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:
In the beginning of our journey, we shared that we’re in a very expensive niche that has the potential to bring us high commissions.
But we’re also in a super competitive one, so this definitely turned out to be a challenge.
In this post, we’ll be covering our Month 6 progress and what milestones we reached (or haven’t reached).
So, grab a coffee, and 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 of 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 #1): Article writing
- Kyle (Voice Actor): Voiceovers
- Sonny (Video Editor): Faceless YouTube videos
- Kim (Writer #2): Article writing
You’ll notice a new member here, Kim.
I found her over a year ago on OnlineJobs.ph, but she was quite expensive, considering her writing experience in challenging niches like cryptocurrency, finances, tech, and investing.
I have, however, kept her in mind.
So, when our main writer went on a month-long holiday, we rather spontaneously decided to reach out to her to create content for us and negotiated a lower rate with her for 5 cents/word for long-term work.
She quickly caught up (so grateful to have a system and organization in place with a Trello board) and started around the 20th day of June.
Even though she charges more due to her level of skills and experience, overall, our expenses with Filipinos are fairly low.
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, everyone in our team is still on a part-time basis.
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.
June 2023: Goals & Progress
If you read our first posts you’ll notice that after 3 months, we slowed down with our high ambitions and set more realistic goals.
Here’s a visual checklist of what they were for the sixth month of this year:
Gotta love checking those little boxes!
Now, here are our actual results:
With Eric (writer #1) being off, I thought it would be around 10,000 words in June but with Kim’s (writer #2) contribution, we achieved more than I thought we would.
Oh, and the fact that I started going to sleep early and waking up at 5:30am had a HUGE effect on my productivity and getting more tasks done, no matter how challenging.
Have a look:
As you can see from this screenshot, we’ve published:
- 1 informational article
- 1 product review
- 2 versus posts
- 3 guides (phew!)
- 12,755 words in total
(And as usual, we published TOP quality only.)
No news here.
We have Pinterest and Twitter accounts set up, but it’s not our focus.
For now, our main energy goes towards building out the website and YouTube channel.
This is the only area the monthly goal of which we didn’t achieve.
We were supposed to have 8 videos published, but we’ve had issues with our editor not delivering the videos in a timely manner and not acting professionally.
Not only was he late with his work, but we also lost a lot of energy dealing with him.
(The only reason why we are keeping him around is because we paid him in advance, and he still needs to submit $400 worth of videos.)
It’s very possible we’ll be looking for a new video editor if the situation doesn’t improve.
Lesson: Always be on the lookout for how professional your new hirees behave. And don’t pay for 2-3 months in advance without having them deliver the work first.
As you may know from previous posts, we connected our Buzzsprout podcast to other directories so that people can also find us on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast, etc.
And in May, we had over 1000 downloads total, which is quite the milestone for a new podcast!
Our goal was to publish 8 episodes in June, and we ended up posting 9, three episodes each week.
Now what were the stats for the month?
Let’s have a look:
In May, the number was 488, so we’re slightly down but still have decent results.
Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Just like we said before, we don’t think our podcast listeners actually click on our links in the episode descriptions; however, we believe that it’s a great idea to build a brand.
The more quality content you pump out, the more likely people will notice you, trust you, and choose to buy from/through you.
In June, we didn’t do any paid ads.
We’ve been investing a lot of money into this project without virtually any ROI, so we wanted to take it easy with paid methods and focus on what we do best – creating and publishing top-quality content.
We did notice a positive change, though.
In June, while not qualified, we managed to attract 4 leads. That’s more than it was during the previous months, and those were achieved organically.
If you look at this screenshot, we had 81 unique visitors and 4 total leads, with a conversion rate of 4.94%, which I think is pretty great!
It seems that the content we publish is starting to gain traction, and we need to keep going, despite the challenges.
A couple of other goals were to add new CTA banners and text, optimize older posts, update SEO settings, and create a pop-up that featured our main offer/recommendation.
This was to make sure we have a higher conversion rate when people visit our website and read the posts.
(Who knows, maybe that’s why the conversion doubled from the May results!)
Another thing is that we’ve reached the 6 months mark where our website can finally get out of Google’s sandbox and have more articles ranked.
For those who don’t know:
Google sandbox is the idea/belief that the algorithm doesn’t really let newer websites to rank on the first page until it “proves” its authority, consistency, and good quality.
Think of it as the probation period for new content creators.
(Although do keep in mind that there are no guarantees that your website will magically start ranking on the first page of Google after 6 months.)
Sixth 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 2023, we spent $1163 (or $581.5 each).
And in June, our expenses were so low that I had to triple check there wasn’t any mistake 😂
With the main writer being off for most of the month and the video editor still clearing the advance payment, we spent $589.9 (or $294.95).
Not gonna lie; it felt a bit relieving.
We’ve been pouring so much money, time, and effort into this project without barely getting anything back.
Good thing Richard and I are experienced marketers and content creators, and we know that we cannot stop/give up. Definitely not with the top-quality content that we’re producing.
We’re trying to stay patient here, folks!
Sixth Month Stats & Earnings
In this section, we’re going to take a closer look at our website traffic and YouTube statistics.
Our organic clicks are starting to pick up quite nicely, which we’re about. Nothing crazy, but we’re definitely headed in the right direction.
Let’s first take a look at our stats from May:
In June, we’re able to nearly double the clicks and impressions, with 178 clicks and 30.5k impressions.
Take a look:
If you remember, May was our first month in which we saw a decrease in overall traffic (organic + referral traffic).
The same happened this month — we went from 537 page views in May to 491 page views in June.
So while our organic traffic keeps growing, our referral traffic from YouTube (and paid ads) isn’t going as well as in the previous month.
As you already know, we put a lot of effort into creating videos.
We recovered some of the lost views from the last month in June, but we still didn’t manage to grow our channel at the pace we’d like to.
As a result, we only gained 17 subs for a total count of 369 subscribers (at the time of this writing).
Subsequently, our views dropped significantly, from 19.1K in May to 2.6K this month.
We’re still publishing quality videos, but YouTube stopped promoting our top videos, resulting in this huge drop.
We are currently trying a different style of videos, so let’s hope to rebound in July.
On to the next section!
June Summary (Earnings, Expenses & Traffic)
As you can probably imagine, the summary for this month is nothing to write home about.
At least we managed to cut down our expenses a lot while still pushing out great content.
Let’s take a look:
Project G Plans for July 2023
Nothing fancy with our plans, sticking to the same old good content strategy.
Hopefully, more text-based content now that we have 2 writers.
However, there WILL be a slight shift in strategy, which we’ll talk about next month.
So stay tuned!
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.
Well, six months of hard work are behind.
We hope that going forward; we’ll see more rankings and more traffic to our website. And more traffic means potential leads and sales.
It was challenging to keep going, but we have experience and expertise on our side, so we just keep plugging away and pivoting when needed.
READ NEXT: Project G Challenge: A Slight Shift in Strategy (Month 7)
I’ll keep repeating this like a parrot, but remember that REAL BUSINESS TAKES REAL WORK.
Feel free to join our Telegram group; while we’re not yet active there, it’s still a good idea to join and have access to us should you have any questions.