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:
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.
And as we talk about our Month 5 progress, you can see that it is definitely is a challenge!
Without further ado, let’s get started.
In our first post, we shared that for this project, we had 7 people involved who do what they are best at.
There weren’t any changes made in the last couple months, and we kept working with the same guys.
Here’s the team and their roles:
- Richard (Co-founder): KW research
- Zarina (Co-founder): Article editing
- Martin (Designer): Custom graphs, featured images, etc.
- Joseph (Designer): YouTube thumbnails
- Eric (Writer): Article writing
- Kyle (Voice Actor): Voiceovers
- Sonny (Video Editor): Faceless YouTube videos
Most of our team members are Filipinos, so are expenses are fairly low because of that.
That’s why we always highly recommend OnlineJobs.ph for finding affordable talent from the Philippines for a fraction of the price compared to US freelancers.
At this point we’re not moving anyone to full-time position or hiring anyone new.
Achieving a smooth workflow with the current team is the main focus, and then we can scale it further once we make a decent sale.
May 2023: Goals & Progress
Even though in the beginning we had quite the ambitious goals, after 3 months we slowed down, and set more realistic goals.
Here’s a visual checklist of what they were for the fifth month of this year:
And here are our actual results:
Now that I have experience with how fast I edit and publish text-based content, I’ve decided to set more realistic goals of having around 8 articles or 12,000 words.
I almost achieved it.
I feel good about it because for the whole month of May I was in Mexico and I had to enforce a strict regime for myself to not get overwhelmed and get things done on time.
As you can see from this screenshot, we’ve published:
- 1 informational article
- 1 guide
- 1 listicle
- 1 product review
- 2 versus posts
- 11,550 words total
It seems that focusing on 6-8 articles or 10,000-12,000 words per month is a good, realistic goal to set.
Social media still isn’t our main focus at the moment.
We have Pinterest and Twitter accounts set up, but we haven’t come up with a content strategy for our social media accounts.
We plan on coming up with one once we build some online presence through our website and YouTube channel.
For now, though, nothing worth mentioning.
Even though our views slowed down closer to end of May, publishing YouTube videos certainly was a great idea, despite our niche not being so popular on the platform.
In total, we published 7 videos and 8 shorts.
Because 1 video was lengthy (up to 20 mins) and with so many shorts published, I think we can consider this goal achieved for the month.
And we now have a new milestone of about 3,000 public watch hours and more than 300 subscribers now.
This means that once we reach 4,000 public watch hours and 1,000 subscribers, we’ll be eligible to monetize our channel!
This month, we managed to publish 7 episodes out of our set goal of 8.
This is another area of our content strategy that keeps growing. Let’s see what was the performance compared to previous couple of months.
Here are the downloads for April:
And here are the numbers for this month:
We also achieved a quite a significant milestone in terms of podcast episodes too.
A total of 1,000 downloads since we started publishing!
We also connected our Buzzsprout podcast to other directories so that people can also find us on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast, etc.
We don’t really think that people actually click on our links in the episode descriptions; however, we believe that it’s a great idea to build a brand.
Besides, you must first give if you want to get.
The more quality content you pump out, the more likely people will notice you, trust you, and choose to buy from/through you.
We did run Microsoft ads, but not for long. Haven’t done any other type of ads.
Not gonna lie, it’s a bit of a pain point for us.
We had a couple of promising leads before, who ended up going another way, despite having multiple appointments with the company.
Same thing happened in May.
We had one lead with the investment amount of $1,000,000 which didn’t work out.
(But we did receive a $200 commission since he was a qualified lead.)
And the March (old) lead with the investment amount of $500,000 decided she was not ready after 20 or so online appointments.
It was a bit discouraging.
But we’re trying not to focus on the money aspect of Project G and just keep pumping out content to the best of our ability.
Although, we’ll probably slow down a bit in terms of expenses in June.
