100,000 in a Year Case Study

It takes years to make a $100,000 in the normal job market for most, unless your an athlete.

How hard is it to start a new website and generate income in today’s competitive market?

How long will it take to generate $100,000? For most earning an online income from a site has been an elusive dream. Few have struck it big.

We can learn to duplicate the successful online marketers and look for the common pieces to their strategy, tactics, and execution.

Essentially this case study, the $100,000 Challenge, provides you a blueprint on how to succeed online. Can you follow and duplicate it? Are you willing to put in the work?

The $100K Challenge step by step case study that shows how to generate an income online. Amazing! Click To Tweet

The Successful Online Marketer

Neil Patel is a good example of a successful online entrepreneur. His websites teach the latest online marketing stuff. He understands the challenges to putting up a successful website, and more importantly how to overcome them.

So Neil decided to prove that it is possible to create a brand new site and generate six figures in a year. 

Patel announced publicly in March 2015, he could create a brand new blog and generate $100,000 in one year without using any of his established assets, connections or existing followers. A very steep challenge. This was risky as it was now public record and he was laying it all out there including his reputation.

The sheer beauty of this challenge is he shows you the challenges, obstacles and solutions in a one year journey month by month.

Initially, he hired interns to do the work but then he realized he needed a point man. He cut a deal with an individual named Mike to do the work on the blog from start to finish with the pay being a % of what the blog generates, the rest donated to charity.

Neil’s role would be to provide coaching and expenses that come with starting a new website. Mike was not to use Neil’s name and influence. Neil was simply the coach and providing the monthly income and progress updates on one of his websites, quicksprout.com.

Learn from the $100,000 Online Marketing Challenge

What you will learn from this challenge is essentially what it takes to start a new site and the amount of money to fund the necessary activities. 

Neil basically gives you a step by step blueprint of how he accomplished generating $100,000 in a year with a brand new site. He gives you a month by month income/expense report (see below) which is helpful to give you a feel for monthly expenses and eventual income. 

He started the challenge with the registered domain name nutritionresource.com in April 2015. Every month and thereafter you can find the succeeding monthly reports, containing the steps to the $100,000. 

Starting with zero traffic and essentially an empty website which transitioned into 218,811 monthly visitors, and grew income to $121,492.65 by the end of March 2016.  He also built an email list to 18,336 subscribers.

Neil’s Tips on Starting a New Website

(you can download the detailed list at his site for free)

Summary Version

  1. Buy a seasoned old domain that hasn’t been updated. The older domain will help you get ranked faster.
  2. Set yourself a 1 year goal to make money.
  3. Use a free wordpress theme in the beginning.
  4. Study your niche.
  5. Write the content yourself for the most part.
  6. Write long 2000 word pieces of content, make it thorough, detailed and worthy of being bookmarked as a resource on your topic. The more thorough the content the better. It helps to beat the competition and Google rewards it in the ranking.
  7. Use social media for your posts, develop relationships.

From step one Neil shows you how to find and buy the domain including the email he used to reach out to those that had old and outdated websites. 

The effort to create the content for the site took 3-6 hours to research and write averaging 2000 words.

Neil suggests not investing any money until you are getting 500,000 visitors a month and you have the opportunity to monetize the site essentially paying the way for hiring help, buying a better design, and using premium tools to simplify work and efficiency.$100,000 Challenge Traffic Stats

Neil’s Monthly Reports on the Journey to $100,000 in a Year


April Post – nutritionresource.com blog is started. Blog is up by April 15. 35,419 visits in two weeks with 4 blog posts.

  • Big setback
  • Facebook fan page and 3 cent Ads drive traffic
  • Tools – buzzsumo, Ahrefs
  • Email template

May Post – nutritionsecrets.com is new domain and some new rules established on the challenge.

  • A deal is struck with Mike for the work done on the blog.
  • Tactics – Facebook boost, Facebook Ads, Domain penalized, Aweber, optin monster, wordpress theme, images Fotollia (royalty free & Flickr)
  • 30,000 visitors in 15 days.

June Post – incremental traffic growth, search engine growth more than doubles.

  • Facebook traffic drop
  • Content topic redirection
  • Content guide/plan provided
  • Mobile issues and how to fix it
  • Link building

July Post – a dip in traffic, but the site progresses.

  • Search traffic is up
  • Income – tangible product

August Post – a pop in traffic to 40,870 for the month. 800 visits a day from Google.

  • SEO
  • How to increase search traffic (spreadsheet provided)
  • Strategy document
  • Style guide
  • Strategic plan
  • Personas and Journey template
  • Idea generation tools
  • Headline generation tools
  • Validation
  • Editorial Planner & calendar
  • How Revenue will be generated

This month’s update has awesome resources.

September Post – 6 months in and 66,473 visitors.

  • Strategy modification – link building
  • Social media traffic
  • Email template (gold) 🙂

October Post – big drop in traffic.

  • Social media
  • Monetization
  • Blogging daily and targeting

Learning from problems.

November Post –  8 months in and traffic is up to 58,260 an increase from last month.

  • Income is generated
  • Quality link building
  • Better headlines

December Post – traffic grows to 69,813 a 20% gain.

  • Revenue – $22k
  • Pop Ups
  • Content production slows
  • New content forms


January Post –  Month 10 and a big pop in traffic to 159,945.

  • Income generated $76,326
  • Search engines rewarding blog
  • Additional content for seasonality

February Post – traffic broke 200,000.

  • Revenue declines
  • Affiliate relationships

March Post – last month of the challenge. Traffic concluded at 211,811.

  • $100,000 in income surpassed
  • Reviews
  • Keywords
  • Negative reviews
  • Amazon Ads
  • Sales velocity
  • Good copy
  • Email template

$100,000 Challenge Google Analytics 1 year later

Summary of the $100,000 Challenge

The challenge provided a thorough example of how a site progresses and the work involved to accomplish online success. Even experienced online marketers could learn a thing or two from the $100,000 challenge monthly posts. 

When starting a site one of the biggest issues that you will have to combat is content. That’s content for the site and also content for email. It’s time-consuming.

Starting out if your not good at writing content you will find your traffic and conversions slow and low.

Next Step

Take action!

If you’re just starting your online journey, you will have many of the challenges in this study. If you want a quick start consider Mark Ling’s Affilorama program. It is definitely worth taking a look. You can read about it here. Or visit his site directly. 

Online success with a complete system

I have bought into his entire program. I encourage you to check it out as it provides the niche analysis, tools, content, autoresponder, header images, really everything you need including support to get a site up and running fast removing the normal obstacles of establishing a new site.

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