The $100,000 Challenge: May Update

graph traffic

We’ve finally completed the second month of the $100,000 challenge. For the month of May, received a total of 33,216 visitors.

May wasn’t a bad month considering that Mike, who is the face of the site now, had to learn how to blog, drive traffic, build links, and update the Facebook page.

Here’s a rundown of what happened: 


Overall, the site received 33,216 visitors and 53,786 pageviews. Out of those 33,216 visitors, 22,819 were unique.

nutrition traffic

Out of those visitors, 7,882 came from Quick Sprout. For that reason, I have stopped linking to the site from Quick Sprout. All of those visitors mainly came from this one Quick Sprout post.

nutrition traffic quicksprout

What’s actually funny is that we are getting referral traffic from random sites like Craigslist. The visitors, of course, aren’t sticking, but the traffic is coming from Quick Sprout readers who post jobs, looking for people to help them replicate so they can follow along the journey.

Although the site’s traffic is climbing, we only received 1,786 visitors from Google in May. That means our biggest opportunity is search traffic as in the nutrition space, most of the sites generate the majority of their traffic from Google (roughly 60-70% of their overall traffic).


The growth of Facebook fans has been great. Facebook drove 9,563 visitors in the month of May, which isn’t too bad.

We also hit over 100,000 fans by posting good content and doing shout-out-for-shout-out deals: we promote other Facebook fan pages, and they promote us.

shout out for shout out

We keep these promo updates running for a few hours and then delete them. When the other fan page gives us the shout-out in return for ours, both pages get more fans.

Initially, I was getting fans through ads.

facebook ad

I targeted this ad, for example, to users in English-speaking countries in Asia. This allowed me to get fans for pennies. In general, many of these people didn’t engage, but it helped me boost my numbers high enough so I could start doing the shout-out-for-shout-out campaign. Otherwise, no one would want to participate in such an exchange if you only have 100 fans.

Since then, the Facebook page has grown, but the engagement has been declining. It has nothing to do with the fans. It has to do with the fact that Mike isn’t as good as I am when it comes to choosing social media updates. Other people’s content sometimes performs 30 times better than our own.

This was actually expected as there is a learning curve for him, and so far he is doing great. Now, he is browsing other Facebook pages within the nutrition niche to see what is working for them as well as using Buzzsumo to come up with more ideas.

The fact that Mike doesn’t have the same background as I do sometimes serves as an advantage. He’s actually come up with some interesting ideas. One that was great is the usage of custom hand-drawn images.


Mike’s enlisted the help of his girlfriend Caroline, who loves drawing for fun, to create the image above for $30. It received a total of 765 likes and 245 shares. Not bad for spending $30.

Mike is now having her create more images, and hopefully they’ll have the same success as the avocado image. We, of course, can’t keep getting images for $30, but we will gladly pay her $100 per image, assuming they keep doing well.

mr potato

Eventually, I want to start having Caroline draw images like The Oatmeal’s as I think it will help drive hundreds of thousands of visitors.


If you look at the content on, you’ll see that it has drastically improved. The information is much more accurate; there is a conversational tone within the posts; and people are engaging through comments.

What Mike hasn’t nailed down yet is creating viral content. Most of the topics he has written on are beaten to death, and everyone who is interested in nutrition has already read similar blog posts on other sites.

What’s helping maintain the traffic is that he is producing five blog posts a week, but once he starts writing on more unique topics such as why you should freeze lemons, we should see a drastic increase in traffic.

Overall, I am happy with the content quality. I just have to get Mike to stop creating me-too content, which shouldn’t be hard because he is a certified nutritionist and knows his field.

Once we nail the topics, we’ll start testing elements such as content length and post types. For example, a lot of people have been asking us to post recipes, but we are not ready yet to try it out until we figure out how to make our standard blog posts popular.

Conclusion isn’t generating any income yet, and I don’t expect it to until we hit at least 100,000 monthly visitors. But the progress Mike has made so far has been great.

His content looks good; Caroline’s hand-drawn image performed well; and the Facebook group is growing. We aren’t focusing on shout-out-for-shout-outs anymore as Mike needs to focus on the content quality and picking the right topics, but once we nail that down, we will start growing our fan page again.

In total, we’ve spent $2,670.74. The expenses are the same as I listed last time. The only difference is we spent another $130 for two hand-drawn images.

What do you think of this challenge? Is it helping you learn more about marketing?


  1. Eduardo Cornejo :

    Hey Neil,

    Awesome stuff! Please keep us informed, as my blog will be guided with this and so far it’s going great!

    Good luck! 🙂

    • Pardeep Goyal :

      Eduardo, Nice to know that your blog is growing by following this series.

      I tried facebook for my finance blog but still stuck below 4000 fan base, mostly paid. I could not nail down shout-for-shout strategy.

      Any template of shout message will be appreciated for personal finance blog.

      Can someone review my website and share valuable feedback? You can expect similar favors in return !!

      • Eduardo Cornejo :

        Hey Pardeep,

        Because I wanted to give Neil’s nutrition blog some developing time (that way I can follow it better), I decided to mainly focus on building/designing my blog, contacting other bloggers, and then a bit of social media.

        As for design, I went for the simple look (very much like QS and NS), and so far many people seem to like it. In that aspect, I think you’re doing very well. I would recommend you add more email opt-ins like Hello Bar and ThriveLeads for some nice sidebar/pop-up opt-ins. Also do Most recent and Most Popular Tabs!

        Another thing I did which has helped a lot, was getting guest blogging opportunities. As you can see, my blog is new. But because I read QS so much, I decided to contact the top blogger of my niche and say that if I can guest-blog, I could help him fix up his blog better. It worked out well, and I now have 2 guest posts on a page that has over 50K FB likes. My niche is calisthenics (bodyweight workouts) and it worked, so it can definitely work for anyone here. Try it!

        As for social media, I also mainly paid for my 2K likes. I have been using Buzzsumo for popular content (article/videos), and also post those on my page. I believe that starting now (June, which is my actual “launching” month), I will connect a lot more with readers and get more likes, as I will finally be doing actual blogging.

        I don’t think Shout for Shout will work for you as of yet. As Neil said, grow your page to higher numbers, so that other pages will be impressed enough by it to agree on your future Shout for Shout requests!

        Hope this helps! 🙂

      • Pardeep, if you check out this post there is a template in there that you can use:

        Also, whats the URL of your site?

    • William Zimmerman :


      Totally agree with Eduardo. Eduardo great call, this is awesome! Love the move with the Facebook likes from Asia.

      Is there anything else from gaining Facebook likes that was omitted from this post?

      You are the man!

      Thanks very much,
      Bill Z

      • Bill, thanks for the support. I think I covered Facebook pretty comprehensively over the last few posts. If you have anything else please let me know.

    • Eduardo, glad you found the post helpful. Let me know if you need any specific help along the way.

  2. Adarsh Sojitra :

    That’s awesome! It is Good to see that you are soon going to hit your target! You are growing at a great speed!
    I am also thinking to give some challenge to my readers also! By this way, We can market our main blog too! Like after posting this article, traffic on Quicksprout might be increased! I liked it!
    Thanks for this article and Update sir…

    • Adarsh, glad you found it helpful. Please let me know if you need any specific help along the way.

  3. Hi Neil thanks for the update I am also getting successful because I am following you and your steps

  4. You’re getting there Neil. Thanks for the update.

  5. Hi Neil,

    I laughed when I read the Craiglist part. I was preparing to launch my new blog in a very niche market, to learn along. I’m not hiring anybody though, just utilize everything I learned from quicksprout and Thank you for that!

    It’s reassuring to see that your blog is on the right track. Keep up the good work!


    • Robin, it caught me a bit off guard too. Thanks for all the support. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  6. Ricky Figueroa :

    Neil, this is very interesting. I like the shout-out for shout-out strategy, but I’m truly curious about one thing:

    Why are you waiting to hit 100K visitors to start monetizing it? Why not before? Any particular reason?

    • Ricky, I just have to get everything in line before I start monetizing. I like going step by step.

  7. Daniel Mickoh :

    I have been collecting your posts on this challenge, and what I decided to do was also venture into the nutrition space, but not just that, the relationship and personal development(Being handled myself)

    What I have ended up doing is, I have approached some very seasoned teachers and personalities on those topics, who have never actually blogged before, set a goal of making $20,000 per month in 6 months time, and they are to come up with at least 2-3 people who will help publish a post every week, and we shall split the profits.

    I will handle the SEO and SMM with 2 of my interns, and they will solely focus on content. I keep the rights and names of the businesses, they only keep part of the shares!

    Great journey, its definitely inspiring many! Will start blogging about mine soon.
    Thanks Neil!!!

    • Daniel, great to hear. Sounds like you have a great strategy in place. If you need any help along the way or want to share insights please let me know. Good luck!

  8. Hi Neil

    This is Alex from I commented the other time about my journey with and I have documented last week my journey here: .

    I took a different approach than what you and Mike are doing with NutritionSecrets but it also worked at the end. I am sure that by the rate nutritionsecrets is growing, you will reach your targets very fast. I am looking forward to read about your progress especially when you get to the point of monetising the site.

    As always, if you want to exchange any ideas or need anything, you have my email.


    • Alex, that’s great to hear. Thanks for commenting and for all your support. If you have any feedback or insights you want to share they are more than welcome.

