Niche Site Project Income Report for August 2013!

Niche Site Project Income Report for August 2013!

Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing how I built BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com from the ground up, and been sharing the monthly earnings from that site.  I am happy to say that I am going to continue that trend today with another monthly income report!

I like to share these income reports for a couple of reasons.  First, it keeps me accountable to you to share what’s working in my business.  Secondly, it will hopefully provide some motivation to you and show you what is possible with niche sites.

This is my first public Niche Site Project, and I have been very pleased with the results.  In fact, the earnings from the site this month is another record month!

So, I want to jump right into the income results, then I’ll discuss what I’ve done with the site this month.

August 2013 Earnings for BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com

augustearnings

The earnings of $743.58 is a record by nearly $100 over July!  However, there was even a little bit more in earnings.  Its not much, but I earned a little bit through SkimLinks.  Check it out:

skimlinksearnings

So, the Total Earnings are:

  • Amazon Assoicates – $743.58
  • SkimLinks – $7.87
  • Total Earnings – $751.45 (New Record!)

I am absolutely thrilled with the $751.45 in earnings from BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com last month!  To think that just about 6 months ago, this project was just an idea, and now I’m pulling in over $750 a month in relatively passive income…not too shabby!

This is well over my goal of earning $500 per month from the site (which I also exceeded last month).  However, I’m going to continue to build the site and hopefully continue to increase the earnings even more!

A Quick Note About SkimLinks

Skimlinks is a service that I started using actually at the very end of July.  I neglected to report that I earned $1.98 in July from Skimlinks (whoops!); so in my cumulative earnings charts below, I’ve adjusted the earnings up by $1.98 from what I reported last month.

Skimlinks is very easy to install.  You basically just activate their plugin (if using WordPress) and that’s it!  Skimlinks reads your site and creates a few links out of your existing content (similar to how Kontera and Infolinks work).   So, they might underline the word, “survival knife” and refer people to Amazon – if they buy something, I get a kickback.

I think I made so little with Skimlinks because I’ve already got my site heavily monetized with Amazon – so this is all supplemental income.

I highly recommend that you at least test out SkimLinks to see if you can increase your sites income.

Sign up for SkimLinks right here.

Earnings Since Inception

monthlyearnings

You can see that the earnings have increased over time quite nicely.  I have now been over my $500/month goal for the past 2 months.  When will the earnings plateau?  Who knows!

Cumulative Earnings

earningscumulative-august

Since inception, the site has earned $2,715.96.  This chart gives you a nice progression of how the earnings have accumulated.  Considering that my initial investment in the site was about $700, I’m at about $2,000 in net profit.  I’ll share my monthly ongoing expenses below, but its simply based on how much new content I put on the site now.

Items Shipped

items-shipped

The site actually shipped less items in August than in July – which is a little bit surprising.  As you will see below, I had quite a bit more traffic coming to the site, so this means less people were clicking on Amazon links.  So, how could I ship less items and still have an increase in earnings?  Well, very simply: the items purchased this month were more valuable.

Here’s a screenshot showing most of the items shipped last month.  (I just included the screenshot from the Sports & Outdoors and Tools & Hardware Categories).  I thought this would be interesting for all of you to see the various knives and related tools that are being purchased through my site.  As you will see, the overwhelming majority of these items are indeed survival knives.

Amazon.com Associates Central - Earnings Report 2013-09-06 13-04-11

Click to Enlarge

Amazon Conversion Rate

amazonconversionrate

This data has me a little concerned, but I’m not sure there is much I can do about it.  The Amazon conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of visitors sent to Amazon (Amazon affiliate link clicks) by the number of items shipped for that month.  So, basically this is telling me how well Amazon is converting the visitors I sent into buyers.

I would suspect that visitors that are better pre-sold would convert into buyers at a higher rate.  However, I haven’t done anything drastically different when it comes to ad placement or affiliate links, so I’m not quite sure why I’m seeing a downward trend in the Amazon conversion rate.  I discuss below some of the affiliate link changes I’ve made, and I’ll let you be the judge if that has led to a decreased conversion rate.

Traffic Details

The site continues to grow in traffic; and in particular, traffic from Google.  For the most part of the month, my site was ranked #1 or #2 in Google for my primary keyword phrase; “Best Survival Knife”.  And I’m happy to say that the past few days, it has been solidly at the top spot in Google!

#1inGoogle

However, the traffic coming from the term, “Best Survival Knife” only accounts for approximately 10.76% of the traffic coming to the site.  Don’t get me wrong, this one keyword is very important!  But when nearly 90% of the traffic is coming from other places, its important to pay attention to that other large chunk!

So, where is that other 89.24% of traffic coming from? Well, mostly from long tail keywords!  I’ve always addressed this in previous income reports, but today is the first time I’m presenting a chart showing how many keywords are contributing to the search engine traffic from the site.

longtailkeywords

So, in August, people found my site by typing 1,829 different long tail keywords into Google or other search engines.  That’s pretty amazing!  You can see over the past several months how the number of long tail keywords that people are using to find my site has changed over time.

