Our goal at Blog Simple Framework is to help you build a blog (or 100) that will make money.
It’s a simple goal.
We don’t blog as a hobby. We don’t blog for fun.
We blog as a business and that’s what we want to teach you.
One of the ways we want to accomplish that is by letting you behind the scenes of some of the blogs that we run. These blogs are selected due to how relatable they are to a majority of bloggers.
One of the blogs that we’ve selected to showcase is Bogoten.
We want to take you on the beginning journey of Bogoten. A site that was dead and is now being revived.
The History of Bogoten
First, I have no idea how I came up with that name.
I wish I had a cool story behind it but I don’t.
I just went on Hover one day, typed in some random letters and came up with the name.
The goal of the blog was to be a lifestyle site geared towards women. One of those blogs that talk about anything and everything.
I actually set it up as a challenge someone gave me a couple years ago.
So what happened?
22 posts were written. That’s not a lot.
They ranged from Keto to bullet journals to cleaning to organization.
All over the map.
The site launched in July 2017. I don’t have an exact date.
Here are the traffic numbers for each month.
- Jul 2017: 1,040
- Aug 2017: 7,858
- Sep 2017: 2,649
- Oct 2017: 16,990
- Nov 2017: 15,264
- Dec 2017: 10,799
- Jan 2018: 10,940
- Feb 2018: 7,507
- Mar 2018: 98,348
- Apr 2018: 86,758
- May 2018: 49,726
- Jun 2018: 33,034
- Jul 2018: 29,029
- Aug 2018: 22,954
- Sep 2018: 25,086
- Oct 2018: 23,609
- Nov 2018: 16,152
- Dec 2018: 11,385
- Jan 2019: 16,037
- Feb 2019: 18,613
- Mar 2019: 9,284
- Apr 2019: 8,470
- May 2019: 9,260
- Jun 2019: 3,818
- Jul 2019: 3,527
- Aug 2019: 1,915
- Sep 2019: 1,324
During this time period here are the top 10 URLs (page views in parentheses):
- /keto-alcohol-recipes (170,467)
- /keto-fat-bombs (113,953)
- / (30,331)
- /easy-keto-recipes (24,521)
- /keto-crockpot-recipes (18,619)
- /bathroom-organization (17,550)
- /keto-desserts (15,349)
- /farmhouse-home-decor-ideas (11,758)
- /diy-sugar-scrubs (9,889)
- /organize-kitchen-cabinets (9,594)
Alright, a lot to digest here so let’s go over some points.
The Big Spike
First, what’s up with that big spike! Well in the glory days of Pinterest, you could find awesome group boards, pin some pins, and watch those pins go crazy.
Because I have a number of health blogs I was able to get into some nice health related group boards. I wanted to get Bogoten into Mediavine quickly so I decided to write some Keto posts and get them into those group boards.
The rest is history.
This doesn’t work anymore so if you’re running off to do this, you’ll be disappointed.
The traffic stayed at a pretty decent level even with me not writing any content for MONTHS because the Keto posts were ranking well in Google.
Let me restate this.
At some point in 2018, I can’t recall when, I totally abandoned the site.
No new posts. No new pins. No promotion.
It was cruising with that many pageviews on its own.
That is how powerful SEO can be but as you can see you can’t just sit idle forever and expect to maintain great results. Especially with competitive keywords.
Pssst, you can learn all about this keyword and SEO traffic in our awesome Blog Simple SEO Course.
It’s been a steady decline ever since.
In September, I wanted to work on some blogs to test out some things and Bogoten was one of the first sites that I thought of.
So I talked with Marybeth and Joelle Brisland (a kickass DTC member) about working on Bogoten together.
The plan was that we would “launch” in October.
So we were working with an established Pinterest account that was inactive along with 22 posts that hadn’t been touched.
Not exactly starting from scratch. More like reviving the dead.
The Plan of Action
First, it’s important to note that none of us are working on this blog full-time. We have businesses to run so this is all done on the side. I think that’s important to keep in mind because it’s easy to look at what we do and roll your eyes because you think we are just doing stuff for Bogoten.
If that was the case we’d have 100 posts done in 2 months.
With any blog, you need to have a plan of action. It makes no sense to blindly start blogging without any idea of what you plan on doing in the long term.
So first on the agenda was figuring out what the site was going to be about.
