The $100,000 Challenge: September Update

september traffic

I just wrapped up the sixth month of the $100,000 challenge. Traffic on NutritionSecrets.com has sharply gone up to 66,473—that’s a 62% increase from the previous month.

Most of the increase came from Facebook. In particular, it came from the post “What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Sugar,” which went viral. In addition to the Facebook traffic, search traffic has risen to 19,595—that’s a 45% increase over the previous month.

And although revenue is still at zero, there was a lot of progress made on that front. Let’s look at everything in detail…

Overall search traffic

The search traffic hasn’t gone up as much as I wanted, but it’s my fault. Mike hasn’t been focusing enough attention on building links because I’ve been trying to teach him how to write attractive headlines.

For the majority of the month, search traffic was pretty flat even though we published 30 articles in September.

search traffic

To fix this, Mike will be focusing less on content creation and more on link building as the blog already has over 100 pieces of content, which is more than my personal blog has. And my personal blog is in a much narrower niche, receiving close to 60,000 search engine visitors a month.

Using Ahrefs, Mike will first find out who links to similar posts, and then he’ll use templates from this article to ask for links.

Social media traffic

One tactic that we started leveraging to increase our social media traffic is use Buzzsumo more heavily.

First, we type in keywords and phrases related to the articles we are writing:

buzzsumo

Next, we click on the “View Sharers” button to see who is sharing the viral content on the social web:

sharers

Finally, we look up each of the users to see which website they own (some of them link to their websites in their Twitter profiles), and we send out each user an email that looks something like this:

Subject: have you seen this yet?

Hey [insert their name],

I noticed you shared [insert previous article they shared on Twitter], and I have to say, it’s an amazing article. I loved it so much that I decided to dig in, do a bit more research, and expand on the topic.

I’ve actually just published my findings here [insert link to your article].

If you find it useful, feel free to share it on your favorite social network. 🙂

Cheers,

[insert your name]

P.S. Thanks for sharing the original piece—it was eye-opening.

If you use the email template above, you’ll start noticing more social shares. You just have to be patient as it is hit-or-miss. It’s worked so well for NutrutionSecrets.com that in September the blog received 30,848 visitors a month from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

social traffic

Supplements

In October, we will be launching our fish oil supplement. Mike found a company willing to white-label their product, charging us only when we sell a bottle. That way we are not tying up our cash.

fish oil

As you can see, they didn’t do the best job designing the bottle, but I can’t complain—after all, it was free.

All we have to do now is get the product on Amazon. The big holdup is getting a new account approved by Amazon. I am not leveraging my connections, so going through the standard channels can take weeks.

Once the product becomes available for sale on Amazon, I’ll share with you how I’m going to leverage the NutritionSecrets.com brand to grow the sales.

Conclusion

Overall, September was a fairly good month. Mike’s doing an excellent job producing content, but he needs to do more when it comes to building links.

He also needs to expand his social outreach efforts, which should help bring traction to the blog.

I hope that October picks up. I think search traffic will be up, but social media traffic may be down as we will be shifting our focus toward revenue generation.

In September, our only expense was for Aweber, which is $29 a month. It should, however, go up because an exit pop-up has been activated on the site, and more emails are being collected. This should help with long-term traffic as well.

What do you think—how are we doing so far?

Comments

  1. Really great work Neil!

    I have been eager to read the next update on your challenge, and this is truly and inspiring journey. Great numbers, and I love reading how you manage to achieve them.

    Keep it up. Looking forward to the next one! 🙂

    • Rune, thanks for the support. It’s definitely been a great journey thus far. If you need any help along the way with any part of your marketing efforts please reach out.

      Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    • Neil,
      I love what you do. Thanks for sharing your results with us and being honest about it too.
      😀 xoxo

  2. Al-Amin Kabir :

    Thanks for the update, Neil.

    I have started an authority site and following all of your strategies. I’m loving the writing style and content format of NutritionSecret.

    I’m also trying to master email marketing (exactly the way Mike is doing with NutritionSecrets) to grow a large audience who will buy products I recommend.

    Your case study updates are helping me a lot.

    • Al-Amin, glad you found it helpful.

      That’s great that you started a site — and I am glad the strategies are working out for you.

      I think one you figure out your target audience and follow all the right strategies with email marketing the rest will follow. Let em know if you need any help along the way!

  3. That’s great. Amzing growth. 60k montly traffic for a new blog. Both Of you’re doing an amazing job.
    Keep the great work up.
    Check my casestudy on your nutrition blog-> shouterbuzz.com/casestudy-how-neil-is-growing-his-nutrition-blog/

    • Deepak,

      Just checked out your article. It look’s great — thanks for the support!

      It definitely has been a fun journey and we are continuing to grow so stay tuned.

    • Love your case study, Deepak – some things in there I’d not noticed and I thought I was following closely 😉

  4. So does that mean that Mike will not be posting as frequently and instead building links to the posts he’s created so far?

  5. Sandeep Kumar :

    I am following posts about Nutritionsecreates.com from last 5 months. But Yes i can tell , You are the person who can make a barren land into cultivate land. I really appriciate whatever you have done with this site. You are great Brother. I also wanna be like you and I am reading your blogs from post one .Right now I am on page 75.
    Soon I will complete the whole quicksprout.com.
    Bless you.

    • Sandeep, thanks for all the support. I like your metaphor about land. I think it’s accurate and relatable to farming because you have to find the right strategy to make sure your content resonates with your audience and your brand grows.

      Let me know what you think once you get through all the posts. I look forward to it!

  6. Great write up & very interesting! I’m curious why you’re choosing a straight sale route instead of setting up a recurring offer? Seems like there’s a lot more opportunity in that niche for such a set up.

    • I will eventually. Selling products in this space, from the research I have done, out performs selling things on continuity.

      Also doing monthly billing on products that I am not in full control of gets tricky and would require a bigger order and require cash to be paid upfront to the supplier. This way no cash has to be paid upfront…

  7. You know how you make really complex stuff look easy. This actually looks really easy, but if you think about it, it’s just basic stuff with tons of hard work.