So, yes, this means the site, BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com ranks in Google for over 1,800 different keywords.  Below is a list of just a few keyword phrases used to find my site during August.

longtailkeywordlist

The total number of unique visitors during the month of August was 16,467 (with 42,940 page views).  Here is how the overall visitors to the site has progressed since inception:

augtraffic

Obviously the month of May was a bit of an anomaly.  I attribute that extra, mostly non-buying traffic, to my blog and Pat Flynn’s blog, because of the my interview on Pat’s Podcast that month.  Other than that, the traffic has seen a nice steady incline due to natural search engine traffic.

How did I get all this traffic?  Well, I laid out every single step of the process in the Niche Site Project posts right here!

And finally, here are all the raw stats for the site since inception.  This is where all the above charts come from, but if you want to see the numbers by themselves, here they are!  Enjoy getting your geek time in with these…

auguststats

What Happened During August?

During the month of August, I spent very little time on the site.  However, I did 2 things:

  • Added new content
  • Tried different ad layouts

Content

I have a dedicated author that I work with, that I found on Elance.com.  He actually had some major issues going on during the month of August, and as a result, he was only able to provide me with 4 articles during the month.  So, I only posted 4 new articles for the entire month of August.

At a cost of $20 per article, I spent a total of $80 on the site last month.  So, my net profit for just last month was $671.45.  Yes, its a lot to spend per article, but I’m happy with the quality and made the decision early on to hire for quality.

Different Layouts

I changed the type of ad in the sidebar, and also added an Amazon widget back into the main content window on individual posts.  This widget is not on the homepage, but is on every other page:
amazonwidget

Other than that, I didn’t do anything else to my site during August.  No link building or anything else.

However, just because I haven’t been building any links, doesn’t mean other people aren’t linking to my site.  According to my webmaster tools, Google is finding new links to my site all the time.

Obviously, I’ve talked many times about the fact that there are many links pointing to my site that I do not want as a result of someone trying to perform Negative SEO.  You can read all about how Google has devalued those spammy links here.  Unfortunately, I am still seeing new spammy links being added recently…wish it would stop!

In the future, I will continue to just add new content to the site each month and enjoy the organic growth.

Additional Plans and Your Thoughts

I really have no major plans for the site going forward.  I will just focus on new content and continue testing what ad placements will earn me the most.  I may start focusing on some other big keywords related to knives that I feel that I can rank for.  But I will address this in more detail when I actually tackle this challenge.

Overall, I think I’ve provided enough data and charts to keep your mind busy for days!  I hope you’ve enjoyed this in depth look at how BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com has performed during the month of August; getting all of this data together has taken me quite a bit of time. :)

I’m also excited to have started my 2nd Public Niche Site Project!  I’ve posted the first coaching call with Perring (my new student) to guide him through the process of building a niche site.  You can read all the posts for the 2nd Niche Site Project right here.  So, even though the majority of the work is done for my BestSurvialKnifeGuide.com site is done, a new project is just beginning.

As always, I really look forward to the discussion that is sure to follow in the comments below.  If you have any additional questions about my earnings or the site, please feel free to ask away.


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If your business could benefit in any way from getting more search engine traffic, I have some good news.

Search engines are in love with long tail keywords! If you are able to provide relevant content targeting these long tail keywords, then you can see a dramatic increase to the amount of traffic Google and other search engines send you.

Long Tail Pro is a powerful keyword research tool that makes finding these valuable long tail keywords a breeze.

What are “long tail keywords”? Essentially, these are words or phrases that people type into the search engines to find very specific things. Rather than searching for “dog training” a user might search for “how to potty train a pitbull”.

This is an example of a Long Tail Keyword. To visualize how Long Tail Keywords work...

Click to Continue Reading


154 Comments for this entry

  1. Adam Allen says:

    Awesome work Spencer, you are a true inspiration to us working on sites.

  2. Dave says:

    Awesome man, so inspiring!

  3. Jenda says:

    Just simply love it!

    God, I need to make my own (english) site!

  4. Phil says:

    I love to follow your updates and I hope to post similar results from my own site one day!

  5. Cooler says:

    Spencer, thanks for sharing. I am learning a ton from you which is really helping my efforts. Cooper.

  6. jim says:

    Good job, but you really need to find a better way to monetize the site. $700 a month with 500 visitors per day is horrible.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      I’m all ears jim. But for now, I’m happy with the $650+ for less than an hour of work it makes me each month :). (And I actually disagree that its horrible earnings in this market).

      • Dan says:

        4-5 cents a customers is pretty incredible. I’ve done the numbers on multiple sites that report earnings like this in multiple niches. The high end is 10-20 cents a customer for established bloggers who sell there own products. Spencers site outperforms a number of bloggers who have loyal followings (read – easier to convert) by 1-2 cents a visit.

  7. Doug says:

    Fantastic. I can’t wait to see the totals once the retail season hits. Great Job, Spencer.

  8. Enstine Muki says:

    This is impressive Spencer. Your success stories are really motivating. Keep them up please ;)

  9. Tuan says:

    That’s so impressive.
    I tried Skimlinks before and also couldn’t earn much from the network, so I removed it in just 1 month, so disappointing.

  10. Sandy says:

    Awesome work Spencer! It’s a really interesting business model that you’ve mastered. Now that you’re focusing upon larger “authority sites” – how many do you think you have capacity to scale upto?

