The $10K Challenge: Building a Profitable Authority Site From Scratch

Last year in September, I announced a public case study on the blog with the goal of creating a successful authority site to show you what it really takes to build a profitable online business from the ground up.

Well, I failed to follow through with it.

But in July, after acknowledging my recent failures, I decided to continue with the project again and was fully committed to make it a success.

What’s The $10K Challenge?

More...

In one sentence:

The goal of this challenge is to build a site making $10K a month net from scratch.

That seems like a big hairy goal for many people especially beginners so I’ll break it down into 2 smaller milestones:

Milestone 1: From $0 to $2,000 a Month

Time Estimated: 6 - 8 months

Initial Budget: $5,000

This phrase is all about getting traction. This is the hardest and I have to hustle hard to get it going.

I’m also willing to set aside a good amount of money to invest in the site. While $5k seems high for some people, I’d say it’s very reasonable if you remember that you can always flip your site on Empire Flippers for at least 20x.

That means in worst case, you only need to make $250 a month to flip it for $5k and get back your initial investments. Not too hard right?

Milestone 2: From $2,000 to $10,000+ a Month

Time Estimated:  16 - 18 months

Once the site is profitable, it’s when the real growth starts. I’ll keep reinvesting the profit back into the site and expect not to take any money out for at least 12 months.

I still have savings and incomes from other sources, so waiting a year or two for the site to take off is not a big problem.

Building a profitable authority site takes time and includes risk too, so if you want to start a site, make sure you have a job or enough freelance gigs to pay the bills. Don’t quit your job yet!

Introducing My Authority Site

I’m not going to hold anything back this time. I don’t like the feeling of not being able to talk about your site with people.

In fact, I want to leverage my existing assets and connections to grow the site.

For example, I already secured a few guest posts on high DA sites owned by my friends. That would help a lot to kick it off!

Ok, so the site is ThankYourSkin.com

It’s in the skincare and cosmetics niche. Something both me and my girlfriend are passionate about.

No, I don’t wear makeups if you’re wondering :P. But I spent a few years learning to deal with my acne and it’s a huge advantage to work on a  niche I know well.

In addition, we also have a fast-growing skincare site in Viet Nam too. So a lot of resources can be shared between 2 projects.

What Have I Done So Far?

  • Setting up the site with good branding. It looks very nice now!​
  • Creating a master keyword list with 75,000+ keywords (I’ll write about this in another post.)
  • Creating some initial content. Textbroker has been working really well for me for fast and scalable content creation. I’ll use them mostly for this project.
  • Getting a few high DA guest posts.

What’s My Plan To Grow The Site From Scratch?

At this point, I will just focus on what I’m good at which are:

  • ​Finding low competition keywords with high commercial intent.
  • Creating well-researched buying guides and reviews to be monetized with Amazon affiliate programs.

For this project, I’m also focusing only on white hat promotion strategies, such as:

  • Networking and manual outreach to other bloggers.
  • Guestographics and the infamous Skyscraper technique by Brian Dean.
  • Guest Posting
  • There are a lot more but I like to stay focused.

Social media is also important to build brand credibility and gain more trust from Google. I noticed that every high growth site has a good social media marketing strategy in place.

For this niche, I know Pinterest is huge so I’ll just focus on it. Other networks like Facebook, Twitter or Reddit can wait 🙂

Want To Join Me?

If you’re building an authority site or if this post inspires you to start one, I’d love for you to join with me on this $10K challenge too.

Feel free to leave a comment below or email me, then we could figure out the details.

Challenge Updates:

  1. $10k Challenge Update #1
  2. ​$10k Challenge Update #2
  3. $10k Challenge Update #3
  4. $10k Challenge Update #4
  5. $10k Challenge Update #5
  6. $10k Challenge Update #6
  7. $10k Challenge Update #7
  8. $10k Challenge Update #8
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 158 comments
Thomas Smale - August 17, 2015

Thanks for sharing your journey publicly, Tung. Will be interesting to see how you get on.

Have you thought about using forum marketing to build some initial momentum? Great for traffic (if you’re not spammy) and long term links, too.

