Starting 2024, I am taking up a challenge of attaining 500K monthly website visitors to Financial Folks by the end of this year. It’s almost end of January today, which means, I have almost another 11 months to achieve this.
Why this crazy experiment?
I’m going through some medical emergencies in my family and needs to raise almost $150K in funds to afford the treatment I wish to give my father. I’ve spent every penny I had saved over the last 1 year to give the best possible treatment, but I’m almost out of money now. And you know what, there is no greater motivator to try something when the lives of your loved ones are at risk.
I’m willing to lose sleep and put in all the efforts needed to make it work. And I know I’ll make it work.
Moreover, if there’s one thing I learned over the last 1 year spending a shitload of time on hospitals, it’s that money & health are two important aspects of your life. You can’t sacrifice both.
But in case you mess up your health, you’ll need money to gain it back. So yeah, money is something that I never ever want to be short of in life. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way. (and health is equally important because there is no happy life without health anyways)
That’s what propelled me to start focusing on this blog and to make it work.
- First, to build something that helps me reach closer to my goal of curating $150K at the earliest
- Second, to build a source of steady passive income to ensure that I never ever worry about money in my life. This is the ultimate goal.
No, I do not want to be a billionaire or something (though I wouldn’t complain if I became one). But I want to achieve the so-called “Financial Freedom”. I really wanna do achieve it. Money should not be something that limits me from doing what I wish or on making the best out of my life. That’s the goal.
Sorry I digressed!
But I wanted to capture the reason that led me to take up this challenge here.
Coming back to the challenge, is it an ambitious target?
Hell yes, I know it’s not just ambitious, but a moonshot, but that’s the target.
As the saying goes, aim for the stars & you’ll at least end up at the moon if you fail. But let me tell you that it’s not an empty goal with zero planning.
I have set clear plans to achieve it. And if all goes well, I should be able to do it as well.
So, what’s the plan?
It’s definitely not SEO. Why?
Because with Google acting weird nowadays through multiple algorithm updates and GPTs questioning the existence of search engines, it’s definitely not SEO. Above all, it’d take a couple of years just to be in the good books of Google.
I’m not saying no to SEO forever, but no SEO-first focus this year. That’s a long term play which I’ll take up when things fall in place.
So, how else?
Yes, social media!
Specifically, Pinterest. And Facebook (which will be a new experiment for me)
I’ve been playing around building blogs since 2016.
And my key learning?
I’ve never had astounding success with Pinterest yet. But even with minimal efforts, I have scaled blogs to obtain thousands of monthly website visitors completely from Pinterest. And with right strategies, I feel I’ll be able to pull off the daring goal.
Again, the question in your mind would be, “do you really think one Pinterest account can get you 500K monthly visitors?”
Well, I don’t. Hardly a few websites would receive such humungous traffic from just one account.
But I know a lot of websites that receive 100K visitors from one account.
And a ton of websites that receive 50K monthly visitors from one account.
So, my goal is to build 5-10 different accounts targeting different sub-niches or categories & drive traffic through them all!
Combined, they can push me to reach my goal.
To start off with, I’ll have 4 accounts all targeting different sub-niches of Personal Finance. Once I see how the experiment is turning out, I’ll start creating more accounts on varied niches (like cooking, travel, etc.) to turn Financial Folks into a lifestyle blog with primary focus on personal finance, but covering all other topics as well.
I can have even more plans for the future, but that’ll just confuse me at this starting point. For now, I want to be crystal clear on what to do, set a system for the same & continue doing that.
I have the plans ready – multiple accounts, multiple topics (which I’ve already identified). Now it’s time to start execution & track the progress.
I’ll post weekly progress on how my traffic is changing with my efforts & strategies (be it a successful or failed experiment) so that it’ll serve as a learning point for future bloggers. Moreover, publishing progress reports will keep me disciplined and on top of what’s working & not.
Moreover, I’ve also come across some recent strategies on driving Facebook Traffic which I’d really like to try. But given the limited time & efforts needed to set things up initially, I’ll keep the FB experiment to later part of this year. But that’s something I’d really like to try.
I’ll also put together all the content I have created till date and try to organize them in Financial Folks. This will help me scale the blog faster.
Oh, and by the way, entering Mediavine is another major milestone that I’ve kept in my goal list. So, 50K sessions here I come!
I guess with all that said, I’m ready to get started with the challenge.
See you guys in the next progress report!
Week 2 Updates (28th Jan to 3rd Feb 2024)
Things didn’t go as per plan last week. I guess I underestimated the efforts required for pulling off the challenge.
- I’ve finalized on 10 Pinterest accounts. I’ve also listed down the content titles that will be needed for managing 10 accounts.
