Wow, two case studies in a row! Am I up for the challenge? Well, yes and no. Yes, because hello, who ever posted two case studies two days in a row? And no, because this project, in particular, is one of the sites that helps make me who I am today! In today’s case study, I would like to share more about one of the first niche sites I started back in 2019.
Project Travel Case Study: The Beginning
Project Travel, as I’m calling it right now, was my first attempt at creating a successful blog about traveling. This was during my early days of blogging—actually two and a half years into blogging—when I didn’t know the drill. I mean, I did understand that a travel blog or a food blog was a “niche” blog compared to a lifestyle (in general) one. But other than that, I had no idea about niche sites as I do now. I just wanted to start something and see what happens.
So, with no plan in mind other than my idea, I started a new travel blog besides my other travel blog that gained a lot of attention within my communities. Unlike the other travel site, this new one included destination guides, top lists, travel news from other sources, etc.—so you can say it was pretty much a “general-ish” travel blog. Nothing personal nor unique, really.
I eventually got the site going for a couple of years before I decided to stop and focus on other projects. Now that I look back, I understand why the blog didn’t do well—I never set a clear goal for it or had any strategy, so it was impossible to pivot and make changes as the months went by.
When I first knew about blog flipping, I planned to use that blog as an example to show that “it worked.” Long story short, it didn’t. I tried to list it several times and got people interested, but it was always the same. People were hesitant to buy something like this without any clear goal or strategy.
Eventually, I lost interest in my own site and just let it go. I had other things to focus on, such as my kids & my family, my blog flipping business, and all that. Needless to say, the site suffered with all the “rest” I provided. Sometimes, I still got messages from my readers who were curious about the site’s current status, whether I was still working on it, etc. But I would refer them to the other travel blog and leave it at that.
It was not until last week, when I finally managed to buy an online course about niche site development, that I had my “eureka” moment. After taking the course and learning even more about niche sites, I decided to revive this travel blog—with a goal in mind this time. So, for the second time, I revamp everything—but this time around, based on what I learned from the course.
I’m really excited about this second attempt. You know why? Because although I didn’t have any success the first time around, I still have a genuine interest in this topic. The things that I lacked back then were a clear plan and all the strategies needed to thrive in this niche—keywords strategy, SEO strategy, social media strategy, and of course, monetization strategy.
So, here I am—on the second attempt at reviving Project Travel and making it a success. Fingers crossed!
Some General Information
- Domain: It’s a domain with an unusual extension that I bought from a Norwegian registrar. It’s not a popular domain, but it’s special & unique! I cannot remember how much it costs, but let’s say $15 per year, so it must be $45 by now (Nov. 2022).
- Niche: Travel, general (guides, how-tos, top lists, etc.)
- Budget: This one is tricky since I’m relying on my skills & resources. I estimated around $150/month for unexpected expenses.
- Strategy: This one is interesting. As I wrote above, the site has around 90 articles and no strategy whatsoever. So, I think I may need to write another blog post featuring the strategies I’m going to use in this new attempt.
- Project goal: I’m very ambitious with this project. I want to make it one of the top travel blogs in my niche by the end of 2023, so I need all the strategies and resources I can get. And of course, being able to earn from it is one of the main goals, too.
So, with all the newfound knowledge, I am now planning to relaunch Project Travel as a niche-focused site. I am currently in the process of restructuring the articles, optimizing them for relevant keywords, and creating a better content strategy. I am also working hard to learn more about SEO & social media along the way.
What I’ve Done So Far
Not much. When I first started to get back to the site, it had over 100 articles that were either too short or irrelevant or just articles copied from other sites. So we started with my VA deleting all the irrelevant content to make it easier for me to start from scratch. So now, it has 82 articles, which will need to be revised, modified, and updated to make them relevant and rankable.
My VA helped changed the theme to a more aesthetic one (from the theme bundle I bought last month) and we’re still working on the customization.
I know that many, many experts will say I don’t need to spend too much time on customizations, but I disagree. I believe that having a unique look & feel to the site is important and helps present a more professional image to potential visitors. But more than that, I’m just that type of person who cannot move on until things look just right.
Really, I cannot say what I’m gonna do next until I finish writing about the strategies I’m gonna use and how I’m going to approach this second attempt. Again, I’m just the type of person who cannot move on until things look just right.
But generally, I will be focusing on creating high-quality content that targets the right keywords and optimizing it for both Google & Pinterest; as well as building some backlinks & social media presence.
If you’re still following, thank you! I know this journey is not gonna be an easy one (you know, travel is quite a competitive niche) but I’m positive that I can make this project a success. All the tips, information, and resources in the world won’t do any good unless you put them into action.
So, here goes me trying again! Stay tuned for more updates on Project Travel. I’m really excited about this second attempt and I’ll be sharing my journey with you every step of the way!