The $100,000 Challenge: January Update

jan traffic

We just wrapped up our 10th month of the $100,000 a month challenge at NutritionSecrets.com, and it was a great month.

In January, traffic grew to 159,945 visitors—139,417 of which were unique. Those visitors generated a total of 195,665 pageviews and purchased $76,326.90 worth of fish oil supplements.

Although the numbers for January were great, I expect February to be slower because we ran out of inventory, which I’ll talk about in the next update.

So, let’s dive into the January numbers. 

January’s traffic

As you can see from the screenshot above, traffic grew greatly in January. It was partly because of the season—everyone is trying to set health and weight goals in January—and partly because the rankings are just starting to climb.

SEO is a long-term game, and when you write great content and build links, you don’t always see results immediately. But when you wait patiently for 3 to 6 months, you start seeing the fruits of your labor.

Compared to December, which had a visitor count of 69,813, January saw a 129% increase in overall traffic.

search traffic

As you can see from the screenshot above, the majority of the traffic growth came from search engines: 117,070 visitors came from Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The majority of those visitors came from Google.

I am new to the nutrition space, so I don’t know whether the traffic will die down in a few weeks, but I hope it keeps going up.

Content production

Because Mike knew that January was going to be a hot month, he prepared in advance. He wrote more content so that blog post production could go back to seven posts a week. But because Mike needed to produce so much content, the topics he wrote on were basic.

The increase in content production hasn’t been helping much with social traffic, but it has been helping with search engine traffic. Over the next few months, I’ll have Mike continually push out seven pieces of content a week as it will help us hit the revenue goal of $100,000.

Revenue

As you may already know, numbers can be deceiving. Although we are getting closer to the $100,000 revenue mark, more revenue doesn’t necessarily mean more profit.

search traffic

As you can see in the screenshot above, revenue hit $76,326.90. We tested a few different price points, changing the price of our product by a few dollars up or down to see whether we could generate more sales, but we didn’t see a big difference.

Now, of course, if we dropped the price by $10.00, I do believe that the sales numbers would go up drastically, but that would eat away at our profit margin.

Here is the breakdown of the expenses for the month:

  • Fish oil – $56,401.91 (including Amazon fees, shipping to Amazon for Prime and any coupon-related expenses)
  • Aweber – $69
  • Designer – $750 (made changes to the website, including linking to the product)
  • Hosting – $249
  • Mike – free (Mike doesn’t get paid, but he owns a percentage of the blog)
  • Ads – $9,481.29 (We’ve been testing ads, and in the following updates, I will show you the screenshots and share the lessons we learned from running the ads. Overall, they haven’t been performing too well from a profit margin standpoint.)
  • Accounting – $185 (we are now paying a bookkeeper to help out with the books)
  • Lawyer fees – $2,000 (this is to get rid of people selling our product with our label on Amazon. We are sending them seize and desist orders.)

That brings the total of the expenses to $69,136.20. That means our profit was $7,190.70.

Conclusion

The big focus right now is on adjusting the listing copy on Amazon. If we adjust the text, it should help a lot with sales, but it’s hard because other people on Amazon are selling our product.

Once we get rid of all the other products, Amazon should update the text. I don’t know why it works this way, but it just does…

Escalating the promotion of the product on NutritionSecrets.com should help as well. We have already been doing a better job of this in January, and we will continue to push forward with the same strategy in February.

What do you think of the progress so far? I’ve been happy with the revenue growth, but I need to focus on improving profit margins.

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Comments

  1. Love these updates, Neil. Thanks so much for putting this information out there. So true about waiting patiently for long-term SEO gains. I’ve had a few “engineered” posts work out a half a year later on my site as well, and love that feeling I get that’s like “my plan is working perfectly!!” Now just to increase to your level… that’ll be a long game too haha 😛

    Cheri

    • Hey Cheri, I see the same thing too… 3 to 6 months for the SEO to kick in. It’s tough to wait and keeping going forward with guest posts. But It does pay off!

      Are you doing guest posting? Or something else “engineered”?

    • As Hannibal Smith from the A-team (old show I use to watch) says, “I love it when a plan comes together” 🙂

      SEO is a game most marketers lose, not because they failed, but because they simply haven’t developed the level of patience required to win.

  2. Crazy stats, congrats. I check these every time you post 🙂

  3. Awesome job guys, been following from the start.

    Great to see that the work put in regarding SEO is finally starting to pay off.

    Keep up the great work & I look forward to next months progress update!

    Mike

    • It took a while to get things moving, but I’m glad it finally picked up. Now that we’re out of the peak month, I hope the traffic continues to go up or at the least stays at this level.

  4. Almost there!!! Congrats. Love this updates!

  5. Anastacia Hauldridge :

    You ROCK man!

  6. Chidubem Ezinne :

    Hey Neil,

    Thanks so much for keep us up to date on your challenge I am hoping to have close the amount of persistence as you do.

    Do you have any tips for staying on a goal and being productive?

    Thanks in advanced,

    Chidubem Ezinne

    • I think you can. As long as you’re doing something you love doing, you’ll have to motivation necessary to keep going. To stay productive, have everything you want to accomplish the next day, the night before.

  7. Awesome progress Neil and Mike. I am 110% sure that you will hit your goal earlier than 1 year. Because you are one of the most amazing person out there.

  8. Thanks for sharing. Why did you spent almost $10k on Ads, without knowing about the results? Couldn’t you test you Ads with a smaller amount?

    I’ve been following this project since the beginning, and I appreciate that you share you findings with us. Now that your strategy is clear about the nutrition niche. Could you please tell us what have you done differently for the other two niches, i.e., Selling a software and Mastermind Blog. What would have been the software that you were going to build? What would have been the strategy to reach your audience? How to price it and commercialise it? How to maintain and grow the business?

    Thanks,-SR

    • Yes, but I am trying to hit a financial goal so I am willing to push the limits to hit my goal.

      I am not sure what I would have done. I usually learn as I move along. There isn’t always a clear strategy which is why I would first build an audience and go from there.

  9. How difficult was it to white label your own fish oil supplement? I would love to see a resource!

    Thanks Neil!