- In essence, I’ll have to publish 300+ posts in multiple topics to have enough content to manage 10 accounts. I was thinking 10 posts per account or about 100 posts will do. But my competitor analysis says otherwise, I’ll have to publish some 300 posts to match up with my competition!
- Didn’t think it would be this costly an affair. I’ll not be able to write 300 posts in a couple of months, which means, I’ll have to outsource it.
- I’ve given orders for 40 posts to Freelancers. I’ll hopefully receive them by next week.
- Even though I’ll not be writing, publishing 300 posts in itself would be a big time-consuming activity.
- To fast track processes, I’m checking with multiple freelancers simultaneously to write content. I’m targeting February as the deadline for creating 300 posts and mid-march as the target for publishing all 300 posts.
- I have also started talking to freelancers for designing Pinterest pins. Creating pin templates for 300 posts would be another costly affair.
- Also wondering if I should hire a full-time resource for the experiment (or to think of VAs). But that’ll increase the costs even more! So, confused on that item!
And the worst thing is that I’ve not been publishing pins for the finalized accounts and content. I’ve published pins on only 2 out of last 7 days (which is quite bad!). Running behind all other things is taking my motivation away from publishing pins.Moreover, I’ve decided to have 3 accounts targeting Personal Finance, since that’s the core niche. The pins for all three accounts are ready. I just have to post everyday, that’s the pending part. I’ll have to stay focused on pinning specifically for next week.
Looking at traffic, there is a hit. I’ve dropped from 723 visitors last week to 624 visitors now. And as can be seen, 97% of the visitors are social or direct traffic.
Nothing much to worry about as the number of visitors since Jan 15th has been more or less averaging around 20 people per day, it was the drop in early January that took the numbers down. Let’s see how the next week will turn out.
For the upcoming week, my targets are:
- Pin every single damn day for all 7 days!
- Get at least 20 new posts published
- Identify freelancers who’ll be able to help me close on 300 posts and give them orders for at least 150 posts.
- Give Pinterest pin creation order for at least 100 posts
Week 1 Updates (21st to 27th January 2024)
The first Sunday after starting the challenge has come and here goes my first progress update.
So, what has happened over the past few days?
Well, I couldn’t pull off as much as I wanted to. Being holidays, I thought I could close on many things, but things didn’t happen as I wished. A little bit of laziness & self-doubt also kicked in now that I’m looking at a massive goal.
Above all, now that I’m into traffic building mode, all the YouTube videos, blogposts & X (formerly Twitter) accounts are taking away my focus. I see a new traffic strategy and I go behind trying to understand that. I think I’ve spent a lot of time reading and learning many things during the last few days.
But well, that’s not what I need. What I need is traffic. And to get that, I have to just follow my simple plan. As long as I don’t get distracted by other stuff, I’ll be good. And writing this progress update will act us a reminder for me. No more explorations, just executing what I already know.
Once what I know works, then I’ll have all the time in the world to explore other things!
Coming to the actual updates, out of the 10 Pinterest accounts planned, 2 are ready and I started posting. Both are on Personal Finance. Since I already had personal finance content and Pinterest creatives ready, that was an easy step.
But no increase in traffic though. It’s just beginning. I also got confused on the pinning strategy. Till now, I used to repin my pins to 3-4 other boards just after the initial pinning. This was to get that initial Pinterest boost.
But considering the fact that I’m looking at close to 80-100 pins a day (once I have 10 accounts ready), repinning 300-500 times will be quite a daunting task. With this concern, I didn’t repin yesterday. And the results were depressing, the Pinterest reach was much lower.
So, for now, I’ll continue repinning to multiple boards and retry this later once I have more reach. Worse comes to worse, a lot of hardwork is needed to repin, but I’ll grind it off.
As can be seen in the Google Analytics, the traffic is more or less the same for last month at about 20-30 daily visitors. To remind myself, the goal is almost 2000 daily visitors to cross 50K Mediavine acceptance criteria & 20K daily visitors to cross 500K monthly visitors. So, yeah, I’m looking at a 100X and 1000X growth needed for each of the target! Let’s see!
Coming to the strategy, I only have 2 accounts up and running now. For the remaining accounts, I would first have to build the content. I’ve closed on the niches and given a Fiverr order for cooking niche, which will take 10 days to get completed and a few more for me to post. I have to start getting the content written for other niches as well.
So, the goal for coming week would be:
- Continue posting on the two finance accounts
- Identify posts to be written for each category. Assuming 10 posts per Pinterest account, about 80 posts will have to be identified, created & published for the experiment to even start properly!
- Give content orders for all 10 accounts (which will burn through my pockets, oops! But necessary anyways!)
- Start designing Pins for other 8 accounts. And do a Fiverr research for Pin designing services.
That’s all for this week updates. Let’s see how the traffic fares in the coming week and if I’m able to close on the goals identified.