October 2019

November 8, 2019

Welcome to Flexibility Is Freedom!

Every month on this blog, I discuss my experiences in affiliate marketing and SEO.

I'll show you what's working, what isn't, and share my plans for world domination.

This month, I'm in Chiang Mai ahead of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference next week.

I hope to meet other digital entrepreneurs and draw inspiration from their experiences.

Without further ado, let's dig into the results for October 2019!

Key Metrics

  • Revenue: $209 (-12% MoM)
  • Traffic: 4,522 (-27%)
  • RPM: $46

In October, revenue declined as rankings slid across the board in my content portfolio.

Last month, I concluded that the decline was due to changes I made to my site, however, now I believe it was partially driven by the Google core algorithm update in late September.

Overall, it seems that higher domain authority sites now outrank my site, even though their pages are less relevant than my pages and are not optimized for the keyword.

For example, let's say the query is "best travel backpack for Southeast Asia":

  • Competitor Page: "Best Travel Suitcases"
  • My Page: "Best Travel Backpacks for Southeast Asia"

Even though the competitor page is not optimized for this query, it still ranks higher on the SERPs despite having less relevance for the search intent ("travel backpacks").

I believe I can still win these queries by adding more trust signals (high quality links), especially as I'm in the health niche (which has been a target area for Google algorithm updates).

Off-Page SEO

In October, I mainly worked on a new link building campaign. I spent over a week on the research and creation of a brand new info article.

After watching Kyle Roof's on-page SEO videos in his new course, I've adjusted my link building and internal linking practices to maximize the flow of "link juice" to my target pages.

In other words, I've setup my info article to pass link power to one (and only one) target page.

So far, I've been promoting this info article using blog comment links (nofollow):

  • Although these links don't pass any "link juice", I think it's a helpful way to engage with the site owner before sending an email for a link or guest post
  • It's also a potential source of traffic and may help Google understand what my post is about via anchor text usage

I've sent a couple outreach emails as well but really need to ramp up my efforts to build quality links to this article.

Finally, I also completed another guest post in October.

On-Page SEO

Towards the end of October, I decided to "double down" on content quality:

  • Re-doing the product research for reviews to ensure accuracy and quality
  • Re-writing (or updating) the copy to ensure flow and readability
  • Refreshing the design by migrating from Elementor to Gutenberg + Stackable (still using Elementor for theme elements like header/footer but using Gutenberg instead to cut down on "drag-and-drop" design headaches)

It's been a slow process but I'm very pleased with the ones that I've finished.

I think this will help keep visitors on-page longer and increase the useful life of the article.

Travel Experiences & What's On My Mind

I've been in Thailand for 2 weeks now (1 week in Bangkok and 1 week in Chiang Mai) and have really enjoyed the solo travel experience so far.

It's incredibly freeing to have the flexibility to go where I want and do what I want without the constraint of vacation days or angry clients.

I love the weather and food here as well as talking to locals and other travelers.

For me, it's a reminder of why I do what I do. And that if I can do it right and achieve financial independence, there is a world of possibility out there to experience & learn from.

Ultimately, life is short and I'd rather make a thousand mistakes than live with a single regret.

To Flexibility and Freedom,


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