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.
While we kept working with the same guys, we made some changes starting July.
But first, 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): AI content editing
If you read last month’s post, you’ll know that we hired a new writer Kim from OnlineJobs.ph, who is actually one of the more expensive Filipino writers, but she’s pretty great.
But then we decided to have a shift in our content strategy.
Richard and I realized that we’ve spent thousands of dollars over the last few months on Project G alone (and particularly on our American writer Eric), and saw little ROI so far.
We’ve thought long and hard about what we can do and decided to start using AI to help us further with our text-based content.
We know, we know…
We had a whole drama over AI content with WriterAccess.com, but it was time to accept the reality, especially if this tool were to help us reduce the expenses.
And since we’re still HIGHLY focused on quality and originality, the way it goes now is:
- Richard: submits decent AI content
- Kim: fact-checks and edits using originality.ai detection tool
- Zarina: final round of editing, image/video embeds, optimization
While I continue to give feedback to Kim about the way I’d like to have intros etc to have better quality, she keeps getting better, and our workflow seems to be a bit faster.
And we’re happy with the amount of articles we produced in July.
July 2023: Goals & Progress
Right now we set pretty simple monthly goals.
Here’s a visual checklist of what they were for the seventh month of this year:
While we didn’t check all the boxes, I’m happy with the shift in strategy, and we significantly exceeded our original goal/expectations thanks to AI produced content.
Here are the actual results:
Even though we let our original writer go, focusing on AI content as a team (the way I explained it earlier), it helped us produce great, pretty human sounding content at a much faster pace.
We managed to publish twice as much of what we used to without AI’s help.
Have a look:
As you can see from this screenshot, we’ve published:
- 9 informational articles
- 1 listicle
- 1 product review
- 1 versus post
- 1 guide
- 23,695 words in total
That’s certainly exciting, and even though we did use AI’s help, we still edited and published TOP quality only. That’s something that I’m incredibly picky about.
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.
We were supposed to have 8 videos published, but unfortunately it took our editor a while to get those done fast.
I assume this is because some of our videos were lengthy and more challenging, and he probably felt less motivated since we refused to pay an advance again until he catches up on the previous videos.
We’re going back and forth with this editor because he clearly struggles with time and money management, but he certainly is great when it comes to videos.
(And mind you, some of our keywords/topics are not super easy to work with.)
Anyway, for July we published 6 long videos, and one remixed short.
Our goal was 8 episodes as usual, but in July we ended up publishing only 3 episodes.
The stats for the month are pretty average:
In June we had 418 downloads, and in July it was 337, so we’re slightly down.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, 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 July, 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.
(Even with AI’s help.)
In July, we managed to attract 3 leads, but unfortunately, they weren’t qualified:
If you look at the screenshot, you’ll see that we had 81 unique visitors and a 3.7% conversion rate, which I think is pretty good.
More importantly, we gained these leads organically, so it’s in our hopes that producing even more text-based and video-based content will result in more sales and conversions.
We really hope so!
Otherwise, it’ll be embarrassing to have zero sales by the end of the year 😄
You might have noticed that we started publishing a lot of info posts, and there’s a reason to that.
We started slowly getting out of Google’s sandbox and having our content ranked, and the info keywords we’ve chosen help us get ranked easier.
Granted, there’ll still be some “Google dance”, but Richard is great at choosing keywords and they really are great.
Plus, we turn articles into videos as well, some of which end up in Google as well. If we keep going at it, we’ll get there eventually.
One thing for you to pick up:
Content website/channel is a real business and requires real work.
There will 100% be times when you’ll want to give up, see no results, feel burnt out, and think that everything you do is pointless.
What helps us, is that:
1) we work on this project together as partners and we’ve hired a team, and
2) we are experienced marketers and we KNOW that it takes several months before we see any results.
So, we’re trying to stay strong and just keep going, despite often feeling demotivated.
Seventh 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).
In June, we spent $589.9 (or $294.95 each).
In July, we spent $988.30 (or 494.15 each), so we’re back to our average level of expenses but have produced more content thanks to AI.
Even though the AI content is free to get, we’re paying Kim to fact-check and do the first round of editing using originality.ai detection tool before I get to it.
Overall, I think we have a pretty good deal and workflow.
Seventh Month Stats & Earnings
In this section, we’re going to take a closer look at our website traffic and YouTube statistics.
Our organic traffic is slowly growing, in fact it almost doubled from our May traffic which was 114 clicks.
In June, we had 178 clicks and 30.5k impressions.
And in July we had 213 clicks and 37.1k impressions. See below:
The numbers on Google Analytics (organic and referral traffic) show that we had an overall decrease from previous months, only 324 users on the site:
To be fair, this is the new GA4 interface that we switched to early July, so the numbers might be slightly off.
This platform is a very important part of our strategy, and even though we don’t publish as much content as we wished we could, we try our best and focus on top quality only.
We hit a bit of a bump in May and June, but in July one of the videos went kinda viral which improved the amount of views for the month.
Check out the June results and then July results for comparison purposes.
In June, people watched our videos 2,625 times:
And in July, people watched our videos 4,791 times because of the second last video of the month:
Thanks to the new 35 subs, we had over 400 subscribers by the end of July.
Are we on the upward trend again, will we bounce back to original great stats or better?
Stay tuned for August report post!
July Summary (Earnings, Expenses & Traffic)
Eh, this section will show red numbers again, but we don’t despair and keep posting great content to the best of our ability.
Here is the summary:
Project G Plans for August 2023
Nothing fancy with our plans, sticking to the same old good content strategy.
Probably will keep publishing over 20K words per month thanks to ChatGPT, which is reflected in our August’s list of tasks/goals:
As you can see, straightforward and simple strategy.
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.
Ahrefs – SEO, keyword, competitor analysis tool.
We started using it again for keyword and competitor research.
One of the popular tools, but quite a bit expensive, so if you’re on a budget, you can invest in it for a month to gather info and keywords, and then cancel the subscription.
Well, seven 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.
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.