  10. Didn’t know it was so expensive to sell your product on amazon! Really interesting update!

    • I didn’t realize it was going to be this much either, but I’m glad we’re moving units and getting into the black.

  11. Emmanuel Olonade :

    Great work Neil,

    I am learning so much from your persistence. The work you and Mike are putting into NutritionSecrets.com is HUGE.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Emmanuel

  12. i don’t understand how you grew a new site to over 100k visitors per month from search engine traffic in a saturated niche like health and fitness. do you go over how you accomplished this more in any other article?

  13. Great News Neil. Well done. We also made our first sale ever from our blog. Great feeling when you earn your first dollar.

    Keep us updated.

    • That’s awesome and congratulations! It’s a great feeling and I hope you get to experience millions more like that 😉

  14. Neil WOW! Amazing results, I was following this challange from beginning and SEO strategy really pays off.

    If you have moment, I have one quick question:

    I see a lot of high quality pictures on blog that are on topic especially posts like “X recipes …”. Do Mike uses free services like pixabay? Or he really cook it all and makes photos by himself?

  15. Hey Neil great post! What hosting company does Mike use for Nutrition Secrets or what hosting company do you use?

  16. Congrats sir, I am a big fan of your blog. I have been following this for 8 months. It really inspire me a lot. All the best for this year.

    • I love to hear it and am glad you enjoyed.

      Barun, please let me know if there’s anything specific you want my help with.

  17. Great, Loving the stats. Search Engine Traffic has been growing, thats very good. Content production on daily bases must be really helping 🙂
    However, I want you to elaborate backlinking part for Nutrition blog if you dont mind.

    • I agree with Deepak – that would be really helpful because he is pushing out a ton of content.

    • We just email out everyone we link out to in each post and beg for links. It’s a numbers game but a lot of people will share the content and even link back.

      • That mme laugh though :p

      • Neil,

        Obviously, this strategy works, but what about NutritionSecret’s reputation?

        I mean, linking out to others can give you some backlinks and social shares, yet you are sending your readers to other websites that might not be worth reading.

        I supposed Mike links to popular blogs like WebMD and such that have good reputation right?

        I don’t know, it might just seem strange to me. I only link out to sites I personally read and find valuable instead of over-linking. And I do that because I value my readers a lot and I am really cautious when it comes to sending them somewhere on the web, even if that’s a reputable blog like WebMD.

        What do you think?

        Also, the 100k challenge is about making 100k total revenue or making 100k of clear, lean profit?

        -Damian

        PS: Great job!

        • We link to high authority sites as the source of the information we collected to put together. Health is a very susceptible topic, typically sites like WebMD have extensive research that backs up their information. We’re essentially piggyback on their even more in depth research to associate our blog with higher credibility.

  18. Thanks for the updates! How long have you been selling on Amazon? I maybe missed an earlier post that discussed this, are you whitelabelling your own supplements on Amazon?

  19. Thank you so much for updating the information.

  20. Great article Niel. However, I have one question? How do you pitch your fish oil using your blog posts. Is it using some dedicated Landing pages. How you convert the visitors to different blog posts into Amazon customers?

    • Moazzam, we capture their emails and send them through an auto responder sequence. After we build rapport with the subscriber, then we start pitching the fish oil

      • Hello there, I was about to make the same question. I wonder how do you sell so many bottles and for this I singned up to nutrition secret newsletter to know more about your autoresponder sequence. But I have received only update about new posts. No pitch, no offer. It is odd, isn’t it?

  21. Love hearing how the process is progressing from point A to point B. Wow….the traffic has really shot up over the last month.

    Producing content like that, 7 days a week, seems to help out. Once you get those other sandbaggers from selling your product, your revenue might creep up just a bit.

    You said your paid ads were not doing so wall. What were you going by on this?

    Once again, love reading and keeping up with how it’s going.

    Jodie

    • I think getting rid of the sandbaggers will definitely help, but we’ll find out soon enough. Producing content that frequently is important, but only do it if you can stay consistent. Luckily that hasn’t been an issue for Mike. We were doing paid ads with facebook, but those weren’t converting well so we ended up losing a bit of money with that.

      • Facebook is not a place for sell, but for contact friends. You can guess what happens if you go to your friend’s party and try to sell your products. You should use facebook to make friends and share valuable information as well as create engagement. Do not sell there, just make friends and they will go to find you later. Some neuro-marketing guys explain this very well. Facebook is trying to use their platform as marketplace from a long time ago, and I think they never will be success because this reason.

        • Javi, we’re not selling directly necessary, but rather leveraging content to attract people from facebook with the goal of getting them to go through our email auto responder sequence.

  22. Pretty short article today 🙂

    I’m waiting eagerly the screenshots and lessons learned from ‘Ads’.

    Keep up the good work !

    • Hopefully we start running ads that work soon, then I can do a post where I compare them with the ones that didn’t

  23. Hi Neil,

    I am interested to know about the profits more. I have seen hundreds of sellers on Amazon selling similar products. However my concern is that most are reviews which either have got a product for free our for a reviews..

    In fact I also happened to go through your reviews which were quite similar.

    My question is that of it’s for a discount then when you so giving it away, Will it still continue to sell on it’s own our Will you have to continue to give away for free.

    This is my concern because most supplement sellers are giving away for free or for reviews.

    What’s your take on the real profits and bottom line?

    Just staying… However your progress is out of the world.

    Regards,
    Mukund

    • Assuming you get traction it does sell on it’s own after to. It is a numbers game though, with a small amount of reviews it wouldn’t work.

      In the short run it ruins profit, but in the long run the numbers work out.

  24. Hi Neil ,

    Thank for sharing your experience .

    I have a question: If you add a link in oil picture in blog sidebar , maybe you Improve amazon visites and selling ?

    Have a nice day.

    • Selling it directly like that didn’t work, so we instead had everyone go through an email sequence which gets them warmed up and interested in buying.

  25. Awesome job guys, been following from the start.

    Great to see that the work put in regarding SEO is finally starting to pay off.

    Keep up the great work & I look forward to next months progress update!

    Jankii Ahir

    • SEO is a game of patience, but I’m excited to see it finally kicking into high gear too 🙂

      Sounds good, let me know if there’s anything else I could help with.

