The $100,000 Challenge: February Update

feb traffic

Hey, everyone! We just wrapped up our 11th month of the $100,000 challenge for NutritionSecrets.com. As predicted, it was a down month.

Traffic was up overall, but because we were running short on fish oil inventory, revenue wasn’t as high as it was in the previous month.

For the month of February, traffic grew to 200,709 visits and 251,834 pageviews. That’s not too shabby, considering we had 159,945 visits in January, which had two more days.

As for income, revenue went down to $54,285.30… So, let’s dive right into the numbers…

Traffic

Shockingly, traffic was up significantly. It mainly came from search, but I never expected it to grow as January is an extremely popular month in the health and fitness space and February isn’t. As March rolled around, we noticed that the traffic growth started to slow down, but I’ll get into that in the next month’s update.

Mike posted about a post a day, which helped February’s traffic. As you can see from the screenshot below, there is a healthy mix in traffic. Google is our biggest driver of traffic, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise since it is for most blogs. The direct traffic includes email, and social media is starting to pick up.

feb traffic channels

If you are wondering how you can replicate similar results, you need to do two things:

  1. Write content using these guidelines.
  2. Use the templates in this post to find and build links. Make sure you use the “basic link request, PR pitch, and funny link request” templates. Although I wrote that post years ago, those tactics still work, and they are what Mike uses to generate links.

As you are building links, focus on getting them to all your internal pages. Don’t focus on anchor text; focus on relevancy and quantity. Over time, your rankings will naturally go up.

You saw it with the NutritionSecrets.com challenge, and you will see it with your own website: you build links, and your traffic doesn’t go up. But if you wait 3 to 6 months, you’ll see it all kick in, assuming your content is high in quality and people want to continually read your blog.

Revenue

In February, we generated $54,285.30 in revenue, which is less than January’s revenue of $76,326.90. The main reason…we ran out of fish oil. I estimate that our income would have been closer to $98,000 if we had enough inventory. But we should be good for the month of March in achieving our $100,000 goal.

feb rev

In the meantime, to supplement the revenue, we tested out being an affiliate for Organifi. We signed up through Clickbank and tested to see whether we could generate some extra money.

After a few days, we turned it off as it didn’t generate any sales. The main reason I think it didn’t work was because of the email copy they provided.

It’s a great product that I have tried in the past, which is why I didn’t mind testing it out from an affiliate perspective, but I should have known that their email copy wasn’t maximized for conversions.

Companies that offer affiliate programs typically have incentives. If you are the best affiliate for a certain time period, you get bonuses like a free car…and yes, I meant to say free car. I’ve seen people like Russell from Clickfunnels give away a Ferrari.

Organifi didn’t have large prizes to give away to affiliates, which usually means they aren’t as large as some of the other companies. And if they aren’t that large, the main reason behind that is because the offer usually doesn’t convert as well as other companies’.

Again, they have a great product, so instead of using their copy, we should have written our own copy to promote their product.

Inventory

I’ve been getting a ton of questions over the last few months about how to find someone to help produce tangible products. Most of them require minimum orders and money upfront, but it is all a negotiation game.

The person we use is Austin Song, who has facilities in Cleveland, Ohio (or somewhere around Cleveland)… He has staff and had extra hours that weren’t being used in his warehouse, so he was more flexible on the deal terms as he was paying employees when they didn’t have anything to produce.

The way I found Austin was purely by spending days Googling for people who can manufacture products. Austin is busy these days and won’t do the same deal again (or else you would have seen 4 or 5 more products from NutritionSecrets.com).

Expenses

We didn’t make much profit in February because we had to produce more fish oil.

Here is the breakdown of the expenses:

  • Fish oil – $53,204.44 (including Amazon fees, shipping to Amazon for Prime, coupon-related expenses, and producing more inventory)
  • Aweber – $69
  • Designer – $250 (continually tweaking the homepage)
  • Hosting – $249
  • Mike – free (Mike doesn’t get paid, but he owns a percentage of the blog)
  • Accounting – $210 (we are now paying a bookkeeper to help out with the books)

Overall, we turned a profit of $302.86. It’s not a great number, but that’s what happens when you have to dump a lot of cash into producing more product.

Conclusion

Overall, the month wasn’t too bad, considering we ran out of inventory. March should be an interesting month. From a revenue perspective, it shouldn’t be hard to hit $100,000 because we are also working on utilizing other channels to generate income.

Next, I should have a detailed update with new revenue channels (hopefully, they work) and what we learned.

How do you think the challenge is working out so far?

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Comments

  1. Jared Rogers :

    I think it’s phenomenal that you dive into some of the aspects of negotiating terms on your white labeled products.