    • Vincent, I think that’s most things in life 😉

      I think there is also the research factor (which can be the toughest part) — Once you find a strategy that works though it’s all about iterating and working hard.

  8. Great progress, jealous of Mike being able to write an article everyday. I’ve a hard time writing myself and coming up with subjects, even with that spreadsheet. I hope it improves.

    Looking forward to the next update and the moment you guys start monetizing.

    • Mario, it’s definitely a challenge but Mike has gotten to become a prolific writer. The more you do anything the better you become. That’s my mentality when it comes to writing and content marketing.

  9. Vishal Kataria :

    I love some posts that Mike writes, Neil. But some of them are a little too advanced… How are the posts like the ones about Soy Lecithin and Blueberries doing?

    • Vishal, surprisingly they do really well. There will always be an audience out there eager to eat up your content (pun intended haha).

      The job of any marketer is to provide their content to the applicable audience. It’s a win win.

  10. Launching a product is one of the best things to make some quick bucks and you have found the best deal for yourself. Looks perfect.

    There are people following the blog challenge and working on a nutrition blog themselves won’t be able to launch a product. So, I’d be looking forward to some methods you implement to increase the earning with the blog itself (ad networks, on-site products- ebooks) etc.

    Anyway, Mike is doing really well with the contents and that’s what I like about.

    Keep up the good work!

    • James, it took a lot of research and time but I definitely think we have something huge here.

      I will definitely get into the topics you mentioned further in the next few months…specifically: ads and content marketing on grander scale.

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

  11. Eduardo Cornejo :

    Hey Neil,

    Awesome progress! The traffic increase really was sharp, and I am very exited to see how you transition from just a blog to a blog with a store (email marketing, etc.)

    As for me, last month was 28K views (forth month), and this fifth month of October I am already at 21K! I think I can get to 50K by the end of it (hope so)!

    This has been a huge help for me so keep it up! 🙂

    • Eduardo, thanks for the support. It will be a challenging — yet rewarding transition.

      I am sure you’ll hit your numbers if you just stick to the right strategy. Always test — that’s my motto 😉

  12. Great update, Neil. Looks like the blog is making good progress and I can’t wait to see it make some money. I think you’ve also found an absolute winner in Mike! Keep up the good work.

    • Tom, he is definitely a hard working individual who is extremely creative. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Thanks for the support!

  13. Hello Neil.

    That’s awesome growth.

    Congratulations.

    I’m learning a lot from you.

    Thanks a ton,

    Magz

    • Magz, glad to help.

      It’s all about finding what works for you and your audience and going from there. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  14. Neil,

    Was there a certain process Mike took in finding a company willing to white label and drop ship, or was it just general Google searching?

    Would you please detail the steps you take on creating an Amazon account from scratch on your next update? I think that will be of great value to your audience.

    Thanks for the updates.

    • Dade, I am glad you suggested going over that process in the next update — because the steps required would take up a whole blog post. Stay tuned and we’ll definitely share. If you need any help with any specific questions let me know!

  15. coming together!

  16. Really looking forward how the shift from increasing your reach to monetization of the traffic will play out for the blog. Curious about tools and tactics!

  17. So cool, Neil!

    You remind me of the importance of BuzzSumo. Such a great resource.

    I know you’re trying to keep costs low, and not use your resources that you have at your disposal. With that said, I could hook you up with a graphic designer who knows her stuff for the bottle.

    You probably have people for that, but I just wanted to throw it out there!

    Thanks for putting out this killer case study.

    I’m using these tactics for a gluten free Facebook page, and possibly turning it into an ECommerce site if it validates.

    • Kevin, glad you found the post valuable.

      I don’t have an immediate need for a graphic designer right now, but thanks for the offer!

      Gluten Free is a huge catchphrase nowadays and I have no doubt you’l see great results.

      • You’re most welcome!

        Anything I can do to help – I’d be very glad to…

        Gluten free is pretty big time. I’m sensitive to gluten myself, so it’s a niche I can get behind.

  18. Michael Akinlabi :

    Wow! I immediately saved that template. This is the big advantage of learning first hand from you. You don’t hold anything back.

    Thanks for the template once again. I think it’s mine.

    Michael

    • Michael, glad to help. By all means use that template to get the best results. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  19. So, finally the update of your challenge. I’s really waiting to read the update. You’re really going to win the challenge. I see the daily update on your that niche blog. Let’s wait for the next update 🙂

    • Tonmoy, thanks for the support. I think confidence and the right resources are key — and I have both of them 😉

      Let me know if you need help with anything at all.

  20. I think you guys are killing it !

    Neil, I really, really enjoy this 100K Challenge posts series.

    You know, you are doing right in front of our eyes what most of us have always dreamed of.

    What excuse do we have now to not succeed ?

    But, it would be great to have a more in depth look on your process.

    Your regular post are gigantic and those ones are quite small.

    Maybe a guide 🙂 ?

    Anyway, thanks for this series Neil.

    • Fred,

      Thanks for all the support and I am glad you find value from this challenge.

      My suggestion to others who had similar questions was to supplement my day to day blogs with the challenge. I want to provide value to people who are interested in both the challenge and just everyday marketing questions — I would definitely just mix the two post types to find the best results. With that being said the next few blog posts on the challenge are definitely going to be more in depth.

  21. Hello Neil Congratulations! it’s really pickin’ up.

    I’ve noticed a peak in sessions around the 10th Sept. Is it the post that went viral? I had a similar trend after I got interviewed on a national radio: huge peak then it went flat again. Is there a way to leverage this sudden exposure?

    Thank you once more for your precious insights!
    Filippo

    • Filippo, glad you found it helpful.

      Sometimes certain topics really really pick up and go viral — and that was the case.

      The best way to keep sudden exposure relevant is to write follow up posts on how the process went and to share the video/blog on social channels.

  22. Hey Neil!

    I’ve become an Expert in Twitter Growth Marketing, and would love to dedicate some time to this project and get you guys an additional 5-10k visits a month. Please reach out to me so we can set this up!

    (FYI- I’ve already setup an account and believe I’ve sent about 1k doing it for only a few hours 🙂

  23. Priyankar Mukherjee :

    Hey Neil,

    Guess what… I can make the label for your Fish Oil Omega 3 supplement a lot more attractive so that it sells a lot more. And this comes to you for free. There is no catch.