  11. Barb says:

    Awesome job Spencer…can’t wait to follow along with your new niche project.

    I have a question: To have visitors coming to your website through all those long tail keywords listed above, do you need to use all those keywords in your content and anchor text or does google rank your site for those related terms automatically based on your content?

  12. tori says:

    That is amazing!!

    I saw the new logo as a picture of a sneaker–then recognized the knives. But I’m more of a shoe person than a knife person.

    Question–I see the link to the privacy policy, but I thought you are also supposed to mention the affiliate links, or a link to the explanation, near where the links appear–or is the privacy policy enough? (I’m sure you are doing it fine, but I don’t quite understand the policy as written.)

    Thanks.

  13. Gillian says:

    Fantastic progress Spencer. This is very inspirational.

  14. Peter says:

    Hey Spencer – great work, and your continued progress is very inspiring. I was actually very curious what kind of effort & direction you’d take with this site now that it is basically “complete.”

    Have you considered doing any more link building to get more traffic or overall domain authority to rank for new keywords more easily? That is something that I’ve been thinking about with my current niche site. Or, is there anything else you’ve thought about implementing to scale the traffic/conversions even more? Perhaps there’s a point when the diminishing returns on more effort don’t justify it. It would be great to hear your thoughts about the next big “phase” for a site like this one, if there is one.

    Also, I just wanted to say thank you. I basically mirrored your process for my own niche site, and it’s had similarly successful results. Thanks so much for providing the valuable information that you do that has the potential to change peoples lives!

    Peter

    • Spencer Haws says:

      That’s great to hear that you’ve had similar results! For the “next step”, I don’t plan on focusing on linkbuilding at all; but rather more content targeting new keywords. As mentioned in the post, I may try to target other keywords related to knives that I’m not currently targeting…which will grow the site.

  15. Ayal Naor says:

    Thanks for another informative post, & congrats Spencer! It really jumped out at me that only 10% of your traffic comes from your primary keyword. Besides “good content”, is there any other way to maximize those longtails?

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Well, keyword research is part of it. You need to find topics that you want to write articles on; writing on lower competition topics is likely to lead to more long tails.

  16. Nick LeRoy says:

    Spencer. Skimlinks has an amazon associates overwrite option so that all your “old” amazon affiliate links will automatically turn into skim links affiliaye links.

    You should consider making the switch. While they take 25% their preferred commission I believe is around 8.5%.

  17. Dan says:

    Hi Spencer, thanks for sharing such detailed reports. It’s very motivational and proves that there is money to be made.

    From the beginning of the project, how many months did you focus on off-page SEO (Layered Links etc?)

    Cheers, Dan

    • Spencer Haws says:

      I just did some basic comment links and other general links (directories and other) for the first month or so. Then I ordered a layered links package somewhere in the second month. I also utilized a couple of expired domains links in the first couple of months (which I’ve written about previously). Then that’s about it for link building. I have made just a few other comment links here and there.

      • Cooper says:

        Spencer are your links to Amazon (and other sites like (Wikipedia) do follow or no follow?

        • Spencer Haws says:

          I believe they are all nofollow for amazon. All other links on my site are dofollow.

          • Cooper says:

            Thanks Spencer. I just read the comments here of others who posted who put LOTS of effort into their niche sites but failed. One thing which your audience may find very educational is if you analyzed one (or two) of these “failed sites” and compared it to Best Survival Knives (the KC, the local exact, the backlinks, the niche, etc.), and offered some thoughts as to where perhaps they went wrong. The site makers have nothing to lose, and your audience could learn a ton. Just an idea – I know you will be busy with Perrin for the next few months. Keep up the great content, Cooper.

  18. Karman says:

    Spencer,

    Once again thank you for all the time and effort you put into sharing detailed information about your projects – very exciting!

    Your posts help me to continue driving towards being successful in online marketing.

    Please keep it up!

    all the best,
    Karman

  19. Matt says:

    thanks Spencer.
    Skimlinks seems like an OK idea but you have to be careful with affiliate links. There comes a point when your site simply has too many affiliate links and just starts to look spammy (both in the eyes of the reader but perhaps more importantly in the eyes on Google).

  20. James Petzke says:

    Congrats on another record month Spencer! Keep doing what you do, very inspiring!

  21. Shannon says:

    Hey Spencer, just want to say a BIG thank you for all your work and sharing, it’s inspiring and very helpful for all of us.

  22. Darren says:

    Wow! Great work Spencer!

    But look at that revenue column – over $10k a month selling knives! Who’d a thought it! Lol!

    Must be a way to get a bigger slice of that – what dropshipping or another affiliate provider?

    Just getting a 15% commission would double your income – may not convert as well as Amazon but still make more money.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Very true, there are potential ways to get a bigger slice of the pie. But do I really want to get in the business of selling knives or stick with creating niche sites? Its a tradeoff. I could put more work, time, money in this site and double or triple the earnings easy. Or I could just create a few additional sites that are more passive in nature. Call me lazy, but I’m happy with the path of least resistance at this point.

  23. Josh says:

    Awesome Spencer! I don’t think you over did with the charts, it makes it easier to see the progress (for me at least lol).

