It’s Week 6 of my $20k to $500k in 1 Year challenge, and everything definitely just went to another level.
Last week, I promised that I’d have a lot to cover and, fortunately, I do not have to be a liar. Things are getting really good.
As always, previous weeks can be seen on the challenge page. But let’s get into this one.
Here’s what’s in today’s email:
- Posting links to the Fb page.
- 8,000 visits in 3 days.
- Take out the guesswork to post proven content.
- Email list is up 41%.
- Abandoning my Fb group.
- Two strategies to post massive content.
- My new content flow.
- Six month goals.
- How much money is left?
- Final words.
The Facebook page is still absurd.
The Fb Page continues to be the standout part of this challenge – at least in the early days.
I have spent $3891.54 to build a Page that’s fast-approaching 100,000 followers in a little over a month.
Why marketers and entrepreneurs continue to get on the “Facebook is dead” train is beyond me. Here’s yesterday’s post (a photo):
And that’s not a fluke. Here are the reactions since I started the Page:
But what’s the point of a Facebook Page that gets a lot of photo engagement and doesn’t make money?
It’s the traffic it generates that matters the most. So, I posted two links this week to try it out.
I was really impressed. Here are the results of the two links.
Similiar reach, but the first one drove significantly more traffic because of the shares.
How much traffic?
The most exciting thing about this week is, without a doubt, that I’m getting real traffic. SEO-centric websites have to wait months most of the time to start seeing any traction.
It’s incredibly discouraging. This is the opposite and why I strongly encourage adding a social element to your strategy.
While waiting months for Google to bless your content, you will be building a whole other stream of traffic and revenue.
I posted the first link on Monday and the second one on Wednesday. Here’s traffic for those 3 days:
Pages per session are horrible because there are literally no links to other content on the site other than the menu.
But 8,000 visits in 3 days only 6 weeks into a site is not bad. The site is not being monetized, but if it were, this would have generated around $160.
What content did I post?
I’ve gone over my photo-sharing strategy several times when it comes to Facebook. Post quick, scroll-stopping dopamine hits that are easy to Like and Share. And when something explodes, dissect why and double down on it.
But when it comes to links, which naturally get a lot less reach, it’s more difficult. You can post a link to your Fb page and get almost no reach at all, even with a lot of followers. It happens, and it’s really frustrating.
However, other times when you “hit,” you can see traffic come in for days. Out of the 8000 sessions above, the first link was responsible for nearly 7000 of it.
I don’t consider the second link getting 1,000 visits bad at all. That’s about what I expected. But the first one crushed.
And here’s how.
The key (at least one of the keys) to creating content that works on social is to take the guesswork out.
Take the guesswork out by only using content that’s proven.
- Proven in that you have a piece of content that did well, so you’re going to post something similar.
- Or proven in that another Page, site, or channel saw success with it.
This is not going to apply to everyone, but my strategy is simple.
I use YouTube as a content search platform.
Find videos that are relevant to your niche that have millions of views.
From there, you can do one of two things:
1. Create an article on your site, embed the video, and write all about it! In the old days, you could pretty much just embed the video, put one blurb above it, and call it a day. Now I think it’s more important to bring your own content to the article. Talk about the video, what’s in the video, your opinion of the video, etc.
Example: Say I have a site about alpacas. All things alpacas. I’m covering how to raise them, feed them, breed them, go to dinner with them, and everything in between. While I’m waiting on Google to clearly see me as the authority on alpacas, I want my Fb Page, Alpaca Maniac, to generate some traffic.
I can head over to YouTube and type in alpacas. After scrolling down a few videos, I see one titled, “If You See This Alpaca….RUN!!!”
It’s clearly fun content, and it has almost 8 million views. So the masses agree this is a great video.
I’ve eliminated a lot of the guesswork because it’s a proven video.
