8 months of my side hustle | My blogging journey part 2

Background

Since I started hosting websites, I have learned a lot. Be it keyword research, use of plugins, search engine optimization (SEO) or experimenting with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

This is a whole new world. I enjoy a lot spending time doing all these things. But I do this as a side hustle. I am a full time Accountant working in Qatar. You can read more about me at usamasohail.com/about

In this post, I will be sharing last 5 months of my struggle. I have already made a post previously for the first 3 months, so I will be discussing the latest developments in this post.

In the last couple of months, I was very busy because of annual audit of the 3 companies where I work. So could not give proper time to my websites.

Let me tell you, there is nothing incredible or extraordinary here. But, actually this is the point of writing this post. Most of the bloggers who start their journey, experience the same failures like me and end up quitting or discontinuing it.

However, I really enjoy this experience and has learnt a lot during this process. Another reason for continuing the efforts is my job, which is more than enough to arrange for bread and butter.

So let me share insights which might be helpful for you too. Let me know in comments, if you find something informative and useful. Otherwise, I will discontinue writing these posts. :p

3 websites – 2 subdomains

I am currently running 3 websites and 2 subdomains which are as follows:

Websites

Subdomains

LinksCollections is a collection of top links, that include websites, best books links, or other online collections. This is the first website I launched back in August 2020.

Facenuma was initially a misadventure, a domain with spam score of 17%. I stopped hosting it and redirect the URL to linkscollections. Now, most of the spammy sites linking to this domain are expired and the spam score now is just 1% (minimum). Currently, I accept guest posts on this website.

Usamasohail.com is my personal blog. I share Excel tips or posts about blogging. I am writing a novel also, which I plan to upload here.

jobs.linkscollections.com is run through RSS feeds from job portals. I created this subdomain to curate a list of jobs that might help someone who became jobless due to COVID lay offs.

sihdm.linkscollections.com is a subdomain having Youtube videos. Its a collection of movies I like most.

Websites stats

DA / PA / Alexa

image 12

https://websiteseochecker.com/domain-authority-checker

Search Console

linkscollections.com

In the last 3 months, my website ranked on google for around 1000 keywords. However, since it is a links collections website, mostly it is ranking for those keywords which are the websites name itself. So, when a user enters the search query, the first result will be the website itself.

The reason someone is clicking my website is the search intent. For example, my website has links for cricket streaming websites, so when a user enters a website name, his intent is not to go to that website but to view the cricket streaming. I guess they find my website more relevant because it has multiple links for the same.

Here are the search console screenshots.

3 months
last 7 days

facenuma.com

This website is still struggling to find its place in the search engine. I keep this website for accepting guest posts from other users. I provide them 1 do follow link. Why they want to guest post on my website? For link building, this website has a Domain Authority of 52.

facenuma 3 months

Monetization

Adsense

My Google Adsense income crossed 10 Dollars. 😀 My page RPM is quite low. 🙁

I have Adsense approved on linkscollections and facenuma but all of the adsense income is from linkscollections.

adsense

Affiliates

I applied to several affiliates but most of them rejected and only few of them approved my website. The reason being new blog with little or no traffic. Obviously why would someone want to risk his website reputation with new or unknown blog, which might become spammy later. Old websites with good DA and real traffic is the best choice.

Some of the generous affiliates where I got approved are as follows:

Fiverrthe best one

I put Fiverr banner in the sidebar, just got two clicks to Fiverr and one of them converted to a sale.

Can you guess how much commission I earned? Its more than the entire adsense income. Yes, 11 Dollars. :p

image 10

No doubt, Fiverr is the best affiliate program for bloggers. Join now, if you have not joined yet.

Affiliates%20%281%29

Accuwebhosting – PPC

The reason I like this affiliate program is the PPC campaign it has. Accuwebhosting gives commission for every visitor you send to their website even though they don’t purchase plans/products. You don’t also need to be an Accuwebhosting customer to sign up for their Affiliate Program. They pay 2.5$ per 50 visitors you send to their website.

Further, they are offering WordPress free web hosting for lifetime. (obviously there are restrictions of storage space and monthly visitors). But still it is best for one pager websites. Click below banner to learn more.

AccuWeb's Free Web Hosting

My earnings from accuwebhosting are higher than adsense and fiverr. 😉

image 13

Commission junction – CJ

I am also a member of CJ and currently have joined only 3 affiliate programs there. No success yet.

image 11

Google Page Experience Update

Google Page Experience update is all set to launch in May 2021. Google updates its algorithm many times a day. However, after some time, it launches a core update. One such update is coming this May. Many bloggers are worried about it.

Algorithm update summary:

  • Google plans to update its algorithm in 2021 to include a factor called Page Experience.
  • This includes existing Google Search signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
  • It also includes metrics in Google’s Web Vitals to do with a site’s loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability.
  • For site owners and others, understanding these signals and making the necessary changes should be a priority.
  • Among the steps to take are optimizing for mobile, improving page speeds, CTAs, and alt text for images.

I checked my website score on Google PageSpeed Insights and found it to be as follows:

Mobile

image 16

Desktop

image 15

The reason for this impressive result is that my website is optimized by Nitropack.

It offers automated page speed optimizations for fast site performance. They also have free plan but includes branding at the bottom of the page. I am sure you will be okay with that. I strongly suggest you to try it out.

Current theme – free with all features

So far, I have experimented with Neve, Hestia, Sinatra and a few more. The latest one which I applied to all my websites is Blocksy. This theme has numerous features. It comes with sticky header, sticky sidebar, built-in schema, page border etc.

It also have option to import/export customizer settings, so you make changes in one website and apply the same settings to all others.

You can import this blog customization settings, I am adding the export file here.

Increased DA through black hat SEO

I admit I did wrong, but this was done as an experiment. I paid someone who increased my website DA from 1 to 52. He did this through Google redirect links and placing my website links on other websites. I paid only few bucks for this. 😉

If you are also interested, you can contact him through his below fiverr gig.

https://www.fiverr.com/mwaqar_/increase-da-50-plus-domain-authority-dr-rating-tf-trust-flow

Solution for Spammy comments

I used to received emails that someone commented on my article, got excited and opens email just to find out a spam comment to get backlinks for their website.

To solve the issue, first I disabled the comments through a plugin. Now, I have added Facebook comments plugin on my websites.

Secret tip for referral traffic

Recently, I have watched a Youtube video where someone suggested this amazing free traffic tip. I want to share with you all because sharing is caring.

This guy said in the video to analyze Quora.com on your keywords tool and look for the thousands of keywords where quora is ranking on number 1. Then, go to those pages, and look how many answers are there.

If you find any question with less answers, there are chances that new answer will also get views. Add an answer to the question, provide value and then at the end, add relevant link to your website post.

Concluding remarks

If you have made till here, I want to thank you for taking some time and reading my journey. If you have any tips or want to share your experience, please do comment below.