How I’m Going to Achieve the $100k a Month Challenge without Using My Name

problems

Last week I posted about my setback on the $100,000 challenge. Some of you were happy with the results so far, while others were disappointed about how much money I was spending.

In addition, most of you didn’t want me to use my name as you felt it would be cheating. I’ve heard you loud and clear, and I am going to make changes.

Here’s how I will be moving forward to achieve my financial goal:

No more Neil Patel

If you go to Nutrition Secrets, you’ll see that there is little to no mention of Neil Patel. I did this for a few reasons:

  1. You guys didn’t want me to use my name.
  2. I don’t know nutrition well enough to be associated with the brand. It’s a legal liability for me to tell you what to do and how to eat when I am not a certified nutritionist.
  3. I feel like I am providing the world a disservice by creating content on a subject I am not an expert on. I don’t really believe in the “fake it till you make it” philosophy.
  4. I want to prove to you that a person’s name doesn’t impact how much traffic a website generates.

So I’ve enlisted my good friend Mike Kamo to be the face of the blog. He himself is a nutritionist and will be double-checking the content for facts and writing the content himself.

mike

This means no more interns creating content for free. Instead, Mike will be doing all the writing. I myself have been teaching him how to blog. Look out for future nutrition posts as they will be similar to Quick Sprout’s writing style.

The deal I’ve worked out with Mike is that he will keep 20% of the revenue, and the rest will be donated to a non-profit organization. After the year is up and the financial milestone is hit, Mike will take full responsibility for the blog, and I will have no more involvement as nutrition isn’t a huge passion for me.

Over the next few days, the authorship of all the comments I wrote will change from my name to his name.

I only ask that you don’t post comments on the Nutrition blog addressing me by my name. You can post comments addressing Mike, but I don’t want people to think I am still using my name to grow the traffic.

Why Mike got into nutrition

When Mike was growing up, his dad was constantly working in order to make enough money to put food on the table. Eventually, his dad started doing well enough for his family to live a comfortable life.

Mike’s stepmom was taking care of Mike and his siblings. But instead of cooking each day, she got the kids fast food. From McDonalds to Pizza Hut, fast food was what Mike and his siblings ate for almost every meal.

As a kid, Mike didn’t know any better, but as he got older, he realized how unhealthy it was. It got so bad that his younger brother wouldn’t eat unless he was presented with French fries or hash browns.

Mike not only started to work out to become healthier, but he also started learning about nutrition. Eventually, he got certified as a nutritionist. He also helped out one of our mutual friends, Ajay, who is a partner in Kimberly Snyder’s business. He wasn’t really doing it for the money—he was doing it because he wanted Ajay’s family to live a healthier life.

This is why I thought Mike would be a great person not only to be the face of the nutrition blog but also to create the content and make sure it is factual. The last thing I want is someone reading bad advice, taking action based on it, and ending up unhealthy as a result.

For this reason, no new content has been posted in the last week or so. Mike has been cleaning up the blog as well as the Facebook page. He is also deleting any published information he doesn’t agree with.

Expenses

Many of you think I am spending $10,000 plus dollars a month. That is inaccurate. I didn’t want to address expenses in my last post as I wanted to do a separate blog post on my costs.

I know I had said I was going to try to find an old blog or a website for $100 that wasn’t being updated. If I kept searching, I feel I would have succeeded. And it would have given me a greater head start.

But because it was too time-consuming, I took a quick route of just buying a domain for $1,889.62. The domain was penalized, so I had to scrap it.

The new domain name, Nutrition Secrets, was listed for $3,788.00. Of course, I didn’t want to pay that much as I am on a budget. I ended up negotiating them down to $325. If you want to do something similar, make sure the email address you use to write to the domain owners can’t be traced back to someone who is well known.

For example, when I negotiate domain purchases, I present myself as a college student and throw out random amounts. I then negotiate, and if they keep coming back to me, I always say “let me get back to you; I have to see if I can borrow money from my parents.”

You can do the same with newly listed domains for sale, but the longer a domain has been for sale, the more flexible the owners will be with its price.

As for Facebook ads, the total I’ve spent is $112.07. Sure, the fans I have been getting are junk, but it has helped create leverage that I can use for the “shout out for shout out” tactic.

I’ve spent a total of $48.05 on boosting my Facebook posts. It didn’t work well, so I stopped doing it.

I also purchased Optin Monster for $99.

And I am also using Aweber, which is costing $19 a month.

The WordPress theme was $48. And as for hosting, I am using my existing server for NeilPatel.com to save some money.

So the total I have spent so far is: $2,540.74

You may feel there were other expenses such as content, images, etc. But I was using interns for the content creation (which I stopped, and now Mike is writing the content).

And for images, I use my Fotolia account as well as royalty-free images. Sites like Flickr have a ton of great royalty-free images.

How I achieved over 30,000 visitors in 15 days

When I shared my traffic stats, many of you were skeptical.

traffic

You shouldn’t be skeptical on the traffic. It’s not paid for… most of it came from Facebook, which isn’t sticky. And in future monthly update posts, I will show a breakdown of traffic stats, including referrer information and keywords.

The reason there is so much traffic is because it is a broad consumer niche. Just look at the number of people interested in nutrition.

nutrition

That’s why I was willing to start a blog on it. Just look at the NeilPatel.com blog. I share my traffic stats each month. If it were on a broader subject, the blog would probably be at 800,000 to a million visitors by now.

Plus, the nutrition space isn’t as competitive. Sure, a lot of people are in that space, but very few of them are marketers. With Quick Sprout, KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and NeilPatel.com, I am competing with other knowledgeable marketers, which makes it much more difficult to succeed in the field.

If you want to grow your traffic at a fast pace, pick a big niche that isn’t filled with a ton of smart marketers.

Conclusion

Over the next week or so, you’ll see new posts coming up. They may be a bit rough at first, but they will get better over time.

I’m having Mike follow my blogging requirements that I’ve listed in this blog post. So far his rough drafts look pretty good, but he needs a few more rounds of revisions before his content is production quality.

At the moment, it is taking him 5 to 6 hours to write a blog post, but I expect that to speed up as he gets used to blogging.

As for monetization, once the site gets to a few hundred thousand visitors a month, I’ll start throwing up ads. I don’t expect that to generate $100,000 a month in income, but it will generate some cash flow so I can spend money on things like infographics.

Eventually, I’ll come up with some better monetization plans, but I don’t have any solid plans yet.

Do you have any questions I can answer?

If you want to break through to real profits online, you need some serious firepower. For a limited time I’m sharing some select tips and tricks Amazon, Microsoft, NBC & Hewlett Packard paid thousands of dollars per hour for, FREE.
  • The step by step guide to monster traffic generation
  • The how-to guide for increasing conversions on your website
  • 7 Cashflow killers your analytics tools are hiding from you
     
 
100% privacy, I will never spam you!

Comments

  1. Alex Whitfield :

    Fantastic to see hurdles get thrown at every online marketer, even Neil Patel himself 🙂

    Will keep a close eye on this, really keen on seeing whether you can pull it off. Best of luck!!!

    • Alex, thanks for the support. If you have any feedback along the way I’d love to hear it.

      • Junaid Raza :

        Hello Neil,
        There is a question for you. I don’t see that you are monetizing this blog. How do you earn from it? Only from Quick Sprout university? Or you use some other ways? Please mention any of those.

      • Hey Neil,

        I’m very curious about your opinion on something…

        You say Nutrition is a niche marketplace with a small band of interested traffic.

        What would you feel about a lifestyle content platform, in that case, that does the whole gamut of lifestyle — food, travel, fashion, trends etc…

        There are the Vogues and Harper’s Bazar at the top-end of this. Personal blogs at the bottom end. And Buzzed and Huffpost sitting right in the middle.

        But NONE of these online publications follow content production in the format you suggest. They ALL do short copy — or NO copy with just a slideshow and a caption quickly thrown in.

        In that case, would this sector be a good idea — where you give them longform, well-searched, well-written content, laden with infographics and all the other factors you believe is the way forward?

        Personally, I am naturally inclined to long-form, broken up with great images, “display boxes” as I call it, and subheads.

        I would love to hear your opinion on the subject, as there could be a huge gap in lifestyle content. Done right….

        Thanks so much for doing this Nutrition experiment. It is nothing short of inspirational.

        Nita

      • Cool, Neil. I was wondering why it suddenly went from Neil… to Mike.

        LOL.

        That is some pretty good domain bargaining. Bringing it from $3000+ down to $300.

        I can see that http://www.nutritionsecrets.com is a pretty good domain name.

        So being able to get it for $300 is awesome.

        Looking at your evolution with this challenge is pretty interesting.

        I think… you went from:

        … I’m going to…
        …. research and write all the content myself …
        ….. to I’m going to get interns to do it for me …
        ……to I’m going to get my friend Mike to do it for me.

        Which is pretty cool seeing how you ‘pivot’ around. 🙂

        It’s a pity about the penalized domain. 🙁

        But I guess you could easily resell it.

        It seems Mike’s taking over the content creation now, but if you need any nutritional resources, my go-to site for that is:

        http://doctoryourself.com

        Dr. Saul is one of the world’s foremost health and nutritional experts.

        All the articles on his site are backed by research journal references.

        So… hope it helps.

        Though not sure if you still need it. But it’s a good resource nonetheless.

      • Hey Neil, my name’s Cole & I’m an aspiring social media consultant Saint Louis, MO. I’ve been studying, taking notes, & learning as much as I can about the craft. Would you recommend starting a marketing blog to build a solid fanbase even though I’d be competing with the big dogs in order to get work opportunities or starting a blog on a different topic & just using that as experience when approaching potential clients for work?

        Thanks!

        -Cole (You can follow me on Twitter @thecolejacobs)

    • Christopher Pontine :

      Hey Alex,

      Your right on this. I love seeing hurdles even with someone like Neil.

      Just curious Alex. Were you kind of relieved and excited to see Neil on using his name?

      I was totally just feels like that even stevens scenario where any of us can see the potential.

      Thanks,

      Christopher Pontine

      • Anil Agarwal :

        I’ve been following your challenge ever since it’s started Neil.

        And yea, I heard a lot of critics on social media about using your brand name. I strongly believe that, your brand won’t help you in create a profitable online business in totally irrelevant niche like nutrition.

        But your points are valid as well. Let’s see how it goes.

  2. I’m impressed with your transparency. I’m also impressed that you’re going to donate 80% of the proceeds to charity.

    As far as my questions go: What’s your Twitter strategy going to look like?

    • Randy, I think it’s the right thing to do. As for the twitter strategy that is still tbd so stay tuned.

  3. Ok, but I’m little disappointed with the project though your opinion is different, why have you used your name in the beginning?
    The beginnings are tough for everyone who is new in the blogging space.
    Even just one sharing from authority like you would skyrocket newbie’s blog.
    If you have a brand name in industry, one sharing from another authority won’t help you as it would a person that doesn’t have brand name.

    • Tony, understand your concerns. It’s a bit tough to separate my persona from any brand I am promoting. Because it’s easy to Google me it was tough to disassociate. When I realized this and it was pointed out to my by the readers I decided to change course.

      Also with starting a new domain for the nutrition site, I haven’t used my name. Traffic is down on the new domain and I have to start all over again… 🙂

      • Hello Neil,
        I am a die hard fan and leant a lot from you. But this time, this is somewhat skeptical, about disassociating yourself from this blogging project. It is a pet of you anyhow.
        Just tell- how many abnormal increase in visits after your this post?
        And many revisits this blog will get due to this blog post.
        It is not a fare project, Sir.

        Neeraj

      • Thanks for the reply, Neil!
        And what if you didn’t share your plans with a brand new blog and someone else(e.g. Mike) would lead it based on your advice?

        And after one year, you could share your results.

        Yes, you wouldn’t build expectations and there wouldn’t be a great interest in this project. But it would be more valuable for your readers and isn’t it what does matter to you most?

        • George from Lekki :

          If Neil was to share his strategies after a year, it would be difficult for newbies to catchup. We’re following the journey and prefer he continues this way. We all know if Neil were to announce a new blog and brand it without any work we know yhe blog will not grow So it’s better he let’s someone takeover, direct things from the background and come here to share the story. Neil that’s the aim of blogging…sharing your journey. Please do not start a secret blog. We are following.

    • Totally agree with you Tony. I think it’s made a huge difference regarding traction.

    • tony – I think it’s inaccurate to say that one share from an authority can skyrocket a beginners blog. When I was starting out I got multiple shares on Twitter and Facebook from folks with 100,000+ followers and the results were unimpressive. Long term quality traffic is more complex.

      • Hi Tony,

        I understand your concern. But I think every situation is different, at least we can take whatever what can learn out of it. I’m excited, hope you are, too:)

        • Yes, every situation is different.
          But for me – as a newbie blogger – who has started blog at the time when almost everyone has a blog, it’s really tough to succeed.

          But I’m also interested in the results and Neil’s great conclusion. 😀

      • It depends on who has shared you. Nowadays many people have 100k+ followers and most of them are fake.

    • Totally agree with you Tony. You made a great point and brave one too. Of course it’s not easy to start a new blog and using his name will give a huge boost or kick start.

  4. Stephen Esketzis :

    Really enjoying following this case study/experiment Neil!

    Do you have any ideas on how to approach people in a niche which is untapped by a ‘smart marketer’ to work on a similar revenue share deal?

    There’s 2 niches I know which are readily available and I’d just need someone who’s content is quality to move in.

    Would love some tips on how to approach someone to write for you @ 20-40% revenue share.

    Keep up the great work.

    Regards,
    Stephen

    • Stephen, to be honest there is no magic formula. Just introduce yourself and show them the value that you can provide. At the end of the day it’s all about being transparent and showing value.

