The $100,000 Challenge: May Update

graph traffic

We’ve finally completed the second month of the $100,000 challenge. For the month of May, NutritionSecrets.com received a total of 33,216 visitors.

May wasn’t a bad month considering that Mike, who is the face of the site now, had to learn how to blog, drive traffic, build links, and update the Facebook page.

Here’s a rundown of what happened: 

Traffic

Overall, the site received 33,216 visitors and 53,786 pageviews. Out of those 33,216 visitors, 22,819 were unique.

nutrition traffic

Out of those visitors, 7,882 came from Quick Sprout. For that reason, I have stopped linking to the site from Quick Sprout. All of those visitors mainly came from this one Quick Sprout post.

nutrition traffic quicksprout

What’s actually funny is that we are getting referral traffic from random sites like Craigslist. The visitors, of course, aren’t sticking, but the traffic is coming from Quick Sprout readers who post jobs, looking for people to help them replicate NutritionSecrets.com so they can follow along the journey.

Although the site’s traffic is climbing, we only received 1,786 visitors from Google in May. That means our biggest opportunity is search traffic as in the nutrition space, most of the sites generate the majority of their traffic from Google (roughly 60-70% of their overall traffic).

Facebook

The growth of Facebook fans has been great. Facebook drove 9,563 visitors in the month of May, which isn’t too bad.

We also hit over 100,000 fans by posting good content and doing shout-out-for-shout-out deals: we promote other Facebook fan pages, and they promote us.

shout out for shout out

We keep these promo updates running for a few hours and then delete them. When the other fan page gives us the shout-out in return for ours, both pages get more fans.

Initially, I was getting fans through ads.

facebook ad

I targeted this ad, for example, to users in English-speaking countries in Asia. This allowed me to get fans for pennies. In general, many of these people didn’t engage, but it helped me boost my numbers high enough so I could start doing the shout-out-for-shout-out campaign. Otherwise, no one would want to participate in such an exchange if you only have 100 fans.

Since then, the Facebook page has grown, but the engagement has been declining. It has nothing to do with the fans. It has to do with the fact that Mike isn’t as good as I am when it comes to choosing social media updates. Other people’s content sometimes performs 30 times better than our own.

This was actually expected as there is a learning curve for him, and so far he is doing great. Now, he is browsing other Facebook pages within the nutrition niche to see what is working for them as well as using Buzzsumo to come up with more ideas.

The fact that Mike doesn’t have the same background as I do sometimes serves as an advantage. He’s actually come up with some interesting ideas. One that was great is the usage of custom hand-drawn images.

avocado

Mike’s enlisted the help of his girlfriend Caroline, who loves drawing for fun, to create the image above for $30. It received a total of 765 likes and 245 shares. Not bad for spending $30.

Mike is now having her create more images, and hopefully they’ll have the same success as the avocado image. We, of course, can’t keep getting images for $30, but we will gladly pay her $100 per image, assuming they keep doing well.

mr potato

Eventually, I want to start having Caroline draw images like The Oatmeal’s as I think it will help drive hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Content

If you look at the content on NutritionSecrets.com, you’ll see that it has drastically improved. The information is much more accurate; there is a conversational tone within the posts; and people are engaging through comments.

What Mike hasn’t nailed down yet is creating viral content. Most of the topics he has written on are beaten to death, and everyone who is interested in nutrition has already read similar blog posts on other sites.

What’s helping maintain the traffic is that he is producing five blog posts a week, but once he starts writing on more unique topics such as why you should freeze lemons, we should see a drastic increase in traffic.

Overall, I am happy with the content quality. I just have to get Mike to stop creating me-too content, which shouldn’t be hard because he is a certified nutritionist and knows his field.

Once we nail the topics, we’ll start testing elements such as content length and post types. For example, a lot of people have been asking us to post recipes, but we are not ready yet to try it out until we figure out how to make our standard blog posts popular.

Conclusion

NutritionSecrets.com isn’t generating any income yet, and I don’t expect it to until we hit at least 100,000 monthly visitors. But the progress Mike has made so far has been great.

His content looks good; Caroline’s hand-drawn image performed well; and the Facebook group is growing. We aren’t focusing on shout-out-for-shout-outs anymore as Mike needs to focus on the content quality and picking the right topics, but once we nail that down, we will start growing our fan page again.

In total, we’ve spent $2,670.74. The expenses are the same as I listed last time. The only difference is we spent another $130 for two hand-drawn images.

What do you think of this challenge? Is it helping you learn more about marketing?

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