Another week down, and this time I can confirm that I’ve essentially achieved none of the goals that I set last week! While I did work on one or two of my targets, shiny object syndrome really set in, and I’ve now ended up with a new project. I’ll cover that in more detail later, but first, let’s have a look at the goals I should’ve been working on last week and what I actually achieved.
The goals that I set myself for the Solo Innovator blog were mainly around increasing content and improving the site. Namely, they were:
- Write 3 new research-based posts
- Fix the broken links that Post Crunch has detected
- Look into how I can get more backlinks to Solo Innovator
- (Stretch Goal) Look into moving Solo Innovator to a new host
How Did I Get On?
Sadly, I didn’t have time to write any blog posts on here this week! I still have the motivation to research entrepreneurship and post my findings here, but due to the new project that I was working on, I didn’t have the time to commit to researching and writing the posts.
Talking about things that I didn’t get to, I also haven’t started researching how to get more backlinks to the blog yet. It’s something that I really want to do, especially as I also will need to do this for my new project, but this is something I’ll have to tackle next week.
While I’ve not done much in terms of content and SEO this week, the blog has undergone some major changes behind the scenes. I ended up spending a good amount of time searching for a good hosting provider for the Solo Innovator blog and ended up signing up for a Hostinger plan due to their good pricing and some favourable reviews that I heard. While I would recommend using a free blog hosting provider when you’re just getting started with blogging, it seemed like the right time to upgrade now that I’m starting to see some traffic on the site. If you have a look at the page response times below from before and after the move, you can see just how much of an improvement the upgrade has had!
While I was migrating the site, I also worked on fixing the broken links that Post Crunch flagged for me. While none of the links has provided much traffic for me so far, it’ll be an activity that was definitely worthwhile ‘s definitely worthwhile in the long run.
While we’re here, I wanted to celebrate an exciting (yet incredibly small) milestone. The Solo Innovator blog has just hit 15 clicks in a month! Considering that the site is just under 4 months old, and there are only a few articles that are just starting to appear on Google’s search rankings, I’m really happy! I’m hoping that over the next few months, we’ll continue to see this number rising more and more dramatically as more of the posts reach good search rankings!
For Post Crunch, my goals for this week were to:
- Contact a total of 100 bloggers with my cold outreach strategy
- Use the ICE Framework to prioritise marketing initiatives
- (Stretch Goal) Start implementing one of the marketing initiatives
As has been the story so far with this post, I’ve not made that much progress on these goals.
While I did start working on the ICE Framework to let me re-prioritise my marketing initiatives after I finished writing the goal-setting post last Friday, I’ve not completely finished it yet, so I’m going to wait to discuss my findings in next week’s post. I have identified a lot of promising marketing initiatives that could work a lot better than our current cold outreach strategy, so I think that the results are going to be interesting when I’ve completed analysing everything.
In terms of my continued efforts for contacting 100 bloggers about their broken links, I’ve actually not made any progress. Yes, I know that last week I was incredibly confident that I would make this goal, but a combination of my new project and the results of this ICE Framework analysis have put this cold outreach strategy on hold. I still haven’t received any feedback from anyone that I initially sent emails to, so I’m not sure how much success I’ll get with this method. It’ll definitely be worth me playing with the outreach email at some point, but I’m going to focus on some other methods for now until I have a bigger user base.
The New Shiny Project
So what is this new project that I’ve been hinting at throughout this post? Well, at the start of last week, I received an email from one of the email subscriptions that I have talking about a new blogging strategy that the sender had been trying. By utilising ChatGPT, this person created a new blog with posts fully generated by ChatGPT prompts about certain issues. This idea really inspired me, as it seemed like an easy way to grow a blog to hit lots of long-tailed keywords very quickly. As I was worried whether using generated content would have a negative effect on a blog’s reputation, I decided that I didn’t want to risk losing the traction that I’m starting to build on this blog. As I didn’t want to stop working on my other projects while I built this, I decided to add it to my list of “projects to build later” and move on with other tasks.