  5. Vaibhav Mule :

    Why did you choose Nutrition niche? Is there any post on QuickSprout on how to choose niche?

    • Vaibhav, I wrote an article where I asked the readers what niche I should write about — and they chose Nutrition.

  6. Looking forward to it Neil. Will this leave more time for you to focus on other matters or less?

    • Raul, I will still be spending a lot of time on strategy — I am fully dedicated to making this a success. I never give up on a project 😉

  7. William Zimmerman :

    Neil,

    Love the “i am a college student call” great stuff!

    Looking forward to seeing what develops and your process for making this a success.

    Have a great week man!

    All the Best,
    Bill Z

    • Bill, thanks for the support. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

    • Yeah, not a fan of misrepresentation or other unethical tactics. I understand the issue with loosing negotiation leverage. Perhaps use a third party or auction site instead.

      From reading Neil’s posts for a while, he seems like a nice guy and this recommendation seems out of character.

      Pete

      • Hi, my name is George Clooney, I’d like to buy a yacht.. What’s your best price?

        Don’t be daft.

  8. Thanks a lot for sharing this another info post. Although neil bro you messed with the theme somehow… Please use the previous theme on this blog.

  9. Damian @ Dareandconquer :

    Hey neil,

    As i told you in your last post, i don’t think that your name played a big difference regarding NutritionSecret’s growth. But it’s good that you decided to let mike write the content.

    Every time i read your blog posts i am getting more and more obsessed with your content, your creativity and tips & tricks. Telling domain owners that you are a poor college student is a very smart move in order to get the domain at a lower price.

    As for monetization plans here is one: You could use some money from the ads to pay a writer for a book on nutrition(or tell mike to write it) and sell the book on your blog.

    Regards,
    Damian

    • Damian, I agree but as it was a concern for many of my readers I wanted to change it up so that it’s more relatable.

      Thanks for the monetization tips — I am sure they’ll be helpful.

  10. I don’t see any mention of how much of the traffic is coming from from QS.

    • Michael, stay tuned for future posts where I will show the stats — that number will diminish over time as well too.

  11. Hi Neil,

    I am also very impressed with your strategy. I have been following you for a long time. I have been watching you especially closely on the 100K challenge, as I am currently preparing to build my own niche blog 😉

    You mention that the facebook fans you were getting through facebook ads were junk… Do you mean you bought likes?

    I always assumed (hoped…) that genuine facebook ads rather than buying likes would get better quality fans. Am I mistaken?

    Regards,

    Tristan

    • Sorry I meant ‘Transparency’ … Not Strategy!

      • Tristan, I wasn’t buying FB likes in the traditional sense. I had some ads up that were showing people the value of the page.

        Often times it’s hard to get good likes — you have to optimize ads over time.

  12. Interesting and will continue to follow Neil – my main interest is your backlinking method to build its profile from a new blog to establishing it and how you do this! Attracting those early backlinks is the hardest part!

    • Saj, I’ll have more details on that to come in the following months. Thanks for the feedback.

    • Christopher :

      Saj some of the do follow backlinks are from this blog. Which seems like a cheat. Neil could easily make them do not follow for a more realistic case study.

  13. Hi Neil,
    That’s a huge step you made fr us you are ready a great guy who cares about his fans nd following now because I am also following you in this challenge so far I only got 100 visitors nd I am 17 nd have no budget to spend can you please give me clue plus please please take 5 minute nd look at my website I put in the titled field I will appreciate that.
    Kind regards,
    Sam

    • Sam, I just checked out your site and I love the layout and color scheme. I think you’ll do a great job — keep up the great work and let me know if you have any questions along the way.

      • Thankyou Neil I have done all myself as I am also running website designing agency name PearlinAsia.com I just want to know about some simple marketing strategies
        Thank you soo much for looking at my site
        Kind Regards,
        Sam

  14. Interesting project Neil – good work. Will keep and eye out for the ups and downs! Good luck

    • Aidan, looking forward to hearing much more from you. Let me know if there is any way I can help.

  15. Hey Neil!

    I’m enjoying following you on this project.

    Question: Did you purchase a Facebook Page with an established fan base or grow it from the ground up? Any suggestions as to how to purchase a Facebook Page (without getting in trouble with Facebook)?

    Thanks!

    • Joel, I grew it from scratch and ran some ads to grow the following. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  16. Palash Kumar Daw :

    Can you tell us all earning source from Nutrition Secrets Dot Com?

  17. Keith Bresee :

    Hey Neil!

    I love how open you are with all of this.

    Are you going to be doing any type of forum marketing?

    Be awesome!
    Keith

  18. Kousar Batool :

    I’d suggest not calling your FB fans crap for Nutrition site. What if some end up here reading this post?

    Anyway great effort. I am following your curve.

    Best of luck.

    • Kousar — I didn’t mean they are crap. The targeting is crap which is why it’s hard to run ads often.

  19. Neil, you’re awesome. You’re being honest and straight (except for the bit about pretending to be a college student), trying to really make this legitimate. Looking forward to seeing how this goes.

    • Mindy, thanks for the support. Everyone has a little hustle in them and will do things that will help them along the way 😉

  20. I like the honesty, kudos for that. I’m not sure about the 3rd world country fans (but american fans can be a good idea).

    I’ve built a site with a decent amount of traffic in the space (500k/month right now).

    I’d be happy to share some insights via email for traffic, there’s a lot of low hanging fruit that are not Google in that space.

    Good luck with everything.

    Gael @ Authority Hacker

  21. Anshul Raghav :

    So should I advertise my hacking/guide blog on Facebook for more traffic??

    ~Sudhanshu Raghav

  22. Hi Neil,

    I’ve been reading your blogposts for a while now and have learned a lot. Even though we still find it hard to really write blogposts regarding the product we are selling. It just feels there’s not that much to write about. Or the stuff we can write alot about, i’m not knowledgeable enough about.

    Really interested in your current project because if you can make this work. There really is no excuse for us, to not being able to do exactly the same.

    So good look!

    • Milan, that was my intent. I wanted to make it easy to replicate. I want to help people achieve similar results. Thanks for the feedback!

  23. Walter Hawkes :

    This project is very interesting, Neil. I’m satisfied with these changes – keep up the good work. One question: What is the date you are using as the official start date so we can track how long the project has been underway?

    Thanks , Walter

  24. Hi Neil,

    You got lots of people excited. I’m eager to learn a lot from you again with this new blog. And thanks for giving back to charity!

    Robin

  25. Dipendra Pokharel :

    Hi Neil,

    There is no way you could not involve your name in this experiment. I have already found dozens of bloggers following up your experiment and linking to your new nutrition blog.

    Definitely this would be great case study to follow up and learn, but there is no way you could no involve your name without keeping the blog secret, which you did not do, but even with the domain kept secret, that would halve the excitement on following this experiment.

    • Dipendra, that really was a challenge because my brand is large in the marketing space on the web. That is why I enlisted Mike to help.

      • If you want to make it fair, and super challenging. DISAVOW the buzz links you get from marketing sites. Then you really will be in the trenches with the rest of us! 🙂

  26. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the update on Nutrition Secrets.

    Seems to be going great so far, but I fail to see how you managed to generate 69,000 likes on your Facebook page with ONLY $112.07 of ads and $48.05 in boosted posts.

    I can only assume that the vast majority of those likes have come from here, QuickSprout, as you’ve been blogging about the project.

    Could you explain have you managed to make a successful page in such a short time and barely any money spent on Facebook ads?

    Thanks,

    Matt

    • Matt, great points. I am going to break down the costs in a future post and share it. I leveraged a lot channels — which was helpful. If you have any other specific questions please send them my way.

      • It will be interesting to see what these channels are that you used to build a successful Facebook page. I will look forward to it.

  27. Interesting about the space being competitive, but not filled with good marketers.

    We’re hoping that will play to our advantage in the law firm arena as well. Lot’s of law firms out there, but we don’t see a lot of law firms that do well with online marketing.

    Quick question regarding local search: Will you be addressing that at all in this challenge?

    A lot of lawyers are tied to their local jurisdictions unless their practice area has been federally preempted, which is partly why we’re focusing on areas of federal law on our site, but I’m curious if you think the $100,000 challenge could also be done on the local level through online marketing?

    • Jacob, law firms definitely do benefit from local search. I don’t think there will be much local search going on with this campaign because it is informative and the audience is global.

      If you need any specific help with a local search question please let me know.

      I definitely think you can follow along on the challenge and work towards the $100k challenge — just keep local search in mind.

  28. Hi Neil, thanks for taking into consideration peoples concerns about associating the 100k challenge with your name and brand however you still started it and built up a huge Facebook following and nice size twitter following leveraged by your name. i applaud your case study but still stick to my original opinion that it is a huge advantage and regular readers like my self and others can’t expect to get these numbers.

    I still like you and appreciate all that you do to contribute to the community, please don’t think I’m a hater.

    • Jeff, I am doing this challenge to help people out so their concerns are very important to me.

      When they addressed that concern to me about using my name I found a solution that would make the process more relatable.

      Thanks for all the support — don’t think you’re a hater at all.

  29. Isabell Ishwarey :

    Hi Neil,
    I’ve been working on this idea for some time now, and posted my new name mybeautyhealthsecrets.com last week . But the name is just too long. Any suggestions on another name that would reflect using health to bring out natural beauty and health??
    thanks

    • Isabell, have you run any keyword queries on keyword planner to see what terms are competitive? That’s a good start to any campaign, in my opinion.

      • Isabell Ishwarey :

        HI Neil, I just learned about keyword queries last week. I bought a site name that makes no sense but is catchy for a future site.

        I just did a query search and got 6 million as a result. Is that good?

        Thanks for sharing your blog on this. Like everyone else I love reading your blogs 🙂

        Isabell

        • Isabell Ishwarey :

          Is there an easy way to see when and if you reply to my question here? Right now I’m just going thru the whole list of questions and I can get kinda lost……..

        • Hi Isabell,
          I suggest you for going with a short and catchy URL rather than for a longer one even if your long term niche blog is a micro niche or a targeted one because one it is a big brand name it will be easier for people to remember. And if you are not getting exact or related to your niche. Then go for adding from acronyms to your site title.
          Best of luck for your site. Regards. 😀

  30. Another thing that strikes me, now that I am looking at your traffic stats:

    The volume of traffic is certainly impressive for a site this young, no doubt about it. But if I look at the bounce rate and the number of pages per visit, it seems there is very little engagement with the content?

    Given the low number of posts you had written so far (only four I believe?) that is not unexpected of course.

    But if that engagement would not improve, I would think it would be hard to monetize the blog? And you were planning on getting that engagement up by adding lots more content and a high frequency of adding posts, right?

    • Tristan, I am still working on the strategy of making the content stick more. As with any marketing plan you have to find your groove and then go from there.

      It’s typical to see low engagement at first — you have to work towards the goal of monetization by driving engagement incrementally over time.

      • Adam george :

        Neil do you think a lot of this traffic is from people that follow you and are just checking out this site and are not really interested in the content?

        • Adam — you’d be surprised how many people on the nutrition blog aren’t from QS and are new visitors.

  31. Way to go Neil. I am watching your approach and doing something similar in a different market (pets) – also starting from the grounds up.

    Best,
    Jey

  32. It’s disturbing how comfortable you are with lying. That’s something I’ve seen with other well known marketers, and I wonder whether I’d be at a disadvantage if I were to try marketing as a career or side project.

    • I don’t think lying about being a college student is anything to feel bad about.

      He used his initiative to make sure people didn’t up the price of the domain just because a quick Google search of “Neil Patel” will bring up a wealthy online marketer.

      You’d be surprised just how many people will try and get more money out of people who HAVE more money (regardless if what you’re buying is worth that or not)

      • Brian, sorry you feel that way but I have to agree with Matt. I was just making sure I was providing a blueprint for others so that they could get the best price on a domain — without being hustled. You want to make sure people are charging the right price across the board.

      • Lying is lying no matter how you want to spin it. Instead of worrying about being a certified nutritionist he should be getting certified with the BBB.

    • Trent Smith :

      I agree w/ Matt. If people knew Neil was well to do, they might exploit that during the negotiation process. Which is worse in this case? Exploiting someone financially because of their status or keeping a low profile to keep them fair minded. Intent matters in a court of law.

  33. Adarsh Sojitra :

    Yes, many bloggers were telling you that ” you are doing cheating by using your name” and you solved this also. Man, you are great.
    .
    I was always with you as you don’t have any experience in health niche as well as audience in health niche. So, By doing this, you also gave big answer to those who were opposing you.
    .
    BTW thanks for this article sir…

    • Adarsh, thanks for all the support. If you have any questions with anything specific please let me know. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  34. Daniel Obaike :

    Hi Neil,

    I most say I envy Mike a lot. I will be diligently reviewing his post and comparing with mine. He has the advantage of being tutored hands on but I am determined to read though all your guides and articles.

    In your post you stated that you spent $48 on Facebook but yet most of your 30, 000 visitors come from Facebook. For me that is huge success for that amount.

    Could it be that it was as result of your brand authority?

    • Daniel, I am offering the same tutoring to all of you through the web — So hopefully that’s incentive 😉

      It could be a number of factors — our content was pretty high quality and we found the right price point for ads.

  35. Hi Neil,

    This project is probably the first 100% transparency act i’ve seen among the online marketing world. Anyways, i’m having the sensation that you’re building up a project spending money and money and money, and you don’t really know how you’ll monetize it in the future, without any planning of your future acts or any business plan. Is a strange sensation, and the fact of donating the 80% to charity makes my opinion more solid, Why? Because you’re teaching the people how to build a profitable business, then you fail at some point, give the 80% to charity and you tell us that you don’t know how this project will become, it’s like a “hey if i fail at this, no prob, i donated it to needed people”. We would never spend that much money on our 3 first months of blogging, not even think of buying a domain name, why don’t you post how you made a keyword research to know that nutritionsecrets was a domain worth to pay for? Or try to do a project without spending a single dollar, and make it grow like a monster. I doubt you can, monetize this project on ads, or even make 100.000$ without any Affiliate Marketing, correct me if i’m wrong.

