Thank you for addressing your concerns. If you scroll to the bottom of the post, you’ll see an update. On Monday I’ll be publishing a more detailed post on the changes… you’ll be happy with the changes.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about how anyone can make $100,000 a month in revenue within 12 months. And to show you how it’s possible—and so you can achieve similar results—I decided to blog about my journey.
Launching the blog
On April 1st, I started a nutrition blog called NutritionalResource.com. It took me a couple of weeks to get started, but by April 15th, I was up and running.
During the last couple of weeks of the month, I published four blog posts and was able to drive a considerable amount of traffic.
I received 35,419 visitors in two weeks, which is really good considering that I only published four blog posts.
I also learned how easy it is to generate traffic in a B2C vertical since there’s a much larger audience than in most B2B verticals.
As you can see from the graph below, most of the traffic came from a single post.
I don’t know how or why this blog post went viral, but it got over 1,000 Facebook shares.
How I generated my traffic
Facebook has been the main source of traffic. I started a fan page, and within 30 days, I have gained over 50,000 fans. Every time I share a link, I get an instant boost of traffic.
First, I kicked off the page with some Facebook ads.
The image above shows the ad I ran. I targeted mainly an international audience as the cost per like is cheaper, and I made sure the countries I was targeting had English as one of their main languages.
On average, I ended up paying 3 cents a like during this campaign, which drove 3,282 likes.
However, as you can tell, the likes I received weren’t generating much engagement. Only about 6% of my fans actually liked the posts I was sharing, which is about a third of what it should be.
Once I got enough likes, I paused the campaign.
I then approached other Facebook fan pages that had 30,000 or fewer fans and offered a shout out for shout out deal: I told my fans to follow those other Facebook fan pages, and they told their fans to follow my page.
I only keep these messages live on my fan page for a few hours before I remove them as I don’t want my page to seem too promotional.
As my fan base grew, I started doing deals with larger fan pages. If you replicate this, you’ll quickly learn that most people will ignore your shout out for shout out requests, but about one in 10 pages will accept it.
Although this helped me skyrocket my fan page growth rate, I ended up growing my fan page at a much faster rate just by posting good content. I used Buzzsumo to help find this content.
I typed in keywords related to my space, and Buzzsumo showed me the posts that generated the most Facebook likes. I then shared those content pieces since Facebook users clearly like that content. This is the main reason why all of my social media postings did so well.
By only sharing content that people enjoyed, I helped my Facebook page to grow more quickly, and I gained new fans each day.
I linked to NutritionalResource from Quick Sprout, but one or two links won’t give me a huge edge over the competition.
Instead, what helps the most is my years of experience with link building.
To build links, first I Googled the phrase “resource page nutrition.” This helped me find some pages that were linking out to nutrition sites.
I then used Ahrefs to see who links to my competition. Once I created a master list, my intern Lisa started emailing each of those site owners from her email address, begging for a link.
The email template I used was pretty simple:
Subject: I think you are missing a link
Hey [insert their name],
I noticed you are linking to a handful of nutritional sites and blogs, but you aren’t linking out to NutritionalResource.com.
Have you seen it yet? It provides a ton of nutritional value to anyone who is looking to live a healthier life.
Hope you’re having a lovely day! Keep up the good work, I really enjoy [inster their site name].
Overall, this has been a huge success, and I’ve generated a handful of links, including some educational links. Here’s an example.
As of now, the blog has four blog posts. As many of you know, nutrition isn’t my background, so I have been learning a lot about it over the past few weeks.
I recruited a few writers from California State University of Fullerton to help with content creation. They gladly helped me out for free, but the quality of the content sucks. Sure, I should be writing my content on the nutrition blog, but I am still learning about the subject, and I don’t have the time. Even if I made $100,000 a month from it, I would lose money since spending that time on my other businesses would yield me more money.
Here are some of the issues I am having with the content writer:
- Too much fluff – if you look at the posts, you’ll see they contain way too much fluff. Instead of getting to the point, the writer rambles a bit too much.