Reply
    Tung Tran - August 17, 2015

    Thanks for the suggestion Thomas!

    I never tried to do forum marketing before. Is it still working out well for you?

    Reply
      Daniele - August 24, 2015

      Hi Tung,

      I step into this as I did some forum marketing recently.
      Or better, I promoted my site indirectly sharing a survey request in few forums.
      It was good for traffic and get new subscribers (the survey respondents) but not all forum accepted that.
      Even if I wasn’t directly promoting my site/service, a link coming from a new user is always regarded as suspicious.

      Anyway I’m curious about Thomas’ input on this.

      Reply
    Matthew Vigil - September 2, 2015

    Showing you how to build a profitable authority site! One thing I have realized with my new format is that it provides more than vanity numbers and actually lets me make data driven decisions on what changes I should be making in my business!

    Reply
Richard - August 17, 2015

Good luck with this one Tung – I will be following you along!

I think that building new sites is getting tougher and tougher – that initial traction phase will take plenty of effort as you say.

Recently I’ve been focusing more and more on rebuilding/expanding/improving existing sites in my portfolio in order to show more rapid growth.

I’ll be fascinated to see how things go – though I have to admit that revealing your URL is a risky strategy IMHO.

Best of luck! 🙂

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Al-Amin Kabir - August 17, 2015

Welcome back my friend!
Wishing you a very good luck for the challenge.

BTW, Are you planning to monetize the site completely with Amazon Affiliate Program?

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Josh Escusa - August 17, 2015

Great niche. There’s definitely a lot of money in it. Are you planning on getting traffic mainly from SEO like before?

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    Tung Tran - August 17, 2015

    Yeah SEO is still very profitable. But I plan to use Pinterest to drive initial traffic and social signals too.

    Reply
      Pritom Roy - May 26, 2016

      Hey Tung,
      Great challenge. I would like know the pinterest strategy for health niche. As per the post, pinterest works great, right? Can you please explain more about it? Also how much content you are planning to add on this site?

      Thanks!

      Reply
Robin Wiman - August 17, 2015

Hi Tung,
I would like to join you on this. Would it be ok if I wrote about it on my blog and I could follow along with your progress?

You have more experience than I do for sure, (I have no high authority friends like you) but I will try to keep up with your speed:)

Let me know if you are ok with this,

Robin Wiman
Pixelmarketers.com

Reply
    Tung Tran - August 17, 2015

    Yeah man. That’d be awesome! Let me know when your first post is up and I will link to it 🙂

    Reply
Doug - August 17, 2015

Hey Tung, This sounds like a great project, and a BIG one.

How are you planning on allocating the $5,000 in the first period? What parts are you outsourcing?

Doug

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    Tung Tran - August 17, 2015

    Thanks for dropping by Doug!

    I’d do 50/50 between content and promotion. I outsource 100% of the content now on Textbroker and do the outreach/promotion part myself. I’m trying to learn new skills now so outsourcing would be minimal.

    Reply
Tony - August 17, 2015

Awesome idea and it should be interesting with showing the site and all. How much are you paying for articles on Textbroker? I’m looking to hire out some articles and Upwork is just a mess right now.

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Jonathan - August 17, 2015

Hey, looking forward to following you and your site. I’m interested in how you’re going to use the master 75,000 keyword list for your Authority website. I’m assuming these are used to structure your site to rank for those keywords and not for paid advertisements. I’m interested to see how one structures an authority site to rank for such a list of keywords.

Have you read this: http://www.seonick.net/master-keyword-research/?

Cheers!

Reply
    Nick - September 23, 2015

    Hey Jonathan – Thanks for sharing my course 🙂

    If any of the CloudLiving readers want to check out the course, please email me for a discount coupon.

    Cheers!
    Nick

    Reply
Josh - August 17, 2015

Good to see your are going to get active on the blog again. I look forward to following along as I work on my site as well.

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Nathalie Sicard - August 17, 2015

I’m excited to see how your progress go. The website is looking very good. Good luck!

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Jane - August 17, 2015

Hey Tung,

Glad to see that you are starting on an authority site project. I’ve just started a niche site that I hope to convert into an authority site someday. Definitely following your project!

