I was hoping this would be a neat and tidy checklist with a concrete timeline but there are too many variables for it to be that neat and tidy.
However, I think the following serves as a helpful big picture step-by-step rough timeline for you to launch and grow an online publishing business based on what I do.
ON-SITE: 1 to 10 days (depending on how much time you have)
- Pick a niche
- Find and register a domain
- Sign up for hosting
- Install Word Press
- Install WP Theme
- Install key plugins
- Legal pages: Privacy, Terms, and Affiliate disclaimer
- SEQ plugin set up
- Set up Google Analytics and Search Console (including submitting a site map)
CONTENT – PHASE 1: Month 1
Courses: This part is covered in the LongTail Keyword Research course. If outsourcing, the Content Site Autopilot course is very helpful. Review the On-Site SEQ course as well for proper on-site SEQ for your content. Finally, the Natural Link Building course is good for creating linkable assets in your content.
Keyword research – put a list of 10 to 50 article topics together. Go after very low competition keywords.
Start writing and/or hire a writer (or use a writing service).
Publish the first article when done. I don’t wait. As soon as one article is done, I publish it.
Publish as many articles as you can.
Interlink: Interlink the tightly connected articles on your site.
Once you have some content, set up social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (if applicable), and Instagram (if applicable).
Post existing content out over time to social media channels.
Don’t overthink this stuff. If you have a visual niche, check out Pinterest Magnate. Otherwise, just post as you see fit. However. if you notice some traction on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, then it’s worth investing more time into it.
CONTENT – PHASE 2: Months 2 to 6
More keyword research – this is the exploratory phase – looking for something to work. Find keywords on a variety of topics within your niche. Putting together a short or a long list of keywords – doesn’t matter. The key is to get more content published ASAP.
Content volume: Impossible to say because everyone’s availability is different. 2 to 10 articles per week. Content is your absolute #1 focus for the next 11 months.
Be sure to look for linkable asset opportunities in each piece you publish. These are set out in the Natural Link Building Course.
MONETIZATION – Month 3 to 6 (depending on traffic and number of articles)
Course: Display Ads Deep Dive.
AdSense: If you don’t have an AdSense account, once you have SO published articles and some traffic. apply Ezoic: zero pageviews requirement, apply to Ezoic. Deploy ads.
6 Month Mark: ANALYSIS
This is where it starts getting interesting. I love this step.
6-month mark: Check Google Analytics to see if any of your articles are performing better than the others. There should be a few at this point. Don’t expect huge traffic. What you’re looking for are articles that are out-performing the others. Note the keywords those articles target and get traffic for.
CLUSTER CREATION via SURGICAL Keyword Research
This is where you reduce some of the guesswork with your topics. Take those keywords that were out-performing and execute a full-out keyword research session deploying some or all the methods in the Longtail keyword research course. You want to carpet bomb those topics and come up with every conceivable topic on those keywords including competitive keywords. If you don’t have one already for the topic, publish a cornerstone article that ties them all together.
Don’t forget to interlink all relevant articles within a cluster. You don’t necessarily need to interlink all articles with one another (especially if it’s a big cluster) but you definitely want them all tied together with one cornerstone.
APPLY CATEGORIES AND TAGS
Course: On-Site SEO Deep Dive
Why wait until now? Because I find you don’t really know what direction your site will go until about now. If you already applied categories and/or tags, you might want to review them at this stage.
IMPROVE EXISTING CONTENT
Chances are your already published content isn’t perfect. This is a time to start improving/updating some older content.
RINSE AND REPEAT
Going forward do two things:
- Find new topics to publish.
- Do the cluster surgical keyword research and grow your best-performing KW5. Rinse and repeat.
NOTE: This is a long, long process. You must be patient. You will not make a lot of money in 12 months. It will more likely take 24 to 36 months to see meaningful revenue and that’s with a lot of work. But once you get there, you have a solid revenue base that you can grow for years.