    Can you send me the content of your label (only part of it is visible right now) to my email so that I can start working on it? You do NOT need to pay anything for this and there is NO catch here. Just trying to help since I am interested to see how this turns out.

    Regards,
    Priyankar

    • That would be awesome. But I don’t want to cheat by getting help from the Quick Sprout readers… I promised earlier on that Mike would do the work without help or tons of money being spent.

      Due to that I can’t accept your better label. 🙁

  24. Francesco Cavallone :

    Thank you for the update, Neil!

    Would you and Mike be interested in increasing engagement of a non-English speaking audience?

  25. I love these posts! Congrats on the great things you are accomplishing. I wanted to work on that Buzzsumo strategy you listed above – and i see that you need a paid account to pretty much see anything more than a few entries. Do you by chance have a free / lower cost suggestion for a similar site that we can try and get social shares?

    • I totally forgot that as I have had a paid account since it came out for Crazy Egg.

      I don’t have an alternative at this moment.

  26. Hi Neil!
    Just loved your post. Keep up the high quality work. You are inspiration to many. Really enjoyed this series

  27. Gotta admit, it’s the first time since a few years now that I hear “we will be focusing less on content creation and more on link building”.

    You’re a guy after my own heart, Neil 🙂

    • Amit — I must admit it’s something I haven’t really said as much either over the past few years 😉 Thanks for the support!

  28. Hi Neil sorry for being rude but traffic means nothing how much did you made?

  29. Hi Neil. I’ve been following you for years from Denmark, we actually wrote earlier on last year about a project. However I would like to give some ideas to the project.

    1. Build a tool such as a calorie counter / calculator. It’s a pretty easy software to build, and you might even find some freebies you can rewrite the code for. We used it on a project I was building once, and it gave us a lot of backlinks and search traffic. And the time on site was about 4-5 minutes.

    2. As the subscription trend is booming I would consider making a bundle you can subscribe to instead of making white label supplements. Why not build a supplement box or “The secret nutrition box” every month on a subscription fee – I believe that could be a great business case for the future – you might even already thought about this. I believe loyalty somehow could be killing content in future.

    Of course the last way could be to give away free training e-books, and stuff like that, but I guess you already thought about this, so don’t wanna go into the easy tactics.

    Thanks again for contributing with better content for the internet, and for us marketers all around the globe!

    Best regards
    Micky Weis

    • Micky, thanks for the all the support — I’ve been interacting with a ton of people on this blog for years and it’s great to hear there is a mutual interest in market that spans years and years.

      1. I like that calorie counter idea. I am definitely going to see how that can work out with our site. I think the small things matter — people are always looking for new ways to extract value.

      2. That definitely has crossed our minds. However, we think (with the research we conducted) the tact we are utilizing will yield the best results. If it doesn’t we are always open to new strategies though 😉

      Again, glad to help again and let me know if you need anything at all.

  30. You’re the man Neil! Learning so much!

    I actually am a little behind but we’re starting 3 experiments along side you. I’m doing golf, my 10 year old son is doing Legos and my daughter is starting a teen fashion thing that are going to leverage Pinterest and Instagram for.

    They saw me reading your blog and wanted to try it too.

    We’ll let you know how it goes.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Erick, I love it! You are starting them so early 🙂

      You should definitely start blogging on this topic (if you haven’t already) .

      I don’t think we encourage kids to think creatively like marketers as much as we should. There has been a recent push lately for more science in schools — how about marketing 😉

      • Erick calderon :

        That’s an awesome idea Neil! I think I will. What’s crazy is that they are seeing so much love from people that they engage with in their niche. For example my son got to see the new Lego dimensions game a week before release, and today he was at the Lego store cause they let him know they got an Xbox system that’s hooked to a Kinect and let’s them play an exclusive game in front of the store. Only 3 locations world wide have it and he played it close to first. Insane. Love your work bro, I’ll keep you posted!

  31. Hey Neil !
    i’m just confuzed do you build links to blog posts or for the domain name and what should i do when i start a website and i want to rank for my very first high quality pieces of content ? i build links into the blogposts or to the domain name ..
    and another question when do u think the best place for outsourcing my authority site content?..

  32. I really observing your $100000 challenge from starting and learned a lot from your updates on it.

    One question I always wanted to ask you. Why you don’t believe to put Adsense or any other CPC ads on your blog apart from your other strategies to earn?

  33. I like the strategy. It’s very similar to the backlinko one (I’m sure you’ve read it).

    I need to be more engaging myself.

    For some reason I don’t think anyone shared or viewed my article when I created a better one.

    Just got to keep trying !

    Great progress btw!

  34. Awesome Neil!

    I’ve been following your blog and nutritionsecrets as well since May and I can’t believe you (and Mike) reach your goal of reaching $100,000 per month. I am always eager to read an update about this challenge and I hope Mike will be able to increase his links more. Keep up the great work!

    • Jonathan, thanks for all the support. We have much more content and news to come so make sure you stay tuned 😉

      Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  35. Hi Neil, I’m fairly new to the nutrition blog challenge, excited to read the whole series!

    Did you use guest posting as an strategy at some point or plan to do so? I’m currently guest posting and I’d like to know what you recommend for a new blog. Thanks!

    • Liv, I haven’t really used guest posts as a strategy — So far everything is hosted on our site and promoted on social. That’s not to say guest posts aren’t helpful or valuable.

  36. It would be really helpful if you posted links to the previous posts in this series.

    It would be helpful for several reasons:

    1. It would help your readers.

    2. It’s great for onsite SEO.

    Thanks,
    Daniel

  37. Honestly, I don’t think that Fish Oil branding looks terrible. You could always hire someone to clean it up for the product photo as well.

    I’ll probably be about out of Fish Oil around this time next month so I’ll be sure to pick up a bottle and leave a 5 Star review.

    I’m interested to see how this aspect of the business goes. You have to love the fact that the manufacturer is only charging you for what you sell. But at the same time, if you bought inventory you could leverage Amazon Fulfillment Services and offer better shipping options.

    Good luck!