    Thanks for going the extra mile, I think month 12 will be the 100k month!! 🙂

    You got this guys!

  2. As always, love the transparency!

    How is this challenge helping quick sprout relative to other series in the past? Seems like it’s getting a lot of well-deserved attention.

    • I think the challenge is bringing in more attention that anything else I’ve done.

      • Neil —

        The reason you’re getting so much attention with this series of posts is that the entire meme of “make money online” is filled with hustlers making promises with little basis in reality. People (me included) are thrilled to read something filled with genuine experience and learning.

        Seeing you take on this challenge while being so open about the difficulties, setbacks and business realities confronted along the way is something that has never been done before to my knowledge.

        Even if you were to fail there will have been valuable lessons learned along the way. And those lessons will be infinitely more valuable than the snake-oil being peddled by so many of your colleagues.

        This month’s data for example is something you *would never see elsewhere*. How many others would admit to doing more than $50k of business and clearing just $300. That’s absolutely fascinating data and it’s not the kind of thing I’ve ever seen elsewhere.

        Having run other businesses, I know exactly how months like that can go.

        Thank you. This is invaluable experience.

        • I know what you mean, those people give the industry a bad name. It didn’t go anything how I planned (never does lol), but we’ve learned so many things on the way. Not to mention the site gets a ton of organic traffic so it’s something we get to play with and figure out.

  3. Denis Gonzalez :

    Well, I consider that having to restock your product is a “nice” problem to have. Congrats for the progress. And thanks for being open about this challenge.

    • haha, yah can’t really complain about that.

      • Anil Agarwal :

        Love the transparency Neil.

        From the beginning, I’ve been following the series and I absolutely love what you are doing at the new niche site.

        It’s slowing gaining the momentum and you won’t take much time to see the real big numbers you want from it Neil.

        I’d love to know your SEO strategies that you are doing on that blog. Any suggestions?

        • I’ll discuss some of the seo strategies in the next post, but biggest thing is the amount of quality content we’re putting together and promoting every week.

  4. Impressive Neil, always a big fan of your work and this has been inspiring. One quick question thou, what is the exact problem of the email copy that didn’t work for Organifi ?

  5. Hi,

    I am new to internet marketing and knowing that this can make even a dollar is like a miracle.
    What I did notice from the website is that you are not pushing the sales of the Fish Oil, neither are you pushing the sales in your follow up emails.

    So how do you get that amount of sales without pushing for the purchase of the fish oil?

    Thanks

    • We don’t have all the metrics yes since amazon doesn’t disclose the analytics. However, I’ll have some great info to share with you on the next post.

  6. Chris Designer :

    For me this whole journey it’s amazing! Even if you didn’t hit the 100k in March (which you probably do) that doesn’t change anything. You’ve already created very successful blog with high earnings and load of traffic! 200k! That’s a lot. You made other people believe that it’s totally possible to make this kind of money and traffic in such a short period of time.
    Great job Neil!

  7. Hitesh Sachdeva :

    Impressive stuff Neil. This live experiment will help a lot of people understand the nitty gritties which are often missing in a lot of material available out there. Great work…

    • Thanks Hitesh! There’s definitely a lot more to running the business than meets the eye. I hope helps get more people inspired and excited to do this for themselves

  8. Revenue:$54,285.30

    Profit: $302.86

    11 months later and your profit is that low? I was always under the impression this would be a guide on creating a site that would be profitable enough to make a full time living but almost a year later and what I can see is a lot of effort for a measly $300.

    I could create a churn and burn site every month for less effort and make 10x that profit and I’m not a well know marketer like Neil.

    It’s quite frightening that someone with such a high profile online is failing to make a website a success after almost a year.

    • Hey ! Great post and good to have the balls to put yourself out there.

      Why don’t u guys switch to information products ? You would easily get to 10K per month with 100% profits.

      I understand the appeal of physical products but the margin really sucks there. Or maybe u guys could get a better margin doing things internally ?

      Cheers,

      • We are testing that out as we speak. But tangible goods have good margins. We just put a ton of money into producing product for March.

    • Robert, the cost for Amazon this month is not equal to cost of goods sold plus fees. As Neil pointed out it includes the upfront production cost of extra inventory and delivery to Amazon. This means the profit for February is obtained by deducting a higher cost for inventory, which was manufactured this month and still available for sale. In March the profit will be higher for the exact same reason: fish oil will be sold but it’s already produced and delivered to Amazon so this won’t be charged again.

      From what I see this breakdown of costs looks more like cash flow than actual calculation of profit.

    • So agree with this. So much work for what at the end of the day is nothing. I have a tiny tiny blog compared to this and no where near the knowledge and I am bringing in more than $300. Without all the insane overhead.

