The Webmasters Challenge: Starts November 10!

By Daniel Scocco

webmasters-challengeOnce you build your first website (be it a blog or not), you become addicted to it. The process of researching a niche, finding a good domain, setting up a CMS, producing content and promoting it is a blast. Sure, it takes a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun too.

Thinking about that I figured it would be cool to have a competition where people would duel to see who is the most skilled webmaster, and I decided to call it “The Webmasters Challenge.” If everything goes well it will start next Wednesday, November 10, so read on.

The Competition

The idea is simple: Participants will start a website from scratch, using an available domain name or one they already own but have never used, and they will compete over the next four months to see who can generate more profits with their websites.

Any type of website will be allowed, including mini/niche websites, blogs, forums, membership sites, online stores and so on.

The main rule is that no money can be spent other than on the domain and the shared hosting plan. So no paid advertising, no traffic or link purchases, and no money spent on products (e.g., ebook cover creation, software and so on).

Secondary rules are: no blackhat techniques can be used, competitors cannot use existing assets (e.g., established websites or email lists) to promote the new website, and the website itself can not be sold at the end of the competition to generate more profits.

The Prize: $1,000 Cash or More

I’ll be hosting the competition in partnership a hosting company, and the prize will be in proportion to the number of participants. For every 10 participants we’ll put $1,000 in cash as prize. So if 30 people participate the final cash prize will be $3,000. The winner will get 80% of that, and the runner-up 20%.

I’ll also be giving access to the Online Profits training program to all participants.

How To Participate

If you want to participate simply send an email to, and I’ll reply with all the details. Notice that you may start researching your niche and domain name already, but you can’t register the domain or start building the website yet. I’ll make sure all the participants get started exactly in the same day, which is next Wednesday, November 10 (unless we need to postpone it by one week).

For Those Not Participating

Even if you are not participating I think you’ll enjoy the competition. You’ll be able to follow all the competing websites, checking what niches they will target, what business model they will use and so on.

I’ll publish biweekly updates too, highlighting the strategies used, and at the end of every month we’ll have a report with the numbers behind each website (e.g., traffic, profits and anything else relevant).

It should be fun, so stay tuned (and any help spreading the word is appreciated).


82 Responses to “The Webmasters Challenge: Starts November 10!”

  • Jack Cola

    I wouldn’t mind taking part in this mini competition. Just one concern that I have – how do you police the fact of not using your existing websites to generate traffic and profits?

    Apart from that, I think it will be fun and exciting thing to do.

    Also, may it be possible to use a site that doesn’t get as many viewers at the moment and help increase that?

    • Daniel Scocco

      I’ll monitor the websites as closely as possible. On top of that the websites with a chance of winning the prize will need to provide a lot of stuff to prove they are clean (e.g., traffic logs, screenshots of revenues and so on).

      To participate you’ll need to pick a brand new domain and develop it from scratch though.

      • Jack Cola

        Sounds good to me. I’m in.

      • Wes

        In the post you said you can use an existing domain that hasn’t been developed yet.

        Perhaps everyone should have to start with a new name… aged domains, developed or not will have an advantage…

        Just a thought.

      • Daniel Scocco

        A domain only starts aging when the owner hosts something there, so unused domains won’t be affected by this.

  • Latief@Simple Blogging Tips

    This is really interesting Daniel and the winner is who made more profits? Exactly the brilliant idea for a contest. Yes, build a web or blog from zero is fun but if I build one for a contest? This is a real challenge.

  • Mary Hunter

    Sounds like a fun competition!

    Wish I had more free time, as it sounds like it would be a fun and educational (and perhaps profitable) exercise.

    I would, however, really enjoy reading updates and tips from the people who do decide to try this.


  • Peter

    It really looks fun, I’m tempted to join, especially I love the competition in building, ranking and monetizing niche sites, but I guess I’m used to in using link building services which is not allowed. Anyway, I’ll just be an audience and wait for the biweekly updates.

    • Daniel Scocco

      You can do the linkbuilding yourself too.

  • Rison Simon

    Hi Daniel,
    Wonderful competition. Can we join the competition in december? I am having my exams till dec 6. πŸ™ I will still have 3 months then, right?

