$10K Challenge Update #4

Welcome to the 4th update of my $10K Challenge. If this is your first time reading, check out what this challenge is all about here.

Below are the things that happened in January and February 2016:

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Key Successes​

  • Significant traffic & income growth (4x!!).
  • Site continued to attract natural links.

Key Failures​

  • Failed to post 3 times a week.
  • Failed to start a guest posting campaign.

Website Stats as of March 7, 2016

Domain Profile

I use Ahrefs (paid) and Open Site Explorer (free) to help measure the effectiveness of my promotional efforts by tracking these metrics:

  • Domain Rating: 39 (-1)
  • Domain Authority: 22 (+7)
  • Backlinks: 1940 (+1273)
  • Referring Domains: 74 (+34)
  • Organic Keywords: 14,000 (+4,500)​

Traffic

Traffic continued to grow steadily week after week without much promotional efforst from my end. Currently, it’s around 2000 hits a day.

Income

Overall, earnings have been really great. I'm at $100/day pretty consistently now.

Here are the numbers, including the past months for comparisons:

  • July 2015: $0
  • August 2015: $0
  • September 2015: $0
  • October 2015: $52.89
  • November 2015: $103.31
  • December 2015: $589.35
  • January 2016: $1970.04
  • February 2016: $3027.04

Of course, the numbers above are not pure profit as I’ve also invested a good chunk of cash into the site. Here’s the breakdown of exactly what I’ve spent money on so far:

Expenses

Amount

Textbroker

$1,352.64

Upwork Writers

$80.00

Content Writer / Editor (part-time)

$1,227.51

Content Uploader

$118.66

Outreach Manager

$576.88

Pinterest Curator

$200.01

Guest Posting Service 1

$500.00

Guest Posting Service 2

$105.00

Infographic Design

$50.00

Total Spent

$4,210.70

Earnings To Date

$5,834.63

Profits To Date

$1,623.93

Note on the guest posting services: I don't include them here because I no longer recommend those services. I'm doing everything in-house now and getting better results.

Jon Haver has a very good guide on guest posting here. But my friend Gael has dedicated a whole blueprint (10+ training videos) for this inside his AH Pro membership. I highly recommend you to check it out!

As you can see, my total investment, so far, is $4,210.70 covering the last 8 months.

The site is profitable now and makes $2,000 a month on average, which means that it’s valued at around $50,000 if I ever wanted to sell the site TODAY.

That’s an incredible ROI which is very hard to find in most offline businesses.

Content & Promotion

Not much work has been done to the site since January as I was busy working on my course AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp.

If you’re looking for the promotion strategies I’ve used, check out update #3.

Conclusion

This is just a quick update to keep you guys posted on my progress since January.

The challenge is going well according to my original plan.

Now that phrase 1 is achieved, growing the site to $10k a month is just a matter of doubling down on posting more content and building more quality backlinks.

What do you think of my progress so far? Do you have any questions regarding my current content and promotion strategies? Feel free to let me know in the comment section.

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of CloudLiving.com.

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  • Great job with your income this month. I have always wanted to create an affiliate marketing website like this. My problem is that I am afraid of outsourcing work and paying other people to do things (especially write) before I know I will get a return on my investment. Any thoughts on outsourcing in the beginning would be really helpful.

    • My best tip would be start small 🙂 When you’re first started, just do everything yourself. Nothing wrong with that. When you make some more money, start hiring for key roles to remove yourself from the process.

  • Hi Tung,

    Fantastic progress, very nice.

    I just want to ask, what is the Pinterest curator?

    What do they do for you, how did you find one and was it worth the money?

    • It was an experiment when I started the site. Basically I hired a girl on Upwork to build up my Pinterest account. It did help a bit but not significant. I’ll try it again soon.

  • Congratulations and thank you for posting your progress. You’re an inspiration 🙂

    I missed out on the link building part. How did you go about it? Is the outreach manager primarily working on that?

      • Hi Tung! Great job! This is super inspiring for me. Why don’t you recommend the agency anymore? In update #3 you said you got 3 x DA 80 backlinks so why in the world would you stop using them?

        Or did you get those DA 80 backlinks through your own outreach?

        Looking forward to your reply since I really like how you are being transparent about all the growth.

        • I got those high DA links myself 🙂

          When I first started I was a bit too impatient so I tried the 2 services.

          #1 was good. I paid $100/link. But now their rate is $180/link. And the delivery time got much slower.

          #2 was only $35/link but they weren’t not delivering good work to my standard.

          That’s why 🙂

          • “I got those high DA links myself :)”

            Could I know did you get it for free?

            Could you share this?

            Thanks

          • Nothing good is free. I did it myself but I invested real money into hiring people and training them. Check #3 update for details on link building.

