Project Travel: The First Update

Three months in, and now I’m ready for the first update of Project Travel. During this time (Nov. 2022 – Feb. 2023), I was spreading myself too thin and was trying to focus on too many things at once—my sparkling new 9-to-5 corporate life, my days-in-days-out with three kids under five, my other starter sites, and of course, Project Travel.

But I finally got my priorities straight, and now I’m ready to share with you what I’ve done so far for this site, what strategies I’m planning to use, and what my project goals are.

Project Travel Update
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Catch Up with the Previous Update

First, let’s start with the basics. When I first restarted Project Travel back in November, I had no clear strategy whatsoever. I mean, yes, I had something in my head, but it was pretty confusing. I was trying to do everything with on-site SEO without really thinking about which tools I’ll need for the strategies I wanted to implement.

Here, I have to mention that of all these 82 articles, half of them are original content moved from my other travel blog to this one. The idea was to separate the two blogs, written in English (this one) and my mother language (the other one). So, I actually ended up with a lot of content already written.

Then, the other rest was a very chaotic, unstructured mix of copy-pasted, PLR articles, and irrelevant content—travel blogging, blogging tips, etc. All in all, it made the site a huge mess, and I had to start from somewhere.

What I’ve Done So Far

For the first three months, I used Keysearch to identify profitable keywords based on the current articles on the site. Then I started restructuring those articles, removing irrelevant content and adding new ones.

At this point, Project Travel still had 82 articles that were (kind of) focused on specific countries and travel-related topics. During Christmas and New Year and the whole of January, I barely touched the site, but I did manage to find the time for a few minor customizations.

But then, earlier this month, when I decided to give the project a more serious approach, I noticed that Google Search Console had already picked up some of my pages and keywords. That was very encouraging, and I decided to give this site more time and effort than planned—just to see how far it would take me.

So, I went through all 82 articles and started to delete copy-paste and PLR content (you know, the ones that are just no good at all) and redirected the links back to the homepage. This way, readers won’t have to stumble upon the awkward 404 page but a proper page so that they can start browsing the site.

For irrelevant blogging tips content, I put them back to drafts and will use them for my other blogging site.

Eventually, I’m sure I’ll reveal more about that site since it was a big investment for me last month: I bought an aged domain, and gosh, it was one of the biggest online investments I’ve ever made in my websites flipping career ever. More on that later.

Now, with the site cleaned up, I’m looking at 57 articles that are more relevant to my niche and tied in closely with the main topics I want to focus on.

My SEO Strategy & Tactics

Since this site has been around since 2019, it has a DA of 4—not really good, but not bad either. That’s the starting point now, and I plan to use a combination of content and technical SEO strategies to raise it.

For content, my goal is to curate more long-form articles that are relevant to the main topics of this site—travel guides for certain countries, historical sites, must-visit places, etc. with the help of Keysearch for keyword research & Jasper for faster content production.

And for technical SEO, last week, I bought Link Whisper—a WordPress plugin developed by Spencer Haws (from Niche Pursuits) and co. to identify broken links, internal link opportunities, and other important stuff that needs to be addressed. I purchased a license for three sites, and for one of the two other sites, I could actually see the result the day after!

I installed Link Whisper on this site but still haven’t used it to its fullest. There are still a lot of articles that are too short, with less than 500 words, that need to be improved and updated, etc.

They don’t have any keywords, no SEO practices, and no internal linking. It’s all a huge mess that needs to be fixed first hand before I can start implementing the Link Whisper suggestions.

Surprisingly, I managed to recover my social handles as well. And now, the site has its own Facebook group, Instagram, and Pinterest with, like, two followers in total. But everything has to start from somewhere, right?

The Current Situation & My Goals

With all the ugly mess sorted out + more on-site SEO done, I feel more confident about the potential of this project. I’m expecting it to take me half a year, at least, before I can start seeing any significant results (traffic & SEO).

Talking about traffic, within 24 hours since I updated the internal linking (not all, just within articles that were fixed and started to appear in the SERPs), I got approved for Google Adsense.

My goal for this site is 10K organic sessions/month within 12 months of its existence. But, that’s if everything works as expected with no delays and other setbacks.

I’m also looking at growing my social profiles, as well as building more backlinks to the content (but mostly organically). I’m expecting organic sessions to start trickling in by the end of this month, and I’ll keep track of everything using Google Analytics + Google Search Console.

Wrapping Up

Eventually, I’ll flip this site, too. But before that, I need to make sure it’s worth something, and it’s worth investing in. I’ll keep updating this blog post with the progress, and hopefully, we can all learn something from my journey with this website.

It’s a lot of work, and it’s not easy to stay motivated in such moments, but I’m confident that everything will turn out great eventually—just like most things in life. As of today, the site is looking better than ever, and I’m pretty proud of what we’ve achieved so far.

I’m looking forward to the next six months, and hopefully, I’ll come back here with a success story. Stay tuned!

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