NSP Update 4: My Niche Website is Live!…Now What?

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NSP Update 4: My Niche Website is Live!…Now What?

My niche website is now up and running with some content! As planned and discussed here, I wrote 1 in-depth article targeting my primary keyword of “best survival knife”. I have basically spent the past 10 days researching and learning about my chosen niche and then creating something useful.

So, in my post today, I want to cover how I’ve researched the niche, what I have planned for secondary articles, site design, plugins, monetization, and more.

How Did I Research My Niche?

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m not an expert on survival knives (at least I wasn’t when I started this process). However, I decided to do a couple of things before I created my new niche site. First, I wanted to see what information was currently ranking in the top 10 of Google for my chosen keyword. Secondly, I wanted to provide a resource that I thought was more valuable than those top 10 sites in Google.

I think I’ve accomplished that.

In order to provide something valuable, I had to do some in-depth research (and you will to). So, for the past 10 days I read every article ranking in Google and documented every knife mentioned in an excel spreadsheet. Then I went over to Amazon.com and found dozens more knife makes and models NOT mentioned in any of these articles. I read the companies descriptions of the knives, read reviews, and documented all the stats for each knife (cost, blade length, weight, and more).

Click to Enlarge - Some of the Data I collected
Click to Enlarge – Some of the Data I collected

By collecting all the data and reading reviews, I was able to learn a GREAT deal about knives. I also jumped into several forums and learned how people were using these knives. This got me familiar with the “lingo” of the niche, common questions, and what people are looking for in a knife.

In doing all of this, I found out there are TONS of knives and everyone has their own opinion on what the best one is. (This may occur in your niche as well, so be ready for it). Rather, than trying to write an article stating what the absolute best knife was, I decided to provide a interactive matrix/comparison guide that would allow users to research the best product for them.

Not only do I think end users will find this very useful, but I didn’t see anything quite like it on any of the sites currently ranking in Google. I think I provided something valuable and unique to make me stand out. (That’s the idea).

Gathering all the information was VERY time consuming! Every knife lists their stats on different websites and in different formats. I had to convert European manufactured knives from mm and kg to inches and ounces. I could find no one spot anywhere that had all the information that I compiled into one spot.

Click to Enlarge - Partial Screenshot of the Chart I Created
Click to Enlarge – Partial Screenshot of the Chart I Created

I probably spent a good 10 hours just putting that chart together, and its still not done. I now need to go back in and add my Amazon affiliate link to the images and knife names. But more on that in a minute…

I also wrote the primary article myself. Its nearly 2,000 words long (not including the chart) and was the culmination of all the research I did. I think the primary keyword is used about 5 times – which is less than 0.3% of the time.

What About Secondary Articles?

In choosing secondary keywords to target, I will follow a somewhat similar process to choosing a primary keyword. Namely, I will be looking for low competition keywords that I believe I can rank for in Google for most of them. I say “most”, because some articles I may just write if they make sense (even if they aren’t low competition) in order to fill out my site with good useful content.

So, I’ve gone over to Long Tail Pro, and typed in seed keywords that I ran across in researching my primary article such as knife names, brands, common topics on forums, and more.

I also am willing to accept lower search volume for the secondary keywords. Rather than looking for keywords that get 5,000 exact match local searches, I’m willing to accept keywords that get as little as 200 searches per month, as long as I believe I can rank for it in Google.

So, overall my secondary articles will be a mix of low competition keywords with lower search volume and related keywords that may not be as low competition, but just make sense to write about.

For example, a couple of lower competition keywords that I might write about are:

  • survival machete – 320 exact match local searches (26 keyword competitiveness if using Long Tail Platinum)
  • survival axe – 590 exact match local searches (27 keyword competitiveness)

Articles that would just make sense:

  • bear grylls ultimate knife
  • cold steal trailmaster
  • best hunting knives

Web Design and Logo

As you can see from my niche site (best survival knife guide .com), I’m using the Niche Website Theme. (Which is on sale for the next couple days here). I really haven’t settled on a color scheme just yet, so it may change quite a bit from what you see right now.

So, I’m playing around with different color and layout options right now.

In addition, I’m hiring someone to design a logo/header for me. I expect to have the overall look and feel of the site complete in the next week or so.

Plugins to Use

The basic plugins I’m using for this site are:

I used TablePress to create the comparison chart on the homepage. Essentially I just gathered all the data and input it on an excel spreadsheet. Then I uploaded the CSV file to my site using the TablePress plugin. Pretty simple.

The Niche Website Theme already includes an area to input my Google Analytics ID, social information (twitter, facebook, etc), removal of post date (if I want), Ad management, and more. So, if I wasn’t using the theme, I would need to install at least 3 or 4 other plugins.

