13-week challenge

The Next 3 Weeks (Weeks 4 to 6)

I’ve already talked about the plan for the first three weeks of this blog, so what’s going to happen in the next 3 weeks?

apple-iphone-smartphone-deskLooking back to the start of this project

Well the first 3 weeks have felt very lonely.  A few visitors have arrived and a few days ago I was hit by loads of spam, but so far only 1 genuine comment have been left.

However, we’ve got plenty of posts indexed on Google and there’s been a tentative effort to try to start teasing in the search engine traffic, so that’s where we go now.


Search Engine Traffic

I started late in week 3 to target a couple of posts towards obvious keywords. They are probably a little too obvious as far as keywords are concerned, but if I suddenly see traffic from them then I really will know that the site is doing well.

So the plan over week 4 is to research and write a couple of posts for some “long tail” keywords. These are phrases that are quite long and specific and as such won’t get many searches. But because they are so long not many people have optimised for them, if any.

Slow link building

Once these are in place and Google has them indexed then I’ll start the next part of the optimisation – a few links back to them. I want to make sure that Google has them index first as that way it is more ‘natural’ for links to start to appear. Hence this will be a weeks 5 & 6 activity

I’ll use a couple of different techniques to build low quality links for now. (High quality links to a new site would look suspicious) They are:

  1. SEO Friendly article directories
  2. SEO Friendly comments on other blogs

Hopefully, by dropping in a few links to the posts along with choosing very low competition keywords and writing the posts naturally, we might just see some movement on these chosen keywords.

How to decide these keywords?

Well that’s going to be a whole post in itself next week! Come back here then for more details, screen prints and more!

As well as that?

Continuing writing as many times as I can per week. The target is 4 to 6 new posts (each on different days) per week. This is about the point where bloggers agree the best benefit is seen to traffic.

I will also submit a load of articles to high traffic article directories and see if that draws any readers across to the blog. But from a tentative experiment and past experience I don’t think I’ll see a huge number of people arriving that way.

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It A Slow Start

Starting a new blog is a slow start. There’s a huge temptation to rush in and try everything under the sun, but you have to hold back, be patient and build quietly and slowly.

Posting is Slow

I’ve got plenty of posts written and prepared that I could fire off right now. Hit send and a load are ready to go. Likewise, there’s loads more inside my head ready to be typed up, formatted and posted. Just a few days old and this blog could easily be displaying hundreds of posts.

But that’s not the way I see this working. Yes, the entire project is about getting a blog site going quickly with a lot of traffic, but that doesn’t mean rushing every stage. I’m taking my time here. Post a new blog, watch for Google to index the post* and then we’re ready to post the next one.

How Slow?

I’m working towards, at first at least, a level of around 3 to 4 posts every week. Once established that can alter. A good week will see more, a busy week will see less. But at first I see that as a “nice” level of activity. Enough to keep the search engines returning, but not so much as to look desperate.

And Traffic is, well not there.

But that is to be expected. This being the third post the site is not exactly a high ranking site (probably bottom of the pile on Google’s terms) and none of the posts are targeting any keywords.

Building Foundations

At the moment it’s all about building the foundations of a good site. Get a reputation within Google of posting regularly whilst building a stock of content. Later on (and I’ll describe the plan for the first 3 weeks in a day or two) I will start to build in links from other sites into this site. I don’t want at that point for visitors (and even editors on other websites checking links) to come here and find just a single “Hello World” type post.

Once I start trying to build the traffic into this site the site has to be ready for the traffic. By that point I’ll have left a good description of what this challenge is about / what it is trying to do and be starting to leave a good account of how to start up your own blog.

The Future

Obviously the intention is that this blog is, within the 13 weeks, getting plenty of hits. All from scratch. I won’t sit back at that point and delight in my own success (or failure) but keep it going describing blog / website marketing techniques.

I’ll also pull together some of the more important posts that will help others when setting up their own websites so that if you are also setting out on a new blogging adventure you might be able to copy some of the tricks I’ve tried here.

* ideally you wait for Google to visit the site before adding a new post, but in the first few weeks the visits can be 7 days apart. So wait for Google to get that very first opening post, then post the 2nd post and follow up every couple of days with a new post until you see regular Google visits. Once Google is visiting after every post you know you are in favour!