    • I don’t have a plan and I didn’t think the domain through that much. But I do know selling products in the space makes millions. My back up plan is to find products like http://www.organifi.com/ (white label them) and then sell them. I think that would do really well as i know the revenue model for others in this space.

  36. Great Neil,

    I wondered how it is possible to attract 30000 visitors within 15 days for a brand new blog. What strategies are using to get this massive traffic. Please revail those which may help younger bloggers including Me : )

  37. This looks very different from what u originally started… it seems that you’re now essentially guiding someone to build a blog in his own niche no?

    • Colin, I am just addressing the concerns of the readers. A lot of them thought it couldn’t be done with my name — So I switched the persona up.

  38. Thanks, Neil!
    Very few bloggers share with their readers their exact, detailed strategy.

    • David, I think it’s important to share strategies and make things as transparent as possible.

  39. Neil,

    I’ve enjoyed following along with how your creating the nutrition blog. But I have to ask – do you feel guilty for misrepresenting yourself during domain negotiations? I totally understand trying to get them to come down on the domain price but presenting yourself as a college student seems wrong.

    • Jake, I wouldn’t typically do that. I did it to share with you guys how it’s done to ensure that no one gets jipped and gets the fair market value.

      • I totally understand not wanting to get ripped off. I think I would have hidden my information from them by using my first name only and an email account that doesn’t have my name in it. But I’m sure you knew admitting the college student thing would be controversial so props for being honest. Anyway thanks for sharing.

  40. Unless you are a student, you should use a more honest approach. You could just as easily say you have to ask your wife or girlfriend. You don’t have to be open, but you should remain honest with what you tell people.

    • C, there are a lot of people out there that wont offer a fair market value for a domain once they find out if someone is successful. That’s why I shared this strategy with everyone.

  41. I’m loving following this project. I have a health related e-commerce site that I haven’t been able to gain traction so this is very interesting for me!

  42. Steve Estimable :

    Neil, great updates on the $100k a month challenge.

    My key point on this post “Sure, a lot of people are in that space, but very few of them are marketers.”

    Neil Q: Do you have any questions I can answer?
    Steve A: No, im looking forward to see what is next.

    Have a nice day!

  43. Martyna Bizdra :

    Hey Neil

    Thanks for the post.
    Will you be building links to the nutrition secrets site as well? or is it going to be just great content that attracts the visitors (through the Long tail keywords for example)?

    thanks, Martyna

  44. Hi Neil, it’s refreshing to see you are open to being flexible to suggestions with your project – ultimately you are trying to add-value to your readership and so I’m sure those doubters will be quenched (tho you can’t please them all! 😉 )

    Don’t worry about people questioning your traffic stats, they’re probably broadly negative people anyway. Readers have got to remember that why would you do such a thing – who are you benefiting if you were lying? That’s right, absolutely no one! 🙂

    How much time did you put into researching this niche? You’ve mentioned you’re not hugely passionate about it, but you seem to have found a gem of an area that’s both broad and not uber competitive!

    I look forward to reading how Mike gets on with a blog if he’s new to the medium.

    Keep it up!
    Cheers
    Will

    • Will, thanks for all the support and positive feedback.

      My goal is to help others out so that they can achieve similar results. I have spent the whole new year researching and I’m still not as knowledgable as Mike — which is why the transition makes sense.

  45. Neil. You are awesome.
    Write anything and I a obsessed to read it. The one reason I will keep coming to your site is for your writing style – so *sprouty* and *Neily*

    You rock.

  46. Great to see that you finally agreed to start the nutrition blog when you first ask for our inputs. I really like the information and the design of the site and I have bookmarked it so i can check it out often. Also thanks for sharing the information on how you purchased the domain, i think it’s a smart move there.

    Is it easy to generate traffic to a site that talks about Technology? http://www.techafrikico.com

    • Albert, I want to be as transparent as possible so sharing that information was vital. I think it’s definitely possible to generate a lot of traffic to a tech site. Just follow the same blueprint and modify as needed.

      • Thanks for the reply Neil. It means a lot to actually make time you respond to most of these comments that you get on here. We really appreciate it most.

  47. Dale Reardon :

    Hi Neil,

    Do you have a post on how you go about finding a website or domain name to buy cheaply and negotiate over?

    Flippa has some crazy high prices whereas a few hundred would be fine for a project.

    Thanks,
    Dale.

  48. Kristin Harris :

    This is totally inspiring. I love what you’re doing and that you’re doing it in the very saturated health/fitness market. Crossing my fingers (and toes) that I can achieve something similar!

  49. How will you filter out the traffic that comes from quicksprout or the bookmarks from people that are only interested in the progress of the challenge vs real visitors?
    And you’re talking about the shoutout for shoutout tactic.. what exactly is that?
    Thanks! (also for the insights, how you got your domain price to be a lot lower) As for finding a specialist for a blog.. if it’s not in your circle of friends, how would you suggest finding one?

    • Malachi, most of the QS traffic is not related to the niche and will not provide me with the monetization required to meet the $100k goal. So it’s not as important in that sense.

      Shoutout to Shoutout is a strategy on Facebook where people share your posts in exchange for theirs.

      If you aren’t the specialist for your blog just look on google for popular writers for the specific niche you are in.

  50. Hey Neil,

    I’ve read the entire series of your $100K a Month Challenge so far.

    It’s sad to hear that you had to give up your previous domain. But all of us learned a very valuable lesson from it.

    You’re right on Facebook’s “Boost” for posts. I also stopped using it. But Facebook Ads are by far the best for me.

    Please keep up the good work!.

    Laxan
    Big fan

    • Laxan, thanks for following along with me. Looking forward to hearing much more from you. If you have any specific questions I’d love to hear them!

  51. Dennis Gorelik :

    Neil,

    Do you think that donating 80% of proceeds from “Nutrition Secrets” to charity would help with the growth?

  52. Hey Neil,

    Let’s say you were starting from scratch trying to get to $100K. Would you focus on building a niche blog like nutrition secrets, or a blog showcasing your freelance services (marketing consultations, social media, or SEO, etc)?

  53. Hi Neil,

    At this point, at least your audience -and thats a lot- already knows about your new domain. That is traffic from day one and a huge unfair advantage that total newbies do not have!

    This may be good for your brand, but this makes the whole thing an experiment for “you”.. It is irrelevant -despite the learning- to what a regular guy can do to start from scratch, which is disappointing to be honest.

    This whole thing turned into just another way to learn how to start a successful niche blog, if you are Neil Patel -or an authority-, but right now I am neither of these.

    Thank you!

    • It’s not. Everyone assumes Quick Sprout is driving all of the traffic. When I do a blog post showing the stats you will see. 🙂

  54. Deane Alban :

    I’m delighted to see you are hiring someone with a background in nutrition to write your blog. There’s no shortage of dietary misinformation on the internet — we don’t need any more! Most of what the media tells us about nutrition is wrong and most blogs are regurgitating the same old information.

    • Deane, it’s true. I wanted a fresh perspective which is why I jumped into the niche — at the request of my readers. Thanks for all the feedback.

  55. Hi Neil,

    Following this challenge closely and will be interested to see the results.

    I too recently abandoned my old domain to start fresh, even thought my traffic multiplied by 5 over a two months period, I kept getting hammered and dropped over 2 million places in the Alexa ranks.

    I’ve searched Quciksprout university as I am a member but can’t find any vids on Alexa. Any idea why this may happen?

    • I don’t think there were videos on Alexa. I could be off… we may use them in some of the videos, but we didn’t create a video just on Alexa.

  56. Always full of details and exact to the point.Great article really.
    Neil it would be great if you could tell us more about the organic search approach you’re taking. That would be a lot of help to us knowing step by step details of the route you take for techinal quality and on-page optimizations and what you do to enhance user experience on your blog.

    • Miad, I intend on talking about the specifics of organic search in the next few blogs posts — stay tuned 😉

  57. Bobby Holland :

    Hi Neil – great post! I asked in your previous post about how many email subscribers you’ve generated so far – and you didn’t respond. So I’ll ask again:

    How many email subscribers has you generated so far?

    This is a metric that I’m very interested in following regarding your project.

    Thanks again Neil

    • Bobby — we are still hashing out the metrics behind a number of variables and will be sharing that in the next post — stay tuned 😉

  58. Hi Neil, this is awesome!

    The cost breakdown is especially eye-opening, and I look forward to see how to gain long-term sticky traffic and how to monetize that traffic flow effectively.

    Good luck!!

  59. Neil-
    I’m concerned about the ethics of someone who would lie, i.e. represent themselves as a college student when they are not, to get a better deal on a domain name. In my experience, a person who is willing to lie in one situation to get an advantage is willing to do so in others. How can we trust what you are telling us as the truth?
    Regards,
    Dan

    • Dan, I outlined why I did that in the post. I wanted to make sure no one is getting hustled for a price above the market average. I understand your concerns though. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  60. Neil,

    Very rarely does a new start-ups go without a few hiccups along the way. Glad to see that you are documenting them for us as I for one am following your footsteps in my own new nutrition site.

    Thanks for posting your Guide to Blogging. That is #TotallyAwesome.

    • Dade, glad I could help. I think the mistakes & hiccups are what makes the process more refined.

  61. This is so cool man!

  62. Hirak Sarkhel :

    Dear Neil,

    Can you please provide some insight on how do we understand whether a domain has already been penalized. Though you briefed about AHREF’s services , but if you can detail it please.

    Also what should be our ploy for any penalized domain ? Do we need to abandon it and go for a new one or we can implement some corrective measures to ring it back on track.

  63. Craig Fifield :

    I’m enjoying following along with this Neil, thanks for doing this!

    Removing your name from the equation was a good idea but I see you’re still linking to NS from QS regularly. Wouldn’t it be better for the validity of the experiment to nofollow those links?

  64. Neil, thanks for share so interesting experiment! If I’m right, you mentioned in one of your articles that you got a Facebook page with followers already.

    What would you recommend for new Facebook pages, how fast to grow up the followers?

    • Marina, I would recommend promoting quality content and having a great outreach program to make sure you are getting as many channels connected to the page as possible.

      • Neil, thank you for your advice. Can you show any examples of good outreach programs which you mentioned?

        Also will be there a different strategies for promoting a Facebook page with a personal name and with the name of the brand/website? If yes, then what will be different?

  65. Kevan Hendrickson :

    Always love reading these posts. A lot of interesting comments and questions too. I do believe that Neil provides an amazing bench mark for those of us looking start or improve our websites. Neils experience and direction culminates into these amazing results. Where those of us fumble and hesitate Neil is decisive. Basically what I am getting at tasks like writing the blog take hours for others to write could only take half the time for Neil. Just to be clear though I would like to clarify the Facebook strategies shared.

    1. Shout for shout offers
    2. Simple Facebook ad
    3.promotion of the page.
    4.promotion of posts

    • Kevan, thanks for all the support and the points highlighted — I think they pretty much encompass the strategy.

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you .

  66. Love what you are doing!
    Could you share the script you used to ask for Shoutout for Shoutout on Facebook?

    • Rita, it isn’t a specific script that is helpful. Rather it’s the value add you provide. Everyone’s script will be different.

  67. Hi Neil!

    It’s the first tome I drop a comment over here, even though I have read the majority of your posts.

    It is really nice that you are sharing this tipos with the online marketing community. In fact, it is the best way to learn.

    Anyway, I’ve checked out your link profile on Ahrefs and I have found some backlinks which are from the marketing community (2 of them copied your content and left your source at the botto of the article). So this is some advantage for you.

    Also, I don’t know your source of traffic really well, but if you are getting organic traffic in such little time is because you are using a really old domain (according to archive.org, your domain has some indexed content since 1999) which is really well seen by Google (in order to bypass the sandbox effect) and therefore you are playing with advantage.

    To sum up, you are doing a great job by showing people how to grow a blog from scratch, although you have to acknowledge that you are in a better position than other people who are first starting their blog and you are going to get some quality links along the way from marketers who are following you (thanks to the brand you have been building in the last years).

    Thank you.

    Take care.

    • Jonathan, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      The link profile was pretty legit on the site and the domain does have great content on it which is helpful.

      Thanks for all the support. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  68. Johnathan Rodger :

    I think most people’s hang up is that you’re clearly spending truckloads of money on Facebook likes without disclosing it.

    Most readers don’t have the capital to build a 70k fanpage at $0.10/like.

    • Jonathan, I am going to address that in the next blog post. I didn’t spend that much as I noted in this post.

    • Dude that’s seriously huge amount spend. Neil provide some cheaper way. No way we can afford that or even 1/100 the of that. Looking to hear it from Neil.

  69. Isabell Ishwarey :

    Neil,
    I’m having trouble buying the domain I want……..trying your tactics to go forward.

    Just want to say I feel like you are the king of marketing, for one you know a lot about connecting with your audience – you even remind me of me, that is how good you are. You must make everyone feel the same. And you know all this technical stuff that I’m fortunate enough to learn from you, thank you.
    I’m still running thru your emails……

    • Isabell,
      Thanks for all the support. If you need any specific help with the domain purchase let me know.

      • Isabell Ishwarey :

        Thank you, Neil. I’m waiting for goddady to get back to me about the site I want to buy. I looked them up on whois and sent an email to everyone but all the emails bounced back because “Email routing issue due to network”

        Not sure what I can do now? Goddady said they will contact the owner and the owner will not be able to see my emails. But I’d like to use your tips. Any idea?