    • Nice stuff mate. Any reason why you aren’t pushing harder on your email list?

    • Alex,

      I’m going through your case study and it’s amazing. Thank you very much for sharing that… I’m going to share it on StumbleUpon.

      At the end of the day, you just busted your chops and kept writing, and writing, and writing.

      I know another guy who started and he did the same thing. Took him a few years, but he did it.

      Same with

      Same with Rusty Moore at

      These guys just wrote, and wrote, and wrote… and wrote, and wrote some more.

      Social media and intelligent SEO makes a big difference, but I don’t really think these are “make or break”. I think the key is to create a real, authentic site that people like. You can go back and “SEO” your site and you can build a social media presence.

      But you have to have something worth reading first and foremost.


      • One more thing, you mentioned getting 100k monthly visitors when you had 184 published posts. Then 237 the next year. Then 333 the year after that.

        People should read that very carefully. You HAVE to write… a LOT.

        Rusty Moore had 300 posts on FitnessBlackBook and that’s how he got 10k-20k daily visitors.

        Yeah, linkbuilding and SEO helps, but it’s nothing if you don’t have a big site with content that’s actually worth reading.

        Write, write, write.

        Speaking of which, time for me to start on my next blog post…

    • Very interesting articles Alex..kept on reading them!

      Seems like you had a real hit choosing Mike for the job, Neil! I am awed over the structure and discipline you uses to launching this project! Wish the very best of luck, even if luck doesn’t seem to play a part in your results 🙂

  9. Really awesome stuff Neil!

    I am following your progress closely, in the hope of replicating your success of this blog, with my own blogs.

    I even tried facebook ads, but I didn’t get the likes that I was hoping for.

    Nonetheless, the hustle will continue. thanks for the inspiration!

    • Xihla, keep up the great work. Everyone’s approach will be a bit different. What might work great for me may not work as well for you. It’s all about testing.

  10. Awww hamd drawn images are so cute. Neil can you please share link to the artist i’d get few done for my website please.

    Thanks a million in advance.

  11. I’m following these updates with interest. Your transparency intrigues me, because most “gurus” guard their projects, niches, and keyword phrases as if they were state secrets. The reality is that it boils down to execution and passion more than anything else. Anyone can launch a site about nutrition, but someone’s passionate about the subject and someone who can execute can make it a success. Mike might have less luck working on a blog about scoring higher on the SAT test–his expertise is that of a nutritionist.

    Anyone choosing a niche should start by looking at their interests and also their willingness to execute.

    • Randy, thanks for the insights. It’s all about becoming a subject matter expert — Mike knows nutrition like the back of his hand which is why this journey is going to be a good one. It’s challenging but knowing your niche is always a plus.

      • Writing is like public speaking. In the Dale Carnegie Course, they teach that you shouldn’t speak about a subject until you’ve earned the right to, either via experience or via research. (And research is just second-hand experience.) Too many writers for the Web do too little research, and the result is a great big echo chamber of content that over-simplifies subjects and adds no value. It’s nice to see a different approach succeed.

  12. Hi – I noticed that there is almost no Google traffic. How long until you think that will kick in?

  13. Palash Kumar Daw :

    Why not?
    Its helping me 🙂

  14. Justin McGill :

    Love this Neil. I must have overlooked when you mentioned bringing Mike on. I think it is smart getting someone knowledgeable in the space. I also like that you aren’t sugarcoating things as far as what type of content needs to be created and what actions need to be taken to improve the site.

    • Justin, I am pretty straight forward in my approach so I rarely – if ever — sugar coat things. Thanks for the feedback.

  15. Kevin Strasser :

    Hi Neil,

    I see your doing well on Facebook, but not so great on Twitter with Nutrition Secrets.

    I can help you get your Twitter traffic up by getting you guys running on TribeBoost.

    No charges either, I don’t want your money. Happy to help in return for all of the great ideas your posts have given me over the years.

    We can grow the audience of the Nutrition Secrets Twitter account with targeted people. This in turn will help the posts featured on to get more traction.

    Just shoot me an email and we can talk more about it and get you started.

    PS: Also speaking of the Twitter feed, the tweets posted there are always just text. If you can start posting native images along with your text your tweets will do on average 200 – 500% better in my findings.

    • Kevin, thanks for the support and for offering your services. You can email to further this discussion. We are going to start focusing more on twitter in the coming months.

  16. Steve Estimable :

    Neil, nice update for May!

    I think the hand draw image is definitely a good idea to keep as it is a first step in helping Mike to stop creating me-too content.

    I like the fact that the hand draw image add a storytelling touch and can be leverage in longer post in adding “different scene” like a comic book while following the content direction.

    Neil Q: What do you think of this challenge? Is it helping you learn more about marketing?

    Steve A: It is great! Yes, i learn where to target first in launching a brand new page to leverage options like shout for shout deal.

    Have a beautiful day!

    • Steve, as always love the Q&A format. I think the hand-drawn images are a nice touch to the whole process and have provided some great results. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  17. Hi Neil,

    Great to get this update. Are you planning to develop a downloadable product to capture emails?

    Thanks for the update.

    Regards to you and Mike


    • Toye, that is definitely something that I’ll be working on in the future — Haven’t gotten to the monetization part yet 😉

  18. Hi Neil, another very interesting post. This is a great case study. I noticed you have a large focus on Facebook initially, would you still start with that focus if the blog was aiming to generate local leads for bricks and mortar businesses such as for a financial adviser? Great tip about avoiding me too content, I could easily fall into that trap.

    • David, my approach may be different. It may center more on location based keywords with a longtail approach. You can also geographically target ads to specific locales so I wouldn’t discount the approach all together.

  19. Hi, I think this study is a bit tainted since your QuickSprout and other site followers are following this blog to see how things progress and it’s falsely inflating your numbers. I think the study would be better conducted if you didn’t tell anyone you were doing this until after it’s complete. I know it’s meant to build interest here on QuickSprout, but I don’t think it’s an honest representation of what a brand new business with no prescence would receive.

    • Anya, thanks for the feedback. These points were addressed early on in other posts and we have done a lot of things to mitigate the effects of my brand:

  20. Sertaç Yak?n :

    Hello Neil.

    What would be the major points to change, especially in FB page, if the domain name is an individual’s name? Like what would be the major differences? Or important points to focus on?

  21. Harshit Bhootra :

    I am following your experiences, they’ll definitely help me 🙂
    and neil , what about domain extentions, can a country domain or .uk rank globally. Do write a post if you find somthing to share on this.

    • Harshit, I will touch on that subject in another post. This article may help:

  22. Thank you for the update, Neil.

    I have been commenting when appropriate and wish Mike well.

    Once he’s in the groove, particularly with his girlfriend supporting, I am sure his confidence will grow and the site will rocket away.

    Am truly fascinated by the marketing but I am such a pleb. – thank you for sharing.


    • Zarayna, thanks for all the support and feedback. I will relay the message to Mike. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  23. Hi Neil.

    Since i first read about this challenge, i have been trying to do a blog on dieting but for Spanish language.

    The biggest difference is that we are only a team of two and have no money for ads of any kind. This will slow things down for us as we both have full time jobs.

    Either way the blog is coming out really nice. We have used a lot of tips mentioned in Quicksprout that were very useful. For that a very big thank you!

    See you

    • Juan, I would definitely pick and choose what works best for you based on your budget — Let me know if you need any help along the way as well.

  24. Is Mike writing everything for the blog, or do you have some writers on board now?

  25. Great stuff, I am excited to see how fast it progresses! Keep it up!.

  26. Brian Manon :

    Great work cant wait to see how you monetize the site. How are the email signups looking?

  27. This is a great little series, I don’t open many emails with a heightened sense anticipation!
    One thing, I would of thought that removing the links to the blog from the posts you are righting will only skew your results. I copied the link into a new tab which would of made me a direct visit which I’m sure many would do, but now you can’t measure it. Knowing which visitors came from this post helps keep your data as definitive as possible.

    I suppose it would be interesting to see if there is a spike in direct traffic after this post.
    Looking forward to the next instalment,

    • Nik, great observation and I will take that into consideration. The traffic spikes are minimal in the grand scheme though. I am looking for very specific traffic from nutrition minded people.

  28. Wow, will follow this advice immediately for my blog. Thanks

  29. Yisroel Reiss :

    Love the updates. Thank you for doing this – me love case studies mucho.

    I hopefully will get to hear you speak next time you come to Israel.

  30. Jo Fellowes :

    Thanks for sharing this Neil, great stuff!


  31. Hi Neil

    Thanks for keeping us informed. Can you please show next time statistics for the Mobile/Desktop users and their engagement comparison?

    I’ve checked your website on my iPhone and it seems like responsive design feature making some confusion. Look at the screenshot here

    Maybe some bounce rate or user engagement metrics went down from the technical/user experience too?

    Anyway, great job done.


    • Sharif, thanks for the heads up. Let me look into it and I’ll definitely have an update on that end for the next post.

  32. Jeff @ LPNBSN.NET :

    What I find most helpful, now, seems to be knowing your attitude toward the whole marketing process.

    I’m a project manager by trade and a reluctant marketer by necessity. I want my business to be successful. “Building It and They Will Come” is a mantra many entrepreneurs who like building but not promoting live by until reality hits. Then, its time to learn marketing well enough to run your own campaigns with the help of others.

