As we’ve shared in the month 1 post, we’re in a very expensive and competitive niche, which has the potential of bringing us high commissions.
In this post, we’ll be covering the Month 2 progress, which wasn’t without setbacks. (And a drama of sorts!)
Spoiler alert: We managed to earn our first commission. YAY!
Lastly, we were stoked to see how popular our first post was, so we decided to prepare something special for you at the end of the article.
So, grab a coffee, and let’s get started!
Table of Contents
In our first post, we shared that for this project, we had 7 people involved who do what they are best at.
There have been a couple of changes, the reasons for which will be discussed later.
So meet the current team and their roles:
Richard (Founder): KW research
Zarina (Founder): Article editing
Kate (Junior Editor): Light article editing
Martin (Designer): Custom graphs, featured images, etc.
Joseph (Designer): YouTube thumbnails
Mary (Writer): Article writing
Eric (Writer): Article writing
Kyle (Voice Actor): Voiceovers
Sonny (Video Editor): Faceless YouTube videos
We no longer work with Mary because we are convinced she was using AI tools to write content, which Richard and I are completely against. Details will be in the next section.
And we’ve hired Sonny, a part-time video editor, who already seems to be doing a great job.
(We recommend OnlineJobs.ph for finding affordable talent from the Philippines.)
I’ve also invited my writer Kate to be a junior editor for the new project. She deals with formatting and repetition before I (Zarina) get to the articles.
Generally, I’m extremely picky with the editing, but because we use articles as scripts for podcast episodes and videos, I put extra effort to make sure that the voiced-over text is pleasant to the human ear too.
As you can see, our approach was to hire people and let everyone do what they do best. But as we mentioned in our first post, if you’re a newbie, you don’t have to have an entire team.
Many people start as “solopreneurs” and have built successful websites on their own.
In fact, we recommend you start on your own if you’re a beginner – you need to learn all the ins and outs of the business before you start outsourcing.
This is where both of us started when we built our own websites, which earn us full-time income (and allow us to invest into Project G).
The first big setback we experienced so far is with our former writer, Mary.
As we mentioned before, we use WriterAccess.com for hiring writers.
While you can generally find excellent writers on this platform, with the AI madness going on, many freelancers use AI tools to increase their earnings with less work.
And that’s exactly what happened to us.
At the start of our working relationship with Mary, we thought ”Wow, she’s very quick, and the articles are very intelligently structured”.
But after a few articles, Zarina noticed some weird repetition, and it was strange enough to a point where we decided to invest in an AI detection tool and here’s what we discovered:
This is a screenshot of the intro of one of the posts, and this has been a consistent theme with her other articles. But not enough to judge, right?
Let’s have a look at the screenshot of one fairly big section of one of the articles:
At this point you may argue that it’s also not enough evidence, right?
Here’s one more screenshot of Mary’s article scan and its score:
Let me tell you that we did an incredible amount of scans, and most of the results made me wanna cry. The majority of them were showing a huge % on the AI side.
Believe me, I (Zarina) was the last person to jump into conclusions and reluctant to believe this ugly truth.
I even reached out to the co-founder of Wealthy Affiliate directly (who has 20 years of experience in the industry) and asked for his advice.
He confirmed that, based on his experience, Originality.ai is the best/accurate AI detection tool so far.
After the multiple screenshots that I sent to him, he also confirmed that, indeed, Mary has used AI to write the articles for us.
We kept on scanning multiple pieces of content from Mary and other people to make sure we have enough evidence for the WriterAccess management.
For comparison, here’s what Eric’s (our second writer) content looks like:
And another post of his:
Scanning Eric’s results were consistently original.
The lowest number I remember was 85% human, but most were in high 90s, and even 100% humanly written (according to the tool).
Needless to say, we were PISSED.
Here’s our initial reaction to Mary’s content:
So as you can see, we weren’t too happy about this. But this can happen to anyone, even on a high-profile platform like WriterAccess.
So obviously, we ‘fired’ Mary and asked the platform management for a refund for all the articles she wrote.