    • It’s not because I invested tons of money into supply for the next month. So March should have high margins. 🙂

      Mike is also working on digital products as well.

  9. Hi Neil,

    Huge fan of yours.

    Quick question. I’ve noticed that you’ve obtained a lot of .edu links to the scholarship page, but that page doesn’t seem to have any info on it anymore.

    Why is that? It’s obviously not a broken page, so was it content that was created purely to obtain those .edu links, then deleted when that link-building strategy was completed?

    Cheers,
    John

  10. Hey Neil,

    Why did you stop running your scholarship program?

    • I told Mike that it was spammy. He was doing it as a “shortcut”…

      He learned the tactic from some of my other team members who help me out on NeilPatel.com… but I was more so using it there to recruit more employees, not to build links.

      • Hey Neil,

        My eCommerce store currently runs a niche-related (very targeted) scholarship for University students meeting specific criteria – each year we give away 3 awards, $2,500, $1,000, $1,000 to students who win. We use it as an opportunity to get our name our there in the niche and to network with these students, as well as giving back to the related community. We plan to do this for the next few years if it works out.

        We don’t do it for SEO but the more schools that know about it the more students we have apply which is great for us.. But the more schools that know about it then the more links we would get as a by-product

        I guess my question would be, what would be considered ‘spammy’ in this case?

  11. Robinsh Kumar :

    Really awesome job done at the Nutrition Secrets and I know you would do more than the terms mentioned into the first challenge update.

  12. Instead of cancelling the Organifi affiliation why didn’t you just write your own conversion copy (since you say the product is so good).

    Just feels like a ploy to promote Clickfunnels who allegedly give away cars.

    • We aren’t promoting Clickfunnels. I was just using them to make a point on how their stuff converts well…

      We found other products that convert well and we did write our own copy. But we can’t re-write their sales page…

  13. Seafreight Discounter :

    Hi,

    I would love to see a content overview of all months. I asked this before. When can I find links to all months.

    I would like to print it out and read it on paper so I can really absorb it and make the same progress although I also feel a lot of traffic is coming from quicksprout.

    Hope you could create something like this.

    Regards,
    Amro

  14. So you sold $54k worth of product that cost $53k to manufacture and ship. I think your problem is with your margins!!

    Can’t you come up with a higher margin product? like an ebook or course?

  15. Hey Neil,

    I’ve been following this project on and off for the past year. It’s great to see the success. I remembered you said you weren’t going to use your influence and your plan was to grow this blog from scratch, but I’ve seen you tweet it out to your 125k followers quite a few times.

    How does that work? Isn’t that an unfair advantage and not necessarily starting from scratch?

    • I don’t tweet posts on nutritionsecrets.com on my personal twitter… not sure where you have seen that but I don’t tweet content out from that site. Nor do I link to it from my blog…

  16. Matt Ortolani :

    Neil,

    To see this growth… It’s just awesome! That spike in organic traffic is pretty impressive. Also, thanks for linking to the other two posts with the template for gaining backlinks as well as the content guidelines.

    Month 11 – looking good!

    Matt

  17. Hi Neil

    Great case study, well done.

    I’m surprised people are buying the fish oil as there seems to be no presell just a link to amazon or am I missing something?

    Also that blog isn’t really following your method of creating epic detailed link worthy content, seems more volume low word count content. So I’m interested in how you guys are choosing topics (especially with the content volume) and how you are then getting links.

    Is there a link anywhere to how you did the scholarship people mentioned?

    Thanks

    • With tangible products you don’t need sales copy as much. No presells needed unless the product is new or complex.

      In the consumer space 5000 word posts are too long. 2000 words is already long compared to the competition. So Mike is following my strategy, just a twist as it is a B2C blog versus a B2B blog.

      There isn’t a link to the scholarship stuff… the page has been deleted.

  18. I find these results exceptional and disappointing!

    I can’t believe that you managed to drive so much traffic to your site but have monitized it poorly. It seems that you’d still make a lot of sales on Amazon without the blog. It’s almost like a course in Amazon FBA!

    And when you try to make money directly out of your email list you achieve zero sales.

    I suppose this highlights how difficult it is to make money from your blog. I would like to have seen you create your own product and rely on sales exclusively from your blog visitors.

    And as we know ‘sales is vanity and profit is sanity’. It’s still been a great ride so thank you!

    • It’s been an interesting journey too I think. I agree, it all comes down to profit and we’re just not there yet. It’s not growing as fast as I’d like, but think things will pick up within the next couple months

    • Yes interesting case study but more of an Amazon private label case study and doesn’t have much if any to do with making money from the blog so far.