  70. Neil,

    I checked out your FB page and you have 69k likes, but you say you spent just $160 on Facebook ads and boosting posts? A

    re you seriously saying you’ve gotten that many likes in a few weeks through ads / boosting posts and asking a few other pages to give you a shout out…?!

    Also, you mention ‘junk’ Facebook fans – how could you have junk fans if you are savvy at Facebook marketing and already know how to reach your target audience through ad / boost post targeting?

    • Anton, I had a very specific strategy when getting those likes and I paid pennies for each new like.

      No matter how targeted anyone’s ads are they are bound to get a lot of junk.

      Let me know if I can help with anything else.

      • How much did you actually spend for those likes? Can you please disclose that too in your next post?
        .
        Will be helpful for other internet marketers as well.
        .
        Thanks in advance. 😀

  71. I am so glad and relieved that you have modified your original site and the source of its content.

    More than 30 years ago I used to stand on street corners handing out critiques of, amongst other aspects of our lives, the lack of integrity in our food production and its paid experts, including nutritionists .

    Today there is far more awareness from an informed public but there is still an awful lot of propaganda as opposed to rigorous analysis on this topic.

    I am wishing you and your colleagues well in this enterprise – as always I am overawed by the marketing.

    Please accept my kind regards.

    • Zarayna, that means a lot coming from you. Sounds like you are on the front lines of nutrition and having you say this means a lot.

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  72. Mark McKnight :

    Been following this since you started this project. Can’t wait to see how to monetize for $100,000 per month. It is probably quite straight forward, but not something I can get my head around at the moment. Looking forward to that stage!

    • Mark, it definitely is an incremental process. Just keep following along and I’m sure you’ll find new things.

  73. Kani Poly Design Infographic :

    I wish I can be your student too.

  74. Dwight Davis :

    Hi Neil,

    You’re a real inspiration and admitting your mistakes is actually a real encouragement. I think we have all made similar mistakes. It’s easier to be an expert for others, than for yourself.

    I have just launched my digital marketing consulting agency, after nine years of building other’s agencies. I am following you advice and growing my blog by learning from you. Who knows maybe we will hit our milestones at the same time & I will give you credit. 🙂

    • Dwight, thanks for all the support. Good luck on your new endeavor. If you need help with anything specific please let me know.

  75. Did you get 50,000 fans on facebook spending $112?

    That is 0,00224$ per like. Anybody can get this CTR

    Sorry but I can not believe.

    • David, it was a mix of ads and content. People will share your content when it’s sticky enough.

      • Neil,

        You had 4 articles to share – and you went from 3000 likes to 50,000 – in shout for shout campaigns?

        4 articles isn’t enough sticky content to ramp up 47,000 likes.

        I’m very skeptical.

  76. Isabell Ishwarey :

    Neil,

    oh, and by the way, I’m in nutrition too. …

    Anyhow, I have 2 online health programs that I can give to you so that you can reach your goal of $100k / month. The program works so that when you sign up one person they will keep purchasing from you each month and improve their health.

  77. Matt Insardi :

    Neil, I love the transparency! I’m going to keep implementing these strategies for my blog and videos.

    Thanks!

  78. Tonmoy Parves :

    Hello Neil, Congratulation Man .. You trying remove your Name and I am trying Feature my name 😀 I started my Brand with my Name as well TonmoyParves.com And I am now 16 years and I want to get my Pro Position before i become 18 🙂 I want to ask you some questions personally. But i don’t have your Email Address that’s i can not knock you. But i have already sent you a Message over by Facebook 🙂 Hope, you will check and response me

    Happy Blogging. Happy A Good Week End

    • Tonmoy, sounds like you are on the right track. As you can imagine I am still going through my emails — I’ll get to it soon 😉

  79. From $3788 to $325! That’s amazing, Neil!

    Wish you all the best on this new venture. Nutrition and fitness is also something close to me so I’m gonna follow that blog more than this one 🙂

  80. Mary Collings :

    This was always going to be an issue. It’s what Pat Flynn faced with his niche site tutorials too. Of course you have a ready made audience from people who follow you – me included.

    I applaud you for taking your name out of the equation and I’ll be interested to follow Mike’s progress.

    What did blow me out of the water was your casual comment –
    “The new domain name, Nutrition Secrets, was listed for $3,788.00. Of course, I didn’t want to pay that much as I am on a budget. I ended up negotiating them down to $325”

    That’s some serious negotiating right there! Amazing.

    Thanks for sharing Neil – as always 🙂

    • Mary, thanks for all the support and for vouching for me — it means a lot.

      Negotiating is my forte and I want to teach everyone else to be as good !

  81. Brian Syuki :

    I will be following this closely. Keep up us updated.

  82. Hassan Ud-deen :

    Hi Neil,

    Awesome post as usual. I was wondering if you could tell us more about how you grew the blog so fast?

    I checked out the site and your having tons of comments and shares so fast. I’ve been blogging for over 5 months. I rarely get comments, and my traffic is only like 1000 visits a month.

    I find it mindblowing how you grew so fast, do you have any posts that talk about the strategy you use?

    • Strategy = spend lots of money to drive traffic 🙂 In this case there is no other way you could get 30-40k site visits in a few weeks to a new blog.

      • Hassan,

        There is a specific strategy that I am outlining in this challenge. I will provide some more tips moving forward. So far I have leveraged social media and bought a domain that is actually very helpful (at a fraction of the cost).

        Anton, You would think it’s only money but there are a lot of factors in play. My goal is to help others out which is why I took my face out of the equation. I am a firm believe that everything can be replicated at scale.

  83. Neil,

    I appreciate how honest you are by revealing your mistakes as well as your successes. I’m following these blogs closely. I’m doing this as my vehicle to financial freedom.

    ~John K.

  84. Mike Calloway :

    I wish people would stop talking about things being fair. If you’re going to do it with him then just do it. I’d not then leave it alone. Stop crying and start working.

    Neil, so grateful for you to do this whether you used your name or not. I’m on the journey with you and Mike and looking forward to making it happen!

    Mike Calloway

    • Mike, thanks for all the support. My main goal is to help others out so I hope more people come along on the journey.

  85. Brin Wilson :

    Hi Neil,

    I just can’t get my head around how on earth you got 69,000 Facebook page likes in a month? There hasn’t even been that many visitors to the site yet and you say you’ve only spend $100 or so on Facebook ads… please, please, please explain! 🙂 I’ve spent two years and only have about 3000 Facebook page likes… it’s killing me to know how you got almost 70,000 in no time at all…

    Thanks,
    Brin

  86. Michael Doane :

    Neil,

    I wonder what would happen if you didn’t link to the site from this one. I wonder what would happen if you didn’t even tell us the site name. Just showed us the stats and progress.

    I would love to see you actually try to use your experience and leverage nothing else but that. No resting on your laurels or pre-existing websites (which I imagine are like link machines). Just building something from ground up.

    Now THAT would be a cool experiment.

    • Michael, I will consider that in the future. For now I have this challenge that I need to continue because a lot of people are following along and I want to help them.

  87. So much to learn from you Neal. Wish you all the best on this and future new ventures. You are such a inspiration.

  88. Neil

    Another great update!

    I think it’s a smart decision to remove your name from this project. It will be harder for people to complain when you get to $100K. 🙂

    Also, I like how you’ve got Mike writing content now in return for rev-share. It’s a good example of how all of us can get more creative when we hit a roadblock.

    –Omer

    • Omer, thanks for the support. I wanted to address people’s concerns and bringing Mike aboard was the best way to do that.

  89. Well don Neil! I’ve been reading, collecting and comparing online/digital/inbound marketing blogs for half a year and so far I found your blogs the most valuable and down-to-earth! Learned a lot and will definitely keep an eye on this!

    Quick question: have you ever though monetize the blog by merging it to an eCommerce platform? Not a traditional eCommerce store but a blend of niche products and services?
    And how you evaluate social media for B2C contents and products? I am just not convinced that social media are as effective as SEO/PPC in terms of sells/revenue driving.

    Would appreciate your feedback on both questions. Thanks!

    • Lynn, glad I could help.

      I think an e-commerce angle would definitely help out with monetization. I am still hashing out the details on how to create revenue.

      As for the SEO/PPC it’s a great way to generate traffic which in turn will provide revenue.

  90. Tx Neil for share all the details.

    Are you using marketing /seo tools like Ahref, moz etc. ?
    If so suggest to add the monthly fees too (as this adds up quickly).

    Its crazy right..

    that even Neil makes mistakes
    It just shows how human we all are:-)

    Go4it,
    Rene

  91. Hey Neil,

    you said FB likes were junk(in your campaign). Sure, you can do S4S tactic, but isn’t it better to have quality likes in the long run?
    And what do you think, is it better to gain 1-2k likes by advertising the page in order to drive some traffic to the site? Or do you just recommend using SEO and other promotional tactics to take care of that?

    • Stefan, I always encourage a multi-channel approach — it’s the best way to go about it. If you rely to heavily on one channel you’ll find that it’s hard to sustain.

  92. I love the way you do. I am your Fan. I hope I could use at least 2% of your ideas.

  93. Hi Neil,
    Great to hear that you are not going to use your name on this blog. It’s really a big challenge. I am with you on that decision and that is a brave one. Cheers.
    Looking forward to hear from you ( the next update ) 🙂

  94. Dr. Muddassir Ahmed :

    Hi Neil,

    Good luck to you and Mike. I know for fact that for a result driven and strategic person like you should do it easy!

    Good luck!

    Regards,
    Dr. Muddassir

  95. Hey Neil,

    I’d love a full blog post on how you generated so much traffic with facebook. I’ve got a few huge (100k+) facebook groups in our businesses, but we don’t generate anywhere near that much organic traffic from them.

    Keep the good stuff coming!

    Pete

    • Pete, I’ll definitely incorporate that into future posts — the strategy and concepts specifically.

  96. Patel I still believe you have a big advantage in visitors since you are creating a new website with all the visitors that quicksprout already has. let me talk about my website in your quicksprout blog in several post every three months and I am sure my visitors will increase too.

    • Robert, The goal is revenue not traffic — and revenue typically comes from the niche consumers. Most of my QS fans don’t cross over. More details to come!

  97. Hey Neil, thanks for your post.
    Nice shift by the way, I can’t wait to see the evolution of your experiment now ! Thanks for sharing this.
    Maybe you can tell us more about improving productivity to write content (from idea to production)?

    • Nicolas, Glad I could share and help. I’ll definitely touch on that subject in future posts. Stay tuned.

  98. Rico Figliolini :

    Hey Neil,
    Where are the “ads” coming from? Will they be adsense or other other sources you use? Will that be a separate post?

  99. Alvaro Pizza :

    I’m excited about your project. I have several questions because I’m a blog owner not having much success.

    What is the target audience of the blog? Age, Gender, Income?

    How do you plan to gain traffic? Facebook Ads, Adwords, Bing Ads, SEO, Organic through Twitter and Facebook shares, email opt ins (newsletter)?

    How do you plan to monetize the blog? Adwords? Looking for sponsors in the niche? Selling E books to subscribers? Affilliates?

    • Alvaro, My target audience is pretty much anyone interested in bettering there lives through healthy changes to their lifestyle. I plan to use a multi-channel approach to get more traffic. As for monetization I will touch on that in a future blog post.

  100. Hi Neil –

    Great stuff. My dumb question: why not try to monetize it now with Google Ads?

    Most “start-up” blogs could really use any extra money to keep the blog (and themselves) going.

    thoughts?

    • Matt, That is an avenue I plan to look at in the next couple of months — definitely not a stupid question. Thanks for sharing!

  101. Hi Neil,

    Love this challenge! I’m learning a lot.

    One tip: I registered on NutritionSecrets to check out your email strategy but from the confirmation link I got redirected to a 404 page, guess it needs fixing.

    One question: can you please share how many of your FB likes come from paid, earned/organic and cross promotional efforts respectively?

    Thanks a lot and keep it up!
    Anselmo

    • Anselmo, there was a transition. If you read the post you’ll see we have a new domain. I’ll detail the specifics of the blog in the next couple of posts.

  102. Justine McGrath :

    Good luck on this site endeavor. Love that you’re donating the profits to charity, this seems like quite the challenge.

    To your point about Facebook budgeting, and attracting “junk fans”- what do you propose as a remedy? As Facebook is now primarily a pay to promote channel, what’s the best way to ensure you’re attracting quality fans to your page? It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately as well. Seems to become an issue of vanity (we have 11k fans!) vs. quality.

    • Justine, you’re going to get junk fans regardless of what you do. Something to do and keep in mind is promoting great content. They’ll stick around when the content is great and supports it.

  103. Fascinating stuff you’ve got here Neil! I’m looking forward to learning all that I can as well as welcoming your perspective on a myriad of marketing advantages.

  104. Thanks Neil,

    You have a great spirit of sharing. And a great attitude.

    Thanks for sharing and making this project.

    I’m sure people will find fault with this new approach.

    Thanks for plowing forward.

    I wish I had more of the marketers mind. I create great stuff and then have so much internal resistance / doubt about the ROI when it comes to marketing it.

    My markets are much smaller than what you are joining . . .

    • Jeff, the same principles apply — you just have to get into the whole process to become a marketer. They aren’t made overnight 😉

  105. Hey, so I’m a little confused, how the heck do you have that many visitors from just facebook? (I actually love what you’re doing by the way). But usually in a broad market it’s not so easy as putting up a site and directing people from facebook and getting that many visitors… right? I’m in the sports industry and my niche is massive and doesn’t have smart marketers at all but I have no idea how to direct that kind of traffic so I’ve focused on straight up funnels paying for facebook traffic… Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    • Joseph, it’s all about creating a multi-channel approach and providing great content that people want to share. People will be more inclined to share when your content is stellar. Let me know if you need any help along the way.

