In my previous blog post, I outlined the site’s history + the project, some general information (budget, cost, goals, etc.), and a vision for the site. Fast forward a few months, and I am writing its first update. Yeah!
So, what have I done in the last three months (Aug – Nov 2022)? How much money I’ve spent on it? And most important, how much money I’ve earned so far?
Project MMO Case Study: Update #1
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The first significant milestone was the launch of the new site design. This was done in early November, including a completely new layout and visuals optimized for mobile + desktop users. The goal of this design was to make the site look more modern and user-friendly, with a few strategic changes to the layout and visuals that could help drive more conversions.
As I mentioned in update #0, I used a free WordPress theme to reduce the cost to the minimum. It was not because I couldn’t afford to invest in a professional design but because I wanted to keep the costs low and see how far I could push the site with a free theme.
The answer? Well, not that far!
You see, within three months, I finally decided to invest in a professional design. And I’m so glad I did it! The new site looks much more modern, and the layout is better optimized for an overall reading experience. Plus, the visuals drive home the site’s main message—warming, inviting, encouraging, and inspiring.
Since writing is my bread and butter, I actually have no difficulty creating content for the site. I truly enjoy it! The only problem was that I didn’t have enough time. The fact that I just came back to my 9-to-5 job in October (after my 14-month maternity leave) made it difficult to find the necessary time to write and publish new content, even with the help of such a high-end AI tool like Jasper.ai.
In the three months since launch, I’ve created twenty articles on topics related to online business (e-commerce, digital marketing, web design/development, etc.), blogging, and a little bit about personal growth and achievement.
Earlier this month, I thought I finally fine-tuned my content creation process—from finding the right keywords to competitors’ analysis and content optimization instead of writing four articles of approx. 1,500 words each, I now write fewer articles, but they are way longer. By long, I mean something between 3,000 – 4,000 words each. It does take a longer time, and it may feel that I’m producing less content than before, but I’m creating much better and more in-depth content, which is my main goal here.
Again, using Jasper.ai and SurferSEO (oh yes, they have a free version) as my main tools for finding the best topics and keywords related to my niche was a great help here. But then, I recently purchased new tools to help me identify the best topics, analyze the keywords, and optimize my content. These are the tools that give Jasper.ai extra power and that really make a difference.
Overall, I’m pleased with the content I created in the last three weeks.
Social Media, Traffic, and Monetization
My VA did a great job generating organic traffic and managing the content I wrote. The site’s social media presence is growing steadily, especially on Instagram. It has only 50 followers, but they’re all real, engaged people who follow and like my content.
On the search engine side, we’ve been focusing on Pinterest rather than Google. Pinterest has been well-known among bloggers for driving a lot of traffic, and I already see the results. Of course, mastering Pinterest is a long-term process, but I’m sure I’ll see an increase in organic traffic from this platform in the next few months.
The last milestone of the three months was monetizing the site. The plan was to use a combination of affiliate marketing from different vendors and display advertising to earn some money from the traffic coming to the site.
And guess what? Ezoic approved the site!
Yeah, I know, it’s not Mediavine or AdThrive or any prestigious name, but Ezoic is a solid ad network that can generate some decent income. And the approval process was much easier than any other network. I had my VA help me with this process, so I don’t have to bother myself with the technical stuff.
So far, I haven’t made any money from the site. Yet. But this will change soon! Once I have enough content to start increasing the traffic and monetizing the site (which should be in the next two months or so), I’ll be able to start earning from the site. I’m confident that this will happen eventually.
So, how much money have I spent on this little project? Surprisingly, not much!
The most significant investment was in the VA I hired to help me with content creation, social media promotion, Pinterest management, etc. But this is the cost for my whole business, not just this particular website.
The tools I purchased have also added up, but again, they are a necessary investment for all of my other sites and businesses, not just this one. I think if I have to put some numbers here for your reference, it should be like this:
- Jasper.ai: $99 per month (I paid yearly and got a reduced price)
- Ubersuggest.com: Around $300 for lifetime access (I paid in Norwegian crowns)
- RankIQ.app: $50 per month (I believe it was a special price)
- New theme: Retail price is $119, but I got a wholesale package of 10 themes (+ new release in the future) for just $699 and can use them for unlimited sites. That was a steal!
All in all, my investment is worth it. As a writer, I saved a good amount of money by creating the content myself rather than paying for it. Outsourcing your content can quickly add up to thousands of dollars per month, so this was a blessing indeed.
OK, I want to save the best for last: I’ve made a decision to sell the site sooner than I thought.
That’s right; I plan to sell this site and the domain for a handsome profit. If I calculate correctly, I believe the return on investment (ROI) will be around 150-200%, which is worth it for me and the site.
After a few weeks of analyzing and researching, I’ve realized that this site has excellent growth potential, but sadly, I’m not the one to take advantage of that. The best thing I can do is to hand it over to someone who can grow it further and monetize it better than I ever would.
So, in the next few months, I’ll focus on increasing the traffic and monetization of the site so I can walk away with a good profit margin. And with all the tools and help I have, this shouldn’t be too hard to do. But even if it takes more than a few months, I’m sure that in the end, this will be a win-win situation for both myself and whoever buys the site.
I’ll keep you posted on how this goes. Until then, wish me luck with the sale!