    2 questions if you do not mind.

    1) I am working on review site like you built here (different niche though) and I am doing a few social book marks for links now, do you think I would be better off buying a link on pr 2-3 site from some one like Hayden?

    2) I found another keyword I like, #7 result has 2 pages indexed by Google, quick, unvaluable aff site, but has almost 9,000 links and site is only a few months old. Do you think I could out rank with 10 pages of quality content vs all his links?

    Thanks for your time and sharing your info here.

  24. Shawn McAfee says:

    Dang Spencer, it’s both inspiring and also disheartening when I read these updates. It just seems so easy when you talk about it but I can’t get my niche sites to get even close to #1.

    This project inspired me to start a new site, it was over a great keyword with very little competition and 5400 monthly searches. I wrote an incredibly in depth resource that is 13,000+ words with about 10 additional pages of content as well. But I’m getting maybe 1 search result per day.

    I just cannot yet figure out what I am doing incorrectly. But I’m going to keep working it and eventually I’ll figure it out. The most inspiring part is knowing your backstory and how much struggle you went through as well.

  25. Javier says:

    Looking at the revenue made by the items shipped make me wonder: if you dropship or sell the items yourself, would you get to see that many items? Or is it due the fact that amazon is a trusted site and do great in conversions?

    Maybe turning the site in an ecommerce store could be more profitable? Or another idea would be to plug those affiliate links to your own ecommerce store, then you’d send all the traffic from your review site to the ecommerce store, plus the traffic you’d get from this second site.

    Maybe it would be hard to find all the brands yourself to sell them.

    Just a thought, but has anyone tried this approach to turn a succesfull amazon review site in a store?

    • definitely an acceptable approach. I will contact manufacturers and switch to my own shopping cart once I find a winner. The cool thing about Amazon is I can leverage their product line to build little sites and then switch them to dropship, or the other thing is list white label items on Amazon and then send my links to the Amazon listings and another one to my store so consumers have a choice where to shop.

      At this time, my affiliate platform can send clicks right to my product inserted ecommerce checkout cart, but it is still a different site.

      so I create many little affiliate sites and just a few SSL ecom carts.

    • Eric says:

      I know that the bigger call of profit seems like a good idea. Maybe using FBA would makes sense for some of his biggest sellers, but otherwise he might be spending all his time making shipping labels and dealing with customers. Presently he spends 1 hour a month, versus what might be a full-time job. (ask me how I know) :)

      More $, possibly. More $ per hour, most likely not.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      I expect that more gets sold because its through amazon. I doubt I would sell nearly as much if I dropshipped or had my own shopping cart.

      • Bas says:

        I thought you could also put your items you dropship on Amazon. Not sure how much commision you have to pay.

        But yeah it takes a lot of time to run such a shop and I also rather earn less but have it more passive.

        But you can also outsource all the tasks but then you have to manage your team which also will take a lot of time.

  26. Brian says:

    My niche site slipped last month and my motivation slipped as well. Thanks for this post it just got me inspired to take a step back and jump right back in. Congrats on another great month.

    Onward and Upward

    Brian

  27. Tonytonika says:

    Most of the site building strategies I learned were from you and Pat. Hopefully my site can be as success as yours. Looking for more updates and podcasts from you! :)

  28. Nicholas says:

    Hi Spencer,
    If possible, could you add the Amazon clicks from text links and the new widgets you added?
    I am curious to see which are more popular.
    Thanks

  29. Great Work Spencer. I am releasing a fully hosted Amazon niche store platform shortly and always great to see others having success with online retail.
    I know many people that fall in love with fast money in crazy bizz opp schemes, but if they realized the passive income potential in niche authority sites that don’t depend on constant recruiting strangers across Facebook, they may think otherwise. I would expect your knife site to soar in late October and November if you get any hunting traffic. That is when my hunting stores get heavy sales and commissions.

    Brian

  30. Mark says:

    So awesome you continue to share this information man thank you, it keeps me motivated.

    Mark

  31. Well done man! For guys like me that’s really inspiring – $750 a month is not bad at all! So you basically got the trick how to do it – quality content, probably a good doze of backlinks, nicely targeted keywords…etc. I unfortunately started to quit on my online affiliate ventures, even feel depressed a little. I’ve put so much content, all optimized with keywords, meta tags, alt tags, – all done by the book. Ordered high pr backlinks – and for the last 6-7 months…big NOTHING – just few sales from clickbank and that’s it. I got two big blogs, and one of it is sooo full with amazon and clickbank products – pretty much every single page got a product promotion….and even having 4-5000 unique visitors a month, can’t earn me a dime….I’m soo sad, feel like all my work and countless hours were all in vain…anyways once again I’m so glad seeing someone really doing the thing! Good luck man, keep motivating and inspiring people like me that haven’t got there…yet.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      I really do wish you all the best of luck.

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Lyubomir…it really is frustrating when you see 4-5000 unique visitors a month and no sales.