    • Daniel Scocco

      Sure you might join later on if you want. You’ll have a small time advantage, but if that is fine with you no problems.

      • Rison Simon

        Thank you Daniel. Its not just about winning. The simple joy we receive from building and nurturing the site to profits is just great. If I win, its a bonus. πŸ™‚ Can you send me the details?

      • Daniel Scocco

        Sure, just send me an email mentioning you want to participate (I need that to keep things organized).

  • Jason

    I’m, in. You’re all doomed. DOOMED!

    • Daniel Scocco

      That is the spirit πŸ™‚ .

  • Matej

    Sound really interesting but maybe too much rules for my own taste… got used to outsource some parts I’m not particularly skilled at.

    I like competitions and I want to participate just for the sake of it, will see if i can think of something good.

    About no black hat SEO, where does link wheels, link exchange, blog commenting and all those strategies fit into? It’s a way of “manipulating” SERP, but guest posting is also… not sure what’s allowed and what isn’t.

    • Daniel Scocco

      The “no paid anything” rule is to make sure it won’t become a duel to see who can invest more on the site and still make a positive return on investment.

      As for the blackhat rule, it refers to cloacking, spamming and stuff like that. Linkbuilding techniques like the ones you mentioned are fine.

  • Nurul Azis

    Put me down Daniel πŸ™‚ I want to participate. The cool thing of this challenge is ‘trying to release less money in order to gain more profit.Ò€ I’ll send you an email. Greets

  • Himanshu Chanda

    A quick question.

    Many of the niche sites earn because they have targeted a right niche in a right way. Showing up to the competition ensures that they get hundreds of replicas in a day! This might doom them Wont it?

    Are we planning to just share the results or do we need to reveal the site details too ??

    • Daniel Scocco

      Competitors will need to reveal their sites at least, and their strategy at the end of the contest.

      I don’t think this is an issue, though. Once you enter a niche it becomes harder for other people to take your place, as long as you keep working on your site.

      Second, it’s all about the execution, since the information regarding how to build profitable sites (be it a blog or a niche site) is freely available online.

  • Keith Davis

    I won’t be taking part but I look forward to learning how to make something from my own site.

    Presumably we cwill be able to visit the sites and take a look.

  • steve

    lol I can’t even generate profits from my current blog after more than 1 yr. So, I guess i will pass.

  • Ali Luke – Aliventures

    Sounds interesting! Are you letting participants use paid-for products which they already own (e.g. Thesis, ecover creation software, Adobe… down to Microsoft office etc)?

    • Daniel Scocco

      Yes, that would be fine.

  • Darren

    This’ll be good motivation. Is there any rules about working together?

    • Daniel Scocco

      You are free to make partnerships, exchange links and anything else, as long as it’s not blackhat or paid.

  • Okan

    Great idea… I dropped you an e-mail. Looking forward to it. Thanks Daniel. Enjoy your days.

  • jason

    Super cool. I can tell from this post that the comments are coming in. Awesome.

  • Lorraine George

    Not sure I have the skills to compete but I would certainly like to watch

  • Alex

    Bring it on!

    Hahaha, I love it – fits nicely with the challenge I just put toward a blogging buddy of mine.

    Can I use the same domain I am about to create for my own challenge in this one too, or should I create a second new site for this challenge?

    Awesome Daniel – and Jason, YOU are Doomed mon frere πŸ™‚

    • Daniel Scocco

      You can use the same one as long as you follow the rules of our contest too.

  • Darcy

    Sounds like a great contest that would be very instructive for those that follow along. I have a little too much on my plate to take on the challenge but will certainly follow along closely. Great idea.

  • Adams Alexander

    Great Daniel, I will love to be part of it

  • Tony

    NAH not fair πŸ™ those with a BIG OLE LIST have a much better chance of winning πŸ™

    Love building sites etc .. the competition should be who can SEO there sites best to reach the best position for a certain key phrase or something more balanced for us Jr list builders

  • Simon

    I hope I’ll find a good idea of blog to participate…
    This contest looks really exciting !

    • Simon

      I have a question though. Does the blog have to be written in English?

