Begin Anew

Don’t cry because it ended. Smile because it happened

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March Update

As another google update rolled and took its victims, the mood in the SEO community got even more sour. Some strong advocates of EEAT who think they did a good job and should be excluded from the update got ran over too and they already show strong feelings on it.

Travel Lemming, who supposedly have very strong EEAT and visit every place they review themselves got slashed to the point that they only have 35% of their original traffic. Up The Gains by Sammy Elard also got slashed and he ranted in X about having been overtaken by lower quality site in ranks. NSL took this opportunity to push her recommended FB course and get some commission from it.

Basically the whole thing is a mess.

Pinterest effort

My Pinterest effort started to yield result although it’s not much, about 300 visits in a month, far cry from nearly 100k needed to earn decent ad revenue.

To make matters complicated, most of my topics are not what people look for in Interest. My biggest contributor is 90 clicks from 1 pin that is not even in my main topic.

After some deliberating, my plan is to add more articles to serve Pinterest. This effort will damage topical cluster but with Google like this, it doesn’t seem to matter now.

Facebook

Facebook effort remains elusive despite taking the most cost from ad. My page has 420 followers now but FB only shows my post to 1-2 people each time. I made sure to deliver what I promise in Ad but if the algorithm does not show it to more people, does it means that the one who click like does not really care about what promised in the Ad?

This happened despite me ditching all my side topics and only focus on 1 topic in FB in order to keep engagement, and thus for it to be shown to more followers.

SEO

Traffic down to 24 visitors at one point and since then rebound to about 80-100, halving the previous traffic. Impression almost went back but with less click that only means that I still show on same page on SERP but lower.

As the update will take 1 month to roll, I don’t even know how to react. No one else does either for sure.

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The Universe Doesn’t Owe You Anything

Life is unfair.

The Universe does not owe you anything, just because you’ve been working hard, or because you wished for it to happen.

Shitty things happen to amazing people.
Amazing things happen to shitty people.

We have been taught that we need to suffer to get what we want in life.

We don’t.

We need to do what works,
and it’s not related to how much suffer.

How many 12h/day factory or mine workers have you seen living their dreams?

Yet they are some of the hardest workers there is.

The World is filled with billions of people who believe that the hardest they work, the better their life will be.

We value suffering, hardship, effort, pain and tough work.

For what?

Suffering is not giving you any “credit points” that you can exchange afterward to get good things in your life.

We reject what’s simple and effortless, because we think: “nah, it couldn’t be that easy, right?”

But sometimes it is, that easy.

Sometimes, what leads to amazing results doesn’t require 80h of work per week.

We need to stop living our life with the belief that the Universe, or other people, owe us anything because of our efforts or intentions.

There is no “law of attraction”.
There is no “no pain no gain”.
There is no “karma”.

There is what works,
and what does not work.

Sometimes, it takes years to figure out what works.

Sometimes, it only takes 10 seconds.

We try to make sense of the World by thinking it’s all balanced, that harder work leads to better results, that giving more leads to receiving more, etc.

It doesn’t work this way.

You should love, not because you expect love in return, but because loving is what makes you feel whole.

You should work hard, not because you expect better results in return, but out of passion for the work itself.

You should give back more, not because you expect to receive gratefulness in return, but because giving it the reward itself.

As long as you believe that your effort, work, love, intention or gifts entitle you to be rewarded, you got it all wrong.

Life is unfair.

You can deny it, and suffer.
or deal with it, and adjust.

Someone said: “Reality is what remains even when you stop believing in it.”

And regardless how many millions books, movies and seminars it sold,

Reality doesn’t reward the effort, the intention, or the pain to get there.

Reality rewards what works.

Source: thomasdepin

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February Progress

Just as traffic bumped in January, the most I got was 240/day before it dived down again to a disheartening level at 150+. Someone on twitter told me that it was seasonal since travel increased in January and dropped by the end of it.

Facebook

I fired my overpriced social media manager and chose to do FB myself.

  • The idea is running ads to gain likes, and hopefully they see the posts afterwards
  • run ads and test various forms , so far managed to get about $0.26 per likes, still too high
  • Start adding news to be shared on FB
  • Share memes from time to time

Pinterest

I start with 10/day and now start to do 20/day on 3rd month. Traffic trickled in but nothing significant. From trend and keyword checking, the topic I cover isn’t really things people search on Pinterest so it’s not a good match.

Thoughts on Social Media

I can start branching and make articles for social media instead for google but I wonder how much this will benefit me

Content

I’m still adding content although no longer aiming for 20 per months. Most of my top performers already dropped to page 2 or even 3 and adding more does not seem to boost anything.