      However, you need to be looking at these few things carefully:

      1. The dynamics of your visitors expectations to see if you are actually meeting their needs when they arrive on your site (visitors searched keyword should be clearly evident when they land on your page)
      2. Is your focus on buying keywords or informational keywords, informational keywords will require more directional coaching to get visitors into the buying stage
      3. Check your stats, these days with all the Brute Force attacks on websites your unique visitors could actually be visits from bots trying to get access through your wp-admin or other areas (you can see if this is happening through your cPanel at AWStats, GWT and Google Analytics will not show these bot visits)
      4. If your getting real unique visitors to your site look at the keywords in the Google Webmaster Tools that are being used to get to your site, and if you don’t have an article on that topic write one with a focus on directing visitors to a sale

      If your site is actually getting 4-5000 real unique visitors a month you should be able to convert the site visitors to monthly sales.

      Even an informational keyword with traffic to the site can be converted to sales when the site is monetized with products that fit the visitors needs and expectations.

      Hope this helps.

  32. Great figures Spencer,
    Congratulations.

    May I know what was the traffic last month to Niche site?

  33. Jon Haver says:

    Awesome work Spencer! the trends are definitely going in the right direction!

    I wouldn’t worry about the drop in conversion rates. As the site becomes more authoritative it is probably ranking for less targeted buying keywords. Probably the best way to drive that conversion back up would be to either a qualify your audience more before they went to Amazon (but then you would be sacrificing income for conversion – not good) or you could focus a batch of articles on highly targeted buying keywords that you think will result in more buyers of knives finding your site.

  34. Raymond Mann says:

    Awesome report! Very informative. I just had a quick question, and it would be great if you could answer it. I was wondering is it possible to get a niche site going with a software domain name of exact match, but going against adobe.com ranked on #1. And also for future keyword research, Google has changed their keyword planning tool to show only broad searches instead of exact match, does that make things harder? Or is there a way around. Thanks!

    • Spencer Haws says:

      I never use branded names in my domain name. But you can get a original domain name and still try to rank for a software name. Also, the Google Keyword Planner actually only shows EXACT match, not broad.

  35. Alex says:

    Awesome Spencer! Glad to hear your success for your niche site this month.

    I’m also working hard to build my own niche site by following your NSP blueprint. However, my ranking is still 500+ for my 1 month years old niche site. I’m building backlinks by using Layeredlink and commenting on blogs by myself. Now, there are few (<10) backlinks to be built. I hope my ranking will increase when more links are built.

    Do you think I'm on the right track?

  36. Payinghost says:

    Thank you for showing your success story, it really inspires us. I will follow all such ways to find and promote amazon affiliate products. I was confused because of low commission rates but now i can give a try. :)

  37. Joe Magnotti says:

    Very cool Spencer. I have to say I would love to see you scale this process up then let us sell some of the sites for you on our marketplace. In this way, people could get a head start and simply purchase a revenue generating site right from the get go.

    How many sites like this do you think a team of 5 agents could create each month?

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Thanks Joe! Obviously, the process of building the sites is not super time intensive; but the guarantee of success is not there. So, a team of 5 could probably build 5+ sites like this a month…but it doesn’t mean all 5 will earn $500+ a month. I agree, that I could be tempted in the future to sell a site like this on your marketplace!

  38. Tung says:

    This is impressive Spencer!

    I agree with @Jon above about the conversion rate.

    You can try to funnel the traffic from other articles to the homepage or to one of your reviews article. Try to make a good review article and you will see a nice boost in converion rate.

    My site converts at 6-8% but I think that depends on the niche :D

    • Heidi says:

      Hey Tung, I just saw you sold your 5 month old site on Flippa for a cool $10K…!
      That is awesome! Imagine your self selling 12 of those like that for a year…and that is just by building one website per month… :)
      Anyway maybe one day you can share your experience on that flippa deal here (Spencer please interview him!) or on your own site.
      Cheers!

  39. JJ Wong says:

    After reading many of our posts about Amazon Niche website, I start to write posts about recommend books on my website, and this month I successfully get 2 sales, the first 2 sales from Amazon affiliate.

    Thought earning is very low selling books, but it’s a great start though. =D

    Love your posts.

  40. Dain says:

    Keep up the great work Spencer! Love these highly analytical blog posts are your Amazon niche site. I hope to reach your level of success one day!

  41. Josh Escusa says:

    Wow Spencer, that’s incredibly impressive! Such a profitable site in such a short amount of time. I know it’ll be tough, but I’ll be working on a site of my own here pretty soon and I can only hope to achieve those kinds of results :)

    Glad all is going well with you!

  42. Warren says:

    Hey Spencer, I’m jealous. You make it seem easy. Recently I took on a new job and it takes me an hour to get to work and an hour to return. I try working on my niche site a few times a week but it’s going sooooo slow. It’s hard putting in the time when you’re tired.
    I’m always wondering if I’m wasting my time only making $9/month. Plus I have a wife who feels nothing I try to do will work.
    Thanks for listening to my frustrations. I guess I need to get a VA to write content.
    It’s kind of funny but I have pages and pages of hand written notes and content and photos that needs to be put on my sites but I’m just not motivated to complete the task.

    I need a VA that can translate my notes into readable words and can edit my photos and build those pages. How would you go about it? My sites center on baking pies but my niche site centers around a few pie appliances.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Hey Warren, a VA from Elance or Odesk could definitely help you out pretty easily. I spent years failing before I found much success…so I totally understand!