    Have you done any more link building this last month?

    • Jeff, thanks for the great insights. I have been doing link building but it has all been in the context of the blog — Just incorporating valuable links within the posts essentially.

  33. Suresh Thevar :

    You lie Neil, don’t know why I think this is fool.. Everything happens with you fast but with us it takes a lot of time.

  34. I’m also not getting it that why to wait for getting 100k visitors before monetization.

    • Robinsh, I will start the monetization process soon. I am definitely not going to wait for 100k visitors before I monetize.

  35. Sumit Sharma :

    Great Progress Neil, You are simply a one man Army in Online Marketing 🙂

  36. Hi Neil, thanks for the update.

    Could you please let us know how are you creating the backlinks to the new site?

    Thanks, I am very hooked with the 100,000 challenge!

  37. Thanks for the update, Neil. How is the site doing with email sign ups?

  38. I was watching to see if the milquetoast content on that blog could really earn you 100K a month. That would make me bow down in awe at your marketing genius.

    I’m surprised that you are not following some of the most basic blogging advice about niching, standing out, having a distinct point of view, all that.

    Could it be that maybe B2B marketers don’t think so much about all that?

    Maybe Neil you never had to think about this because you are just being yourself, and that worked out fine for you?

    While I love the experiment the way it was — a totally generic blog earning 100k a month– I still like to watch this experiment but I think some basic blogging or market positioning know-how is necessary. Could you sign Mike up for a course with someone? (I’m not a blogging teacher looking for business, btw). If it’s okay to drop names here, the first couple weeks of Marie F’s bschool or any course by Yaro whatshisname might be a good start and could count as an investment.

    • Gulliver, I have actually worked with a lot of B2C companies as a consultant so I know the concepts of growing a consumer based business pretty well. Mike is using me as his training course — and I hope everyone else does the same. I am not knowledgable in everything regarding marketing but I can find the resources to answer most any question.

  39. Hi Neil. Very interesting project. I’m very keen on following its development.

    Just one doubt: is the figure 68.69% appearing in the table your bounce rate?
    If it is so, it’s definitely very high.
    What would you do about it?

    I look forward to hearing your view on this issue.

    • Filippo, the bounce rate is something that we will work on. As the site has more posts and more content people will be more inclined to look through it and hopefully that will decrease the bounce rate.

  40. Neil, thanks for the update, lots of great information. Its wonderful to hear that the site is receiving 1K+ uniques a day.

    Just wondering, why isn’t organic search included in your screenshot? You mention you received 1786 visitors via search, but I can’t see google in the screenshot.

    As always, thanks for all the updates 🙂

  41. Hi Neil,

    your insights are always helpful. One question is, can you really create top notch viral quality (not a me-too) and still be blogging 5 times a week, and if so, how?

    I can come up with a topics that are not beaten to death, by I doubt I can do this for 5 blog posts per week…

    Thanks, keep it up!

    • Alex, that’s the challenge. Finding unique headlines and content is one of the surest ways to distinguish yourself from the pack.

  42. Great update, Neil.

    I think the custom images are so great and worth every penny. Most people starting out probably wouldn’t have the budget for even $30 per image though. Creating awesome graphics is definitely a challenge for someone like me who is design-challenged. What do you think of services like Canva or Pablo as an alternative to commissioning an artist to create pictures for you?

    • Kevin, I think all those services provide a valuable benefit. Whatever you can do to cut costs and hire someone who is reliable and does a great job should be done.

  43. Hey Neil,

    did the facebook page grow from 3000 fans to 100 000 fans mainly just with shout out for shout out?

    • Tidus, along with an ad and content strategy.

      • I’m a little confused, in your last post you told you stopped the ad. And regarding the screenshot i assume you stopped at 3K fans.

        I’m just trying to figure out, it that would work for anybody to grow a fanbase in a similar speed from the same amount of fans.

  44. It’s interesting – we’re in nutrition too, we’re large (1,000,000+ visitors/mo), and we took a very different approach (nerdy, built up our rep from there).

    Interesting seeing a completely different social-media driven way.

    • Sol, would love to hear some insights — sounds like you are doing an amazing job there!

      • Thanks mate. Similar background as you – made a chunk of $ on the Internets, and got into nutrition with a goal at hand (mine was more to mess with the supplements).

        Our growth has been massive through social media, through reddit (the pedants there love how dirty in the details we get), and support from a lot of other nutrition websites. Because we’re basically Switzerland (we do one thing, and we don’t get into anyone else’s business), people have been more than happy to promote us.

        It’s created a seven figure business for us … just by carving out our specific niche.

  45. Rachael Lynn :

    What a great update! The biggest “click” for me happened when you mentioned targeting your FB ads to English speaking countries in Asia. The numbers are super important but this is way better than “buying” likes just to build those numbers that I’ve seen so many people do.

    Will use this strategy for my cultural engagement project that I’m going to be building organically within the next couple of months.

    Thanks for the updates!

    • Rachael, glad you found the post helpful. Keep me updated on your progress — looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  46. Hi Neil,

    First of all, this is a very exciting journey to follow along!

    I just started out with my fish keeping and aquarium related blog and I was trying to find more ideas to promote it apart from just organic traffic. Your Facebook promotion strategies sound really clever. I’ll try some of those out for sure.

    I’ve got a question, though. How did the site, being such a new site, manage to get authoritative links from Entrepreneur and HuffPost already? Like these:

    Did Mike get in touch with these authors?


    • I too would love to know the answer to this gem.

      Using Haro (premium?) or what?

      Thanks Neil

    • Yes, Mike has been working on providing value to roughly 60 journalists each week. I didn’t actually know that we had all of those links…

      In essence he has been hitting up journalists on these big blogs and providing them with free feedback. He does this 3 times before he recommends a topic for them to write on. The topic he recommends involves Nutrition Secrets or at least he uses some of our links as references.

      Some people like the ideas he is putting out there while others do not. In essence we are pitching. It’s not too hard if you do it in a numbers game and your blog doesn’t make any money.

  47. Neil although I’m not as experienced as you are but still from my point of view I think you are spending much on promotion and I also think that it is not bad tactic but it is no where near to what a newbie or at least a normal blogger would think off. Nevertheless it is a good start. But, I request you to provide us with some cheap promotion and marketing tricks ( but yeah if you explore them, many will follow and some it will be an expensive one). Good performance though. 🙂

    • MS, stay tuned I will continue to provide tips along the way. I have provided some great low cost to no-cost tips in the last few posts.

  48. Great post can’t wait until the next update.

  49. I have got a tip for you if you want a viral post. Talk about veganism, it’s like throwing petrol on a fire.

    • Scott, thanks for the suggestion!

      • Scott Renwick :

        I know this works, my wife is “The Vegan Woman”, she lectures on a vegan cruise (Holistic Holiday at Sea) once per year, where she meets many of the best doctors from the USA (if not the world) on nutritional medicine.

        You’ll find a growing number of top medical practitioners are becoming advocates for the vegan diet as it is been used as a way to eliminate type two diabetes and prevent and even cure many forms of cancer, among many more health and environmental benefits.

        It causes a lot of controversy due the ethical stand point that comes into play whenever the subject of veganism is brought up. People get very defensive when you tell them they are responsible for killing animals.

        • I’d add some nuance – quite a few top obesity experts (ala David Katz) are pro-vegetables, but in no way are they pro-vegan. A large chunk of your diet (according to them) should be vegetables, not the entirety of it.

          It’s an important distinction.

  50. Hey Neil,

    I just launched my online lifestyle magazine. The content is long-form with tonnes of “display boxes” and interesting images. My one huge problem in following the the Nutrition Secret model for Facebook. That website is a sea of confusion for me, and if you could talk more about how a Facebook guide for dummies vis-a-vis Nutrition Secret, it would be awesome.


    • Nita — have you checked out my other blog posts on the challenge?

      I will try to expand more in future posts on the strategies. Is there any specific question you have that I can help with?

      • Just that don’t know jack about social media… I will look for that other blog you mention o your site. And see if I can learn something. Your experiment has become like a drug…I wake up every morning and check my email to see if you’ve posted any updates 🙂 You’re beyond inspirational…


  51. Dontae Carter :


    When doing a branded google search I noticed that the meta description is the first paragraph of your latest post. You might want to consider adding some meta tags as search traffic starts to ramp up.

  52. Robert Munnelly :

    A friend and I started a directory for the construction industry in Ireland over at follow Neil’s advice – especially about getting some cheap ones from the subcontinent – and it’s been crazy.

    We were getting maybe 100 FB likes a day for €20, now getting about 200 a day for €5. It’s mental.

  53. Neil, Great to see the updates. You already averaged 1000 visit a day, that’s great.

  54. Venkatesan J :

    Hi Neil,

    Awesome post i was your fan since last few months back, i had launched my indian sharmarket free tips website recently.

    Please take a look and suggest me anything if you found need to be taken care!!

    Thanks & Regards

    Venkatesan J

    • Venkatesan, I like the concept and I think you have a great service. However, I think you should focus on your user experience a little more. The site looks a bit spammy as it stands.

