Image of Chelsea Clarke sharing case study of Building an AI content site challenge - monetize and grow organically

Building an AI Content Site

Today I am happy to announce my next niche site project. For the next 6 months, I will be building an AI content site from the ground up, and sharing the entire journey and results via my newsletter.

I invite you to follow along as I create, rank, monetize, and grow a niche site using 100% AI-written content.

It will be a challenge, as I have only ever built human-written content sites, and until now have avoided using AI content for blog posts.

But there is no denying that AI is in demand, and it has the potential to be a strong tool for content marketers. So we will see if I can get an AI site to rank…or not!

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The first case study will be released next month.

Building an AI Content Site

The rules:

  • Create a website using ONLY ai-written content for the blog posts
  • Utilize as many AI tools as needed to create images and promo content
  • The domain has to be a new registration and can not be an expired domain
  • Install WordPress and start publishing articles on September 20th, 2023
  • See how much ORGANIC traffic I can get within 6 months

Month One: Niche Selection and Keyword Research Phase

To get started on my AI Content Site, I will first need to decide on a niche and do a little research.

Ultimately, I know that I want to work with something that fits into one of the top 3 leading niches

The top 3 leading niches (leading as in, will always be in demand) are: 

  • health
  • wealth
  • and relationships

These ‘main tier’ niches highlight obvious problems that people have, so they are technically known to be good for monetization. 

As, when you start with a problem, you can work down through your content to sell various solutions through various products. 

For example, if you want to monetize a blog in a wealth-related niche, there are thousands of money mindset books, personal finance courses, and budget sheets you could sell as an affiliate

Or if you wanted to monetize a site in a relationships-related niche, you could quite easily sell a dating tips book or any product that makes people feel more confident in social situations. 

  • It gets over 120,000 pageviews, from organic Google search visitors. 
  • It’s monetized with Mediavine ads and is eligible to STAY on Mediavine under new ownership, because it gets more than enough traffic. 
  • Well, for my AI content site, I decided that the main tier would be health, but then niche down into one specific personal development sub-niche. 

    So I allowed that to be my foundation, and I started looking up trends that fit that mold.

    My goal was to find a main keyword on which I would base the entire niche of the site. And then find as many related keywords that could be used for individual blog post topics.

    After 20 minutes, I found a keyword that has been trending up in recent months: 

    building an AI content site researching keywords - graph showing interest trending up

    After doing a bit more digging to see if the keyword had a) monetization potential and b) if it personally interested me enough to hold my attention for 6 months.

    I feel it has legs!

    Register the domain

    Now, normally I would look for an expired domain that has some authority and backlinks – but for the purpose of this AI site-building challenge, I can not do that. The domain must be a new registration.

    I checked to see if I could get an unregistered domain with this main keyword in it, and to my surprise, I found one.

    Blog Post Topic Ideas

    My next task is to create a spreadsheet of blog post topic ideas. More keyword research!

    This spreadsheet will become a useful tool later when I start feeding ChatGPT prompts for the articles.

    Some ways I am putting together this list is by thinking:

    • How do you get started with [keyword]
    • Why [keyword] matters if you are trying to [sub keyword]
    • What are the best types of [keyword]
    • Benefits of [keyword] for [sub keyword]

    Anyway, I will spend another day with this step, and then on September 20 I will install WordPress and officially start working on this site!

    Stay tuned by getting on my newsletter I where I share update videos every step of the way.

    Announcement: Building An AI Content Site Challenge

    Below is an excerpt from my newsletter where I announced the upcoming project.

    Hi friend, I wanted to share about my latest niche site project today. It has me breaking all of my “creator rules!”

    Well, I’ve never been very good at following other people’s rules.  My neurodivergent brain has never allowed me to just accept authority, or see people as more or less superior just because of their job description. Usually, I don’t even notice there are rules or hierarchical structures in the world. 

    This would explain why, as a 27-year-old at an office job, I saw nothing wrong with asking my coworker friend’s BOSS to deliver a silly note to her for me. 

    “Hey Catherine, you’re Amanda’s boss right?” * I proceed to scribble heeeeyyyy girrrrrrl on a piece of paper, fold it up and hand it to her “could you give her this for me?”

    It turns out, that asking someone in a higher managerial role to pass notes to your friend is considered inappropriate. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Well, that’s no fun. 

    Reason #1036 why I’m glad I left the workforce to flip niche sites by myself. 

    Of course, when it comes to flipping niche sites, there are still rules. 

    Rather, best practices to follow. These include adhering to Google’s TOS, and ensuring you don’t do anything against FTC guidelines

    Those are rules I like to follow because I can see they have a valuable purpose.

    • ie: when I publish content that aligns with Google’s recommendations, my content gets ranked in SERPs properly. And when I follow FTC guidelines I avoid fines. 

    There are other kinds of rules that typically I follow, too. Such as:

    1. Opting to build multiple different niche sites rather than one big lifestyle site (somewhat easier to grow an audience and monetize)
    2. And avoiding ai-created content for blog posts, and only publishing original human-written content

    Well, last year I broke my first rule when I decided to start a multi-topic lifestyle blog. I wanted to see how long it would take me to grow a non-niche site that featured articles on 8 different topics.

    EIGHT!!! I almost died when I made that decision. It goes against everything I stand for 😆

    Yet, it was a fun project and I absolutely loved the freedom I felt by not being restricted to only one niche. 

    My results from that lifestyle site experiment (after working on it for 4 months) have been mostly positive: 

    • Traffic went from 2,000 monthly sessions to 75,000 monthly sessions
    • I upgraded to a premium ad network where I went from $8 average ad revenue per day to $50 average per day 
    • Email list went from 0 – 7,500 within 3 months 
    • I published 130 articles
    • I monetized it with affiliate links and although conversions haven’t been as high as I had anticipated, it’s averaging $400/month.
    building an ai content site graph showing daily revenue RPM

    And now that that lifestyle site project is up and running on its own I am about to start an all-new challenge…

    My latest project aims to break my second rule, about avoiding AI content sites! 

    👉 I am going to build a content site using ONLY ai-generated content, to see if I can get it to rank organically in 6 months or less. 

    That means 100% ai-generated blog posts, images, social posts, everything. I’m actually a bit nervous about this one, but I’m excited to give it a shot. 

    From the initial research and creation of the site to tracking its traffic and revenue growth. 

    • Will I rank it in time?
    • Will it gain any traction at all?
    • Will it make a zillion dollars or will it become an expensive mistake?
    • Will I break my third rule about NEVER CRYING ON CAMERA?!

    Find out, when you are subscribed to this list, so you can follow along as I build a 100% ai-generated content site step-by-step over 6 months! 

    ~ Chelsea @ HerPaperRoute 

    ps: Over at Niche Investor, we released 5 niche site listings that just went up for sale, one of which gets over 120k monthly pvs of organic Google traffic! ​See them all here​

    entrepreneur planner profit business planner notion

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