(Especially with our writer on a honeymoon for a month, the whole team will have a bit of a break.)
Fifth 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).
In March 2023, we spent $1774.4 (or $887.2 each).
In April 2023, we spent $1766.78 (or $883.39 each).
In May, our expenses were much lower.
First, our only writer was able to submit only 5 articles; second, we wanted to consciously cut down on costs and catch up on videos in the meantime.
Our total for this month was $1163 (or $581.5 each).
(The screenshot above doesn’t include the surcharge for voiceovers which was $112.5)
Also, keep in mind that not all articles are published in the same month.
Because our editor is behind on videos, we decided to pause on YouTube thumbnails, that’s why there are no expenses in this category.
And as mentioned earlier, we decided to slow down on ads for now.
This being said, May was the least expensive month for us.
Fifth Month Stats & Earnings
Now let’s take a look at our traffic numbers from May.
While we didn’t make any significant amount of money this month, we’re able to grow organic traffic quite nicely.
For comparison, let’s take a look at our organic traffic from April.
In the 4th month, we got 75 clicks from Google, with 11k impressions according to Google Search Console.
Take a look:
In a similar fashion to previous months, we’re able to nearly double that, with a total of 114 clicks and 19.1K impressions.
The website is slowly picking up steam, which is nice to see despite not getting close to our financial goal (yet).
When it comes to our overall traffic (organic + traffic redirected from YouTube and other platforms), this is the first time in 5 months we haven’t seen growth.
From the 714 page views recorded in April, we only got 537 page views in May.
Let’s take a look:
This may be because of the fact that we didn’t do too much paid advertising.
And while it’s a bit of a bummer not to see bigger numbers each month, organic traffic is the most important metric.
So we’re not too worried about this.
Another very important platform for us is YouTube.
We make sure all of our videos are high-quality, with helpful information and good graphics.
And it’s been paying off (kind of).
We added 121 subscribers in May, and we now have 343 subscribers! (352 at the time of writing this)
Naturally, we also managed to get more views.
In total, we got 19.1K views, 1.8K more compared to April.
As you can see from the graph, we experience a big drop on May 24th.
From the numbers YouTube provides, it seems that the algorithm stopped promoting our videos for some reason.
While we’re not particularly thrilled about it, we’ll keep posting quality videos, and this should resolve itself soon.
It’s another minor obstacle we’ll beat on the journey toward our goal.
May Summary (Earnings, Expenses & Traffic)
The summary for this month is nothing exciting.
We haven’t made any sales, but traffic still grew, and we managed to lower our expenses.
Let’s take a look.
Project G Plans for June 2023
So, what are our goals for the upcoming month?
For now, our goals will be more or less the same – just focusing on top-quality content.
With our writer taking a month off, we might have less text-based content published, however, our editor needs to catch up on videos, so our YouTube channel will still be pretty consistent with new content output.
So, our June goals/tasks will look a bit different.
Have a look:
I will be working on optimizing and updating the old content + working with some posts in drafts.
And Richard will be focusing on video publishing + a pop-up banner on the website. (We thought that adding this pop-up will help with conversions, so let’s see how it works out!)
Tools/Resources We Use & Recommend
This section is included in every post.
This is where we 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.
Lately, AI tools for writing content have become 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.
There you have it; this was our fifth month with Project G.
Overall, May 2023 was a pretty quiet month (albeit a bit discouraging with the failed leads).
Regardless of the results, we’ll keep grinding until we reach our goal – and you should do the same if you’re running your own online business.
Remember that REAL BUSINESS TAKES REAL WORK.
No matter where you’re at in your online journey, keep at it and serve others with valuable content. And that’s exactly our plan with Project G.
READ NEXT: Project G Challenge: Out of Google Sandbox Yet? (Month 6)
So wish us luck, and for those interested in joining our community, see you in our Telegram group!
Over there, we’ll try to help you and other like-minded peeps reach their online goals to the best of our ability.
Until next time!