$10K Challenge Update #5

Welcome to the 5th update of my $10K Challenge. If this is your first time reading, check out what this challenge is all about here.

Be sure to read till the end as I'll make a big announcement that you'll absolutely not want to miss.

Below are the things that happened since the last update (March 2016)


Key Successes​

  • Daily traffic continued to grow (40% increase).
  • Created a new team structure and filled in key roles with the right people.
  • Acquired new backlinks through guest posting and content promotion.

Key Failures​

  • Failed to reach 5 new posts a week

Website Stats as of May 22nd 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: 41 (+2)
  • Domain Authority: 26 (+4)
  • Referring Domains: 85 (+11)
  • Organic Keywords: 20,000 (+9,000)​


Traffic continued to grow but at a slower pace as my site has reached its maturity stage now. A lot more effort needs to be put in to achieve breakthrough.

Currently, it’s at around 2,800 hits a day on average. My pages per session and time on site seem low because the top visited pages on my site currently are affiliate content.

I plan to increase those 2 numbers by publishing a lot more helpful informational content over the coming weeks to balance it out.


March 2016

April 2016

Amazon Affiliate Income






Net Profit



Revenue from Amazon is nice & stable at around $3,000 a month.

However, my daily traffic has increased by 40% since March and I want to see the same growth trajectory with income, too.

With current traffic, I should be making $5000 - $6000 a month from various sources of revenue. So, there are a lot of rooms for improvement here. My plan is to start collecting emails as well as testing some display ads to improve monetization.

Content & Promotion

We published 23 new posts and gained 11 new backlinks during this period.

Also, we’re about to launch an EPIC piece of content with lots of white hat promotion to really establish our site as an authority in the niche.

I’ll talk more about this later in the next updates.

New Team Structure and Key Roles

I couldn’t achieve all the big plans I have for this site alone, so I created an accountability chart with defined roles and responsibilities to build a team around it.

Here are more details about each of the role:




Hours / Month


  • R & D new ideas
  • Keep up with latest industry trends
  • Team Building
  • Monetization & Split Testing
  • Strategy and Planning


  • Build/improve business systems and SOPs.
  • Assisting in creating business plans.


As Needed

(currently filled by SEO Manager)

  • Keyword and Content Research.
  • Make sure things get done on time with great quality and accuracy.
  • Coordinate with team members.

Content Editor

  • Plan content based on publishing frequency.
  • Write or order content from freelance writers.
  • Proofread, edit, improve content before checking off.
  • Grow and manage a team of freelance writers.
  • Coordinate with content designer, content poster and SEO manager.

$5.371 per hour

140 - 160 hours per month

SEO Manager

  • Create and implement SEO outreach plans.
    • Blog Commenting
    • Guest Posting
    • Guestographics
    • Skyscraper Technique
  • Coordinate with content editor and content designer

$150 a month

140 - 160 hours per month

Graphic Designer

  • Lead the creation of visual content and infographics.
  • Coordinate with content editor, SEO manager, and

$150 a month

80 hours per month

Content Poster

  • Publish and schedule content to WordPress
  • Find and insert relevant images for articles.
  • Design thumbnails and blog images.
  • Coordinate with content editor, SEO manager, and content designer.

$150 per month

80 hours per month

One great book about building business system that I’ve been digging is Traction: Get a Grip with your Business.

If you’re in a similar stage and want to build a team, then I highly recommend you to check out the book.


There you have it- the 5th update for my $10k challenge.

Here are what we’re gonna do over the upcoming months to grow the site to $10k/month:

  • Launch the EPIC article and promotional campaign for it.
  • Increase content publication on the blog to 5 high-quality new posts a week.
  • Improve monetization.
  • Start collecting emails.​

This case study has been great and I hope you had fun following my progress.

If you have any question for me, feel free to leave a comment below or post in our Facebook community.

Now on to the big announcement…

As you probably knew from my last updates, since December 2015, I’ve been working on a new online coaching program with the goal of teaching you a proven step-by-step system to build,rank and profit from Amazon affiliate websites.

It’s finished now. The official launch date for the program is June 6th, 2016

Click here to sign up for the early bird list!

This is the exact system that I’ve used to grow Thank Your Skin from nothing to making over $3,000 a month in less than a year.

The program includes 5 core modules with over 44 high-quality videos. There are also worksheets, templates and checklists included to help you follow and execute the process even easier.

As for support, you’ll get help from me and my team on our private community forum.

I included a way for you to get my personal feedback on your potential niches as well.

If this sounds interesting to you, then visit http://www.amzaffiliatebootcamp.com/ and sign up to get notified once it gets launched.

Also, here is another reason why you should sign up.

Next week, I’ll be sending out 3 pieces of content talking about the valuable lessons I learned this year on building a successful Amazon affiliate websites in 2016.

Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of those!​

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of CloudLiving.com.
  • Hey Tung,

    Nice update, been waiting on it!

    Got to ask though, where are you finding your staff? Are they VA’s from upwork etc?

    Well done on the progress though and I doubt it will be long before you start matching the income with the traffic. You could try using CLickbank products like the Authority Hacker people do with Health Ambition by creating mini funnels.


    • Upwork has always been good for me. But recently I’ve found that local Vietnamese are very good too at more affordable rate. My content poster and graphic designer are part time at $150 a month.

      • Hi Could you share more about how and where you can get VNese as your staffs?

        One more thing is that you can share more detail about process to get guestpost link and your convert post? and do you need to pay a fee to blog owner to get guest-post link?

        Many thanks

        • Check out Vlance.vn

          No I get the guest post links for free. For more details, check out update #3.

          If you want even more details with step by step instructions, check out my course when it’s out 🙂

          • Hello Tung,

            Good job, Going very interesting. I have a question. How much vnd per 100 words you are giving to expired writer?


          • Lol I don’t use VND. It’s $0.025 per word.

          • You means $25 per 1000 words article.

      • Awesome,
        You cant get those numbers everywhere.

        When do you think you’ll start adding ads? Are you waiting for a certain level of traffic or you dont want to monetize with ads?

        • Will try to set it up this month.

          I was just too busy with the creation of my course. I know I’m leaving a lot of money on the table here.

      • I just can’t believe it,
        Such a quality work for sow low prices?
        Sounds to good to be true 😀 Checked your site, normally you would have to pay atleast 3 times more for such a quality work.
        So, are you honest about how much invest in the project?

  • hey tung! I wanna thank u for keeping us updated , and I have learned alot for you

    I have a question please, well am going to start a new site with a friend of mine the site is going to be a q/a site we gonna be answering soe very long tail question in the web that no one is targeting, so the site won’t have a long articles just a simple answer for a simple question.
    what do u think about sites like that and what do u think the building link methode sould we follow to ranck , bcs as I mentioned the site wonn’t have long articles.
    and thank you so much

    • Same stuff honestly. Blog Commenting + Guest Posting + Infographics = all you need. If you are targeting really easy keywords then it’s even easier.

  • Hey,
    How are you adjusting to handling all those people?


    • Having clear team goals + weekly checkin via Slack helped a lot. Although we’re using Asana as task management also.

  • Hi Tung, great job – interesting to see such a high growth in traffic but a lack of growth in revenue, in your case why do you think that is?

    Also, you have quite a few people working on this site, are they full-time? Also, are you simply paying them hourly, monthly, or is it a mix of money/equity?


    • I didn’t do any optimization. That’s why.

      Not all of them are full time. I’ll add this details to the post now.

  • Robert Nguyen says:

    how do you drive traffic to your website? social media?

  • Gavin Jackson says:

    Nice work Tung!

  • Hi, great team and a great plan.

    It appears I have to buy and read Traction. I have 4 content writers at the moment and I’m still struggling to find and train Content Poster/Editor… That would significantly increase my posting speed of new articles.

    Thanks for sharing this challenge publicly.

  • Awesome update as always! This has become my favorite blog to follow, and I’ve been following quite a few for some time. I’m currently working on beasting out my site and this is the encouragement I need to keep growing.. the sandbox time is a painful time. Trying to keep the faith.

    • Thanks Erik! Yeah it’s definitely a long wait. Link building is all that matters in this initial stage. Try to get more links from HQ sites.

  • I see that the company structure section of Traction made as big of an impression on you as it did on me!

    • That is absolutely the most influential business book for me so far!

  • Glad to see that you are on the track to hit $10k a month goal.

    I got some new ideas to hire new staff for my affiliate blogs. Going to save your blueprint to assign the tasks to get my work done having superior quality.

    Thanks for this update.

  • Hey Tung,

    How do you link intern? Do you link from your post’s with many back links to the one with not so much links?

    How do u use silo ? I don’t understand it :/

    And category set to “no index”?

    Thanks 🙂

  • You’re planning on adding adsense to the affiliate articles? You really think that will increase the RPM? I’m not so sure myself but it’s worth testing.

  • Cao Viet Hung says:

    Hi Tùng,

    What is BPM ?

  • I started to dig this quarterly updates, you can pack a lot more info and see the results better when you look back every couple of months.

    Do i read the table right Tung? You are able to hire a SEO Manager for 140-160 hours per month for $150? and a graphic designer and content poster for 80 hours for the same rate? That works out to 1-2$ per hour, that’s insane managements skills. I guess your local contacts are really paying off big time.

    By the way, I ordered traction on my kindle solely based on your recommendation.