  55. Really enjoying this saga, Neil. I’ve learned a lot from your blog, but it’s nice to see it from the starting point.

    Curious, has this endeavor actually affected your personal nutrition so far? I’d imagine it’d rub off after a while. 😉


    • Sam, thanks for all the support . It definitely has made me more health conscious. I am learning new things on the daily 😉

  56. Roberto Socarras :

    Neil great info in your post as always I started my website last year without any knowledge of SEO or marketing at all I can say that everything I have implemented I learned here in your blog. I still don’t have much traffic since I am still learning but my may question is how to do a shout-out-for-shout-out deal when my facebook page only has 1139 followers and people with more followers wont be interested.?

    • Roberto, Just have an honest approach and reach out to people within the same niche with a value proposition. Share their content and they will be more inclined to share your content.

  57. Great challenge. I’ll follow your success closely. Reading, not duplicating. But it’s so interesting to see how one can succeed in marketing a niche blog.

  58. Hi Neil,
    How do you message to the pages for shout-out-for-shout-out deals? Do you use Mike’s FB ? I mean because Facebook does not allow you to message from your page?


    • Elle, Mike has been doing it from his page and from the Nutrition page — so far the results have been great.

  59. What can a blogger do if he does not have $2k per month to invest on traffic?

  60. Naomi Dinsmore :

    Wow, Neil these results are amazing!

    When I saw the notification in my email box for the 100,000 challenge I had to stop what I was doing to get reading.

    I am learning more about marketing. I’ve already been using the different countries method to gain cheaper likes and promote my posts to. Like you said, I found the same… the engagement doesn’t really stick. But the boost of likes is now pushing more organic likes.

    I’m heading to FB now to plan my shout-out-for-shout-out deals!

    I’m still speechless about the 30,000 visitors in 2 months.

    Good job – Looking forward to the next post



    PS – Your keeping the haters quiet… for now

    • Naomi, thanks for all the support. I look forward to hearing much more from you. Please let me know if you need any help along the way.

  61. Can you let us know how much time Mike is spending daily/weekly/monthly on this? It’s important to know if people can accomplish the same working full-time and being a father/mother/husband/wife.

    • Dee, Mike spends about 20-30 hours on this as well as balancing his other full time tasks as an entrepreneur. It’s not easy but he makes time because he loves it.

  62. Gives me hope that only 1,700 of your visitors were organically through google.

    We’ve been doing the content marketing since you started the challenge and have similar organic traffic.

    We’re starting in on the social side but have yet to run a Facebook ad. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Keep posting these please 😉

  63. David Freibrun :

    Curious, if these ideas are being explored ?

    What about guest posting or guest columnist with really great content on other Nutrition sites and getting traffic from the referral links? Is that strategy still valid?

    What about getting mentions from other authority blogs/websites/publications?

    How about interview leaders in nutrition space and ask them to share the interview through twitter, facebook, on their website?

    • David, those are all tactics and strategies that we will discuss and dive deeper into in the coming months. Stay tuned 😉

  64. So far so good, glad to see this is still going. Doing some research, looks like you took some heat from that reddit submission. r/Paleo didn’t think very highly of it. We always hear that content is king, may have to review the existing content and make sure that it is accurate.

  65. Yes, I agree all your words, if we’re yet to find out best way to get visitors is through Organic.

  66. Hamza waqar :

    curiosity increasing, hope that you’ll achieve your goal at the end. And the fun thing is I also just start my own blog and challenged myself to make the same amount you are going to make.
    “What do you think of this challenge? Is it helping you learn more about marketing? ”
    Yes, it is helping probably more than anything else.
    Thank you patel.

  67. Jean Brunet :

    Thanks for the update Neil! It’s great to see the progress! 🙂

  68. Neil,

    Thanks for the article. Can you elaborate more on how purchasing an old domain name is contributing to the project at this time?

    Thanks a lot,

    • Andrei, the thinking behind that is the structure of an old domain (if it’s optimized) will save a lot of time and legwork.

  69. Thanks for another awesome post Neil.

    I am curious if the shout out for shout out approach falls under Facebook’s dissuasion of content like the Like/Comment/Share this image type posts that try to game the Edge Rank system. It’s clearly adding value when you share a related page but it also bypasses FB’s whole goal of monetizing brands who are looking to increase their reach.

    Repeatedly it seems Facebook has encouraged brands to pay to play. If this is a very successful tactic how long before FB steps in to make it a “feature” of their ad platform…

    • Jon, it’s definitely part of that type of strategy. It’s important to try all the free tactics so you don’t have to pay for ads all the time.

      • Hi Neil,

        I have 4 FB pages in different niches and I want to do shout out or get somehow my 3 FB pages to promote to my followers to my number my personal Fb page,

        Where is the feature for shout out button, how is it done, could you give some instruction on how to do it in step by step manner, could be a short post.

        Can we do shout that is like one way shout out so I can shout to my Fb followers from my 3 pages only to my personal page that I want to focus on?

        Thanks for this 100k challenge Neil, its keeping me on the task at hand, there are so many shiny plugins, software’s, courses that promise this and that and never delivers, I have been online marketer since 2006 and I have done quite good, my focus was affiliate marketing using SEO as the main traffic source until the panda bla bla thing hit and wiped my business off the map, it was horrible and I became so depressed because of it, I just felt so much of a failure and I had to just take a break and think what a heck do I want to do.

        Then after very good break I finally discovered it, I don´t want to focus on SEO or just making money as an affiliate again, I want to make my own products (kindle books and apps) and be only in the niches that I am passionate about that actually helps people, by the way all of my niches are semi related so I can focus using my personal blog that carries my name.

        My focus beside creating products, will be posting curating content that are either helpful tips, studies or newsworthy content in my niches and my income stream will be my products and affiliate products that really does what the label promises.

        And my traffic strategies will be via whatever Neil is doing and recommending.

        But I need to mention that never reached your level.

        Sorry for the long sauce the words just came, I was just going to ask about the shout out strategy how to. lol

        Thanks Neil for sharing with us on what you are doing and how this is simply amazing.

        • Thordur, glad I could help. I don’t quite understand your shout for shout question — can you elaborate?

          • Thanks for your fast reply Neil.

            I have one new page that has now only almost 300 fans and that new page carries my name and I have 3 other pages in different niches that I won´t pursue anymore but I still have in total 6000 fans likes that I would like to get to like my new page,

            So my question is can i get these 3 pages as shout out to promote to those 6k fans to my new page with only 300 fans?

            Is there a another way where I can invite the 6k fans from the 3 pages to my new 300 fb like page without have to pay?

            And I don´t know how to do this shout out deal at all, trying to find the feature within my FB dashboard but I don´t find it, I am new to Fb thing, my focus was always in the past on seo only to get traffic so I am kinda lost, needles to say it was a stupid strategy as it helped to kill my business because of panda thing.

            By the way what do you think of my curating strategy for grabbing the long long tails keyword traffic and for publishing fresh content on a daily basis on my site as also way to establish me as the authority in my niches that are all semi related,

            another reason for going for the curating strategy is because English is my second language so it will be less grammar spelling mistakes on my site?

  70. How long til you rank meaningfully in Google for any competitive terms.

    I know it takes longer but I assume you have a feel for what you expect.

  71. Hi there!
    I’ve been following the development of this project very keenly as I’m currently working on a new site that has some large boots to fill due to the success of the company’s other sites.
    We’ve been spending quite a bit of time on outreach and have been getting mixed results, but I’m wondering if you’ve found an optimum approach for getting shout-out-for-shout-out deals, and if it’s much different to your traditional bogger outreach for promoting content.
    I mean, this situation is mutually beneficial, how does it compare?

    • Nick, if you check out my last post on the 100k challenge I provided a template that may provide useful:

      Ultimately you have to provide a value–add to be successful.

      • Thanks for getting back so quickly!
        I read the post and I totally agree that the added value way is definitely awesome, I’m actually a big fan of this approach as it literally makes everyone happy 🙂 but isn’t it slightly different to the shout-out-for-shout-out deal? I mean this way is like before Google got on to link exchange deals – but in the world of social media all the rules are turned on their heads..
        I guess what I’m asking is this: Do you need to add any more value to the deal, other than “I’ll share your content if you share mine”? Is it as simple as that?

  72. L.L. Barkat :

    Which locations in Asia did you choose? And did you choose by city or country?

  73. Once again another gem. Wonder how people would like my hand drawn pictures 😀

  74. Thanks for the update Neil. I really can’t see how you jumped from X,000 likes on FB via paid ads to XX,000 just via like for like shoutouts. Are you saying that each shoutout generated thousands of new fans?

  75. Hiya,

    As I, and a few others, have asked a number of times already, how on earth did you get 100,00 Facebook page likes in such a short space of time? Please please explain! 🙂


  76. …p.s. I mean over and above the 3282 fans you got via adverts. It just seems that 97,000 fans through simply shout outs from other blogs is a bit incredible/unbelievable… would really love some more detailed info…

  77. Eric @ 1 Awesome Dad :

    Hi there I have a blog at in which I discuss parenting issues, child discipline and how to be a great dad. I’m following the progress here, taking notes and growing my traffic and social media presence.

    Neil is right that you have to establish yourself as an expert in your subject matter. If you can do that you will have people asking questions, getting help, and eventually offer informational products to sell.

    It’s a great plan, the key is to stay focused and determined! Thanks Neil for all your feedback and transparency, it helps a lot.

    • Eric, sounds like an awesome site. Being a subject matter expert always provides a positive benefit in the long run. Let me know if you need help with anything at all.