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Judging The Success of the 13-Week Challenge

Is it a success?

It would be easy for me to turn around on 20 December 2015 and simply say “Yes, it’s been a success.” if before then I don’t put down in writing some measures of success right at the start. I could cheat, change the rules and measures and simply accept whatever is happening.

What Measures can I Use?

There are many ways I could measure the success of the site:

  • How many comments are left each day?
  • How many pages are listed in Google?
  • Number of subscribers to a mailing list.
  • Have I enjoyed it?
  • How many target keywords does the site rank well on?
  • How many page hits on average are there?
  • The daily Adsense revenue.
  • The affiliate revenue.
  • The lifetime Adsense revenue.

Which One Will I Use?

I think that most people wanting to quickly build a brand new blog will be building it for the purpose of building an income. Therefore, I think that monitoring Adsense revenue will be the chosen measure of success. I don’t intend to flog this blog heavily with Affiliate Selling, so that would not be a measure of the success.

The number of visitors coming back to the site could be seen as a good measure, but since that figure determines the Adsense income (more readers = more people to click on the adverts) then I think that Adsense covers all grounds. However, between then and now I will be carefully watching the traffic and working on that.

So, What Will Be “Successful”

I’m going to simply target £1,000 in Adsense revenue. It’s a nice, round figure that would be more than just basic traffic.

Given that over the course of the project the first few weeks are about laying the foundations of the site, I’m not expecting any traffic to hit the site for weeks. So that does sort of hinder the earning potential within the short period allowed. But, if I’m spending a couple of hours per day on the site for 90 days, then it’s an average of just over £5.50 / hour, so for an income earned whilst sat in front on the TV not too bad I supposed.

Day to Day “Success”

Day to day success will simply be measured by watching traffic. Once I start trying to build traffic does it arrive? Does it grow? When there are spikes in the traffic that’s a good sign that something has been done correctly and needs repeating / continuing.

Most days though, even after those first few weeks, I’m expecting very little to happen that’s exciting in terms of traffic. It will all be simply about applying semi-technical tricks and tips to get everything up and running.

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Welcome to the 13-Week Challenge!


I have owned many blogs and websites in the past, some very successful and others a complete waste of time. Some have, for a short time, provided a full monthly income until bad SEO practices caught up with them.

Recently the idea of starting a new blog has been getting to me. I wanted to see what new tools have appeared in the few years since I last started a brand new blog and I’ve been reading up on many “experts”. Some say that it is certainly possible to start a brand new blog from scratch and within 90 days get it up and running with genuine traffic arriving at the blog even an income stream from the blog.

What is the Challenge?

It’s easy enough to tell people that it’s possible, but who actually gives hard evidence? Who is brave enough to provide the incontrovertible facts that yes, that blog didn’t exist before and now, 90 days later, it has achieve what we are claiming?

I’ve not seen anyone prove it and so I think it’s time I gave it a go. The people behind these statements say that it is possible with only a couple of hours’ work per day. I won’t be able to spare that much time every day due to work and family commitments so straight away we’re hitting a problem with the theory, but I can still give it a good go!

Let’s Start the 13-Week Challenge!

So the challenge starts today. The site has been registered, WordPress installed and a basic theme applied. And this, therefore, is the first post. 13 weeks today I will review the site, the process and most importantly the traffic stats and see what has happened. 13 weeks today being 20th December 2015, the Sunday before Christmas and a full 90 days will have elapsed. I’ll take a look that day at what has happened up to the end of the previous day.

What Will I Be Doing?

Over the course of the 90 days I will be posting to this blog with the intention of ultimately creating a resource that shows whether it was successful, the methods employed and how much I feel each of them contributed to the success, or otherwise, of the challenge.

Once the 90 days are over the blog will continue in the same vain – discussing different ways of promoting new, and existing, blogs (and websites). But hopefully there will be hard evidence, undeniable and conclusive facts, that what I am writing about does work.

It’s all well and good saying that something is possible, but proving it is another thing altogether!

The Plan

I’ll discuss the early plan in detail tomorrow, but I believe that although a fast set of actions is required that it is equally important that the correct foundations are laid down. I’ve suffered in the past from being too hasty and using dubious (to be kind) techniques to promote sites. Not this time. Slow and steady to build the site and keep everything above board and friendly,

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