This week, I’m pulling from the archives of an office hour recording that I did in late 2022 for my SEO Made Simple students.

Once a month, I do a one-hour live call for students where I answer their questions, demonstrate how to do things, share SEO news, and more.

During this particular call, a student wanted to know how they can stay motivated while they’re working long-term to get ads on their website through Mediavine.

So, I came up with 20 tips for staying motivated on the path to Mediavine and I’m sharing them here in this episode.

I hope you enjoy this little tidbit episode from my office hour recording!

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Episode Transcript

This week. I am actually super in the trenches trying to wrap up the updates for my SEO made simple course. I’m halfway through the last lesson that needs to be updated, but it happens to be all of the technical SEO stuff. So there’s a ton of screenshots of different tools and even things like Google search console that have changed over the last year and a half since I originally recorded these videos. So it is taking a bit of time, but it’s going to be amazing. 

It’s so worth the wait I promise. And I can’t wait to release this to you all very shortly. But for the sake of staying focused and actually getting this done as soon as humanly possible. Because the course has not been open since I believe the last time it opened, it was just briefly in December for people on my email list. And so it’s been, you know, almost half a year since it’s been available. So this is like, okay, Erica, I like. 

Poop or get off the pot type of scenario. Like I need to get on with this. So instead of spending a whole day recording a new podcast episode this week, I am pulling from the archives of an office hour recording that I did. I think in late 20, 22 for my SEO made simple students. Once a month, I do a one hour lie or one ish hours. Sometimes I go over. 

Depending on how many questions, but it’s basically a live call with me on zoom and anybody who’s enrolled in the course who has questions that are particularly well suited for. Demonstration style answers. So I will pull up my blogs, dig in behind the scenes, show you examples, show you my stats, my analytics, or sometimes I’ll even review other people’s content. Like it just depends on whatever the question is. 

Uh, and whatever we have going on that month, or I’ll talk about the latest news in SEO, things like that. But this was a section that I created to help someone who wanted to know how they can stay motivated while they’re working long-term to get ads on their website, through media vine. So they acknowledge, you know, they’re totally fine and comfortable with the idea that it’s going to take them probably. 

Possibly one and a half to two and a half years, I would say is like the average. It takes people these days. To get onto media vine, if they’re just publishing, you know, a couple of times a week, that seems to be the going rate, if you want to say so. This is a question for that person, like, okay, I acknowledge it’s going to take a while of consistent effort. 

But any tips on staying motivated in the interim, like while I’m on the pathway, they’re like, how can I stick with it for such a relatively long period of time to get to that sweet, juicy payoff of passive ad income, essentially on my website. So I went through and created 20 tips for staying motivated on the path to media vine. And I hope you enjoy, this is a nice little, tidbit episode from one of my office hour recordings. So if you like this and you want to get more. 

Calls or access to. Content. And along this vein, of course, I invite you to put your name on the wait list for my course at SEO, That’s the number one place to get notified when it opens again, which you can hopefully is very, very soon. 

And other than that, let’s just dive right into the episode. And get on with the tips. 

Okay. And then this is sort of going on a tangent, and I know I’m over the time, so I’m just gonna say this, for people to catch maybe, during the recording, but. I had some suggestions on ways to stay motivated until you reach Media Vine. So my first suggestion is stay on task. So this is specifically advice for people whose ultimate goal is to get on media, vine and make ad revenue.

So this isn’t the advice for people who are trying to write niche long tail posts to attract the right customer to buy a course or to buy one-on-one services. This is advice for people who are like, I don’t wanna do any work with people one-on-one. I don’t wanna sell anything. I wanna write content and I wanna get ad revenue.

If that’s your number one goal, then. Your best move is to go completely in on SEO and not get distracted by other things and other platforms. So for example, if this is you and your goal as media line, social media is not your main goal. So it’s, for example, posting on Instagram is not gonna move the needle significantly for you to get ad revenue.

