Project G: The $100K Challenge (Month 3)
Welcome to our Project G Challenge, where we (Richard and Zarina) share everything we do to try to go from $0 to $100K per month within a year.
If you’re new here, read these posts first:
- Project G Challenge: From $0 to $100,000 in 365 Days (Month 1)
- Project G $100K Challenge and Our First Commission! (Month 2)
As we’ve shared at the beginning of our journey, 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 3 progress, and what milestones we reached.
But first, a word about YOU guys.
We Appreciate Your Support!
We’ll be honest…
When we had an idea to publicly document this challenge, we didn’t know what to expect or if people would even find our content interesting.
But we thought that worst-case scenario, it would be a good way for us to look back, see where we started, track the progress, and stay accountable.
And guess what?
Even though we published progress reports only on 2 months so far, we received a lot of positive feedback from you across multiple platforms.
Here’s the first comment we received from Jovo on our Month 1 post:
Here’s another comment from one of my absolute favorite Wealthy Affiliate members and a brilliant online marketer, Partha:
Here’s one from Pedro:
We also got quite a lot of positive responses on social media as well.
Sara even said that she was hooked.
Now, that level of response we didn’t expect, and we’re happy to hear that! 🙂
She also raised a question that many of you asked:
How to get notified?
Unfortunately, we didn’t set up the email newsletter yet, that’s why we’ve been sharing manually across different platforms we’re a part of.
It’s a work in progress though, so stay tuned!
For now, we decided to start a Telegram channel – many of you are reaching out with various questions, so we figured this could be a good solution.
There, we’ll mostly be posting about Project G, but we’re also happy to help you out on your journey to online success.
All you need to do is download Telegram (there’s a mobile and web-based app) and then click here to join our group.
In any case, thank you for your comments and support, they keep us going and we’ll try to keep these posts as interesting and informative as we can.
Richard and I appreciate you!
Now, back to Project G.
In our first post, we shared that for this project, we had 7 people involved who do what they are best at.
Were there any changes? Let’s see.
Here’s the team and their roles for March:
- 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 stopped working with Mary after the AI unpleasant incident, which we publicly shared in our Month 2 post.
That same month we hired Sonny, the new video editor who’s been doing a pretty good job reaching our quality standards. Every new video he produces is better and better.
Once we’ll have plenty of text-based content and voice-overs, we plan to move him to a full-time position.
(We recommend OnlineJobs.ph for finding affordable talent from the Philippines for a fraction of the price compared to US freelancers.)
What happened with Kate?
I’ve worked with her since 2020 (also found her on OnlineJobs.ph) and she does a pretty good job for my other websites.
However with the Project G website, due to the nature of the niche and more difficult topic, I felt that even light editing wasn’t very effective.
Sometimes the mistakes were quite obvious, which I then had to correct and double-check with the original work.
Not very efficient.
Personally, when I edit our articles, I really focus on the topic and try to learn it.
The niche itself is not something I was familiar with, but I love learning about finances, investing, and money management.
So, for me, it is almost fun. Ha-ha!
Plus, I’m a perfectionist and a co-founder, so it’s in my best interests to publish the best kind of content on our Project G website.
(Which we also use as a script for voice-overs.)
Other than that, we didn’t hire anyone new in March. For now, improving our workflow with the current team members is the main focus point.
March 2023: Goals & Progress
As you already know by now, Richard and I are quite ambitious.
That includes the overall goal of reaching $100K per month, as well as mini monthly goals.
We’re still adjusting to setting more realistic goals, but here’s a visual checklist of what they were for the third month of this year:
And here are our actual results:
Amount of articles
Our goal was to publish 12 posts in March 2023.
Originally I hoped that Kate would be helping with light editing work.
However, as practice showed, I was being more inefficient having to compare the original work with her edits to make sure the synonym words and the points Eric (our writer) was making were correct.
In any case, after relieving her of this responsibility, I was able to edit and publish 9 articles:
As you can see from this screenshot, we’ve published:
- 3 reviews
- 3 informational articles
- 3 versus posts
- 17,000 words total
I think from now on, it would make more sense to decrease the article goals to 8-10/month or focus on the total count of least at 12,000 words.
That way, we’ll be more realistic.
A word about my struggle:
This month, I also struggled with some of the articles.