So I’ll create an article on my website, embed the video, and talk about it. Perhaps I write about the basics of what happens in the video as well as some relevant copy about safety around alpacas or whatever it might be. Doesn’t matter, just add your own originality.
Keep it fun because it’s a fun video, but make the article something more than just the video. Make it your own.
After a few minutes of searching and another half an hour of writing and publishing, I have an article for my Alpaca Maniac Fb page that has a high likelihood of succeeding because it already succeeded elsewhere.
2. The second strategy is to just use the premise of a successful video, not the video itself.
Example: if I find a video titled, “12 Reasons Everyone Should Own An Alpaca” and it has a million views, that’s probably a great listicle for my site.
Of course I’m not recommending copying all 12 reasons (or even the same amount of reasons) that they cover in the video, but you’re essentially borrowing a proven concept and formatting it for your site in your own way.
The web is full of this proof – likes, shares, views, everything. It all shows you exactly what will work.
And then you become the best.
Over time, you find yourself becoming more and more in tune with what will work… without even looking at the proof.
When I owned GodVine, I became so connected with exactly what my audience would love that I was surfacing YouTube videos that had literally 50 views – and getting millions of visits on my site.
Much like AI, the more you data and feedback you get, the better your content becomes. I think a lot of people view their future content based on what they know today.
But it literally evolves within you and your site benefits from it. That’s why I tell people to choose something you love and not to worry about whether you’re an expert. You will literally become an expert through the content creation process.
Sidenote: One of my favorite articles on my site is 11 bulletproof strategies to find content. I highly recommend reading through that too.
Now onto my email list progress.
I’m currently at 2,401 subscribers. Last week, I had 1,703 – a 41% increase.
I’ve spent $529.26 cents on the Fb lead generation campaign. The cost per lead is 27 cents.
The open rate is around 25%, which I’m not crazy about, but it’s not horrible.
Also, I began incorporating a couple of links to the website toward the bottom. Once I’m creating content that I love every single day, I’m going to move the links to the site’s articles to the top of the email.
My goal, once everything is perfected, is to get clicks equal to about 10% of total subscribers.
So, on 10,000 subs, I hope to get 1,000 visits per day.
Where I’m going to hopefully begin aggressively growing the list is on the website itself. Since I’m not monetizing it, it’s a really clean site with no distractions. Using a high converting sign up form should help get things moving.
I’ll definitely show you what kind of form I use and how it performs.
As I’ve said before, it’s always mind-blowing how few website owners take care of their email list. Even worse are the ones collecting emails every day and they never send them anything!
A brief note on my Facebook group.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m trying to do too many things at once, but I’ve mostly abandoned the Facebook Group. I don’t enjoy it, the number of actual email sign ups wasn’t moving the needle, and even new member requests are just dribbling in.
I may circle back to it, but it’s low priority right now. Like a fun size Mars bar in a bag of Halloween candy. (Don’t ask.)
I’m publishing content in two ways.
If you’re writing all of your content yourself, this part isn’t necessarily for you. But it might still help.
Since I’m on a 365 day time limit and have plenty of budget left, I’m going to put a lot of it toward content.
Note: this isn’t about social-friendly content. It’s the high quality, highly valuable content that Google will (hopefully) love and give me that almighty passive traffic down the road.
I’m using two strategies at the same time.
First, I’ve decided to use a copywriting service for my 10 main guides. These are the core of the site – the really valuable guides that will blow away the competition and constantly be referenced to, both internally and externally.
They’ll be roughly 3,000 words each, full of quality photos and screenshots, and genuinely provide true value to readers.
These alone are probably going to cost at least a couple thousand dollars, but once they’re done, they can be used as true reference guides. They’re also a vital part of my backlink strategy, which I’ll be talking about in the near future.
It’s important to look at all content in multi-dimensional ways. Try not to write something and think, “I hope this ranks for X keyword in Google.” Think of your content as useful information with multiple purposes.
Second, I’m using a combation of Jasper AI and humans for additional content.