  • Hi Tung,

    Great work,I very impress to see this stat I see you use guest posting service can you share where you buy guest posting service.

    Also correct (Website Stats as of March 7, 2016 instead of 2015) 🙂

    Thanks.

  • Hi Tung,

    Awesome to see that much success after only 8 months, very impressive! How much of that traffic is coming from google compared to social media sites like Pinterest?

    Also, what’s your strategy when writing the content. Do you target longtail keywords and just produce large amounts of content?

    Thanks and congrats on the success so far my man

    Josh

    • Thanks Josh. Here’s the breakdown:

      77% from organic
      18.43% from direct
      2.50 from social
      1.12 from referral

      Regarding content strategy, I started with good KW research and just wrote content for the best ones. Currently the site is having about 50 articles.

  • Awesome Progress

    How many articles have you published to date? It seems you have the content production process nailed down quite well. Did you run into any struggles early on?

    • It’s around 50 articles ~ 70,000 words.

      I outsource a big part of the content on Textbroker and have a good editor to make it better.

      The process is not that good, I’m working with my project manager to streamline it more. I’ll do a video about my process soon.

      Now as the site is making money, I’m thinking about hiring more expensive writers with huge followings on social media to leverage their reach.

  • Hi Tung,

    Great progress, thanks for the update!

    How much articles do you currently have? And what is the average word count?

    Can you give an idea of how you did go about posting content? Did you for example go for silo’s of content?

    Thanks in advance!

    Kind regards,

    Koen

  • Great going!

    You’re quite far along in your journey. And things look like they’re picking up steam… Here’s to seeing 10k/mo. in 6 mos. or less.

    I have a question.

    How do you format your guest posts (do you do it in word or HTML)?

    And how do you add links pointing back to your site in the document you send the webmaster?

    Would love to see a sample, even if it’s just a fake article, like lorem ipsum thing.

    Thanks

  • Thats a tremendous imporvement Tung,

    You will soon hit the 10k/month mark if things continue like this. I’m happy to see that your efforts are finally paying off man.

    Will be waiting for your next update.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Nice work Tung.

    It looks like you’ve got your strategy nailed down to a tee.

    Really love the infographic you had published. I’ve been recently looking for a good artist myself and had some pretty horrible results on Fiverr. Care to share who you used?

    Cheers,
    Ed

  • Some other questions, Tung.
    Do you think using ThirstyAffiliate with its addons will be safe with Amazon affiliate link? And why don’t you use it on Thank Your Skin?

  • Hi there Tung. I must say you are on of the most real internet marketers out there. From laying out your website’s url to planning and executing and openly sharing your methods. Outstanding.

    I am pretty motivated by your $10K challenge I must say. Working on my small earning site with full throttle these days.

    Need to ask you a simple question. How do you make sure your writers are writing unique content. I mean to say what is your procedure to check on writers for plagiarized content. Any tools, tips & tricks that you can let us know.

    Really appreciate the effort man. Keep it up and I hope you cross the 10K mark well and beyond. Peace.

  • Good Stuff Tung,

    Looks like 10k will be reached in just a few months.
    Do you think you will need to spend another $4,000+ to get to earning $10K per month?

  • Hi :

    That’s so much encouraging …i am very much new . What would best suggestion to start affiliation.

    cheers
    Charlotte !

  • Hi Tung

    I follow your progress with real interest. I was wondering if you could share what the average price of an item was?

    Also how many articles have you published on the site?

    Thanks

      • What is the thinking behind building a site that is so big? Do you find that having so much content helps with rankings?

        Do you get many natural shares to boost rankings?

        What are the highest volume keywords that you have targeted?

        Is the site mainly monetised using Amazon?

        I am curious that you can generate a decent amount of income, based on Amazon Affiliate commissions.

        • More content = more organic traffic = more $$$. It’s simple as that.

          100% income is from Amazon now. For more details, read other updates. I’ve basically shared pretty much all that you asked except that I don’t like to share the exact keywords I’m targeting.

  • Hi Tung,

    Congrats on your amazing success.

    This post of yours have more than 65 comments. what I see missing on many affiliate sites is lesser amount of interaction via comments or share on the actual site.

    What is your take on this matter?

    Are u taking any steps to improve it?

    Tk care

    • Yes. It’s also very niche depedant. Usually commercial content doesnt have many comments. But I’m trying to increase the engagement with more how-to and informational posts.

  • Congratulations Tung. Impressive stats (and earnings!)
    What is you main source of traffic? Organic? or from Guest Post and social media?

  • Tung, that is fantastic and glad I came across your site. Thanks to Kent posting! In overall, looking forward to how it all turn out.