Because it’s a totally new niche for me, and I must learn and understand to do effective editing, some content was especially challenging.
For example, there are a few lengthy articles that I just can’t bring myself around to work on.
So for now, I’m trying to get the shorter posts published first.
Also, apparently, there’s this weird thing about the 3-month hump, which everyone on their online journey sees.
It seems that it has to do with exiting the honeymoon phase when the adrenaline and excitement are over, and then it’s time for normal, everyday life.
I guess it tripped me up, too!
Just something you should be aware of, in case you notice your motivation waning too.
Nothing particular was happening there.
We publish content on Twitter and have set up Pinterest just to build extra presence, but social media is certainly not our main focus.
The more we work on Project G, the more we realize the power of YouTube.
Personally, it’s becoming my favorite way to grow an audience, build a brand, and potentially make high-paying commissions.
So, what happened with videos in March?
Having a YouTube channel was absolutely an important part of our content plan/strategy.
It’s a great platform to leverage because videos are likely to rank sooner than website posts, and in general, it’s a good idea to diversify across multiple platforms.
Around mid-February, we hired Sonny part-time to edit our videos.
While it’s taking him some time to get used to our standards, the quality is getting better and better.
(Again, we HIGHLY recommend OnlineJobs.ph for finding affordable talent from the Philippines for a fraction of the price compared to US freelancers.)
In March we published 3 videos, from 10 to 18 minutes each; and 6 shorts ‘remixed’ from our own videos.
Let’s compare February vs March results.
Here are the milestones we achieved in February:
They are pretty great, but they got better when one of our videos published on March 14th went viral.
We had over 1K views in 2 days, and over 5K views in 2 weeks with a lot of organic comments.
Here are the milestones in March:
Plus, on the last day of the month, we also had our 100th sub!
Seeing these results make us super excited to monetize our YouTube channel in the near future. To be eligible we have to have:
- 1000 subscribers
- 4000 hours of watch time
We’re slowly (but surely) getting there! 🙂
(Ah, the beauty of content creation business and diversification!)
As you may remember, our focus was to branch out and build a brand.
And that included creating a podcast channel and sharing the voiceovers (based on articles) there. And then embedding these episodes on website posts.
However, our voice-over talent had personal issues going on and that’s why he wasn’t able to submit VOs as often as we wanted.
In March, we published only 2 episodes.
This is the same number that we published during our first month. Now, back then we only had 3 downloads, and this time we had 84 downloads.
Big difference, don’t ya think?
Our channel is on Buzzsprout, but in February we connected it to other directories like Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcast, etc, so that could be the reason for a higher amount of downloads in a very short amount of time.
By the end of March, we had close to 200 downloads in total.
As of today, we don’t see traffic from podcast episodes to our main offer (yet). But we’re building a brand across multiple platforms and that’s what matters.
Paid ads & leads
As you may recall, we tried paid ads end of January.
Then for the month of February and March, we focused on other ways to bring in traffic (working mainly on the website and videos).
Closer to the end of March we tried a bit of Microsoft ads for around $80, to dip our toes in the water and get back to it later.
What happened to the first qualified lead we received on February 21?
Unfortunately, after a few online appointments with the company, he decided to go another direction.
While it was a bummer for us, the good news is that we managed to gain another 2 leads, one of which was qualified!
And that means we made another $200.
As of this writing, this lead continues to be in touch with the company and we’re hopeful it’ll lead to a trade.
This $200 can become $5000+ if they decide to invest with the company.
So, send us some good luck vibes! 🙂
Speaking of sales…
The guy who referred us to this affiliate program has shared that he made a massive sale through paid ads in March, which inspired us to keep going.
Have a look:
This is also to show that we weren’t exaggerating when we said that we’re in a highly competitive, but also HIGHLY profitable niche.
I mean, imagine making $45,000 from just ONE sale!!!
In March, most of the focus was on building the system(s) and working efficiently as a team. While it wasn’t without bumps in the road, overall, I think we’re much better.
Creating a visual Trello board definitely was a great idea.
Everyone is doing their job and adjusting to the pace and everyone is trying to perform at their best.
Personally, I’m no longer overwhelmed by having to communicate with everyone individually with updates and instructions.
I just place a card for whichever team member, add points in the description, and tag them if needed. Minimal distractions, maximum efficiency.