  78. Thanks for the transparency. Your goal is so compelling how can we not tune in with interest?! All the best with it.

    What is meant by posting less “me too content”?

  79. I struggle to see how you get FB likes for such a low amount. I’ve tried numerous times to replicate (targeting low cost markets, etc.) but the lowest I can get is around .15-.20 per like.

    Would you mind sharing some more details on the exact settings you used to get your $.01-.02 / like?


  80. Matt Auckland :

    Hi Neil, great insight once again, inspiring me in my journey to complete and launch my website and music niche project.

    Would you say 5 blog posts is the golden ticket, so to speak, for an editorial schedule on a new blog?

    I’m building out a music niche website / blog, and I’m looking to structure my editorial schedule prior to the launch. Still in the design & development phase currently (sneak peak:, but I’m hoping to launch soon.

    As a developer I’ve already baked in a lot of SEO features into the framework I built to run the site, such as Open Graph, Twitter Cards, SEO friendly URLs and so on, but I’m hoping with tips learnt from your 100,000 challenge, I can refine the website as I progress.

    Keep up the great work Neil!

    • Matt – your strategy is pretty sound and I am sure you’ll see great success. Let me know if you need help along the way.

  81. W.O.W.

    I’m absolutely blown away by the traffic.
    So much so that it has actually got me a little downhearted.

    Google likes you that much???

    Neil, I have started a blog at Get into my life.

    I am creating (keyword researched long-tail, short tail) content, getting shares, good dofollow backlinks at a reasonable pace.

    My question is the domain is new, indexed for the first time by google two months ago.

    With 1 to 2 visits from google am I simply up against the “New site Sandbox” or should I chuck in the towel, and try something else? (don’t want to)

    Cheers, Joey.

    • Matt Auckland :

      I had a quick look Joey, and something is not right with the Google listing for your domain.

      In Google the site appears as:-
      We post cool things to buy for your home, work, and life. Buy cool things for yourself, or if your super nice as gifts for others.

      But the page title of your site is “Cool things to buy – Get Into My Life”, which would imply there is something wrong with your tags perhaps. Have you submitted the site to Google Webmaster Tools? This could help diagnose the issue.

      I would also suggest improving the description text, something like “The latest exciting and cool gifts and gadgets that you need in your life”, is more punchy and descriptive.

      It also means your description text would include the keywords “life” and “cool”, which you feature in your page title text. Might help with rankings.

      For your Title tag for the home page only, I would consider using something like “Get Into My Life – Latest Gadgets Gifts and more”. Coupled with the description text it will help you rank better for your domain name, and is also more descriptive for search engine users.

      Hope that helps

      • Hey Matt, Thanks for replying!

        A search for brings up

        Cool things to buy – Get Into My Life
        We post cool things to buy for your home, work, and life. Buy cool things for yourself, or if your super nice as gifts for others.

        The overall homepage keyword I am going for is
        ‘cool things to buy’
        so as you can see by the description the keyword features heavily. I may redo it to make it more for audience than the search engines. Good point.

        Get into my life is outranked by the Beatles song ‘gotta get you into my life’ so I’m happy to climb the brandname rankings slower as ‘get into my life’ is searched for twice a year!

        The longtail keywords are things like birch tree shower curtain
        or entry hall organizer

        Webmaster tools doesn’t seem to have a problem with the tags,

        so I am still left wondering if google will ever like me!

        • Matt Auckland :

          Hi Joey,

          I can only go on what is showing me here in the U.K, but to ensure it isn’t a tainted search via Google Chrome, I also keep my Internet Explore install set to delete all cache, cookies, and temporary files. It is also set to keep no history at all, as I use this browser to monitor search results, and test website builds/design.

          Perhaps you need to focus on a non competitive long tail keyword set, as I noticed “Cool things to buy” is very competitive, returning a lot of results.

          On another note, testing the site via Googles PageSpeed Insights ( did flag up some issues, including “This page may not pass Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.”, which might have an effect on mobile searches for your site. Although it should effect your desktop ranking.

          Good luck!

    • Joey, stick it out for a while. If you have any specific questions let me know.

  82. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for sharing your journey so far. I’m closely following this website. I’ve chosen my niche as awareness and managed to get my blog started. One part where I’m currently struggling is that to get a content writer as the person whom I hired initially has gone. How should I approach in finding quality writers. I’ve kept marketing efforts on hold as I’m yet to find writer. Please share your thoughts.
    Many thanks

    • Venu, just go out and find writers on e-lance or other mediums. You can also write for yourself to get the ball rolling.

  83. For reference my website is which covers about awareness niche in all fields.

  84. Neil, how are you landing links on

  85. mukesh jangir :

    hey neil it’s great to listen that is doing a very good job
    by the way i too have some news for my blog
    in month of may i had 7017 pageviews and 15% of them are visitors my facebook fanpage has also gain likes but it’s engagement is not very good. can you fix it out.
    and you bet we are learning a lot of things from your challenge. think within 5 years if you keep sharing like this we ll be also earning $100000 per month hahahahahahah.
    good going neil

    • Mukesh, thanks for the feedback and sharing your story. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  86. Hi Neil,

    About your comments, here and at the project site – do you handle them as the standard WordPress comment system (name and email) and then they are queued for approval? Are there any better ways of handling comments? especially when dealing with spam?

  87. Very nice update Neil!

    Like other people, I’m following your progress closely to learn new things that can be applied to my websites.

    The FB trick to build Asian fans then do shout outs is awesome!

  88. Sportsbarker :

    Hi Neil,

    I’ve been following you and your excellent advice as I grow my new site, I started from ground-zero in mid-February and the site is now attracting about 4,000 visits a day.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your progress!

  89. Linjo Joson :

    Hi Neil,

    Where do you get those images in your blog post(Nutrition blog)? Do you buy them ?

  90. Waqar Ahmed :

    Hello Neil,
    Great post again. But I had read somewhere on Spencer’s blog wherein he was of the view that food blogs or recipies blog are not designed for making money online. He support ed his argument by saying that even if you are going to write a brilliant recipe, your reader is going to note it down or take a print out and then he will disappear. What’s there for him to pay you or why will he pay you when all the information you provided is readily available almost everywhere.
    My question is that how you will earn $10000 when according to Spencer’s law there won’t be anything for sale. Is your strategy solely depends upon the traffic and ads? OR you will publish somes PDFs like Mr. Staurt Walker do? 🙂
    Sorry if this question was stupid. 🙂

  91. Neil,
    This is a awesome post as usual. But my question is that, how do you think to monetize your website? Affiliate or Adsense? As the most of the fans you targeted from asia, in long run do you believe they will bring profit for you? I always target EU or US to gather fans on my page. Off course I have not that much fans like you and my CCL (Cost per like) is always $0.40-0.85. But still not bad I hope as I’m monetizing it with good affiliate offer. What do you think?


  92. Harekrishna :

    Good information about the month of May. has many challenges, I am learning from it. The two hands draw images, are beautiful.

  93. It’s interesting following this case study. Neil, I don’t know if you can share this but if there is anything you can share about the type of payment structure/deal you’ve made with Mike as you mentioned you haven’t made any income yet from the site.

    So, both of you are doing the work for nothing currently until income starts coming in.

    How do you approach people to work on a project like this for a promise of future income?

    I’ve had a hard time figuring this part out.


  94. Can you please explain to me how you got “100k people like this” on facebook so quickly? Have you explained this somewhere and I have missed it? I feel like I have been doing a hard slog on facebook for many many years – like hitting my head on a brick wall to get followers. I share interesting positive content but get no where and would really appreciate any advice. Thanks so much

    • Lee, it’s all about the content we are finding and the ad strategy that I have employed. I will delve into the whole process a little more in the next few posts.

      • That is my question too, Neil. How is it possible to manage 100k+ fans in such shot time. Please explain your targeting or ad strategy, dear. And can we please know how much you spent till now to have such number of fans?


  95. I would like to suggest something about site. When i checked your website i have seen email address subscription on the left side bar and in Hello bar on top. I think one is sufficient. In hello bar instead of Email subscription you can give “Facebook like” button. That came to my mind when i first came across your site.

    Good work.

    Thank you.

  96. Hi Neil,

    I am a great admirer of your posts and I have learnt a lot from them. Certain posts help me reinforce my existing beliefs and some posts enlighten me of a completely new concept.

    Yes, I do firmly believe that this experiment shall culminate in a big success.



  97. I love this project Neil, I am actually glad that you are doing this because I am about to embark on an affiliate marketing project on Amazon and I believe I will get most of my starting guides from this project.
    In terms of design, I like the design and the Mike’s content is Fresh.
    So just keep it up because you are an inspiration to most of us small time internet marketers

    • Morgan, thanks for the feedback. We have worked hard to tweak the process and ensure that it’s replicable. Let me know if you need any help along the way.

  98. Thanks for Sharing Nice Information ..

  99. I my God, Can`t Wait any longer for the next update…. I`m Waiting… to Copy The Project.

  100. Hey Neil,

    I’m trying to do the same thing Mike is doing. I also have problems with the me-too content, but I hope that in time this will no longer be an issue. I like your post because I find it very inspiring, so I’ll keep reading your text.



    • Diana — thanks for the feedback. I think in time you’ll find that you have a more comfortable feel with everything and the roadblocks will diminish.