      • Awesome, like facebook, youtube, twitter, and having a bunch of different things? I would love your help but unfortunately right now I’m in the “poor as dirt” category and gotta get some momentum first !

        Will keep on following your content thanks!

  106. This is fantastic Neil!!

    Two things:
    1. Are you sending email updates for this?
    2. What 1 blogging course do you recommend?

    • Chris, right now the only updates I am providing are the ones for QS. In the future I will be providing more updates for the health blog as well.

  107. Hi Neil,

    Regarding images, how much do you spend with Fotolia? If you use Flickr you should insert the image credits too but I haven’t found any in the post I read so I suppose you buy the most of your pictures, isn’t it?

    • Davide, I was spending a couple hundred bucks. Again, that strategy might change with Mike now in charge. Stay tuned.

  108. Caroline Achieng Otieno :

    Hi Neil,
    I’m trying to follow all your tips and tricks so that it can save me from the cess pool of techno-unsavvyness.
    I begun my travel blog a year ago in April..I am not getting a huge amount of followers thus it is difficult to monetize..what am I doing wrong?

    • Caroline, I think you just need to have patience. Do you have any specific questions I can help you out with?

      • Caroline Achieng Otieno :

        Ok, I will exercise patience..but meanwhile, I’m trying to supplement my income as I have spent quite a chunk traveling..slowly learning the ropes from other successful travel bloggers..have enrolled in a couple of frequent flyer miles, and hotel loyalty programs..I feel a little bit tethered to a place without the freedom to earn an income online which could essentially give me wings to go wherever I wanted..:-)

    • You have a ton of content on your site. I think you should focus on promotion and make sure you’re seoing/hyperlinking words people are searching for in your market. Also add a way more prominent optin box. People shouldn’t have to search for your optin. Also, look for guest blogging opportunities. But fix your optin issue first.

  109. Patience is the name of this game.

  110. Thanks again for the transparency of this project!

    Quick question:

    Your lastest Facebook posts were all shared articles from other websites. Is that part of the shout-to-shout strategy?

    So do they share x of your articles and you share x of their articles?

    If so, what’s the exact deal?

    • I am basically curated content as well as doing a shout for shout campaign. Stay tuned for more details.

  111. Nirpendra Patel :

    i liked that you are going to donate profits. KEEP GOING.

  112. Nice changes, Neil. I think this will really even the playing field. Looking forward to the next update!

    Scott

  113. Naman Nepal :

    Damn! I feel like I just lost you there now! Sobs :'(

    For one moment I thought I’d be competing with Neil who’d take some days to work on the content, keep himself busy there and get hung up in between writing posts frequently and having not much time in marketing the blog as he should have.

    Now, all you have to do is ‘WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT’.

    But, I’ll still put the competition in ‘Content’ intact, atleast for the organic searches now. 🙂

  114. If I would have known I could have told you a few things I was not too happy with I would have done it. I am happy others did however. I spent quite some time chatting with my wife about how amazing this idea is, in marketing terms, and how wrong it was at the same time because you are not a nutritionist. I was going to continue reading no matter what, I do want to see the goal being reached, but after this post I can only say that I am proud of following you, your idea, and I definitely support Mr. Kamo on what he set out to do.

  115. Neil,

    I’m currently in the process of choosing my niche. How do you go about “finding a niche that doesn’t have a lot of smart marketers”?

    Brandi

    • Hi Brandi, thought I might chime in and help with how I do things in case its of any assistance.

      1. Write a list of 10 – 20 niches that interest you (brain dump)
      2. Google Keyword Planner – check search volumes of different niches. Write out your top 3 that have the highest search volumes per month.
      3. Think about the mindset of the professionals in those 3 niches. For example, a lot of Personal Trainers wouldn’t know much about marketing, or hairdressers, or beauty salons. And most wouldn’t earn enough to hire someone at say $10k for the year to market them. In the online marketing space, a lot of people know about online marketing. As well as the business space. So really get into the mindset of the professionals in that niche and figure out what they would know about (ie: nutrition) and what they wouldn’t.

    • Brandi, you don’t 😉

      Just get into there and make yourself a better marketer!

  116. Naomi Dinsmore :

    Hi Neil,

    No questions so far. You are doing a great job at keeping everyone updated and listening to ours concerns.

    I’m hooked on checking out the latest results

    Thanks, Naomi

  117. On the one hand I’m surprised you don’t have a more planned out monetization strategy, but then I’ve launched sites before without a defined monetization strategy that ended up being a success.

    The fact is I think display ads will do decently if you attract plenty of traffic.

    While some commenters above don’t like the fact you paid more than the usual $10 to $20 for a domain, I’m glad you shared your domain buying strategy. I will be using it for my next niche site. I expect it will help with organic traffic tremendously in the first 12 to 24 months, which is great. It doesn’t take too much traffic to pay off a premium, aged domain purchase.

    Partnering with an expert in the nutrition space is smart. It’s good to be the publisher and leave the content to a capable writer.

    I look forward to reading about your monetization strategy. It’s not an easy niche to monetize except for display ads… but then I love using display ads for monetization. It works very well for me and many other high-traffic websites.

    • Jon, I like to focus on getting everything in order and then hashing out the monetization details — that’s not to say I have some grand schemes and ideas in place. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  118. Anton Kishkin :

    Hi Neal.
    Mike had facebook page with thousands of subscribers when you invited him to be a blogger to your site.

    Am I right ?

    Can you explain more facebook strategy?

    • Anton, that’s not the case — Mike just joined along. As for the facebook strategy stay tuned.

  119. InternetLocalListings :

    Really cool idea. This is going to be interesting to follow. Looking forward to seeing your progress notes!

  120. Hi Niel,

    A couple of questions: Where did you find the listing for Nutrition Secrets? Is it on a site like GoDaddy?

    And also, how did you find Mike? Did you just put out an ad for a nutrionist on Craigslist?

    Thanks, looking forward to follow more of your tips and tricks.

    • Milo, there are a number of brokers you can use — you can also google terms to buy.

      I found Mike a couple years back — he is an excellent marketer and now we work closely together.

  121. Looking forward to more! It’s very exciting to follow you through the process. Thank you for letting us do it (and learn).

  122. Brandon Howard :

    Hi Neil,

    It would be very informing to get a quick overview of the facebook ad you created. Such as:
    -Audience
    -Screenshot of the Ad
    -Type of Ad Created
    -CTR
    -Impressions

    Thanks!

    • Brandon Howard :

      I apologize for spelling your name incorrectly. Thanks!

    • Hi Brandon,

      I too loved this bit. Figuring Neil may not have time to shoot through the particulars of getting 3cent clicks, I researched other case studies of companies that had.

      Here is the one I used for a template on creating my ads, and got my clicks down to 4c – 6c .

      It shows a pretty accurate study all round, positives and negatives..
      http://tech.momentgarden.com/post/5016551651/facebook-ads-how-to-get-1-cent-cpc-and-why-you

      • Brandon Howard :

        Thanks Melinda!

        That is some good stuff. I am definitely going to try this.

        I was actually thinking of taking my top performing articles I have that are close to ranking on page one of Google. Then created specific ads for them. The goal being to either gain more social shares, or in general to create brand conversation.

    • Brandon, stay tuned I’ll have more on that in the next few posts.

  123. Pierluigi Buccioli :

    Neil,
    you are doing a disservice to your readers by telling them to contact domain owners claiming to be college students.
    While it may work if the domain is owned by a private person that is not a domain investor, domainers and companies buying and selling domain names for a living are quite used to that type of approach and it is unlikely they will price the domain accordingly.

    Speaking from experience every time someone contacts me to buy a domain name for a “college project” (it happens at least once a month) I tell them I don’t sell to students and recommend them to find one that is available for registration fee.

    I’m also wondering where did you get the idea that domain name prices become more negotiable the longer the owner has owned them? While that sounds like common sense, it is not in the domaining industry. I don’t have any data that is statistically relevant, but my educated is that if anything “old” domains are much less negotiable than recent acquisitions.

    • Hi Brother,
      Neil told that only for better negotiation, he introduced himself as college student and actually worked fetching him a 90% discount. I agree that some domain companies charge appropriately but many doesn’t and talking about individual domain holders holding it for a long time would obviously ask for a huge price when the come to know the person who has a reputation as Neil and would probably charge higher. When we talk about that he should use his name on his blog, then he should also hide his personality while purchasing a domain. I don’t see any wrong in that brother. 😀
      .
      Anyways let’s watch out his progress.

    • Pierlugi,
      I don’t think I am doing a disservice — I have a subscription based service and everyone pays the same amount regardless of what they make. It’s fair. I am not suggesting that all domains be priced equally — just that there is no substantial markup based on someone’s economic status.

      Curious as to the details on why you don’t sell to students? You’d be surprised how many old domains are not in use and go for great prices

      Thanks for the feedback.

  124. Hello Neil ,

    First Need No Words Superb Dubber Work outstanding No questions so far. You are doing a great job Great Generate traffic and Good Challenge Keep Up ,

  125. Isabell Ishwarey :

    What do you think about using .org instead of .com?

  126. Great experiment; but I have to admit I wish the URL was never publicized until the month was over. I would have been super impressed if the whole experiment was 100% “natural” and you told us all about it at the end.

    I’m sure the results have been skewed, and thousands of people visited/subscribed/following just because you told us about your experiment.

    Either way; I’m eager to see the results.

  127. Mario Peshev :

    Great overview Neil – I was also hesitant when I read the last post (and had doubts at first), but I like the clean slate, the social engineering (negotiating as a student) and other tactics that saved you a ton.

    The co-founder addition is a bit dodgy though – hiring an expert in an industry may be a costly investment in a real-world scenario (especially since the niche is not that heavily penetrated due to the original requirements to get in), but with time we’ll see what percentage of the traffic and success is due to the copy itself.

  128. Isabell Ishwarey :

    Going to use .co

    read an article that google treats it like a .com
    for SEO

  129. Chris Harvey :

    Hi Neil,

    Very helpful post and thanks also for replying to all the comments, very interesting replies and already answered my questions 🙂

    Re: those saying not to pose as a college student, a relatively small number of people who mass bought domains have presumably made a healthy amount charging entrepreneurs much higher prices for domains than they otherwise would have to pay less for. This increases the risk for thousands of entrepreneurs, plus for the internet user this would lead marginally less beneficial sites as more money is spent on domain names, leaving less for content and UX.

    Note I wish I was one of those domain owning people, hats off to them for seeing a great opportunity and acting on it. However, I do feel as entrepreneurs we should be able to use non-harmful tactics to try to negociate a lower price, which after all is fully up to the domain owner to judge whether it offers fair value.

    Appreciate I have made big assumptions of the domain owning/investing industry and I am sure it too is in fact very competitve and risky so happy to be corrected (Thanks Pierluigi Buccioli for your perspective/experience above)

    Chris

    • Chris, thanks for your insights. I have always tried to be fair in my pricing strategy so I guess I just expect that of others too.

  130. Brendan Hill :

    Hi Neil, just wondering why you were using Aweber instead of your usual GetResponse email service?

    Thanks for the great domain negotiating tactic I’m going to try it out soon!

  131. Hey Neil,

    So Mike is writing for free?

    De’leon

  132. Hi Neil.

    How did you get ahref for free to see who was linking to your competitors?

    Good luck!

  133. Neil, this whole project is SO useful. I’ve just launched a site http://shitmmerkit.com and am following your advice to build an audience.

    I managed to get 1c CPC Facebook Likes by targeting English speaking, lesser-known countries. Once I’ve built the numbers up, I’ll reach out to other FB pages for the Like for Like shout outs.

    Thanks so much for the help. I’m a big fan of your work and how much great information you give to the community. You’re a huge inspiration.

    Mark

  134. Hi Neil

    Wow, you seem to be copping a fair bit of criticism.

    Whilst yes, you have a profile and posting about it on this blog can help leverage it a bit, I for one am SO grateful that you’re sharing how you do things, step by step, with us your audience.

    So really, I don’t care about your profile boosting the brand at all. The steps are easy enough that I can follow you and get my own traction in similar timing.

    Already I’ve started my blog alongside yours, got facebook traffic alongside yours (with your article as inspiration – although I’m paying more for clicks as I’m not a super fan of the cheap likers). And have started link outreach just as you explained.

    All in all, there are so much ‘advice’ on how to build a blog these days, your articles have given me such clarity moving forwards; simply by knowing how you do it.

    I’d rather spend my time implementing what you say and being APPRECIATIVE that you’re taking your time out to show us (even if I get there 50% slower than you) completely for free.

    Thank you Neil, you’re making a big difference in my life; saving me time and money, and showing me invaluable information just as I need it.

    I look forward to sharing my results with you as my site grows alongside (thought slightly slower) than yours.

    Melinda

    • Melinda, thanks for the kind words of support. I want people to understand that I am trying to help others replicate results on scale. I am not saying everyone will make 1 million dollars — I just want to show them my strategy.

  135. Larry @ You and Your Money :

    Hey Neil

    Care to share how much of your 30,000 visitors was from referral traffic???

    As you have been writing about the project on Quicksprout, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Brian Dean, Foot Logo etc etc which are all driving traffic to your site – again most of us normal bloggers would not have this reach or relationships.

    Still think you are relying on your reputation though as you would not have been able to get Mike had you been a normal blogger.

    Cheers

    Larry

    • Great point Larry,
      I agree with you. Of course waiting for his referral traffic report. Getting traffic from search engine is a challenge. But old domain might help in building trust with Google. But its obvious Neil has somewhere actually connected his blog with his social media connections which is humongous and almost impossible for normal bloggers.
      .
      It would be good if he make a sucess out of something which is more closer to normal bloggers.

