Baker from Heartafact.com, a lifestyle blog for men, joins us for a blog interview.
He shares the interesting and unique genesis of his website, along with the learning curve he had to go through to get the website ranking and see some traffic.
Baker is committed to reaching 100,000 monthly traffic by the end of 2022 and is well on its way to achieving that. In this interview, we will tell you how he has developed the website so far, including the mistakes he made and the lessons he learned in the process.
How did you start your online business?
My name is Baker and I run and manage my website heartafact.com.
Heartafact is a lifestyle, style and hip hop website for men. We mainly focus on male content creation all about dating, grooming, and style. We also cover current events and hip hop music. I like to think of Heartafact as a Mini-GQ or Esquire.
I believe my website was created in one of the most unique ways.
My best friend had been sent to jail and to keep in touch with him I wrote him letters every two weeks. These letters were designed like a magazine. The newspaper has been broken down into sections covering hip hop, fashion, sneakers, current affairs, and more.
At that point I realized my love for writing and challenged myself to start a website that wrote the same things, only this time for a global audience.
I saw brands like GQ, Esquire, and Highsnobiety writing on the same topics as me, so I decided to learn SEO. I discovered my audience’s weaknesses and created content to address those issues. Heartafact was born!
Here you can see the letters and learn more about the website’s backstory.
What is your experience in online business?
Prior to starting Heartafact.com, I had no experience in editorial writing or writing for the web in general.
This was evident in my first year the site was running, I didn’t know what I was doing and treated my first year like a personal diary.
Frustrated that I wasn’t getting traffic to the page, I took an SEO course and it made sense. Nobody looked after my trip to Berlin or my thoughts on the sneaker event I attended.
Men wanted to know how to get more dates, use Tinder, or style Chelsea boots.
It was immediately clear to me that I had to treat my site as a point of access to information rather than a personal diary. The success of my website today (success is relative to me) has given me the confidence to set new goals including a desire to explore other ways of writing like writing TV shows / movies.
My traffic numbers keep growing as I understand SEO and Pinterest marketing.
- 2019 – 500 a month (no idea what I was doing)
- 2020 – 10,000 per month
- 2021 – 15,000 and growing
Do I wish my numbers were bigger? Yes of course, but slowly and steadily the race wins. I am satisfied with the growth and have set myself the goal of reaching 100,000 hits by the end of 2022. This means there is a lot of high quality content to be published.
My strategies won’t change much over the course of 2022, but I’ll hire an SEO manager to drive traffic. I want to target tougher keywords as my domain authority starts to grow.
To ensure that I rank and outperform websites with higher DAs, I need to make sure that my content is the best, because content is king.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I’ve felt bombarded with success stories that seem impossible to reproduce – people who have had websites for 6 months and are getting ridiculous amounts of traffic, or have websites that are making money in a short amount of time.
These stories are great and inspiring, but stories like mine are just as badly needed! That’s because my growth is much more realistic and should draw a picture for the reading person to stay in for the long game.
I started heartafact.com in 2019 and all year round it hasn’t grown at all because, like I said, I treated it like a diary and no one found what I wrote. It wasn’t because what I was writing was bad, but because I didn’t understand what I was doing or what problems people were having.
If you are a celebrity or personal brand like Kim Kardashian and you decide to start a website and start writing about eggs, you will generate thousands of clicks. However, if you start without this leverage, you will need to use social media marketing and SEO to attract people to your website.
I have now understood that and I am using it. I also intend to do more branding so that I can reach more people through videos etc.
What is your turnover like?
I recently added Ezoic display ads to the website and I believe heartafact.com will generate around $ 100 a month.
I also had offers for sponsored posts that ranged from $ 50 to $ 150.
However, right now I’m making $ 100 a month from ads. This amount will of course increase as traffic increases.
The screenshot above shows the traffic for June and July 2020 – the traffic is gradually increasing.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to write for an audience – I can’t stress this enough.
As I’ve mentioned many times in this piece, all of 2019 I didn’t know what I was doing or writing about anything. Today I go through a detailed keyword research process to find out what pain points men have in my audience and to make sure that my content answers their pain.
It is best to learn SEO to be consistent and not to give up.
But by far one of the greatest encouragements was the discovery of High Snobiety’s first website on Blogspot.
I found that and it reminded me that everyone has a beginning. I’ve looked at this old page and it’s like my letters to my friend – the only difference is that the creator put their content online. When you look at the structure, design, and content of the website, there is no focus on SEO keywords but rather a personal diary.
Check out High Snobiety’s website today – millions of visitors, thousands of dollars, and a globally successful website. You have been in business for almost 15 years. I use this page daily to remind myself to keep going!
How long did it take you to see success?
I consider my site successful as soon as I can use it full time. I still have a long way to go, but in my head I am successful and have already overcome a lot. A website that generates $ 100 a month with 15,000 traffic is a success for me.
Think about it, success is relative and it’s about the journey. Do you know that there is someone whose website generates 100,000 traffic and generates more than $ 2000, but feels unsuccessful and unhappy? What a bad position.
I appreciate my small wins, and when I get to 100,000 I will appreciate it as much as I do today. PERSPECTIVE!!
What is your advice to other online entrepreneurs?
The best advice I can give is persistence.
Yes, you’ve heard it before and for good reason. Sometimes I even want to stop, but I tell myself, I once had 50 clicks a month, today I get 15,000 traffic a month. I haven’t given up at 50 clicks so it doesn’t make sense to stop now.
Understand your audience, their weak points, and understand how to position your content in a problem-solving manner. I don’t care if your website is about gardening, finance, music, breastfeeding, fashion, cars, or travel. There are a group of people who would like to hear from you!
Make sure you are found on Google and serve their needs.
Treat your blog or website like a business / job rather than a hobby. That means plan 1-2 hours every day! Turn off your phone and social media and use this time to research and design.
Nowadays, with smartphones and social apps, it’s easy to stay online all the time. I’m a victim of it too, but I’ve found that in order to achieve my goals, each day must include some of the time spent on production and creation. Your whole day cannot be consumption! CREATE!!
Finally, study the people, brands, and companies in your niche and learn what they’re doing well and apply these strategies to your own industry. If the brand or person you are following is successful, remember that they have employees and can produce much faster, so don’t kill yourself. Start small each day just like you did.
I chose to use tools like Teachable for SEO courses, listen to online business podcasts, and be part of several Facebook groups that share blogging information and tips to increase traffic.
That’s you, remember – the race wins slowly and steadily, baby!