When Anweshak Tejandra was completing a journalism course, part of the assignment was to create a website from scratch.
He followed his passion for entertainment and created a website revolving around streaming releases since he saw a gap in the market. His website initially focused on the Indian market, but he saw much more success when he committed to international content. As his website, The Envoy Web, started to grow, it turned into his full-time job.
Today it gets 500,000 visitors per month and is earning $5k.
Keep reading to find out:
- How he created his website
- What other websites he’s launched
- Where his income comes from
- What happenned when he switched to Mediavine
- His thoughts on SEO
- His content creation process
- His approach to keyword research
- His thoughts on link building
- His favorite resources and tools
- His main challenge
- His biggest accomplishment
- His advice for other entrepreneurs
Meet Anweshak Tejendra
I’m a 27-year-old who, apart from working, is either watching shows/films or playing sports.
Currently living in Mumbai alone, I handle my team of writers remotely. I always had a penchant for writing and decided to work in the media industry. After a few underwhelming experiences in marketing agencies, I shifted to journalistic writing.
I worked in a news app called Inshorts for a year after completing my undergraduate in English literature, which inspired me to pursue a degree in journalism. I applied to the University of Westminster in London and was selected.
Why He Created His Website
During the aforementioned journalism course, we had to create a website out of scratch. As an avid entertainment viewer, I suggested the idea of building something in that niche for the project.
We did not carry out any research, but the gap in the market was quite obvious as the niche was huge but not explored enough.
That’s when I noticed that multiple websites targeted the niche of theatrical releases, but nothing that would focus just on the streaming releases. We built a basic version for that project, but it gave me the idea.
Subsequently, I worked on a full-fledged version through WordPress a couple of months after the project in 2019. Even during the days of my final project, I was actually working on this website, learning the trade. After graduation, it became my full-time job.
After returning to India, my co-founder, Prabal Sharma, and I incorporated a company and began recruiting interns with the intention of making The Envoy Web an international brand.
We cover the niche of video streaming in depth. The shows and films that release on streaming platforms are watched by our writers who then write reviews, explainers, features, etc. We conduct interviews as well.
The Envoy Web has reached over 500,000 monthly readers now.
They are both still in their nascent stages. The idea is to basically replicate the success of The Envoy Web in multiple niches.
How Much Money He’s Making
Currently, we earn just over $5000 every month on average. We started out with Google Adsense, but the revenue was extremely low. Shifting to Mediavine resulted in significant revenue growth.
We currently only earn through display ads but are exploring additional opportunities. Our primary focus has always been the quality of content. If the standard is high, money will be a by-product.
We switched to Mediavine in April last year. It took a few months but we started to earn around $5000 by around September 2022.
In terms of traffic, The Envoy Web gets approximately 500,000 monthly readers now.
I work 5 to 6 hours per day, but it also depends on the work I’m doing. It’s the same for the writers; sometimes they have to work more, sometimes less.
We encourage work-life balance as that helps improve creativity and job satisfaction.
We do not want anybody to feel like working is simply a “job.” If you enjoy your work, you will inevitably do better.
The Importance of SEO
I had no idea about SEO when I started out. I referred to YouTube videos and learned along the way. Income School was an excellent resource.
While the Instagram reels haven’t gotten a great response, the YouTube shorts have picked up considerably and we have decided to explore it further. This format is still relatively new, so we feel it has a lot of untapped potential.
I have found that, when creating YouTube shorts, the best thing you can do is to keep them to a maximum of 15 seconds.
Use quick transitions to keep the viewers interested. The background music goes a long way as well. The topic should also be intriguing.
SEO is the most essential part of our business. Our strategy is having a good on-page experience (core web vitals) and creating compelling content that has a high average page time spent.
We do not indulge in backlinks as we feel that comes from excellent content creation.
Anweshak’s Content Creation Process
Our team of writers watches shows and films released on platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video, and Apple TV+.
We are consistently assigned screeners by these streaming networks as well. This allows us to watch the shows and films days or even weeks before the actual release date.
After watching, the writers craft different kinds of articles. We only have permanent writers and no freelancers since we prefer consistency and want the writers to always be aware of their duties.
We have four writers apart from my co-founder and I. We are a team of six in total. Some interns were hired permanently while others were hired through LinkedIn.
As we cover a particular niche, we have clearly defined keywords such as “reviews.” Apart from these, we know that character names have a high search value along with particular plot points.
We do not use any keyword tool specifically. We understand the niche and the popular keywords. The maximum we use is Google Trends to understand what’s trending.
We do not actively build links. We attempt to create quality resources that are worth linking to organically. We believe only good content will thrive in the long term.
His Email List
We currently do not have an email list as we weren’t satisfied with the available options. We are waiting for Mediavine to release their own answer for this: Automailer, which is scheduled to go live later this year.
His Favorite Resources
YouTube podcasts and channels help a lot with understanding the art of publishing online. One particular channel I have followed since the start is Income School.
Although they are not into journalistic writing, the basic principles can be applied to any website.
His Go-To Tools
The first is obviously WordPress. It allows the flexibility and options required to create a world-class website. It also allows us to use optimization plugins such WPRocket, Shortpixel, etc. that go a long way in improving page experience.
Second is Slack. We used to communicate on WhatsApp at the start but Slack just helps streamline work much better.
Third would be Canva. It’s the simplest and fastest way to create featured images for our articles and we encourage all our writers to use it.
His Biggest Challenge
The biggest challenge was monetization at the start. We targeted Indian audiences initially but it did not translate into revenue. We eventually realized that all of us prefer international content anyway.
We did international content in the beginning but the main focus was Indian-streamed programs. We did this for the first two years. The third year we pivoted and made international the primary focus.
We pivoted and focused more on international titles, alongside Indian ones. The revenue grew massively and we achieved sustainability. It’s important to understand the problems and ways to overcome them.
A huge chunk of our traffic now comes from Tier 1 ad countries such as the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
His Greatest Accomplishment
My main accomplishment is that I managed to take something I always loved and create a sustainable business out of it. Even if I was working somewhere right now, I would have been watching shows and movies anyway.
The fact that I can do what I enjoy and support my livelihood, alongside those of our employees, gives me immense satisfaction.
What He Wishes He Knew When He Started
At the start, we wrote content that did not target any keywords. No matter how much effort we put in, they just did not rank. Although it might not be the most natural way to write, it’s currently more efficient to write headlines and content that cater to search engines.
His Main Mistake
The big mistake we made was not understanding that the target audience makes a huge difference. We would have achieved sustainability much sooner if we targeted international viewership right from the start.
The display ad rates vary according to country. A thousand readers from Tier 1 countries (US, UK, Australia, etc.) could make you the same amount of money as 100,000 readers from Tier 3 or 4.
His Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
Learn about the best practices for search engine optimization as soon as possible. Understand what your readers prefer and create content accordingly.
And if you have employees, always appreciate them and keep them motivated!