  19. Hi Neil, great post as aways, I’m really enjoying following your journey to $100K per month. I noticed that you said you sent a lot of outreach emails. Roughly how many of these do you send per month on average on how many links do you build using this strategy. Also how are you choosing who to send theses too, are they just other blogs?

    • Mike sent over 1500 a month. Roughly 50 a day based on ahrefs (we just looked up who linked to our competition)

      • Thanks Neil 🙂 roughly what percentage of these were accepted?

        • I don’t know the exact percentages, but it should be 5% plus. That is what I see in general if you are sending out good emails that are targeted.

  20. I think you have done very well, I am really impressed with your moves, you invested alot of money and I believe you should do well in the coming months, keep it up Sir

  21. Tx for sharing and highlighting that things are not always as easy as the look.
    One you get you get to 100k revenue next month!
    And
    Than the next step is to get some profits.

    Keep them coming

    Madrid

  22. Md Shahzad Hassan :

    Best of luck for the next month…:-)

  23. Arjun Sharma :

    Impressive stuff Neil. This live experiment will help a lot of people understand the nitty gritties which are often missing in a lot of material available out there. Great work…
    and thanks again for motivate me
    http://entrepreneurblogtips.com/drive-20000-organic-traffic-25-days/

    • There’s lots of moving parts, but it’s not something anyone else can’t do. I hope this inspires more people to take action on projects like these.

  24. Pankaj Dhawan :

    Hi Neil,

    I was waiting to hear from you regarding this. Wonderful month you had considering you are doing lot of things at this time. As you shared those two links to replicate, I am gonna check that out right away!!

    • It’s quite good actually! The journey it self was great and I felt like I learned a lot. Excited to share my updates with you next month.

  25. Hello Neil, I’ve been following this experiment since you started – and the results have been impressive thus far. It’s really interesting that you can create a replicable process for creating and growing a website & sales. What do you estimate the profit will be once you reach $100,000 in revenue? Obviously your biggest (and only really material) expense is the fish oil itself, but do you feel you’re making enough margin on it for it to be a sustainable business endeavor?

  26. Thanks for the update Neil.
    A top line number of 100k is nice, but only if it is backed up with healthy profit margins… especially since Mike isn’t even getting paid. What are your thoughts as to making the switch to healthy profit margins and paying employees / ownership?

  27. Hey Neil,

    Love following your monthly updates!

    What’s the reasoning behind doing so many giveaways? I noticed that you have approximately 1500 reviews and atleast 80% have received fish oil in exchange for writing an unbiased review.

    Seems to me like those reviews aren’t helping nutrition secrets rank any better in amazon for related keywords and maybe your partner’s time would be better spent trying to get more reviews from other strategies instead?

    • I think it’ll be a healthy balance of both. It’s taking longer that I expected, but I can see this blowing up.

  28. Good journey sir, I’m seeing these day no post on nutritionsecrets, daily visit but I think They are working on something important. Good luck with 100k$ journey :).

  29. I wish that nutritionsecrets achieve their goal by next month. It’s motivate us a lot :).

  30. Neil,

    This is so encouraging and a great way to learn about creating a business online. I so appreciate all you do and being transparent to help us out. Keep up the great work I know you will hit 100K. We are rooting for you.

  31. The 2 Percenters :

    Great post and thanks for sharing. I’m actually surprised that the profit wasn’t more considering the revenue. Hmmmm… There’s gotta be another way to maximize profits, right?

  32. Jerome Perrin :

    Bonjour Neil,

    I love your honesty!

    Many entrepreneurs speaks only about turnover and never mention their real return of investment, which stays the key milestone & axiom in economy.

    This is integrity.

    Cheers from Paris 🙂

    Jerome

  33. This results is really awesome. Let’s try this challenger selling something more expensive, like Packages – travel packages to the Olympic Games in 2016. I’m not sure how far can we go, since the price differences is very high. But, i’m sure we will have some some results.
    Good Job. Great content.

    • I think similar methods of content creation and traffic generation will work, but it’ll have to be different monetization strategy 😉

  34. Hi Neil,

    Awesome stuff, and congratulations on your success with nutritionsecrets.com.

    I’m really glad you started nutritionsecrets.com. I have been learning a lot from you since you started the site.

    I have been using somewhat similar approach to growing our site, fitwirr.com, and boy does it work.

    I was inspired to write a few posts that you guys did on nutritionsecrets.com like 3 day military diet and how to lose weight fast and safely.

    3 day diet brought us 21, 000 visit and how to lose weight wasn’t too far behind just on social media itself.

    Our organic traffic went from 500 a day to over 1,500.

    We’ve also started testing products on Amazon as well, and our sales have been awesome so far.