Cheers
Jane

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Steve - August 17, 2015

Tung,

I’ve got multiple sites going right now that have started within the last month as a case study. One is set to be a true authority site, another set more as a churn and burn style and a few parasites up. I’d like to be in on the challenge if these fit your criteria

Thanks,

Steve

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Rocky - August 17, 2015

Hi Tung,

I’d love reading your blog and I learn a lot of things here. Good job man.

Regarding your new journey, I didn’t do a research but I have a feeling that health and beauty niche is a very competitive niche. Why are things you think you can win in this market.

Wish you all the best

Thank you.

Reply
Kani Poly - August 17, 2015

So great to know that you are working on Thankyourskin

Reply
Raweewan - August 17, 2015

Hey Tung
Nice to see you’re back to this project. Actually, I’m doing this project too, but not so much update yet. 🙂

Reply
John - August 18, 2015

Hey Tung,

I’m attending college this fall, and really want to create an authority site that I can build up as I attend. How would you recommend starting I have built successful affiliate sites in the past, but I feel like the Seo game has changed and my old techniques don’t rank anymore.

Thanks,

J

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Jame - August 18, 2015

Good luck with your authority site journey Tung!
I’ll make sure to follow along with you.

Nice site there! It seems your site theme loads up many custom header styles though. In addition, the feature images are very obstructive for me.

This is not a bias about which theme is the best, but I see Genesis themes are having good time with SEO and me.

About content, are you going to use only 4-stars writers at TextBroker as you only source? Does there 4-star quality is good or need more edition on our end?

I’m more of a kind of website techie guy. Currently, I just stepping to build my first niche site which is not small nor authority for now.

Anyways, this is good journey to follow along for sure!

Jame LA

Reply
    Tung Tran - August 18, 2015

    Thanks Jame! This is exactly why I reveal my website. I need feedback from people like you 🙂

    Yeah I like Genesis too but Thrivethemes + Thrive Content Builder make it so easy to format the content. I know the pagespeed is not great and definitely needs to be improved.

    I think 4-star writers are pretty goood and I usually don’t need to edit a lot. just make sure you created a good outline so they would know exactly what you want.

    Reply
ankit - August 18, 2015

awesome tung
we all get some thing to learn as you will keep sharing this, the progress of your site 🙂

Reply
Stella - August 18, 2015

You have a very nice logo for your new site. Where did you get it?

Reply
Codrut Turcanu - August 18, 2015

Hey Tung, I’ve been waiting for these updates man!

Did you consider planning for expert roundup blog posts and ego bait articles beside your already great content ideas? 😉

Reply
Jame - August 18, 2015

These are the perfect combination that I’ve tested and working like a charm in harmony including site structure (good for SEO), security coding standard, no unneeded codes (speedy) and clean.

They are the following:
+ Genesis Framework (Framework)
+ Dynamik Website Builder (Child theme easy to customize to what we need)
+ Visual Composer or Thrive Content Builder (Improving UX for conversion)

I like Thrive Content Builder but not so fond of their themes.

Anyways, how long have you been using Site5? I’m stumble upon with their plan in Singapore. Are they good in term of speed, uptime and support?

P.S: I can not make comment when replying. http://i.imgur.com/ZPkjj60.jpg

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Dan - August 19, 2015

Fun idea Tung!

I’d definitely like to participate in the challenge.

I have one site that’s a little ahead of where your are with Thank Your Skin, one that’s a little behind, and one that has no work done to it. The latter 2 are built on expired domains.

I’d be happy to share ideas, strategies and whatever and post the challenge on my blog: http://danfries.net.

Cheers man!

Reply
    Tung Tran - August 19, 2015

    Great to have you here man 🙂 Can’t wait to hang out again in October!

    Yeah definitely. I will check out your updates and drop mentions if I find something interesting.

    Reply
Theodore Nwangene - August 21, 2015

Wow Tung,
This is really huge, its a very awesome idea and i trust that you can really make it work for you because its what you’re already good at :).

Its been awhile since i followed such case study and I’m happy its coming from you also, what really sets this case study apart from many others is the fact that you’re revealing everything including your niche and domain, that’s really so amazing of you.