    • Larry, I will share that all in a future post. As I mentioned in other comments my goal is to educate people here and provide a resource for them to learn how to market their brand and generate traffic. I am not making guarantees that every single person who does this will make $100k . Rather I am showing them my strategy and how certain aspects can work for them. That being said — search marketing articles and traffic are of little use in the nutrition blog. The goal is revenue.

  136. Great info, can you share the wordpress theme name and plugins are being used

  137. Neil,

    Do you have any guides on facebook ads? I’ve seen many people talking about how they’re not spending much on facebook ads but generating lots of likes, traffic, etc

  138. I`ll keep on waiting for the update. Will Learn more from you especially this tactic. BTW, will try to bargain domain like you did.

  139. Chris Everett :

    Neil:

    You’re clearly on your way to earning a host of new fans with this experiment. I’m personally following along as gaining 30K targeted visits a month to my site with a 2% conversion on a $37 dollar eBook would liberate me from Corporate America.

    Not to mention give me a growing email list to further market future products to. Thanks for keeping your community, me included, updated on progress.

    Regards,

    Chris

  140. Robert Knowles :

    I feel as though the traffic influx to Nutrition Secrets from Quick Sprout alone will be substantial. In my eyes, this affects the credibility of this case-study as a regular blogger wouldn’t be able to refer such a large audience (everyone who has been following this challenge) to their blog. I think this study would have been better and more reliable if you didn’t mention the name or link of the blog on here, but rather provided us with screenshots of the necessary information. Admire your work and creations all the same, just disagree with the promotion and traffic that Nutrition Secrets will be getting from Quick Sprout.

    • Robert, thanks for the feedback. My intent is to educate and the best way I can do that is by having others replicate my process to the best of their ability. I am not making guarantees that everyone will make $100k . My goal is to teach them things along the way.

  141. Robert Knowles :

    Neil – did you know that your whois isn’t private? Your address is publicly available under whois lookup – might want to change that!

  142. Lisa Jill Rooney :

    I’m a certified fitness nutritionist, I work at one of the top 5 hospitals in the nation. I’m a published author and would love to help with your new project.

  143. I’m very interested to see the Facebook strategy as well. I would pay $112.07 for 60k+ “Likes” any day. While they aren’t A+ quality they seem to be decent and they do make you look authoritative and trustworthy.

    I can honestly say I would not be able to replicate that success myself.

    I will be immediately implementing this strategy the second it is revealed. Immediately.

    Thanks!

  144. Rahul Biswal :

    Hi Neil,

    It’s nice to know that 80 percent of revenue will be going to charity. Awesome man.

    Another great post by favorite blogger, Neil Patel. I am a big fan of your blog and been implementing all the tactics you are mentioning to get traffic.

    Neil you have said that Nutrition space is not that competitive. But I have heard that it’s too competitive.
    Is that true?

    • Rahul, compared to other niches it’s not as competitive but it is challenging in it’s own right. Thanks for the feedback.

  145. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for laying it out and taking us with you on the challenge.

    I do have a question about your Facebook ads. Can you shed more light on the type of Facebook ad you used? Did you use a dark post ad or a combination i.e right column, did you use the post for Likes or click to website?

    I am trying out some Facebook ads at the moment and looking for the right approach/strategy while watching my budget.

    Look forward to hearing from you and keep up the good work.

    Regards

    Toye

  146. hello neil,

    I always following your post from two months.I like you way to writing the contents and promoting the blogs post.In this post you have mentioned that you are going to put off your name from your newly created blogs.but you have already using your quicksprout.com to promoting the Mike name and all about them before putting off your brand name from that new blog.you are already made advertisement the Mike on this blog and the people who is reading this blog regularly will sure like to see that newly created blog. if you use my name on this blog like Mike then my blog will also get success .

  147. krishna kant :

    hello sir . i want to know that if anybody do not have so much email and money for facebook campaign then how can we achieve that result. if you are taking money from client and spent money on this then what benefits you have ?????

  148. ommy panchal :

    how its possible i,m not clear yet!!!!!

  149. Harekrishna :

    I learn many things from your expenses. We can get ideas about the kind of factors that can affect to our expense strategies. I think, domain is the most important part for expenses. I got an idea about when to start advertisements to generate cash flow.

  150. Danyel Chermon Registered Dietitian :

    Hi Neil, thanks for all your clarifications about expenses and legal issues.

    Can you share insights about people signing up to NutrionSecrets and how many of them are following the blog trough email. In other words it will be very useful if you can share stats from ‘OptinMoster’ and ‘Aweber’.

    Thanks ahead!
    Danyel

  151. Neil,

    I found several similar to mine niche blogs which have facebook pages as well.

    What would you recommend – ask for a link on the blog or offer a shoutout4shoutout deal to them?

  152. Hi Neil, I’ve read few of your articles and I like it because I can learn and its very interesting. I’m really inspired on your techniques because you seem to accomplished lots of good things when it comes to SEO and content marketing.

  153. Neil what about linking from quicksprout.com? I think any site can rank very well if it gets link from this blog.

  154. Hi Neil,

    Really good one, when we thought to buy a domain for our website http://www.duringdays.com.au, they were charging like anything. But you did it. That sending mail as a college student. really great.

    Just wish Could have done long before we thought to buy domain.
    Anyway will take it future.

    Tks,

    Ambika

  155. Christopher Rose :

    Hi Neil,

    Sorry, but I think this latest development is a turn for the worse, not better.

    Now you aren’t doing this at all, someone with specialist knowledge is, so your test is completely invalidated.

    What you are doing now is using your specialist marketing knowledge to help someone else, a knowledgeable person in the field, to reach the goal you set for yourself, so I think we can already see that the effort for you to create a $100k a month blog yourself has failed.

    Disappointed, but it always was a tough challenge.

    • Christopher, I am still doing most — if not at all of the market. I am just leveraging a voice. I am suggested others do the same if it’s an option.

  156. Hello Neil,
    I enjoy reading your blogs, i have a few questions that i hope you dont mind me asking 🙂 as im a newbie.
    How do you earn money from your blogs?
    What do you think of earning money from Google adwords is it a good idea or bad ?
    How would you display the adwords advertising on your site if you would use it?
    What is the most effect way to start earning any money from a blog?
    Thank you heaps for your time answering back 🙂
    Rona

    • Rona, thanks for the questions,

      1. Stay tuned and learn more on that through this challenge 😉
      2. It can be good if your ads are very targeted
      3. I am still determining that based on our strategy
      4. Providing great content that educates and captivates users

      Glad I could help.

  157. Neil… impressive project. Thank you in advance:-)

    I would love to know what is the minimum amount of traffic required when you say “pick a big niche”?

    – and more importantly, what level of monthly visitors do you think is too small to target?

    If a quick niche keyword search throws up only <1000 monthly visitors — would you even bother targeting a blog in that space?

    Thanks for all that you do, it is much appreciated.

    Declan.

    • Declan, there isn’t a concrete number but I definitely think you should target something broad with much more than 1000 followers if you want optimal results. If your goal, on the other hand, is to just reach out to the small niche and become an authority then by all means — do that.

      • Thanks for the reply Neil, really appreciate the time you take to reply to comments.

        One more question if I may..
        With a niche this small (<1000) searches… What would you focus on for your top 3 traffic generators… facebook, Google ads, guest posting, or just plain old community outreach to existing influencers? Or something else?

        Thanks again

        Declan.

        • Declan, I would suggest doing it all. Don’t leave any stones unturned. Multi-channel approaches are the best.

  158. Anne Sutherland-Smith :

    Neil, thank you for your current experiment. I have also decided to follow along, so I have identified a possible niche and I have used one of your long tail SEO articles to research the keywords. I have researched some existing domains which were about to expire which appeared to be a match for my planned niche, researched the metrics and existing backlinks to make sure they were oK and not spammy. And the domain name I was most interested was about to expire, one day later I have now purchased the domain name at a normal domain name price and set it up in parking so that I don’t lose the good link juice (and I am adding the website to this comment to hopefully get some more link juice… whether it is follow or nofollow…). So the next step is to create the site (should be easy, I am an experienced wordpress user).

    I am planning for the new site to generate Amazon Affiliate and other book website affiliate income for a specific book niche. I have researched the competitors and have seen as you mentioned that while there are people in the specific niche I plan to target, none of them appear to be approaching it from more of a larger scale marketing focus.

    What would be useful is a consolidated guide to getting started – for example, maybe some timeframes with specific tasks to do eg. how many articles to prepare prior to launch, tasks for each month including link building, social media follower building, things to set up, how best to automate the required tasks, when to start requesting guest posts and other link building strategies. You could perhaps have a couple of timeframe sequences – one which a full time person could achieve (eg. 20-40 hours per week), and one which a part time person could reasonably achieve (eg. 5 – 15 hours per week). You could also split it up into beginner, intermediate and advanced streams. Maybe this product already exists, and if so please let me know which one you recommend. If it doesn’t already exist then hopefully this will give you some new product ideas!.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Anne, sounds like you have a solid strategy in place. With this challenge and the readers follow along my aim is to show them what I am doing step by step. If you want individual consultation an agency may be the best bet. I like to think, however, that I can provide the same — if not better results if you just follow along. If you have any specific questions along the way please email me.

  159. Bruno B @ Geeky Explorer :

    Once again, great heads up. Always learn a lot with you!
    Wish travel blogging was an easier niche to get a blog going!

  160. Now that shows how getting traffic should work. I wouldn’t believe if I didn’t see this post I must say but key was a content. I guess it would be hard to gain that results without that. One thing is marketing and the second is good content. I just wonder what was the balance of success between content and business.

    • Simon, I think they go hand in hand. You have to be able to promote great content if you want it to get eyes. And to market efficiently you need great content to get results and shares.

  161. Luis Miguel :

    Hi Neil,

    I think that this challenge would be much more interesting for the regular blogger if:
    – the less amount of money was spent (the same amount as an average blogger is able to spend);
    – only you worked on the blog (if it is not legal to write about nutrition without being a certified nutritionist, move to a different topic)
    – you shouldn’t reveal your name on your nutrition blog (checked!);
    – you should not — ever — reveal its address / name here on QuickSprout, how can you be sure your nutrition blog visitors and social followers aren’t coming from here, directly or indirectly?

    I was expecting a challenge much more like that of Pat Flynn’s with his niche site duel. He only revealed the results as he was moving forward. Only after reaching Google’s top ranking did he gave us his blog address.

    Thank you for your attention!

    • Luiz, this challenge is a little different in that I am having people follow along with my process. I am not making guarantees that everyone will make 100k like me — because that would be unrealistic. My main goal is to help other people learn new marketing strategies.

  162. Daniel Richter :

    Don’t listen to the haters, Neil! We are a big group of bloggers that are loving this experiment!

    And, I love that you are spending money, as that is what every serious blogger is doing, and now we get the chance to see what a pro spends his money on.

    As for that you won’t be writing the content: I couldn’t care less. What I (and the rest of us) are interested in are the strategic choices, where the effort is put, and how it’s coming along.

    Please, keep it up – I’m loving it!

    /Blogger in the fitness industry

    • Daniel, thanks for all the support. I just want others to be able to replicate my results. A big part of that is putting a strategy together that does well.

  163. Now we know Nutrition Secrets is your website and I also visit it through QuickSprout. I just read some of comments on a blog post and people are addressing to you like “good post Neil” or “Thanks for the post Neil” people are not addressing Mike who is now writing content…
    So, do you think it is not much more different from the last site you started.

    • Fawad, I think it will take time for everyone to know a transition took place — but it will eventually happen. Thanks for the feedback.

  164. Hi Neil,

    I’ve been taking after most of your posts and must say, that they are so detailed and informative, that a newbie like me has learnt a ton.Thank you!

    Now, I’m really excited about this Nutrition project, and soaking up every bit of information, as I intend starting one soon.

    A few questions here, would appreciate if you let me in.

    1. WordPress theme used for Nutrition Secrets?

    2. Tool used to generate traffic stats & the number of people interested in nutrition overtime.

    3. Monthly revenue goal once you start monetizing

    4. Traffic goal per month, and by when you foresee reaching 100,000 visitors.

    5. Your advise to a beginner on the goal setting front? (traffic / revenue et.al)

    Thanks in advance.

    Wishing you incredible achievement!

    • Pearl, thanks for all the support and feedback. I’ll answer a few of the questions so I don’t reveal too much for the time being.

      1. It’s a custom theme
      2. Stay tuned for the next few blog posts
      3. tbd
      4. tbd
      5. First you have to figure out your niche and make accurate projections based on traffic. Then you can make accurate goals.

      Let me know if you need help with anything else.

      • Hi Neil,

        Thanks for taking time to respond.
        Also need your thoughts on the expired domain front. The link you provided in understanding how to look up expired domains was very useful.
        What I’d like to know is how will an expired / aged domain add value to the new domain?

        1. Does the expired domain maintain it’s page rank? and can one buy an expired domain and redirect the expired domain links to the new domain in the same niche and expect PR to improve?

        2. What happens when a deleted domain which is yet to expire is acquired from the owner, and the domain name is retained, and built on. Will this retain it’s PR, as the owner has changed hands?

        Thanks.

        • Pearl, glad I could help:
          I would worry less about PR — it’s just a vanity metric. You should be considered with DA and with the quality of the links on the page. Also, content matters so do a content audit to see if all the content is optimized and up to date.

  165. Nice article and too much informative for the newbies like me, I am also planning to implement the facebook ads for my blog but two outcomes of facebook ads I had faced
    – Needed a big page to promote
    – Budget should be kept high

    • Ashish — you should also note that content should be great. You want people to share it so it should be sticky.

  166. Parikshit Jaiswal :

    Neil.According to you we should become marketers irrespective of whatever field we choose to join??

