How to make $100 000 per month by Xmas 2017!

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Neil Patel (cofounder of the analytics companies KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quick Sprout), recently claimed that 'anyone' can create a business that generates $100 000 per month in 12 months. So I thought - I'll take on the challenge. Want to see me succeed? Or FAIL? Sign up here, and I'll send you the getting started [...]

The $100,000 Roadmap

$100,000 Roadmap

$100,000 Roadmap

Since I started this, I’ve received a number of requests to explain how I plan on reaching this BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).

And it is big. I mean – $100,000 per month is pretty huge when starting from scratch.

In this post, I’l explain exactly how I plan to get there.
In short:

1. Establish a presence and some authority in the market.

2. Use this to build a list

3. Grow the list to a decent size

4. Start selling excellent products to that list

5. Build up a reliable and supporting customer base

6. Scale the process (both in size of list and in price of product)


Now – with no further delays, let’s delve into the detail.

It’s important not to get lost in the size of the goal. You have to focus in the tactics and strategy. If you do this right, you’ll get to your destination.

For instance – if I decided to travel to Cape Town from here, there are a number of ways I can do it. The simplest would be to travel by plane. So, I’d have to:

  1. Book a ticket
  2. Get in my car, drive to the airport
  3. Board the plane
  4. Sit around and eat and drink for 12 hours (maybe have a nap)
  5. Get off the plane
  6. Rent a car and drive to Cape Town from the airport

However – at no point during this journey (except for maybe the last bit when I can see Table Mountain), do I stare out the plane window hoping to catch a glimpse of Cape Town. That would be stupid – as it’s a long way off.

But if I follow the plan – I’ll get there. At worst, I may have to update my plans along the way. There may be roadworks, the plane may be delayed or cancelled, etc.
But the basic plan will work – and I just have to roll with the changes.

The same is true for this challenge.

So – this post outlines my plans at a high level.

You’ll learn:

  1. How (and why) my approach is different from that taken by Neil Patel
  2. What I believe the best way to achieve the goal is

So let’s get going.

1. How (and why) my approach is different from that taken by Neil Patel

The approach Neil’s taking with Nutrition Secrets, is primarily using content marketing.
That is, he (or rather Mike) is writing a lengthy blog post every weekday (he’s managed up to 6 posts a week so far).
The posts are marketed using standard link building techniques, which leads to traffic from google.
I believe he also uses facebook to drive some traffic.
Now – this works, and works well. After 9 months, hes close to getting a 100,000 unique visitors per moth to the site.
The main reason I can’t do this is because i don’t have the time to write all those posts.
I will drive traffic using content too (that’s what this is), but I couldn’t get to the frequency of posting that they’re doing.
I’m finding it hard enough just to write 1 post per week.

However, it’s clear that content marketing has a role to play in generating traffic and subsequent leads, and then sales.
So I’ll revisit that at a later point in time.

Also – Neil started out not being sure how he was going to monetize the site.
He’s main goal was to generate as much traffic as possible (he’s aiming for 100,000
visitors per month), at which point he will figure out the best way to monetize that.

In reality, he started a bit before hitting the 100,000 number. And he started in an unexpected way.

He found a company that could create a private label nutritional supplement, and started driving traffic to amazon to generate reviews. He claims that ‘once you get over 1000 reviews on Amazon, it’s relatively easy to generate 40-70K per month in sales.

Now that’s quite interesting. It also makes amazon an unlikely channel for me – as I’m building an audience interested in marketing, and growthhacking. However, if I can figure out a way to get a product on Amazon for that, I will. Even if it’s just an ebook.

That said, in the past couple of weeks Ive noticed that Mike has been sending out emails with promoting affiliate products. I’m not sure what the overall strategy is – but it will be interesting to see the next progress report.

But for now, let me explain my strategy.

Please note that this may change as time passes, as I expect to make mistakes along the way, requiring course correction. However, this is an excellent starting point, and a well proven business model.

2. What I believe the best way to get to $100,000 per month is

Creating an online business is not hard. Face it, there’s no barrier to entry. Anyone can do it.
All you need is a website, and something to sell.
And you have a business.

Of course – creating a profitable online business is much more difficult.
Because now you need some marketing skills. And because anyone can start – you’ll find yourself competing with
a very large number of people.
And some of these may even be smart.

The great thing about the web though, is that there is almost endless scale. There are literally millions of people out there every day. And you can easily reach a large enough portion of them to create a very profitable business.

You just need to do the work.

And make no mistake. IT IS WORK.

It’s not digging coal, but it’s work.
But if you’re willing to put in the hours, and follow the steps, you can do it.

So, this is how I think it should be done. This model has been proven by many people. There’s nothing new here. But it’s worth repeating.

The main reason people fail at this is because they forget the basics.

The internet (and email) lends itself very well to direct response marketing. Which in turn can build a very lucrative business.

This is how.

