Welcome to my fifth monthly review report on Tropical U.P! As I have indicated in my first monthly review, I will post a monthly overview of all the things that I have done the past month. In this post, you can learn about my successes and struggles and how far I am from realizing certain goals.
You might ask why I want to share these details with you in the first place? First and foremost, they are here because they help me with keeping track of my progress. Once I put it online, there is no denying to the things that I should have done, but also sharing the things that went well for me.
The second reason I decided to put these reviews online is that I thought it would be interesting for you to follow changes that are ongoing in my life. As might know, I was laid off earlier and since then a lot has happened. I hope that these reviews encourage and motivate you to chase your dreams.
November was an interesting month, and I learned a lot of valuable lessons, so let’s get started!
TROPICAL U.P – Monthly Review
November was a good month for Tropical U.P, a wrote several articles that I felt really good about and my Starting a Blog – Ultimate Checklist turned quickly became one my most popular articles of all time. It is good to see that a little bit different approach pays off and it is very rewarding to receive positive feedback from other people who enjoyed reading your article.
On the other I feel that these high-quality articles also have a potential downside. I mean don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the benefits that they provide for my website, but they also set certain expectations for your visitors and even yourself. You have to deliver.
Unfortunately, I was not able to do much work in advance for my editorial calendar, but I also did not really experience any trouble because of this. As Teresa and I are planning some holidays, but I don’t want to have my personal life interfere with the quality and consistency of my site, I will have to work ahead in some aspects for coming months.
HOW TO CREATE A WORDPRESS SITE
In November, I finally launched my tutorial to how to create a WordPress site with Genesis, I so excited with this first milestone. Immediately I noticed positive results, more people signed up for my email list, people watch my YouTube videos, and I am getting more traffic in general.
Although views on my YouTube video are relatively low, it is so rewarding knowing that my video helps people to accomplish something. I am definitely excited to do more with YouTube in general and focusing on shorter instruction videos or informative videos.
Feedback on my first tutorial has been so encouraging that I am already thinking of my next big tutorial with WordPress and Genesis. I should probably take an advice to my own words and make sure that I focus on what is getting me forward now. YouTube is definitely going to be a part of this, but I am setting up other important things right now.
Because I finally released my tutorial on YouTube and I was able to market it, all numbers went up for Tropical U.P. Traffic increased by around 30% and in general, people were more active and spend more time on my site. These are great developments and I am looking forward to continuing this development.
Visitor numbers, however, are not everything, I am mostly interested in the actions that they take. I noticed that they spend more time reading my articles and more important the exit rate went down, this means that my visitors were more likely to visit another page/post. As I said email signups went up and in general, everything is going upwards.
Unfortunately, I am not getting a lot of organic search traffic, this although I do my keyword research and focus on on-page SEO. Generating organic search traffic is definitely important to keep a consistent flow of visitors coming to my site and I have to experiment with this a little bit more and see what works best.
I wrote in a recent post that I am getting great traffic from Quora, this is definitely also a source that I will keep focusing on. Links do not count as backlinks, actually not even as referral links, but writing answers for popular questions creates a sort of passive promotion. The link will always be there and I still get great exposure due to answers I wrote at the beginning of the year!
Tropical U.P is still in the early stages and I have not yet monetized directly. The reason for this is that I first want to build a bigger audience without clouding user experience by obtrusive ads and links. My resource page and some posts contain affiliate links for products that I use myself and that I am excited about.
Affiliate marketing is not the type of income that will yield results immediately. In the case someone would use a link to make a purchase, often your referral on the sale will not be accounted for when for example the person still has the opportunity to cancel the purchase. It could take as long as over two months that once someone makes a purchase before you see any money on your bank account.
For the reasons above I have not made any money in October with affiliate marketing, I do however see an increase in people using my links (thanks for that, you are awesome!). I will report more details once I have more information about possible commissions that I have earned.
Without steady money flowing into Tropical U.P, I estimate that I make a loss of around 20 euros per month. The expenses I need to cover are: hosting, email service provider, third party software and the occasional domain renewal and incidental purchase of a plugin. The number I mentioned is an average since I started Tropical U.P, which was in May 2015.
Last month I mentioned that I was going to focus also on other websites that I manage. I am working on a revamp of two websites I own. One website is an SEO optimized website that actually still receives a lot of organic search traffic, this without even updating it for the past 6 months. Another website that I will revamp soon is a new concept where I want to experiment with a new monetization method, more information will follow soon!
Teresa has decided to start her own eCommerce website and I am currently finishing the development of this website. I am really excited to do more with eCommerce and I am already planning several projects with eCommerce websites and products that I want to sell. It is too early to share more, but I will definitely share more when the time is right.
PERSONAL LESSONS LEARNED
Expanding to different media definitely works and the experience in itself is very rewarding. I am not sure why it took my so long to do this, I should have done this way earlier. I am definitely widening my focus and I notice that I start to think bigger in terms of what is possible.
The road is never easy and there are no shortcuts, however, those who are persistent prevail.
Thanks for reading my fifth monthly review. As you may have noticed this monthly review is way more detailed compared to previous monthly reviews. I hope you enjoyed reading this review, and I hope it inspires you to find your passion and to build an awesome business. Thanks for your support and I am looking forward sharing the next review!