  101. Great update.

    What sort of list size are you looking at at the moment? Also are you going after any particular keywords, or just general content marketing at the moment?

  102. THIS HELPS JUST SOO MUCH!!!! I just follow your stuff and it works… Thank you so much, Neil!

  103. Hi Neil,

    The $100K challenge you’ve been doing is a tremendous help when I do my marketing strategy.

    Thanks for walking us through the process from the ground up. Looking forward to tracking the developments.


  104. Hi Niela I am learning a lot I have started my site which is I have jusst contractedthree writers from to write their opinions on any topic for my blog , at the moment it is only letters from the web

  105. Dear Neil,
    Thanks for a very inspiring and informative your challenge update article. It’s a great value and a perfect example for the people (and myself) looking for the fresh ideas on-line and the new ways to succeed in internet marketing world.
    “The path to success is to take a massive, determined action” – Tony Robbins.
    Cheers and have a nice day!
    My regards,
    Founder of website
    Self Employment Ideas – From Opportunities & Challengers to Prosperity

    • Dan, glad you found it helpful. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  106. Hi Neil,

    I really enjoy your posts normally, but I think there is a huge amount of value in having these ‘team talk’ type posts where you comment about what you are up to, and what you have learnt from it.

    I suppose it just all goes to increase your personal brand too, as we can all relate to what you say!

    You are an inspiration Neil, keep doing what you do best 🙂


    • Christian, I like to talk to everyone on here as if we are all part of a team so I totally understand your point of view. Thanks for the feedback.

  107. Hii Neil,

    You mastered this art of SEO, I really admire your innovation and creativity along with use of social media to make posts viral.

  108. Rohan Bhardwaj :

    Hi Neil,

    Too much into your challenge, I feel like I am in the driving seat.

    1700 odd Google visits, that’s amazing. Hand drawings are amazing, I might try it out too. Pinterest can drive enormous traffic once the image is epic as it will go viral.

    Thanks for the update. You are awesome.

  109. Hey Neil ,

    Again Nice journey … thanks for this post i know there i hope of success :), and i am surprised that there is no YouTube available in list of traffic source … but again you give me hope and motivation to do more focus on Facebook promotion.. but i am also going with YouTube. what you say .. ???

    btw thanks for genuine data .. now i am waiting for next month result.. 🙂

  110. Neil, you are really an inspiration for thousands of bloggers.
    Your style of explanation is really amazing. I hope you will be able to achieve this challenge as well.
    Keep sharing great information with us.

  111. Hi Neil,

    I’ve also been buying low cost likes from Asia. It’s definitely fun to put campaigns together.

    I’m just wondering what the point of these likes is in the long run since they almost certainly won’t engage with my page or make a purchase from my website. Is it just make my page look more popular to attract authentic fans?


    • Nikov, there is always an inflection point where fans can turn into buyers — you just have to offer the right value proposition.

  112. “Since then, the Facebook page has grown, but the engagement has been declining. It has nothing to do with the fans. It has to do with the fact that Mike isn’t as good as I am when it comes to choosing social media updates. Other people’s content sometimes performs 30 times better than our own.”

    Neil Patel doesn’t even believe his own words. Definitely a bunch of “fake” likes, as explained in this video:

    100,000 followers, safe to say half are super low quality, another 30-50% are internet marketers.. If Patel kept the blog name hushed, growth would be totally different.

    • Troy — doesn’t look like that video comes from a credible source. I changed course very early on so keep up with progress 😉

      • Everyone I know who has been doing Facebook marketing for a long time would agree with that video.

      • I still respect everything you do!

      • Rohan Bhardwaj :

        Hi Neil,

        Veritasium has mentioned links in the description of the experiment.

        Quoting “…

        The US Department of State spent $630,000 to acquire 2 million page likes and then realized only 2% were engaged.

        I thought I would demonstrate that the same thing is still happening now by creating Virtual Cat ( ”

        I am not saying your strategy is wrong or right, I didn’t liked it when you said the video doesn’t come from a trusted source.


  113. This is soooo inspirational to me. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information!!

  114. hey neil you are really awesome….. thanks for sharing post like this with us…… really a great info

  115. Nice tip: Facebook fan page shout-out-for-shout-outs
    I definetely learning a lot here. Thanks for sharing.
    I really curious to see how long it takes to get to 100k unique per month from now.

  116. Interesting project Neil! This is a good way to get more internet marketeers to follow quickprout 😉

    When you make or improve a B2C site, how do you calculate if your investments (domain, writer, drawings etc) will be worth it?

    • Victor — that’s the tough part you can make projections but ultimately you just have to start doing things.

  117. Hi Neil,
    I have started a viral content blog, but after reading through your journey I’m changing the strategy.
    I am now posting a mix set of posts (some viral, and some others with better qualitie and looking after the SEO).

    So far I think I am doing well (9000 sessions/month). But I have a problem, I don’t have a “main” niche. I have things that cover from step-by-step methods to fix slow phones, to fitness-health posts (always with a sense of humor). Any suggestion there?

    I have a FB page with 2k likes (mostly from FB ads).

    • Aaron, I think you have a pretty solid game plan. Have you thought of a monetization strategy yet?

      • Hi Neil,
        I’ve added adsense… But it is not being very productive. Last month 13€ (it’s a beginning though). Any suggestions there? Humor is not something I could take much benefit from (can’t imaginr any cpa fitting there).
        BTW, I’m spanish and so is my blog.

  118. You say you keep the shout out for shout out post up for a few hours. How do you decide when to take it down? How do you know that the person you are doing the shout out for actually saw that you did it. Have you ever had anyone come back and ask why you took it down?

  119. Hi Neil,

    You are great going.I think you will achieve your tar-gate sure.

  120. woooa.

    how come you managed to get those likes at 0.03 dollar on facebook advertising platform.

    I’ll be glad if you write a post showing us the way.

  121. Looks like you and Mike are doing a good job, especially in terms of content creation. Those posts look great now.

    Just wondering how is going with the mailing list, if you do not mind to share!


  122. Hi Neil, how did you go about setting up the shout out for shout out arrangement with other fanpages? Manually? Is there some kind of network you go to set up plans with Fanpages in your niche?

  123. Neil –

    I gotta say I love your stuff most of the time. However, I don’t think this can ever be replicated by other marketers without your name. That’s because you promised a percentage of profits to a recognizable expert. No expert would ever go in with any no-name person like us on a deal for a percentage of profits.

    I don’t think it’s realistic for any except a handful to pull off.

    • Dan — I don’t agree. I think the results can be replicable (to scale) A lot of people will likely do even better than me. Stay tuned and you’ll see why 😉

  124. sanyam jain :

    Your journal has mesmerized me.. I have read so many journal before but none of them got me so much..

    You idea of Shout-out for shout-out deals is pretty new to me and I am looking to do the same. I wish you all the success..


  125. Hi Neil,

    I was wondering how you had gotten all that activity on Facebook without breaking the bank. It’s been great to follow along with your blog and try out these techniques for my own blog as well. Thanks for the transparency!

    It’s hard for me to imagine reaching 100K visitors on my blog especially since I’m not able to keep up with the 5-posts-a-week tactic you and Mike are using. Do you think it’s detrimental to my growth to post fewer than 5 posts a week? Currently I’m operating under the assumption that a couple of quality posts per week is better than nothing.

    James (@paparushblog)

    • James, it’s all about providing timely content at appropriate intervals. It’s also the headline and messaging that matters — finding the right formula for your content can yield some great results.

  126. Hey Neil,

    I love following along your progress with nutritionsecrets.

    My question is, how do you gather unique content ideas? Such as freezing lemons. If I use buzzsumo and search what is most shared, then write something similar then I’m just writing “me-too” content.

    I guess what I’m asking is, how do you find unique topics that still have a mass appeal.?

    • Lee, Mike does a lot of reading on the topic and just has creative ideas that come to him. He’s very talented in that regard.

  127. Great progress Neil. But I wonder why the top 5 popular posts on Nutrition secret are always the same old posts before Mike stepped in. Does that mean Mike is not as good writer as old person ? None of his new posts can beat the old ones.

    Also, is it ok if I re-use some of your pic on my blog ? It is in Vietnamese language so it won’t compete with your audience.
    My blog url

  128. Nice journey Neil.

  129. Hey Neil,

    This is one of mine most favorite journey so far and you have inspired me to start my on blog about healthy food. Thank you!

    I was wondering do you use any SEO plugin for your site (like WordPress SEO by Yoast) if you do which one, or for that mater should we use one at all?

    Thank you so much!

    • Metodija, I haven’t really used many plugins as of yet — Just working on getting content up. Yoast is great.

  130. Hey Neil,

    thank you very much for sharing these details with us!

    How do you find other pages for making shoutouts? I don’t really know how to or find any pages. Or do you just look at your friends’ like lists and the Facebook “discover pages” thing?

    Thank you

  131. Hi Neil,

    Is there a way to view all the updates about on one page?
    A separate category for this perhaps?

    It would be great to have an overview so we don’t have to scroll through all the content and open different tabs.

    – Pim

    • Pim, good suggestion. Let me see what I can do.

      • For someone who is such an expert this blog is poorly organised.

        Label each $100,000 challenge post with the same tag so we can easily keep track of the updates.

        Will take less than 5 minutes.

  132. I see KISSmetrics mentioned here
    You might need to see if you can get a backlink 🙂

    and thank you for your amazing blogposts!