Links

I got a few links but most of them are a bit concerning because they seem to be sites that are designed to sell links (bought high DA site and put content on it). They get little traffic despite the big DA and they all ask money for it.

That and there’s this case NSL got manual penalty as google accused her of buying link make me reconsider link building again.

That being said, my DA 17 domain probably wont go anywhere if I don’t make link.

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Dating Advice

  • If it’s already made clear that you’re unwanted, leave. Trying to stay will only lead to more heartaches => You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love is no longer being served -Nina Simone-
  • Never let a handful of good qualities make you think that everything else about them is great. The truth is you don’t have the full picture yet, so don’t assume.
  • Date people who share similar values to you because relationships that are aligned are so much easier. Misalignment in values will cause a lot of conflicts.
  • To meet your person you have to be visible. After all, if you can’t be seen you can’t be found.
  • Your mental health is more important than any relationship. If you have to sacrifice your mental wellbeing for your partner, you lose yourself in the process.
  • How someone treats you is how they feel about you. If they act like they don’t care, they don’t care. => Action speaks louder than words.
  • If you wouldn’t be friends with the person you’re dating, the relationship is probably built on physical attraction or infatuation and probably won’t last. You don’t actually miss them, you miss what you wanted them to be.
  • Don’t believe in potential. Potential is worthless without actions to back it up. Look where they are and what they’re doing now => What you see is what you get.

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Recovering Attempt & Diversifying Traffic

Following the Google update and drop in visitors since end of August, I decided make a few effort to keep the business going:

  1. In pursuit of topical authority: unpublishing more than 80 articles. This makes the site a bit tighter but the remaining topics are still unrelated to each other. I ended up with 4 topics.
  2. Reducing the frequency of additional articles since adding more does not seem to add traffic significantly. Google still index it as fast as ever but they all stuck on page 4 or 5 which is useless.
  3. Trying to diversify traffic from social media following NSL suggestion: using a service for FB and doing it myself for Pinterest. So far the result isn’t really significant: 5K traffic from Google & 90 from social media in the last 28 days.
  4. Start link building campaign again to increase my site’s DA. It seems it’s very difficult to rank without proper DA. Mine is now only 19, will see if I can push it to 30+.

Traffic got bumped a bit since end of December, which is supposedly when travel site gets a bump anyway until the end of January. The result is now I get 200+ per day consistently instead of 130+ in the last months. It is still depressing since I got 400+ on August but progress is progress. I’m hoping this will keep up past January.

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September 2023 Earning

Traffic started falling down from the end of August. Some keywords lost their rank and those who retained don’t seem to get that many impressions anymore. Could be that it’s seasonality in effect (less people searching the topic) or Google started to distribute vastly different results to different people.

In any case, Google Helpful Content Update rolled and many sites got shot down on 14 Sept, doing a sharp nosedive when their traffic plunged 25, 50, 80%.

Mine didn’t do nosedive but it went down nonetheless. Since it’s been going down since the end of August, I’m not sure if it’s the effect of the HCU or something else. In any case, it’s pretty much sideway during September. Compared to August, clicks were down about 25%.

Nobody seems to have any clue of what’s going on and everywhere I see it’s just speculation after speculation. It seems for the moment the best thing to do is just posting as usual and see if G decides to rollback some of the updates. I’ve been hearing about SERP with poor quality contents up top just because they’re on reddit, quora, or being a local site. We’ll see.

  • GSC click: 7,577
  • Ad revenue: $194
  • GA PV: 11,217
  • RPM: $17.32 (from ad only)
  • Ezoic visit: 10,151
  • Ezoic EPMV: $19.11
  • Amazon revenue: $35.79
  • Total revenue: $229.79

My first Amazon check was sent on 29 Sept, will see how expensive to cash that out here.

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Pain

No regret

It’s no one’s fault

Life goes on

Be the adult

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August Earning

August ended with minimum increase despite the posts’ deletion. Both GSC click and GA PV increased only by about 1000. Earnings increased by about $30.

  • GSC click: 10,466
  • Ad revenue: $225.12
  • GA PV: 14,202
  • RPM: $15.85 (from ad only)
  • Ezoic visit: 13,624
  • Ezoic EPMV: $18.40
  • Amazon revenue: $56.07
  • Total revenue: $281.19

I’m considering to add Amazon revenue into the table but it seems to be very dependent on 1-2 pages so maybe sometime in the future.

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First Revenue Withdrawal

After getting first revenue on January, today is the time for first revenue withdrawal. The withdrawal comes from Ezoic ad revenue instead of Amazon affiliate commission though.

The conversion rate to my home currency is kind of suck, but being a Neteller user for years I already expect that. At least Payoneer doesn’t charge $12 withdrawal fee on top of the trash rate like Neteller.

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