100 Articles Later… Progress Since Day One


100 Articles Later… Progress Since Day One

Here we are!

We’ve reached triple digits after a whopping 19 months.

Although I’ve repeated a few subjects on more than one occasion, there are some I’ve focused on only once and never brought up again (except in casual passing.)

I was a bit worried, when I was starting out, that the idea well would run dry and that I’d lose motivation.

But when I get amazing emails like this I remember why I started this website in the first place.

Email 1

It was the best decision I ever made. Aside from the joy of making a positive impact on the world, I myself have grown a lot and have personally gained quite a bit from running this site.

Before Launch

I waited a long time before I finally started Self Stairway. I didn’t have a name in mind until just before I registered the domain, but the idea for this site floated around my head long before actually going live.

Two days before launching the site, I starting writing an article in a Starbucks and finished it on my college campus.

I can even tell you what was on my mind leading up to the launch because I began writing in a journal two days prior.

In the entry, I opened with “First day of the Barnes and Noble experiment,” before I began blabbering about pens, having the house to myself, and my new haircut. The day after, I started the entry with “Day 2 of the soulful, tortured author,” before talking about how the Starbucks in Barnes and Nobles didn’t accept the official coffee gift card (boo!)

My First Few Months

After getting a few posts under my belt, I reached out to a guy who I had seen on tons of personal development blogs. This dude was everywhere! I wanted to write for him.

Paul Sanders

Turns out his website wasn’t a blog at all. Fortunately for me, he offered to get on the phone with me. During our call, he gave me ideas for my site and also told me who I should be following in the online world.

After reading up on Jon Morrow and Derek Halpern, I began guest posting like crazy!

Check out my guest post portfolio page. Notice how the earlier months had tons of articles published around the same time?

Writing for relevant websites with a much larger audience than mine drove a lot of traffic and it was by far the most effective marketing I’ve ever done for the site.

Although I can’t find him online anymore–people often come and go in the online world–I’d like to give a shoutout to Paul Sanders in case he sees this.

Traffic wasn’t crazy yet but it was at least in the hundreds on a daily basis.

The Site Begins Giving Back

It was cool seeing my name on websites that had tons of visitors, but that meant very little in tangible changes to my own life.

It wasn’t until I began meeting interesting people and getting new jobs through my experience running the site that it began to pay off.

Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist was the first person I contacted to meet in the offline world. When I learned he didn’t live too far from where I was, I invited him out to coffee.

He’s a super sharp dude. Joshua has been making a living as a full-time blogger and speaker since October 2013 and preaches and lives by the good word of minimalism.

Fast forward a bit more to somewhere around this time of last year and things get a bit crazier.

I feel like I’ve told this story a thousand times so I won’t rehash the same details.

Photo from El NidoLong story short, I got my dream job thanks to Self Stairway.

Thanks to all of you, I’m living the lifestyle I’ve been dreaming of for the past few years and I’m a Marketing Director at the age of 20!

I remember sitting at breakfast with my family and I began talking about starting a website that could be a springboard onto something greater. My rambling fell on idle ears, but hey, here I am anyway! I’ve been in Southeast Asia for 10 months and I won’t even be back in the states until an entire year passes (double the amount of time I was originally planning on being out here.)

Where Is Self Stairway Now?

I’ve basically stopped actively growing this site since I began working with Empire Flippers but it’s great to see traffic still going strong.

In the last 30 days this website received over 18,000 visitors from Google and over 29,000 pageviews. My email list is nearing 2,600.

Google Analytics for Self Stairway

It’s great to see traffic is consistent even without active work going into the site.

But it’s not all about the vanity metrics. This site got me my freaking dream job. I think I’ve been paid off ten times what I was expecting.

Where am I taking this site now? I don’t know. I don’t have any plans mapped out but I’m still publishing an article every Monday morning. I haven’t missed a single day since launching and I don’t intend to anytime soon.

This site doesn’t directly make me money but it paid me back in so many other ways. I couldn’t possibly ask for more.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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27 responses to 100 Articles Later… Progress Since Day One

  1. I had three reactions to your post. First, it’s very exciting that this website got you your dream job. That’s wonderful. Second, I’m inspired by you. Third, I’m curious. Why, with all this traffic, is it not making you any money? Is this something you’ve consciously chosen?

    • Hey Holly! I accidentally published the article a day early and took it down when I realized what I did. Apologies for the late reply.

      It’s not really something I’ve consciously chosen. I’ve sort of gone in with the expectation that this site wouldn’t make money because it turns out, making money from blogging isn’t easy (even when you have a lot of traffic.)

      Writing alone will make it difficult to generate revenue from ads and affiliates when you have an audience that isn’t heavily monetizeable. For a niche like personal development, courses and products do a lot better but both require a lot of work input and that never was the goal.

      An interesting point my friend brought up was that it’s better to have 1K visitors per month that each pay you $1 every month than 30K visitors who pay you $0.