- Very little data – each blog post makes claims about what is or isn’t healthy for you, but the writers haven’t been including stats and data to back up their main points.
- Grammar errors – you would think people majoring in journalism would be great at grammar, but they aren’t. I need to either get an editor to review each post or find another intern to help them out.
It will take me a month or so to get the content fixed. I won’t be fixing the older content, but I will be fixing newer blog posts. This is actually one of the main reasons I stopped posting on the blog.
On the bright side, the images on the blog are extremely good. I have a corporate Fotolia account under one of my businesses, and I have been using it to find images for NutritionalResource.com. However, Fotolia isn’t the only factor that makes my images great.
I found a kid on Craigslist who is into photography and Photoshop. I gave him a $500 camera in exchange for his help. He not only takes pictures for me but he also takes the images from Fotolia and modifies them in Photoshop to make them look better.
The big misconception
Now that you know how I gained over 30,000 visitors in two weeks, let’s go over a big misconception. A lot of you have emailed me to tell me that I am cheating by using my name on this new blog.
Well, I tested having an apple as my blog image, having no bio, or having my photo.
The results did not differ. Why? Because no one knows me in the nutrition space.
It’s not my name that gives me the advantage—it’s my experience. I’m probably better than most marketers are at building links, running social media campaigns, and writing content. I know what works because I have been leveraging content marketing for over nine years, and I’m really good at growing blogs.
My big setback
The big mistake I made—which I shouldn’t have made, considering how long I’ve been working in the SEO space—is that I bought a premium domain name without doing any research on it.
I spent $1,889.62 on the domain name without doing a backlink check. If you run it through Ahrefs.com, you’ll notice that a ton of spam sites and reciprocal link pages link to it.
That’s likely the main reason the site is probably penalized and doesn’t rank for its own name. I only figured out something was wrong when, after two weeks, the site still didn’t rank for “nutritional resource” in Google.
I haven’t checked Webmaster Tools to see if there is a penalty, but I know something is off. So instead of wasting months trying to fix it, I’m going to switch everything over to Nutrition Secrets—a new domain name I bought.
This is a huge setback that will cost me more than a month’s time as April is now a write-off and I have to start all over again.
But because I have a fresh start, I think I can grow the new blog at a faster pace. Google traffic will eventually kick in because the new domain name doesn’t have any links pointing to it.
Many of you emailed me saying I am cheating by using my name or by writing about my new blog on Quick Sprout. While this does help out a bit, it’s not the main advantage I have, as I discussed above. It’s my experience that gives me a leg up.
As for using my name, I do it for branding. If I am going to create a blog that generates millions of visitors, I might as well use it to help me grow my personal brand.
Many of you also said that I shouldn’t be blogging about this experiment for another year and that by writing about it I am cheating. But I am writing because I hope these blog posts are helpful to you—even if I have a bit of an advantage over you.
What do you think of this experiment so far? Are these monthly blog posts helping you out?
Based on your feedback I am making a few changes.
- A special thanks to Kim for letting me know I can get into legal trouble with this project as I am not a nutritionist.
- I don’t want to provide content that is false or inaccurate. So I fired all of the interns who were producing content for free. I too won’t be blogging as I don’t know enough knowledge about nutrition.
- I’ve partnered up with a nutritionist who’s photo is now on the Facebook page. I have known them for a while and they will be creating the content. I am going to have to teach them how to blog and help edit the posts. They will not be getting paid to write content or anything like that… I just have to partner with someone who understands nutrition as I can’t risk taking on a legal liability.
- I will break down on Monday on how I am going to teach Mike how to blog. You can copy my formula so you can product content that sounds like me.
- The nutritionist isn’t going to get paid, instead they will be keeping 20% of the money generated from the project. 80% will be donated to charity. (Not sure which ones yet)
- This should please some of you as you didn’t want me to use my face or name on the blog.
- The content is being cleaned up. From the Facebook page to the blog, everything that the nutritionist doesn’t agree with is being changed or deleted. That way people won’t be misinformed.
- I will provide a much more detailed update on Monday.