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Podcast 124: Niche Site Beginner to Expert – How Nick Hasche Built a $10,000 a Month Site Portfolio

Yes! I Love to Learn

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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Today, I’m excited to bring you a guest interview with Nick Hasche, a niche website builder.

Nick started building niche websites just a little bit over a year ago. He actually started right alongside Niche Site project 3.0, which is why I’m really excited about this interview because he learned how to build niche sites by following along with that project and implementing the things that I was teaching.

Nick has taken what we taught and implemented some of his own unique angles as well. His portfolio of sites has reach revenues of $10,000 a month.

If you’d like to hear how Nick has done that, go ahead and listen to the interview. We go through his entire process from keyword research, content creation, and of course, link building as well. He has some very unique strategies to consider. Overall, I hope you enjoy the interview.

Read the Transcript

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Spencer:Hey everyone, welcome back to the Niche Pursuits Podcast. I’m your host, Spencer Haws, from nichepursuits.com. Today, I’m excited to bring you another really great guest interview. I do an interview with a niche website builder. His name is Nick Hasche.

He is somebody that started building niche websites just a little bit over a year ago, a year and maybe a few months. He actually started right alongside Niche Site project 3.0, which is why I’m really excited about this interview because he learned how to build niche sites by following along with that project and implementing the things that I was teaching Samara and other coaches were teaching, Colleen and Ryan, along the way.

Of course, Nick, he’s taken what we taught and implemented some of his own unique angles as well. He’s done really well. He’s been able to give a portfolio, believe it or not, that at its peak was earning $10,000 a month. I say at its peak because there has been a slight change and I’ll let Nick share what that change is. But able to build up a very significant portfolio of websites in just over a year.

If you’d like to hear how Nick has done that, go ahead and listen to the interview. We go through his entire process. From keyword research, content creation, and of course, link building as well. He has some very unique there to consider. Overall, I hope you enjoy the interview.

Hey Nick, welcome to the Niche Pursuits Podcast.

Nick:Hey Spencer, thanks for having me.

Spencer:Yeah, absolutely. I thank you for joining us all the way from Thailand, if I’m correct.

Nick:Yes, I’m in Koh Tao right now, which is an island in Thailand.

Spencer:We’ll dive into your travelling a little bit here but you’re in Thailand, obviously. You’re not from Thailand, as your accent sort of discloses there. You’re from Australia. I wanted to bring you on because you’ve had some success with your niche sites and we want to dive into some of those strategies. Before we do, can you give us a brief background on some of your business and work experience previous to building websites?

Nick:Yeah, sure. My previous website experience is pretty nonexistent. I actually studied mining engineering and also finance at university. That lasted six years, which was good fun. After that, I went to work for a pretty big mining company in Queensland. I did that for a year and then pretty quickly realized that the lifestyle was definitely not for me.

Not only is mining lifestyle pretty specific and pretty average, in my opinion, but the 9:00AM  to 5:00PM regular lifestyle didn’t appeal to me. I could already see what the next 5 to 10 years looks like and that’s boring. I quit.

That was in 2013, at the end of 2013. Then, I went travelling for two years. For the second year, I was in Koh Tao, where I am now and I worked as a scuba diver. It was during that time when I started to look into long term options, SEO, internet business, things like that.

Spencer:How are you able to afford just quitting your job without, I mean it sounds like without any regular employment? How did that work out?

Nick:I was very fortunate in Australia. At least, at that time, the mining industry was doing very well. The specific degree I had, I think it was getting the highest graduate salary out of any university degree in Australia. Straight out of the university, I was earning very good money and been also living in a mining town where there’s nothing to spend money on. You can save money pretty easily so I had some savings.

Spencer:Good. Is it safe to assume no children to take care, that sort of thing as well?

Nick:Yeah. I’m 29 so no kids yet. I have a girlfriend but no kids.

Spencer:That does make it a little bit easier to travel. No obligations, easy to save up some money, and when you’re in a place like Thailand, I’m sure it’s not very expensive so you can get by for a couple of years, right?

Nick:Yeah, I mean Thailand is definitely not expensive. It helps.

Spencer:Cool. You worked as a scuba instructor. Any other interesting sort of gigs that you had as you’ve been travelling around?

Nick:No. Really, the first year was just travel and the only place I stopped to do some work was here, as a scuba diver. That wasn’t planned. I just did my open water course as a lot of people do here on Koh Tao. If you meet people from Koh Tao, it’s a very typical story that for a few days and they end up staying a year or longer. It’s just one of those places you get stuck.