I will be following along to see how it turns out.

Thanks for sharing.

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Paul - August 21, 2015

Hi Tung

Im glad you have decided to give it another try, i found your site while searching for optimizing a flippa listing for their search as i sell starter sites, but as usual ended up reading something completely off track.

Ive been designing and building sites for over 8 years now and always wanted to create a website which would give me a decent income so im going to jump on board and give it a go.

Im thinking of getting the website established before i start adding product links though

Paul

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Joseph Ho - August 22, 2015

Glad that you are going for another try, I look forward to your updates on this project!

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Raj - August 25, 2015

Hey Tung,

Great to see you making awesome comeback I must say after your failure. It takes a lot to recover and gain the lost groung. I have been following for 4 months now. And you have been such an inspiration.

Good luck with your new Project.

Thanks

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Erick Nguyen - August 31, 2015

Hey Tung! Are you planning to monetize your authority site with only amazon and no adsense?

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Jean - September 3, 2015

Happy to see you back on the challenge again , I’ll be joining you with my authority site project later next week , hope to make it work this time as it’s been almost 8 months I was supposed to start but due to other niche sites projects I already had, I didn’have enough time left for the authority site.

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Magz - September 4, 2015

Hi Tung,

Coming here from Quicksprout.

Wow, I like how you broke down your goal into bite size milestones.

Best wishes with this project.

Could you please share the comments system you are using. It looks amazing.

Thanks,

Best,

Magz

Reply
David - September 5, 2015

Hi Tung, why aren’t you doing heavy link-building for your authority website? Do you think that this is a bad strategy for long-term authority websites?

Reply
    Tung Tran - September 5, 2015

    I’m still figuring out how to do do link building for my site actually. I will go 100% white hat this time so it’s hard to scale but the quality of links would be much higher.

    Reply
      David - September 5, 2015

      Awesome! Thanks for the reply. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with 🙂

      From my own personal experiences:

      Currently, I’m 1.5 months into my authority site (RC Drone niche), and I’ve uploaded around 45 super-high-quality articles so far (I have no life…I know 🙂

      Anyway, I recently managed to snag a high PR guest post on competitor’s/friend’s site. My site had about 300 unique visitors for the first month, and made a $1.20 on Amazon Associates LOL (better than nothing!).

      Anyway, a lot of these principles I learned from your website and other IM bloggers, so thanks 🙂 Just wanted to share my experience so far. Good luck on your own site too!

      Reply
Juan - September 6, 2015

Hey Tung,

Really nice blog you have here.

I am building and authority site myself, so you will see me commenting here.

A question, in what things you will spend your budget? i have some cash too and the only thing that a think to do is grow my fanpage… what you recommend?

Good luck!

Reply
    Tung Tran - September 6, 2015

    Hi Juan,

    I’d spend mostly on content creation and outreach promotion. I post 2-3 times a week and it’s around $500 a month.

    Reply
Rocky - September 8, 2015

Hi Tung,

Where do you find images for your posts?
The content writer will do that for you or you do that by yourself?

Thanks

Reply
Hieu Vu - September 8, 2015

Hi Tung,

Great journey! I just wonder how can you have that much Pinterest Pins?

Reply
reabetsoe - September 11, 2015

tung

you should incorporate Jimmy Kelly’s domain authority stacking to your site to increase the domain authourity and moz trust

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John Cho - September 12, 2015

I am inspired and I’ll be following you to create my own very first niche site!

For me I’ve just started getting into this niche site building thing and I’ve got some really good valuable info from your site. Thanks for this!

I am hoping to pick up and learn from your experiences on this project so that one day I’ll be able to build my own authority site as well!

Wish you the best of luck Tran!

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Joshua P. Cornwell - September 15, 2015

Hey Tung,

Glad to hear your working on another project. I know if you keep on working hard that you’ll see success. I’m currently working on another niche website and am trying to become an authority with it as well. My main priorities for this website is to build a social media fallowing, produce a lot of content, and to build backlinks (which I’m doing carefully).

My main question for you is how do you produce your content? I know in other projects you had other people writing the articles. Is this the case for this website? Or are you writing them yourself?

