10X Blog Traffic Challenge: A Long Overdue Update On Starting An RV Blog From Scratch
An update on the stats of my dormant RV blog after a year of no activity… and how I’m going to turn this into a public challenge to 10X my blog traffic.
So, let me bring you (and frankly, myself) up to speed here…
Back in 2016, I decided to start a new blog from scratch. In a brand new niche. That niche was… RV Travel And Camping.
At the time, the site was called RV Family Travel. And I posted a series of updates, but only 4 of them. They were:
- Follow Along While I Start Up A New Blog From Scratch (RV Blog Report #1)
- 22 Days After Starting A New Blog From Scratch – A Status Report [RV Blog Report #2]
- 7 Weeks In… Status Report On The New RV Blog [RV Blog Report #3]
- An Update On My Hobby RV Camping Blog. Full Stat Breakdown. (RV Blog Report #4)
There was a 6 month gap between the 3rd and 4th update. And I hadn’t updated anything since late 2016.
Well, that’s not totally true. As you can see with this EDGE update (So, what happened to my RV blog?), I pondered doing something with it in February 2018.
But, it kinda fizzled. Posting to the blog was quite infrequent and I haven’t posted anything new to that blog since June of 2019. So, as of this writing, it has been a full year.
For the last year, the blog (now dubbed HappilyRV.com) has been more or less dormant.
But, I’d like to do something with it.
I know, I know. I’ve said that before. 😉 The irony is not lost on me. But, let me tell you what I have in mind here…
Why I Originally Started The Blog From Scratch
If you haven’t been with me for awhile as a reader, then you may not know that I own an RV. And we like to travel in it.
We’re not full-timers. In fact, with all this COVID-19 madness, the rig has been sitting in storage quite a bit lately. But, the hobby remains. 🙂
I wanted a place to scratch an itch. It was very similar to what started up the Blog Marketing Academy itself. Back when I was running my tech blog and talking about tech all day, I wanted an outlet to talk about another passion of mine: the business of blogging and online business. So, I started a new site and that site, over many years, evolved into what you see here now.
I wanted to scratch a new itch and have a place to talk about my hobby. And, frankly, I thought that I could do something interesting in the RV space. I know a thing or two about content creation. 😉
Also, I thought…
“Hey, maybe it might be cool if I do this openly and let my Academy audience follow along.”
So, that’s what happened. Of course, I got off track (more on that below).
Where Does This Blog Stand Today?
So, as I am writing this post, I just logged in to the RV site for the first time in multiple months. I hadn’t looked at it. Had no idea what was going on in there.
Suprisingly, the blog isn’t doing too badly considering it has been dormant.
Here are the stats for the last 30 days, according to Google Analytics:
- 1,737 users
- 2,311 page views
- 1,938 Sessions
- Bounce rate of 90.66%
So, an average of about 58 people per day are coming to the blog, with an average of 77 page views daily. Certainly not huge numbers, but not bad considering the blog has been dead to the world.
Also clear is that people are not sticking around much. 8.8% of the users were returning visitors, which surprised me a bit. Almost 9% of people thought enough of the site to come back and check it out. But, the bounce rate is high and the number of sessions per user is just a hair above 1. So, most people are bouncing.
Another interesting observation…
Traffic has been climbing since around April 2020.
My first thought is that this might be a COVID-19 bounce. With people not traveling by plane all that much and probably some antsiness over how to take trips, perhaps there is an increased interest in RVing.
Let’s see what is going on with the email list. Since I use Drip for the Blog Marketing Academy, I have the advantage of having it for the RV site, too. But, I haven’t emailed these people since May 18th, 2019. So, the list is quite cold, to say the least.
But, it has grown some. When I emailed the list in May 2019, the email went out to 1,147 people. As of this writing, the list has 1,279 active people on it.
Here’s a new subscriber graph going back to the beginning of the year…
So, there are new subscribers coming onto the list, but it is scattered. Very scattered.
Since it has been so long since I’ve emailed the list, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of people drop off the moment I email them again.
So, that’s the update.
So, Why Did I Stop Working On The Site?
Well, it is the same thing that happens to a lot of people, frankly.
Lack of time and concentration.
I have a life. Plus, let’s be frank…. Blog Marketing Academy is my bread and butter. This is where I make the money. It is this business which feeds my kids, quite literally. So, clearly, it is the Blog Marketing Academy that gets and deserves most of my attention.
Plus, I truly love my business. It isn’t as if I’m looking for mental escapes from it. 🙂
In that scenario, it can be difficult to do what is necessary to grow a blog properly out of thin air.
There’s also been the issue of…. purpose.
WHY am I growing the RV blog? What’s my intention? I’m not a full-time traveler nor do we have plans to be. So, what’s my end game? Just do it for fun?
I actually don’t have the whole thing figured out there. All I know is… when I go and look at the site and look at the numbers and see how well the site is managing to coast without me paying any attention to it, I do end up thinking…
Man, I should really do something with that thing!
Which brings me to today.
10X Traffic Challenge: I’ll Grow My Traffic To 1,000 Views Daily
So, I want to make a somewhat bold goal here. And I want to invite you to follow along with me as I document the ups and downs along the way…
I would like to grow my daily traffic to HappilyRV by 10X.
Well, technically, about 13X. Because, I’m setting the goal to get the blog to 1,000 page views per day. Right now, it is averaging about 77. So, I’ve got a ways to go. 🙂
I have no idea what this side project will look like. I have no idea how long it will take. I know that some things will work… and other things will fall flat. That’s life. I’ve been doing this a really long time and I know that not every idea works and things don’t go in a straight line.
But, I want to get the site up to 1,000 page views per day. That’s my goal for now.
Along the way, I will work on growing the list. The list is the most important asset. I will need to warm them up again, let the drop-off happen, then go from there.
I don’t yet have a monetization angle figured out. Obviously, the fact that I own the Blog Marketing Academy could come into all this and there’s a pretty obvious monetization angle there. I’ve made a few bucks on Amazon from that site, but essentially, the site has made no money yet. I wasn’t really trying.
You can follow along over on HappilyRV to see what I’m actually doing. Then, if you are subscribed here at the Blog Marketing Academy, you can follow along behind the scenes.
I’ll walk you through what I’m doing and why. I’ll tell you what works. I’ll tell you what isn’t working as well as I hoped. And I’ll post my stats as I go. You’ll see it all, warts and all.
One thing I never do is mislead. Here on this site, I teach others how to build and grow an online business out of nothing. I show people how to build blogs. But, you’ll never see me act as if I am God’s gift to blogging and every single thing I do just works without question. That’s never true. Sure, I have more experience than most, but I’m still learning and I’ve been doing this for years.
In fact, I WANT some of this project to be difficult. It has been a long time since I grew a blog out of nothing. This will be good for me!
And perhaps you want to follow along.