How This Lifestyle Blogger Went From $3,000 To $10,000 Per Month With SEO

Today you’re going to learn how Sara was able to massively increase Google traffic to her lifestyle blog by a whopping 2,844% over the past 10 months.

The best part?

As a result of all this free, targeted Google traffic, Sara has eclipsed $10,000 per month in revenue ...

Grown her email list to nearly 10,000 raving fans ...

And has diversified her traffic so well that she gets almost as many visitors from Google as she does from Pinterest.  

Wanna learn how she did it?

Let’s get started.

Wanna learn the SEO strategies Sara used to explode hefr Google traffic and rankings? Sign up for my free SEO Starter Pack, a  6-video training series that walks you through why SEO is so important, the best way to do keyword research, and how to create epic content that ranks in Google.

SEO For "Pinterest Bloggers"

Back in June of 2018, Sara had already built her blog into a successful side hustle — she was earning around $3,000 per month and getting about 90% of her traffic from Pinterest.

But Sara wanted to take her blog to the next level, and for that she knew she had to master SEO.

And so last summer Sara decided to enroll in my course, Stupid Simple SEO

And by putting in the work and following the step-by-step process outlined in the course, Sara has seen amazing results.

Her organic traffic has skyrocketed from 4,587 visitors in June 2018 to 136,866 visitors in April ... a ridiculous increase of 2,844%.

Yes, Sara did a 30x increase in Google traffic less than a year, and her business has completely changed because of it.   

Not only that, but because Sara knows how to create epic content that Google loves, she has secured the coveted featured snippet spot in Google for the keyword meal prep ideas—which gets over 55,000 searches per month—outranking huge food sites like Budget Bytes, Fit Foodie Finds, and, even though her domain rating is much lower than theirs.

Meet Sara From Gathering Dreams

In November 2017, Sara started her blog, Gathering Dreams, to help her audience create a healthy lifestyle, find better ways to manage their money and invest in their future to be able to become financially free.

Like many lifestyle bloggers, Sara embraced Pinterest as her first traffic source.

“Pinterest has allowed me to be successful quickly and it’s my first love,” Sara told me. “I found articles online and listened to podcasts about how Pinterest could get you traffic in a very short amount of time.”

But she knew if she wanted to scale her blog into a legitimate business, she needed to learn how to get traffic from another source and not have all her eggs in one Pinterest basket.

“Relying entirely on a free traffic source like Pinterest was a dangerous game, and I knew from day one I wanted to learn SEO,” she told me.

“I felt like I finally nailed Pinterest and I decided I needed to up my game with SEO, as I was so worried I could lose all my page views overnight, if Pinterest stopped sending traffic.”

And so last summer Sara decided to enroll in Stupid Simple SEO. 

Wanna hang out with me and other bloggers who are focusing on scaling their income with SEO? Then join us inside The Successful Bloggers Club, my free Facebook group filled with insider SEO and niche site tips.

And by putting in the work and following the step-by-step process outlined in the course, Sara has seen amazing results.

While Google accounted for only 10% of her total visitors in June 2018, that number now stands at an impressive 47% just 10 months later.

Yes, Sara effectively gets as many visitors from Google today as she does from Pinterest!

And a big reason Sara’s organic traffic has increased so much is because the number of keywords she's ranking for in Google has also taken off.

Here’s a screenshot from Ahrefs showing Gathering Dreams ranking for about 5,500 keywords in June 2018:

And just 10 months later, Sara is ranking for more than 30,000 keywords in Google:

Not only that, but Sara has been working on her link building efforts because she knows that high-quality backlinks are the secret sauce to ranking highly in Google—and she’s seen some impressive results, having picked up some amazing links from Insider, BuzzFeed, and Good Housekeeping.

Now I obviously can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same results as Sara.

But hopefully, Sara’s success should give you an idea of how powerful SEO can be for driving loads of targeted traffic to your blog.

And now I want to show you a few specific SEO strategies that Sara used to rank higher in Google and build some quality links back to her blog.

How Sara Snagged The Featured Snippet for "Meal Prep Ideas"

At the end of the day, SEO comes down to these three things:

  1. Finding topics people are searching for that are relevant to your blog (keyword research)
  2. Writing and optimizing epic content (on-page SEO)
  3. Getting other websites to share and link to your content (backlinks)

As you can see, it all starts with knowing how to do keyword research the right way.

In Stupid Simple SEO, I teach a much different approach to doing keyword research than most SEO gurus out there.

It’s a strategy that involves studying your competition, to see what’s working for them in Google, and then putting your own, unique twist on the topic.  

"Learning about competitive research was incredible,” Sara said. “Knowing how to find my competitors’ top posts, and seeing how much traffic they get was very revealing! I didn’t know you could get so much information about other blogs.”