  167. nice article neil. very informative. one question……lets say one wants to start a nutrition,photography,business and travel blog(s). would you recommend him/her to use subdomains, subdirectories or different niche sites.
    Thank you in advance

  168. Zulhilmi Zainudin :

    Ok Neil. Now I know you are a college student! :p

  169. Carlo Rodriguez :

    Hi Neil, One question:

    If I read well the last post about The Nutrition Blog, you saw that your invest in Facebook fans in a CPL of 0.03 to have 30k fans, that its $900.

    But when I read your Facebook investment your invest on Facebook its almost $160.

    Please, if you could clarify I really apreciated.

  170. Aaron Masterson :

    So Neil, you’re telling me that out of the money you have spent to get the traffic and develop the blog so far, you really only would have to have spent about $650 if you hadn’t bought the wrong domain to start with? That’s pretty awesome. There is a lot of good information here and I look forward to more posts and to follow the journey of this project!

    • Aaron, thanks for all the support. The domain was a setback but I’ll surely pick back up and get traffic. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  171. Hi Neil,

    I love what you do, however I need to echo a few other comments and with this project I think you need to start over. Since you were the one who had the domain authority and name to start it I think it is not realistic for you to put Mike in at this time. Most people don’t start like you did and get the following of people THEN hand it over to someone with less name recognition. They start as an unknown and build from there.

    It would be much more compelling to have Joe Blogger (aka Mike) start the project from scratch with your help and grow it to the $100K per month.

    The biggest “hump” for the online world is getting started… so I really like this project, but Mike didn’t have to start anything himself.

    • Chris, you’ll find that with buying the new domain and creating an audience from scratch Mike is essentially starting from square one. My goal is to teach people ways to get more traffic — I think I am doing a decent job so far 😉

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  172. Kaustubh Shinde :

    Hey Neil,
    Thanks for this awesome post. Got to learn many more things today. I’ve been trying to improve day by day and i guess its working up till now I’ve been reading your blog posts and I’m trying to improve myself. I would really appreciate you can share your opinion on my blog after going through it…
    http://www.geek-magzine.org/

    • Kautsubh, I think your blog is great and has a great concept. I would suggest focusing on the design elements a bit more as they are a little basic. You might find that having a better look and feel helps you convert better. Keep up the great work!

  173. Just catching the case study now, and I first thought you were not going to disclose the url like Spencer from nichepursuit with his authority site project, and I was amazed to see you did disclose it. But one thing I noticed is you are linking the case study site to this one, that will help in some PR leaking…anyway, I am curious to see how you will hit the 100k goal.
    thanks for the post

  174. Hi Neil

    I am a newbie. I have read a few of your articles. I really liked it and I’m really inspired on your articles.

  175. The only thing non-reproducible for this for most people will be the hiring of a specialist to write all the content and the mass amount of neil funds for various campaigns.

    Besides that I am looking forward to this and hope it is very detailed on the strategies behind getting blog virality, CRO, SM stuff, etc.

    I have a blog atm that I am not an expert in but have taken the time to learn — currently I am doing great with traffic via SEO, however, I have little experience in the former points I made above, as well as literally no experience in how to successfully create an “authority site”.

    Will be following the journey.

    • Jack, follow along. The whole point of this blog was to help others out along their journey. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  176. Hi Neil

    Thanks for sharing. Your blog posts are always worth reading, in fact you are the only marketer I consistently read. Your posts always contain useful and actionable information.

    My question is: Why did you chose Optin Monster over the other providers?

    I am currently trying to decide which opt-in software to buy, but finding it very confusing. Maybe it is because there isn’t much difference between them – if you are willing to spend about the $100 mark? I can see that the basic packages are too basic.

    Thanks

    • Henriette, I have just used them over the years and they have provided the best results. It’s also about being familiar with the UI — which I am.

  177. Now THAT’S more like it Neil! Great insights and some honest to goodness hurdles with outcomes that were and weren’t expected. A true endeavour, imo. I honestly can say, I CAN’T wait to see how this evolves!

    Keep it up, mate!

  178. This is amazing, Neil. Nice to read about challenges even the pros also face – and how you guys are reacting to it. Learning a lot here! Looking forward to your future updates, and I hope you do get that 100k monthly milestone!

  179. this is a very charming website.

  180. Hi Neil,
    You have written that you have spend $112.07 on Facebook Ads. Can you elaborate how you got a whooping 60000+ Page Likes for just $112.07.

    We can consider that around 8000-10000 Likes can be Organic and other 50000+ are Paid one.

    Can you tell us the procedure how you did you crack this fantastic deal for only $112.07.

    Thanks.

  181. Nice article as always.

    Could you shed a little more light as how do you choose the targeting keywords for Facebook marketing campaigns. With $100 what countries did you manage to target to get facebook likes. Is that audience responsive?

    • Moazzam, I will definitely shed some more light on the whole campaign in future posts — stay tuned!

  182. Thanks for sharing this awesome post. very informative. I’m starting a new startup and using a lot of your advice to drive results in terms of traffic and revenue.

  183. Nice work done by you Neil!!.Well we are happy to congrats you.Your latest project will achieve shortly.Extremely you are a powerful marketer in the internet world.

  184. Are you guys on Pinterest? If not, you should be. Pinterest is the best traffic source for food blogs.

  185. Hey Neil,

    Long time fan and customer secretly lurking my way around.

    I sold my other businesses and am “all in” for my new personal development blog/training/courses I’ve created (thanks for helping to make this happen).

    My question is about the ‘like campaign’. My blog is branded with my name (I read the other branding posts, also, they are great!)… Is there an easy way to overcome the challenge of getting someone to “like” a perfect stranger in this field (who is not ziggy, robbins, brian tracy, etc.)

    I think your ‘like campaign’ post was brilliant for the nutrition market and I’m trying to replicate it in a way that makes sense for my market. Racking my brain here.

    Thanks again for everything you do!

  186. Cristi Vlad :

    Neil, would you say that someone who’s in the nutrition niche and knows good marketing tactics can make a lot of money of it, as there may be few with the skills to do it?!

    “Plus, the nutrition space isn’t as competitive. Sure, a lot of people are in that space, but very few of them are marketers. “

  187. Hi Neil

    Thanks for sharing nutritionsecrets.com story. I’m not from those who thinks that you can achieve your goals by using your name in thisparticular aera.

    IMO nutritionsecrets.com readers are actually interested in nutrition, that why they get engaged. Well would you consider releasing a guide or so to relate all nutritionsecrets.com story wich is so fascinating.

    Regards
    Issa

  188. Rajiv Pandey :

    Hi Neil,
    I liked every bit of the content and honest except one line- the cost of the theme which you mentioned $80.

    You mentioned in your previous blog that you’ll use a free theme to save some money.The moment you published your blog, first thing i did was to check if the theme is paid or free. Initially I got the “themeforest” link on top & thought u backed out from your word.

    I liked the theme and really wanted to use the same for my personal blog, Again I trusted your words and busted my buns to get the free version of the same thing (thinking if u can do why can’t I :-)) and fortunately I downloaded the same theme for free 🙂

    You could’ve saved your $80.. Lolzz 🙂

    Rajiv..

  189. “Eventually, he got certified as a nutritionist.” (Qicksprout)
    “I’m not a registered dietician or nutritionist.” (Nutrition secrets)
    😛

    He doesn’t write very authoritative, more “please don’t beat me if I’m wrong”-style. What’s your opinion on that?

  190. Perhaps Mike’s first exercise in blogging can be proof-reading his own bio, LOL.

  191. Looking forward to the rest of this challenge Neil. Especially when you get into backlink building and increasing organic traffic!

  192. Ryan Biddulph :

    Outsourcing it Neil to be authentic, as you always are. I dig the idea. Because it pays to be genuine. Literally 😉 I like the niche too because I am a health nut and goodness knows we need more inspiration and good advice to crush the obesity epidemic. That’s in the USA and even yes, in places like Bali, here, where kids and adults are getting fatter and fatter with all of the fast food spots popping up.

    Yesterday I noted 2 McD’s, 2 Burger King’s, a Pizza Hut and other small fast food chains not focused on healthy eating. In paradise, right? LOL…..gotta get serious about fitness, and outsourcing to get the right guy to spread the word will be prospering for all.

    Well done Neil 😉 All the best with your challenge!

    Ryan

  193. Carti De Vizita :

    Hello Neil! Your strategy is the best! I`m glad that you teach people like me, how to resove traffic problems! thx! Aweber rullz!

  194. Haynes Bruce :

    This project does not attract me anymore. Public your site link on QuickSprout may lead to inaccurate traffic statistic.

    • Haynes, sorry you feel that way. My goal is to help others out. If you need specific help with something feel free to contact me.

  195. “So far his rough drafts look pretty good, but he needs a few more rounds of revisions before his content is production quality.”

    Was curious what your production quality standards are/are they shared on a prior post? And if not, is that something you’d be open to sharing?

  196. Hello Neil,
    I have to say, I’m truly fascinated by this project.
    Not only by the project itself but by the amount of controversy it’s created.
    Surely, the people who have such a problem with you in the way you negotiated the purchase of your domain can’t argue with your honesty and integrity in telling them how you did it.
    I think most people who I have had dealings with over the years have always haggled to get the best price possible whatever the circumstances.
    One last thing; amazing you manage to answer so many comments.
    I’m enjoying the ride, well done.
    Michael

    • Michael, thanks for all the support. I look forward to hearing much more from you. Let me know if you need help with anything else.

  197. Excellent study. I am following this challenge and looking forward to learn more about it in days to come.

  198. Martina Mariu :

    You’re amazing!
    That is all.

  199. Hi Neil,

    Well that looks like some kind of challenge that came your way and it’s great you are up for it and sharing how u are going about it.

    Cheers mate!

  200. Hi Neil

    I think you are a brave man opening yourself to the barrage of armchair experts & critics who no doubt have not achieved .0001% of what you have already in your business life. I don’t mean offence to anyone but it’s just an observation of this type of experiment. It seems to bring out the naysayers.

    I will be watching your journey & apply what feels right for me. Hopefully the negative aspects don’t distract you too much from those who are looking for the value. No one should be looking at this experiment & thinking, ok week 2 – have 30,000 followers, week 34 – be earning exactly what Neil is …and so on.

    Good luck! I wish you much success for you, myself & for your chosen charity.

    • Lu, I think it’s productive criticism. I am trying to help everyone so I accept the feedback. Thanks for the support!

  201. Justin Verburg :

    I LOVE your marketing insights and the tenacity you apply to each new endeavor. Very inspiring.

    I’ll be candid: I’d be much more impressed if you didn’t lie about being a college student and asking your parents for funds.. I’m not suggesting full disclosure… But it’s ulimately God who puts one up and another down. Even if you invest more in a domain because you didn’t lie, you may experience greater profits in another area because God is prospering it in ways that don’t make sense… Just something to chew on. (I know because I’ve experienced this myself!)

    Thanks again for INCREDIBLE content. (I follow many marketing blogs…and yours is TOPS!)

    Justin

    • Justin, thanks for the valuable feedback. Ultimately I want to help others out so they don’t get hustled like I have in the past.

  202. LOVE this series– so thankful for it. Wish it was a course– I would pay for it.

    This is not a criticism– but something making this interesting for me– but I have to say the nutrition blog is kind of sucky. It’s really generic, and doesn’t feel like it’s written from anyone really worth listening to on the subject (because it’s not, as you admit).

    That just makes it an even greater case, because if you can make 100k off this content, it makes me feel like the sky is the limit for me, if only I learn from you. Hope you understand my comment about how GREAT it is that your nutrition blog sucks!

    • Gulliver, I totally get it 😉

      Thanks for the real feedback — I always appreciate honest voices.

  203. Jeff Millett :

    Looking forward to your updates.

    So I know what to do myself, of course. 🙂

  204. Hi Neil,

    Two quick questions:

    1.) What effect does using a wordpress theme that may be already be used by hundreds or thousands of other sites have on your website search and/or google placement etc.?

    2.) What site did you go to to negotiate the price of the URL? Godaddy… ?

    Thanks,
    Peter

    • Peter,

      1. As long as the theme is customized to your site there shouldn’t be any negative effects.
      2. I’ve gone through them before. I am going to share the process in my next blog post of what I did this time.

      • Thanks Neil.
        One more, if you would be so kind… If we cannot find a short-to-the-point .com URL like http://www.NutritionSecrets.com would using a more to the point http://www.xxx.expert or xxx.something work just as well since most people use google search and do not appear to type in a random URLs? Again, thank you for helping us aspiring online entrepreneurs. Keep up the great work!

  205. Hey Neil – I’ve been following every word you’ve said intently and I’ve managed to get 13,000 HITS to my blog in the last 4 days!

    The Facebook advertising is junk though. A whole bunch of fake accounts like you and the engagement is shit. So here’s what I did:

    I joined 50+ Facebook groups and posted ALL my articles in ALL the groups! This has helped me figure out which type content people really want to read and what goes viral fast. I have never seen such results ever!

    I logged in to check twitter and 12+ people had even shared my posts on twitter.

    It’s truly an amazing feeling man! Thanks for the inspiration!

  206. Awesome post Neil!

    Just a question,what ads are you planning to put in there?

    I’m planning to put up a fitness site and have no idea how to monetize it.

    Again thanks for the great post.

    Regards,
    Matt

  207. I have TONS of questions, Neil! I started my website two years ago with a colleague because I didn’t like what was out there in the family travel niche. We’ve had tons of people tell us how unique our site is and how amazing our content is, but we are still having trouble bringing in large crowds. How you managed to get 30,000 visitors in one month without your name recognition astounds me! I started working full time for an amazing marketing company, and the things I have learned are helping me fix the site. Numbers ares starting to grow a little, but they are no where near where we want them to be after two years, and we aren’t really making any money off of the site…. so there’s really no money to put back into it.

