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Case Study: 3 Months of Blogging

Case Study: 3 Months of Blogging

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In case you missed the announcement back in March, I started a brand new blog earlier this year.

You can catch up with how the first month of starting that blog went in this article.

The idea behind starting The Spain Travel Guru began about a year ago when I noticed how popular the Spain content on Eternal Expat was becoming.

I also noticed a huge jump in views whenever I would make videos about Spain on my YouTube channel.

Spain is a huge market, albeit quite different from the one that I am used to. But it is an exciting prospect to work towards building a site that will be a comprehensive guide to traveling in Spain.

Short Term Goals

In the one-month checkup, I talked about how I would be focusing all of my time on two goals:

  • SEO
  • Affiliate content

I have continued to work towards this goal by writing content that I believe this website can rank for over time as well as building content that focuses on “buying” words.

Buying words are exactly as they sound. They are keywords that people go to Google to search for when they are ready to buy.

In the travel sphere, this means focusing on content like car rentals, tours, train and other transportation bookings, and hotels.

I am working hard to make sure that I am answering people’s “buying” questions with the best possible answers, not just the ones that will make the most money.

It is SO important to me that this site is still valuable to the readers because there is no longevity otherwise. I want to build trust with people who will continue to return to the Spain Travel Guru because that tour they booked or that rental car they rented was excellent.

It’s not all about buying words though, it’s also about building content that answers all of the questions that people have about travel in Spain. I want to help people find those hidden gems that make a trip special.

computer on a desk with mug of coffee to one side and a window in the background.
Building a website means spending a lot of time at the computer writing and researching keywords.

What Was My Focus in the First 3 Months

My biggest focuses for the last three months have been writing the type of content I mentioned above as well as:

  • Writing guest posts about Spain for other travel bloggers: This allows you to get a byline for the type of content that you are trying to tell Google that you are an expert in. It’s also a great way to get more links back to your website.
  • Getting linkbacks from fellow bloggers to increase the “link juice” of my newer blog posts. Most of this has simply come from asking other bloggers to link to my content in exchange for linking to some of theirs.

How Much Time Am I Spending Per Week?

It has varied so much in the last three months.

In month one, I was working on the blog throughout the week with almost an entire workday being spent solely on The Spain Travel Guru.

But it has since tapered off. I didn’t spend a ton of time in late-April or early May working on the site because I was traveling.

I am also balancing this new website with maintaining Eternal Expat, my growing YouTube channel, and a recent speaking event that I did which took up all of my mental energy for a few weeks leading up to it.

I will be spending a lot more time in the next 6 weeks working on the website because I will then be stepping away from ALL work for the month of July and I want to make sure that there is plenty of content on the site to work towards rankings.

My hope is to dedicate about 10 hours per week to working on The Spain Travel Guru. This includes writing at least two articles per week as well as doing keyword research for myself and for the writers that are currently helping with content on the website.

The last 30 days on The Spain Travel Guru with a few days close to 30 page views per day!

Wins for the last 3 Months

Two articles for The Spain Travel Guru are already ranking on page one of Google! I was not expecting this at all within such a short period of time, but I am so excited to see how quickly it’s possible to start building helpful content that Google values.

I am also excited that The Spain Travel Guru was accepted to the SheMedia ad network (I’m still in the process of setting it up).

When I started this blog, I was sure that I would only be able to run Google Ads on it for the first 6 months, which are truly the worst-paying ads out there.

While I won’t be earning very much from the few pageviews that the website is currently receiving, it means that when traffic does start to pick up, the website is already displaying well-paying ads.

In the last 30 days, The Spain Travel Guru has had over 400 pageviews, most of which have come from Google.

I have, of course, been sharing the website on my Facebook page and linking to it on my YouTube videos as well, but the majority of the traffic is coming from Google. I feel so motivated by this to keep my head down and continue with the work that I’ve been doing.

computer on a white table with two chairs near the edges and a notebook and eyeglasses to the side.
My work setup is not nearly this tidy or relaxing, but every day I sit down to work a little bit more.