So don’t focus on those things and stay focused on writing SEO optimized content. The best thing you can do, uh, is to publish more SEO optimized content, targeting the highest volume keywords that you can find within your niche. That’s an important two, so don’t play small. Make sure that you are. Going for the highest volume thing you can find within your difficulty range, cuz then that will help move the needle too.

So the combination of targeting higher volume keywords within a realistic range for you and obviously within your niche. And then publishing as many posts as you can. That’s the combination that you have to hit and then stay with for like a year plus to get there. So that should be where your main focus is, at least publishing once a week, ideally.

Um, if you can do more than that, great. If you can only do less than that, that’s okay, but know that might take you longer. And this again is specifically for people who are trying to get to Mediavine. It’s just the fact that if, if you’re only posting like once a month and you’re only getting 12 posts out of the year, it’s just gonna be harder to.

Get enough traffic to get to 50,000 sessions, like your performance per post has to be super high in order to get there. It’s not impossible, but depending on your niche, you might not be able to find high enough volume keywords that make that happen. So the more you can post, the more chances you have to get there.

My second tip is to read and share your wins in the student’s Facebook group every Friday. To keep yourself motivated to see how other people are succeeding. Be like, yes, just a reminder that I’m doing this for a reason. And then of course, if you don’t listen to my podcast, the Unconventional RD podcast, I do share a lot of success stories and tips there.

I also really like the podcast, the Niche Pursuits Podcast. They only interview successful bloggers and every week they hear you hear someone else’s story from a ton of different niches. But I find that really inspirational as well. Just more examples of people doing it. And I’m like, you know, it’s just proof of concept essentially.

And it’s not all people who started like 10 years ago. Like I was just listening to one yesterday of a lady who, you know, she did have one older blog, but then, just in the last year or two, she started extra sites and talked about her growth for the newer sites as well. So, you know, people are still having success, obviously, like with new sites today.

So, and then I also like the Food Blogger Pro podcast, which shares a lot of, food blogger success stories specifically as well. Tip number three, track your stats and double down on what’s working. So a lot of times you might notice that maybe like 20, 25% of your posts, like a smaller chunk of your posts are like the high performers that are gonna bring in more than 20% of your traffic.

You know, maybe 50% or more of your traffic are coming from, uh, your, your best posts. So, If you have gotten to the point where you have enough content on your site to see the winners, what is it about those that are like making them perform well and is there something about that that you can replicate?

Like the type of post, for example, like on my nutritionist answers post, one of our best performing posts is a review post where we reviewed a food product and now we’re number one in Google and it’s I think in the top three posts every month, for traffic. So in my mind I’m like, okay, Google is really liking when we review food products.

So it’s on my content calendar to do more of that as we move forward and cover more topics. Always be on the lookout for products within that topic that I could possibly review. That’s one example. And then also looking down beyond just, you know, s e o, but like what is working, like, are you happening to get a bunch of traffic from another source like Pinterest or referral traffic or something Like, is there something random that’s working that you could also lean into, or maybe you do like Google web stories and that’s taking off for you.

Does it seem like the posts that are high performing are the ones that are getting a lot of back links, for example, how can you replicate that in your business or getting a lot of social shares, et cetera. So look at your stats, figure out as best as you can, what you think is working and why, and how can you replicate that concept throughout your site.

Number four, make sure your blog serves a purpose and has a clear niche and is helpful. So this goes back to the Google helpful content update. So go back and listen to episode 92. If you haven’t listened to this yet, it goes over like, I don’t even know, 15 or 20 questions that Google wants you to ask yourself about your site as objectively as you can.

Really ask yourself, who am I serving with my site? Who is the person who’s gonna find value from this? Am I actually creating content that provides value on the internet or am I just the throwing up a smattering of content that has no cohesive thread and no clear authority, and I’m just like trying to rank for this keyword and this one?

And like, like who are you? What is the point of your blog? And is it genuinely actually helpful? That’s I. Hard question to ask yourself and a hard thing to wrap your mind around when you’re just starting out. And maybe you don’t have your niche fully dialed in yet, but it’s really important and continues to become more important with Google’s, AI algorithms as we go on, it’s, it’s really important to be an authority on something and be truly valuable.