  133. Video Interview :

    Hi Neil,

    I’ve recently tried your analysis and those are really good. Looking forward to implement all the changes that are suggested.

    Thank you

  134. I find all of this fascinating. There is nothing I want more than to make a living, a good living, working for myself. The challenge is I know less than zero about this stuff. I guess the other challenge is that I have no start-up capital.

    I have tried starting blogs on topics I thought others would like to read, but they weren’t really interesting to me so I stopped. I recently started a new blog that I enjoy writing but its brand new and I only have a couple of posts. I don’t know anything about getting traffic or monetizing it down the road. I will have to spend some time reading through all your material to try and figure it all out.

    I look forward to checking in from time to time to see how your project is coming along.


    • Ryan, let me know if you need any help along the way. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

    • Ryan, thanks for the great feedback. Keep me posted on your progress along the way. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  135. you pretty much explains Neil and congratulations on progress

  136. Neil liked this evolution, they will surely could

  137. Tim Johnson :

    What is a Me-Too post?

    • He’s referencing content that is already similar to what is produced by other sites. Neil wants him to write more unique content to help out his nutrition site.

    • Tim — a post that is generic and just copies other popular topics.

  138. Hi Neil,
    Thanks so much for this post and your transparency. It is so helpful. I have been developing content for a site that I have yet to launch for a couple months. After reading your post, I decided to find and buy a aged site with similar content. Since I haven’t officially launched and have been in “maintenance mode” with WordPress, Can you help me think through the best approach?

    Here are the options I can think of. I’m new to all of this so I could easily be mistaken. My desire is to leverage the history and the links to build traffic more quickly. Which option is most likely to preserve the PA and DA and help me rank going forward once I launch?


    1) Assume the old expired domain (by parking the domain and referencing the expired URL in WordPress General Settings), build the site around the existing links (using WayBack machine) and add new content.

    2) Keep my current domain in WordPress General Settings, park the expired domain and set it up so that the links work (using old URLs). I think that will make all the existing links still work though many of them point to the home page which will take readers to a home page that maybe has a different name than they were expecting based on the anchor. The content will be similar and valuable. This option allows the used of the logo I already created.

    3) Hosting the expired domain separately and doing 301 redirects to my current domain (at the total domain level)

    4) Hosting the site separately and doing 301 redirects for each of the existing links to posts on my current domain

    Any others? Which do you recommend to maximize traffic building and SEO building first and foremost?

    Thanks for all that you do!


    • Ty, thanks for sharing these excellent tips. If I come across any others I will share them in a future post. Let me know if you need help with anything at all.

  139. Hi Neil,

    Thanks again for all these very interesting info. I’m curious about how you make these shout-out-for-shout-out deals. Do you repeat several times for the same page you have the deal? More or less you look for pages with the same numbers as yours? Are them from completely different areas? I’m really trying to learn what I can. Thanks.

  140. Jesse Hackshaw :

    Great stuff. I like to read these kjourneys journeys because it inspires me to continue with my own endeavours. Please keep us posted on the sites achievements. And keep up the good work.

  141. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for another great update. I did a quick comparison to show people the differences of where you and I both are after 2 months (the experienced vs the inexperienced). I hope it helps keep other people motivated.

    Looking forward to more as always,

  142. Hey Neil,

    You said that you don’t plan to monetize Mike’s site until 100,000 monthly visitors. Is there any specific reason for that, or for monetizing too soon in general? And when you do monetize, what will be the methods?

    Also, could you do a post related to monetization and your thoughts on the best and most reliable forms and ways to monetize? Perhaps you’ve done this already…

    Thanks and great post!

  143. Ankur Pathania :

    That is amazing! It respects see that you are soon going to hit your objective! You are developing at an incredible velocity!


    I am additionally thinking to give some test to my perusers moreover! By thusly, We can advertise our primary blog as well! Like subsequent to posting this article, movement on Quicksprout may be expanded! I loved it!


    Much obliged for this article and Update sir

  144. Neil, I am really enjoying this series of posts. Great marketing insights!
    I was wondering if you could have an index of all posts in the series somewhere on the website?

  145. Great… I am constantly monitoring your updates and trying to understand the basic blogging things. Sooner or later I am going to apply this techniques on my own blogs.

    Thanks for sharing this details. It keeps me inspire.

    Keep posting.

  146. Hi Neil,

    How have you managed to start getting 1,700 visitors from organic traffic already? Is it based on the power of the expired domain, keyword research and on-page optimization or something else?

  147. sorry, have to take step back hear and ask you if you’d be kind enough to explain how you found the domain (flippa, sedo, bido?), what you looked at etc…just a few sentences

    was it already ranking for something or did it jump up when you started working?

    anybody with any experience here knows that you can’t just shoot up like that, especially with that domain that shows 302s in most of Wayback snaps…

    For example, how did you get that link on that publishwithagility thing…I have to be blunt and say that that looks paid and if you all that you say you are Neil, you’ll not delete this comment.


    • Just through searches. I was doing domain searches to figure out what names sound good. I just asked friends and I picked the one that they felt sounded the best.

      As for the links, none are paid, it is just manual outreach. I am not sure the exact link you are referring to as we get a ton of natural ones… It is just good content.

  148. **take a step back here**…I sound like a dumb-ass in the comment above 🙂

  149. Hey Neil,

    great article!
    I have a quick question:

    Mike released an article pretty similar to the one which got really viral “This Amazing Drink Melts Fat In Only 4 Days” which got like 230k Facebook-Shares.
    I think it’s really smart to do a remix like he did in his last post.

    So my question is:
    How to find viral content like that?
    Is there some kind of plattform where I can put in a keyword, for example “food recipe” and articles like that show up?

    Thanks in advance and greetings from germany,
    Patrick 🙂

    • Patrick, you can use content curation channels like Feedly to find great content within any niche — that’s always a good way to go.

      • Hey Neil, thanks for your advice!

        Could you elaborate a bit on that, please?
        Feedly is a pretty good starting point I guess but in order to find viral content it’s really not that suited. It would take really long time to go through all the articles and take a look at the sharing-counter.

        There has to be a better way.
        Again thank you so much. I really appreciate 🙂

  150. Jennifer Smith :

    Do you have any advice for local SEO? I’ve heard of Yext, but it cost so much money. There are other companies that claim to do the same like Synup, but I’m worried they are scams. Thanks in advance. Jen

  151. Marcus Williams :

    I tried services for local SEO like Yext and Synup. In my opinion, Yext is great if you have a ton of money and don’t have time to wait. The other services like Synup are good but the take a few weeks to show up in the listings but are much cheaper ($1.50-$2.00 per listing compared to $499 per year). It just depends on your needs. Good luck!

  152. Mario Bentivolio :


    I love this article, thank you so much. I’m new to feedly dot com and am trying to find the best way to use its features and options to better my yoga blog. You’re correct, it is a great place to find new content and articles, but it’s so easy to get lost and never found if you’re a new and up and coming blogger. I’m wondering if there’s a better way or place you know of for “nobodys” to get found. I guess that’s probably the million dollar question everyone wants answered though. Thank again, Mario

    • Mario, great content and promoting your content widely is the surest way to go. I would suggest having a multi-channel approach that focuses on quality headlines and content.

  153. Learning so much from this experiment! I’m working on my own niche site and I’m excited to start applying your method, Neil. I’m also gaining some excellent tips for driving more traffic to my business planning company Renegade Planner as well. Thanks!

  154. hey neil,
    Big fan of yours.
    I am following this challenge from the start and i found it very interesting too.
    Also i am following your instructions in making a blog successful.
    thanks a lot and keep posting. 🙂

  155. hey Neil.
    nice update on your challenge.
    As you earlier told us in this challenge that you bought an old domain so I want to ask you that if i want to buy a domain then should i buy a new one or a old domain name is more useful to buy.
    thanks in advance.

  156. Elvis Michael :

    You have a winning strategy and I can’t wait to see where this new website is later on — perhaps 6 to 12 months from now.

    The name is catchy and it implies that the content is unique and fresh (hence, nutrition secrets).

    Keep up the amazing (and very inspirational) challenge.

    Elvis M.

  157. Neil,

    What is your success rate when asking Facebook pages for a shout out for shout out deal?

    I’ve asked a dozen pages to do that and have received only one reply — and it was a negative one.

    And my page has about 400,000 likes and it is very active. How do you make other Facebook admins to accept such a deal?

  158. Only 1,786 visitors from Google out of 33,216 visitors. Google is seriously gone mad and you can’t get any pay back for your hard work from the search engine giant. What the hell is with google we seriously need a new google competitor.

  159. Hi Neil,
    I am just curious about HOW can you find a proper “niche”. I mean.. let’s say you are capable of writing about “sport”, “technology” and “food”… how do you know which one will be the most likely niche to succeed?

    I personally am a sport trainer …but blogging about it (“teaching”? personal idea about matches? general news about your sport?), well…I don’t see it profitable, while maybe food or technology are …still good niche.

    I am motivated, but confused… 🙂

  160. Hi Neil,

    So many comments and I hope this hasn’t been answered.

    I wonder how realistic this experiment really is if you are linking to it from this blog. As you are so well known online and your blogs have so much clout, doesn’t this give you an unrealistic advantage over other people who don’t have the traffic and link juice clout you have?

