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  • Ankit Uttam

From 0 to $22,000+ Revenue per Month From an AI-Generated Blog

In Jan 2023, Casey Botticello launched a blog driven by AI-generated content. In less than a year, the site soared from 0 to 500K monthly pageviews and started earning nearly $22,000 per month in revenue. The case study explains how he did this.


AI Blog Case Study

Back in November 2022, when ChatGPT hit the scene, it shook up the whole world of blogging and freelance writing.


Everyone started freaking out about what the future held for their content.

So, Casey figured, why not jump in and explore what this was all about?


Casey's big experiment was to see if he could build a blog that used mostly AI-written content but then polished it up with some human editing magic.


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The goal of this AI-generated blog


To get it hooked up with a major ad network.


He wasn't racing against the clock, but getting it all done in a year seemed like a cool challenge.


So, he set a few targets for himself.


The top one was to get the site approved by Mediavine, an ad network that pays pretty well thanks to their high-quality ads that don't annoy readers.


To get in, he needed the site to pull in 50,000 visitors a month.


Next up, he wanted to completely cover his niche topic, aiming to become the go-to authority on it or create a Topical Authority on the topic.


This means he planned to write about every little detail, hoping Google would notice and think, "Hey, this site's the real deal in this niche." So, he brainstormed a list of 750 article ideas to cover over the year.


His third goal was to stay on Google's good side, especially since they've been rolling out some pretty intense updates lately.


He wanted to make sure his articles weren't just thrown together but added real value with unique media like images, videos, and even expert quotes.


Now, about the website itself: Casey had bought a domain back in 2021.


It wasn't one of those expired ones with a history; this was fresh but never used, only having a "for sale" sign up in its history.


It had a catchy name, which was a big plus, even though it didn't have any backlinks or anything.


He started setting up what he called a shell site in late 2022 as a sort of placeholder.


This was his way of getting a head start for the big project He planned to launch in 2023.


If you're thinking of starting a website, Casey recommends doing something similar if you've got some time to spare.


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The niche of the blog


It's within the tech world but more focused on a specific area.


Even though Casey didn't major in it, it's a topic he had been really into since his college days.


Obviously, you can't cover all of tech in 750 posts, but he aimed to deep-dive into his chosen sub-niche.


There are multiple AI tools available in the market today that can write blogs.

But that is just the start.


Casey used human writers to edit those AI-generated articles.


He went with a pen name, using a profile of a freelance writer who'd worked with him before. They were cool with lending their face and name to the project. And yes, he had a few other writers chip in with the initial drafts.



 

Costs Involved


Now, let's talk money because I know you're wondering about the costs.


All in, he spent about $7,500 over two years, which is peanuts compared to what a traditional site might cost.


  • Around $2,500 on the domain

  • Around $3,000 on various bits like hosting and domain renewals.

Throughout 2023, he churned out roughly 740 posts.


Started strong in January with 29 posts, then eased off a bit once they hit the Mediavine threshold, focusing more on quality than quantity.


But it's not just about churning out content; he also made sure each post added value, which paid off in clicks and even snagged a few featured snippets.


By the year's end, Casey hit a cool milestone with over 500,000 sessions at their peak.


Most of the traffic came straight from Google, which tells you that they were hitting the right notes with their content.


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Traffic breakdown


A whopping 90% from organic search, a sprinkle from social media, and a bit from direct traffic and their email list.


But here's the kicker: the cost per AI-generated article was just 30 to 70 cents, a far cry from the $50 to $150 you'd typically pay a freelance writer.


This massive cost difference is what really cranked up the ROI.


To put it into perspective, a traditional blog could set you back about $75,000 if you're paying $100 per post.


That's a lot of money with a much slower return on investment. Now building a site like this is hard work.


Editing AI content to make it unique and valuable takes time - thousands of hours, in fact.


Despite all the Google updates and challenges, the site thrived because Casey stuck to best practices, focusing on site speed, clean architecture, and quality content.


New post per month


 

Earning Summary

So, what did all this mean for Casey's bank account?


He hooked the site up with Mediavine, a favorite ad network among bloggers, and got the green light to start earning in mid-May. That kicked off the site's first trickle of income.


Getting into Mediavine was exciting, but he was still miles away from raking in tens of thousands each month. Yet, that initial cash flow was a big boost of motivation, encouraging him to keep the content coming.


From June to August, his earnings floated around the $2,000 to $3,000 mark each month.


AI Blog earning summary

The major leap came in September as his traffic continued its strong growth trajectory, and he earned over $8,000 that month.


In October, due to continued traffic growth and an increase in RPMs (the amount bloggers are paid per thousand pageviews), he reached a $14,934 in monthly revenue.