 Number five, consider writing a few affiliate posts for a small win. That’s if you’re feeling on this like year long plus journey of getting to Mediavine that you’re like, ah, I just need a win. Perhaps like Sue is sharing. You can write a few affiliate posts and get a small win in that respect. Similarly, you could try to write, a few ultra easy to rank four posts, like maybe you find some.

Topic that maybe only has a couple hundred searches per month, but the keyword difficulty score is like single digits, like amazingly easy. And then write that and get in the first spot. Cause you probably will if it’s that low competition, and get that little win under your belt to like prove to yourself that you know what you’re doing and this does work.

That, and that you just need time and authority to get the harder keywords to rank as well. So that’s totally worth your time as a motivation boost. You could also try mixing up the type of content you’re writing. So sometimes we get like fully dialed in on one type of writing, so maybe like ultra researchy type of post.

And it takes so much brain power and you’re just like so drained by the time you’re done with the post or you’re fully in on your recipes and like, this is all you’re doing. Can you. Potentially mix it up to save brain power. If you’re really getting drained by the type of writing you’re putting out, is it possible that you could do like a roundup post of recipes so you are not literally having to create and photograph and test and write the whole thing out for every single post?

Could you also do a roundup post of like 20 best salads for summer or whatever, whatever the keyword is. Obviously it has to have a keyword to go with it, but then you’re curating content and you’re not always being the source, if that makes sense. Or if you are writing articles, can you write a listicle type of posts similar to what I just said with like X bests blah, blah, blah, like X bests snacks for runners or something.

You know, obviously this is still needs to be keyword based, but can you think a little lighter, a little easier, a little more off the top of your head instead of super sciencey, for example, if you are finding yourself in like a, a way of writing that sort of burning you out. Number eight, split time between new posts and revamping old posts.

I would recommend spending about half of your time if you have a lot of older posts to revamp half your time, revamping older posts, half doing new posts. Unless you’re in Jesse’s scenario where your older posts could be bringing you down in that case, go all in on revamping the old post.

Because in this specific example, and again, I’ve actually never seen this before in Jessie’s scenario where her new posts just aren’t even indexed. And I forgot to mention, I would tell Jessie to take her URLs and put them into Google Search Console and see what the reasoning is, like what it’s saying.

Like is it saying discovered not currently indexed? Is it not even saying that it’s seeing the url? Like these are all clues on how, what’s going on and how to fix it. I would say this is another way to help increase your production with reducing the mental workload a little bit. Um, because if you only have to write two new posts from scratch and the other two are just revamping older posts, it’s possible that you might find the revamping a little less, difficult and quicker to do.

 Number nine, double check your keyword research strategies, as I was just saying, and make sure you’re not playing it safe. Make sure that you are reaching and trying to go for the highest volume keywords that you can find, and not just settling for something that you found that’s maybe like 170 searches per month and like moderate difficulty.

Because if you’re gonna go for the moderate difficulty one, you can probably find something that searched a thousand or more times a month and go for that one instead, and you’ll get a bigger bang for your buck. Also remember that done is better than perfect. So published posts are what moves the needle, not whether you proofread something for the 500th time.

So I definitely recommend setting up a publishing frequency for yourself and sticking to it. So don’t get too wrapped up in like every little tiny detail. Um, focus on serving the reader. Done is better than perfect By publishing. You’re at least gonna get feedback from Google about what they’re liking or not liking about the content you’re putting out.

And that actionable feedback is what you can use to revise your strategy moving forward. So the main thing is just to keep pressing publish every week, every other week, whatever your frequency is, just, that’s the main thing because dreaming is fun, but doing is essential. So obviously. Make sure you have a strategy behind what you’re doing.

 But don’t get stuck in the strategy and make sure that you are doing at the same time. So don’t sit here and go through the course for six months and then implement, implement while you’re learning. So if you’re new in the course and you are not sure about how to go about, you know, taking action on the, the content as you go, I try to give actionable homework in each lesson.