I’m currently writing my own because I’m trying to keep cost low. But, by doing this it makes growing the website very slow. So I would love to hear some response.

Good luck and I look forward to talking to you sometimes soon.

– Joshua

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Jenny - September 18, 2015

Excellent articles Tung, I really enjoy this one in particular it will be very nice to follow the progress of this project. I’m thinking about using grammarly to write some content for my blogs, any feedback on that, have you use it? Cheers!

Jenny

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jerry lewis - September 18, 2015

You have good progress with your new site. You can use Fiverr for small works, if you find good guys, this will save some money for start up.
Small comment for get more traffic from long tail keywords: add 2015 in the end of post titles. Ex: 5 Best Vitamin C Serums For Younger Looking Face In 2015

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Andhy Fathoni - September 19, 2015

Nice Tung,

I hope you can update your progress on this project.
I want to know how it goes.
Best of luck!

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roberto - September 26, 2015

I look forward to your reports re the progress of your challenge. How I wish I can earn even a tenth of your projected earnings of $10K.

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Joe - September 27, 2015

Hi Tung

On a previous post you send me an email me but I have been unable to find where your email address is on your site. Could you give me a link to go to please?

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Will - September 27, 2015

I’ve very recently launched a new project and I am doing the exact same, building a large authority site which I aim to hit $10k with and then further.

Would be cool to have a mastermind or Skype group for this, for only people with our aims.

Reply
    Tung Tran - September 27, 2015

    How’s about a private forum? I’m considering to create one.

    Reply
      Will - September 27, 2015

      Personally, I think Skype is more convenient…as with a forum people actually have to create accounts, login and continue to check for updates.

      Where as with Skype it’s very relaxed, easy to add input or follow along.

      However, I appreciate not everyone uses Skype…so that could be an issue, I guess it depends on how many people your looking to involve.

      Reply
        Tung Tran - September 28, 2015

        Yeah that’s the point. Skype could become a distraction very quickly. If it’s a forum, people just come for the information and discuss a bit. Get what they want and leave. No unfocused chit chat 😀

        Reply
      Michael - October 10, 2015

      If u will open a forum I will join that also.
      We can also open a Facebook group
      What do u think?

      Reply
        Tung Tran - October 10, 2015

        Would you like to join a paid forum (i’m thinking $10 a month)?

        Just to weed out the freebie seekers and nonserious people.

        Reply
Puneet - September 29, 2015

Can you please recommenced SEO for amazon affiliate sites?

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Don Modekali - October 1, 2015

Hey Tung,

Your challenge couldn’t come at a better time. One of my goals this year was to build an authority website but I never got started. When you decided you were doing a public case study, I figured out I should also get started and perhaps we can keep each other on toes with the project.

I announced the post on my blog http://www.donmodekali.com/authority-website/

Stop by when you have some time.

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Mark Whitman - October 4, 2015

Hi Tung!
Awesome challenge man, look forward to following your progress.
I just had a look at your niche site – I must say it looks great. One feature really grabbed me – the quicklinks menu that you have at the top of posts. How did you add that? Is it a plugin or did you code some specific css?
Will be following your challenge closely.
Good luck!
Mark

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JD Duncan - October 7, 2015

Hey Tung! I’m super excited I came across your site! I just started this same journey back in February…then got sidetracked…dropped the ball…came up with a million different ideas…then started again. I’m totally with you on this challenge!

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Steve - October 12, 2015

Hi Tung,

Just curious to see how the authority project is going? I posted my most recent update at the beginning of the month. We have our first earnings but I will admit that I screwed up with tracking. I am almost positive the commissions came from my spam site vs my whitehat authority site. I will be looking forward to your update

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    Tung Tran - October 14, 2015

    Hey Steve,

    You’re ahead of me . I haven’t got any sale yet. The project is going slowly. At around 40-50 visits a day from Google now. I’m still experimenting with white hat SEO.

    Congrats on your results!

    Reply
      Steve - October 14, 2015

      Tung,

      Thanks for the reply. You definitely have us beat with traffic, I’m only averaging 10-20 visits a day after filtering out the referral spam hits. We have received a few more commissions yesterday though so it is fairly targeted traffic.