    • Grayson, thanks for the support and I am equally as interesting in seeing how everything goes — as you can imagine 😉

      I think I worked out a great deal and am curious to see how it goes.

  38. Hi Neil,

    Just out-of-knowwhere question, why are you using aweber which cost $29/mo were as Mailchimp is free fro first 2000 contacts on your list?

    Any explanation to your choose?

    Thanks,
    John

  39. Hi Neil,

    Where can I find an overview of all articles related to your journey?

    Regards,
    Amro

    • Amro, just check in on the blog and sign up for the newsletter.

      • Hi,

        I’m allready signed up for your newsletter but I mean where can I simply read through all
        articles in an overview. If you could create something like this people that signup now can also find all the posts.

        Regards,
        Amro
        Nice site you have created my friend! A great fan!

  40. Thank you Neil. It’s very interesting 🙂

    For 10 days I checked (every day) this blog hoping to find this post 😀

    Finally!

  41. Thanks for the update. I’d be curious if you’d elaborate on the white label agreement. So you say they charge per sale, what’s their cut? any other costs involved? are they from china / alibaba? any other pointers on the matter are greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

  42. Why don’t you count your direct traffic? This is very much clear, if you have 19K organic visits and 30K social visits . So 11K direct visits have both in that.

    How do you take your direct visits. Please clear.

    Thanks

    • Direct is usually associated with social and search. If those go up so does direct. If they go down, so does direct.

  43. Great Work, as always!
    Every time I read the $100,000 Challenge Articles, it motivates me to keep going and never give up.

  44. Hey Neil! I love love love your posts and this is my first time checking out one from your $100,000 challenge series (I see them in my inbox but until now they’ve fallen victim to the ‘mark unread forever’ strategy).

    Anyways, as a few others said, I think it would be helpful to your readers (and help boost your pageviews!) if you added the links to the other posts in this series at the end of each article.

    Keep up the awesome work.

    • Tami, thanks for all the support and glad you find the posts helpful.

      Let me see what I can do in regards to sharing similar posts — good suggestion!

  45. Hi Neil,

    Really enjoying the case study and updates. How much time does Mike spend on the website per day or per month on average?

    Cheers, David

    • David, he spends a big part of his day writing, editing and working on social. Thanks for the support!

      • Hey everyone.

        ANYBODY can do this – all you need to do is find somebody willing to work every day for months for NOTHING.

        How is Mike paying his bills while he is slaving away for Neil every day?

        • Joe, we have an agreed upon payout structure — there is no indentured servitude or “slaving” as you call it.

          He is also very passionate about the subject matter and was the one who wanted to blog daily. Thanks for the feedback though – looking forward to hearing more from you.

  46. Hi Neil,

    Another fantastic update, its very pleasing to know that the site is on a forward trajectory.

    Is the holdup with Amazon because you are selling a consumable product? I am guessing Amazon needs to test your product to verify its safety. I am sure there wouldn’t be a holdup if you were selling something like fitness equipment?

    Or is there another type of holdup by Amazon that you are referring to?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Viral, glad you found it helpful and I look forward to hearing much more from you.

      That is basically it with the holdup — because it is is a nutritional product there is higher scrutiny — also, because of the volume that I am trying to deal with I want to make sure the strategy is perfect.

  47. Great progress Neil. Mike is really doing a good job on content creation. Your progress is being followed many people and I am one of them. My blog http://healthblog247.com/ which was started after getting motivated by you and started getting few visits from search engine.

    Thank you!

    Dominic

    • Dominic, thanks for all the support — it really manes a lot.

      If you need any help along the way let me know. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  48. Hi Neil, your traffic numbers are astounding!

    I launched my site less than 2 months ago, and I’ve managed to get 5 of my blog posts land on Google’s 1st page. Much of this is due to your SEO training!

    One is in position 1 on page 1 and competing with 25,400,000 other results, so not bad at all. I’m still not seeing as much traffic as I would like though. My niche is much smaller, but where are you seeing most of your traffic coming from?

    Thank you for being an inspiration Neil!

  49. Ahh, have been patiently waiting for the update 😉

    How many social outreaches did it overall take to get those 30k visitors. (including unresponded mails etc.)

    Also, are you paying Mike a salary or do you work on a rev-share with him?

    • Gordon,

      There wasn’t a magic number of social shares. Engagement is so much more than that. Mike and I have an agreement on rev-share.

  50. Hi Neil. Great update. How about including how many people have signed up on your newsletter and how that part is growing, as I think it might be important for the growth of the blog.

    • Kristoffer, that’s a good suggestion — I’ll write on that topic in the next update. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  51. Gustavo Saraiva :

    Thanks a lot Neil.

    Every monthy i ansious for your updates. I´m learning so much, i just want to thank you. You are the best, and i want to have your consulting soon.

    NutritionSecrets.com increased a lot in this monthy, i´m surprised with the results in social shares and the number of articles, it´s amazing.

    Great Work, next monthy is gonna be awesome, i can´t wait for the results in sales for the new product.

    Cheers, Gustavo

    • Gustavo, glad you found it helpful.

      I am trying to provide as much value as possible when writing these posts and creating my strategy.

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  52. Great post Neil, I think these posts are really inspirational – I look forward to hearing your updates.
    In doing so I guess you could also spin this exercise into a course, thereby creating another revenue stream…

    • Luke, my main concern is hitting my goal. There really isn’t a course as I provide all the information and tips here free 😉

  53. Hi Neil,

    thanks for the update. It’s very fascinating to see your progress. I also have a nutrition related site, so it’s very interesting to see the steps you do.

    Just a few quick questions:

    For some reason, I can’t find the nutrition secrets facebook page anymore. Did the name change or what happened here?

    The exit intent popup is very catchy indeed. May I ask what kind of plugin you use for a full screen popup like this?

    Also, I noticed that nutrition secrets uses a lot of high quality stock photos. You say, however, that your only expenses were the 29$ of Aweber. Do you have some sort of special account for all the photos? I’m really impressed by the quality here.

    Looking forward to the next update, keep up the good work!

  54. Rafael Querido :

    Hi Neil,

    It’s been a long month and great news about Nutrition Secrets.