  26. I think that there’s a fairly large gap in the info here, how much of your sales were generated from blog referrals (which you would know from your Amazon affiliate stats) vs organic sales on Amazon from search results within the Amazon algorithm? What you appear to be demonstrating is that you are building a steady white-label Amazon sales business, but I’m not convinced that much of this revenue is being driven by the blog. If anything, the blog appears to be superfluous to requirements. Perhaps you could share the rough breakdown of sales from blog referrals vs organic?

  27. Sorry autocorrect keyboard.
    I meant that if you stop giving it away Will it continue to sell if you stop giving it away?

  28. Hi Neil,

    I’ve noticed you don’t have any expenses in terms of images. The images are pretty good quality, where do you source them from?

    Apologies if you’ve already covered this off in another article.

    Thanks in advance!

  29. The web traffic you are getting is amazing. However, it seems your sales are coming from Amazon which tells me the conversion to sale from the website means very little.

    Could you not have just started a Amazon product, and marketed it? You may received the same type of sales through promotion.

    Do you have any analytics setup to show the flow from keyword to website to Amazon Store to sale?

    Other folks like Ryan Moran or Devan Zander build million dollar business on Amazon with the same type of products with no website.

    If you are generating so much traffic from the web, why push your visitors to Amazon? By doing that you are paying Amazons high fees for FBA, listing fees, and prime shipping. Could you not have just set an agreement up with another warehouse shipper like Ship Station or ShipWire or one of the other fulfillment centers. It seems you would get much better support and surely wouldn’t get your product knocked off costing $2000 in legal fees.

    I’m not hating on anything, but more curious to why use Amazon if your sales are legitimately coming from your website? You could actually do both right? Setup a WooCommerce shop on your website, and still use Amazon? The same from your website would generate a much higher percentage.

    • You make a good point and I do think most are coming from Amazon. I don’t have a break down as Amazon doesn’t provide analytics in that way (or at least I don’t know of it)

      As the site grows it will make a lot from infoproducts and tangible products, I just haven’t got to all of that as I am busy, so Mike is making due with whatever guidance I am providing.

  30. Denis Gonzalez :

    I like the progress. Although you are not having the best revenue / profit ratio, this progress aims to be a winner in the long term. I hope the best for this project.

  31. Minds Metricks :

    That’s so awesome Neil.!!! Your stats are so path and strategy driven.!!!

    • Thanks 🙂

      You never end up following the strategy 100%, but it definitely helps you steer in the right direction.

  32. Wow, as always another very motivating article.

    I don’t think that I can write 7 x 2,000 word articles per week (time restraints) but I am trying to publish as much content as I can and then doing outreach on top of that.

    Quick question: Mike’s outreach is obviously FB ads but is he doing any email outreach, competitor backlinking analysis or any other outreach/promotion apart from FB ads?

    Many thanks,

    Mike

    • I know its challenging at first, but once you get the hang of writing, you can knock out a 2,000 word post in less than a couple hours. Yes he is doing email outreach for promotion, but that hasn’t led to a ton of traction.

  33. Just clicked the link on your website leading to the Amazon posting. It says currently unavailable. Just wondered what’s going on.

    Thanks

  34. Has the profit margin been mentioned in terms of a % per product? The expenses must surely involve some held inventory so I’d be interested to see the mark up on each product. Sorry if it’s been mentioned in previous posts and I’ve just missed it.

    • It ranges a lot… but depending on the volume the costs can be anywhere from $7 dollars on the low end to $15 on the high end (plus Amazon fees and holding costs)

  35. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the update – fascinating.

    Making a profit is certainly hard work and requires immense application – both you and Mike deserve success.

    I am also quite interested in the pros and cons of your advertisement campaign when you have the stats available.

    Thank you again and, most of all, thanks for the nutrition information!

    Kindest.

    • It’s been quite a journey thus far, and it’s required persistence at the least. I am glad and feel reassured that we have finally started to see a rapid increase in organic traffic. I’ll include more information about our campaigns in the upcoming update.

  36. Wow, awesome work Neil. Thank you for being so transparent and giving the little guys inspiration. That shows you are really trying to help others out. I am sure I speak for everybody else when I say your blogging about this is greatly appreciated.

    Question:
    You are paying $249.00 a month for webhosting, is that too much? Which company is it?

    Also, you talk about the seize and desist orders that you had to pay a layer to address. That is something I would never thought about having to deal with. Thanks again for sharing that.

    • I use wp engine. It is a bit more expensive than the others, but I have had nothing but great things to say about their hassle free service.

      Getting lawyers involved was definitely an unexpected expense.

  37. Francisco Rodríguez :

    Hi Neil!

    I´ve been following this challange since the very begining and honestly I´m impressed with the results You and Mike are getting. But i have a few questions:

    1. Why your updates are becoming more shallow? – In order to replicate your results, we need more details of the back end process. Not just the final numbers.

    2. Is there any post coming about how to do white labeling and dealing with selling on amazon?

    3. So far doesn´t look so clear to me how the blog itself has affected your sales volume. I mean, looks like you could do the amazon selling business without even having the blog.

    I love your work and think you are the best. bye!

    • Hi Francisco,
      Your third comment was my comment exactly. Neil seems to skip over those comments. I think its great the site as generated so much traffic, but not sure how it relates to Amazon sales. Hopefully this is something that will be addressed in future updates.

      Wade

    • 1. I will do a more detailed post.

      2. I will write about this in the next update.

      3. I will cover this as well soon enough. 🙂

  38. Andrew Holland :

    Once again thanks for the update Neil. I am interested in how long it is actually taking Mike to write for the blog. As in how many actual hours it is taking him to research, plan, edit, write and promote the posts. If possible, would you be able to add a snapshot of how Mike is fitting in the writing among his other activities and how he personally stays so productive with the demands of modern day life/business.

    And it would be super awesome to hear from Mike’s perspective as to how demanding he is finding the content production schedule.

    Thanks Andrew

  39. Hey Neil

    Thanks for this. One question though although I am sure you’ve already answered it. I had a look at the website and it seems there is quite a lot of content. Do you outsource it? Because the articles are pretty long and I can’t imagine one person writing the all. Thanks and keep up the awesome work.