      • Daniel Scocco

        Any language is fine.

  • Ricardo Patrocínio

    I’m joining the competition with the purpose of learning something (a lot actually) from the experience. I have nothing to lose and a lot to win. I hope this comment motivates other people to join.

  • Nurul Azis

    Does it mean that we can only use a free theme and free plugins?

    • Curt

      Good question. I would like to know the answer to this one as well.

    • Lou Sparx

      Daniel said: “no money spent on products (e.g., ebook cover creation, software and so on).”

      You can ONLY spend money on hosting and the domain.

    • Daniel Scocco

      Yes, you cannot spend money on anything other than the domain and the web hosting.

  • Jonathan

    This is a clever idea, Daniel. Not only are you encouraging others to go for their goals and rewarding them extra for it, but this is sure to bring in a lot of attention to your own site. Double win! πŸ™‚

  • Kadmiel

    I think this is a wonderful Idea, I would love to watch how someone does that within a 4 month time frame. and see how each individual applys some of the techniques that you share with the pop

    cheers mate!

  • Lou Sparx


    I’m obviously going to win but it should be a good competition anyway πŸ˜€

  • Chelle

    I’m game – sent you an email πŸ™‚

  • poch

    Very interesting. I’ll try to join. The first time I created a website ended in frustration because I used the free version. And I’m not sure if I’m being conned or not because the site is still active and earning but I can’t use it anymore. I’m not sure too if that is intentional from the host or just a freak tech accident.

  • Mike @ Blog Success


    I just started a website 10 days ago, and I want to focus on building that so I might just watch from afar but sounds impressive, I wish I had waited 10 more days to start!

    Wanted to wish everyone participating good luck and learn from it.

    • raybak

      Same here just started mine in the last week of sept, can’t afford to start another one as I wont have time to manage both sites. I would luv it if we are allowed to participate with freshly baked sites. Pretty please…

      • Daniel Scocco

        If you guys can reset your websites you can participate (i.e., to wipe everything out and start from scratch).

      • raybak

        Fair Enough..Thanks Daniel.
        I will today clean my site but can I use the same theme that I have set now when I relaunch the site? OR I need to set every thing from scratch..?

  • nikita savaria

    Wonderful competition. I am sure people will get good competition from me

  • Destination Infinity

    Nice theme for a competition Daniel, though I won’t be able to participate in the same due to lack of time, will certainly be among the audience applauding others πŸ™‚

    Destination Infinity

  • Azad Shaikh

    I am in. I had been building websites and I would like to be in competition, I enjoy it.

    Thanks for organizing this for us.

    Azad Shaikh ( remember the name as i can be the winner lol )

  • sitakanta

    Just sent an email to Daniel…..It will be really fun to participate in this competition and try to make some money….hope I end up winning as that will make the entire thing really sweet…..

    I guess using existing adsense account will be ok.

  • Tristan

    How do I follow the competition? Will you send us the updates via the email lost I am already subscribed to? I really like the sound of this.


    • Daniel Scocco

      I’ll be posting updates here on the blog.

  • Eunus Hosen

    Hope I’ll join in this competition, but I’ve two questions:

    1. Will I be allowed to use Market Samurai?

    2. How long the contest will be?

    Eunus Hosen

    • Nurul Azis

      1. The thing is no buddy knows whether you use Market Samurai or just google keyword tool.
      2. Four months.

      • Eunus Hosen

        Thanks Nurul for your reply.
        You’re right that nobody will know whether I’ve used market samurai or google keyword tool, but there is a subject of honesty πŸ™‚

    • Daniel Scocco

      1. If you already have the product, yes.

      2. 4 months.

      • Matej

        Does that mean we can use Thesis theme framework if we already have it purchased?

  • Allan Eriksen

    Hello Daniel

    Lovely competition, really gonna enjoy following the progress people are doing, hope ya keep us updated in the newsletter πŸ™‚ and well read the strategy the different people are using…

    i myself, have just started my own blog, and really can’t effort time entering the competition…

  • Alexis Wilke

    Can we use any free backend? Like Drupal, Joomla, WordPress?