So it is pushing you to do something before you move on to the next piece. So by the time you’re done with lesson three, you should have a blog post published, and then you should keep going through those fundamentals of lesson two and lesson three with the keyword research and the content creation every single week, every month, whatever your frequency is, do that and never stop doing that as you layer on the other skills of building back links, improving your website, doing more technical, seo, et cetera.

 Number 12, have a plan that works for you. So I’m saying create a publishing frequency and a content calendar with the keywords that you found, but, The specifics of what that looked like are up to you. So some know yourself and create a plan that works for you. So some people are like, I wanna know every single thing planned out for six months.

I’m, this day I’m publishing this post. On this day, I’m publishing this post. And they don’t wanna think about it and they wanna just know what they’re doing. That’s one type of person. The other type of person, which is sort of how I am. I like to have a general idea of what I’m doing, but if it’s too planned out, then I kind of like rebel against it and I’m like, Ugh, I don’t feel like writing that.

Why did I put that on the calendar? And then it takes me way longer cuz I’m not in the mood to write about that or whatever. So I usually have like a bank of content ideas that then I can pull from. And slot in. Like, I, I still have a plan, like every Friday I publish a post. Every Friday I publish a post, but I might not have the specific post attached to a date.

I have a bank of ideas, and then based on what I feel like for that week or whatever I’m writing, I could pull in whatever of the topics in my Idea bank that I wanna write about that week. So either way is fine, but just know yourself and make a plan that works for you. And then I’m a huge fan of creating weekly tasks and sticking to them and making them concrete.

Like, you know, every Friday I publish the post. So what does that mean by every Wednesday I need to have my draft done by every Monday I need to have an outline or whatever. Like, work backwards from your goal and slot in actionable things that you do throughout the week to reach that goal and then stick to those.

So, if you’re like me and you don’t like to be super strict, Those looser goals are good. Like you’re not saying like, by 10:00 AM on Wednesday, I need to have this. You’re like, just by Wednesday. So it could be like, you know, 11:59 PM after your kids go to bed and you’re finally finishing it up. Or it could be 8:00 AM that week, like whatever.

But you, you have individual deadlines in your mind that help you reach your goals. And when you do them can depend on your week and your day and how you’re feeling. And if you’re not finding the time to get writing done, I recommend going and listening to episode 77 of my podcast. It’s called Five Ways to Outsource or Speed Up Your Writing.

It has a ton of tips if you are finding that you wear the bottleneck in your own business for getting content out. I have 20 tips, so I’m almost done. Number 15, don’t sweat the small stuff. So traffic fluctuates day to day, week to week, even month to month. That’s very normal. So like in the very beginning of this podcast, where or podcast, this office hours call where we were talking about, you know, oh, why does it say I’m in position four, but I can’t find it?

I published it three days ago. Like, honestly, you shouldn’t even be looking at your stats three days after publishing. That’s not a good use of your time. Spend that time writing more content and then look at your stats once a month. And that’s it when you’re writing your tracking spreadsheet. So don’t spend too much time overanalyzing the small stuff.

your content, performance year over year, for example. So, If you’re like looking at your content right now in December and you’re like, oh, it looks like I maybe down a little bit from the beginning, beginning of November. Some of that could just be seasonal. Sometimes depending on your niche, people aren’t really interested in health content in November and December, so traffic is just naturally lower.

But if you went back and compared it to last December a year ago, you’re probably doing better than then. So that is a good way to remind yourself of the progress that you’ve made, and that you are moving forward overall. And don’t forget that even if you experience failures, those are still learning lessons and kickstarts for new ways to do things and new, strategies in your business moving forward.

And know in the long run that this will pay off and the posts that you’re writing now. If your, goal is mediavine, even though there’s no clear obvious payoff in this moment, once you get ads, once you’re on Mediavine ads get put on every single post on your site. So every piece of content you’re creating now is gonna earn you money once you’re on Media Vine.

So sometimes that can help motivate you as well. You’re like, this is a piece of content in my content bank that’s gonna have ads on it and earn me money in a year or two. So that can help. And knowing like, you know, average RPMs are like, well, you know, maybe anywhere from like 15 to $30, depending on your niche and the type of content you’re creating per 1000 people that come to your site.