    • Haha yeah you read that right. Yes I was able to hire them at that low rate because the designer is a still college student working part time. The content poster has a full time job and works past time for me also. The SEO manager is my best friend fresh out of college and he’s working for me as an intern. I’ll have to pay him more soon as he gets more experience.

      But yeah the average wage in Viet Nam is still low so I can find great local talents at great rates 🙂

      • andrew jacoby says:

        Tung, I tried to hire from that vlance site, but the paypal address they gave did not work and they only seemed to accept bank cards from asian banks for the most part. Do you know any other sites to hire vietnamese freelancers?
        andrew jacoby
        ps great work on your site so far!!

        • I only hire from that site. You can try vietnamworks.com but it’s more for full time type of jobs.

  • Hi Tung, it’s really inspiring! I have some questions regarding infographics that I couldn’t find elsewhere and would like to see if you could shed some light?

    When you use infographic, do you target a specific keyword? For example, I am targeting keyword “top 5 blue widgets” as a normal blog post, but then I also created an infographic for “top 5 blue widgets”. Should I upload it to the same blog post, or a brand new post like “top 5 blue widgets infographic”?

    Also once submitted to infographic directories, do I link back to the normal blog post, or the infographic post? Unless the infographic is supposed to merge with the normal blog post.



    • I’d do the infographic on a relevant informational topic related to your blue widgets post.

      I link to the infographic posts then internal linking to my money post.

      • Thanks Tung! Since I already created an infographic with the same keyword (exactly the same as my money post), what would you suggest me to do with it?

        Also would you recommend these two directory sites? “joeant” and “familyfriendlysites”. It was recommended by Brian Dean on quicksprout but I believe the tutorial was like 2-3 years ago.

        Thanks again!


        • Try to promote it to people who might like it. Think about the target audience for your infographic.

          I dont use any directory so not sure.

  • Hi Tung, Thanks for this remarkable update. Honestly i have learned a lots from this public case study, more power to your elbow. If i may ask, like how many articles do you have on the site at present that brings such amount of traffic???. Instant reply will brings hope. Thanks

  • Hi Tung,

    It’s been a while since I last read your blog, it is good to see you still working on your Amazon Niche Business. I still remember your first niche site.

    Good to see you evolve your business with your new hires. Good stuff.

    I took a break like you and built a Digital Consulting Business which is going really well, and began my blog again and looking to resurrect my Niche Empire from the ashes!

    How do find the energy to start again with all these new sites all the time?

    Do you recommend AuthorityHacker?


    • Yes Authority Hacker is awesome 🙂

      I just worked on one site at a time to keep me focused 😀

  • Hey Tung i just wanted to say your commitment to making it online is insanely inspiring thanks for always being transparent and sharing your knowledge.

  • Hi Tung, please show how you perform the keyword research process. You have mentioned in the first post of 10k challenge that you had a master 750k+ keyword list.

    I am struggling in keyword research step. Although focusing on informational keywords but the competition is so intense. Please show how you pick the keyword. Is it product related keyword type?

  • Hey Tung,

    Awesome content as always 🙂

    I noticed on your acne soaps that you didn’t include this product:

    Certified Organic PSORIASIS-ECZEMA Soap – by Vi-Tae® – 100% Pure, All Natural, Aromatherapy Luxury Herbal Bar Soap – 4oz

    It’s a very big seller on amazon and extremely highly rated.

    Just thought i’d point that out for you.

    Also when you click on the charcoal black bamboo soap bar, if you live in the UK like me 🙂 the link takes you to a set of weighing scales instead!

    I’ve started an authority site on a product in the outdoors niche and got loads to do before it goes live yet but I want to start using this product myself.

    Being passionate about a product/service definitely makes it all the more easier to write content and keep progressing as well as enjoying what you do.

    Keep up the awesome work Tung.

    You are one very cool blogger and human being 😀

  • Time for a new update! 😉

  • Where do you hire a full time SEO for $150 a month?

    • viet nam 🙂 He’s fresh and not experienced 🙂 He’s paid $300 a month now.

      • Hello Tung,
        Your updates are really helpful, and after following your tips I gain 50% more traffic to my blog. But still traffic is too low as compared to my goals. I think your SEO manager can help me in this, if you don’t mind can you share his contact details.
        Thanks 🙂

  • Tung, awesome work and hustle! I really appreciate you showing us behind the scenes of your success! You’ve inspired me to change my mindset from having a website of some side income to leaving my full time job and making website my main source of income. I’ve reset, and started to grind out some hard work. I’d like to make $10,000 a month in a year, just like you. Then say goodbye to the day job! Thanks for sharing and keep grinding!

  • Hi Tung,

    You mention content designer a few times but I don’t see that in your “Role” list. Who is this person?



  • this is worth sharing..really helpful.

    can you guide me how to do keyword research..i don’t know how to use it.

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