Passion and Innovation: How Marco Gained Millions of Readers in One Year
Written by Ann Valencia, Journalist
When the SEO guru first started MarcoFeng.com, his intention was to fulfill his hobby of documenting his travels. He had no idea that it would later attract millions of readers who found his entries, stories, and experiences inspirational. While he no longer manages the website after turning it over to his family, much of how it operates still reflects the culture and goals Feng started.
The beginning of MarcoFeng.com goes way back to Feng's first international trip to Bangkok after failing his first TOEFL test. He spent over a year building up the site but set it aside in 2016 to pursue his other dreams in New York. He picked up where he left off when circumstances allowed him to travel again, juggling it with his studies, work, and a relationship.
His breakthrough happened in 2019 when Feng shared his experience at Disney Store in Times Square, which received over 500 sessions after being published. He realized that his writing had the potential to reach and inspire people beyond borders. "It isn't just about writing, but providing information that quickly satisfies the users. People are impatient these days." Feng shares.
He spent over five years studying Google's algorithm and quality guidelines, which are constantly evolving and factors not to ignore to succeed in digital publishing. Feng also used his site to experiment with the concepts he learned and developed unique strategies like creating content briefs and calendars to streamline the content creation process or reducing indexation size using a mix of canonical, no-index, and 302 redirects, bringing success to many businesses he worked with.
His efforts also helped MarcoFeng.com become one of the top travel sites, with more than 1.5 million readers annually, answering over 60,000 questions on travel, food, and crafts. Also, users engage with the content more, thanks to unique features like interactive maps added to best-ofs. Previously, his readers would stay for 32 seconds, but now they spent a good 2 minutes; the industry benchmark is 52 seconds. The content has been referenced 35,700 times, and readers love the information, flooding Feng's inbox with questions.
When asked what draws readers toward MarcoFeng.com, he answers, "despite being the newcomer to this industry, we deliver comprehensive, high-quality, user-driven content that helps readers do what they love." Ironically, Feng divulged that writing wasn't his strong suit, and because of that, he would spend hours at writing centers to perfect his words and develop confidence. "I used to spend 30 minutes writing three good sentences," Feng said. However, this challenge didn't deter him. "If you're passionate about something, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen," he shares.
While the management has changed, MarcoFeng.com still maintains the momentum and goals he had set initially, and that is to provide content that satisfies and inspires users. Each piece is carefully written, taking the team more than 20 hours of research, writing, optimizing, and fact-checking.
Hailun (Marco) Feng