The $100,000 Challenge: August Update

traffic nutrition secrets

We just wrapped up the fifth month of the $100,000-a-month challenge, and traffic-wise, it was a great month. In August, we had 40,870 visitors with 13,431 coming from search.

I know this is an August update, but from the beginning of September, we’ve already been averaging over 800 visitors a day from Google, which means September should be a big month for NutritionSecrets.com from a traffic perspective.

August showed an over 54% traffic increase compared to the previous month. Here’s what happened…

SEO takes time

I’m not a patient person, but SEO takes time, and there isn’t much you can do about it. It doesn’t matter how much content you write or how many links you build, search engines don’t just open the floodgates to your site.

They make sure that you are continually improving and that all the signals look good. If they do, you’ll see more search traffic. It’s been like this for years. Typically, every time I start a new blog, it usually takes 6 to 7 months for search traffic to really kick in. Within this period of time, you should see NutritionSecrets.com reach over 100,000 monthly visitors.

How can you increase your search traffic?

There is a formula I use with all my blogs to grow my search traffic. Here is the Excel Sheet I use for NutritionSecrets.com. There are a few things to keep in mind when going over the spreadsheet:

  1. It was originally created by Louder Online years ago. I took it with their permission and have been using it for my own projects ever since. That’s why you see their branding everywhere.
  2. Within the document, you will have to replace “nutrition” or other random keywords with those relevant to your blog. The sheet will pre-populate results based on that.
  3. The spreadsheet is a Google Doc and can only be viewed, not edited. To be able to modify it, you’ll have to create a duplicate by clicking on the navigation option “file” and then “make a copy.” Now, you can modify the spreadsheet.
  4. If you need more customized help, you can always hire Louder Online.
  5. Keep in mind that my version isn’t the neatest as I already know a lot about content marketing. That means you are looking at a very minimalistic version that isn’t as filled out as it should be.

Now that you have the sheet, there are a few things you need to know…

The content strategy document we use on Nutrition Secrets, along with a toolset, outlines a number of key elements that Mike follows to ensure consistency in his blogging. It also provides some amazing ways of being able to rapidly generate ideas for posts that have a high likelihood of being successful.

The strategy document includes the following sections:

  • Style guide
  • Strategic plan
  • Visitor personas and journey template
  • Idea generation tools
  • Headline generation tools
  • Idea scratch pad & validation
  • Editorial planner
  • Editorial calendar

Here is further explanation of the sections I listed above.

Style guide

This document records everything that should be followed from a style perspective to ensure a consistent feel to all of your created content. It covers elements such as:

  • Tone
  • Style
  • Voice
  • Language used
  • Formatting
  • Common categories
  • Meta data rules

Strategic plan

This spread sheet is put together directly from this chapter of the Advanced Guide to Content Marketing. It contains the following sections:

  • Channel plan
  • Core and secondary messaging
  • Business objectives
  • Competitive analysis
  • Differentiator

Visitor personas and journey template

This template provides the opportunity to outline a few of the key personas within your targeted traffic. It allows you to answer many questions that help define those personas so that when you create the content, each piece is written with the goal of targeting a specific persona or a specific stage in the visitor’s journey.

A number of sections in this template are pulled directly from this post on HubSpot by Aaron Agius.

Idea generation tools

This is where a lot of the magic happens for the blog. This is a suite of tools put together to pull in questions related to your topic from around the web.

The idea here is that if you are answering people’s questions and solving problems in your industry through great content, you will put yourself in a position of authority within the industry.

The tools developed here pull questions from the following websites:

In addition to developing a strategy around answering common questions and addressing problems people in your niche have, you can also benefit from staying on top of current trends, known as “newsjacking.” The content strategy sheet allows for a search to be performed on an entered keyword, which pulls relevant information from the following sources:

The combination of these two powerful sets of tools allows for endless high quality content ideas to be pulled into one central document. You can use the document to help you choose the topics you are most comfortable writing about and then build out those ideas.

Headline generation tools

Jon Morrow put together a fantastic document called Headline Hacks. It is a cheat sheet on how to write headlines that help posts go viral.

By combining this cheat sheet with Portent’s Idea Generator tool and HubSpot’s Topic Generator, you can produce a large number of possible headlines for each content idea you create with help of the above Idea Generation Tools.

Idea scratch pad & validation

This is a template that allows you to write down the ideas you have come up with using the idea and headline generation tools. The most important function of this section is to validate the ideas that have been generated to ensure they meet at least some the following criteria:

  • Topic has a high search volume
  • Similar topics have seen success on competitor sites
  • Topic is trending positively over time
  • Topic is an ego-bait piece for influencers within the industry

Editorial planner

This is a work sheet that allows you to create a more detailed outline of each post before you set out to write it. This editorial planner allows for specific language, tone, style, and content length variations to be indicated if they are needed for any particular piece.

Here are some of the items:

  • Status
  • Due date
  • Author (for a multi-author blog)
  • Content idea
  • Further description
  • Draft URL (for Google Docs)
  • Specific style notes
  • Content length
  • Must include items
  • Must exclude items
  • Reference links
  • Specific comments
  • Estimated hours for completion

Editorial calendar

An editorial calendar helps ensure the proper scheduling of content at the correct times. This includes incorporating changes to the schedule based on seasonal requirements, holidays, or anything else that requires content to be written or published on specific dates.

Now that you know our content strategy, let’s dive into Amazon.

How we will generate revenue

We will be monetizing the site through e-books and a course we are going to sell. We haven’t started creating any of those yet, but we eventually will.

The strategy will be somewhat similar to the one I use on NeilPatel.com. Maybe we’ll start with the homepage, which will have an opt-in for a webinar. Next, we will give you hours of useful information free, and eventually, we’ll pitch you a paid product.

I do this on the NeilPatel.com site, and on a bad day, at least 1% of all webinar registrants sign up for a $6,000 course. Which isn’t too bad… Eventually, I should be able to get it to 2% or 3%. And when you have 100,000 monthly visitors, you can typically collect 5,000 to 6,000 emails assuming you are leveraging pop-ups and content upgrades.

When it comes to Amazon, we’ve done a lot of research, but we haven’t found a company that will let us white-label a “fish oil” product (it’s going to be our first product) on our terms. We’d like to be able to get paid on every sale without having to pay upfront.

It’s kind of like an affiliate model, but the physical product will have a Nutrition Secrets label on it and will be drop-shipped from the manufacturer’s office.

The profit margins won’t be high, but at least I won’t have to put up any cash. I’ll then use the Nutrition Secrets audience to generate reviews for the product on Amazon.

It will take some time, but in general, the fish oil market is big enough to allow me to sell at least $50,000 worth of fish oil capsules each month if I hit 4.5 stars or higher with 500 plus reviews.

The key with Amazon is a high rating, large number of reviews, prime shipping, and offering more than the competition at a competitive price. It may sound like it might be hard to offer all this, but it really isn’t. You just can’t be greedy and have to be okay with lower margins.

We haven’t done much with Amazon yet as I have been traveling overseas a bit too much, but hopefully we get something up and running in the next 30 days.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s been a good month. Traffic shall continue to rise assuming we push out more high quality content and continue to build links. It’s just going to take time and patience.

In an ideal world, Mike would be producing two pieces of content each day, but with manual link-building outreach, he just doesn’t have the time. Hopefully, that will change in the next month or two.

What do you think of the progress so far?

P.S. I wanted to give special thanks to Louder Online for letting me publish their content marketing spreadsheet. If you like what you see, you should hit up Aaron as their online marketing services are really good.