Welcome back to another solopreneur progress update! This week has been a really busy week, with lots of changes being made to both of my blogs! Before we get into everything that I’ve been up to, I’m going to first talk about the changes that I’m going to be making to my solopreneur journey posts.
Solopreneur Journey Changes
I’ve really enjoyed writing these blog posts for the last 9 weeks. It’s been a great opportunity for me to set goals for myself and be accountable that I’m actually making progress in getting the right things done to hopefully be improving my businesses. I’ve also been surprised that my solopreneur journey posts are actually attracting some attention, I’ve already been seeing clicks from Google and other traffic coming my way from these posts, so if you’ve found this blog from these posts, then welcome! 👋
That being said, I’ve noticed recently that I’m ending up spending a lot of time writing this content (3-4 hours in total) and it’s not receiving as much traffic as some of the other content on the blogs. I generally only spend 1-2 hours per work day on my solopreneur projects, which means that realistically I’m spending 30-40% of my project time wiring up a progress report. On top of that, most weeks I’m only setting 2-3 goals and generally only achieving one or two of them per project. Because of this, I think that things need to change.
How Are Progress Updates Changing?
Don’t worry, progress updates aren’t going away. I’m planning on reducing the frequency of them to monthly instead of weekly, which should mean that:
- I spend less percentage of my time writing my progress updates than actually making progress
- I set more interesting goals each month
- I’m more likely to achieve my goals
- I might actually be able to try something out and report back on it all within one post!
On top of all of this, we’re getting to summertime now in the UK, meaning that my family will be home, reducing the amount of time that I have to work on projects. Add a house revamp and move on top of this and my summer’s looking incredibly busy. As a result, I’m also planning on skipping out an August progress update so I can spend that I do have on writing more articles for Solo Innovator and my travel blog.
So in summary, progress updates will be paused until the start of September, where they’ll then move to monthly updates so that I can make more progress on the actual projects. So, without further ado, let’s see what I got up to this week.
Last week, I set myself 4 goals for Solo Innovator, namely:
- Post 5 new Solo Innovator posts in the entrepreneurship basics category
- Keep improving the Solo Innovator post-inspiration generator
- Link Solo Innovator blog posts together using categories
- Sign up to HARO
I can safely say that I’ve really achieved all of my goals this week.
Writing New Posts
Since my last post, I’ve already written 6 new posts for the blog, with 2 more pieces of content needing a final review before I press the publish button! The post inspiration generator that I’ve made has been incredibly useful in helping me get the first drafts of content out really quickly. My process has essentially been to grab a topic from the entrepreneurship basics category of my new content plan, feed that into the generator, then heavily edit the content that it spits out into a great skyscraper article.
I’ve also been doing much more keyword research this week, by checking my focus keyword against AHREF’s free keyword checker. I didn’t realise that they offered some keyword checks for free, but I’ve found it really helpful for adding additional keyphrases and sections (especially in the FAQ) to my blog posts. I’m hoping that this will really help me to target even more keywords (especially some of the long-tailed ones), which should mean that I start to see more traffic in the next few months when Google picks up my content.
As I’ve been working on my new posts, I’ve been constantly revising my post inspiration generator with additional functionality to make editing my posts easier. It’s really been nice to see this project slowly building up into a generator that really speeds up my post-creation process.
If you’re wanting to have a look at some of the posts that I’ve created this week, here are the links to the six of them:
- The Solopreneur Business Model
- Business Model Refinement
- How To Create A Business Plan
- A Guide To Pricing Strategies
- What is The Value Proposition Canvas?
- Discovering Your Target Market
Using HARO For The First Time
This week I’ve finally managed to get signed up to HARO. It’s been something that I’ve had in the back of my head to do for ages, but I’d finally set myself the goal of getting started.
For the uninitiated, HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out and is essentially a service where you answer questions for reporters in exchange for the potential of a backlink. I’ve had trouble getting excited about it in the past, when I was working on Post Crunch, mainly because I don’t like a messy inbox and I couldn’t really find many topics that related to blogging or blog management.
I’ve had much more success with it in the last week for Solo Innovator though, as I’ve generally been answering any question, as long as it’s vaguely related to blogging or entrepreneurship. I’ve not had any responses yet asking for more comments or confirming that my quotes have been used, but I’m hoping that I’ll see my domain rankings go up in the coming weeks as I keep using this process. I’ve currently sent 7 responses to questions in the last 2 days, so my plan is to continue sending out as many answers as possible, as I’ve heard that the average success rate is about 1 in 10.