      You are definitely right about the white hat stuff being slow. For client sites, absolutely white hat is a necessity, but with these affiliate sites (either authority or niche) white hat link building is tricky. The opportunities to create really great content can be tough, let alone finding the right sites to outreach to that aren’t competitors. One thing that I am starting to lean towards with the white hat stuff is that it really is niche dependent. If all your competitors are spamming and using PBN style things then I have NO problem beating them at that game and I consider it a green light towards black hat linking.

      I think it comes down to long term plans. If you potentially want to be able to sell a site or flip a site then you can’t have the risky link building. If you can acknowledge that you are breaking some rules and still want to rank I wouldn’t count out the black hat techniques. You just can’t cry to everyone if the site gets swatted because you knew what you were getting into before starting.

      Looking forward to your next update

      Steve

      Reply
        Tung Tran - October 15, 2015

        The site just made its first dollars! $2.36 to be exact 😛

        I see this site becoming a big earner for me so I want to minimize the risk as much as possible.

        Reply
john - October 13, 2015

Why is Greg’s Name on the Banner?

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Faris Yaghmour - October 15, 2015

Hi Tung,

I am not sure if I understand the steps that go into creating and marketing an affiliate website.

For any affiliate website, does it depend on you using the product yourself? Would an affiliate website work if you only send traffic to it with out leaving reviews?

Also, do you have to market it using SEO? How about paid advertising?

Thanks

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Rafael - October 25, 2015

Hi, Tung.

I want to follow you on this $10,000/Mo journey. Please let me know how to proceed. As I want to build an authority niche website applying your tactics.

Regards,
Rafael

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Joseph - October 30, 2015

It looks you did not focus on this project. You may add more relevant contents or buy Facebook Ads, Bing Ads to test another traffic, you can not wait SE traffic forever. Good luck.

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Tonmoy - November 4, 2015

Hello Tung,
How’s going the project? As well, It’s already November, do you have big plan for the big days like November and December? And how much traffic you are getting now? Have started getting succeeded !

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Mithun - November 4, 2015

Thanks Tung for caring to share your progresses. I will be with you till the end for sure. Excited to see how it goes. Best of luck!

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maki - November 22, 2015

Hi Tung, with the authority structure going, does this mean that review sites with the commercial aspect introduced upfront is decreasing in value? Also, will using AuthorityAzon in this kind of approach not convenient?

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    Tung Tran - November 23, 2015

    It depends on how you build the site. Check this for example: runningshoesguru.com. Do you find the site commercial at all?

    Reply
Rabbi Hossain Khan - November 26, 2015

Hello Mr. Tung,

Good Day!

I’m writing you today because I became your fan when I heard about you and really it’s my luck that I found your blog site.

Mr. Tung can you do a favor for all of your fans?

Is it possible to create a perfect diagram in Infographic about how to build a niche site from scratch?

I asked you because a lot of people failing because they don’t have a proper guideline to start from.

And At Last I Just Want To Say Thans To My Lord and Thanks To A Successful Entrepreneur Like You.

Good Luck & Best Regards,
Rabbi Hossain Khan

Reply
    Tung Tran - November 27, 2015

    That’s a good idea Rabbi! I’m sure I’m going to make one soon. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
      Rabbi Hossain Khan - November 27, 2015

      Mr. Tung Thanks for Your Consideration and Really It Will Be Our Luck To Get This Precious Thing From You.

      Best Wishes for You Mr. Tung 🙂

      Reply
Ravi - December 8, 2015

Hi Tung,

Glad to come across your site.
A lot of enthusiasm across the pages, the new site thankyouskin looks good, am not sure where you are, as it was 3-4 months back you started, otherwise, I would also have joined the challenge.

Best of luck buddy!

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Matthew E. Rainey - December 23, 2015

Hello Mr. Tung,
I came to know about your blog. And feeling interest to know more about your working process.

I have launched a new amazon niche site recently. I am working for my site to get it a good position.