Monetization

I am using Amazon Associates to monetize the site right now. This is just a good fit for the niche I’m in. As mentioned, I will be adding affiliate links to the knife chart I created.

In addition, down the road, I expect to add an email opt-in form and an email series that I can monetize with other affiliate products. However, my focus right now is just getting content up on the site.

Getting Indexed and Rankings

I have not built any links to the niche site, and don’t plan to until I have 10 or so articles on the site. I just feel like I want great content on the site before I start focusing on link building. I’m in no rush.

I often get people asking how I get my sites indexed. The answer is that I do nothing.

By using WordPress, they have a built in pinging system that sends a ping when I publish anything on my site. This is enough to get a site indexed. So, I did nothing to try and get indexed by Google and I am now indexed by Google. Its a non-issue, so you shouldn’t worry about it.

My site doesn’t rank anywhere for my primary keyword. I expect this to be the case for the next week or so. I may pop up in the hundreds somewhere, but again I’m not worried about rankings at the moment. In a couple of weeks when my core content is published (10 articles or so), then I’ll start focusing on link building and rankings.

When that time comes, I’ll most certainly be keeping you updated here with my plans and progress!

Next Steps

As I go through this process, I want to document the dates of everything.  So for my own records, and for you to refer to, here’s what’s happened so far:

  • Purchased domain (bestsurvival knifeguide .com) – Feb 7, 2013 (see video of it here)
  • Installed WordPress – Feb 12, 2013 (see video of it here)
  • Site Indexed in Google – sometime between Feb 12th and Feb 20th
  • Published first article on site – Feb 22, 2013
  • UPDATE (not on original post): Feb 26th, 2013 – Ranking 385 in Google!

My next steps will involve producing additional content and finishing up the logo/site design.  I expect that I will be outsourcing several of the secondary articles; however, I do plan on writing at least of few more of the articles on my own.

Once I have the core content of 10 articles, I’ll start thinking about link building.  I’ll also continue to produce content until I have at least 15 to 20 articles before I focus full-time on getting the site ranked in Google.  I expect it to be at least a few weeks before I see too much action in terms of link building and perhaps even some movement up in Google.

In an ideal situation, I would crack the top 10 of Google in about 2 months.  We’ll see what happens!

Overall, I hope this update has been useful for you as you go out and start working on your own niche sites.  I would love to hear your thoughts, questions, or observations in the comments below.

Yes! I Love to Learn

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116 Comments for this Post

  1. Theodore Nwangene

    Theodore Nwangene

    Hi Spencer,
    You’re really gone very far with this project, I’m really impressed on your results so far.

    I’m also working on creating a niche site, but I’m still on the keyword research. Will be following along.

    I just started reading your posts and i love everything you’re doing here too. I’ve already subscribed to your email list so i won’t miss any of your valuable infos.

    Where i will like to pay more attention to is on your backlinking strategy. You with all the Google animals moving about, one has to be very careful on building backlinks.

    Kudos for your success Spencer and more strength to your elbows.

    Theodore

    • Tung Tran

      Tung Tran

      Hi Theodore,

      Glad to know that you’re building your own niche site as well.

      Keyword research is really important and it’s also the first step so it needs to be done right.

      I’m doing public niche site case study on my blog as well and have just finished writing an in-depth and practical article (over 3,000 words) about Why 95% marketers FAIL at doing keyword research and how to fix it.

      I don’t know what situtation you are now but it’s definitely worth a read. I’m sure that you will find something useful.

      I also listed 4 examples of me using Longtail Pro analyze the competition of the keywods.

      If you’d like to check out the article, the link is here:

      http://www.cloudlivingjourney.com/keyword-research/

      I don’t want to be biased by self promoting here but i only share if I believe it’s helpful to people.

      -Tung

  2. James Chamberlin

    James Chamberlin

    One thing I’d be curious to learn about is if there is an easy way to scrape Amazon to update the knife prices since Amazon’s prices are always changing.

    I wish someone with programming skills could look into this and educate those of us who are a little less tech-savvy.

    • Travis

      Travis

      You are doing it wrong.

      Stop trying to do things the easy way.

      This is why 99% fail.

      Success takes hard work. Lots of it. Tons of it. Probably more than most people are willing or even able to do.

      • Feng

        Feng

        WRONG

        It’s not about hard work, rather working hard and smart, not how hard and time you commit.

        To build an app off the amazon api so you don’t have to manually update the prices is smart. It’s not too hard either. There are already WP plugins that do this (checkout Chris Guthrie’s tool). You might have to modify it to get it to work how you want it to work.

    • Ivete

      Ivete

      Yes, that is definitely possible. You’d use Amazon’s Product API to pull the data from Amazon’s site directly (no scraping needed), maybe checking once a day for updated price information. Their API documentation is a bit weirdly organized but what you’re describing is a pretty easy use case for it.