    We’re planning to continue on creating amazing content both for our readers and also google to increase our ranking.

    So, anyway I just wanted to say thank you for taking on this challenge to start your site.

    Even though your revenue was down last month, I think you guys proved enough that it is possible to create a site and reach 1 million dollar mark within a year.

    Thanks,
    Djohny. A
    fitwirr.com

  35. Danielle Brown :

    Hi Neil

    Great post! I am assuming for this month profit margin you reinvest it because you expect to receive larger orders for 100,000 in revenue, is that why your profit is $302.86.

    • Because the money is used for future inventory. March should be really high as we don’t have to produce much more inventory.

      We are paying to produce the bottles before we sell them at this point. Hence the margins where lower for the month of Feb.

  36. Neil,

    Being honest, your income is a mirage. You need coupons to sell your product and the cost is eating you up. You get nice traffic, but you don’t know which keywords are converting into subscribers. Your subject matter is so broad that you cannot target in on what your audience will want. You try to promote a product without a discount (Organifi) and it fails miserably.

    Certainly there’s a solution in there somewhere, but lets be honest – you are not close to finding it at the moment.

    And NO, sorry, reaching 100K with less than 50% profit to show for it – for all the free traffic you get – is not a success. It’s not the picture you sold at the beginning.

    Let’s not sugarcoat this. Truth is real.

    • I’m doing the best I can with this and just learning as I go. I know it can be a lot better and hope to introduce new digital products that will help numbers balance out.

  37. Nail, I think you should change your strategy. $302 profit after one year is very poor performance for anyone. You need to find some products which are more profitable than fish oil. There are tons of profitable health related products. Don’t believe the ‘awesome’ comments because people are only trying to get links from that comments.

  38. I’m sure you will find a way to increase profit. Why you are not doing amazon affiliate marketing to increase profit?

  39. Himanshu Gupta :

    Really Nice Work Neil . We are really grateful to you to inspire us to do great things with your work.

  40. Hi Neil,

    Exciting post as always. I am very eager to start with a project like you guys have, but in a different niche.

    I would like to know how much time and effort Mike puts into this project on a daily basis.

    Is it like a full time job? How many hours are needed in order to replicate the same level of success.

    Thanks a lot!

    • He puts in a few hours a day writing posts and building links. It’s not a “full time job” per say, but it will require a lot of your time. It’s an adventure 🙂

  41. Well, I consider that having to restock your product is a “nice” problem to have. Congrats for the progress. And thanks for being open about this challenge

  42. Nutrition Secrets is an amazing blog. This blog is really helping us to live healthy life.
    Great work Neil and Mike.

  43. Love the update. I’ve been following a long time and I can’t wait to see you reach the goals very shortly.

  44. Excellent Blog Neil. I would always recommend you to my clients

    Cheers Mate!
    Eby

  45. Sara Jean Underwood :

    Do you want know how Neil Patel taught me to build a successful business??

    https://saraunderwood.com/

    Want to see proof –
    https://m.facebook.com/sarajeanunderwood/

  46. Darren Barton :

    Hey Neil,
    I’ve just recently discovered you via a recommendation from Dean Holland, and I like what I’ve read so far 🙂

    As you’re selling a consumable product, have you looked into the opportunities presented by selling a discounted version via sites such as Groupon ?

    You’ll be collecting Buyer Leads that you’ll be able to re-market to.

    Let me know if you’d like more information, I’d be happy to share with you.

    Darren

    • We haven’t but if you want to send me some more information, I’d be glad to take a look at it. Email me neil @neilpate.com

  47. Nice Article Neil, but i have a question , why you hide your link in this site http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/lessons-in-relaxtion-you-can-learn-from-your-cat/
    🙂

  48. Neil, I really enjoy these posts you put out.

    I can this experiment pivoting into something else i.e. a course to sell to your blog readers? as you effectively have two audiences (quick sprout & nutrition secrets)

    I would definitely find useful an eBook or guide that captures all the tips and tricks you’ve used.

    If you ever want more guinea pigs i’d love to sign up…

  49. This case study is getting interesting, I’ve been following this since last year and I’m really picking up a lot of good stuff. And it’s great to know what’s really happening behind the scenes.

  50. I love reading about this Challenge!
    One of my favorite things to look forward to!

    Once again…. Thanks for sharing such valuable information!

  51. Neil, I’m curious as to why you don’t do drop shipping? Don’t you think you would have more of a profit if you promoted someone else’s fish oil and let them handle inventory?

  52. Great going, Neil!

    Congrats for the progress and wish you all the luck for completion of the challenge. Can’t wait to see the next month update.

    Best Regards,
    Annie

  53. Sometimes you’ll run into situations like that in business. So long as you’re making profit, it’s better than recording a loss.

