From a travel blog to a profitable publishing website

The pandemic hit the travel industry hard, and so with its audience grounded and sector ad spend in freefall, God Save The Points (GSTP) was in uncharted territory.

To increase resilience, GSTP founder Gilbert Ott needed to diversify revenue and find new ways to leverage the site’s loyal and engaged following.

The Challenge

Optimise revenue by replatforming from a rented publishing platform to an owned WordPress stack.

God Save The Points is a one-stop online resource for travel, miles and airline tips, founded by professional blogger Gilbert Ott.

The Code Company engineered a solution that accelerated income and established a thriving paid membership community.

The original site was built and hosted on a shared travel blogging network, which was great for establishing an early audience. Yet the platform was growing increasingly slow and failed to reflect the dynamic, modern media brand that God Save The Points had become.

As his audience grew, Gilbert wanted to differentiate from other industry writers and take greater control of revenue generation.

So he decided to spread his wings and launch a small independent media business.

The Code Company allow me to be the star on the stage.

They take care of all the technical aspects of running my website so I’m free to focus on what I’m good at.

Gilbert Ott,  Founder God Save The Points

Revenue diversification with a new membership strategy

God Save The Points was entirely reliant on display advertising, so a new strategy was needed to leverage Gilbert’s personal brand – and his engaged and loyal following.

Despite audiences being grounded due to COVID, website traffic remained strong. So we engineered a solution to drive deeper engagement and build community – and additional revenue.

By creating a tiered membership structure, readers now have the option to engage with content in a fast-loading, advert-free environment.

Premium members can also enjoy Gilbert’s personal advice and other exclusive member benefits.

Technical SEO hygiene for a data-heavy website

We reimagined the site’s content and taxonomy system.

Working alongside our SEO partner, old and redundant categories and tags were removed and a new internal linking structure implemented.

We also offered simple yet powerful advice to improve baseline traffic by identifying and prioritising evergreen content.

The site also experienced a huge increase in Google News and Flipboard referral traffic.

The result: God Save The Points now ranks #1 for key category terms

An AMP-native digital publishing experience

The Code Company designed and developed a purpose-built publishing and membership platform using bespoke code from the Newspack framework.

The high-performance, AMP-first website was built for speed and is optimised to delight God Save The Points’ mobile-heavy audience.

Google prefers AMP-enabled content, so search discoverability was immediately boosted and audiences are commenting on the ‘super fast website wizardry!’

Smart AdTech implementation to simplify revenue generation

Like many small publishers, God Save The Points lacked the time and resources to manage AdTech.

To maximise revenue opportunities across the site, The Code Company implemented new programmatic technology.

By choosing a fully managed solution, PubLift, Gilbert and his in-house team are now free to focus on content creation.

Mobile-friendly storytelling

The addition of a Google-led story editor was transformational.

God Save The Points is filled with visually rich and emotive travel imagery, which made them a perfect candidate for the Web Stories for WordPress plugin.

The intuitive dashboard and access to the WordPress media library makes it easy to transform visual assets into stunning ‘snackable’ stories. This means Gilbert and his team can create clickable content that is mobile-first and drives greater audience engagement.

As Web Stories integrates natively with the CMS, the need for third-party design tools was eliminated.