It’s been a while since my initial introduction to this project.
As has been the case in the past, I have found it difficult to consistently work on this project. There are several reasons for this:
It is not my favorite subject. Although I like the idea of helping others, digging into my own breakup (more than 6 years ago now), is not always easy. It’s hard to remember everything but also trying to remember the details of your sadness isn’t the most pleasant activity.
Writing a book is hard. The main thing I continue to work on is a breakup recovery manual for men. I’m afraid I’ve gone a bit overboard on the level of references I want and the amount of topics I want to cover. I repeatedly get lost in trying to organise ideas.
It feels like an area that I’ve explored already and therefore it doesn’t feel very exciting. I know this isn’t really true, because I haven’t turned this into a profitable business yet, but still I find myself being drawn to other areas such as web development or history.
Following lean startup best practices I’ve published a rough, dirty, draft on leanpub, but I really am embarrassed at its current state. I haven’t even included half of the chapters I intend to include and many segments are just slapped together without considering the flow of the story.
The good news is that I have received a total fo 45 downloads, some of which are paid. I haven’t received any feedback yet, but also no complaints.
I’ve now also added back the option to set up email coaching with me using gumroad. For $20/month people are able to get unlimited email coaching from me. I had this option on my the website before, and 2 people signed up who ended up never answering to my emails.
Next steps are to continue with the book and to slowly become more comfortable with the site’s code base.
This is an introduction to one of my projects, Rapid Breakup Recovery, a blog focused on heartbreak recovery for men, which I’ve been working on (sporadically) since 2012.
A Brief History
Some time in 2012 I was reading up on how to start a successful online business. Going through one of the exercises on selecting a niche, I remember reading the advice “Do what you know.”
What did I know? At this point in my life, 25 years old, still in college, I did not feel like there was much I did know.
I didn’t feel like an expert in anything.
It was only when I combined this advice with another piece of advice that I read coming from Eben Pagan which was to focus on a specific customer need – a real, palpable pain that people have.
It was 2012 at the time two years prior, my girlfriend at the time had broken up with me. A more accurate description of what happened is that she left me for another guy, and it was without a doubt the most painful and visceral experience I had ever experienced.
Two years on, I had found meaning to my life again and I felt recovered. But it had taken two years to get to this point.
I reflected on how I had gotten here, from being completely destroyed two years before, and I realized that there was value in the lessons learnt during my recovery which I could share.
“Do what you know” had been the advice, and this was something I knew. Moreover it seemed plausible there would people out there with a real, palpable need for this type of information.
So I started investigating the topic of “heartbreak recovery” with a focus on advice for men and found that there was very little competition.
I started immersing myself into SEO and generally any topic supporting my efforts in starting an online business.
I soon settled on a strategy of selecting a range of keywords I wanted to target and to write blog posts optimized for those keywords. This was back in 2012 when keyword stuffing articles still worked, sort of.
Again, following Eben Pagan’s advice, I settled on a name that (I hoped) was clear, memorable and that communicated a clear benefit that my target users were looking for: Rapid Breakup Recovery.
My strategy of targeting low-volume keywords that seemed highly likely to correspond to my target audience, such as “my girlfriend left me” or “girlfriend left me for another guy”, turned out to be successful.
The blog would slowly gain traffic, predominantly organic, and has done so consistently since. Even though my posts have been few and far between.
While initially my blog posts would get a small trickle of organic traffic by virtue of being the only ones targeting highly specific keywords – things evolved from there.
Some of my blog posts would elicit a slew of comments by readers, sharing their stories and commenting on one another.
Google must have seen that these posts were highly engaging to readers and that these posts were getting periodically updated by new comments that it rewarded me with higher rankings.
This is how I started ranking for more competitive, and less focused terms, such as “no contact after breakup” and others.
Note: The posts with the top 3 amounts of comments are also the top 3 pages that generate organic traffic.
I put up an opt-in box from the first iteration with which I’ve successfully collected over 800 email addresses since 2012.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit, however, that I haven’t been nurturing my list, at all. I suspect many of my subscribers are long recovered.
The Current Situation
As of February 2016, RBR consistently generates around 22-23k visitors a month, predominantly through organic search.
Users can visit RBR and get in touch with me to set up a Skype coaching call. I’ve done a handful of these already. They’ve helped me understand my users and better develop my advice for them.
I am currently writing a book on breakup recovery for men, which has been quite challenging to say the least. I’m using leanpub to publish it while it is still a work-in-progress. More on that in a follow-up post.
Ultimately my goal is to create and sell a range of info products that help my readers recover.