    Mike is evolving so much. I like to much him job on Nutrition blog. He learned from 0 and in just a few months, he become better than a lot of people. 🙂

    What techniques do you recommend to get more link buildings? Buzzsumo dont work very well here for Brazilians and our people, dont like to give links for free.. they want some ‘incentive $$$$’.

    I’m guest posting but it’s dont give me good backlinks. 🙁

    Thanks for everything. Sorry for my english

    Your number one fan
    Rafael

    • Rafael, thanks for the support and for following along on this journey.

      Your English is just fine 😉

      As for building links — have you tried going after a long tail keyword campaign that is contextual. Sometimes the most subtle links provide the most value. Just food for thought…

  55. Thanks for this journey, Neil!

    Do you already have some information regarding conversion rates for the outreach?
    What are the response rates? And how many percentages of people put a link?

    Also I just wondered… If you use templates anyways why not hiring a cheap outsource worker who send out the first e-mails?

    • For every 100 emails you send roughly 5 people will link back to your site.

      For every 100 emails you send asking for social shares, roughly 10 to 30 will share your content.

      As revenue comes in you will see employees added to just do this task.

  56. Hi Neil,

    Do you have a monthly traffic goal for the website for the 12 months. 100,000 per month of 75 articles at neilpatel.com is very, very impressive.

    Cheers,

    David.

    • David, I have more of a revenue goal — I think the numbers will go through the same trajectory though. I like hockey stick growth 😉

  57. Hi Neil,

    I have a small question about your strategy.

    So based on the strategy you’re using, it’s now the 6th month, and you haven’t started generating any revenue yet (if I’m not mistaken).

    It’s going to coming flooding in soon, I’m sure.

    But let’s say you lean towards getting gratification sooner.

    And you’d like to start seeing revenue within the first or second month. Just to keep you going. And which you can use for reinvesting. And paying for expenses.

    What would you do differently?

    How would you tweak the current strategy?

    So that instead of waiting 6 months, you can see returns sooner, and still achieve your end goal.

    • I would create an info product and release it. It wouldn’t do well at first, but it would make some money and grow as traffic would grow. Similar to what I have on the neilpatel.com homepage (but for nutrition).

  58. Neil, If you can spend 5 seconds on my site, what would you change in first place? I just launched my blog and in 3 weeks I’ve got about 600 visitors, most from facebook.

    in to-do list is : landing page, logo, articles and to finish free eBook.

    Any suggestions are more than welcome!

    Cheers,
    Borut

    • Borut, I just checked out your site and I have some suggestions:

      1. Make your content more in-depth (it’s kind of short right now)
      2. Focus on getting some higher quality images.
      3. Make sure everything is contextual.

      Aside from that you are doing a great job — keep up the great and let me know if you need any help along the way.

      • Thanks so much. I’ve got some problems with writing because I’m not that used to it. I realized that after few posts I’m getting more creative. We’ll see how it’ll go.

        1. Yes, it’ll be more in-depth.
        2. That’s interesting because I do get this images from “Pexels.com” (which should be HQ images). One day I’ll get professional photograppher to make few pictures of me, my pictures are really low quality 🙂 .
        3. I agree.

        Thank you for suqqestions and have a nice day 🙂

  59. I’d love to hear more about how you white label a product and what are the advantages over selling an affiliate product with a good payout. Is finding a company to white label a good product something anyone with a website with decent traffic can arrange?

  60. Always look forward to reading about the monthly updates on the $100,000 challenge. Curious though, why did you decide to go with a competitive product such as fish oil? What other supplements did you also seriously consider?

    • Jon, honestly I see the value in fish oil so I went with it. We can deal with the competition along the way 😉

  61. Hi Neil,
    I read your posts–all of them, top to bottom.They are great.because they educate me and help me with my health site.
    To be frank, I did think you would be drawing more visitors by the sixth month.
    But, I feel somehow sure you will achieve your target.
    You don’t even need my best wishes, but still, wish you the best.
    Cheers!
    Sanjiv

    • Sanjiv, I always need and appreciate well wishes 🙂

      I am always testing and that’s the secret to my success — it’s important to find out what works and go from there. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  62. How long I waited for the post! Great read as always. I guess from some point the growth will be exponential, so getting to 100000 readers wont be as hard. The question is if you can make 100k every single month only by selling omega 3?

  63. Hi Neil,
    This project is very interesting.

    My question however is, what plugin are you using for the full screen pop-up in nutritionsecrets and in this blog?

    I can see your facebook fanpage likes is climbing rapidly with the use of this plugin.

    Thanks for your answer in advance.. 🙂

  64. Atiqul Bari Chowdhury :

    Neil
    I am surprised to see that you’re getting 20k search traffic and 30k social.

    That much of search traffic without any backlinks is an eye opener for us.

    For content promotion, you repeatedly mentioned about email outreach. But is that all you are doing?

    Aren’t you doing anything on social media groups, reddit, or Quora to generate traffic? If you say no, I must now dig into your social media activity to discover what magic are you doing behind the curtain:)

    Just one more question, almost all your blog posts are list articles. Do I assume that list post is the best format to generate social traffic?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards
    Atiqul

    • Yep, it is… just email outreach.

      He has tested out sub reddits, but that doesn’t work well… The posts need to be more stats based for that to work.

      Stat based and list based posts work really well for social.

  65. Jeffrey Dobkin :

    Thanks, Neil…
    Your posts are always great. This one especially so: it’s very frank and honest. It’s not the usual bullshit I read all the time about how many thousands I made and you can too. It’s refreshing to see all this work in building a campaign, and no dollars (yet).

    Also – that yea, it’s a lot of work: how many articles Mike has written, and how many you have posted on your site – and still no revenue. Honesty – always the best policy.

    And the frank discussion of your new omega 3 product. Neil, thank you so much for being a no bullshit kind of guy. I sincerely appreciate it. Refreshing, really.

    Kindly,

    Jeffrey Dobkin

    • Jeffrey, thanks for your support — it’s equally refreshing 🙂

      When you’re passionate about something the words just come out. That’s why Mike is able to write so much.
      I think transparency is key — which is why I do everything I do!