Fast forward 10 months, and Sara now has the featured snippet spot for the keyword meal prep recipes, which gets 56,000 searches per month.

Wanna know what’s most impressive about Sara ranking for this keyword?

Take a look at some of the sites—and their Domain Ratings—that Sara is ranking alongside:

Ranking ahead of Budget Bytes, Fit Foodie Finds, and is no easy feat.

But what was her secret?

Remember, just because you find a potentially good keyword, it doesn’t mean your work is done.

In fact, the biggest issue many bloggers have with organic traffic is knowing what types of content Google loves to see.

Creating Epic Content That Google Loves

“I followed the steps you teach in the course to create great content,” Sara said. “I make sure I research the top articles that rank in Google, to write a post that is as relevant for that particular keyword.”

When you check out the post that Sara put together, it’s no surprise that it’s ranking so well:

It’s visually stunning, has lots of beautiful, attention-grabbing photos, and is easily “scannable” with sub-headers, short paragraphs, and numbered lists to break up the 3,000+ words of content.

What did Sara learn about competing with and outranking sites with much higher domain authority?

“The most important thing your course taught me is how important it is to write epic content,” Sara told me. “Make sure your post is relevant and helpful to people looking for specific keywords. No matter how long it’s going to take Google to find you, if your content is on point and useful, it’s just a matter of time before you’ll get rewarded for all your efforts.”

How Sara Snagged a DR 73 Link from Insider With a HARO Email Pitch

After teaching my SEO course to over 600 students, here’s the #1 pain point many bloggers have with SEO:

Building high-quality backlinks.

Don’t get me wrong: building links is hard work.

But, getting good links is also essential to ranking high in Google.

So, while it can be a grind to build links naturally, it will definitely improve your SEO, and if you have a process to follow, it can make life a lot easier.

And for Sara, she used one particular strategy she learned in Stupid Simple SEO to score a DR 73 link from Insider.

That strategy?

Help A Reporter Out.

If you don't know what Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is, here's how it works in a nutshell:

  • You sign up for a free account as a "source"
  • You start receiving emails with questions from reporters who are looking for sources to quote for their stories
  • When you see a question that's relevant to your niche and you feel comfortable answering, you send the reporter your response
  • If the reporter likes your response, it may end up being used in their story and—this is key—you may (but not always) get a do-follow backlink

Personally, it’s how I’ve been able to build links to my brand new credit repair site from such high authority domains as, HuffPost, The Simple Dollar, and GoBankingRates. 

The best part about this link building strategy?

These mega websites are actively looking for people to pitch them their stories and ideas!

So, you don’t have to worry that you’re “cold emailing” or bothering anyone, begging for a link.

No, these high-end publications are looking for sources, and if you can pitch them exactly what they're looking for, there’s a chance you’ll get featured (and get a link back).

And for Sara, that’s exactly how she got featured on Insider, a DR 73 site.

“I do think HARO is a great way to get backlinks for a little effort! I try to look through HARO requests a couple of times a week and when I see something interesting, I reply,” Sara told me. “I normally look for information on the journalist, always use their first name in the reply and try to be on point with my contribution.”

To build links with HARO, it’s all about your pitch.

Luckily, Sara was kind enough to show us the exact pitch she used to score her DR 73 link. (Click here to see an enlarged version of the email).

Here’s what works so well about her pitch:

  • She addresses the writer by name

  • She immediately answers the question (no rambling)

  • She provides added value by including images

  • She mentions how many readers and followers she has, and offers to share the story on social media

I don't know of ANY other link-building strategy that has the potential to get you exposure on some of the biggest websites in your niche.

It's truly been a game-changer for me.

Having a strategy going forward

Since Sara started off with Pinterest traffic first and then found success with Google traffic as well, I asked her what advice she would have for other bloggers who were on the fence about learning SEO and whether it would be worth their time and effort.

“When I started to research SEO everything seemed very technical and complicated,” she told me. “Stupid Simple SEO is very simple to follow and guides you through everything you need to do step-by-step.”

“If you want to create a sustainable business, you need to have a way to bring steady traffic from different sources,” she continued. “Every time I write a new post I feel like I have a clear method to follow. I have many keywords on page one of Google that I could only dream of a few months ago!”

3 thoughts on “How This Lifestyle Blogger Went From $3,000 To $10,000 Per Month With SEO”

  1. Another awesome case study Mike. Your course has been an absolute game-changer for our business. I can honestly say I don’t know where we would be without it. Thank you!

  2. Wow, Mike!
    This is just AMAZING!!! 🙂
    I can’t wait to enroll in your course! Woo Hoo!
    Can’t wait to see where the Stupid Simple SEO course will take me too! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this testimonial!

  3. I find these case studies so interesting, plus it’s great to see it working for real people. It’s really interesting to see how much of an impact backlinks have, this is something I really need to work on!

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