This is the 800th post on this website.
This website has existed, under different names, since 2011, but we only started posting in 2012. We never really took it seriously up until February 2017. Until then we posted very irregularly. Now that we are serious about it, our audience is growing.
2017 got about ten times more traffic than all the traffic of all previous years combined… It looks like 2018 will get double the traffic of 2017.
2018 is also the first year we are making money through the blog. People are asking us to write articles and link to their website for a fee.
It’s still not perfect, but here’s what we’ve learned so far:
- At first we called our blog just after the name of the main writer. This did little to stick in people’s heads. As the writer is fairly unknown.
- Then we switched to Project Authenticity, an improvement, as people started talking about it. However, it’s a mouthful, and it confused people. What is it about?
- Then we switched to PEP talk, as we wanted to narrow down what kind of content we create. It’s possible we will stick with it, but people still have to ask, what it is about. It’s easy to remember though. PEP. Easy. The problem is that it still combines THREE niches. Whereas it would be far better to have only one clear niche…
- Recently we’ve been toying with the idea of creating content for intelligent, modern, progressive women, who want a lot out of life. The Fearless Woman was born. This is a new concept, and we don’t know what it will bring. Perhaps we will combine PEP with Fearless Women. We will see.
- What we are trying to say is: your name matters, you need to pick ONE clear niche, and you need to have a clear idea of who you’re writing for. Like we have discovered that our most loyal audience is made up of people who are ambitious, but not in a traditional way, who have a lot of empathy and want to improve the world, but without ignoring their own personal growth. Good to know.
- You will often feel discouraged, especially at first, when nobody seems to notice what you’re doing. You will need a lot of encouragement. And if you’re in a relationship you’d better have a partner who fully supports you putting so much time in a very iffy project that will get you nothing for a very long time…
- We are very bad at IT stuff, do not have a real webmaster, yet still managed to see a huge increase in traffic
- Social media didn’t work for us. Facebookers don’t like us, Twitter doesn’t care about us, Instagram doesn’t get us even one visitor, and even though we have a succesful account on Quora, it didn’t get us any significant traffic. So how did we grow? Google. The big breakthrough happened when we wrote articles with titles that people google. Especially if you know something is being googled, yet not a lot of articles exist concerning this topic, you have a good chance to get traffic. We don’t really know why social media was mostly a total failure for us, but it’s probably because we still don’t have a clear niche that we faithfully and consistently post about.
- We got more and more visitors who opted to subscribe via email
- We took more effort to use nice pictures that go well with the content of a post
- We automated posts to our social media accounts. Even though social media hasn’t worked for us so far, it was a huge time saver. Sometimes we do get reactions through social media, and it would be stupid to ignore social media entirely. When we saw nothing we did made a splash there, we just automated it.
- We posted a LOT. The majority of these 800 posts appeared in the last two years. Ever since september 2017 we’ve rarely skipped a day.
- There’s a lot of hardship along the way. Like we’ve noticed that many of our ‘friends’ don’t give a damn about what we are trying to accomplish with this website. You’d better be prepared for some painful experiences along the way. You can also receive hate mail.
- It took us WORK. To get here, we invested something like 800 hours to write and put the posts online. Plus, very likely an other 800 hours of research. Plus easily 200 hours to make the website look better. Plus hundreds of hours spent talking about it and figuring out how to get more traffic, be more consistent, etc. A very low estimate would get us to 2,000 hours of work on this website. That’s 250 complete 8 hour work days. That’s one year of a full time job, just for this website. Note that everyone who works on this site is employed, so all this work happened on the side. And as already mentioned: 2,000 hours is a very conservative estimate… it’s probably a lot more. It’s safe to say that to keep this blog growing it’s like having at least a demanding part time job on the side of your regular job(s)
Of course, some people create catchier content than we’ve done so far.
This is in part because we do not regularly post pictures of our fitness butts.
In my own case this would require the waxing job of the century.
We opt to create posts about psychology, economics, politics. This has grown our blog in major ways, but we do realize we need an even clearer niche.
So if you take one thing from this post: BLOG CONSISTENTLY ABOUT ONE CLEAR TOPIC.
And also: videos are better. If you want more views, do videos. So far we’ve been too shy to really make an effort to make videos. And we’ve also been too technically shy to experiment with videos in a determined way.
So, we will keep writing every day, we will keep improving things, adding features, and we will keep honing our niche.
Thanks to everyone who supports this website! Your feedback has been invaluable!
Have an authentic day,
Team PEP talk, 29th of April 2018