  66. Amazing progress…

    Congratulations to you and Mike.

    Good luck. And thanks for sharing with us.

  67. Hi Neil,
    This is the first time I visit your blog. It’s great and very useful. Hope you will create more amazing post to teach we how to challenge like you do.
    Best wish for you.
    Thuong Lee

    • Thuong, glad you liked it. I will definitely keep providing similar posts so stay tuned 😉

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  68. Neil, thank you for “The $100,000 Challenge” updates of September. It’s always a pleasure to read your articles, thoughts and your experiences. I feel good about learning something new from your sites (QuickSprout, Neil Patel and KissMetrics) each time I visit. Thanks so much for all the efforts you have put into writing the content.

    Please keep us posted…:)

    • Naresh, thanks for all the support. I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of these things without the feedback and support from everyone.

      Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you along your marketing journey. Best of luck!

  69. Interesting Neil. It’s really amazing to see the approach you take for the different sort of clients. I just love to read case studies on Quick Sprout. They seem far, far better and practical than the generalized tips.

    I hate reading usually, but I always find Quick Sprout interesting. I enjoy your simple titles that, though being so simple, easily grab my attention.

    It would be really nice to see some cool title writing tips updated on your blog. I would love to read your progress on nutritionsecrets.com and something about the blogs in my niche.

  70. Have been enjoying your posts for a while now. Always full of inspiration and awesome tips & tricks. We have recently started writing blogposts, but the rate at which Mike pushes them out is admirable. It shows we still have a lot of work to do. It always seems as if it is much easier to come up with ideas for posts for other niches than for your own 😉

    • Milan, it’s definitely a challenge but when you have a passion for writing and your subject matter the words just come out.

      I would suggest taking a few steps back to better understand how to optimize your process. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  71. Awesome work Neil and Mike!

    I love your creativity Neil.

    Looking forward to putting some of your ideas into practice when I launch my new blog next year.

    Sam

    • Hey Neil,

      Why isn’t Mike getting any traffic from email? Is he not emailing his list? If not, what is the reasoning behind this?

      • He is emailing every day. The email count isn’t growing fast enough and his open rates are really low. He will have to focus on crafting better copy… mainly with subject lines.

    • Sam, I am sure you will do very well. Keep me posted on your progress and let me know if you need any help along the way!

      • Thanks Neil,

        That means a lot coming from yourself.

        Aiming to lift my foot of the real estate pedal next year so I can change gears towards online business again.

  72. Great post neil. It is good you are also running an health blog and awesome thing is the posts are content rich and more informative as usual. The ranking of the blog is also really impressive.

    Thanks for sharing such a post 🙂

    • Harish, glad to help.

      I like to provide value — it’s the surest way to rise up rankings. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  73. It’s a great, Neil.

    I like to read your’s blogs and to do some in my nutriton blog. Thank you!

  74. Great work Neil!

  75. Hi Neil, thanks for the update and good luck with Amazon sells.
    I enjoy this “diary” on the 100K challenge. Is just a pity that – from an accounting standpoint – you value $0 Mike’s work 🙂
    Cheers

    • Robert, glad you found it helpful.

      We do a lot of business together so you know that he is going to benefit 😉 he also has a passion for nutrition that is intense!

  76. Hello Neil sir,

    What I’m about to say might be little off topic, but can you help me out.

    Since last 2 years I’ve read lots about SEO on many blogs and forums, but seems that I didn’t even scratch the surface. There are lots of sites that taught me wrong which I realize now.

    I wanna fortify my SEO theory knowledge first, I believe any tips from you would be the best I can get. Any blog post, ebook, or something else really really appreciated.

    Regards,

    M.H.Shoab

    • Not to worry — it’s a process that takes time. I would suggest that you continue learning.

      As for resources just read through my two blogs: this one & neilpatel.com to get the best content on the subject. As always I can help you with questions here in the comments section 🙂

  77. Great post as usual Neil. I have been following all your posts for few months and they are of the best content I found.

    I have tried to opt-in to your Explosive SEO Secrets using the opt-in form that you put at the end of each post. I am redirected to a page confirming my opting in but nothing is sent to my email. I tried multiple times using different email accounts. I checked spam folders nothing there.

    • Walid, glad you found it helpful.

      As for the issue you are having can you email me at neil@neilpatel.com so we can figure out what may be going wrong. Thanks for pointing that out and sorry that you are having issues.

  78. Hi Neil,

    Are you paying Mike for all this? Wouldn’t that be an expense as well?

    Thank you.

  79. Aaditya Niikam :

    Hi Neil,

    I am contusionsly following ur posts and found it very useful.

    What will be your next step? Are you going to sponsor or hire any professional body builder for advertising? For banners and cover like the other nutrition companies?

  80. Awesome Neil!

    I’m sure in no time NutritionSecrets.com would achieve it’s $100,000 goal.
    Mike is truly blessed to have you guide and steer him towards his passion and purpose. He seems to be churning out some magnetic headlines and posts.

    Wishing both you and Mike great success on this interesting, inspirational and challenging journey.

    • Pearl, thanks for all the support. He has done a great job of creating some compelling content and headlines. Looking forward to continued growth!

  81. Really interesting Neil, especially since I’m in the health space and you guys followed me 😉

    Can’t wait to see where this goes as I have a looooong way to go, and lots to learn.

    -A

    • Alexander, I am sure we can learn from each other. Thanks for all the support and I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  82. you always write great posts. I have been reading your articles for a while now and I have a lot about blogging. I just visited nutritionsecrets.com and I so much love the landing page you’ve got there. what plugin or software did you use to set that up.

  83. Good update, Neil.O I look forward to the next one.

  84. Hi Neil,

    Really enjoying seeing all the stats for this inspiring challenge. After reading some stuff you did on Idea Extraction for the Foundation, I would have loved to see you start a new software company and scale it to $100k/m. Got my fingers crossed you might do that in the future! 😉

    Really struggling to pick a big niche to follow in your footsteps. From what I understand, you choose the nutrition industry cause you had no affiliation with it, and the marketers aren’t that smart. Would you have considered the marketing of the entrepreneurship or self-improvement niches weak enough to start in?