  3. Bradley

    Bradley

    I am super excited about seeing how things turn out. In the past I have created several sites very similar to yours, and they were usually quite successful. I found that my comparison charts had the highest conversion rates by far.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Bradley…I have high hopes for the comparison chart!

  4. Ivo

    Ivo

    Looks great so far! A few things to consider: I don’t see an Amazon affiliate disclosure anywhere. I believe that’s required. Also, affiliate links to Amazon all need to be “nofollow”.

    Finally, careful with having prices in table once you add links to the products. That’s also not allowed unless you use an API to update the prices. In the past, I’ve used price ranges, dollar symbol ($ – $$$), or a “check for current price” link. They’ve all worked well.

    I think you have a winner on your hands though. Good luck!

    • Scott Bottomley

      Scott Bottomley

      Interesting. I have not yet built a website with amazon affiliate links being the primary monetization method but this is good to know for future reference.
      Does Amazon provide an API?

      I like the $-$$$ range vs the “check price” as I feel the later often looks like you are just trying to get a click thru.

    • Matt

      Matt

      Yep, this is all true except for the “nofollow” links. A lot of people recommend using nofollow on affiliate links, but it’s not mandated by Amazon (I can’t find any mention of it in any of their agreements). Cloaking your affiliate links is definitely against their terms though.

      The disclosure is mandatory. See number 10. here: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement

      Ivo is also bang on with the pricing. 4th paragraph under the “General Requirements…” section: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/operating/linking

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Ivo – Thanks for the heads up on the pricing! We are all learning here together..me included! I’ve never extensively used Amazon Associates (just on a few small sites with widgets), so I will go in and remove the pricing. I’ll likely steal your idea of using $, $$, $$$, etc…great idea! Long term, maybe I’ll look into the API.

      I disclose Amazon associates on the privacy policy, but I’ll update to ensure its within amazon terms. Hope this helps others learn as well!

      • Ryan

        Ryan

        Hey Spencer – loving the niche site project, looking forward to more in the future.

        Thought I would jump in and offer my two cents (same boat as you in that my amazon associates experience is limited to a couple of small sites – in my case highly neglected ones – so take it all with a grain of salt).

        1) regarding pricing – looks like there might be some wp plugins that have the capability to pull this using the amazon api (quick search shows amazon link as being a free option – never used it so i can’t say for certain how well it works – anyone have experience?)

        https://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/amazon-link/

        2) that said, my instinct would be that the way you have pricing currently is better since people would be more inclined to click through to amazon to get exact pricing (just a guess since i have little experience with amazon like i said before, but definitely worth testing down the road – unless anyone has already done the testing and can offer some insight?).

        3) matt mentioned link cloaking is against the amazon tos… the terms say you can’t cloak links in a way ‘that makes it unclear that you are linking to an amazon site’ so i wrote to amazon for clarification a few months back. their response:

        ‘The Associates Program Operating Agreement doesn’t prohibit the use of link cloaking or shortening services provided that the service doesn’t use methods which violate the Associates Program Operating Agreement, such as framing the Amazon site or automatically tagging sessions with your Associates ID.’

        To me this says link cloaking is kosher if done carefully (you already have the proper disclosures and you don’t seem the type to do anything questionable like mentioned above). of course this is all assuming you even have any interest in cloaking to begin with since you weren’t the one to bring it up in the first place… anyway, I have personally done this on my own sites without any problems. I can forward the full email if you are interested in more info.

        4) maybe a bit compulsive to bring up – but you have the meta widget active that includes broken links to entries and comments feeds…

        5) lastly, a quick suggestion – maybe i am just paranoid and this is entirely unnecessary but with all the attention i imagine this site will be getting you might want to consider some sort of security plugin as well. something like simple login lockdown (https://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-login-lockdown/) or login security solution (https://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/login-security-solution/) – never used either (i have used login lockdown which sounds more like simple login lockdown. problem is it hasn’t been updated since ’09 according to wp.org so i can’t really recommend it despite it working well). the latter seems a little more thorough and ‘slows down response times’ instead of locking you out completely which is probably better in this specific case. it also has a list of alternatives in the description so you can take a look at some other options yourself if interested.

        well… i think i have written too much so i will stop here. thanks for another great update. i’m already looking forward to the next.

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Great points here. I may look into that api plugin. Thanks for the super thoughtful comment!

  5. Ugo Okonkwo

    Ugo Okonkwo

    A lot of dedication and immense hard work here Spencer.

    My respect.