    • exactly. It’s not as fast as I would have hoped, but I think we’re still doing well and headed in the right direction.

  54. This month is slow all over the world i guess. I wish that nutritionsecrets achieve their goal by next month.

  55. Jamdani Saree :

    Wish you all the very best and hope to see you as winner next month. it will motivate us as well. thanks for keep sharing!

  56. Hei Neil is good to see that your traffic has taken a huge leap though the profits are very low but still this site has a great potential in the future.

    But my question is we all know that it is not a very popular niche and you still able to get this much traffic to this site. I have an adult site and I am a little stuck on how to get traffic on that site what content marketing strategy to follow so could you please give me some advice on what can I do for that site to get good enough targeted traffic?

    • If you write content related to adult topics you will do well. Your niche is one of the biggest ones out there. And I doubt it is competitive from a content marketing perspective…

  57. Hey Neil,

    Even if the net profit is not high this month, at least your source of visitors got an increase, this is really a good incentive to carry on the good work.

    Regards
    Hussain

  58. Hey Neil,
    At this rate, I am pretty sure that you are going to complete the $100,000 challenge successfully. However, I hoped for a better profit figure. I am sure that you will get more profit in the months to come.
    All the best and keep motivating us!

  59. Awesome Neil,

    I’ve been following along since the beginning!

    Sam

  60. $100000 challenge is giving us insights in how a website develops from the very beginning. It’s very educative.

    • Exactly what I’m trying to go for Vinod 😉

      I think businesses like these can be done by anyone. If you ever have any questions about this process, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  61. Great. I’ve been following this challenge since the beginning. I’m pretty much stunned with the efforts you guys made and now the blog is getting good traffic. Best of luck 🙂

  62. Great results Neil – It’s great to see this kind of result that helps others to achieve as well.

  63. Cool to see up close how someone can set up their own online business. Also pretty impressive to see Mike writing a blogpost a day. Do you think the same tactic would also work for more expensive products?

  64. You are totally rocking it man

  65. Hi Neil,

    Having been keenly following your challenge from the first post. It would be great if you could share your 1 year insight in a post which new business should try.

    I was doing research to find a guide to follow which provided clear instructions for online businesses to follow but didn’t come across something interesting. If you happen to know a good guide, please suggest.

    On a side note, i was looking at the nutrition site and i am thinking why would you not sign up as an affiliate for amazon and promote those links on the nutrition secrets website? Do you have a requirement on amazon to not use affiliate links for your products?

    Keep up the great work.

    • That’s a great idea Vikram, thank’s for the suggestion. I think about how I can include that in a future post.

      I may considering that, but the commissions are pretty low 4-8%

      • With amazon what i have noticed is that people sometimes click my link and end up buying totally unrelated products and i am credited for the sale. And with your volumes, it may be a significant number.

        • Yeah i’ve noticed a litte of that too. I’m not complaining, but I wish they had better metrics so we could see

  66. The challenge is going fantastically Neil.

    Last month I had a “aha” moment.

    This is more than a challenge right? 🙂

    I believe that we are assisting to the longest, coolest, craziest, most epic launch that the internet marketing industry EVER seen.

    :)))

  67. Every month I say the same thing but I have to say it one more time – great work Neil & Mike, you have taken this site from a baby to an adolescent and with time it will become a full grown baby with over one million visitors a month!

    The only thing that doesn’t make sense to me is why you are not promoting the fish oil more on the site. I can see you have the link in the top navigation and in the sidebar, but with your growing traffic would it not make sense to also have a banner in the middle of or at the end of blog posts? Wouldn’t that increase sales?

    You continue to amaze Neil, there is a reason why I love your work so much! Keeo it up 🙂

  68. Neil,

    Do you mind sharing who you are using for your graphic design/coding needs? Really like the look of some of your landers and optin forms. I can shoot you an email if you don’t want to share over the comments.

    Thanks.

    Brodie

  69. Robert Newman :

    Neil,

    You are my online mentor as I am sure you are for many. Not only have I followed these posts about the 100k challenge I have attempted to replicate the strategy @inboundrem. It’s staggering how much work goes into getting something like this off the ground. I just saw a comment about 1500 outbound emails. I haven’t started with one yet.

    I HAVE owned a few businesses before and know you’re about to turn this around and post some impressive numbers. I hope you continue to post results a bit past the 12 months. I would love to see the return on the information and affiliate services you most likely have Qued up.

    • It’s a lot hard to make an online business success than most people think. That’s why I’m blogging about it, so people can learn about what the steps are not have to make as many mistakes.

  70. Naomi Dinsmore :

    Great stuff as always, enjoying the journey

    Naomi

  71. Dorothy Johnson :

    It’s really incredible.