    And I guess if you’re good enough at creating a theme yourself, then you’ll beat everyone else on that part. 😎 Although I’m not so sure the look is what makes you the most money in return.

    • Daniel Scocco

      Yes you can use any free back-end you prefer, and any free/open source software as well (e.g., an open source email list manager and so on).

  • Devesh

    Awesome contest Daniel. I love the idea. Great dude!
    Btw. I’ve mailed you regarding this.

    Thanks πŸ™‚ !!

  • Snerdey

    Great idea.. just emailed you. Heck, might have to check your spam box as we get spoofed all the time πŸ™‚

  • Terry Dunn

    I love this competition idea. I’ll be watching this space as I’m facinated to see who wins and how they do it.


  • Michael Davies

    Great idea! I’m fired up and ready to go. I’ll be researching for a kick ass domain before I get started.

    Just sent you an email about this.


  • Jason Bacchetta

    This is actually perfect timing for me since I’ve been meaning to get started on two projects myself. Just to clarify, we can use themes that we’ve already purchased correct? I have tons of premium themes on my computer from past projects.

  • Joshu Thomas

    What a timing !! i am starting a new Health Blog this week and 4 months is a decent time to build up a quality blog and traffic. Thanks for such wornderful initiative. its not about the money or gifts that anyone participating should be worried about its the exposure one gets from such platform !!

    cheers Dan !!
    warm regards, Josh

  • Shrikrishna Meena

    Hey, it seems to be and interesting competition with fun, experience and money.
    I’m in, I already sent the email… waiting for reply.

    • Shrikrishna Meena

      Well, I am lacking Credit card to pay the hosting fees as per the rules… I was hoping it would be completely free… Whatever be the case, Best of luck to all those who are participating.

      • Snerdey

        Awww man, you don’t have like a Walmart or corner store to get a pre paid credit card?

      • Jack Cola

        I here you as well. I was interested in this competition because I already have web hosting and free credit for a domain name, but now I won’t be able to do it because I HAVE TO spend money now.

  • Hans Henrik Appel

    I just can’t turn down a challenge like this! I’m in!

    The idea is fantastic – and I’m really looking forward to this. I am convinced this will be a great learning experience for all of us!

  • Alison Kerr

    I’m guessing that using Twitter and other social networks to promote our sites is allowed. Can we trade for services – do SEO for someone in exchange for a design for instance? What about having friends and family members do stuff for us for free

    I do wonder how you will police the use of premium themes. Do participants have to demonstrate that they already have a site up and running using the theme, or provide a purchase receipt showing their purchase date? Just curious – I don’t own any premium themes, though I do own Affiliate Ninja which I have never used and might want to for this.

    I’m in – already emailed you Daniel.

    I don’t have time either, but I reckon that everyone who takes part is a winner. The spirit of competing will pull us all along. I may end up last in the contest, but I’ll be ahead of where I’d be if I said “no”.

    So, come on folks, just say “yes” to joining in. Why wouldn’t you want to give it a go? Taking part is exciting. It’s not all about earning the highest amount; with me in the contest you’re unlikely to be last!

    Who wants to show they can beat me?

    • Alexis Wilke

      I would think that you can use a NEW Twitter account. Not one with 100,000 people already following you. 😎

      And if you are not getting in for the money, then you should not be bothered by how the contestants will be controlled in regard to themes, marketing tools, etc.

      To our success!

      • Alison Kerr

        I’ll let Daniel be the judge on social media. Someone with more contacts has an advantage whether that be on social media, or by some offline means. It’s the reality when it comes to marketing.

        Of course I’m in for the money, though I’m talking about my mini website money rather than the prize money. The way to any money is to fulfill a need. Hopefully I’ve picked a good domain for that.

        I agree – here’s to success for everyone who takes part, whether they be a competitor, or an observer.

  • Alan @ Work From Home

    Hey Daniel,

    Sent you an email and looking forward to being part of the competition.


  • Typegeek

    What if we have pre-paid stuff like the developers Thesis theme? I don’t put any money out for it this month but it would give a bit of a lift. People could use the free theme I suppose.

  • OneBlogTips

    i would like to join this contest πŸ™‚

    will email you soon

Comments are closed.