    A few questions…

    1. How will you scale this up to several sites ? (10 days of overall research plus *10 hrs for a table alone – all for one site)

    2. I switched from All In One to Yoast. Why do you prefer AIO?

    3. Anything less than 35 pages is a mini-site in my opinion. Google sneezes, you get blown away! Why not go for the 100 posts straight off the bat. If LTP has ‘verified’ this niche and its competitiveness, and you have faith in LTP’s abilities, why do you need to re-test by holding at 20 posts??

    Please share your thoughts.

    Ugo

    • Scott Bottomley

      Scott Bottomley

      Regarding question one. I think it is time well spent. Yes it took him 10 days but he ended up with the most comprehensive table/list of knives available on the net. I think Google will be happy with his efforts.
      Plus, this is the backbone of his website. He won’t be spending 10 days on every article. Difficult to scale, yes, worht the time, i think so.
      (he could always outsource the research side of things for future sites)

      • MK

        MK

        One could argue research is a part of it but has he used the knives really? Does he know which come dull and which build quality and send it every time. Maybe with some of the research but buy ordering, owning and using the knives he could use youtube and create videos and build true authority.

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          I agree there are better knife experts out there. As you will see on my niche site, I don’t claim to be an expert. But I do claim to have gathered lots of useful data on knives that is not easily available anywhere else. This is my advantage. In time as I buy knives (and I do plan to buy some), I will have more first hand accounts…and perhaps become a true authority…

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      1. I have hundreds of sites and have a good scalable process. For this site I wanted to do everything myself because its public and I want it top notch. I could have outsourced the chart creation to a VA to gather and input the data. This was the most time consuming. Then I could have hired a good author to look at the data I gathered to write a great article. All of it is scalable, but I did it myself to learn about the niche and make sure its done right.
      2. I never had problems with AIO, so why switch :)
      3. It may end up 100 pages; but for any business its good to “test the waters” before you invest significant amounts of capital.

  6. Brad

    Brad

    Good work so far spencer!
    Just wondered about a couple of plugins, will you use a site map plugin? And what about a plugin to speed up site load time?
    I’ve purchased niche website theme and it looks great I will use it on all sites in future. Good luck with the rest of the NSP can’t wait for the next

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes, I will likely at an XML Google sitemap plugin…good point. Probably nothing for site load speed time…unless the site really takes off :)

  7. Steve

    Steve

    Spencer this is just awesome. I am really enjoying how much effort you putting forth to create value for the reader. It also helps when you talk about how you intend to rank and the time line. I sometimes get started with a website idea and now fully realize that I don’t really put enough effort to create a great experience for the user.

    I purchased niche website theme and already have put it to work. I can’t wait to see your backlinking strategy once your content is complete.

  8. Nickolas

    Nickolas

    awesome work dude!

    I follow along and set up my page just a couple days after you, and keep following (exited for the link building part of the project)

    but love your idea of offering something valuable for the visitor, just not for the ads.. thats what I am believing myself.

  9. Mike

    Mike

    I can’t wait to see how this comes together. I finally ranked for something naturally on my authority site and the difference was night and day.

    To do that deliberately time and again with a great process would be ideal.

    I just have never been willing to do the article spinning, back link, etc., game.

    I’m digging everything I’m reading about LTP too. I’m starting to lose my love for MS.

  10. Steve

    Steve

    Spencer,

    Appreciating all the updates – this is great stuff!

    Question – is it too late in the game to ask you to estimate your hours spent (including initial niche research?)
    For no reason other than that it would add another interesting dimension to all you are sharing – adding a time component for those who want to see what it really takes etc.

    An educated guess, maybe?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Probably 15 hours? Most of this could have been outsourced, but I chose to do it myself this time.

  11. vicks

    vicks

    wow, what a great piece of information you have provided for us here. Really, what you are doing is a great way to earn money as well as helping others in doing so. Tons of thanks to you dear.

  12. Tung Tran

    Tung Tran

    You have 2 choices:

    1) Disable comment on niche sites by using “Disable Comment” plugin.

    2) Using Akismet + Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin will help you block 99% of spam comments.

    I prefer to disable the comment on all of my niche sites

  13. Tung Tran

    Tung Tran

    Thank you Spencer for such a great article.

    I’ve checked your niche site this morning and am wondering which plugin you used to create that table. Now question answered.. Thank you :)

    PS: I’d love to contributing an guest post about my secret method to identify exactly whether we ‘ve chosen the right keyword which can be ranked quickly and easily. This piece of information is not published on your blog and virtually anywhere. Are u interested?
    I’m building niche site now and discovered this technique myself so I would love to contributing something to my favorite blog :)

  14. Dimitar

    Dimitar

    Do you plan to reveal your backlink strategy, I guess you have it in mind already, or maybe just the main points of it ?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes, I will be revealing my backlink strategy in depth.