Spencer:Cool. Go ahead. What was your first online venture? What lead you to diving into building niche websites?

Nick:Like I said, during that time I started to look in the SEO and I had some very basic understanding on what it was and I sort of toyed around a little bit with blog posts and on page SEO and things like that, but nothing serious.

But then, when I went home, the end of 2015, back to Australia, I knew it was time to make something happen. I really resisted the idea of going back to a regular mining job. The most logical course of action seemed to be internet business because of the lifestyle that it allow.

Basically, the first thing I did was I Googled how do you make money online, which I know is ridiculous, but I’m sure everyone has done it at some point in their life.

Spencer:Sure.

Nick:One thing led to another and I ended up on a blog called Niche Pursuits, believe it or not. I started to play along and I learned from you. After reading all about it, I thought, “Yeah, this is probably something I could do. It sounds not overly complicated. I could see the potential for the scalability,” which excited me. I decided to just give myself a 10 day test.

Basically, what I did was I had a series of goals which was to go through the process: selecting a niche, doing keyword research, doing hosting website build, creating content, basically, everything up until link building. I had very specific goals like I must have five posts published, blah, blah, blah. I actually gave a friend of mine $200 and said, “Look, if I don’t have this done in 10 days, you can keep the $200.”

Spencer:Nice, I like the incentive.

Nick:It’s just a bit of accountability because I wanted to take it seriously. I did that for 10 days. The theory was that would give me some exposure to most of the aspects of niche websites and it would allow me to then decide whether or not it was something I wanted to pursue. After those 10 days, I decided, “Yup, this is something I want to do or at least try.” And I decided to commit to it for the entire year.

Spencer:Wow. I love that you found out about niche websites from nichepursuits.com. That’s awesome.

Nick:It’s the only destination.

Spencer:Yeah.

Nick:Where else?

Spencer:That’s all you need. Do you remember was it around Niche Site Project 2.0 or was it doing a case study?

Nick:No, it was right at the start of 3.0.

Spencer:Okay, so that’s only been just a little over a year ago, a year and few months maybe.

Nick:Correct. It was January 2016.

Spencer:Yeah, perfect, alright. That gives us a timeframe of when you started, just a little bit over a year ago. How did the year go? Tell us about your business right now.

Nick:Sure. It was an interesting year, as you noticed, a lot of delayed gratifications. I didn’t see results for a long time. I struggle with patience so it was a tough year in that way. Basically, what I did was I built five websites including that first 10 day website which I did later expand as well, so five websites.

I should say the reason I chose 5 was because you had sort of said that a reasonable goal was to hit $500 a month from the website, in like 6 to 9 months. So I thought, “Alright, I’ll do 5 and if I can get $2,000 a month, then I can go travelling next year on that money.” That would be a win to me.

I built five websites. The first half of the year was basically doing a lot of keyword research and writing the content. I wrote approximately the first 100,000 words, myself, which required a lot of persistence. The second half of the year, I spent doing link building and preparing for this year because I knew I wanted to scale this year.

I thought that by spending a lot of time automating all the stuff that I do, systemizing all the tasks, automating them, that would allow me to hit this year running and scale fast. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m doing what I did last year but on scale. I call last year a year of validation and this year is a year of expansion.

Spencer:Awesome, tons of things that I want to dive into with how much you’ve just shared of what you’ve done over the past year and your plans going forward as well. We are going to go into that but just to give us an idea about earnings, to give people an idea of how well you’re doing out of those five sites or however many you have now, what sort of income numbers are you seeing month to month?

Nick:There’s been a bit of a change recently. January and February, the 30 day window, I was making $10,500 a month.

Spencer:Wow.

Nick:It was doing well. I was also creating a lot of new content so I was actually projecting to hit about $15,000 within a few months. I was very confident I was going to get there within three months or so.

Spencer:That’s quite impressive for just about a year.

Nick:It worked out.

Spencer:I will say that it worked out very well. Let’s dive into what worked really well for you. I know you said there’s a little bit of an update. We’ll dive into what that update is a little bit after you give people an idea of what your strategy was, getting to this point, if that’s okay.

Nick:Yeah, sure.

Spencer:In terms of content, you now have content that you’ve done. You said you wrote 100,000 words, yourself, to start. How many articles is that on a website? Give us a breakdown of how many articles now are on your best performing sites?

Nick:The very first two websites are those I pretty much, I wouldn’t say deserted, but after about 20 posts, I moved on from them because I sort of felt I have learned a lot from those two websites and then I focused more heavily on the next three, which is where the 90% of income came from.