Best of luck

Reply
Nguyen Dung - January 5, 2016

I dont have webmaster’s friends. so how i can find a Guest Posting? and where is good for find it? Many thanks

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Saïd - January 5, 2016

Hey, I received this link through your newsletter. How has the project gone thus far? I’m having a strange dilemma. Last year I set out to build a web development agency for restaurant owners on a subscription model. The idea wasn’t well-researched and it fell to the back burner. The issue is that the Facebook fan page keeps growing and I’m not doing anything, so I feel like I’m missing out on a growing audience.

There’s another niche I’m really into, and it’s language learning. Again, I’m not sure how to monetize on that growing audience. I was thinking of creating cool illustrative art in the languages I speak, about four, more or less, and design stuff to sell via woocommerce, society6 or redbubble.

Anyway, unless you already answered my question, I’d really love some feedback from you guys on what to do with these “fans” that I’m not sure what to tell them.

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    Tung Tran - January 5, 2016

    I’m publishing an update on the project soon. How many fans do you have now? How much have you invested in acquiring those fans?

    The language learning is a big niche. Check out this site fluentin3months.com.. They’re selling mostly info products.

    Reply
Harry - January 27, 2016

Hi Tung,

Excellent post, and I see that you have set yourself some pretty demanding deadlines there!

I also see that Pinterest is you number 1 social media sharing source. At this point, would you say you are getting more traffic from referrals such as from your guest posts and social media, or from organic traffic?

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    Tung Tran - January 28, 2016

    No 70% traffic is through organic 😀 I’m not focusing on Pinterest at the moment but have plans in the next few months.

    Reply
RJ - February 3, 2016

Hey Tung,

I just found this and Im so glad I did.

Im planning on doing a case study of getting to 10k as well, but with a site that is already averaging 2k per month. I haven’t read your current updates but looking forward to it.

Was it easy to decide to reveal your site? did you do anything to protect it from copycats/hackers?

Cheers!
RJ

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    Tung Tran - February 4, 2016

    Thanks RJ. No it wasn’t hard. My goal is to build an authority site that is hard to replicate for most people because it takes time and hard work to do so. I’m in this for the long-term so I don’t care about people copying my site.

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Shelly-Ann - February 11, 2016

Hey Tung,

Best of luck with your challenge. Your site design is minimalistic yet effective. Gave you a pin on Pinterest.

I especially like the little logo that appears when pinning.

I too have started a website, but my budget is nowhere the size of yours.

Cheers.

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    Tung Tran - February 11, 2016

    Hi Shelly,

    Thanks for your support. If you dont have a big budget, then I recommend to put in more work to grow your site.

    Reply
Shell - February 12, 2016

Hi Tung,

Don’t I know it :-). But a little hard work never killed anybody.

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Deba - February 16, 2016

Hi Tung,

Great post! It inspired me a lot. Keep it up!

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Lonny - March 12, 2016

Hi Tung,
I have this affiliate site, iDroneUp.com
I do not have near the budget, but I would like to get this site to $1000/mo by the end of this year.
Lonny

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banyedeme - March 15, 2016

Very Exciting challenge Tung and well done for the progress you have made so far. I will like to join you. I am newbie to building niche authority sites. I Don’t have enough cash to purchase the nice keyword research tools like longtail pro.I will like to have it though. Do you know any free yet quite accurate keyword tool that I can use to calculate the keyword difficulty.Since I discovered your site I come to it everyday for more motivation.My plan is to built a niche site earning 3k/month my the end of this year.

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    Tung Tran - March 15, 2016

    You can use SEOQuake and Mozbar to do the analysis manually. I’ll write a post about that soon.

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Tracking - March 16, 2016

Thanks you Tung. I will really appreciate it, I am already using SEOQuake.I havnt tried Mozbar yet.I will give it a trial. As soon as I get some cash I will buy a keyword research tool.

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Edwin - March 19, 2016

Hi Tung,

I’m so glad that you are doing this. I just started on my journey as a blogger. Although I’ve tried many times in the last 10 years and never made any progress. But this time, there’s something different. First of all, I actually bought a domain and started putting up some posts. Not much but it’s been less than a month. And I heard about you and your challenge. So I’m really excited to hear about your journey. Feels like there’s a mentor leading the way.