      • Warren says:

        Thanks for the reply. I headed over to elance and became a member today. You are right, it looks great. You get to see the VA’s qualifications, resume, fees and portfolio. I found 3 writers that do food blogging.

        I’m using some investment money I saved to buy some Facebook stock for this VA. I’m hoping the ROI will be better.

        Thanks for all of your hard work. I’m hoping one day to join you working for myself.

  43. Hermine says:

    Hey Spencer,

    I really enjoyed seeing your site’s progress over the past 6 months in this report. The one thing that really hit home for me on this was the correlation between the volume of content and traffic.

    You also mentioned that you used skimlinks… I happen to live in a affiliate nexus state and so, don’t qualify for Amazon’s program. I briefly considered using SL to build out a product site but, felt I wouldn’t have as much control over the links (not to mention earning potential). How do you like using them?

    I’m looking for alternatives to Amazon for my own project and I’ve found plenty… But wonder about the conversion rates.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      I’m only using them (Skimlinks) as a supplement to my own affiliate links. I like how hands-off it is. But if it was my primary monetization method, I might try to be more flexible in how I implement it. Seems like a good alternative for those in a nexus state.

  44. Xihlamariso says:

    Wow . . . Spencer that is soo inspiring! I look forward to your posts every month, because even when I feel defeated, after reading your posts I feel motivated to keep trying.

    Keep up the great work!

  45. Jon Watkins says:

    Spencer,

    Great work and thanks for sharing this with us.
    Spencer,

    It’s great to see that these type of Niche sites still work and are reachable by us mere mortals. If you head on over the Pat Flynn’s NSD 2.0 he’s implying that these type of sites no longer work and youve got to go more high-end Authority with Podcasts etc which is hard for us simpletons . To my mind what you are doing here is the essence of the Niche Site concept.

    Thoroughly looking forward to the next public Niche Site.

    Jon

    PS. Thanks for starting the podcast again, I like the way to really dig deep with the guests.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Thanks Jon! Not everything has to be an “authority” site. As you can see, my survival knife site is still unique, useful, and the comparison chart is great content. This can be done across many niches. It really still is a great model.

  46. Derrick G says:

    The new keyword planner has changed in layout but it still contains all of the previous features including broad and exact matches.You have to click a little button at the corner to see the options.The default option is broad match.I actually like the new layout

    • Spencer Haws says:

      The default option is NOT broad match – everything is exact match. You can read it from Google right here: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/3141229?hl=en . Read the line that says, “With Keyword Tool (the old tool), we showed you broad match statistics by default with the ability to get data for other match types, like phrase and exact match. But with Keyword Planner, you’ll get historical statistics only for exact match.”

  47. Hammad Baig says:

    Awesome man, so inspiring!

  48. henji says:

    you are so good, I’m still faltering, hopefully some day I will have income from my site

  49. Hey Spencer ,

    Thank’s for sharing the Skimlinks option with us.

    It may work with smaller sites earning under 6.5 % as per Nick’s comment above.

    I don’t have the exact #’s in front of me but I sent about 500 people to amazon last month and only made $13.00 aprox.

    Horrific conversion rate.

    This month I have 5 sales with only 54 Referrals a little over 9%

    I also don’t think the site is making as much as it should with almost 2000 visitors.

    One day at a time I guess…

    Take care

  50. Chetan says:

    Hey Spencer- Just Amazing! Hope you will double the revenue in the next 3 months….

  51. Ikedi says:

    Fantastic Spencer, You have laid everything out, so others can copy, you are one of my top SEO’s easy…

    But I was thinking one thing, not to sound greedy (But we are entrepreneurs) you made 10K!!! in sales and only got less than 10% of the money. I’m thinking you may need to approach the knife manufacturers direct at some point and strike up some good deals?

    ….Anyway keep up the good work, very inspiring stuff!

    I read a post about “Paul Knife”, The Romanian… I nearly fell off my chair lolll… he said he started creating his own sites to feed his family, not to make fun of the family aspect of things, but I just couldn’t stop laughing…..

    It turns out that the picture in his Google plus is actually him judging by his website.

    I’m still a little suspicious, but can only go by what I see on his site…lol.

    Anyway I wish him the best too…

    lollllllllllllllllllll

  52. Chris R Jensen says:

    Awesome. Congrats. What a great story. 10 of those babies and your set!
    Thanks for the inspiration !!

  53. Rob says:

    Hi Spencer – awesome to see the continued growth of income from your site. I have been following progress for a few months now and one question that I keep meaning to ask and have finally grabbed a few moments to, is – are you able to measure in anyway the impact that the regular mentions and links from this site have on the success of your niche site project 1 growth?

    Cheers

    Rob

    PS – Am finding Long Tail Pro invaluable in some of the work I am doing.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Its difficult to gauge. However, judging by the fact that about 90% of the traffic comes from Long Tail Keywords (keywords that readers of this blog wouldn’t type in); the huge majority is all natural traffic. Other aspects are difficult to measure.

  54. You are the man Spencer! You are a inspiration to us newbies. Hopefully, I will achieve the skills you have. I really do enjoy reading your blog as it does not just inspires me to work more harder but as well learn new stuffs.