The best website, I think right now, there are about 60 posts. I think about 10, 15, maybe even 20 of those are quite new. Roughly, I’d say a ballpark of 40 posts on there around the New Year, and the other two have roughly 15 and 20 each.

Spencer:Roughly how much is your top website making versus the other couple of websites?

Nick:The best was making roughly $6,000 and the other two were on the same level.

Spencer:Okay, awesome. That’s really good. What would you say is the reason for the success so quickly? Most people maybe build one website in a year aren’t seeing similar numbers as you. Let’s maybe just focus on your top website since you’ve got a few. Why was that website so successful?

Nick:Honestly, I think the biggest reason was it was an obsession. It’s not very marketing, I was really obsessed with making it happen last year, I was extremely determined. It was an obsession to the extent that I got up everyday at 5:30AM  and worked for 12 hours. I’ve worked 10 days straight with 1 day off. I dreamt about Amazon keyword research, that’s fun stuff. Good times.

I’m a big believer in the 80/20 principle. A lot of people waste a lot of time doing things that don’t really give great results. I focused specifically on what I thought would work.

Spencer:That makes a lot of sense. People don’t have that level of obsession that they’re going to put in 10, 12 hours a day on a niche website to make it work. What were those things that when you say you try to 80/20 your task, what were those things? Is that writing content? Is that link building? Anything specific?

Nick:In this case, in this example, it’s the type of keywords. I didn’t spend too much time worrying about informational posts. On that side, I had about 10 also, around the year. I definitely wrote some but the only purpose of those 10 posts was really to give the perception of it being a normal blog which helps later when it comes to link building.

Mainly just focusing on what was going to work and what was going to make money which is, for the most part, best keywords. I think something else that really helped was that I didn’t just set it and forget it. I was constantly tracking everything. I’m a big data person, probably because of my experience in engineering, I love date.

I track everything and I look for differences like why is one post doing better than the other. I analyze all the on page SEO. See what’s the difference, why could it be different, why isn’t is working out as well. I’m tweaking things all the time. Just little things like tweaking keywords, adding keywords in, always adapting. It just worked out in the big part. I think the link building that i did also had a big influence.

Spencer:One more question on content. I’m sure people are curious, again, the length of the articles that you’re writing there, are these 1,000, 3,000?

Nick:It’s interesting because at the start I aim for 1,000, for a money post. Now, I do 3,000. To be honest, I have ranked just as well for posts that are 1,000 words. It really just depends on so many things. There is no definitive answer to what’s the best length. However, I will say that as you obviously know, there’s a huge amount of value in long tail keywords.

Spencer:Yup.

Nick:The longer your content is, the higher chances are of ranking for long tail keywords that you’re not even trying to rank for.

Spencer:Exactly.

Nick:The more content you have on the page, even if your on page SEO isn't that great, you will just rank for more really random, obscure, longtail keywords.

Spencer:Yup, that makes sense. I’m sure listeners were curious about that. Before we dive into link building because I do want to spend some time on that, let’s talk about that update that you said. I know recently you’ve shared that there’s been some changes in your sites a little bit. Why don’t you tell people what’s going on and maybe what you think you can do to fix that or what the issue is?

Nick:I think it was around the 9th or the 10th of March. A Google update has allegedly occurred. No one really knows 100% for sure. People are calling it Fred. Interestingly, on the very same day, one of my sites was hacked, which apparently does have a good chance that led to all my sites being infected because they were on the same hosting account.

Spencer:Yup.

Nick:Since that time, I’ve seen a pretty large drop off in traffic. It varies, each website is slightly different but on one website, it’s 90%, on one website, it’s got 50%. It’s very significant. At this stage I don’t know if it’s the hack or the Google update, or a bit of both.

Certainly, a little disappointing. Honestly, I think it’s the best thing that could have happened to me, which sounds crazy. If you’re in internet marketing long enough, this is going to happen sooner or later so it’s great that this has happened one year in so that I learned now. Going forward, I can adjust and improve and become better. It’s a good thing.

Spencer:That’s a positive outlook. I think that’s a good outlet to have. I’ve been building sites for over 10 years now and I’ve had tons of ups and downs. I’ve had sites that were de-indexed and I didn’t know why. I’ve had my Google AdSense account banned and I didn’t know why. I’ve been victim to the Google Panda, Penguin and other updates.