  40. Pretty good results, Neil. Sales may go down of the next few months though, although I hope for you that it keeps growing. I’m saying this, because at the beginning of the year people are all into health stuff, losing weight after the fattening holidays, etc. etc. and that may die off after a month. Just keep that in mind! And let’s see where this will go!

  41. You are rock! I am 100% sure that you will hit your goal earlier than 1 year.

  42. Marvin Francis :

    Wow, am so impressed about this. Thought it was a joke a first.
    Am going to implement this in my blog http://www.thenaturesfarmacy.com

    • I’m happy your changed your view on this and glad you’re learning. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.

  43. Hey Neil, how can one break down the “not provided” number in analytics?

    It’s frustrating to know that u know some keywords but the majority is just “not provided”, isn’t it?

  44. Great Job

  45. Neil, thank you for being so transparent and sharing with us this journey and real time numbers. This is very inspiring and encouraging. You guys are definitely putting the work in and its not overnight. Success with blogging is very possible when you stick to the simple game plan.. Thank you so much for this!!

    • It took a while before it started to break away like this, It never happens the exact way you want it, but but luckily we just kept pushing through and finally started to happen.

  46. I am reading my favorite blog for 9 months, I was excited when I see the January report article in my inbox. The traffic growth is amazing. Mike really did a great job. 🙂 I wish if he can read my comment here. best wishes mike 😉 & Neil sir.
    Aryan.

    • Hi Aryan,
      Good to see you here! Very glad you appreciate Mike – so much content every day! Hope you are well and are happy.

    • Love to hear that Rohan! It’s been kind of slow at first, but glad it finally started to take off. Stay tuned and let me know if there’s anything else I could help you with.

  47. hello Neil,

    please can you tell me which amazon affiliate plugin are you using for amazon products?

  48. Neil, This is incredible!. Wow, your blog growth is really inspiring and thanks for sharing monthly updates..

    • Thanks Naresh 🙂 We’ve been consistently posting everyday for almost a year now, so I’m glad we finally got a bit of a break

  49. Great update, I love following the progress of your challenge. You and Mike managed to achieve a lot during these 10 months.

    The amount of content you manage to produce is insane and motivating at the same time. Best of luck 🙂

    • The nutrition space is pretty challenging, so we didn’t really have any other choice but to create and share content everyday. Let me know if there’s anything specific you want my help with.

  50. Johnson Emmanuel :

    Neil, this is awesome. You have proven that one does not need thousands of dollars to start a 6-figure business.

    Consistency is key. You have done wonderfully well. Short of words to say the least.

    • A lot of has to do with action. All the knowledge you need is available to you at your finger tips. Those who take action (consistent action) reap the rewards.

    • Johnson, I think you will find that Neil has actually had to pump thousands of dollars in to this challenge. His expenses last month alone was nearly $70,000.

      So, not really that great an inspiration for a struggling newbie, is it?

  51. Great job Neil. That organic traffic growth is pretty impressive. You guys are killing it as usual. – @johnelincoln

    • Thanks John! I am excited about it and curious to see what happens now that January is over. Hopefully it continues to go up.

  52. thomas wooldridge :

    Great insight,, but did you mean “cease and desist”

  53. Hi, nice project. I just visited your site and see that you are linking direct to the Fish Oil product on amazon from the header. My idea is to be your own affiliate. But I dont’t know if the commission you get is paid by amazon or you at the end?

  54. Congrats Neil

    Awesome job!

  55. This is a nice update. You’re getting closer to the 100,000. I guess we all wish you get there. Not much time left but anyway, you’re getting closer.

  56. Hi Neil,

    These were indeed great numbers. It is like huge. Even $7k+ means a lot a month as a profit and that too when you are selling your own product. Revenue at $76k is amazing. Waiting for the next update!

    • It’s obviously not the best margins in the world yet, but there are lots of things for us to optimize, so I think the upcoming months will be better for us.

  57. Hi Neil

    When someone purchase your product are they on your email list? Are you offering any incentives?

    Danielle

  58. Have you been able to track how many sales have came from the website vs just Amazon? I am just wondering how much organic Amazon did having that many reviews I bet it does well there.

    • Most of the sales are correlated with the emails that we send. Amazon traffic hasn’t done much or anything as of yet, their landscape for fish oil is competitive. However, I think we’ll be able to rank this in their enviroment soon enough.

  59. Whow this is great stuff.
    I quest there is a lot for me to learn and find before I can achieve even 20% with my site, especially when you’re not a expert writer & on a budget.
    Suggestions on how to start would be very welcome! !

    • It’s not so much the how you need to worry about as that’s something you will only figure out on the way. Start by setting a goal to write more frequently and work your way from there. There are also some free guides on the sidebar that have a lot of tips to help you get going.

  60. Inspired by your strategy, I have bought an 11 years old nutrition domain (http://www.onutrition.com). I know I will not get success at your speed, but if I can achieve 25% of your success in one year, I will think myself as successful as you…
    Regards

  61. Getting there! Can’t wait for the next one Neil!

  62. Hi Neil , how you cost your Camping SEO for this site , you don’t talk about it 🙂

  63. Curtis Blackmore :

    Great update, Neil!
    These case studies have been very valuable. It’s incredible being able to see the steps and problems you encounter on the way to 100K a month. As usual, great content!

    Thanks again,
    Curtis Blackmore

    • Thanks Curtis, I’ve been having a blast putting these together so I’m glad you’re following along with the steps. Hopefully you can apply these stratigies too.

  64. Congratulations for your $100k challenge progress. Its great to see that SEO can bring so much change to the way you do business online. Breakdown of expenses is also very well explained. May you success like this forever and keep inspiring us.

    • SEO is challenging at first, but with persistence, the increase and stability in consistent traffic begin to open up a variety of new opportunities for growth.

  65. Naomi Dinsmore :

    Hi Neil,

    Really great results. I’ve been learning a lot so far. I understand that you want to focus on profit margins and I like the fact that you keep us in-the-know. But what about other aspects of blogging?

    I’d like to know if you plan to guest post? Do/how you plan to increase your ‘return visitors’ percentage? Do/how you plan to increase the blogs social media shares and comments?