      But hey, this site is a springboard for me just as I envisioned it long before opening shop. It’s indirectly made me money and literally changed my life. 🙂

  2. Ahhh I was very excited to read this post! I even Tweeted you about it! 😀

    Firstly, congratulations on everything that you have achieved so far! I wish you the best of luck in the future!

    I am very new to your blog, but I have definitely been inspired by everything that you have done so far and how much hard work you put into it. 🙂 I haven’t even been able to stick to my weekly post schedule yet, so it is amazing that you haven’t stopped posting every Monday since you started!

    I am definitely here to stay and read as many of your posts as you have! 🙂

    • Hehe sorry you ran into an error page when you saw my tweet. Didn’t mean to publish this on Sunday.

      Glad to have you here!

      On the topic of writing every week… I’ve got no advice there to be honest. I just imagine how disappointing it’d be to miss a week and that somehow makes me get up my lazy butt and produce something. Write something even when you think it’s absolutely horrible. Who cares? Neither you or I have enough eyeballs on us for it to matter if we say something silly. 🙂

  3. Congrats Vincent.
    I tell you, it’s this consistency that paid off, nothing else. It’s a prerequisite of every achievement.

  4. You’ve earned everything you’ve gotten (and the site has given).

    I’m glad you to be able to call you a friend.

  5. Just so you know, Vincent. Your blog also inspired me to start my very own in November last year. I’ve been passionate about personal growth for a long time but never thought of talking about it on the internet until I came across your blog. Especially when I even felt that my writing sucks, haha.

    Even though I’ve stopped writing since about April this year to focus more on music and making piano videos on YouTube, I really benefited a lot from the blog in terms of my own personal growth. Plus it did pretty good for the first few months as well.

    So big thank YOU and congrats on your 100th post!! As Michal has said, consistency is the prerequisite of every achievement. And it sure paid off well. 😀

  6. Congratulations on 100 articles later : D. An impressive feat since most bloggers quit before 6 months. Well that’s what people tend to say, no scientific research backing that up. That is awesome you got a job off your blog.

    18000 Visitors in a month from google is pretty damn impressive. How long did it take until you started getting organic traffic? How long until it was a substantial amount? What do you think was most effective in doing that?

    • Thanks!

      To answer your question, I tried taking a look at historical data but Google Analytics is telling me “Channel data is not available prior to July 25, 2013” so I can’t grab an exact date for you.

      I had 5,680 sessions from organic traffic for the month of August 2013 which comes out to be around 189 per day. August 2014 had 18,123 sessions or 604 organic visits per day.

      My guess is that organic began trickling in starting March or April 2013.

      It wasn’t until October 2013 that I began hitting 5-digits for monthly organic traffic. October 2013 saw 10,414 sessions.

      Here’s a screenshot showing August 2013 – 2014 organic traffic: http://i.imgur.com/wGOIRd8.png

      I would credit it mostly to guest posting on high authority websites around the same niche as my own site.

      • Sebastian Aiden Daniels September 10, 2014 at 9:16 am

        It looks like you started guest posting straight from the start. I am now just getting into it. I got a post accepted from Tiny Buddha, but she said it won’t go live for about two months, which is fine : D.

        How did you get to post for Addicted 2 Success and Marc and Angel? I sent an email to them through their contact form asking them how I could guest post for them and I didn’t receive a reply.

  7. I have to post my website later or name of blog as when I copy it this page will be gone . I get your e-mail on Monday and I got reply few months back as well .Though most of the content belongs to travel etc and inspires teen age group but why I check it always because even one mail inspired me to write anything which I read about or I experience in my life . We always need people to inspire us and there are very few who have shared their ideas so honestly like you wrote in your mail . God bless you ! We are looking for more letters and ideas from you . Though I am 58 years old and have less vocabulary to write my ideas and thoughts but you are such an intelligent young man to inspire any age group people . Thanks again for reply and next post sharing . Have a wonderful day and all the best wishes .

    • Always look for inspiration. Look for it anywhere and everywhere as you never know who will be the one to set you off on a course that will significantly improve your life.

      But you already know that. 🙂

  8. This is my blog which is my inspiration where I write something I read and few original posts written by me . I posted few videos too . Dance is my hobby and meditation . The world is full of good and bad people and I feel so bad sometimes but most part of this whole world is good that is why we can breath deep to live . Some people are just a burden for so many others to stay alive and I wonder why God created them just to make this peaceful earth full of good people miserable . If we can spread goodness with any means ,we can play our part a little bit . Internet and mobiles are good means but at least one percent population can enjoy its benefits . Not all are so fortunate and some people even misuse it . Anyway what can be done ,evil and bad things will continue to happen . Just a few moments we can forget about all . So I paint too and get lost in my own world . Enjoy reading ! all the best wishes for your job ! keep rising and writing !

  9. Great job with the blog! You are inspiration. I hope to someday land my dream job through my blog. That would be awesome! Kuddos to you!

  10. Hey Vincent!

    Great milestone! Really inspiring to see how you were able to keep with your writing schedule!

    The Expeditioner

  11. Big congrats Vincent!

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