  15. Nick Kizirnis

    Nick Kizirnis

    Hi Spencer,
    How great, thanks for this update. I can only contribute this to this song to the discussion, I hope you enjoy it –
    “My Valuable Hunting Knife” by Guided By Voices (Dayton, Ohio):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A8LyAqtaa0

  16. Jeff Brady

    Jeff Brady

    Spencer,

    As a niche noob with one whole site up and running, I look forward to following your progress.

    Also,

    There’s a typo on your knife site: “Price – the price of the nice on Amazon.com”

  17. Gabe

    Gabe

    FYI I’ve never been able to rank a site if I have lots of amazon links up in the first few weeks. So it will be interesting to see if you’ll be able to rank this site with so many amazon links up this early.

  18. Richard @ Lifestyle Design Unleashed

    Richard @ Lifestyle Design Unleashed

    Hey Spencer –

    Nice write-up – and it’s impressive to see how much effort you’re putting into this project! I myself recently launched a new authority site so it’ll be interesting to see our two sites grow side-by-side.

    So far I’ve been lucky – I have had a scraper built that has helped me do my product research. I’m of course just using this content as a basis and building it into useful content but I guess I’m lucky that my niche didn’t need as much manual labor as yours! That said, in many ways that’ where you’re going to be creating value for your market.

    One question – you’re talking about SEO (which is great of course) but are you also planning other promotional routes to build rapid traffic and also “spread your bets” incase Google changes their policies again soon?

  19. Ernie

    Ernie

    Hey Spencer,

    Great info as always. If I recall, the niche website theme includes options to enter seo type info for each page/post so was wondering why your including the AIO plugin?

  20. Joe

    Joe

    Spencer:

    What is the rationale behind listing the url sans the hyperlink for your site throughout the privacy page?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      This is just a standard privacy policy – the name of the site is listed several times as standard practice.

  21. Matthew Allen

    Matthew Allen

    Two points on previous comments: concerning using All in One SEO vs. WordPress SEO by Yoast – you said you haven’t had problems so why switch? Might I humbly suggest that you give Yoast a shot. I’ve been using it for awhile now and it is far and above 10 times better than AIO. It’s not just a simple meta and title insert plugin – it has so much more functionality. Too much to write here. Which brings up my 2nd point – it has site-mapping built right in so you don’t need a second plugin for that.

    Hope this helps some. Great start to your site Spencer and Thank You for putting it all out there!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I’m always willing to try new things out :). When it comes down to it, I’m ranking sites just fine without the Yoast plugin; but I don’t dispute that it might be better.

      • Matthew Allen

        Matthew Allen

        I wouldn’t say that Yoast “helps rank sites better.” It just gives you a visual and a kind of check-list to make sure all of your seo is in place for each post. I especially like the Google search preview feature – so you can see exactly how your post will look in the search results from right within WordPress. Also, it automatically calculates your keyword density in real time. Helpful to make sure you don’t overuse the keyword in a post.

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Alright, you sold me :). Sounds like the Yoast plugin has some cool features…I’ll check it out.

  22. fred

    fred

    This is awesome. This will definitely give me a roadmap to follow for my next niche site.

  23. Mara

    Mara

    Wow, Spencer – that’s really impressive. Not only is it a great example of building a niche site, but I’ve also bookmarked it for reference, to help sort out all the confusing advice out there about buying a survival knife for myself!

    I really like that you are prepared to spend time researching, writing and building up authority slowly – it’s in total contrast to all the “get ranked in 24 hours” hype marketers, and sets a much more realistic example for people to follow.

    (I’ve got Long Tail Pro, which I really like, and now the Niche Website Theme, which I’m about to try out – jumped in immediately just because of all the value & credibility you have here.)

    I’ve got a question, if anyone has an answer: with Table Press, does it upload all the images as well?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, that was one of the time consuming things with the table – had to add the images individually after I uploaded the data.

      Thanks so much for the kind words Mara!

  24. Isabelle Walker

    Isabelle Walker

    Do you have a rough idea / goal on how much you think the site may make you once you are ranking decently for your keywords. Does what you think you may make from a site go into your planning before building out a site such as this.

    Thanks
    Isabelle

  25. Rea

    Rea

    Hey Spencer

    great work Can you please tell me how you found that ranking please I am new and it is probable a dumb question (sorry)

    UPDATE (not on original post): Feb 26th, 2013 – Ranking 385 in Google!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I used the rank checker in Long Tail Pro to find that rank.

  26. Lady D

    Lady D

    Wow Spencer, Great post!I Usually just read (and keep my comments to myself…) but today I had to …

    It is reall interesting process you teach here – and I totally agree with your decision to do the research yourself, I think it is a good example that IM is not an instant business and we should credit the users more…

    I hope you will make a hub of this project, so we will be able to read it again (and again…) easly.