    • James, essentially what I am looking or is people interested in the nutrition space — that is what will provide the most ROI. Qualified traffic is more important — and I am still working on that angle.

      • Well, it still seems you’ve had a massive head start over people with no following at all. I know you changed a link to the site from this one, but are there still links and I’m sure Google already boosted you. Plus, even if your name isn’t on the site now it was and still is associated.

        I’m sure you must have known this from the beginning and wonder why you didn’t address this from the outset?

        I like your stuff and have bought a couple of things and you are one of the few people I follow and read some posts, but it’s shame this wasn’t a fairer test from the beginning.

  161. Hey Neil,

    I love to read from your project. For me it is also a bit of an how to and it helps me to stay motivated with my own project.
    I’m from Germany and I’m wondering if you recommend trying to adopt your ideas in the german market? Because I think many of the tactics you describe don’t have as much impact on the german market. I would love you to prove me wrong 😛

    • Sergej, these principles can be applied just as readily to European markets. You just have to find the right audience and strategy.

  162. Haynes Bruce :

    Hi Neil, you already know how QuickSprout community is and it definitely makes the site analytics inaccurate so I don’t know why you post the the site link on QuickSprout. Thus, this project does not convince me enough that “you will build it from scratch”. The authority and the reputation of the site is build from QuickSprout community not from people in the niche.

    • Haynes, appreciate the feedback and understand your concerns. However, I have addressed that issue by moving everything over to another entity and focusing only on the nutrition community.

  163. Anouk Kolkman :

    Hi Neil,

    Again a great blog post! I’m learning a lot from you!
    I’m writing my own blog at the moment, but the blog shouldn’t be the main business.
    I’m a front end developer (mostly WordPress) and in my blog posts I’m trying to explain the importance of content and identity marketing, so people would take me seriously.

    But back at you again, I really really love your posts! “normal” people wouldn’t get so much traffic and maybe we have to put in a little more effort than you, but the basics of your posts are really valuable for every blogger (and business for that matter)!

    Again: love it! Keep on the good work!


    Anouk Kolkman

    • Anouk, thanks for the additional insights and feedback. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  164. Hello Neil,

    how are you planning to monetize the project?

  165. its nice info for us we and many others people are learning from your blogs. its very appreciating. we are waiting of your next booming blog.

  166. Jitendra Rathore :

    Hi Neil,

    Your post is very helpful for me in boasting my career.
    But I have a query about second report which is shown in post that from where we can generate this report for our blog.
    Please review and let me know any improvement in our blog.

  167. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for posting this!

    What kind of template do you use when asking for shout-outs? I have 3000 likes on my page so I have started to do some outreach, yet no one will bite (the fan pages also have varying contact info so that may be part of the problem). I’ve tried to avoid saying anything too generic, but what was your strategy?

    Thanks so much!


    • Kara, I would craft something unique if you don’t want a cookie cutter approach. Just add value and the rest will follow.

  168. Lyman Perrine :

    Great results so far Neil!

    I started a new niche site 2 months ago. I’m just monetizing my site differently than you. I’m doing Display Ads and Amazon.

    Mostly due to the niche I entered and it works really well. I also wanted a way to immediately recuperate my ad spend.

    So far for the month of June I’m getting close to 200,000 visits to my blog. Almost all of it from Facebook. I have 2 fan pages for the site totaling almost 13,000 likes.

    My organic traffic is growing. Especially the more content I add. Because it’s a new domain and site it’s taking time for all my links to be found.

    I already have hundreds of domains linking to me with 0 linkbuilding or outreach campaigns.

    I should hit $1,000+ in revenue this month. I will only be in the hole a few hundred bucks. Not shabby though considering it’s a new site. I’m still making tweaks here and there.

    I’m thinking about migrating hosts and updating my design too.

    I use 3 different types of content on my site:

    1.) Social Focused Content – This is content geared just for social media. Usually incorporates lists and are image heavy. These get shared like crazy. I have one post that’s been shared 29,000 times.

    2.) SEO Content – These are more in depth articles geared for the search engines. Product Reviews, guides, tips, etc…

    3.)Social/SEO Content – This is more of hybrid type content. It combines elements that make people want to share like lists and images, but also includes a good bit of content. EX: 21 Pieces of Gear….etc…

    Looking forward to your next update…. and good luck!


    • Lyman, sounds like you are doing all the right things. Keep up the great work and keep focusing on that multi-channel approach — it will prove beneficial in the long run.

  169. Hi Neil,

    Would you mind sharing how much of that monthly traffic was direct traffic?

    While you stopped linking to the site within your blog posts, people would still be copy/pasting the URL they see within blog posts like this one.


  170. HI Neil,

    I don’t think you have earned $100,000 from, because I couldn’t find any ads there on blog.

    Can you please explain what is source of earning $100,000? How you make money from this blog?

  171. Thanks for Sharing Information ..

  172. HI Neil, great post. I really like how your grew your Facebook strategy and I’m following it myself. However I’ve run into a little bit of a problem. There doesn’t seem to be a way for me to message a page admin from my Facebook page. I can only do it from my personal page. Can anyone help?

    Thanks in advance.

  173. Danielle Brown :

    Hi Neil

    Nice post. I am using facebook for post engagement and I wanted to know how did you get your cost down to 0.03 cents?


  174. Hey, I am your big fan, I read your all 3 blogs and even the 4th nutrition blog, I am here to ask you one question, please help me?
    I have started blogging few months ago and I am doing everything for my blog but it still not getting any organic traffic , you started blog and getting good traffic from search engine and social media sites ,how can i improve my site to get at least 1k organic traffic in 1st month ? I knew I cant afford 50k likes page on FB but if organic traffic come on my site that could be possible in future,will you check please and tell me how can my site can get traffic from search engine? for now I get 0 search engine traffic? ._.

    • Aryan, sure what’s your website?


        • I will delete my website, It’s not getting search engine traffic, and also backlink for nutrition sites are hard to get, most of nutrition health sites don’t have comment section(worst part). how will I compete with those high page rank and higher authority sites that they have?

  175. Hey Neil,
    I am curious if the shout out for shout out approach falls under Facebook’s dissuasion of content like the Like/Comment/Share this image type posts that try to game the Edge Rank system. It’s clearly adding value when you share a related page but it also bypasses FB’s whole goal of monetizing brands who are looking to increase their reach.Thanks for this 100k challenge Neil, its keeping me on the task at hand, there are so many shiny plugins, software’s, courses that promise this and that and never delivers, I have been online marketer since 2006 and I have done quite good, my focus was affiliate marketing using SEO as the main traffic source until the panda bla bla thing hit and wiped my business off the map, it was horrible and I became so depressed because of it, I just felt so much of a failure and I had to just take a break and think what a heck do I want to do.

    By the way what do you think of my curating strategy for grabbing the long long tails keyword traffic and for publishing fresh content on a daily basis on my site as also way to establish me as the authority in my niches that are all semi related,I’m wondering if you’ve found an optimum approach for getting shout-out-for-shout-out deals, and if it’s much different to your traditional bogger outreach for promoting content.

    • Sneha, it definitely does not fall under that — it’s a legitimate tactic whereby you are just networking via social channels. I would suggest trying it out and being really genuine in your approach.

  176. thanks for sharing

  177. hey neil, could u add a tag to the challenge and then have “similar post to this” under or something. really interested to follow that but it’s so hard to browse through the ?????????

  178. “Otherwise, no one would want to participate in such an exchange if you only have 100 fans.”


    You say that you targeted English-Speaking people in China to get likes for pennies. You also said that most of the people you got likes from weren’t engaging.

    Then how did you managed to make the shout outs deals work? This would mean that when you promoted the other page, only a few or no one from your fans would like the other page.

    On the other hand, the other page would give you a handful of real likes.

    Could you please elaborate on that?

    Also, I am thinking to try the same technique you followed. However I am a bit reluctant cause I see your posts in fb getting really low engagement. Just 10-20 likes for a page with 100k fans is low – or am I wrong?

    Is it worth to do it, or I will simply waste my money? (health-personal development-entrepreneurship niche)

    • Damian, At the end of the day the content you provide is what creates likes. If you are working with pages that are product based and not celebrity based engagement is typically low. People can be fans of you products but not necessarily die hard evangelist — which is why sometimes there is a very low like rate compared to the following.

      Shout deals can work in a number of ways – – it’s up to you to figure out the right pitch.

      At the end of the day engagement depends on: your audience, your content and ultimately your product. There are some variables that you will have little control over. Hope that helped.

  179. Thanks again – got even more information from a second reading. Could you elaborate on the benefit of joining multiple groups on Facebook. Won’t you homepage be flooded with posts from others – does that detract from your regular readers engagement?

  180. Hi Neil, please could you elaborate on how you do shout-out-for-shout-out deals. How do you approach them and what exactly does a shout out look like? Thanks

  181. Can anyone help? I cannot find the beginning of this series, nor for that matter the URLs of all 100000 Challenge entries. Nothing in navigation, no breadcrumbs, etc. Even when I Google it, the results are sporadic and incomplete.

    Thanks for any help to finding the complete series. Appreciated 🙂

    • I’ll add it to the next update, in the mean time

  182. Wow, wow, wow I just found a great fb ads right here thanks to you Neil. I’ve been trying to advertising about Health and Fitness but I got disapprove all day long…

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