Neil Patel is an SEO expert, an entrepreneur and a blogger extraordinaire.
I have learnt a lot about blogging and search engine marketing from his blog over the years.
And he recently announced a “challenge” to earn $100,000 per month from a new blog that he will launch.
Yeah you read that right, 100,000 US dollars per month.
He announced the challenge on his blog, and I quote:
A week ago, I wrote a blog post stating that anyone can generate $100,000 a month in income. To prove it, I told you that I’m going to create a new company and grow it from scratch without leveraging my connections.
In the majority of your comments, you told me you wanted me to create a new company in a space that I had no ties to. So I’m now starting a nutrition blog.
The official start date will be April 1, 2015. And within 12 months, I have to get the blog to generate $100,000 in monthly revenue.
I have, in my naivety and foolish bravado I’m sure, decided to join him in this challenge.
I still rue the day when I “thought” about joining Pat in his Niche Site Duel so many years ago. I never did it, only “thought” about it! Not this time around!
I will launch a blog in Pakistan, related to the fitness and nutrition domain, and within the next 12 months, take it to $10,000 per month. God willing.
Neil has set up his rules so that he won’t be leveraging his connections. I don’t know how that’d work. For example, the fact that he would book his domain name through his existing domain name provider, that would mean that he just leveraged his network. And that’s OK. But I am a bit confused when will Neil stop “leveraging” his network and what constitutes an “OK” as per his own rules (Neil, would you comment on this please?).
The Rules of the Challenge
So here is the set up to the challenge. Every challenge must have rules, right? So here are mine with respect to Neil Patel’s rules:
The niche is nutrition for Neil. It is “health and fitness” for me. That’s a very, very good niche I think. Of course it is crowded like hell (which is a sign that there is potential in the market). In fact, it is part of the “big three” markets where a lot of people are willing to spend money on your product (Those three big markets are health, relationships and money).
Neil, as far as I know, is targeting a general purpose blog where he generates revenue through online traffic. His audience, essentially, will be the whole widey world. I am basing my blog/business specifically for the Pakistani market, and will be catering to the local market.
I feel clever drilling down on my niche, but given Neil knows tons more of this stuff than I ever could, I wonder why he hasn’t drilled down the niche — I still think a nutrition blog is a very general descriptor. The descriptor for my new blog would be something like “health and fitness blog for the Pakistani” or something like that.
Neil is targeting 100,000 US dollars per month revenue. He is known to spend a lot of money to promote his blog (which is well worth the spend of course — if you still haven’t checked out his blog, you must go and subscribe to make your learning curve hit your nose!!). Point is: Getting a 100,000 revenue per month with a 95,000 dollar spend would qualify as “mission accomplished” for Neil. My target is 10,000 dollars per month revenue — and if I end up spending 9,000 dollars to reach that, it would be mission accomplished for me as well. This is not as exciting I confess. Perhaps if I lock in the Cost to 30% of revenue (given the business will center around the blog, a 30% COGS is actually a high figure still).
Also note, Neil’s target for 100,000 dollars per month is to be reached in one year. On month twelve, Neil’s nutrition blog would generate that much revenue (and mine would generate 10,000). 12 months is a realistic target, although it can take longer. But most importantly, this is a realistic target in terms of what we often hear: I want to earn my first 1000 dollars yesterday and want to earn my first million tomorrow evening before tea. Or something.
Pat Flynn has a 50 post test. The test is that can I see my self writing 50 posts on the topic at hand and still not get tired. I can imagine that in the health and nutrition field, yes. So the blog topic also gets validated from Pat as well.
The challenge starts on the 1st of April 2015.
Content Strategy and Domain name
I already have a “brandable” domain name that I plan to use on this (more on that later inshAllah). It is a .pk domain.
The content strategy is to:
- produce pillar content (thank you Yaro!),
- free giveaways and
- educate the readers on health and fitness.
I do not plan to monetize the blog using contextual ads like Google Adsense (Neil plans to monetize the blog with ads it seems, but that can change).
Also, my traffic target is 10,000 uniques per month. 10% conversion means 1000 people sign up for the list. If I sell a product of $100 to 10% of the community, that’s $10,000 per month.
If you know what I just did up there, you’d probably shake your head at the sheer simplicity of it all. But here’s the cracker: I came up with these “traffic targets” out of thin air (well, almost).
I will be drilling down on them in the coming weeks, to refine them. But as a benchmark, it is always better to start with what your gut tells you (and then be ready to change as per your research of course!).
I have enough on my plate. But this fits right in between my goals of:
- training (under the ProHobbyist and Momekh&Co banner) and
- providing online infrastructure & support for independent publishers, creatives and entrepreneurs (Blogstarta).
Having said that, this “add-venture” gives me the opportunity:
- to see what’s possible. Having an extra few thousand dollars, especially here in Pakistan, would be nice, yes!?
- To share with you and show you what’s possible (and what’s not!). I am gearing up to do some serious work on this, knowing fully well that this won’t be easy, especially for a King Lazy like me.
- To help people differentiate their blogging, to help people understand blogging as the medium that it is (and not as some magic bullet that just seems to work for some and not for others).
- To APPLY what I’ve learnt with a fresh perspective.
I invite you to join me in my mission, by spreading the word (click sharing buttons below to share this on your FB wall) and starting your own blog with your own missions and financial targets. I wish you the best.
P.S. I am excited on a lot of fronts for this challenge. The most exciting for me? I will be applying the mix of strategies that I’ve learnt over the years from Pat Flynn, Yaro Starak, Chris Guillebeau, Michael Hyatt and Neil Patel. If you are interested in finding out how the challenge pans out…you can subscribe to the Challenge updates here (current subscribers of the LifeETC/JustAddVenture blog will get the updates once a month at least roundabout).