  55. Siraj Wahid says:

    This is really great Spencer. It is my first visit on your site. It’s really cool to share your earning stats with your readers as it inspire readers and they think to do something big. Thanks. I’m really inspired.

  56. Kulwant Nagi says:

    You such income reports are pushing me forward to do better every time.

    Keep sharing reports and inspiring us Spencer.

  57. Donald says:

    Spencer, It’s obvious your plan has worked and worked well, even though someone attacked your site with phoney links. 3 cheers to you and a big thanks for all of the information you have so generously provided.

    However, I feel this process fell, a bit short in that you did not provide any further information on your KW strategy. You are after all an *expert* in that area.

    Here is what I would like to know.

    What are the requirements you set for all of your secondary KW’s?

    The primary KW needed to have a search volume of approximately 5,000 local searches and have a KC under 35. Are there no requirements for the secondary KW’s?

    What is the process you used to find and decide on using the secondary KW’s?

    Your primary KW was only to be used less than 1% in the primary article. Did you use secondary KW’s in the primary article as well?

    When you were writing your, (or outsourcing your articles) what was the criteria used? What were the instructions given to the Textbroker.com people? What did you do with the articles received from the Textbroker.com people? Did you edit them or include them as written?

    I know this is a lot of questions but I have come late to the party and am trying to catch up…

    Donald

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Donald:
      I did a video and specific blog post on secondary KWs: http://www.nichepursuits.com/nsp-update-3-niche-site-content-strategy/ . There are no search volume requirements per se for secondary keywords; I go after low competition first, but I also just target lots of keywords that are relevant to the niche. (I’m writing an article on every single survival knife whether or not its low competition).

      No way I could use all the secondary keywords in the primary article. These are separate articles.

      I’ve talked about the fact that I hired an author on Elance.com quite a bit – he has written all the content for secondary articles.

  58. Juanjo says:

    Congratulation for your numbers. I’m impressed!

    JJo

  59. Dave says:

    Hi Spencer, congratulations on the record breaking earnings!

    I decided to take a look at the main keyword’s stats in the new Google planner and saw the monthly searches have doubled to 9900 and the CPC has dropped to just $0.19, I was wondering what you make of that?

    Looking forward to the new niche site project!

    Dave

  60. Michael Hoo says:

    Your income report truly inspired me to move on to build more sites.

  61. Jake Hess says:

    Hey Spencer,

    Great post, just a quick question though.. Is there a big difference between skim links and infolinks? I’ve tried infolinks on one of my sites and it really slowed it down, so I had to remove it. Does skimlinks slow your site down?

    Also have you tried out infolinks on your site before?

    I understand that $10 a month is not a large amount of money, but do you know of a way to scale this up?

  62. Hi Spencer,

    Really impressed with your earnings so far. Out of curiosity if you go into Google analytics and go on Organic traffic only, approximately how many visits a month are you getting and how much of the total does that make up?

    Look forward to your response.

    Ted

  63. I hadn’t any idea about how to start affiliate marketing. But, after getting a very good resource to start affiliate marketing. I am very happy now. I hope, your website will be my guideline how to be successful in affiliate marketing.

  64. ubaid says:

    Thanks for sharing information Spencer. You are my ideal and I’m trying to follow you.

  65. David says:

    I do have one question regarding a specific niche: movies.

    I found a lucrative movie niche “Best X Movies” (won’t say what type here).

    However, how would I go about monetizing and setting up my site for this? Would I simply go ahead and review the movies as though I was reviewing any other product.

    Thanks for the help in advance! :)

  66. Doug says:

    Great work Spencer, the site results are very impressive.

    I have a question regarding choosing the core keyword to base a new site on.

    Seeing that only 10% of your traffic is coming from your main keyword, does it matter that your main keyword is 5000+ exact match?

    If the main keyword was lower (e.g. 1500+) but the secondary keywords were higher, could this still produce good results?

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Yes, that could still produce results. As long as there is lots of traffic in the niche overall, you can make it work. You won’t make as much with your primary article, but if you plan on adding LOTS of content…your strategy is solid.

  67. WebCaster WP says:

    Congratulation! I am very impressed with your income. Thank you for sharing.

  68. Miki Vicioso says:

    Good job Spencer. Nice detail post as well. Keep them coming! Not bad in 6 months have 700+ steady passive income.

  69. Sara Domini says:

    Carry on the good perform Spencer! Enjoy these really diagnostic blog articles would be the Amazon online niche site. Hopefully to achieve your height of achievement sooner or later!

  70. ray says:

    Green with envy over these numbers! Great post, keep it up

  71. CJ says:

    Spencer,

    When you’re targeting your secondary keywords, what kind of KC are you looking for on those? Do you prefer to stay under 30, or will you target keywords that have a KC of 35 and under?

    I’ve started at targeting keywords under 25 and have at least 170 searches, but I was curious to know if going after keywords up to a 35 KC is worthwhile.

    Thanks!

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Definitely keep it as low as you can. It also depends on how large you want to make your site. If its eventually going to be several hundred or more posts, then obviously you will out of necessity target some keywords with over 30 KC. I don’t have a strict rule; I just like to cover the lower KC keywords first. However, for my knife site, I’m now just covering every single survival knife, whether or not its low competition.