  72. Hey, Neil..
    Your post about this nutrition blog is inspiring!
    Thanks for your sharing.

    But hey you wont make big business with this. It because the profit margin is very low. I prefer to sell as affiliate and earn much more cash.

    Rather than just selling physical product, why dont you sell infomercial product or maybe sell anything in higher margin instead.

    • I agree, with the way it is now it would be hard to turn into a sustainable business. We are working on creating additional streams of income with digital products and such

  73. Hi Neil,
    I stumbled upon your challenge only yesterday (despite i used to regularly read your blog but last time I visited it was 10 months ago) and got thrilled a lot.

    Having gone through all your monthly reports with big excitement, I accumulated three questions to you. I hope you don’t mind answering them:

    1. On some GA screenshots, I saw that the bounce rate of Nutrition Secrets was around 85%. Isn’t it too much? Their content is very engaging but people leave only after visiting a single post. Maybe you should add a “See also” or “Related posts” section beneath each post with some attractive images (like they have on viral content sites such as viralnova.com)

    2. Next question:
    The blog is located on the nutritionsecrets.com/blog/ url but all the posts don’t have a /blog/ folder in their urls and appear simply as nutritionsecrets.com/post-bla-bla/. How did you manage to do this?

    3. Are you planning to set up a separate legal entity for Nutrition Secrets or just work under Quick Sprout LLC? If you find this question too private to answer in public you can email me.

    Thanks a lot, Neil, in advance,
    Good luck to your challenge,
    I’ll be impatiently waiting for the next month report.

    Cheers,
    Serge

    • 1. With new blogs it is generally high but over time it will go down. You just have to give it a year or two before the numbers really go down.

      2. The developer did this. Not sure how, but I structure this way to make the URLs short.

      3. You always want to keep them separate. Makes things less messy.

  74. hey neil,

    great post as always. can you suggest me any good designer, because i also want to redesign my website..

    • I’m not sure, because I have an in house designer. I would look at sites like upwork.com or 99designs.

  75. Hi Neil and Team, – thank you for ALL your contributions to educate us, for continuing to develop awesome tools and sharing your wealth of knowledge! (Hang on, trumpet back in the box).

    Despite the relatively low profit you recorded, most of us know that the expenses were accounted for, you’re building your base and have equity in inventory, GROWTH!

    INCREDIBLE REACH, ENGAGEMENT AND SALES. It’s pretty obvious that sales volume and net profit will increase rapidly once you guys get the product mix, cost of goods, and distribution dialed and in-sync…. “economies of scale” peoples…. this is a winner! .

    Looking forward to following this project,

    Cheers – Hanson

    • Glad you’re seeing this optimistically too 🙂 As you’re noticing the power is in the list and the consistent traffic. I think this site has a lot of potential to grow pretty soon 😉

  76. Ohh! Nice, so, Neil is success without Neil Patel’s big name 🙂

  77. Hey Neil,

    Thanks again for the detailed update and I wish you success going forward!

    Your journey gave me the idea to use Amazon to monetize my own blog, which is in a different niche, and I did what you’ve done: I selected a product based on your description of your own selection process; found a private label manufacturer and created an Amazon sellers account.

    It has now been close to three weeks since my product went live on Amazon and I have been busy building reviews. Up to this point, I’ve sold about 100 items, only a handful of which have been sold at full price — the rest have been sold at a discount, as an incentive for reviewers.

    Here is my question: based on your experience, when do organic sales start to really kick in and what does that depend on? Is there some kind of a breaking point in terms of a number of reviews, after which you begin to sell more organically? Or does it all depend on how many reviews (and discounted sales) you get daily — meaning the more reviews you get per day, the more organic sales you make? Or is there some other factors at play?

    As always, your response will be greatly appreciated!

    Best regards,
    Joe

    • It feels as though the more reviews we get, the more organic sales we notice. I don’t 100% know for sure what the breaking point would be, obviously varies for every industry. With health, it’s been a year almost and we barely started seeing big improvements.

      I think we made a ton of mistakes and could do it a lot faster next time too from everything we learned.

  78. Hi Neil,
    You are an expert! For new bloggers like us, achieving these figures seems a dream, and quite challenging to achieve. 🙂

    Regards,
    Neha

  79. Hi Neil Bro,

    Your nutrition blog going to be huge popular very soon. I already one fish oil from there.
    Thanks for sharing this useful resource.

    regards,
    Derek

  80. Great case study.

    I really hope you will keep up the reports for a few more months. It will be great to see how the site settle in with all the content and link building paying of.