So if a piece of content is getting a thousand visits every couple months, you’re like, okay, cool. This is like, You know, over the course of a year, this could bring me like a couple hundred dollars from this one post. So sometimes reframing like that can help keep you motivated as well. And then number 17, treat your blog like a business because it is always come back to what problems you’re solving and for who and how can you make sure that your site is the best resource on the internet for your ideal reader or your customer?

That’s the goal. On top of optimizing for seo, there needs to be like a point and a person that you’re serving and a reason. Like, yes, people may find you through seo, but why would they spread the word to someone else? Why would they be like, oh my gosh, check out this site that I found and send it to a friend.

That’s the key. Like what’s your, what is your wow? Like, how, why, why should people care about what you’re producing? And how are you genuinely helping someone keep that spirit of serving on the forefront? And don’t forget to collect emails along the way. And then number 18, Consider making a reward chart for yourself if you are motivated by smaller wins, knowing that you’re not gonna get any financial payoff for at least a year.

Maybe you can reward yourself in other ways. And I recommend not tying these rewards to performance because it can be so variable in the first year of having a site or of focusing on seo. I would make them like, oh, I published 50 posts. Like, oh, and now I get a reward. Something like that where it’s rewarding yourself for consistency and showing up.

And yes, of course you can sprinkle in some like, oh, I made it to 25,000 in sessions a month, or some other things like that along the way. But don’t make that the main focus because it’s not. Fully in your control in the same way as your actions are in your control. So focusing on things you’re in control of and then rewarding yourself, can help you get to the one year, one and a half year, two year mark of when you can get into media, buy and start making good money.

 And then of course, celebrate the non-monetary wins too, because even before, I mean, 50,000 sessions a month is a lot of people, and you’re gonna start getting positive feedback from actual humans way before then. Even when you’re getting like 5,000 people a month, you’ll probably start to get comments and emails and things of, and people just saying they really like your stuff and sharing it maybe on social media with comments about what they like about your stuff.

So celebrate those, screenshot it, save it, and look back at those things when you’re feeling a little demoralized, um, because that can keep you going and knowing that you are making a difference. And then my last tip always come back to your why. So why are you blogging in the first place? What were you hoping to achieve?

Were you trying to earn additional income? Were you trying to achieve time and location independence? Do you wanna quit your job? Do you wanna be able to spend more time with your family? Whatever your why was, you know, write, maybe write that down and like put it on sticky notes somewhere and use that as your ultimate grounding.

And remember, you know, why you’re doing this. And look at the proof of concept from others who are three, four years in and just know. If you take the action day after day over time and you learn and you’re flexible and you lean into what’s working for you, you’re gonna get there. I can’t tell you exactly when you’re gonna get there, but you will get there if you just keep going.

 Everything you do. You’ll learn something from. And as long as you’re paying attention to those learnings and implementing, the feedback you’re getting from your own site and your own brand, you will get there. So, yay. So yeah, you’re welcome. Those are my tips. That’s it. I went way over this week, but I just spent some time yesterday, putting my thoughts out, so I wanted to share that.

 Yeah, you’re welcome for the feedback. Let me know if you’re, you know, keep sharing in the Facebook group or whatever, if you’re stuck, stuck on any particular thing. Um, especially with what you find when you input the URLs and Google Search Console. I’m super interested on whether they’re crawling your content or not and deciding not to index it or, or what the deal is there.

So, yeah, thank you for sticking around and I will see you all next month. We are moving next month, so I don’t, haven’t looked at the calendar yet. I literally think I’m doing an office hour call, like, Oh shoot, the day after I move into a new place. So I’m probably gonna be like sitting amongst boxes in an empty room.

 But I will be there next month. We’re not moving super far, just like to another town in the Bay Area, where I have more friends and support. So I’m excited about that. But yeah, I’ll see you next month. Happy blogging and I will continue to connect with you in the Facebook group. Bye. Have a great rest of your day.

Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.