      • CJ says:

        That sounds like the strategy I was thinking of going. I definitely can see my site building out to well over 100 pages.

        Thank you for confirming the strategy.

        I have about 25 total articles up and I am getting ~215 visitors/day and I’m actually already at $200 in revenue for this month.

        I really would like to thank you for taking the time to explain to others about your successful process. Because of that, I have a secondary income that can help me build more sites down the road.

        As weird as it sounds, with the knowledge and information you’re providing, it can change lives.

        - CJ

  72. Barb says:

    Hi Spencer

    Just wondering, you have said above that you failed for many years yourself before having success…

    Who would you say was your most influential mentor who helped you along the way to be successful with internet marketing?

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Honestly, I didn’t really have any mentors. I did participate on the warrior forum alot and read other blogs. But I sort-of took all the information and made it work for me. I never bought any products either, like training, so I really didn’t follow anyone.

  73. Barb says:

    Great to know, sometimes that’s the best way to learn as you fail and finally succeed through your own determination and persistence.

    Not that there is anything wrong with having an individual mentor, but when learning from a variety of very talented marketers such as yourself we can stay clear of the tunnel vision and take the parts from numerous different strategies and test them to make our own unique plan of action that works.

  74. Justin says:

    I’m surprised you’re not “noindex”ing your Contact, Privacy, and About pages.

    I understand why you can’t but surely some very well-placed non-intrusive AdSense ads would increase your revenue per visitor dramatically.

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Yep, Adsense would definitely increase the earnings on the site.

      • Bas says:

        I know the reason why you don’t add your adsense here, but do you think it’s a good idea to have both adsense and affiliate on the same website?

        I had this on my website and someone told me it’s not a good idea since I send visitors to my competitors through adsense. What do you think of that?

        I didn’t include adsense on the pages where I used tables like you have on your mainpage. Only on different pages.

        I didn’t get any click through adsense (a few) and affiliate revenue isn’t high either at the moment about $15 and I have about 1000 – 1500 visitors a month.

  75. Hung says:

    Hi Spencer Haws,

    Imcome this only from website BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com

  76. Congrats on making another great income this month!

    Keep up the good work

  77. That’s a nice amount of money from the small amount of work, you’re using on the site.

  78. Davir says:

    Hi Spencer Haws

    Good luck its a great job, So i want know about the tools who use to building backlinks ??
    Thanks

  79. Hi Spencer,

    I noticed you were getting a lot of spammy looking links to your website. Have you informed Google about it?

    At the moment they actually seem to be helping with your rankings but you know how quickly things can change in the world of search engines.

    What link building methods do you actually use?

    ~Mark

  80. John says:

    I notice that you have a lot of outbound links to authority sites in your articles. Can you tell me if this is important to having a high search engine ranking in Google?

  81. Johnny C says:

    I’ve been following along since the inception of Bestsurvivalknifeguide.com. Congrats on its success, and thank you for being transparent and sharing all of the info that you have.

    One quick question (if you don’t mind) — You state that most of the 90% of “other” traffic comes from long tails which is intriguing. Would you mind sharing the metric of how much organic traffic the home page gets vs. all other sub pages? Would be interesting to know roughly how much traffic each sub page (article) is producing.

    Thanks again, Spencer!

  82. Keith says:

    Hi Spencer, after receiving the “Google slap” last month for the 2nd time you have inspired me to carry on! Please could you provide a post on selecting and instructing your dedicated author on elance? I have also had reasonable success iwriter.com. For example do you ask them to write around the Amazon product and include the keywords??? Much appreciated Keith

  83. Wow, always glad to see success stories, especially when it comes to niche sites. This truly proved that niche sites are still alive and kicking. Well done!

  84. Omar says:

    Hey Spencer… I have a question.
    How do you get that interactive table on Best Survival Knife Guide???
    and if it is a software how much does it cost??

  85. Andrew says:

    Mr. Haws,

    I’ve been to blogs and heard podcasts from the very popular bloggers such as Smartpassiveincome, Income Press & Entrepreuers-Journey. But I honestly believe you are much more badass and authentic. Your story about being a Wall Street guy and going to the online business world is so much cooler than all the others. You are the epitome of an accomplished online entrepreneur. I want to thank you for the information, knowledge and inspiration you have provided to me. You keep it real and you are the man for that. Thanks for all you do!

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Wow, thank you Andrew! I take that as a huge compliment…and I appreciate it. I really do try to be as authentic as possible, so glad you and others see that…thanks!

  86. Michael says:

    WOW! That’s amazing! I am a newbie of niche site. I hope learn more from your blog.

    Thanks Spencer!

  87. Hello Spencer. you are a truth Sayer. you are a bread giver. but your bread is only recognized by those who read your articles. i have gained and learnt so much from you that am now an enterpreneur staying home all days and always at my pc writing unique articles and researching. am so happy i found nichepursuits. Thank you very much.

  88. Sam says:

    Hi Spencer. I have a quick question. Do you have trackbacks enabled on your pages and posts? If so…do you approve trackbacks coming to you?

    Thanks.

    P.S. I’m an avid follower of your blogs

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