I’ve been through all of these things but each time, I’ve come back and either built new sites or improved my old sites. I’m still kicking, as they might say. It’s actually funny that you mentioned that your site got hacked at the same time that a Google update occurred because one of my sites, the same thing happened, not with this thread update but people don’t really know but they’re calling it a mysterious update. I think it was about a month and a half ago that it came out. They didn’t really name it. There was an update but we also noticed that my site was hacked. There was an update but we also noticed that my site was hacked at the exam same time.

Nick:Interesting.

Spencer:We didn’t know and I guess we still don't know what caused the traffic to dip but we went in, we obviously fixed the hack. We also went in some things to improve the site speed and just did everything that we could to improve the on page SEO of the site overall and I will just say that over the past month, it’s taken about a month but the traffic is right back up to where it was before.

Nick:That’s awesome.

Spencer:I offer that as hopefully some encouragement, that maybe it’s the hack that caused a lot and it can take Google a few weeks to recrawl your site, reindex it the way it was before. Hopefully that’s the case for you. Do whatever you can to speed up the site, improve any on page or if there’s anything else that you think might be off, try and fix that and hopefully it comes back.

Nick:It’s interesting because I actually had a theory as to why it’s happened and how I can fix it. Of course, it’s speculation, I don’t know. Google hasn’t even confirmed as far as this updated occurred but I’ve been reading a few blogs and there seems to be some consensus that it’s mainly websites that are revenue focused that are being hit.

That just gave me the idea that perhaps there’s some relationship between the number of links on a post or per website is going to create links and a keyword rank drop. What I did was fortunately because I have a few websites, I counted the number of affiliate links on every money post and then I looked at the drop in rank before and after this event, whether it’s the hack or the update. I can’t say definitively because it’s possible that the algorithm is still running and some ranks haven’t been hit yet. I don’t really know. I’m speculating.

But it seems like there’s a relationship. I feel like it’s something I can potentially fix and I’ve also noticed that some of the websites that are now ranking above me have less far affiliate links or none at all. It seems like to me Google is trying to give more emphasis on value to the user, which of course makes sense. That’s what people want to. I don’t know if that’s really what’s going on but it’s nice to have some hope. Basically, proceeding with that assumption, I’m going to be taking corresponding course of action to fix that. We’ll see.

Spencer:Really, all you can do is get as much information as you possibly can. Make some tweaks and hope that Google recrawls your website and the rankings improve. I think that’s a smart move on your part. After we post this interview in a month or two, if you start to see some improvement, maybe let us know and I could post an update after the interview.

Nick:Happy days. The good news is I’m still scaling, I’m still going ahead of my plan. I still plan to build 10 to 20 websites this year so even if this websites stay hit, I still think I can get back to where I was a couple of months ago. If not, much more. I’m confident about it.

Spencer:Go ahead and dive into what your plans are over this next year. You mentioned last year was validation and this year is scaling. That’s the plan to essentially build 10 to 20 sites over this year that are very similar to the previous sites that you’ve done?

Nick:Yeah, that’s the plan. I guess I should specify what type of website I am building because when people hear that I’m building 20 sites, they probably think a micro niche website or a website targeting maybe one to five keywords or something. That’s definitely not the case. I’m doing what I call authority niche websites with a bit of a twist. They’re big websites.

Before I make each website, I have a very specific goal as to what monthly revenue I want it to hit and I have a whole process of determining which keywords result in which value. And so how many keywords do I have to target to get that value, that goal, right?

Spencer:Right.

Nick:They’re not massive authority sites but they’re definitely not the tiny sites. They’re going to have roughly 30 to 50 posts each. That’s the plan. At this point, I built an entire system that’s automated so right now the only two things that I really do are keyword research and that’s just an 80/20. Keyword research is the task that results in the best results. The other thing I do is maintaining the whole system and managing the As and things like that.

Spencer:A couple of questions there as well. Tell us what kind of keywords you target. You mentioned, I guess the best survival knife or best product. Those type of affiliate keyword is what you’re targeting but what sort of search volume are you looking at, that sort of thing?

Nick:I don’t specifically look at search volume. Of course, I consider it and I do have a filter that I want to have a minimum of say 200 but what I do most specifically and what I think is more important is I calculate the value of the keyword or the value of the post assuming the post got keyword ranks.

Basically, what I do is I consider the monthly search volume of the primary keyword. I use an estimated SERP position, whatever I feel confident I can rank it. I feel a conservative putting 5 for that. I’ve been using the search volume together with the long, potential volume of the primary keyword with the click through rate of the estimated position.

That gets me the theoretical traffic to post per month and then I use my average click through rate to Amazon, for all my other websites. I have an average for that.

Spencer:Sure.