It was going to be an everything site covering whatever topics tickled our fancy that day because that’s just too confusing from an SEO standpoint in the long term.
Since we had some organization and home decor posts on the site we decided that site would be home stuff.
Nothing super, duper specific. Just stuff that made your home feel more like home.
This then begs the question what to do with the posts that aren’t home-related? We could simply keep the posts on the site since they wouldn’t cause any harm, but because there are other blogs under our umbrella it made more sense to redirect those posts to those blogs.
As of this writing, I haven’t done that yet so some traffic is still coming from them. That will dilute both the October and November analytics but I’ll make sure to make note of that.
Next we set out to start writing posts. Each of us agreed on the topics that we would tackle. Marybeth has been doing the majority of writing and she’s kicking ass!
Our philosophy behind content creation is pretty simple.
See what works for others and make it work better for you.
Every single post idea that we come up with is found using the Skyscraper Technique.
Note: You guessed it. The Skyscraper Technique and content strategies that we employ are found in our courses:
With a little bit of content ready it almost time to launch. However, I wanted to update the design to give it a bit more personality.
The New Design
A good user experience is important for any blog’s growth. I’m not talking about having a pretty design.
I’m talking about having content that people can actually read.
If you can’t accomplish that then you’re dead in the water.
However, I wanted to take Bogoten to another level and make it feel different than other blogs in this place.
I went with lighter colors to let the content stand out and for some reason I liked having an icon background that signified that the site was about all things home.
I think it turned out great. Especially with the simple navigation clearly signifying our silos.
Note: If you like the design of Bogoten and want to recreate it yourself. you can learn how it was built in the Blog Simple GeneratePress course.
We officially pushed the new site out on October 12th.
First, let’s talk about money.
The goal is not to put ads up on the site until the site gets to 100,000 pageviews.
That keeps us focused and helps to maintain a clean user experience for a while. That’s how I approach most of my blogs.
There is no particular reason, it’s just what I like to do.
Here is a screenshot of the numbers:
You might think it weird that the homepage is #1 but because we shared the site to our community because we loved the design so much, people came to visit.
New posts published in October:
- 11 Genius IKEA Kitchen Hacks for Your Unique Home
- 13 IKEA Bathroom Hacks for When You Need All the Storage
- 12 Day Dreamy IKEA Bedroom Hacks
- 13 IKEA Farmhouse Furniture Finds for Your Modern Farmhouse
- 15 Cute IKEA Wall Decor Ideas & Hacks for Every Room in Your Home
- 16 Amazing Ikea Farmhouse Decor Pieces to Try the Farmhouse Look
- 16 Awesome Ways to Hack the IKEA Spice Rack
- 21 Dollar Tree Farmhouse DIYs with Serious Style
A lot of IKEA stuff, right?
Why is that?
Well, one, Marybeth chose to do IKEA stuff and when we tackle a topic we like to get a number of posts out for that topic. It helps with pageviews since we can link people to related posts and it also helps with interlinking of SEO.
Also, they are all list posts which isn’t the only type of posts that we’ll do on Bogoten. It just so happens when you talk IKEA things lists just work so well.
As you can see, 3 of those posts made the top 10 for the month of October so that’s a good start. Especially considering they were published in the 2nd half of the month.
At the moment, we aren’t too concerned about the other analytics. We were getting our feet wet with things.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Pinterest was the big traffic driver. With Google in 2nd, we can expect that to completely drop once I redirect the Keto posts so we’ll have to make up for it on the Pinterest side of things.
The Mailing List
To put it simply, there isn’t one.
There might be one in the future but there isn’t one now.
But aren’t you supposed to collect email addresses from the beginning?
Yes, if you have a plan of communication.
We generate over $30,000 a month from our email lists so we understand the importance of them, but if you can’t keep a list active, you don’t really have a list. Because we aren’t positive about who the audience is for Bogoten and we don’t have any products or affiliate products to market, then it’s best not to collect email addresses and let them sit.
Not everything in blogging has to be by the book.
When we’re ready for the list, we’ll make it happen. Does that mean we miss out on subscribers now? Of course.
But if we are do are jobs right, we’ll have them coming back anyways.
We are just now getting into the groove, but because we have a lot of other big projects that we are also working on, it’s going to be very easy for us to let Bogoten fall to the side.
That won’t be our intention and hopefully with these monthly income reports we’ve found something to hold ourselves accountable towards.