1. Establish a presence and some authority in the market.



The most recommended way to do this is to build authority and presence is through guest posting.
But even for guest posting, you need to start somewhere.
No-one will give you the chance to just throw up some random post on their blog if you have no presence whatsoever.
So I decided to use Twitter for the initial push. I expect to branch out and do some guest posts later on, but for now, while I’m establishing myself, I’ve focused on using Twitter.
And it’s been very good to me. I’ve learned some amazing things about the platform. And spotted some opportunities in the market. Both for training courses and for software products.
It turns out that Twitter (much more so now than Facebook), is a great platform for bootstrapping.

2. Use this to build a list

Email List

Email List

I’ve been using Twitter to build my list for 81 days, and it’s been very successful.
Since starting this challenge, I’ve grown my Twitter followers to over 7,000, and my list to over 350. So that’s approximately a 5% conversion rate. Which I think is pretty good, given the nature of Twitter. This is possible using SocialQuant – an awesome tool, which I can’t recommend enough.
Also, the Twitter following provides a platform to continually market my content as the blog grows. This is helping with SEO, as my posts get more social shares.
Now you may notice that 350 is still a long way off from 33,333 – my target list size.
That’s true – but I’ just starting out. As the content on the blog grows, my organic traffic will grow. I’ll also start guest posting and eventually use ads to reach new audiences. Both those require a greater investment in time and money than I have available at the moment though.
So for now – it’s primarily Twitter.

3. Grow the list to a decent size

This is obviously an ongoing process, but as I just said, I’ve grown the list to 350 in 81 days, and at this point I’m getting between 10 and 20 new subscribers a day. Note that this is happening without me creating new blog posts daily. All (at least 95%) activity is from Twitter and organic search.
As for *decent size*, that’s a matter of opinion. However – to get to the stated goal of $100,000 per month, the list would have to be at least 33,333 by the end of 12 months. Quite a big job.
I’ll show some calculations later.

4. Start selling excellent products to that list

Sell Products

Sell Products

Building up a list means nothing if you don’t communicate with the list, build a relationship with the list, and sell products to the list.
It truly is the most proven way of generating $1,000,000 days.
Yes – that One Million Dollars (manic Dr Evil grin)
In a day.

Now – even for pro’s that’s quite a challenge. However, there are numerous examples of individuals having product launches that generate several hundreds of thousands in a launch period.

So – we have ample proof that it works.

5. Build up a reliable and supporting customer base

The key word in the section above was relationship. People buy stuff from people they know and trust. So you have to continuously nurture the relationship you have with the people on your list.

The most effective way of doing this is sending email. Daily. At some point, I’ll explain how this works.

You can then start selling products to your customers. And over time, you will find customers who *really* like you. That is, you’ll find some True Fans.
Now these true fans will form the base of your income. Because you’ll get true fans who will buy EVERYTHING you ever produce. They will buy every book, every course, and sign up for every seminar, buy every software product, etc. And so these fans will spend much, much more that the average person on your list.

And these fans, allow you to scale your income from your list exponentially.

6. Scale the process (both in size of list and in price of product)

So – let’s have a quick look at the math.

Most conservative estimates for what you can achieve from your list, tends to be $1, per month, per year
That’s $12 per year per subscriber.

Now that’s not bad. But it would require a large list (100,000) for me to reach my target in the next 12 months. And building a list that size is hard.

So, in order for me to reach my goal, I’ll need to create more than $1 per month per subscriber.

The number I’m going for is $3 per month per subscriber. Now this is quite high. But in my humble opinion, it’s do-able.

So I need a subscriber base of 33,333 to reach my $100,000 pm goal.

This will be hard, but not impossible.

One way of reaching this number would be:

  • Sell a $50 book to 7% of your list (2333) -> $116,665.00
  • Sell a $297 product to 2% of your list -> $197,998.00
  • Sell a $100 subscription product to 1% of your list -> $399,996.00
  • Sell a $2,000 product to 0.5% of your list -> $333,330.00

And just like that you’re at over $1M in revenue ($1,047,989).

Now – these numbers are obviously made up. But the conversion percentages are not impossible to achieve.

So that’s what I’m going for.

My business model in a nutshell.

You should notice from the above calculation that the most difficult part of this is still going to be building that list.

So for now, pretty much ALL my focus is going to building my list. Yes, I’m constantly reviewing opportunities and testing different things. But the bulk of my effort is going toward:
1. Growing my list (and increasing the growth rate)
2. Creating a relationship with my list

If I follow this plan – I’ll get there. I don’t need to see the end to know it’s coming.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Please share this. And let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

22 comments… add one
  • Alex Swallow

    Thanks for sharing your journey so far, look forward to hearing more!

  • Adeel Akhter

    Alex as you mentioned all the math stats and looking for a list of 33,333 subscribers. What is the guarantee that they all will buy your products? In general the online conversion is 2% to 3%. Even if we assume that the conversion is 5% off xxxx subscribers, then the xxxx subscribers have to be a very huge number. What you say?

    Most importantly people will buy for 2 reasons.