Nick:And then, also, the average Amazon conversion rate which then gives me the number of purchases. Using the price of the products I’m promoting, I also adjust it for random purchases because about 50% of the purchase of the items you sell are completely random so I adjust the price to account for that. Sometimes, that means it moves up, sometimes it down.

And then, I use the Amazon category commission rate to determine basically what my total commission would be per month for that keyword. It’s a lot of information but it’s straight forward. It’s a spreadsheet and it’s not perfect by any means. From what I’ve seen, it’s a fairly accurate rough estimation. It’s good enough, basically.

Spencer:Yup.

Nick:Basically, that’s why I don’t use just the volume. I consider that value as well because sometimes there’ll be a keyword with an [00:28:32] 200 but the products you’re going to promote have really great sales and the price is high. That could be a lot more lucrative than a really high search volume keyword where the average price is low. There’s a lot of things at play, it’s not just volume.

Spencer:I love it. That makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, people listening can follow along. It made sense to me. If people want to rewind and listen to your explanation, I think that was good.

Nick:Once you have the spreadsheet, it’s very easy to understand.

Spencer:Exactly. Let’s dive into link building a little bit. First of all, would you say that’s been critical to your success or is the keyword and content more important? If link building is important, let’s talk about a couple of your best link building strategies.

Nick:I do think it’s important. In those first two websites where I basically didn’t do any work once the content was written, I have ranked for some of those keywords with no link building. They’re fairly long tail. I think in general you definitely need links. If anything, it just speeds up your ability to rank. Instead of taking a year to rank, you might rank in nine months or something. It definitely speeds up and I’ve definitely seen that with each website. The earlier I start the link building process, the sooner the uphill exponential growth happens. I definitely think it should be done.

Again, I don’t think it’s necessarily difficult if you can create a system for it and automate a lot of the processes, it can actually be quite straight forward.

Spencer:I do want to talk about how you’ve automated things after you give this next answer. Let’s give a couple of your best strategies and then we’ll dive into how you’re actually automating that.

Nick:Last year, I did run three scholarships on three of the websites but I’m not continuing that anymore because first of all, it’s not sustainable in the long run and it’s really not great for the anchor text distribution, especially if you don’t have any other links, it makes your anchor text distribution very heavily orientated towards the scholarship. I don’t think that’s great.

It’s hard to say whether the scholarship links had an impact on the overall SEO or not. In total, I’ve got about 30, 35 universities linking to each of those websites. I think it was fairly successful. I did see an increasing rank at some point after that but it’s impossible to say whether it was from the scholarships, or just time, or guest posting, which is my other main strategy.

Spencer:I’ve talked to a number of people about doing the scholarship link building on the podcast so maybe you can give us an idea of how you’re doing guest posting. How are you finding people, how are you contacting them.

Nick:I’ve got a pretty specific strategy for it but before I delve into that, you could say that it’s pretty all outsource, the only thing that I do for it is I give my VA certain keywords and from there it’s all automated with the VA doing a lot of the work. And then, my content manager dealing with the emails and then outsourcing the writing of the guest post to a freelance writer.

Spencer:You’ve got three different people you’re using to do that process?

Nick:Yes. It’s very hands off, which is nice, because it gives me time to focus on keyword research for some other things. Basically, the first thing is I use the same pen name on my websites. That has some advantages. I have one central Buzz Stream account and I use the same email address with this person’s name.

First of all, it’s easier to manage one email and Buzz Stream account when you have several websites. The nightmare to try and deal with 20 different emails, it’s just not right.

Spencer:Right.

Nick:It’s a lot easier but also it has the advantage that it allows me to build relationships for websites under the one name. This can be really useful whenever I start a new site because I can look through the context with whom I’ve successfully guest posted before. If there’s any overlap between their site and my new site, I just reach out and say, “Hey, I’m now also editing this new site and a guest post could make sense.”

Spencer:It’s awesome.

Nick:A lot of the new websites, I don’t even need to do any prospecting. I already have a list that I can reach out to. That’s nice.

The other thing is that—this is an advantage of building multiple sites at once—is that I try and squeeze in a link to one of my other sites in every guest post. That double the results per guest post and halves the cost per link. Diving in further into that, whenever I’m building a new website, I’m creating the informational post for the new website and I’m aware that down the line, I’ll be trying to get a link from one of these future guest posts.

For example, let’s say I’m building a new website about mattresses. I make one of my informational posts kind of like a list about something related to mattresses. An obvious example is sleeping tips. And then, I mention the kind of things that later will provide the overlap I need to also link to that post from a guest post I’m doing from an entirely different website.

