How Followchain Scaled To 1MM Unique Visitors Per Month
Note: This post is from August 30, 2021
I've been following followchain.org's founder Lim How Wei on Twitter for quite some time and have always enjoyed his SEO tips, so when I saw that he scaled his website to 1 million unique visitors (UV) and $20k MRR, I was quite amazed!
What was most surprising to me is that he did all of this in 7 months! I decided to interview him to see what kinds of insights he could share, so others could replicate his efforts.
Side note: Lim monetizes his website with display ads and is in the business of maximizing impressions. SaaS founders may want to consider a slightly different, more targeted approach when selecting what to write about. However, many of his experiences and tips are relatable no matter your industry.
Top takeaways from this Interview:
- Consistency is key. Once you figure out a frequency that works best for you, do it consistently.
- Keep it simple. Don't obsess with SEO tools, tracking platforms and all of the complexity that comes with it, stick with the basics like keywords planner and autocomplete queries and just focus on writing.
- Don't stop. There is a period where Google will ignore your website and it can last several months. It may get discouraging, but that's exactly when you cannot stop, better yet, double down!
I hope you like this one, and highly recommend you follow Lim on Twitter as he is always sharing awesome tips worth their weight in gold! Ok, on with the interview...
How many UVs did you have in the last 30 days?
Followchain had about 1 million UV in the last 30 days.
What are your latest revenue figures? When did you start your SEO efforts? How many on your team? Do you do the work yourself, outsource all or part of it?
$20k MRR. Started focusing on SEO in June 2020. I do all the work myself.
How long did it take for things to really pick up? Was there a specific point where it went up a lot?
Month 7 was when traffic started to pick up. This is because I ramped up my content production in months 5 and 6. Google takes time to evaluate new sites, so it’s normal to start seeing substantial traffic only after several months in. This is also known as the “Google sandbox”.
Gene's side note: I have personally experienced the sandboxed many times in my career and it can be quite demotivating. Many people give up during this period (and I have as well many times), however once you push through, that's where the fun begins! So hang in there!
Describe your keyword or topic research process:
I use a combination of keyword research processes. 1. Quora, Reddit, Google Autocomplete, etc., to find keyword ideas. 2. Check the US/CA/UK traffic for it using Google Keyword Planner and aim for more than 1k searches/month, 3. Check the competition of the keyword by looking at the first search result page of it on Google. If a lot of authoritative sites are ranking for it, I’ll skip it.
Gene's side note: Remember how I said earlier that Lim is in the business of maximizing impressions? SaaS founders do not have to follow this path initially. Try writing content that addresses high purchase intent searches until you run out of ideas. I highly recommend this article: "Pain-Point SEO: How to Produce SEO Content That Drives Conversions" by Benji Hyam! You can, however, continue down the same path as Lim after you've written every imaginable pain-point article.
How long does it take to create one article?
30 minutes for research and drafting out the template. 1 hour to write the content. So, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, some mid to long-form articles can take up to 3 hours to produce.
What SEO tools do you use and why (what is it about them that you like)?
I don’t really rely on SEO tools that much because they are inaccurate. The only SEO tool I use is the Google Keyword Planner to check the traffic of a keyword. I like it because it's free and the tool is from Google themselves.
What does your workload look like day to day?
I write an article every day from 3pm to 6pm, 7 days a week. 10pm onwards is for finding content ideas, drafting templates, and making YouTube videos of some of my articles (followchain's YouTube channel). I work till 1am on some days.
If someone wanted to replicate your success, what are the top 3 tips you have for them?
- Target low-competition and high traffic keywords.
- Always include an “answer” target (https://twitter.com/notlhw/status/1416721914106507264?s=20).
- Publish an article every day.
What is your #1 tip for scaling SEO efforts?
Publish an article every day. The more data you have, the easier it is to find out what type of content works and what doesn’t.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would publish an article every day. I only started doing this in month 6 onwards, where I could have in the first month.
Get more SEO tips from Lim
If you enjoyed this, follow Lim on Twitter. He occasionally shares great SEO tips and you can level up your website for free!