Highly recommend taking the time to do it too, especially if you work with several people with different responsibilities.
Hopefully, once we have enough text-based content, we can hire our video editor full-time, and we’ll see even faster progress.
(I feel April and May will be positive months.)
Thoughts about goals
Even though we haven’t met our exact goals, I believe we did a great job and saw great milestones.
Having at least 3 months of work with text-based content, it’s now easier to set more realistic ‘article’ goals per month.
For now, we have only 1 writer (who’s tremendous, by the way), and decided to hire a second one when we’re ready.
The same applies to adjusting our ‘video’ goals since the lengthier ones take a long time for our editor to create.
Third Month Expenses
In January 2023, we spent $2135.10 in total (or $1067.55 each).
In February 2023, we spent $1801.78 (or $900.89 each).
Now, our March expenses were slightly lower because we didn’t invest in paid ads a lot and only worked with one writer.
Our total was $1774.4 (or $887.2 each).
As we usually say, keep in mind the following:
1) We paid for the articles submitted, doesn’t mean we publish them in the same month.
2) Don’t get scared to see such big expenses for the first two months of a website that doesn’t earn anything.
As we mentioned a few times before, you can do this all by yourself.
Both Richard and I built our websites ourselves before we decided to combine our forces for the Project G.
We just decided to hire professionals to produce the best content possible and speed everything up.
Third Month Stats & Earnings
Despite not earning any money (except the $200), both website and YouTube traffic keeps growing at a steady pace.
If you remember, in February, we recorded 1.22k impressions and 18 organic clicks (according to Google Search Console).
In March, we more or less tripled the number of clicks to 50 and quadrupled impressions to 5.22k.
Take a look:
In terms of non-organic traffic (redirected traffic from social media, YouTube, etc.), we’re around 50% up compared to the last month – 611 page views this month compared to 419 last month.
We’re quite happy with these numbers considering we’re only on month 3.
Remember, if you consistently publish content, you can expect things to start really picking up at around the 4-6 month mark.
So stay tuned! 🙂
What really makes us happy, and I touched on this before, is our YouTube channel.
We’re already on 100 subscribers (118 at the time of writing this) and our videos a popular as far as we can tell from the data YouTube provides.
In February, we were able to get 2,994 views, 23 new subscribers, and 81.5 hours of watch time.
Despite only publishing 3 videos, we completely smashed the numbers this month.
Have a look:
This may not seem like a lot, but again, given considering the niche we’re in, these are great numbers – We’re getting the ball rolling.
We’re also happy people are enjoying our videos and find our content helpful.
March Summary (Earnings, Expenses & Traffic)
As per usual, here’s a summary of all the important metrics.
Have a look:
Summary for March 2023
Website organic clicks
Again, nothing exciting, but we hope April & May will be our breakthrough months.
Project G Plans for April 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 in the third month, we focused on publishing quality content across all platforms.
Have a look at this screenshot:
It’s a super simple list for now, with a minimal amount of content to be published on a website, channel, and podcast.
The list of goals might increase later in the month, depending on how fast we’ll move forward.
Stay tuned for April results (and hopefully our first sale)!
Tools/Resources We Use & Recommend
This section will also be included in each of the upcoming posts.
We’ll share a few tools or services we personally find super helpful – we won’t be sharing anything we don’t use ourselves.
So here it is, the list of useful resources that you can benefit from too:
Wealthy Affiliate – Online business community and training platform.
We just have to share this one.
This is where we started our journey, this is what we owe our success to, and most importantly, this is where we found each other and many other good friends.
Astra Pro – Fast and easy-to-use WordPress theme.
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.
OnlineJobs.ph – To hire affordable freelancers from the Philippines.
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.
Absolutely loving this one.
Originality.ai – AI content checker/detection tool.
As we mentioned in our February post, AI tools for writing content are VERY popular among freelancers, so make sure to scan every single article for AI-generated content.
We like originality.ai for its simplicity, affordability, and accuracy.
Here you go, this was our Project G performance in March 2023.
We’re not quite where we’d like to bet (yet), but this may be even more important for you to see – just how much work, dedication (and money, in our case) you have to put in before you see some resemblance of online success.
And there are still no guarantees.
So wish us luck and for those interested in learning more, see you in our Telegram group!
Until next time!