    This is only my assumation that you plan to do so, because obviously Nutrition Secrets is doing great with what you are currently doing. Maybe you’re sticking with that and the things I’ve suggested are (in the bigger picture) not that important?!

    I’d love your thoughts

    Naomi

    • Our strategy has been mostly geared towards producing high quality content and promoting it. Once Mike has a bit more time, I’ll have him focus on guest posting and enhancing various aspects of the site. I’ll share another update in the next couple of weeks

  66. Hey! I’ve loved this blog ever since you’ve started it and can’t wait for each month however, do you feel that you may be focusing on Amazon too much? What about other vendors and letting people dropship from you? Or am I being silly ha

    • I don’t think you’re being silly, that’s a great question. Amazon is first to start and now that we have traffic flowing, we can begin to expand and explore other opportunities.

  67. Short and to the point! Love it.
    Wow, that’s a lot of work for only $7k profit/month.
    It’s not easy huh?

    Wondering why you didn’t choose to use ebooks and courses?

    • It was definitely not as easy as I thought it was going to be.

      We will be adding digital products soon, but figured supplements would be a quick way to monetize.

  68. Hey Neil,

    You are making great progress and it seems like you are on your way to achieving your goal on time and that is great!

    Could you speak a bit more about those other Amazon sellers who are selling your product? I see on your Amazon listing page that your product is offered by “Other Sellers on Amazon” — are these the ones who are stealing it from you? I assume that they have simply copied your recipe and your label and have listed their product using your own UPC barcode number, which is why Amazon lists them on your page.

    Is that correct and isn’t there a way to tell Amazon not to allow others to do that to you?

  69. What a journey! The finish line is definitely close.

    Neil, I hope you can elaborate a bit, aside from pushing out lots of content, what has been the driver for SEO traffic/better ranking?

    You mentioned that email outreach hasn’t gotten much traction.

    Thanks.

  70. Ryan OLoughlin :

    Hey Neil,

    AWESOME numbers, you and Mike must be learning tons. Question: Are you doing Amazon FBA? Or how are you making the sales?

    Looking forward to Feb!
    Ryan

  71. So as far as the content goes have you or Mike given thought to guest writer or a featured writer.?

    When you make the sale do they get moved off the site to a direct email type campaign to save on the costs?

    Any thoughts about using video for the blog portion of the site.

    I have enjoyed this study so much. I love that it’s always a work in progress and we get to see you adapt monthly to the market.

    any plans to go to future events t ? o check trends or see what else is coming out ?

    • We haven’t considered it yet, but do intent to do something like that in the near future. After they visit the website, we work towards capturing them and sending them through our marketing automation system. Haven’t thought about doing videos yet, but something to definitely look into very soon.

  72. Great to hear that you’re getting close to your goal Neil!

    What are you using for the ads? I’d be happy to see if I can nudge your ads towards profitability 🙂

    • Thanks Dennis, we’ve been using facebook and have also been looking into some ad networks, although they are quite costly.

  73. Hi Mike, it’s a great post as always and another great lesson on how things go in the SEO world. Looking at your chart, I was wondering if the number of returning visitors isn’t a bit low. What’s your opinion about it? Do you see the same numbers in the other websites that you own?

    • I think it’s a little low and has to do with the email marketing. We need to a better job with building rapport and connecting with the audience.

  74. This is so cool Neil, thank for sharing your journey with us! I follow your reports closely and I even borrowed the idea to write my own monthly reports on my blog but not as good as yours. I hope that one day I can reach your stage too. Cheers

    • I’m sure it’s as good if not better, otherwise all you need is more practice 🙂

      If you have any questions or feel stuck on anything, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  75. Very inspiring journey. Is this amazon affiliate?

  76. Hey Neil

    Just came across your experiment today and immediately honed in on the importance you placed on buying an existing domain to save time growing rankings and traffic.

    I was about to launch a new project on a brand new domain. After seeing your words, I soon found an existing yet inactive blog with great rankings and backlinks and similar content to what I am an expert in.

    I am keen to try and buy it BUT the domain name isn’t as good for brand building and doesn’t quite suit my planned topics as well as the one I had in mind.

    So my question – if I buy the existing domain, then re-brand and re-direct all pages to my brand new ideal domain, will I still capture most/all of the SEO benefits? and would changing platforms from joomla to wordpress impact on that too?

    I will be studying all your other posts too now! Cheers

    • Nice job on finding an existing site, it makes a huge difference. Yes you can do that, but obviously the value won’t pass right away. Build out your new site, then do 301 redirects to all thew new pages.

  77. Hey Neil I forgot to tell you in my last two comments that you should definetely utilize content upgrades. Just imagine the increase in emails you’ll receive if you added them in every single article Mike has written.

    Plus if most of the sales are generated by the auto responder – then the bigger the list, the higher the chance of making more profit.

    • Thanks Ulyses, that’s a great idea and something Mike has been working on. I agree with you, it should make a significant impact and wont cost much.

  78. Thanks for such a transparent report, Neil! Have you considered allowing customers the option to purchase in different sizes? For example: 30/ct 60/ct 180/ct

    You could run a test with Amazon, similar to these sales pages:

    http://www.amazon.com/Flagship-Complete-Nootropic-Supplement-Onnit/dp/B007N9217Q

    http://www.amazon.com/Soylent-Powder-One-Day-Meals/dp/B00NL2COGC

    • We haven’t yet, but it seems like a great idea, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

      Once we start expanding, we’ll look into give options on quantity.

  79. This is awesome to watch but you’re still a long way of hitting 100k a month and that’s only 2 months left. I guess of you’re taking pure revenue you only need 30k or so to do it but profit you’re not even close. I look forward to seeing how this progresses over the next two months.

    • We’re no where near hitting that as profit, but think we’re definitely close to achieving that level of revenue. Let see what happens…

  80. Grate going Neil,You and Mike are doing well.I always keep focusing on every update of 100000 challenge . thanks once again .

  81. Great going, Neil. Btw, any specific reason for skipping the /blog/ sub-folder for the posts and having them available on the main root itself? Isn’t that breaking the site structure/hierarchy and that too when there’s a section named ‘blog’ on the site? Thanks for sharing!