What I’ve Learned in the Last 3 Months

I think there was a part of me that was expecting this to take longer. I was worried that perhaps it was going to be way more complicated than what my simple plan was preparing for.

But it really is as straightforward as I was hoping it would be.

Create great content that focuses on what people are searching for.

This is something I believe, after speaking to so many bloggers, is what holds so many people back.

They want to write about what they want to write about rather than what readers are looking for. They want to write the articles that they were looking for before they traveled to that place.

And this is admirable and there are no doubt other people out there who want to find that information, but how many people?

If you are going to build a blog as a business, then you need to run it as a business. This means figuring out what your audience wants and then giving it to them, not creating a product, and then hoping that there might be an audience out there who wants it.

Sharon Gourlay of the Digital Nomad Wannabe once said something that has forever shifted the way I look at my content. She said that everything that you create should be above all else, helpful. It’s not about you, it’s about your reader and everything you create should be with them in mind.

This includes understanding what is most helpful to them and then ensuring that you are using the correct wording in your keywords so that when they go searching for this information, they find your answers.

What Will I Do for the Next 3 Months?

I will check in again in three months’ time for a 6-month update on The Spain Travel Guru.

In that time I hope to double the amount of traffic that the website is currently receiving. I would be elated if, by the 6-month mark, I was receiving close to 1,000 page views per month.

At the moment, there are 22 blog posts on The Spain Travel Guru. I would like to get that to 40 blog posts by the 6-month mark, keeping in mind that I plan to take most of July away from working.

I will be spending most of July and August in Spain doing research, exploring, getting to know some new-to-me regions, and also just having a great time (that’s what building these sites is all about in the end, isn’t it?!).

So I hope to have TONS of content to write and keep me busy for most of the rest of 2023.

In addition to writing more content, I would like to guest post for one more website (that will bring the guest posting up to four different websites) to get some more authority for myself as a Spain writer.

I will continue to seek backlinks to the different pages on the website. I believe that is one of the main reasons two of the blog posts are currently on page one and I want to continue with that momentum.

Lots of caffeine is consumed when you are starting a new blog haha!

Still No Social Media?

At the moment, I am sticking to my original plan to avoid spending time on social media. I like the idea of using my current Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, all of which are branded by my personal name rather than “Eternal Expat” to continue sharing all of the different travels that I have around the world, including Spain.

I have reserved the names across some social media just in case at some point in the future I change my mind.

But at the moment, my main focus is on the content on the website and turning this site into a profitable avenue of passive income.

Long-Term Goals

In the one-month update, I didn’t lay out very many long-term goals. In fact, the only one that I spoke of at all was to become an authority site for Spain travel.

That is still my main long-term goal, but I wanted to set out a few numerical and more measurable goals that I can focus on for the rest of 2023.

I want to build this website to receive at least 50,000 page views per month.

I think a realistic time frame for that is about two years from the time the website started. So by February 2025, this website should be receiving at least that amount of traffic.

This number will allow me to really earn a significant amount of passive income both through display ads as well as affiliate income.

It took Eternal Expat about 3 years before it reached that level of traffic, however, I didn’t know what I was doing for the first two years when it came to SEO.

So I think this is even possible to achieve before the 2-year mark, however, since this is a different market than Eternal Expat, I want to be generous with the time frame.

Eternal Expat has over 600 articles on it and receives about 130,000 page views per month. But I would say that the majority of that traffic comes from only about 100-150 articles that rank on Google.

If that is the case, then I can hope that somewhere between 50-75 articles that rank on Google should be a good amount to get me close to my goal. Of course, not every article I write for The Spain Travel Guru is going to rank on Google (much like only 1/5 of the articles on this website rank on Google).

So my goal is to write at least 100 articles in the first year of having this website. I think that will allow me to see what is working and what isn’t and then focus the next 100 articles on the topics and locations that are doing the best for The Spain Travel Guru on Google.