    Thank you…

  81. The profit margin is a bit disappointing, but the traffic stats are jaw-dropping. I hope you reach the 100k margin next month. Best of luck!

  82. I am a regular reader of your blog and i must say, this journey is getting exciting. I do not care if the profit margin is low but spike in traffic holds the key to the future. In terms of traffic, your site is really improving at a good rate and next month will be IT. This experiment is already successful.

  83. Hey Neil, great write-up. For the life of me I can’t figure out why you’re not selling your own digital product. It wouldn’t cost anything and with that kind of traffic in this niche a really high quality product would sell well in my opinion. Also, creating an ebook is not that different than writing a ton of articles, so the site over could handle it easily I think. Anyway, just my 2 cents, but I think that way you could hit the $100,000 per month goal a lot sooner.

  84. 100,000 is a good number to hit and may you guys reach there , wow

  85. I love the transparency through the whole process. I think it helps someone like myself relate to everything instead of saying “Tada! Here’s my white label product and I’m making this much.” You seem to break it down and give us the “inside tips” on all of this.

  86. Within such a little period of time, that type of monthly visitors; it is possible for a Geek like you, Neil.
    With the knowledge I have learnt from you for the last 2 years, I am planning several sites to run one by one.
    Thanks for all the lessons through this and with your NeilPatel.com blog.
    Best regards
    Kawser

  87. I always told my pal that Neil is a genius. Thanks for this wonderful post, you share the whole process thereby making it easy to replicate.

  88. What do you plan to do with the blog when this case study is over

  89. I think if you didnt mention the link of the blog, the name of the blog and product, and only shown the numbers with all details crossed out this would have been a much better experiment. Just with the hordes of people seeing these posts every month and searching up your site and then people going to your amazon product page – this is really making a big difference.

    I don’t know if you would even want to “play” this way but really relatively to what other people do; this would be the best real life example.

    We would follow a http://www.????????????.com blog in whatever industry you choose and any products would be also ????????. We would just know the stats, expenses, strategy, etc. Otherwise I know everyone here, even the fanatics, know deep down that a huge boost came from these blog posts when you revealed your domain in this post.

    • But on the flip side if you can’t see the domain it is also harder to learn without seeing. People may not even believe me…

      • Well, now that you have proved it; you can do it again like I suggested. Because honestly, while this is a great result no doubt; it is not something that one of us can match even if we do 100% the same thing you said.

        It is nice as an example but it isn’t really showing natural growth and development of a website. If you kept writing articles about someone’s blog they would have a lot of traffic even without doing anything else.

        All your strategies are fantastic; I guess I am just saying that the results are not completely natural so it is hard to really judge the success of all the tactics. Because maybe the xxxxxx number of people who linked to and visited your blog impacted google and helped your blog rank better which in turn help more people see it.

        Anyway, of course this 12 months experiment is beyond helpful; I just think some people may take it as a realistic example – and even though you are a top expert in this; the blog was also influenced by your existing brand and exposure. I guess I wish to see an experiment that would have been completely unaffected by your other brands so that it is a real life example.

        • I’m not really using my brand though… people here aren’t too interested in the subject of the nutrition blog and I don’t link to it or promote it via my social profiles.

  90. Where is the March update? Waiting to see the results of 1 full year…?

  91. Hey Neil!

    I noticed that the blog hasn’t had any fresh articles on it within the past month!

    Is it still up and running, or are you focusing on other aspects of the site?

    Cheers,

    Dan

  92. Perfectly perfect. It’s definitely take time to get to that number, is it possible to get there now? 🙂

  93. Sue J. Maselli :

    Nice post thanks Neil for sharing this

  94. Hi there
    I just discovered this challenge from my brother who told me to check it out. When I googled I came to this post. Please can you direct me to the very beginning so that I can catch up. I am so interested in what you are doing here. Thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge! Better than going to Uni!

  95. i found your websites traffic is growing month by month but the alexa ranking is going down, how is it possible.

  96. Jamie Jamieson :

    Wow that’s a lot of traffic!

  97. The fact that you netted only $300 isn’t that flattering. I’m hoping to see an update of this challenge soon. I was hoping you’d get to $100k net (after expenses) when you said “100k challenge”

  98. Very Inspiring. Really, providing the revenue with a challenging way is amazing. I loved it. All the best for coming days. Will definitely visit.

  99. hello neil.
    i am working on a educational niche blog with 10K visits daily. but the cpc is very low here in India. Why cpc so low in India???

  100. These income reports are very inspiring and shows what can be achieved online. I’ve been following your guides for quite a while now and they still continue to inspire.

    Thanks for putting up these content.

  101. Great to see that much traffic and turnover with affiliate marketing blog.

    Thanks for sharing this information, it inspires me.

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