  82. Hi Neil,

    Amazing journey with actual figures from your end.

    Only 1 question – How are you planning to increase the profit.
    As of now it’s very less.90% of the total is spent across.

    • That’ a great question Lali, I haven’t figured out the answer yet, but have been giving it a lot of thought lately. I think I’ll have something to share by the next update.

  83. Great update Neil!

    Congrats on the profits for January

  84. Amazing

    I’m following. Keep up the good work Neil

  85. Awesome update sir 🙂

    Waiting for February’s update 😛

  86. Sathish Arumugam :

    Thank you so much for updating this clear and detail list of your challenge. I really feel very happy to see this and I eagerly waited for this updated. I’m following you from the beginning and your craft was amazing. Surely this update will be very useful and it helps all bloggers to do better work to improve the visitors to their site also.

    Thank you once again! I Like to know our secret of Success can you Mr. Neil Petal!

    • It’s my pleasure Sathish, I love putting all of this together and it brings me joy when others are learning. I hope you get a few tips and tricks that you can apply to your own site. Let me know if there’s anything else I could help you with.

  87. Incredible traffic generation techniques. Could you please share you tricks with us.

    Regards
    Anubhav

  88. I love your updates on this challenge. It’s refreshing to see someone give honest helpful figures. So many other’s post huge sales on Amazon but never show us the expenses and hard work involved. Keep up the good work!

  89. Eduardo Cornejo :

    Hey Neil,

    You inspire me so much. I am at 8 months and in my 2 months of monetizing, I have passed $1k in sales. Lucky for me, profit margins are 95%, so I have also made over $1k in profit.

    Now I’m working on that video workout/email marketing campaign, and it should give me a lot more clients.

    Good luck with the profit margins. I’m sure you’ll raise it tremendously with eBooks of your own, or any other idea you may have. As for the $100k in sales, you’re pretty much there. 🙂

    • Wow congrats Eduardo! It sounds like its time for you to start scaling your marketing a bit. Keep me posted on how that all works out and let me know if there’s anything else I could help you with.

  90. So far, so good. Congrats, Neil! Thank you for sharing these updates! I’ve been anticipating what’s going to happen next. Keep it up!

  91. Thanks Neil for writing this wonderful post… I really appreciate for your hard work..

  92. Hi Neil,
    Amazing results, I am learning so much from your persistence. Really interesting update!

  93. Great to be in the green already

    • Sort of, considering we’ve been running this for almost a year now. But I do see a very prosperous future in store for us 🙂

  94. Great achievement!

    You have done a great job Neil, even if the net profit is $7,190.70, the number is expected to increase in next month.

    As I see, most of your costs are variable costs, so nearly nothing to do there to reduce a reasonable amount.

    But, I think it is possible to increase the profit by having more traffic, sales and earn good reputation over time to be able to raise the price.

    • That’s how we’re thinking about it to. I’m grateful that we’ve come to this point of our journey and curious to see what we can make happen next.

  95. Congrats!!

    These shameless sellers are taking advantage of your project to hijack your listing on Amazon. You share this to help people and a few of them try to jump on the “opportunity”. That’s sad. I have this all the time with my products and most of the time I can get rid of them with a C&D letter, however Amazon doesn’t seem to care about it at all and you have to go a step further and prove to them that these sellers are listing counterfeit products instead of yours. You need to create something different on the packaging, a box, or something creative that will make it difficult for them to duplicate. Once you do so it’s easier to get Amazon to take them out. Also, if you didn’t Brand Registered your brand with Amazon you’ll have trouble getting back the listing control. You need to do that ASAP. Search for Brand Registry on Seller Central and do that ASAP in order to get back the control.

    Best

    • I didn’t know about those things and appreciate you sharing that. There are people like that in the world, but they always get what’s coming to them, so I’m not worried. I’ll tell Mike about your comment and have him look into this.

  96. Are there other articles I could read up on before this one? I appreciate the transparency and its a confidence booster to compare a gap analysis between my steps and those that you and your team are taking.

    Thanks again. Really is a great read.

  97. The only thing that I don’t understand is the link with amazon. Why don’t you ship directly and take orders on your website?
    Amazon adds to many costs in spite of the traffic from amazon community that you get?
    Can you explain the differences between selling an shipping the product by yourselves and shipping it through amazon?

    • We could have sold it ourselves, but using amazon allows us to gain automatic credibility and trust with consumers who wouldn’t buy from brands they haven’t heard of yet. We also want the product to rank on Amazon, that way we automatically open up a new channel of traffic that brings us real customers.

  98. Great work, Neil. But it is a little disappointing to see that the actual profit is low.

    Why didn’t you think of a premium online course as one of your monetization methods? I heard people got great results from selling online training.

    Since Mike is an expert in his field, you could have him create a great course that falls in the price range of around $500 – $700.

    Just my 2 cents 🙂 Good luck!

    • This was a lot easier to put together for the time being, but an online course is something we intend on doing very soon 🙂

  99. Bhuboy de Leon :

    I have printed this out and will put in from of my workspace so that I will always be reminded to just keep going “SEO is a long-term game, and when you write great content and build links, you don’t always see results immediately. But when you wait patiently for 3 to 6 months, you start seeing the fruits of your labor.”

    Thanks for this, it become one of my success quotes

  100. Hi Neil

    Thanks for those updates… .. could you pls share in detail how do you get rid of other ppl selling your products with your label… may be a post on it…

  101. Hi Neil – I love the transparency! Thanks for all the updates. I do have one question: how were able to get so many customers to write reviews?

    I have bought many outstanding products from Amazon and I have never felt inspired to write a review. That is amazing!

    • When we first started selling the fish oil supplements, we gave a large quantity away for free in exchange for a review. This helped get the momentum started.

  102. Hi Neil:

    First excuseme for my english. I speak spanish.
    Some time ago, I read an article where you mentioned a tool to get a list of all post of a blog but now I cant find it again.
    Can you helpme please. I need to find the post.
    Thank you

  103. What according to you is more important after site optimization with proper keywords: Focussing on Social sites or focussing on quality do-follow backlinks ?