Let’s say I wrote in that post that drinking coffee is bad before going to bed, or maybe pet hairs in bed can cause sleeping trouble or whatever it is, or exercise is great for sleep. You provide these opportunities that later it makes it justified to link to that post as well. Let’s say three months down the line, I’m guest posting one of these other websites. Let’s say some fitness related site. It then make sense to include a link to that sleeping tips post in that guest post as well.

Spencer:That’s awesome. A good strategy, I like it.

Nick:It doesn’t always work. It depends who you’re guest posting for. Sometimes, it’s not really an option but often it works.

Spencer:Very good. Let’s dive just a little bit more. If you have anything in addition to share about how you’re automating a process, you gave us a good idea there, using VAs and content manager and those sorts of things. Are you doing anything else to automate the business?

Nick:The business as a whole or the guest posting?

Spencer:The business as a whole. Maybe give us some idea of what your team looks like, who’s involved. Of course, there’s a lot of pieces there so maybe just sort of broad stroke.

Nick:Sure. Currently, I have two VAs and then also a content manager, he’s also the editor. Of course, I outsource all my writing to writers that I’ve found on Upwork. Like I said, the only thing I will do is a keyword research and then I manage it all.

Basically, last year, when I was spending time automating everything, every single task that relates, that is included in this overall system, I would make a one or two minute video for. I have a wiki of video instructions so that every task can be automated and outsourced because I say, “Okay, this is the task. First you do this, then you do this, then you do this. Here are the video steps for each of that.” It’s very easy that way to outsource things.

Generally speaking, especially with this kind of work, there’s always a system. We all have habits so it doesn’t matter what task you’re doing. In general, there’s a system to it, there’s a routine to it and if that’s the case, then in theory, you can compartmentalize that process into smaller steps and then you just create a video for that step, very easy to do. And then you give it to VAs.

It takes a lot of work setting it up and I spent three months doing that last year but once it’s set up, you’re good to go.

Spencer:Yeah.

Nick:It’s great because now I spend about 20 hours a week on this business and then I also freelance for an ecommerce website. I spend about 20 hours a week doing that. I’m travelling around the world at the same time. It’s possible to build a business this way with minimal time investment.

Spencer:I think it’s super smart. Obviously, it’s working well for you. We do something similar in my business. We’d record videos and have templates and things like that that we can hand off to writers with nice writing instructions. It really does help to improve the business and help it grow without you directly involved in every piece of that.

Nick, you’ve shown a lot of great tips here already. Do you have any sort of final tips for building niche sites that you’d like to share, that we haven’t talked about already?

Nick:I think the main thing is to try to be smart about what you’re doing and focus on the 80/20 because people get overwhelmed by the amount of things that should be happening in this kind of website and for the most part a lot of those activities are just a waste of time, in my opinion. A lot of them aren’t. It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve but I think you need to hone in on where the results are going to come from, at least in the short term.

You need to outsource as soon as possible. If you don’t have the money to outsource, as soon as you’re generating income from the business, outsource, just reinvest. You need to be testing all the time. I’m constantly split testing everything to basically try and improve click through rate and other things as well. Like I said last year, I was always checking why is one page ranking over another. You need to test things, tweak things, and see if you can iterate your way through. Focus on click through rates. That’s important for optimization.

Spencer:Great tips. If anybody wants to stay in touch with you, is there any way that people can do that?

Nick:I’m on Facebook. I don’t have a blog or anything. I have toyed with the idea in the past but at the moment it would be too much for a time investment. I’m happy to answer any questions and I love nerding out on this stuff so anyone feel free to hit me up, for sure.

Spencer:Very good. We’ll leave it at that. Nick, I appreciate your time very much and all the tips that you shared.

Nick:Thanks, Spencer. It’s nice to be on the show one year after learning from you. It’s very nice.

Spencer:Yeah, it’s really cool to be able to share your success that you learned through Niche Site Project 3.0. I’m super happy that you’re able to come and share your story. It’s been great. I appreciate it.

Nick:Thanks a lot.

Spencer:Thanks a lot and thank you everybody for listening.

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Yes! I Love to Learn

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36 Comments for this Post

  1. Cooper

    Cooper

    Awesome!! Really enjoyed the podcast, Spencer.