    I wish you good luck with this project!
    (I have LTP and niche theme so I know that what you’re doing is graet!)

  27. Darren

    Darren

    Spencer,

    Hey, Thanks for making this process so transparent. I only just figured at the link building stuff, and finally started to see a difference to my sites.

    But now reading, what you doing, makes me want to go back and do another site from scratch..

  28. Neale

    Neale

    Spencer Thanks

    The light bulb moment here in this post for me is “you took 10 days researching and learning about your chosen niche” Wow 10 days that’s something I have never done and probably the reason why most of my niche sites tanked thanks this puts it all back in perspective.

    BTW I had you at #9 yesterday for “best survival knife guide” #4 today no show on main term yesterday but popped in at 268 today

  29. Manish

    Manish

    Hello Spencer, you are already ranking on page 1 for the term survival knife guide. Hurrah to awesome keyword research.

  30. Zac Johnson

    Zac Johnson

    Nice looking site. No doubt the mega content and Amazon descriptions/listings will help with the indexing. It’s been to fun to start a niche site around the same time as you and using the same LTP software. I can’t recommend it enough.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Zac! I really wanted to make this site content heavy and useful. Combined with great keyword research it puts me way ahead of many competitors.

    • Iain

      Iain

      I agree. I started a niche website around the same time as both of you.

      I am also using LTP, so it cool to see how people develop their site.

      I am totally onboard with you Zach. I love LTP as well.

      I think this is the first time I have followed along with someone while doing it myself.

      So far, it has been a blast.

      Thanks for doing this Spencer

  31. Johnny Aguilar

    Johnny Aguilar

    Hey Spencer, nice job on the site so far!

    Since you are using Amazon’s Affiliate program, do you have to add a disclosure page? Or would a disclosure statement in the footer be enough? (Or both?)

    Thanks in advance!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I have the required disclosure on my privacy policy page.

  32. Dina

    Dina

    Again good to go, can’t wait to see link building process. I’m on my new niche which is 1 week old, and the main keyword already ranks #46 without any of page seo.

    Therefore, my main keyword will rank top 10 if I build up some links back. Keep up Spencer.

  33. Joe

    Joe

    Good update.

    I know you will cover link building later, but as I’m still keyword researching for this, how much will you be spending on link building?

    I’m asking as I don’t have much spare cash for buying links so don’t want to get started then not be able to finish the process.

    Thanks!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Not sure how much I will spend. I’ll do some basic free link building and probably some directory submissions. Then I’ll see where the site is at before I decide on spending link building money. I’ll definitely cover all of this though.

    • Tung Tran

      Tung Tran

      If you are on tight budget, I suggest doing link building manually or outsource via Fiverr. There are many high quality Fiverr gigs out there..

      • Derek Smith

        Derek Smith

        @Tung, what type of link building do you suggest on Fiverr? There are so many different options, I myself am looking for pr 4 or pr 3 guest posts related to my niche. Do you prefer this strategy or doing one of those “thousand” back links or something of that nature.

        • Tung Tran

          Tung Tran

          I usually use Social Bookmarking gig and link wheel at Fiverr..

  34. Gautam

    Gautam

    This info is 100x better and real than any of the IM products selling for $$$… You are rally too generous here!

    Will be waiting for your next post..

  35. Bas

    Bas

    I see you use images of the knifes, is it always to allow to just use these kind of pictures?

    I am never sure when I can use pictures or not because I think most of them are copyrighted. While they most likely dont care because you are giving free promotion….

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I did a lot of research on this. And I’m not a lawyer, but from what I read – if you are an amazon affiliate, its okay to use images from Amazon. This is what I’ve done. Great question, and for anyone wondering the same thing, I recommend doing your own research. However, Amazon provides widgets with product images, and I’m driving traffic to amazon and the products which I they like.

      • Bas

        Bas

        Thank you. I see my sentence was a bit weird but you did understand :)

        Yeah I did searched also a lot but couldn’t find a good answer.

        I think it’s more likely they ask you to take it down instead to get a lawyer immediately.

        Good luck with your website. I’ll keep following

  36. Ed

    Ed

    Great update and progress so far, Spencer. I just bought your theme and have a niche picked out and after seeing this update, I have a lot to think about – almost back to the drawing board, but in the end it’ll be much better than what I originally had planned.

    Thanks!

    • Glenn

      Glenn

      Hey, nice name for your blog! Great concept too! :)

  37. roger

    roger

    Hey Spencer,

    So glad I found Longtail Pro and Longtailclassroom.
    I have found it to be the best education on SEO. Plus, you are such a nice guy in these posts and on audio! I really appreciate that.
    One thought, and one question:
    Thought: In the “about”, perhaps include a picture of you with a survival knife (between teeth?) for extra credibility.