    Thanks for your great content,
    Jack

    Ps. It’d be really cool to know a little more behind the thought process of why you choose the big niche of nutrition.

    • Jack, thanks for your support and glad you find all the posts on the challenge valuable.

      It’s tough when you first start off. I wanted to start in a new niche to show people that it is definitely doable when you have little or no knowledge of the subject matter.

      I will keep sharing more on the topic on the next posts. Stay tuned.

  85. Nice post, Keep it up for to complete you challenge.

  86. Hello Mr. Patel,
    Your work on quicksprout has been a great success… No doubt .. But 60k visitors on a new blog!!! Now that is amazing..

    But I think beside domain and hosting every blogger need to invest more to get more. Isn’t it true? You know like keyword research tools.. Seo and all..
    Anyways thanks for sharing your challenge journey..
    Hoping to see more updates soon.
    Good luck..
    Cheers
    Lalit Singh Shahi

    • Lalit, thanks for all the support.

      You definitely need to invest more to get more. That’s a big part of the overall strategy. If you need any help along the way please feel free to reach out.

  87. Hey Neil,

    I was waiting for that update since the beginning of October. I applaud you for the huge evolution in traffic, and for the big amount of content that Mike has succeeded to publish overall. ( more than 100 posts in 6 months, that’s a lot! Congratulations!)

    I was disappointed to see that there are not a lot of details about the white-labeling process. I hope that by the time you are going to talk about how to put in and start all the Amazon process you will explain all the details.

    I wish you a lot of luck and keep going guys!

    • Oussama, sorry for the delay – we have just been heads down and working hard.

      As for the white labeling – that should all be hashed out very soon. Stay tuned 😉

      • Hey Neil! I was reading again the series from the start. Is there still a plan to give us more detail about how you were able to find a company willing to white-label their product, charging you guys only when you sell a bottle?

        Thanks for sharing!

  88. Wonderful blog.. Neil, i have been following your blog since a few weeks… you are a genius…

  89. Hi Neil,

    I have been really enjoying your posts on the $100,000 Challenge. I love the detail you provide. I would enjoy seeing a Screenflow that shows Mike performing some of the promotional tactics you have outlined. Is that something you could add to your future posts?

    Thanks for giving away your secrets and making it look easy in the process!

    Warm Regards,
    Brandon Davis

    • Brandon — it definitely is an option. Let me see what we can do. Thanks for all the support and help.

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  90. Sergey Steklov :

    Poor Mike. Such work can kill him.
    Neil, I think that should be paid to quality. For bloggers, every day to write great articles, it is a huge work. It is harmful to humans. It should be given time to rest to gain strength.
    Neil, I can not do every day to write articles. I am weary. I no longer work on the quality and try to relax, to pick up their forces for a new job. Traffic on the blog should not depend on the number of entries and the quality of the articles.
    You can write 100 articles that will attract 100 visitors. And you can write a 100 good articles that will attract 1,000 visitors to the blog.
    It’s just my opinion, Neil.

    • Sergey, thanks for your concern but it’s Mike who wants to write that often. He is finding a strong passion for writing and he knows how to balance his time well so he doesn’t get burned out often.

      Thanks for sharing and looking forward to hearing more from you.

  91. So i was trying to figure out a shotuout for shoutout message, Can you share what you send?

    • Majid, what I send won’t be applicable to you because we are likely in a different niche. Show me what you have.

      • Thanks for the message Neil, This is the message i sent.

        Hey there,

        I noticed your great page and wanted you say awesome. I wanted to ask if it would be possible to do a shoutout for shoutout on Facebook to help each other build a community. I have a Facebook Page with 10,000+ likes and would love to share your amazing Facebook page over.

        If you think, both of us can benefit from this. Let me know smile emoticon

        P.S: Keep the great work with your page.
        ————

        Also, the supplement company you got, is that from Amazon, Ali Baba. like any leads of how can we find something like this ?

        • Majid, I like your message — it’s to the point and offers a value proposition which is what’s most important.

          I am going to be going through Amazon — best of luck!

          • Hey Neil,

            I have been noticing if the pages actually read the message. And it seems pages are not even reading them. All the effort is going in vain.

            You said the message is fine, but apparently not a single reply to the lots of people i had contacted. Just though to share an update

            With respect to engaging people, i might have a different opinion, i tried creating content which people like, people do like it and share it but the engagement rate is way to low.

            I was looking at nutrition secrets page, twitter has almost 0 engagement. and the Facebook has low engagement, i wont say 34 likes, 27 shares on a page with 100k+ likes is good. What is your thought.

            Cheers
            M

            • Majid, just keep at it and test out different types of content.

              For instance, we find that when we share memes and quotes we get a ton of engagement. However, we have only been sharing blog posts because we write daily. While people may not be sharing as much we know they are reading because of the engagement metrics we get from insights. Let me know if you need any help with anything.

  92. Thanks for the reply. i see, the problem i am noticing is that people do not see messages also.

    i am continuing to send out messages to see if i get a response 🙂

  93. How much did the 100,000+ likes on the Facebook cost you?

  94. Sorry but I just don’t believe you on this.

    If those 100,000+ likes were mostly “real” and not paid for, you would get way more engagement on your Facebook posts.

    Also, most of the articles on your site get less than 10 comments.
    Even you post that went “viral” only got 19 comments, and 9 of those were from Mike.

    None of this adds up.

    • Joe, we post so often (daily blog posts) Not all of them will hit and often times people can’t keep up with the content.

      When we post memes or similar content you’ll see that we get tons of engagement. It’s just part of the game. Thanks for your insights and feedback though.

  95. Hi Neil,

    We are still looking forward to the spreadsheet that you shared with Mike to create content ideas.

    Thanks,
    Diana

  96. I really like this challenge because I also really like to write and do SEO. I did some research (for well 4-5 months) now because I would really like to make a website about internet marketing, especially SEO. Im living in the Netherlands so I did some keyword research.

    What I see here is that (for example) content marketing only gets like +/- 2000-3000 visitors a month. So when I start blogging and want to rank for these terms I will get like 30% of this visitors to my site. That’s not much if you look at the work you put in. I know in America are those keyword much more competitive, but there is also a lot more to gain.