  104. Very challenging I must say, but then blogging is more about passion than emotions.

    • People generally don’t make money from blogs right away, which why you’ll want to do something you’re passionate about. Find something you love and wouldn’t mind doing, even if you weren’t paid for it.

  105. Hi Neil,

    great stuff so far. Thanks for sharing! Nice landing page as well btw.

    Just to let you know, exit popup on nutritionsecrets.com is little messed up. Look at some cross browser testing.

    Are you running tests on CTAs “Lose Weight”; “I want to be healthy” buttons and/or headline copy? If yes, any insights? 🙂

    • Thanks for the heads up, I’ll get that fixed. Since we’ve been focusing on the amazon sales, we haven’t invested time in that yet, but it’s on the agenda.

  106. Nice update!

    It’s crazy to me that you guys don’t have the fish oil bottle image in the sidebar linked up to the product page… Why are you doing that? (Direct image link to wp engine cdn)

  107. Neil

    This traffic is just amazing from the blog posts. If you don’t mind could you please tell me how you r getting these massive amount of traffic from the blog posts? Are you using social media or any other medium for increasing the traffic.

    My internal blog posts are getting maximum 35 – 50 visits

    I ecpect your reply.

    Regards
    Manu

  108. I’ve been following this closely and now I’m looking forward to seeing how you increase the profit margin. What’s your plan?

    A few things I’m keen to know the answer to:

    1. Do you see a difference in sales (or Amazon click troughs) from the website between mobile and desktop users?

    2. Where your acquisition traffic is shown as keyword ‘(not provided)’ – is this where you can get better insights by linking Google Search Console with GA?

    3. Have you thought about getting HTTPS for free by using CloudFlare and seeing how this affects your blog traffic??

    • 1. I don’t know as Amazon doesn’t provide good tracking.

      2. You can… a lot of traffic comes from “green tea” terms.

      3. It doesn’t help that much. I rather keep it http.

  109. Nilantha Jayawardhana :

    This is awesome. Congratulations for this huge success. Your income always motivates me to keep running my blog.

    Best of luck for the rest of 2016!

  110. Neil,
    Thanks for the amazing value you keep providing every single day.
    I just looked over this page http://www.nutritionsecrets.com/blog/ and found that on clicking the Fish oil button on the right it doesn’t redirect to a page but the image of the Fish oil bottle loads in a pop-up.

    I think the image should be directly linked to the Amazon page instead of only the ‘Learn more’ link. Is this intentional?

  111. Thomas McCallum :

    I really admire your honesty, and candid approach to these posts. You’ve done an incredible job with the project. The Amazon expenses were out of the box. Looking forward to seeing how you progress with the profit margin.

    • Thank’s Thomas, it was challenging at first, but it’s exciting to be making some bigger strives now. I look forward to putting together the next update.

  112. Hi Neil,

    I notice you’re posting blog content every day on Nutrition Secrets. Is that all written by Mike or are you outsourcing any of the content? I would imagine writing a comprehensive article every day would distract from other duties (I already find this and I post far less frequently)!

    • Mike is writing it with the help of a researcher who gathers most of the data, then he puts it together.

      • Thanks

        It would also be great if you could also link to the previous updates of this challenge as I’d love to access them without scrolling through the entire blog to find them.

        J

        • I’ll post on the next update 🙂

          • So the researcher is free too – This whole thing is a sham – $100,000 in income is not $100,000 in sales – You cannot spend sales – You’re a joker – Why not just find something where you can spend $90,000 on ads and generate $100,000 – It’s even more profitable than this joke

            • It doesn’t mean it will stay this way forever, it’s just part of the process in getting an online business to take off. We are working on improving the profit margins.

  113. Neil, could you please clarify your arrangement with Mike? You mentioned, he is not getting paid and owns a percentage of the blog. The work on the site must be taking significant portion of his time. What does he live from? What percentage of the blog does he own? Finally, by “blog” you mean the entire NutritionSecrets business, correct? Thank you!

  114. I’m waiting for the post where you start accepting affiliates on Nutrition Secrets who can make you a lot more net *hint hint* in a non sleazy way.

    And then you don’t have to worry about fulfillment, competitors mimicking, etc.

    • lol I think we have plans to go down that route later this year. I will talk about it some more in a future update 🙂

  115. Another great progression this month Neil, congrats to you and Mike on your progress so far. I bought http://www.hackedhealth.com quite some time ago and planned to follow along with your blogs but I’m only just getting started now because of other time constraints.
    I would love to know if you’re considering expanding beyond fish oil in the near future or if you just want to get the one product selling well before moving to the next?

    • Yes, we plan on expanding beyond fish oil into other supplements and digital products too. I’ll discuss further with the next update.

  116. Nagesh K Bansal :

    Nice Figures and Awesome results. I am sure you are the right person to take such a challenge. Great Going!

    • It’s been quite the challenge so far Nagesh, and this is the first time things have started looking up. We’re excited and curious to see what happens next.

  117. Love reading the updates. How many hours is Mike putting in a day? Seems like a full time gig to me. I can’t believe he’s doing this for free unless you’re not listing his monetary compensation in the monthly expenditures. Especially in the beginning, no one could spend as much time as he did without getting paid, how could he live?

    • He’s not doing it for “free”, because he does earn a % of the blog, so there’s a big reward in it for him. It takes him a few hours a day to do and manage this. I’ll have more him share more with the next update.

      • That would be Great, would love to hear from Mike. A few hours a day? Does he use VAs? I don’t see how a newbie could spend a few hours a day doing this and get to this point. It’s your coaching Neil, right? Will you sell a info product that teaches us what to do?

        • Yes he has a VA help him with research, but I’m essentially coaching him on what to do. I’m not sure if I’ll sell an infoproduct on this yet, but you may want to sign up for the webinar on neilpatel.com.

  118. I see you are still dealing with high-jackers piggybacking on your listing. Are your cease and desist working? Is Amazon being of help at all?

    Did you by any chance go through the Amazon Brand Registry?

    Sucks that they let people piggyback off your listing and don’t allow you to own it 100%. I look forward to a detail blog posting on how you are handling the situation as it seems to be a common situation for popular items on Amazon.