    Reply
  2. Jori

    Jori

    Hey Nick!
    Really inspirational…
    Can you please share some tips about writing content for niche websites? Like how to research for the articles for the niche you don’t know much about…
    I really appreciate if you share some tips that how you write articles for your niche websites 🙂

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Nick

      Nick

      Hey Jori!
      These days I don’t do the writing myself, but you need to put yourself in the shoes of the person who would be the reading the post. Ask yourself what would they want to know. What’s relevant to this topic. Try and split the article into subheadings and write one section at a time.. that’s easier and less daunting 🙂

      Reply
  3. Steve

    Steve

    How did your websites get hacked and what did you do to fix them?

    Reply
    • Nick

      Nick

      Hey Steve,
      No idea how they got hacked. But it was a good lesson – make sure you protect yourself by using a plugin like WordFence. I had to pay a few hundred to get it fixed. There’s many services out there that do it but I used WordFence

      Reply
  4. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr

    On e takeaway from this story I wish more younger people would take to heart. If you want to get something good going for yourself as Nick has, think strongly about “taking a sabbatical” from the USA, similar to what Nick did in leaving his job and the high costs of Australia.

    One can go to a great, economical destination like Thailand (or the Philippines, where I have been for many years now, it’s a GREAT place for online entrepreneurs)) and live on so, so much less than what it costs to “keep the lights on” in the USA.

    Free of the burden of working 40 plus hours a week for “the man” (which contributes nothing to your own advancement), you will have tons of time to apply yourself to your niche sites or whatever else you are trying to get launched.

    You can even get rid of a lot of your debt load, and once you start making money the tex advantages to earning overseas can be huge.

    So many younger guys I chat with say their goal is to move overseas “someday”. For many, “someday” never comes. I came to the Philippines $40,000 USD in debt. Now that’s all paid off, i bought a new car and paid that off, and my house will be paid for in two more years. I could NEVER have done this working for the man in the USA … and I don’t make anywhere near as much as Nick has been able to achieve. Greta podcast, great story, Good on You, Nick.

    Reply
    • Nick

      Nick

      Thanks Dave! And absolutely agree with you.

      Reply
  5. Victor

    Victor

    Great interview! Thanks!

    I guess you’re making most of the income of Amazon?

    You talked about you had 10 info articles combined for the 5 sites? So the rest of your content are all like product review type of posts?

    Reply
    • Nick

      Nick

      Hi Viktor,
      Yes the income is 100% from Amazon.

      The 5 sites that make up the existing income have more than 10 info posts. I build new ones with 2 info posts which are mostly for the perception of a normal blog to help with my guest post outreach. The rest are ‘Best XYZ for ABC’ style posts

      However since we recorded this podcast I have changed this and now aim for a 50/50 split between money and info posts. This is to reduce risk in the long run.

      Reply
      • Victor

        Victor

        Thanks for answering the questions Nick.

        It’s really inspirational and motivational for me and a lot of others I’m sure!!

        Reply
  6. Joe

    Joe

    Good interview. I read the transcript.

    Reply
    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Awesome! Good to know people are reading the transcripts. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Victor

        Victor

        I also read the transcript. It’s more convenient for me 🙂

        Reply
  7. Mark

    Mark

    As usual, this is an excellent interview! I particularly appreciate the commentary on outsourcing and automation. Does anyone have any suggestions on fair pay for these contract workers? Of course we all want to keep the costs down, but I think it’s only right to be fair…if they do good work, they should be paid decently.

    Reply
  8. Liz Ambrose

    Liz Ambrose

    can we get links to some of these websites you built?

    Reply
  9. Learn2BlogOnline

    Learn2BlogOnline

    This is really a nice, Complete Guide. Your site is very helpful to me as it help me to make my blog better then before.
    Thank for sharing this article.

    Reply
  10. Bearinforest

    Bearinforest

    Awesome Nick,
    This is very nice interview. It’ll help me too much to improve my blog.

    Thank you very much.
    Deann

    Reply
  11. Brad

    Brad

    Great interview as usual Spencer, would love to see Nick in upcoming podcasts, I got some great advice to improve my blogs.

    Reply
  12. Mike McLeish

    Mike McLeish

    Really inspiring podcast. Sounds like Nick knows his stuff! When he said about his lack of info articles I assumed that was the reason he got hit. Was this the case or was it the original theory?

    Either way, good to see that Amazon affiliate sites do work if you follow the advice given on here!

    Reply
    • Nick

      Nick

      Hey Mike,

      Yeah it’s still unclear what exactly caused the Fred penalty. Since this interview was recorded I’ve adapted slightly and now aim for a 50/50 split between info posts and $ posts. Even if that wasn’t the issue with Fred, it will be an issue in the future so it makes sense to be a little less aggressive 🙂

      Reply
  13. Bob

    Bob

    I love these podcast! Seriously, I drive across Wisconsin twice a week and its great to be able to pop in an episode as inspiring as this one! Please keep it up : )

    And Nick, wow man, how the heck did you have the confidence this system was going to work? You give me hope!

