Journey to 150k hits a year
Putting out words consistently earned me DOPE. May be it is time shift gears.
I’m documenting the journey to 150k page views by the end of the third year (2025). In this article, I explain my reasoning and how I plan to proceed. Here are some background details before we get to the main point.
I started blogging to improve my thinking and writing skills. My thinking improved as a result of writing, and it showed everywhere. Putting out words consistently earned me dollars, opportunities, positions, and esteem. It’s time to switch goals after a decade.
I didn’t care about page views or subscribers when I wrote to improve thinking. In the last 12 months, I received about 20k page views. Even as late as 2018, I had only 75 subscribers. So far, these statistics have not bothered me.
By combining disciplined thinking and practice, I have developed a deeper understanding of building wealth, insights, networks, and self-control. On this blog, I share my thoughts about them.
My friend Rishabh Garg challenged me to popularize these ideas. An underlying driving factor that came up during our discussion was having a popular blog.
In the last 12 months, I got 20.1k pageviews from 13.4k unique visitors. Top sources of traffic are (numbers indicate unique visitors):
- Direct visitors (7.1k)
- Google (2.9k)
- LinkedIn (967)
- Twitter (510)
- Newsletters (200)
According to Ahref, the site has a good health score, but there is still much room for improvement.
As I set goals, I think of the future in terms of scenarios rather than as a single point in time.
I get 20k page-views per year. If I continue with the current 10% growth year on year, in 3rd year, I will get about 25k page-views.
A preposterous view of the future would be to double page views each year. By doubling the page views every year, I could reach 160k page views in the third year (20 →40 → 80 →160), which I am rounding off to 150k.
After deciding to take up the challenge, I read extensively. Although there are plenty of great resources available, I rely on the advice of a small number of experts.
These three posts gave me the direction to follow for the next three years:
- 25 Experts Reveal SEO Strategies You Need to Rank in 2022
- How NerdWallet Uses SEO Topic Clusters to Drive Traffic Worth $84M
- Content Repurposing
I picked three areas to focus on based on all the readings.
- Topic Clusters
- On-page SEO
1. Topic clusters
I wrote to improve my writing and thinking, so I wrote on topics that interested me from time to time. There was no intentional unifying theme between posts. Over time, however, a theme of “gravitas” emerged.
A leader’s gravitas works similarly to gravitational force. Leaders with gravitas attract dollars, opportunities, positions, and esteem. What is the best way to build gravitas if it is such an essential force?
We tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system, and wonder why our deepest problems never seem to get solved.
Usually, leadership development programs focus on improving individual aspects of leadership. As you apply systems thinking to leadership development, you’ll see that gravitas consists of wealth, insights, network, and self-control. These WINS, helps you to win at work and succeed in life.
WINS will be the topic clusters towards the journey of 150k hits.
If this topic interests you, please subscribe to my newsletter.
2. On page SEO
I never really bothered about SEO. To me, SEO meant stuffing an essay with keywords for Google to rank the essay higher and creating a click-bait title.
These 24 tips from digital marketing experts convinced me that SEO is lot more than click-bait headline. If I implement all of them, I should be able to get good SEO juice.
Out of the 24, I am planning to start with these seven tips:
- Use Original Quotes in Articles
- Perform In-Depth On-Page SEO Audits
- Implement Content Clusters
- Don’t neglect internal linking
- Know Your Audience’s Interests
- Go Deep with SERP Analysis
- Optimize the Page Speed
While I used Twitter for learning and LinkedIn to connect with like-minded individuals, I didn’t use them to distribute my ideas. Since Ross regularly talks about distribution, I decided to distribute my posts on Twitter and LinkedIn, since that is where my potential audience hang out.
I experimented with Twitter threads and LinkedIn posts. The engagement on LinkedIn has been much higher than on Twitter so far. I need to figure out how to distribute on Twitter in a way to attract engagement.
Tools are the employees of indie-makers. I have a whole bunch of “employees.” They are essential to achieve such ambitious goal.
- Books, podcasts, and articles for learning the concepts
- Reddit, Quora, and Google for research
- Obsidian for R & D, writing temporary notes, as well as writing long form articles for newsletter and blog
- Wordtune - for helping me edit articles I write
- Excalidraw for drawing low-fidelity illustrations
- Sketch app for creating images for website and social media
- Self developed static blog engine for converting markdown posts into a blog
- Blog hosted on Gitlab Pages
- FeedHive for scheduling posting to Twitter & LinkedIn
- Twitter & LinkedIn for the final distribution to intended audiences
- Plausible to track analytics
- Shields App for LinkedIn analytics
- Zoom to get on a call with others to share, debate, and discuss ideas
- WhatsApp for water-cooler chats with friends for informal chats and quick feedback
I draw inspiration from other individuals who have journeyed the same path earlier. These are just three.
This journey is not without its fears. I am not so much afraid of the hard work, but I’m afraid that I will be swayed by SEO tactics that I will end up writing for machines rather than humans.
I will keep stop, evaluate, and pursue to identify if I stray away. I think having some accountability partners will also help in staying the course.
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Under: #wins , #action , #visuals