    1) You are the authority in your industry
    2) You have build strong relationship with your subscribers

    What is your plan for either of them?

  • warren

    Great article really enjoying following the webinar, tips, high and low points.

  • Josh

    Hey Alexander,

    The product breakdown in point 6 made me think of Perry Marshall’s book, 80/20 Sales. If you haven’t read it, it’s worth your time.

    The theory (and loose math) is pretty simple. In any group, there’s the best segment: the buyers in your email list, the top buyers within your buyers, the true fans within your top buyers. You have to monetize each group differently (which you’re looking at doing).

    I added a little of my own spin on that, but you get the idea.

    Love the site! Have a great day,


    PS. Adeel, the idea isn’t that everyone buys a $3 product. The idea is that enough people buy higher priced products that the average works out to those numbers.

    • Alexander James

      Hey Josh,
      I’ve not read Perry Marshall’s 80/20 book, but have read a number of similar ones. 80/20 is pretty well established. If you want to verify on publicly available figures, have a look at the income breakdown for Pat Flynn’s blog (smartpassiveincome).
      Glad you’re enjoying the journey.

  • Adeel Akhter


    OOps my bad ! Thanks for correcting. 🙂

  • MarsConnects

    I just love your spirit and this challenge. I am a fair beginner in the world of Twitter, but I learn a lot from people like you. I totally hope you will succeed in this challenge. Best of luck!


    great article. I just shared it to my twitter followers 🙂
    I’m looking forward to your growthhacking tips to reach your 100k goal.
    Keep us updated.

  • Kristin

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your journey! Thanks for sharing!

  • vinayak

    awesome to have come across this post,
    waiting to check into your next posts and strategies.

  • Attila

    “Sell a $100 subscription product to 1% of your list -> $399,996.00”
    It is very hard.
    1. Most of subscribers want free products (ebooks, webinar, padcast, trials) and they have no money…
    2. You can sell via email campaign to your 33333 subscribers (in the real world) >>> 10% open the email >>> 10% click the link >>> 1-5% buy: it is just 3-15 sell ($300 – $1500).
    I think, this is not bad income with an email campaign, but it is not $399,996.00 :)))
    I am optimistic marketer, but I am realistic. I think You can get $100,000.00 in a month, but not with this way. I’ll follow blog, and best of luck!

    • Alexander James

      Hi Attila,
      Yes – it will take time. And those conversion rates are guestimates.
      However – its been proven again and again that the best way to do this is to:
      1. Build a list
      2. Engage your list
      3. Sell them some excellent products

      I will have a mini course soon on email marketing

      Thanks for following.


  • Christian

    I like your approach to this challenge man! Very methodical.

    It’s just a numbers game and you clearly get that! Sell x to y% at z margin – simple (kind of)!

    I’ve started my own blog trying to replicate Neil’s (and hopefully your) success. But what I think you’ll be interested in is an article I’ve written summarising the lessons I’ve learned from the $100k challenge (link in my name). I’ve written it for the agency I work for (so there’s no real benefit to me of sharing it!) but I genuinely think your readers will find it useful.

    Anyway, keep up the good work and best of luck on achieving your target!


      Hi Christian,

      Yes – methodical works. And you shouldn’t let the daily up & downs get to you. Focus on the long run.
      Liked your article BTW – very thorough.

  • Richard Hale

    Hey Alex. First time to comment although we’ve been connected on Twitter for some time. Nothing is impossible and you can hit those numbers. It may take some tweaking, but you have a blueprint and system. I always enjoy reading about the journey, so I will be following it with you also.

  • Wayne

    Hi there

    any updates on your progress. Interested to see what you have achieved so far.

    Well wishes on your journey

    Ps. I live in Cape Town, South Africa. And yes, it is beautiful.


      Hi Wayne – I’m planning a bigger update soon, but for now:
      Twitter Followers: 17,524
      Email List: 1067
      Revenue: Just over $500

      It’s a slow start – but I’m clearly headed in the right direction.

      And yes – I know Cape Town is beautiful. I was born there, lived there till I was 7, then moved to Pretoria. Did go back to Stellenbosch uni though. Now I live in England.

      Thanks for following.


  • Vasanta Kumar

    Really a inspiring story … i would be happy if you can give some update regarding your progress…

  • Philip McCrevice

    A business plan shaped like something most of your followers understand: a triangle.

  • Niko

    Excelent, I’m looking foward to see your journey and I think you will achiveve your goal! Carry On 🙂

  • George Azide

    I think this is some awesome info and a great breakdown of your strategy.

    I’m curious to know what incentive you’re offering on twitter in order to grow your list. I’ve been experimenting with some different email strategies with my list that I recently wrote about.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more from you during this journey and how things are going. At this time, December 2016 is less than 2 months away. Would love an update on your progress and maybe some insights on things you would do different if you had to start all over from scratch.

  • John Palmer

    If you’re looking for a private label supplement manufacturer, try New Horizon Nutraceuticals


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