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’ve read our last post, you know that we’ve made some changes to cut down on the money we spend, and things haven’t changed in this month.
Despite getting some website and YouTube traffic and some leads to our offer, we’re still struggling and haven’t made a big sale yet.
But we’re still pushing and hoping for a breakthrough that would bring some life back into our efforts.
Now, if you’re new here, read these posts first:
In this post, we’ll be covering our Month 9 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.
Here’s our current 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
- Kyle (Voice Actor): Voiceovers
- Sonny (Video Editor): Faceless YouTube videos
- Kim (Writer/Editor): AI content editing
As I mentioned, we had to make some big cuts in order to save money (until we make a sale).
We decided to pay for 8 articles in September and then take the whole month off in October, not producing any articles or videos, but rather improve existing content.
In November, we will try to get back to producing videos and AI content, but we plan on doing most of the work ourselves to keep the budget low.
But let’s get back to September stats.
September 2023: Goals & Progress
We basically kept the goals from the previous month, but as I mentioned, we decided to take a break for the most part to save money.
Here is the overview:
Here are the actual results:
As you know, we let go of our American writer and are now focusing on creating AI articles.
But in August we experienced massive burnout and a high level of demotivation so even with the AI, we struggled.
Since we cut the expenses, we were able to publish 3 articles (even though we ordered 8, I couldn’t go through with them… the burnout was real!)
Have a look:
As you can see from this screenshot, we published:
- 3 info posts
- 3780 words in total
This definitely isn’t very satisfying and we’d definitely like to publish more content, but given the current situation, publishing even a couple of articles is a win.
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.
Our monthly goal when it comes to YouTube videos is to try publishing at least 8 videos.
In September, we managed only to publish 2 videos.
We had more videos lined up (we paid our editor in advance), but he had some family issues going on, and he was only able to produce a couple of videos this month.
Because YouTube has been our best performer in terms of producing leads, we are on top of this and planning to increase are video production for the upcoming months.
Our goal was 8 episodes, and because we produced a lot of articles in the previous months, we’re able to publish 12 episodes.
The stats for the month are great as well:
925 downloads is our personal best, which we’re happy about.
Podcasts are not the best for conversion, but it’s nice to see that people like our content, nonetheless.
In September, we didn’t do any paid ads.
We plan on doing some paid ads once we make our first sale, but it’s currently not possible with our budget.
In September, we managed to attract 4 leads, but unfortunately, they weren’t qualified:
Compared to the previous month, we had 18 fewer visits but a much better conversion rate (3% in August vs 8% in September).
But again, none of them were qualified leads, so it doesn’t really matter all that much.
Nineth Month Expenses
As for September, we had lower expenses of $663.15 (or $331.6 each)
Considering that we already invested a lot of money in Project G since the beginning of the year, I’m glad that we keep our expenses under $500/month.
It’s also important to note that our individual websites took a “hit” with the latest Google update, which impacted our separate incomes, and that’s why in October we decided to take the whole month off in terms of expenses.
We’d still do some optimization work ourselves, but we won’t involve our freelancer team next month.
Nineth Month Stats & Earnings
In this section, we’re going to take a closer look at our website traffic and YouTube statistics.
Due to the algo update in September, our organic numbers also went down a little compared to previous months.
In July we had 213 clicks and 37.1k impressions.
In August, we had 228 clicks and 36.3k impressions.
And in September, we had 138 clicks and 31.5k impressions.
The numbers on Google Analytics (organic and referral traffic) show that we had an overall decrease from previous months, with only 291 users on the site:
For comparison, we had 367 users the previous month, so there was a pretty significant drop.
If you’ve been following our journey, you know that we put a lot of time and effort into YouTube.
Videos bring us the majority of our leads, so it’s our number one priority.
Because of the fact we only posted 2 videos and older videos didn’t take off well, our views also suffered.
From 3.8k views in August:
To 2.7k views in September. We also gained 22 new subscribers, for a total of 452.
As I said before, we have some plans for the future month to increase our video production.
We’re also hoping to get the channel monetized before the end of the year.
Wish us luck!
September Summary (Earnings, Expenses & Traffic)
Eh, this section will show red numbers again, but we try not to despair and keep posting great content to the best of our ability.
Here is the summary:
Summary for September 2023
Gotta say, it helps mentally to have years of content marketing experience under our belt, we keep doing what we know best and just stay patient because that’s the name of the game.
The positive results are inevitable if you know what you’re doing!
Project G Plans for October 2023
Again, we plan on taking a break in October.
Because of that, our plans are very modest, have a look:
As you can see it’s mostly doing some work ourselves, to finish some unfinished business and to optimize some old content.
But we don’t plan on taking on additional expenses for the month of October for sure.
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 it is 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.
With September gone, we’re entering the last quarter of 2023.
For the upcoming months, we plan on taking some time off and optimizing our existing content, and then we will do a final push at the end of the year to hopefully secure a nice paycheck.
We’re definitely not giving up!
This shows you that things often don’t go as you plan. But we’re sticking with it and pushing through. Even though we may not be successful in our challenge, we will keep going until we make it happen!
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.