    Question: Why does LTPplatinum have a membership attached to it? Why not make it a one-time upgrade from Lite?

    -Roger

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Glad you are enjoying Long tail pro and classroom! I agree, a nice picture of a knife between my teeth might really put the site over the top!
      The platinum version has to be a monthly subscription because I pay for multiple APIs everytime someone checks a KC value. That’s the only way I can provide the data.

      • roger

        roger

        Ah, that makes sense. I appreciate the explanation. Is that API through SEOmoz?

  38. Chris

    Chris

    Hi Spencer,
    I only managed to read all your posts about the niche site project the other day and have found the information great. I started researching a niche site around the same time as you and managed to get an EMD for a keyword that gets 4400 local searches.
    It’s incredibly similar to yours in that its a review site of a type of product that is sold by many different companies, with different features and at different prices.
    Content wise I think I am a bit ahead of you. I have 4 posts and 3 pages of text for the main and related keywords, with a total of about 4000 words now. I have also created one post for each available product at Amazon, and I’m up to 30 of them now, all scheduled to publish over the next 30 days. Do you think it is a good idea to have one post for each product with 250 to 300 words?
    Also, for adding links and images into the TablePress table, I found that the best way was to create the table in excel first, as it is easier to do the copy and pasting there. TablePress then has a feature to import a spreadsheet, which I found very useful.
    Finally I wonder if you could tell what you think of the following situation. I got the EMD and later realized that it was an expired domain, which already has some back links. I used ahrefs to check them and there is no anchor text problem, and it doesn’t look like they are real spammy links. Should I just ignore the fact that there are existing back links or should I consider using the disavow tool?

    Thanks,

    Chris

  39. Ron

    Ron

    Spencer: You’re at number 45 in Google this morning (28 Feb) for the keyword “best survival knife”. Climbing fast! Thanks for sharing your process with us.

  40. Joe

    Joe

    He shows up at number 25 on my google search, just now.

    Pretty cool!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Wow, its moving up fast! I have not built a single link yet. Just in-depth keyword research and valuable content with some basic on-page SEO tactics. Its likely to bounce around in the ranks for a week or 2 though before it settles down, so it may go up more, and it may drop…but hopefully it settles in near the top :)

  41. Ian Wilcox

    Ian Wilcox

    For a moment there i thought you hit second!!! then i logged out of my google account!

    Thanks for sharing this process, I purchased the monthly long tail platinum upgrade last night

    I havent found my keyword yet but i know this software is going to be the most valuable tool

    Really enjoying this process cant wait to find my keyword and purchase the niche site theme and get going!

  42. Dimitar

    Dimitar

    Yeah, you around 35 according to Serfox and Serpscan and these are very accurate. That’s not a surprise for me tbh, google seems to give some boost to the new sites nowadays. I tried something, same keyword, almost the same article of course they both pass copyscape, I mean like value to the reader and keyword density, and my 20 old domain is ranking #25 when my old 8 years domain is ranking #155. Actually of of the keyword of my new domain are ranking in the first 30-40, one keyword with 1000 is even #3 with just on page seo. So new sites seems to be ranking better these days.

    • Dimitar

      Dimitar

      20 day old domain* All of the keywords* lol I must check before posting

    • Ian Wilcox

      Ian Wilcox

      I wonder if thats because the site and the content is fresh and there isnt any spammy backlinks pointing to it

  43. Travis

    Travis

    Have you made any Knife sales yet?

  44. Stewart

    Stewart

    Hi Spencer. Another great article! I think what you are sharing is amazing – I just keep learning more and more.

    One thing though…the fact that you have all viewing the new site…will that “artificiallly” increase the rankings?

    Not complaining though – another great article!

  45. Greg

    Greg

    You have a ton of affiliate links on your homepage Spencer. At least the majority are below the fold but I don’t think google will like that. I have had several sites de-indexed because of amazon affiliate links on the homepage and I only had ten links. After removing the links I did manage to get one site re-indexed but I think you are pushing your luck with over 100. Maybe they will let it slide since you have a chart that can be sorted by knife specs.

    • Gabe

      Gabe

      Yes there are far too many amazon links on the site versus content and other out bound links.

      Also, I’ve found that if you have lots of amazon links up early (first few weeks) you’ll get hit by google.

      I doubt the site will ever rank on page 1 for his keywords because of these things…it’s very easy for google to tell it’s an amazon affiliate site.

      • Spencer Haws

        Spencer Haws

        Gabe:
        You might be right. I just took down the affiliate links from the homepage. This is my first amazon site, so learning along the way.