AI Blog earning summary

Today the site earns more than 22K USD per month from display ads


While those numbers are impressive, it’s essential to clarify that they represent revenue, not profit.


However it’s worth noting that the AI tool has played a significant role in reducing the cost of content production.


People often wonder if what worked for this site can work for others. The truth is, it's all about experimentation.


Some niches might have a higher ceiling, and some might be tougher, but the opportunity is still out there.


And the best part?


There's virtually no risk involved.


It's all about adding value and sharing the wealth.


So, there you have it - a down-to-earth take on creating and growing an AI-generated content site.


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Key Takeaways


  1. Experimentation is Crucial: The willingness to explore new technologies like AI for content creation shows the importance of staying adaptable and innovative. The digital landscape is always changing, and what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Experimenting with new tools and strategies can uncover lucrative opportunities.

  2. Quality Over Quantity: While the project initially focused on producing a high volume of content, the shift towards prioritizing quality over quantity proved beneficial. This approach not only helped in achieving better engagement and traffic but also in meeting the standards of premium ad networks like Mediavine. High-quality, valuable content is key to long-term success.

  3. SEO and User Experience Matter: The significant organic search traffic was no accident. Applying SEO best practices and focusing on creating a positive user experience (with non-intrusive ads and fast site speed) were critical factors in attracting and retaining visitors. Understanding SEO and how to optimize content for both search engines and users is essential.

  4. Editing is Essential: Simply relying on AI to generate content isn't enough. The process of editing AI-generated content to ensure it's unique, valuable, and engaging is crucial. This not only helps in avoiding penalties from search engines for duplicate or low-quality content but also ensures the content resonates well with the audience.

  5. Cost Efficiency: The case study highlighted the cost-effectiveness of AI-generated content compared to traditional content creation methods. However, it's important to note that while AI can reduce costs, the investment in time for editing and enhancing the content is significant. Balancing cost efficiency with content quality is vital.

  6. Adaptability to Algorithm Changes: The site's ability to thrive despite numerous Google algorithm updates underscores the importance of adhering to best practices in site management and content creation. Being proactive and adaptable in response to search engine changes can safeguard a site's traffic and ranking.

  7. Strategic Investment: The upfront investment in a good domain name and essential tools, along with strategic planning in content creation and site development, were key to the project's success. Investing wisely in resources that contribute to the site's growth and sustainability is crucial.

  8. The Power of Networking: The relationship with the founder of the AI writing tool highlights the value of networking within the blogging and tech communities. Such connections can provide early access to new tools, insights, and support that can significantly impact a project's success.

  9. Data-Driven Decision Making: Utilizing analytics to guide content strategy and site improvements played a big role in achieving the project's goals. Regularly reviewing site performance data helps in making informed decisions that drive growth.

  10. Long-Term Commitment: Building a successful site, especially one relying on AI-generated content, is a long-term commitment. It requires continuous effort in content creation, site optimization, and adaptation to industry changes.




 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Why Casey choose Mediavine as his ad network?

A1: He chose Mediavine based on its reputation for high earnings per thousand views (RPMs) and its non-intrusive ad experience.


Q2: How long did it take to get approved by Mediavine?

A2: The site was approved by Mediavine in mid-May, about five months after he began aggressively publishing content.


Q3: Did Casey use any specific strategies to increase your site's traffic quickly?

A3: He focused on SEO best practices, targeting long-tail keywords and ensuring high-quality, value-added content. He also spread out postings to avoid flooding the site and potentially triggering search engine penalties.


Q4: How much content did he publish each month?

A4: Initially, he published around 29 articles in the first month, but this number varied as he started focusing more on the quality and strategic updating of existing posts to maintain a balance between quantity and quality.


Q5: Were all your articles written by AI?

A5: The majority of the initial drafts were AI-generated. However, each article underwent extensive human editing to ensure it met high-quality standards, was unique, and provided real value to readers.


Q6: How significant was the role of SEO in the site's success?

A6: SEO played a critical role. By optimizing for search engines and focusing on creating content that answered specific queries, the site managed to draw significant organic traffic, which was crucial for meeting Mediavine’s traffic requirements.


Q7: What challenges did he face with AI-generated content?

A7: The main challenge was ensuring the content remained unique and valuable. AI can sometimes produce generic content, so extensive editing was necessary to tailor the articles to his audience's needs and maintain a high standard.


Q8: What advice would Casey give to someone looking to start a similar project?

A8: Be prepared to invest a lot of time in editing and optimizing AI-generated content. Focus on quality and user experience, and be patient – building a successful site that generates significant revenue takes time and consistent effort.






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About

My name is Ankit Uttam

I'm an Author (20+ books- A few of them have been on bestsellers charts too), and I'm a solopreneur who is trying to learn each day about how to navigate this growing space and also help a few people along the way.

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