What surprised us even more was the WriterAccess’ decision, despite their policy/claim that they are against AI written content.
Not only they refused to refund us, but instead tried covering up for their writer, even after we took time to scan all her articles and send proof to them.
Take a look:
My response to her was that I’ve even talked to industry experts and got their opinion on the situation and I’ve added that their proposition for rewrites doesn’t work because:
1) I’ve spent DAYS to scrupulously edit the article myself before publishing (and believe me, I’m extremely picky and spend hours on making sure it’s top-top all around),
2) Then I had to rewrite the articles and waste hours AGAIN after I found out about AI tools possibly being used because I was afraid our 2-month old website would be punished instantly for alleged AI content.
We kept asking for a refund, and instead they tried to blame it on us by suggesting we “auto-approved” and didn’t submit within 10 days after accepting the articles:
And instead of them digging deep and looking into their own writer, I had to defend myself why I haven’t reached out within the 10-day period:
We even explained how AI content could’ve ruined our website had we not noticed – Google would eventually catch up to AI-generated content and can even blacklist your website.
And they still didn’t care.
At this time, we’re still deciding whether or not we should continue working with them, but one thing is certain – if you ever use this platform, be prepared that the WriterAccess platform might not be on client’s side.
Lastly, AI content is on the rise, so make sure to scan ALL of your articles to avoid any potential issues.
There are some free tools on the web, so you have no reason not to.
The beauty of it is that you can test-drive the entire platform for free!
Anyway, once you decide this is something you want to do, we’ll send you a message with access to our Discord server, and you’ll have two full-time affiliate marketers personally helping you on your journey.
Look forward to seeing you there!
Project G Plans for March 2023
So, what are our goals for the upcoming month?
The first couple of months was about laying the groundwork and building the systems, and now that we’ve done majority of the work, we’ll focus more on publishing quality content across all platforms.
Have a look at this screenshot:
The list of goals might increase later in the month, depending on how fast we’ll move forward.
However, with the Mary situation out of the way and not wasting physical and mental energy on it, we’re confident we’ll get better at regular publishing for this month.
Stay tuned for March results!
Tools/Resources We Use and Recommend
Our evergreen section of monthly posts is updated, with one major change.
We did a lot of research on themes going into this project. We wanted something fast and highly customizable.
Astra Pro, coupled with Elementor, fits the bill perfectly.
LinkWhisper– Smart, fast, and easy-to-use plugin for internal links.
If you’re a pretty experienced affiliate marketer with one or more established websites, we encourage you to check it out.
It’s an impressive tool created by Spencer Haws (the founder of Niche Pursuits), and we didn’t realize just how much it would save time when doing internal linking.
Doing smart internal links is important for SEO purposes, and this plugin can potentially help you improve your Google rankings.
WriterAccess– To hire the best freelancers to streamline your workflow.
As mentioned before, we’ve tried many platforms for hiring freelancers, but WriterAccess is by far the best one. It’s a bit more expensive than others, but they make sure you get professional-level content.
After what happened (the AI incident) and WriterAccess covering up for their writer instead of refunding us, we can’t recommend this platform anymore.
OnlineJobs.ph– To hire affordable freelancers from the Philippines.
On the other hand, if you want to hire someone for cheap, OnlineJobs is amazing for that.
On this platform, you’ll be able to hire full-time video editors and writers for around $700 a month or designers for $300-400.
For comparison purposes, a full-time video editor or writer would cost you at least a couple thousand dollars in the US.
This is because the cost of living and wage rates in the Philippines are MUCH lower than in North America. So $700 is considered to be a pretty great full-time salary.
Note: When hiring, be mindful that every profession has different rates and that, in some cases, you’d have to train them (for example, writers).
NitroPack.io– All-in-one speed optimization for your website.
With the recent additions of the Core Web Vitals, your website’s speed is more important than ever before.
We’ve had some performance issues for a while, but by adding NitroPack (they have a free plan for up to 5000 page views/mo), everything was solved, and all of our websites are soooo fast now.