However, the idea was stuck firmly in my head. When I had some free moments, I was researching whether this was technically possible and whether Google would want to serve the content at all on their search pages. After spending a few hours researching, I determined that it would definitely be possible to do, and also was actually a valid way of writing blogs according to Google! My thought was that I could build a script that would grab some data from a travel API, use a GPT application to write the blog post and then upload it to a hosted WordPress Site. As I’m trying not to pour too much money into new projects until they give me some returns back, I wanted to try to use an open-source GPT model and stay within the free limits of any travel API that I use.
Last Saturday, I had an unexpectedly free day and thought that it would be the perfect time to build a prototype. I ended up spending the whole day researching and getting an open-source GPT model to work on my laptop. As I was still really interested in the project, I thought to myself, “What would be the harm in just spending one more day working on this to see if it’s worth me keeping going?” Well, 4 days later I can definitely say that I spent way more time on this project than I was expecting. I ended up having to switch out the GPT models multiple times as they were either taking too long to process on my laptop or weren’t giving me good enough results.
Luckily, I’ve managed to get everything working on the blog now! While I’ve got around 15 posts currently generated on the blog, only 2 are live as I’m wanting to quality control them before they go out to ensure that I’m happy with the quality of the content. Although a post review is only taking me about 10 minutes per article at the minute, I’m working on tweaking the generation algorithm at the moment to try and make my post reviews redundant.
As the blog is still in its infant stages, having only been live for a few days, I’m going to hold off revealing its name or exact niche for now so that it has a chance to grow. For now, I’ll just mention that it’s in the travel and entertainment niche and that I’m hoping that I’ll be able to pump out around 500 articles a month when I’ve properly fine-tuned everything.
Next Week’s Goals
Now that we’ve thoroughly talked about what I’ve been up to this week, let’s have a look at my tasks for next week!
Now that I’ve migrated Solo Innovator to its new host, it should be much quicker and easier to upload posts due to the page speed load times. Although I didn’t make my goal of writing 3 research-based posts last week, I’m going to make that my target for this week too. I should be able to achieve it this week as I’m not going to set any other goals for Solo Innovator, and I’m hoping that my other 2 projects won’t need as much of my time as they have this week.
For Post Crunch, I’m mainly going to be focussing on finishing the ICE Framework analysis that I started last week. From that, I hope I’ll have a bit of a clearer direction into which marketing avenues should work well to get some users on Post Crunch.
As I’ve not been seeing much success from my cold outreach so far, I’m going to be pressing pause on it this week so that I can focus on the other marketing channels that will hopefully be a bit more lucrative at bringing in new customers.
I’m expecting that my new travel blog is still going to take up a lot of my time next week. While my goal is for it to be able to publish 90% of the articles automatically without me having to review them, I’m not confident enough that it can produce the articles that I’m wanting on its own yet.
My aim for this week is to continue to tweak the algorithm to improve its post-generation abilities. I’m hoping that I can improve the generation algorithms enough for it to produce a handful of articles that require no modifications from me during reviews. I think this will be a tough one to crack though, so we’ll have to see if I can make that. In addition, I’m hoping to have at least 50 articles live on the new blog my next week, which seems crazy as that will be more than this blog that I’ve been hand-writing for over 3 months now!
So, to summarise, my goals for the next week are:
- Write 3 research-based posts on Solo Innovator
- Complete the ICE Framework analysis on Post Crunch
- Start working on the top-rated marketing strategy from this research
- Have at least 50 articles published on my new travel blog
- Improve the generation algorithm to the point where a handful of articles generated require no human editing
So there we have it, that’s the second documented week of my solopreneur journey. You can see whether I achieved the goals that I set this week here. If you’ve made it this far and haven’t seen my first post, I’d recommend giving that a read to get a head start on what projects I’ve been working on. Otherwise, have a look at this 5 part series on how you can improve your SEO skills.