I’m finding that indisputable, straightforward content can be cranked out by Jasper in less time than humans – and do basically the same job.
Before you riot, I must add: I’m a Journalism major and a writer at heart. What Jasper can do is really impressive, but it doesn’t replace humans. I’m talking about the basic stuff that a human will essentially research and rewrite. Jasper does that pretty well.
My new content flow looks like this:
Inexpensive person who understands Jasper -> Editor who personalizes and humanizes the copy -> Visual / Graphics person who adds imagery, graphs, blocks -> Publish.
I like two things about this strategy:
- There isn’t one person who is expected to do everything: write the boring stuff, write the better stuff, and add photos. Usually, if one person is a great writer, they’re not great at graphics and vice versa. This allows the team to focus on their skills.
- Not any single person has to spend that much time on one article. A Jasper expert can generate 1000 words in a few minutes, an editor can touch everything up and make it better in half an hour, and a graphics person can make it a piece of art in another half an hour. And each step is getting the expert’s touch, not a writer’s throw-in photos because they’ve been writing for 2 hours and they’re sick of working on it.
I’ll report weekly on how this approach is going. I really like it so far and the results look great.
If I had more time, I would do a mock run and show you, but Thursday is already ending and this email needs to go out in the morning.
Quantifying my 6 month goals.
Some things are going exceptionally well and others are just OK. But I’m only 6 weeks in and can better identify goals now that everything is rolling.
Facebook: by next week’s update, I’ll be over 100,000 fans. I believe there’s a point of diminishing returns (ie, engagement doesn’t proportionally go up with number of fans). Once I hit 100k, I’m going to refresh my ad creative and drop the budget to around $20/day.
Six months from now, along with organic growth, the Page should be around 250,000 fans.
With an evolving content strategy (that is, continuing to know what content is going to “hit”), I think 7,500 visits a day from Facebook is very reasonable.
Email: as traffic grows, email subscribers will grow too. Within a month, I hope to be gaining 250 subscribers per day.
In six months, I don’t see any reason why the list won’t be at least 20,000 after purging some that are clearly never opening it. With my math earlier in this email, ideally this means 2,000 visits per day.
Google: I’m not going to predict anything here yet. But cracking Google traffic is instrumental to succeeding.
Overall traffic: between all the sources above, beyond the 6 month mark, I really need to be around 500,000 visits a month.
Assuming a $25 RPV (revenue per visit, not RPM), that’s $12,500 per month or $150,000 per year.
If the growth trajectory is straight up and there’s a clear strategy moving forward, I still believe that’s sellable for $500k at the one year point, even though it’s a new site.
I’m excited to some day be writing this weekly email about potential buyers and negotiations. That will be surreal.
How much money is left?
Last week’s balance was $16,216.79.
Between new tools, writers, subscriptions, and Facebook ads, the remaining balance is $12,056.06.
It was definitely an expensive week, but the Fb ads are going to slow down significantly, I paid for Jasper AI for a year in advance ($1000), and the core guides will be a one-time payment.
Also, the other important part: when I eventually monetize the site, that money will be reinvested. So for example, if November does 50,000 visits, if it were monetized, that’s $1,250 that would be added to my balance.
I won’t be monetizing that soon anyway, but reinvestment strategies will be a big part of future emails.
Some final words.
For the second week in a row, I took 2-3 days off completely (plus the weekend). I was celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday.
In the last two weeks, I probably spent 10-15 hours on the website. It really is making sure the time you spend on your business is high quality and highly effective. I am a huge fan of using notes and lists, which is why I wrote an entire article on it.
Hopefully these emails and the guides on my site can help you eliminate the months and months of time it takes to figure things out if you have never done this before.
I’ve been really humbled by the number of people who have launched along with this challenge. It’s really cool to see.
Don’t hesitate to reach out with thoughts, questions, or just your own progress. But I’m really far behind on emails, so forgive the delayed response!
Thank you for reading.