    • We weren’t expecting this, but obstacles like these are just of the process. We’ve come a long way to get here, so I feel confident that this will be taken care of. I will update you on the next post 🙂

  119. Thanks for the information…. really great article. keep posting this kind of stuff.

  120. Hi Neil,
    Nice Article, Thanks for the great information. can i start my own health blog? for affiliate purpose.

    • We aren’t offering an affiliate program yet, but may in the future. Yes, you should start a health blog if that’s something you’re passionate about and can see yourself blogging about.

  121. Is this type of traffic generation as effective for a mid-large sized (3,000 products) eCommerce store?

    Finding long tails KW’s related to our store niche –> creating a well written extremely detailed blog posts (Shopify) and then linking that blog post to product pages/category pages?

    Is that the basic framework for an eCommerce store blog?

  122. Amazing story Neil. To see how this project is developing so quickly. I more amazed of the facts that Mike is not super experienced in Online marketing, and yet it looks like you are going to achieve the 100,000$ target.

  123. Neil,

    You’re an absolute gun! Could you please, please, please attach all of these updates to a single page so we can rapidly go back and forth?

    I’ve almost finished the design of my new site, starting on the autoresponder series tonight.

    Sam

  124. Neil,

    I’m an avid reader of your blog.

    Would you be kind enough to shed some light on how Mike is able to produce a 2k word blog article on a daily basis, complete with images!

    Otherwise, what support does he have to get these articles live?

    Thanks in advance
    farra

  125. Hey Neil,

    I was wondering how you go about sending your product to Amazon users for review. Do you create fulfillment orders on Amazon and then ship the product or do you issue 100%-off coupons, which you then send to people who have agreed to review your item?

    • You issue them coupons and they buy. Make sure you give each user a unique coupon or tons of people will get a hold of it and it will cost you an arm and a leg.

      • Thanks Neil,

        Yes, I read a horror story about someone who issued a coupon which his customer then shared on some forum and his whole inventory was wiped out in an instant. Fortunately, there are single use coupons, which I’m now using.

  126. Adeel Akhter :

    Hi Neil,
    Have been following you and the $100,000 challenge. It is really a great. I hope you are aware that one of your fans Alex has also accepted the challenge and is working on this. Here is the link just in case he didnt tell you.

    http://www.100kchallengeblog.com

    I wonder can we take this $100,000 challenge while trying to provide (or offer) some services from the same website. For example a $100,000 challenge with a blogging site about e-commerce marketing along with offering e-commerce marketing solution rather than selling product from Amazon affiliate program?

    • I think it’s possible Adeel, but hard to say. I know lots of people do this and it works, just haven’t tried it myself yet. I took a look at some of Alex’s updates, pretty exciting stuff 🙂

  127. I am trying to build a new site, and wanted to go through your $100 challenge updates. Can I find all links to posts at one place?

  128. Hi Neil,

    I am following the quest since day one and the results are really amazing. However, I do have a question. As you doing this in Nutrition niche, are you targeting any keywords(Long tail keywords, or keyword with high search volume) or just trends?

  129. Hi Neil,

    Great work on the traffic increase.

    Re Amazon, Im sure you’ve already sorted it out but if not, i work on FBA products and can help with hijackers etc.

    AMZ Brand registry is an Important step, do it ASAP. Having an external brand site is crucial (which you have of course).

    You don’t need to send an official lawyers letter to each hijacker, a template will do. Save the 2kpm.

    PM the hijacker through AMZ and just say that you’ll give them 1 day to remove their product from your listening, if not then you’ll report them to AMZ and their account will be suspended (massive pain for them).

    I’m sure you’re all over this anyway so best of luck

  130. This is amazing stuff. And mainly a true inspiration for our team to go with our passion. We have started a new site related to pets for the same aim. And tips from your blog helped us a lot for optimising as well as creating good content. Surely Our aim this year is to get close as $1000 by June and $10000 by next year. And Definitely with this, I have confidence that we can achieve it in future.

    Thanks
    Vsj

    • That sounds like an exciting project, I can tell that you’re really passionate about from the tone of your comment. I hope you guys achieve your goals. If you get stuck or have any questions, please ask 🙂

      • Thanks for generous words. I think it’s only needed to read your articles as it will help us a lot in case of social signals and also for high keyword rankings plus in future also for affiliate marketing 🙂 But still I will definitely ask doubts and let you know our progress also 🙂

  131. Wow, this amazing Patel. I’ve been following your progress on this niche site and really impressed at your stats. Looking forward for Feb. report.

  132. Hey Neil!

    Thanks for keeping us posted. Quick follow up questions,

    Are you doing anything special regarding tracking the sources/channels of the Amazon sales? I have no idea what’s possible, if you can track with utms or what.

    Also, how many email subs are currently and being added per month? how many are return visitors or you are solely relying on sales from new traffic?

    What are you doing with Facebook ads? pushing Amazon sales? building your list?

    Thanks!

  133. Congrats Neil and Mike, awesome result. Your post shows the importance effective blogs creation for sales. Can you kindly suggest me any strong technique to popular the blog apart from email marketing.
    Thanks sharing the work…..

  134. Himanshu Gupta :

    Can you write about Amazon Niche Sites?
    Easy steps to rank it on Google.

  135. Sue J. Maselli :

    Nice Post

  136. Thanks for this. One question though although I am sure you’ve already answered it. I had a look at the website and it seems there is quite a lot of content. Do you outsource it? Because the articles are pretty long and I can’t imagine one person writing the all. Thanks and keep up the awesome work.

  137. Dear Neil,

    Hope you are doing good, today I attended your webinar, and it was outstanding keep doing staffs like this bro.

    I have a site which is four months old with 15 articles only; now I want to work on it again.

    I am thinking to add contents and start outreach for guest posting I want to ask a question, will it be okay to start guest posting rigorously or Google will penalize me for sudden links because in last 4 month I didn’t build single link

  138. Ed Brancheau :

    Congratulations! Great update, Neil. Patience is a virtue indeed. Good job!

  139. Hai Neil,

    Your strategy always work man and thanks for sharing your work.

  140. Thank you Neil for the sharing this post.

  141. Wow Nikhil. I am Love your way of doing things. 🙂

  142. Great article Neil 🙂 I am happy i read this

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