website and I also browse around, I read that you not making money. So I was wondering
What are your intentions for making money, because I didn't see any affiliate package that people who visiting your can purchase so you can make money.

Yes you're information is good and I enjoyed reading it, In order for you to make money you have to have some kind of affiliate links or travel packages to offer you visitors. I see that you have a affiliate disclosure, but I don't see anything related to affiliate offers.

There are a lot of affiliate program for your niche that you can make money from your website. Google

I would try booking.com affiliate program

TripAdvisor Affiliate program

Agoda Affiliate program

Skyscanner Affiliate program they provide you with a travel widet for your website

Airbnb reffer program

ShareAsale has some really good affiliate programs, Qatar, Airways, Agoda, The Lalif hotels, all avalable in their affiliate programs. just search for them

Amazon associate - I would put amazon product, related to travel on my website, luggage, travel bags, travel adapters etc, search for best buys in travel..then put affiliate link on your website.

This is just my opinion
sgregcrx Premium
Thanks Anthony,

ATM the main line of affiliate marketing is from the City Pass Reviews. All these reviews are bases around affiliate links to these products. and should see $10-50 per sale.

That's is the basis I am affiliated to all the programs you suggested but you are right I am not actively promoting them ATM, I want to build the Base of the site around good helpful, inspiring advice on getting people to visit the city's.

I know I can do ALOT more on enhancing the sales funnel from the basic articles down to the sales pages but ATM No one is reading anything as there are no PG1 rankings that is my Number 1 issue! I'm scared to throw down too many affiliate links and scare Google off so early on.

Thanks for the advice though I know there is so much more to do as far as monetisation goes but its all pointless without traffic.
donyutuc Premium
Great website! Are you doing Dallas?
sgregcrx Premium
Unfortunately not any time soon.

Its not a city I have any experience with and unlike a lot of travel sites I am unhappy promoting place's I have not been to.

Unless I've been experienced and got the Photos to prove I don't feel comfortable advising people based solely off internet hearsay....which is often WRONG!

If ( should be when?) the site takes off I fully intend to reinvest the profits into traveling to other cities to write about them, so Dallas may well be on the list then.
donyutuc Premium
Just wondering. I'm impressed with the details of your articles. I've seen bits and pieces of the U.S. 37 states, but I don't remember much of most of it. Lol. Thanks.