Edwin.

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Sky - May 3, 2016

Hi Tung, do you have any suggestion for me since my Amazon Associates was terminated, any Amazon alternative out there that I can use? Can’t use Skimlinks, some of my sites aren’t approved, not sure why, they are similar to your skincare site.

Thank you

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Zabilon - May 5, 2016

I hope I am not too late to join?

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John - May 23, 2016

Hey Tung,

I just came across your blog, and I’ve become its fan already. I have to ask where exactly did you manage to get such high quality article on your site.

ProBlogger Job board, or any specific site? It would be really helpful.

Thank you!

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Talukdar Galib - August 9, 2016

Thanks for sharing your journey bro….

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Son Vu - August 26, 2016

Hi Tung,

I have a question about the homepage design of ThankYourSkin.com
I wonder which plugin you had used to build the homepage. I think it’s Thrive Content Builder, right? I really like your about box with subscription form and the latest post grid below.

Hope you’ll see my question. Thanks in advance 🙂

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Adam - September 13, 2016

Tung,

I have to thank you for the comment about only needing to get a site to $250 a month in earnings to recoup an initial $5,000 investment. That makes perfect sense, but I never looked at it that way before. I was beginning to set a $2,500 initial budget in my own head, but I think you are spot on with that rationale. I really appreciate it!

Adam

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Vince - September 20, 2016

Hey Tung.

Thanks so much for sharing this case study on authority sites. Count me in. You inspired me to do the same on my blog. The difference is I’m starting out with zero budget up front. Wish I had $5k to invest, but I don’t. Should be interesting!

Keep on keeping on!

Vince

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Musab Kara - October 4, 2016

Hi. I have started my website about 4 months ago. The website is sportey.org my ultimate goal is cover all sports possible. Unfortunately I have almost no budget for my website. I started to rank for few keywords but there are lots of things I don’t know what to focus. I have some author who wrote for me so I focus on other things and trying to guide them for some seo tactics and other things. I am using adsense rather than other affiliates for now. The website visually not that good but it is ok. So I am trying to improve it for now. I saw your 7. Update and wanted to start from beginning. Please check out my website and give me some feedback what should I focus on what needs to be improved

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Musab Kara - October 4, 2016

Hi Tung . I have started my website about 4 months ago. The website is sportey.org my ultimate goal is cover all sports possible. Unfortunately I have almost no budget for my website. I started to rank for few keywords but there are lots of things I don’t know what to focus. I have some author who wrote for me so I focus on other things and trying to guide them for some seo tactics and other things. I am using adsense rather than other affiliates for now. The website visually not that good but it is ok. So I am trying to improve it for now. I saw your 7. Update and wanted to start from beginning. Please check out my website and give me some feedback what should I focus on what needs to be improved

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Jeremy Acosta - November 21, 2016

I’m gonna go do the mannequin challenge and binge read this entire 10k challenge, watch me! Thanks I am hoping to learn from those people that have achieve it.

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Abdul Saleem PN - February 11, 2017

Hi Tung Tran,

Thanks for this great article. Your daring approach in building up a niche site is awesome. Though a budget of 5000 dollars is little more, for a target of a monthly income of 2000 dollar one can bear it.

Once I will achieve the first target I will hard work for the next target.

I am going to take this as a challenge. I assure to follow this guideline and I will achieve it..Hard work and determination will bring the result. You have proved it Tung.

Will seek your help whenever required Mr. Tung once again thanks and regards Mr Tung.

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kasim kay - February 20, 2017

Thanks for sharing this. After reading this, I decided to create my own site,freshparis and have started seeing results.please dont stop sharing

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Godson Rapture - February 21, 2017

Thanks for this post. I have a blog but I don’t know how to make money from it. But from now, this story has changed.

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mazharoddin - March 10, 2017

Really great post, just few months back I started one niche website and struggling to get the visits. There are lots of insights which I need to get familiarise, this post definitely helpful, thank you.

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priya - April 4, 2017

Wow Tung you are really great.. Your blog ThankYourSkin looks great and i am inspired with your patience and your works.
Regards,
priya

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