    So…. what would you suggest? How do we start generating traffic and monetizing in earnest? With skill and experience in our niche but basically no money, how do we push this site into the mainstream?

    Thanks!
    Shauna

    • Shauna, short answer: Follow along with my challenge. The next few blog posts will touch on the monetization angle and you’ll see some great tips and tools to utilize.

  208. Hi Neil,

    I like how you took it up as a challenge and put yourself out there. Not a lot of people with the sort of name you have in the industry would actually go ahead and do that. Kudos

    I’ve started my company blog blog.pipesapp.com. It’s just been a couple of weeks since we’ve been active. Traffic has started building up. I’m definitely going to use your tips.

    I had a little query. Which would be the best medium to make monetize my blog? And how could I increase my traffic further? Would love to get your advice on this.

    Thanks

  209. Sure Neil, I’d love to share some tips on how I managed to get 13k+ hits to the blog in 4 days. It involves a bit of technical stuff so lets dive in.

    Firstly, I needed to research what content actually goes viral in my industry (we are targeting filmmakers). Now there are a few different categories of blogs you can write for filmmakers such as – production tips, marketing tips, film reviews, equipment reviews, budgeting etc etc. If I would’ve chosen to write individual articles in all these categories, and then analyzed what works, it would’ve taken me a hell lot of time since I am not an experienced writer. I couldn’t afford to do that because I am taking this $100k challenge very seriously and I want to be at your pace. So I had to take a quick and fast route. So I had to share other blogs and see what people really like to read, but by doing that I would never be able to track proper analytics and bounce rates etc. So here’s what I did:

    I shared other people’s content using iFrame so essentially when people clicked on the link they were reading someone else’s blog BUT through my website!! This way all traffic came to my website and I could check the average duration spent on each blog. I even installed heat maps and other tools so i could see how far below people were reading. I have SumoMe installed on my website, so my List Builder popped up too. This way I could capture emails but it made me realize one important thing – Now I was not just looking at what blogs people are reading more of but also what type of blogs help me capture email addresses of my readers via the list builder pop up.

    Here’s what I found – When I posted film reviews or making of films (Mad Max: Fury Road in this case) these types of blogs got 6000 hits in 1 day but the readers didn’t really bother putting in their email address in my pop up. But when I shared Production & Video Editing tips and Music Licensing educational content then we got 150% more email sign ups!

    So I realized just sharing content that the masses want to read is not good for my business (it’s good once in a while for the hype) but by sharing production tips and educational content that gets the creative minds of these filmmakers working, I get more email sign ups and therefore I need to write more of such type of content.

    Once I realized this, I started writing original content. I looked up up-to-date articles are re-wrote them in my own words. I won’t lie by saying I re-wrote the articles better, but I am writing every single day now, so in time my writing will get better and better.

    Another thing I realized is that Facebook Advertising is crap initially but it’s needed for the long term. I was at a bar and I met a very smart guy who has been into marketing all his life. We were discussing some crazy Facebook strategies. Maybe I could post that for another time. But advertising on Facebook is okay if you don’t mind throwing $20 per day for the first few months. But if that’s a lot of money for someone then they should stay away from it. I experimented with it and found a better shortcut.

    I joined 50+ groups related to filmmakers on Facebook. I also joined about 20+ groups on Linkedin. I shamelessly posted my articles in ALL groups!! I was a hesitant initially for the fear of coming across as spammy but then I just went for it anyway.

    Here’s what I learned from posting in all groups: If you write even slightly decent content that can help a few people you will be thanked in these groups. Cumulatively ALL my posts got over 300+ likes and 100+ comments.

    There’s another thing I learned: Haters gonna hate. There will always be a few people who will have a problem with you posting in these groups. Solution? Ignore them.

    Challenges I am facing right now:
    60% of my traffic is on mobile. I am trying to optimize my blog as much as possible for all mobile devices so that I can capture maximum email addresses.

    Let me know if this was helpful enough man. Peace.

    • Arnav, thanks for sharing these great insights. This seems like the perfect blueprint for anyone looking to growth hack their site from moderate traffic to a lot of traffic. Keep up the great work and I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  210. Sanjeev Arora :

    Neil, thank you for the insights. This is very useful. Just thought that in some cases google has indexed your name with the nutrition blog & Mike…but it will be marginal traffic ..i guess.

    My question to you is on what you said about – pick a niche with less smart marketers. But that is not an option for me. We are launching a new CRM with user engagement & analytics and as you know very well, CRM space is so crowded with buzz words that it is a pain to get noticed. You acquired a CRM app & wonder what challenges are you facing? Also, would you agree that we may focus on LinkedIn more than facebook when it comes to B2B audience traffic?
    Look forward to your comments.
    Sanjeev

  211. Hey Neil

    After you’d spent some money to get your first 3-4k Facebook Fans, how did you get from those numbers up to 50k so quickly? Like, I understand that you did some Like for Like campaigns with other similar FB Pages, but even so, that sounds incredible to get 10x the Fans in such a short period…

    Thanks
    Mark

  212. Mads Phikamphon :

    After you sign up for the newsletter, you are redirected to nutritionalresource.com instead of nutritionsecrets.com

    It would also be nice with a landing page for when you click the confirmation link in the first newsletter mail (right now you are sent to the frontpage of the site).

  213. Lloyd Phillips :

    Hi Neil,

    You mentioned that you would normally buy a blog that had already been started but wasn’t being updated. Is this because there will already be a degree of indexing and backlinks or are there other reasons?

    Do you particularly look for one with a unique domain name or would you also consider sometimes picking up a blog that may be hosted on blogger for example.

    Are there any particularly locations or services you use to help you find these types of stagnant blogs? I’ve searched for sites that list blogs in a niche but mostly they are active and up to date, it’s proving quite a task to find one that someone doesn’t use.

    When you buy a blog like this I assume you’d keep the old content in place?

  214. Hey Neil I’ve been following these posts closely & I’m trying to emulate the process as much as possible.

    Right now I’m running a sneaker related website http://www.SneakerRelease.com. It actually all started as a domain name that I was sitting on when I realized that I could really build this into a useful tool.

    Now I’ve been posting more to the facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SneakerReleaseDate). And was able to get a ton of penny likes over these past few days, on top of the fans I already had!

    Though I don’t have any blog posts on the site yet those are coming soon! Already using your guide to help me create some amazing content.

    Thanks!

  215. pruthvi bardolia :

    I want to learn how exactly you approached other facebook pages for shout out for shot out deal?

  216. Thanks for all the info and especially being responsive to everyone who made suggestions/criticism about leveraging your name, etc.

    However, I think that asking a friend who is a nutritionist to step in is still sort of using your name. For example, even if I had such an expert friend that could help me run a blog, chances are he would not be willing to invest so much time/effort unless I, too, were a big-name marketer that could almost guarantee success.

    • Tony — I think there will be issues no matter how I go about it because of my name 😉

      I just want to help people learn some techniques to grow.

      • Yes Neil, no doubt your name would almost always cause issues. And I think most of us do appreciate learning the techniques to grow.

        However, the more you implement it in a way that the average guy like me would go about it, the more we would learn. For example, when you had interns do your writing, you said the posts weren’t great. But that’s exactly the kind of problem I would face if I wanted to start a blog. Even if I had some experience and interest in a niche, I probably don’t have a degree, like Mike, so I’m not really a credentialed authority.

        Might have been better to have interns do your writing and just created a persona/pseudonym for the blog, or maybe even just used an intern as the owner. That would distance your name in the same way.

  217. Quick question – would it be best to buy a domain with age and domain authority OR can similar results be achieved with a brand new domain?

  218. Sagor Mamun :

    Isn’t he Lamborghini mike? You wrote about him in your dress up related post..

  219. Jeff McGeary :

    Hey Neil, VERY interesting and relevant for me. I have a nutritional product (custom nutrition) and was thinking of starting a blog in this space – wow you really opened my eyes; a large niche that doesn’t have a ton of savvy marketers. Makes sense! Do you have any of your articles ranking first page of Google? And are you doing on page SEO (or offpage)? Impressive work for just 2 months! Thanks Neil.

    • Jeff, still working on the linking strategy — should have some results pretty soon. Thanks for the feedback.

  220. Hi Neil
    Just out of plain curiosity and no disrespect I wanted to know how did you end up buying a penalized domain ? And how do you suggest us that we can save ourselves from this mistake.

  221. Hey Neil,

    I remember when I first read this post i was like wow this man’s crazy. Somehow I lost connection but i came back to read what I’ve been missing but here is a question. You mentioned some facebook ads above for a 100 and something bucks. You spent it on likes aren’t you? Do you have any tips for those who wants to try that type of ads? I’m in a music niche and finally I’m working on my own site and I’d like to see what I can achieve with it. If you have any good posts about facebook ads or advices let a rookie know 🙂

    All the best,
    Phami

  222. Marlene Affeld :

    Excellent article that motivated me to rise to the challenge. Please keep sharing your helpful advice.

  223. Hi Neil

    Interested to know your thoughts on two schools of thought I have read about when launching a new blog.

    One school suggests that its not worth launching your blog until you have an email list so you are much better off guest posting and letting people visit a ‘launching soon’ optin in page on your site. This way you build a list of people before launching.

    The other school which seems to be what you have done in this challenge is start posting and then use paid ads/seo/social media to build your blog.

    Im interested in your thinking around this and why you didnt go down the guest post to optin route?

    • Vik, I would say that the first school is out of sync with the industry and prevailing trends. How can you build out a list if you don’t have a blog already — if you are just spamming a random list that isn’t wedding to your brand or personality then you wont see results. I find that a loyal audience, from a newsletter, will provide some great feedback and results.

  224. hi neil…i am a teeneager and really interested in starting blogging…but the only thing standing as a barrier is the expenses as i dont have so much money to spend on a blog like you did on you nutrition blog..what should i do ?

  225. Hi Neil,

    Would finding an expired domain have worked? I have heard mixed things about whether Google will rank expired domains once you rebuild the site. It may be easier to find one that was expired vs buying a current site.

  226. pengobatan mata Juling Bayi :

    Awesome post.

  227. Vikash Sharma :

    Hi Neil,

    As advised by you on neilpatel.com, I visited and read all articles here related to 100K challenge and they are really very well written and very informative. Moreover it is about the same niche I am working for.
    This is really amazing to get such a huge success in Nutrition field which you don’t have enough knowledge about?

    I am going to purchase optin monster for my Health blog http://www.freakabouthealth.com however I am using Hello bar which is also doing good.
    Thank you for sharing all your experience and such a informative article with us. Keep it up. you are the inspiration of thousands of Bloggers like me.

    Regards,
    Vikash Sharma

    • Hey I remember you Vikash 🙂 I knew you would fine this helpful. Optin monster is great and should help you up your lead count by a good amount. I’ll have another update on the 100k challenge again soon, so stay tuned.

  228. Neil

    Thanks for providing us the the valuable information. To be honest this kind of real time examples are one of the best study materiel for us.

    Could you please tell me just one thing that How could you generate the traffics to those blog posts after you created it. I have creates heaps of blog posts for one of my clients website but it gives them just in between 25 – 35 clicks at the most. If you don’t mind could you please explain it how it is possible to generate huge traffic on these kind of blog posts.

    Regards
    Manu

    • We’ve been blogging for almost a year now and have built up SEO value as well as a social following. It wasn’t easy and in beginning, we spent money on boosting the post on facebook, reaching out to influencers etc.

  229. Hi Neil,

    I know I’m not using your link building template but I wanted to share my summary of your $100k challenge with you!

    I’ve tried to condense what I’ve learned from the challenge into 15 content marketing lessons. It’s the longest blog post I’ve written so far and also my favourite one by far.

    Even if you can’t link back to it, I just wanted to let you know that I’m sincerely grateful for you doing it. It inspired me to start my own blog (this one is for the inbound marketing agency I work for) and so far I’m getting 15k visits per month (2 months in so far!)

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, and also for inspiring me to go out on my own to replicate your success.

  230. Patrick Wallet :

    Great challenge and it’s a big motivation to see what you can achieve in just a year.

  231. That’s a pretty dope thing. Waiting to see the results of the challenge. All the best!!

  232. Hey Neil, how are you?

    I’m brazilian and a big fan of your job. I met you 2 times here in Brazil, in the Fire event.

    I’ve watched your challenge since the beggining and now I got a big situation here. I lost my job and I think this is my big chance to accept the challenge for my life.

    I want to enter in Game Niche. I know its hard to monetize and I can get a lot of money as a nutrition blog, but its my passion and I think I can work better on a thing that I love.

    I really need your help, because I really dont know what can I do to monetize a blog in this Niche.

    Do you have any Ideas? I’ve already had a blog with 300k visitors in Month and I used to earn only US100 / month.

    IF you can give me some ideas, you probably change my life forever!

    Thank you!
    Your number one fan.

    Rafael

    • Which site of yours gets 300 visitors a month? Let me see and then I can give you some ideas

      • Rafael Querido :

        Hey Neil,

        Thank you for answering me!

        My blog is this (300k unique / 550k at all month): http://www.emula.com.br/
        I have this with a partner.

        And than, I created another one to implement your 100k/month strategy:

        I’m focusing on content + building link and its going great.

        http://segredodosgames.com.br/

        If you give me some ideas.. I’ll be eternally grateful to you!!!

        Thank you!

        • I would focus on CTR of meta titles for the sites first and test the effect of font size initially.

          If you also research your audience and try to find out what they like about your content to improve.

  233. Hey Neil,

    I’m a big fan of your work and been learning a lot from your Blog and Podcast.

    Just curious to know – Is the website Nutrition Secrets website got shut down as it is redirecting to Legion Athletics site and Why?

Speak Your Mind

*