  • Thanks a lot Tung for the encouraging insights.
    I just learnt some stuff about tracking, content strategies, breaking even and profitability. I guess you are now closer to the $10k milestone than you were from the day of lever zero/0#.

    Keep It Up.

  • Hey man,

    Great article, I have been following your journey from the start.

    One question, what SEO have you done? Is it purely guest posts? or are there some PBN’s involved?

  • Hi Tung,

    Congrats on your success, I have one question , you said you use textbroker for your article. May i know how you format the request when you send new order to textbroker for product review article.

    Can you pleas share some sample.

    Regards
    Shan

  • Hey Tung,

    I love the work you’re doing. Can you provide more detail on how you choose the articles that you are writing?

    Are you using keyword planner and choosing 1 or 2 keywords per article that you target?

    So you have your two main keywords. Do you keep targeting those keywords or are you picking keywords that fall under those two or are you just targeting random keywords that kind of fit the site?

    I think this is where most people may fall short. It’s nice to see your numbers and how you hire but the real juice to this story is obviously your content and how that content is written to target your specific keywords. Obviously your on and off page SEO and keyword selection help but you’re really the secrete sauce. Your keyword selection, your choice of articles and how they are structured, your on and off page SEO. You put the whole puzzle together and what we all want to know is what it is that YOU do aside from just managing the project.

    I could take 5K and replicate this but it would never work for me because I don’t have the secrete sauce that you have.

  • Tung congratulations you made it to 3k now… may i know what Outreach Manager do ? does he only reach out through email but dont write the article ? or he do both ?

  • Hey Tung,

    When you registered the domain Thankyourskin.com how long of a period did you purchase it for ? as ive heard it should be minimum 5 years period for seo purpose as google does check is this true ???

  • Hi Tung,

    What is the price of the product you are selling? Is it between the 100 – 200 dollar range?

    Thanks and good luck!

  • I noticed you’re using the Focus Blog theme on your site. For the homepage how did you get it to look like that? Is that a built in home page layout or do you have to use a child theme? The homepage layouts on the Thrive Themes site looked different. Also, how do you like their visual editor? Does it work with Easy Azon if you want to enter the Easy Azon link inside a button like the green ones on your sute? It seems to me that it wouldn’t and that you would need to create the Easy Azon link first, preview it in WP in order to view the link and then copy it in order to enter it in one of the Thrive Content button modules?

    Thanks

    • Thanks Dev! Income has been stable. I haven’t done much to the site so nothing new to report. I’m currently working on a system to take the site to the next level and hopefully I can share it soon.

  • tung can we build amazon niche review site by using the same method you are using for thankyourskin.com , and if yes can you share some tips while creating backlinks for amazon niche review site

    thank you

  • you have used guestogrphic and guest posts for backlink but will that pass sufficient juice to money article, top of my competitors are usining black hat techniques i.e. PBN can i compete on then with pure white hat SEO

    money article – linkable articles (pointing linking to money articles) – Outreach

    will above method work work amazon niche review site, I am asking this because i am noticing that your amazon articles are not ranking well

    thank you

    • Yes. Thinking that white hat seo can’t outrank PBNs is a big mistake. You have to think about it in the long-term also. Eventually most PBNs will get caught. Think 3-5 years not 3-5 months.

  • money article – linkable articles (pointing linking to money articles) – Outreach

    is this your strategy for whitehat SEO or you try to get direct links on buying guide articles.

    Its my request and i think most of your followers like me would love if you can create a detailed post on SEO used on Thankyourskin.com i mean all types of promotion which you have done and how you have done step by step maybe it can be On page SEO, off page SEO or outreach or anything else and we are eagerly waiting for the next update

    Thank you for such great challenge

    • Yes. That’s what I do now. I also do guest post to buying guide articles too.

      Most of the link building part was covered in update #3. That’s all I do really.

      The formula is nothing new.

      Good keyword research + high quality content + great link building = $$$

      • yeah some of them are ranking, i think you have not done backlinks for others, actually my niche is small so i am curious that is it possible to get backlinks for buying guide.

        and ofcourse i dont have huge budget it is Just 700usd, i hope i can make it happen in next 6-8 months

        thanks for the reply tung

  • Hi Tung. Really great job!
    Are you using any WordPress plugin for permalinks?
    I’m setting up focusblog theme and can’t figure out how to make permalinks work in the same as yours.
    I like the way how you created your site structure.
    From my understanding, you use multilevel blog categories, right?
    Are you allowing Google to index your blog categories and tags? If yes, won’t it lead to “duplicate” content issue?

    Thank you for sharing your experience…

  • Hi Tung,

    I have been following you 10K challenge for a long time. But there is no update after march. I am wondering how are the things going.

    Best of luck

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