The $10k Challenge Update #1

This is the first official update of the $10k Challenge. I’m still considering whether I should do this monthly or quarterly because growing organic traffic takes time so I'd like to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Here’s what happened in the last 3 months…

Organic traffic is growing slowly but steadily

More...

Traffic from Google has grown from literally nothing back in August to about 73 UV/day in the last 7 days.

The total traffic is higher, but I’m not including the numbers here as some of those visitors come from Cloud Living.

I did try to grow the followings on Pinterest, but quickly decided to stop because I didn’t have proper monetization for that kind of traffic at the moment.

At this early stage of the site, it’s better to double down on only one channel that I’m the most familiar with to drive faster growth.

First earnings!

The site made $22.91 last month, which was very exciting.

Because from experience I knew the fact that once a site made its first few dollars, the earnings would only continue to grow faster month after month.

All I need to do now is to patiently publish more great content and build more high-quality backlinks. Big payday is coming soon!

New content organization strategy

What I’ve done so far with content is just publishing normal WordPress blog posts targeting keywords.

But in my niche there are lots of keywords with so many relevant long-tails.

For example:

I can jam the keywords all together in a massive post like The Wire Cutter’s style. But there are hundreds of keywords, so it’s very hard to produce one article to best serve all kinds of audiences with different needs.

Instead, I divided the list into sub-groups of similar keywords and created themed content for each of those.

From now on, I’ll be posting these “best” articles as WordPress pages instead of normal blog posts for 2 reasons:

1. It’s easier to apply SEO Silo structure with pages

You can read more about this strategy here. But in short, the site and URL structure would look like this:

2. It increased the perceived value of my site

By “hiding” commercial content, my site wouldn’t look like a typical affiliate website filled with reviews anymore.

I’ll be using the blog section for publishing non-commercial informational content like:

  • Lists
  • How-to’s
  • Interviews

These types of content tend to get more social shares and backlinks which help to increase the overall authority of my website.

Link Building

I’m still experimenting with different types of outreach campaigns and haven’t gotten significant results yet.

But I’ve just hired an experienced SEO outreach specialist from Upwork to help with the campaigns so hopefully I will have some case studies to show you soon.

Conclusion

Overall, I’m happy with the results so far. It’s been only 3 months since I started to work on the site again and it’s already getting some promising traction.

As for expenses, I haven’t gathered all the numbers yet but I would estimate it’s around $1,500. My budget is $5000 so I still have a good amount left to invest in the site.

What do you think about the progress so far?

Do you like this being monthly or quarterly update? Let me know in the comment section.

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of CloudLiving.com.

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