It’s been a great year for Let’s Reach Success.
I still remember the first months and even years of the website, when it was just a side project of mine, when I still didn’t know my way around the Internet, and when no one was looking at the content I’d put so much time and creative energy in.
Now it’s different.
Turns out that with enough hard work (years!), and little or no capital or support or even experience, anyone can still create an authority site. Cause that’s what LRS is slowly turning into.
The Early Days of LRS
With around 750 posts in the archives, with stable traffic from search engines and long and engaging enough posts, it now has a good rank and people are reaching out to me all the time, be it for a guest post opportunity, to ask me to link to their products and services from an article of mine, to say thanks for a guide that helped them improve their life somehow, or else.
In fact, I even ditched some other sites I was experimenting with – niche sites on more particular topics – and focused even more on Let’s Reach Success, the blog, podcast, bookstore, newsletter, design, optimization, etc.
I’m still a writer before anything else, but owning a website and learning all the stuff about WordPress and growth and even the tech side of all this, helped me develop new skills, gain experience, be seen as an expert in the personal development niche, and improve my personal brand.
In the digital world they will respect you more the moment they see you run a website with a ton of content, which also looks professional enough to be taken seriously by companies and individual clients.
I’ll never be able to calculate the time I’ve invested into activities related to creating and publishing content, tackling design and functionality, managing all the marketing and branding aspects of it, getting published on other big sites in the niche to get some link juice, choosing a hosting provider and investing the first money in this, testing all sorts of ways to monetize it, etc.
It’s hundreds of hours, and many people would have given up down the road simply because blogging is a long-term strategy. And long-term means years. Not everyone is okay with that. That’s where passion comes in handy.
I didn’t start with the money in mind, and it will never be a priority for LRS.
That’s why you can’t see any ads right now (although there have been banners at different stages while I was testing things out).
User Experience is Key
Your reading experience also won’t be interrupted by any annoying popup. Seriously, website visitors hate this. Luckily, Google’s new algorithm will make sure sites that want to keep ranking high remove these.
User experience matters more than ever now. That’s also why I finally bought a premium theme for the site. Before that it was a good-looking one from the WordPress theme directory. Still good, still does its job, but as every site owner knows, the code of the premium themes is much better. And while that’s all in the back-end and I don’t deal with codes in any way, I do think a good website with a lot of content and traffic must invest in at least this.
The current theme is Mono by Codestag.
Every little detail about it speaks this: enjoy your content without being interrupted.
I like its minimalist design. It’s designed with flexibility in mind. The homepage is still a magazine-style, and that’s how I want it to be.
Every little detail you see on the site is there for a purpose. I believe it’s helpful.
This year I also made sure new visitors can quickly understand what the site is about, find what they need, and navigate easily.
The Start Here page is with enough details to let you explore all that the site offers. The Menu includes all necessary tabs and nothing else.
Something I’m truly grateful for is the fact that a day doesn’t go by without receiving a request from a guest writer to publish his or her piece on Let’s Reach Success.
Honestly, even if I stop writing, there will be enough new and practical content coming in on a consistent basis. But, of course, that’s not my goal.
I’ve rejected people’s articles when they were too promotional or had no real value, but most of the times, my answer is ‘yes’ as I love to give people some exposure, link to their resource from my site, and let them share their life lessons on a new platform.
That’s the circle of life. I was the one reaching out to other sites, asking for a chance to publish a guest post with a link back to my blog. Now, it’s the other way around.
By the way, you have no idea how much I’ve grown as a person together with the site. But that’s a topic for another article.
So, moving on.
Ah, my good old side project.
There are now almost 60 episodes.
I changed the direction of the LRS podcast 2-3 months ago actually.
Initially, Let’s Reach Success was all about personal growth. However, as it’s grown, many other topics are covered related to lifestyle design, entrepreneurship, startups, travel, money, and more.
Which is great. I still try to relate anything to self-improvement somehow, and to the life lessons we can all learn from daily situations.
And because I wanted the podcast to level up too, its main goal is now slightly different.
Here’s how I presented the new idea to my email subscribers when the first episode of this type came out:
“From now on (every other episode in the beginning as the new concept takes more research and work), I’ll be talking more about the lives of some of the smartest, richest and most successful and productive people out there, as well as how the most popular brands and companies came to be.
I’ll try to study their successes and failures so that we can all apply their way of thinking and replicate their achievements, but avoid their mistakes.
In today’s world, failing isn’t the smartest way to gain experience anymore. It’s all about learning from the failure of those who’ve done it before and skip that part to get where you want to be faster.
I’ll be analyzing what made people like Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, Pat Flynn, Gary Vee and others who are on top in their niche so successful. But I’ll also go back to the lives and legacy of Napoleon Hill, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs to see how their mindset was developed early on and what we can learn from them.
I’ll share what high achievers do differently, but also a lot of biz advice on how to dominate social media, quit your job and be a lifestyle designer, create a podcast millions of people would love, how to become #1 in a certain niche, how to grow your brand, self-publish a bestseller, and more. All that, through the eyes of those who’ve done it, of course.”
Some episodes that are part of this strategy are:
- How to Hustle Like Gary Vee
- How Nathan Chan Grew Foundr to a 6-Figure Business
- Why and How Facebook Bought Instagram for $1 Billion
- The Morning Habits of Great Writers
- Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey’s Productivity Secrets
- Life Lessons from Mark Manson on How to Care Less and Live More
It’s a proper book store now, with enough titles to choose from.
I also created my first 2 (and only) audiobooks in March this year. It was fun, a different kind of project, and a way to offer something to the lovers of audio content.
The newest additions are the following eBooks:
- A Recipe for Self Love – December
- Finding The 1 Thing You Were Born to Do – July
- How to Sleep Better – May
- The Mirror Technique – April
- How to Break Any Bad Habit – February
- How to Kill Procrastination – January
I’m now writing practical articles on how to crush it on that platform as I believe there’s huge potential in it and still many businesses and individuals aren’t making the most of it.
Not just that, but I’m putting all this into practice and growing an account of my own. It’s a good way to gain new eyeballs, create more content people will enjoy, get my name and brand out there on another platform, and have fun with visuals and inspirational content.
If you check out @letsreachsuccess, you’ll see motivational image quotes and black and white quotes (which is part of the strategy to make the whole feed look beautiful) on the topics of lifestyle design, freedom, hustle, entrepreneurship, and life advice.
While posting on a daily basis, I also get to know how the social media channel works. Then comes testing different tools for automation and content creation, analyzing follower growth and other metrics and sharing the results, and more.
It’s a cool side project for me now, and we’ll see where it goes. But it does help in more than one ways as some people learn about my site after finding my Instagram account, and after all, I’m providing inspiration and value for free and making people smile with posts like that. That makes it worthwhile :)
So that’s it for now.
Of course, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, like better security, optimization, using new tools and softwares, and more. But this post is long enough already, and I don’t want to bore you with the details.
The will be another blog post pretty soon where I’ll share the best of LRS for 2016 and link to articles you’d want to check out again.
Also, there’s one big thing I’m working on. It might or might not be a success. But the idea is solid, I’m putting in the work long before I expect any results, and I believe there’s potential in it. So stay tuned.
If you made it this far, cheers. Want to contribute with an idea on how to make the site better? Or what new topic to cover?
Leave a comment with whatever comes to mind.