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  47. Jeremy

    Jeremy

    Congrats Spencer! By the way, what is the total cost to setup the site before ROI kicks in?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Well, I’m still spending on articles so I don’t have a total cost figure yet :). But it will be a few hundred dollars probably. Then a bit more for link building. But if it hits my goal of $500/mth, the ROI should be pretty nice.

      • Grant

        Grant

        Hi Spencer – I may have missed it somewhere in the discussion, but could you please share the cost of the logo design and where you contracted this?

        Thanks!

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    How to Shoot HDR Photography

    Hi all, here every person is sharing these knowledge, thus it’s fastidious to read this webpage, and I used to pay a visit this blog daily.

  50. Gary

    Gary

    Hi Spencer

    I ordered the Niche Website Theme and did not get any confirmation email after my payment. I submitted a support ticket and it also did not send me any email.

    Please help.

    Thank you.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      If you still haven’t received a response, let me know.

  51. Sandeep

    Sandeep

    Hey Spencer – Which Plugin did you use for the amazon affiliate links on your chart?

  52. Armaan

    Armaan

    Hey Spencer,

    Thanks for this amazing step by step case study.

    Was wondering what you use for on page SEO for individual posts? Do you use a plugin like SEOpressor or something?

  53. LaTusha

    LaTusha

    Hi Spencer

    I’m not sure if you answered this but I didnt see it. What was your posting frequency? I noticed you didnt publish all your posts at once but how often did you post?

  54. Mike

    Mike

    hey Spencer where did you get your logo designed from?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      My graphics guy. Found him on Freelancer.com

  55. Andrew

    Andrew

    Hi Spenser, I think what you are doing is really good and I am very grateful for you sharing it all publicly.
    I am trying to create my first niche site and have created a table like yours on my site comparing the different items in my niche.
    After applying to amazon I got this message “We discovered that your web site provides access to copyrighted or trademarked materials. We are therefore unable to approve your application.”
    I don’t know what copyrighted materials I have used, but think it could be the images in the table, did you get anything like this when applying?
    Thanks for any help.
    Andrew

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, but I applied to Amazon like 5 years ago with a different website. Perhaps just apply with a different website, or remove the images.

  56. Philippe

    Philippe

    Spencer,

    How do you get the amazon links into your tablepress?

    Philippe

  57. Armando

    Armando

    i just learned about your niche site project and think its fantastic. Congrats on the result! I don’t have experience with Amazon and have a question.

    How did you get the images for the products? Is that part of the affiliate program?

    Thanks,

    A.

  58. Ray

    Ray

    I’m having a hard time with Amazon approving my site for the associates program. When I fill out the application and they temporarily approve me, should I put their links in the content and pictures so they can see how it looks? I currently have the main page article and 2 other articles on the site.

  59. Salman

    Salman

    Hi Spencer,

    Can you please clear my doubt on the following

    “Purchased domain (bestsurvival knifeguide .com) – Feb 7, 2013 (see video of it here)
    Installed WordPress – Feb 12, 2013 (see video of it here)
    Site Indexed in Google – sometime between Feb 12th and Feb 20th
    Published first article on site – Feb 22, 2013″

    By looking at the dates, I see that you published 1st article on the site on Feb 22, 2013. So my question is was your site empty w/o any pages before it was indexed by google?

    Thanks

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I may have had the contact, privacy policy, and about us page published before the first article. But even if not, google DOES index empty wordpress sites…happens all the time.

  60. bella

    bella

    Wow I am very impressed with your work. I am also considering having my own amazon affiliate marketing blog however there are lots of products that I like to promote. I have done a bit of research on amazon the products that I am interested and some products that I have actually owned. However, I am still thinking whether to stick with one product thus having a niche affiliate blog (domain specific to a particular product) or a general domain e.g product reviews.

    Would you be so kind to give me some advice, which one would provide me a profitable results in the long term?

    Thanks :)

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Either could be successful in the long term. It just depends on your execution and overall strategy.

  61. Debu Shah

    Debu Shah

    Hi Spencer,

    Your site seems to be dropped to 2nd page is that penguin 2.1effect?

  62. Matt

    Matt

    My site has been live for about a month, it ranks #17th in yahoo for the keyword I’m going for, but no where in google or bing. Sound familiar for you?

  63. AJ

    AJ

    Hey Spencer, if a KC score of 35 is your watermark for your main keyword, what would you recommend the target KC should be for secondary keywords? I have been looking for secondary keywords with a KC of 30 or less…but would think there would be some more opportunities with a higher KC

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      For secondary keywords, I love it if they are below 35 still. Under 30 is best, but up to 35 is okay.

  64. Rakesh Shah

    Rakesh Shah

    careful with having prices in table once you add links to the products. That’s also not allowed unless you use an API to update the prices and what is the total cost to setup the site before ROI kicks in? please help.

    Regards,

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