    Reply
    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Awesome…thanks for listening Bob. Enjoy the ride to Wisconsin this week 🙂

      Reply
  14. Mike Xhaxho

    Mike Xhaxho

    Hey Spencer,

    I’ve launched 50+ fitness apps in the last year, generating 2M+ downloads. Some apps I’ve partnered with fitness influencers (400K+ followers). I’ve also launched some FBA products.

    Let me know if you want to collab on any (fitness) projects. I can drive a lot of traffic.

    Mike

    Reply
  15. Karen

    Karen

    Hi,
    Great Read. Thank you so much! I am trying to put together a spreadsheet for keywords (Thats a great idea by the way). I have a few questions. What is your average click through rate to Amazon. I have only one site and my click through rate is 80%. Not sure if this is the norm.
    When you say the long potential value of the keywords do you mean all the other long tail keywords you can rank for? Also what’s your average conversion rate. The reason I ask is I only have one site ranking so far so I don’t have a lot of data. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Nick

      Nick

      Hi Karen,

      Good to hear and thanks for the questions.

      My average click through rate to Amazon is 37%, however there is a caveat. To get this, I am using the ‘Unique Visitors’ to Amazon which you can get my downloading the tracking id reports from within the Amazon Associates dashboard. This is IMO much more relevant than using clicks as some people will go on a clicking frenzy 😛 This 37% also includes all traffic to informational posts. Why include that? I like to be conservative when estimating or projecting anything. So why not? In reality, like you, my CTR is a lot higher for most $ content.

      Long tail potential – Yes. For example, if you are targeting the keyword ‘best xyz’ which has a LMS of 1000, the longtail potential is all the other keywords which you might also accidentally rank for which together might have a LMS of 5000-10000. This figure varies, so what I recommend is this: find another affiliate site ranking for the keyword you are targeting. Put that URL into Semrush and see what other keywords they are ranking for. Add up the long tail LMS (only the ones which are ranking in top 5-ish positions. Remember this is not an exact science.

      Conversion rate – again here I use the ‘Unique Visitors’ metric, not clicks for the same reason above. It is roughly 18%.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  16. Ian

    Ian

    Amazing Podcast, that’s what I call:
    No excuses!

    Quick question for Nick:
    How much organic traffic are we talking about the moment you made 10k?

    Best of luck Nick, I’m sure you’ll get back there after you publish more informational pieces.

    Reply
    • Nick

      Nick

      Hi Ian,

      Thanks mate! Roughly 65,000 organic sessions. Thats a value of $0.15 per organic session.

      Reply
  17. Alberto

    Alberto

    I read the transcripts, I think there is very important information.

    Sincerely many thanks for all the information you provide.

    You can tell that I learned more from your blog than anyone else.
    Thank you again!

    Reply
  18. Roman

    Roman

    This is really nice read, thanks Nick for sharing some tips. Actually I’m doing the same thing with using few links in one guest post, looks like Assies think the same ))) Glad you moved to 50/50 concept as it’s more reliable, I can suggest to add some entertaining lists to get the traffic, people love this stuff.

    I have a few questions:
    1. How much does it cost you to write the guest post?
    2. How many links do you land a month on average?
    3. Do you mostly use Best XYZ for ABC posts or one product review too?
    4. All your 5 sites are small or you have 1 general and 4 soldiers?

    Reply
    • Nick

      Nick

      Hey Roman,

      Cheers mate!

      1. On average each guest post is 600 or so words. That works out at around $9 on average for the writer.
      2. Hmm it depends. Honestly its capped by budget. I think at the moment roughly 30 but it hasnt been a priority over the last few months. Im now working on a system which will increase that by a a lot. Again, Ill have to cap it though for budgeting reasons. Im travelling through Europe atm haha so can’t go too crazy.
      3.Yes. I occasionally do a single product review but ‘Best’ posts are where the money is.
      4. Define small. I currently have 10 sites. The goal is for 6 of these to be ‘generals’.

      Reply
  19. Terry

    Terry

    Hi Nick

    Great podcast, thanks for sharing your niches site project.
    Quick question, how many articles do you start with when you build a new website?

    Reply
    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Start with 10 or 15 great articles, then go from there (find a schedule that works for you).

      Reply

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