    Also about longtail keywords. In America there are a lot of long tails with volume. Here in the Netherlands there aren’t.

    I understand its more competitive there in America, but is it time-consuming wise smart to start an SEO/IM blog in the Netherlands? I mean if you put in as much effort as you do Neil with Quicksprout, you will get like 10-20% of these monthly visits. Would you do this? Or should you use your SEO knowledge to rank sites in markets where is some more search volume etc.

    Im really confused right now what to do. Make a SEO blog or just use this SEO knowledge to rank other sites…

    Thanks for reading!

    • It’s a smart approach and I will eventually start expanding into international markets. Probably Germany first and then I will expand from there… as I already have a lot of German readers.

      It’s a great way to capture extra traffic.

      • Hi Neil,

        Thanks for answering my question!

        I think you didn’t really understand the question. I want to start this IM/SEO blog in dutch (i live in holland). So would you start this blog (quicksprout) also in the netherlands. Dutch isnt readably in Germany, so I would need to make a whole different site (I can’t even speak Germany lol).

        There are low search volumes for keywords like ‘content marketing’ ‘learning seo’ etc etc. So organic searches will be way less in this market.

        So would you just build out an IM/SEO blog with this low search volumes or do you use your IM knowledge to build sites in different branches like weight loss etc.

        Thanks!

        • Niels,

          It really depends on what you want to do. If you are passionate about internet marketing and SEO then you should focus on writing on those topics — if on the other hand your passion lies elsewhere then you should focus on that niche.

  97. Ileane Dcosta :

    Hi,

    I have been following your updates.

    Instead of starting my own blog, I have started selling a few services on http://www.sellitpage.com as a freelancer.

    From the money that I make from here, I will probably start a blog on making EPIC Slideshares and offer it to my clients.

    Thank you for all that you do to serve your readers.

    Sorry to promote my client here, but please if you are freelancer or a buyer please do check out http://www.sellitpage.com

    It is new and you can get started here…

    Regards,
    🙂 I D

    • ID,

      Not a problem — I like when people share their stories and then provide some reference with their website. It’s when people just toss a link up that things get spammy and don’t produce value. Looking forward to hearing much more from you .

  98. Hello Neil,

    Love to hear you are growing and succeeding with your site! I too have hit the six month mark and have a few active clients at the moment with more work scope planned for the upcoming months. I’ve completed my first webinar and guest posted on another site.

    I would never of guessed six months ago I would be doing these things and it feels great! Of course, you’re waaay ahead of me on web traffic (no comparison there!), but I love to see what you do and how you do it. Your posts keep me inspired and definitely give me some great ideas 🙂

    http://leftsideart.com/blog/creative-entrepreneur

    Until next month,
    Christine

    • Christine, it’s been a fun journey and I’ve learned a lot along the way.

      That’s great that you have seen such great results. Webinars provide great value and I am glad you are seeing such great results. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  99. Does Mike send newsletters? I don’t see, on Channel Overview screenshot, Email as a traffic source? Thanks.

  100. Hey Neil

    Great stuff!!

    Do you think at the end of the year you could do a breakdown of the most successful strategies so far? Like a top 5?

  101. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for sharing this. Very instructive !

    I was looking some of the post of NS and was wondering which service do you use to find the right picture for your recipes.

    I just started a health website (in my country) and it’s a problematic i struggle with. Stock photos websites are too broad and i haven’t found one which specifically provides food/recipe pictures.

    Thanks.

    • Cyril, glad you found the article helpful.

      I use stock image sites. Getty images work well too! We also have an in house photographer.

      I would try to invest in a professional food photographer if stock sites don’t do it for you.

  102. Hi Neil, I launched StorageWarrior.ca just 2 days ago and I’m looking to build traffic. My FB page has 540 Likes and I’m running a cheap ad that gets me 6-15 new likes every day.

    I’d like to write content that could go viral, but in the storage auction space the most popular articles reference the stupid drama that goes on in Storage Wars. I could write about that in a different way, I guess, but I’d rather educate people about the business. Do you recommend that I start with this kind of content in order to drive traffic? Or should I mix it up a bit? Thanks for your insight.

    • JJ, I think you can do both. However, you’re right… ultimately you want to provide useful information not just what’s on TV

      Follow a 3-1 ratio. 1 fun article for every 3 that informs people. Let me know how it goes.

  103. Nice work! why haven’t you still monetized your blog? You should be making money with the traffic you are getting.
    The social network traffic is amazing. If it from pages or groups?

    • Nijinsha, I am still in the process of perfecting it. I like to make sure I get the most value out my efforts.

      Let me know if you need help with anything else.

  104. Hi Neil,

    I’m just curious what the best way to reach Mike would be in regards to guest articles and link building? I’m having a hard time finding any contact information on his site.

    Thanks!
    Alex

  105. Where is October update?

  106. Oct Update????

  107. cuecas calvin klein original :

    You’re the man Neil! Learning so much!

    I actually am a little behind but we’re starting 3 experiments along side you. I’m doing golf, my 10 year old son is doing Legos and my daughter is starting a teen fashion thing that are going to leverage Pinterest and Instagram for.

    They saw me reading your blog and wanted to try it too.

    We’ll let you know how it goes.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Wow, that’s awesome you have your whole family involved. I’m looking forward to hearing about everyone’s results. Let me know if there’s anything else I could help you with.

  108. Hi Neil,
    what an amazing report. I started following your challenge only yesterday but I’m so thrilled.

    I wanted to ask: where do you get those beautiful images? As far as I see, you don’t have any design expenses.

    Regards,
    Serge

  109. Hi Neil,

    I have been reading up on this blog series and I found it very informative.

    Can you elaborate more on getting category approval from Amazon for the fish oil product you’ve described in this category? I have been trying to list my product in the Beauty category but my requests keep getting denied.

    Can you please guide me on finding the right wholesaler in the US that can help me in sourcing my products?

    Thanks,

  110. Chris Thompson :

    Nice work! why haven’t you still monetized your blog? You should be making money with the traffic you are getting. happy room http://happyroomonline.com

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