My main issue so far is that I’m only able to answer the morning questions. HARO sends out questions 3 times per day, at 6 am, midday and 6 pm EST. As I’m in the UK, that means that I can only reply to the morning questions, as the other 2 come in after work and at night for me. While I could reply to the other 2 sets in the morning, I’ve heard that you need to be quick to get your response back in, otherwise, the likelihood of being picked as a quote is incredibly small.
Last week, I set myself the goals of:
- Generating 200 new posts on my travel blog
- Start posting travel content on Instagram and Pinterest
I didn’t quite achieve my goal of 200 posts for the blog this week. I hit around 150 new posts, which really isn’t too bad. I’ve got the whole month to get the new posts out, and I’m limited to about 500 posts per month, so I’m well on target to getting there on time.
I finally got my access granted for a Pinterest key this week! After I started celebrating, I realised that I’d been given read-only access, rather than write access which means that I’ve can’t actually use the key for anything! In order to get write access, I need to create a demo application on a sandbox app and then apply again for access, which could take months. I’m considering whether this is worth my time for now, so I’ve currently put my Pinterest dreams on hold.
I was watching this video about social media for blogs this week and found the discussion about Instagram very interesting, in that it hasn’t really been shown to increase traffic that much. As a result, I’m now planning to ditch the insta account and potentially looking at other social media platform to boost traffic – Facebook maybe? I still need to do more research, and also want to see how easy it’ll be to automate, as I really dislike using social media at all regularly, but potentially by the next progress update I’ll have chosen a new social media platform!
On that note, let’s have a look at the goals that I’m setting for myself the next 2 months.
Solo Innovator Goals
Given how well my posts have been going on Solo Innovator this last week, I really want to keep growing the amount of content on the site. With so much going on in my personal life over the next 2 months, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up quite the same rate of posting as I have this last week, but I’m hoping to get somewhat close.
My goal is to achieve 30 articles (bringing us up to 80 total posts). This will be quite the challenge at almost 4 posts a week, but if I manage it, then I’ll really be setting the blog up to start getting some serious traffic. For those who missed last week’s progress update, I’m writing posts in category chunks, which will hopefully make Google decide that I’m a topical authority for certain sub-niches of solopreneurship, hopefully boosting my posts in those areas.
In addition to this, I want to respond to at least 30 HARO queries by September. With 1 in 10 odds of getting a backlink, that should mean that I have at least 3 high-quality links heading back to this domain, which should increase my domain authority and make my posts show up higher in the search rankings. If I’ve not got any backlinks by the end of 2 months, it’s likely that I’m doing something wrong in my approach to HARO, in which case I’ll be going back to the drawing board to try to find better ways to approach HARO response writing.
A New Technique
On the subject of getting more backlinks, a video that I was watching this week showed how you can use Medium articles and LinkedIn posts to both drive more traffic to your blog and return high-authority backlinks to your site. I want to try giving it a go, with medium articles at least, to see if it has any impact on traffic.
In essence, the strategy is:
- Re-write shortened versions of existing articles (largely using AI) to provide high-quality but condensed information
- Post these shortened articles on Medium / LinkedIn, linking to the post at the top and bottom of the article
- State within the article that the full post contains more information if they’d like to learn more
- Start gaining traffic
It seems like a ridiculously easy way to start getting more backlinks and traffic, so I really want to give it a go at some point in the next few months to see if it actually brings in more traffic. There are a few more steps to getting it going with LinkedIn, which is why I’m probably going to focus on getting it working on Medium first before moving over.
My targets for the new travel blog are slightly less than Solo Innovator at the minute. That’s mainly for 2 reasons:
- I’ve only got a limited time to work on these blogs, so I’m wanting to test out methods on one blog so I can apply what works to the other
- Google’s still holding loads of my pages hostage in the “
Uncrawled” stage, meaning that most pages still aren’t able to be seen in any search results
While I’m testing backlink-building methods out and waiting for all of my posts to be created, I’m not planning on doing too much here. I’m mainly planning to keep on getting more posts on the site (hopefully breaking 1.5k by September) and getting started on at least 1 social media platform to get some additional traffic in.
So, to summarise my goals until September are to:
- Achieve 80 blog posts total on Solo Innovator
- Respond to 30 HARO queries
- Post shortened articles to Medium (and potentially LinkedIn)
- Reach 1.5k posts on my travel blog
- Have at least 1 social media platform with my travel blog’s content on it
So, there we have it, another progress update done. I’m looking forward to having a bit longer to achieve these goals (almost 2 months), although it’ll probably be interesting with the amount of house moving and other things that I’ve got to get up to outside of solopreneurship!
If you’re new to my Solopreneur Series, why not check out my explanation of all of my different projects, or see last week’s update.