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Podcast 57: How Claire Smith Makes Over 5 Figures a Month with Niche Sites and NO Link Building

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Podcast 57: How Claire Smith Makes Over 5 Figures a Month with Niche Sites and NO Link Building

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Perhaps the most popular topic that I’ve ever covered is Niche Sites.  In the past, I’ve discussed how I built not just a few small niche sites, but LOTS of niche sites.

However, since Panda, Penguin, and PBN updates I’ve shifted my strategy to focus on less sites that are typically larger.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone has stopped building niche sites.  In fact, in my podcast episode today I interviewed Claire Smith that is doing VERY well with her niche sites.  She is making over $10,000 a month with her niche sites.

However, what makes Claire’s story interesting is that she has NEVER built a link to any of her sites.  In her words, “I just never got around to it.”

Because she has never even tried to build a link to any of her sites, she doesn’t have to worry when Google changes how the value links because well she doesn’t have any!

Some of her sites do have links (that came naturally without Claire’s involvement), but many don’t.  Claire is focused more on great keyword research, and targeting super long tail keywords that other sites are not targeting very well.

That’s it.  She produces regular contact based on her keyword research and does not do any outreach or link building.

Claire doesn’t blog very often, but when she does you can read her updates at

Podcast Interview Notes

Below you will find most of the questions and answers given during the interview.  However, please realize that these are very abbriviated notes.  We covered much more in the podcast than what you will find below.  Please listen to the entire podcast to hear the entire interview.

What were you doing professionally before you ever started building niche websites?

I was a dentist for 12 years.  The first 5 years was in one office, and I kept asking myself “is this it?”.  I got pretty bored with in, but managed to stay on for another 7 years just filling in at other dentist offices.

During the last few years as a dentist I had some spare time and starting working online on the side.

What got you started working online?

It was actually an acquaintance during dental school. She was an antique dealer and was selling on eBay.  I then started shopping on eBay, and eventually started buying stuff at local auctions to sell on eBay.  This was back in about 2000.

We started with breakables, then moved onto books and other non-breakable items.  I also bought and sold linens and related items.

Finally in about 2011, I started reading about other avenues of making money online.

What was your next step in the evolution of your business?

I was just reading around 6 months.  The Panda update came out before I really even got started.  I just started writing about my own hobbies on other people’s websites like Squidoo and Infobarrel.

I started doing monthly income reports in August 2011.

I eventually realized that I didn’t want all my content on other people’s website, so I started building my own.  I also realized that writing about hobbies isn’t the most profitable.  I started targeting more commercial products.

What kind of financial success are you having right now with Niche Sites?

Right now we are doing low 5-figures per month.  Most of that is coming from Amazon affiliates.  We have sold over $4.3 million worth of Amazon products on our own sites.  If you include our Squidoo stuff, we’ve sold over $7 million in Amazon products.

And of course the earnings vary from month to month.

How many sites do you and your husband have?

We have about 40 sites total.  I have about 30 sites and my husband has about 10.

How much work does it take to manage that many sites?

I have a really good spreadsheet that tracks everything for each site.  I include things like the keywords targeted, the bounce rates, and more.  It really becomes an economy of scale, more sites do no mean a ton more work.

Some of our sites have a couple hundred articles on them already.

Why aren’t you doing any link building for your sites?

I have no idea, I’ve never tried it!  It comes down to laziness.  I just found when I was first starting out, I knew I wouldn’t make money if I didn’t have content published.  So, it was a matter of resources at that point, pay money to get links built or spend money creating more content.

The other point is that if everyone is building links then surely the effect would get diluted.

Financially, it just didn’t seem to make sense to me.

Why are your sites ranking without links?

The biggest thing is choosing the absolute lowest competition phrases possible.  If Google is starved of content at that level, then I know its fair game.  The odds are much higher of your content showing up when no one else is writing about.

The other part is just making sure that your content is really useful.  Our articles are usually 600 to 1000 words in length.

I also don’t try to analyze my rankings very much.

How do you determine competitiveness of keywords?

I’ve done search volume of 10 or less.  The competition level is much more important than search volume.

For competition, all I’m looking at is the “All in title” query in Google.  If its below 20 title competition on the entire internet, then I know that my odds are pretty good for ranking.

What’s the highest All in Title that you would go after?

Usually I try to stay below 1,000; however, lower is much better. I use a tool called I love page 1.  I think they do pagerank, but they also do All in Title for that phrase.

The google query is: “allintitle: your keyword”

How are brainstorming and coming up with keywords to target?

I often go to the Amazon best sellers list and see what kind of products are there.  After picking a niche, I go to the Google keyword planner with keyword volumes.  Then I get the all in title on those keywords; then I start to do ratios of them and sort by the ratios.

Ratios is Title competition above search volume.  A ratio of under 1 is pretty good.  The lower the number, the better.

Do you have a specific search volume?

Typically, I only do keywords with a search volume UNDER 500 searches per month.  Typically keywords with higher search volume just have too much title competition.

I will sometimes modify the keywords: instead of “best blenders” I’ll add “What is the best blender” to come up with a less competitive keyword.

How does your content process work?

My articles are pretty much self-contained.  I usually review between 3 to 5 products on each article.  We find that 5 products will get a better click through than 3.  And I find that individual product reviews don’t do very well.

As far as keyword density, I just have them write naturally.  I don’t ask them to use the keyword a certain number of times.  We have a couple of VAs add links and images after the articles are written.

When you structure and article, are the product reviews right up front?

I think an intro about what they are going to buy is important; however, you don’t want to make it too long.  I found that people bounce more when there are no images up front or a really long text only intro.

I do find that having an intro at the top is useful.

What bounce rate is good, and what tips do you have to improve bounce rates?

Many of my bounce rates are 70 to 80% and that starts to make me uncomfortable.  On Squidoo, my bounce rates were closer to 40%.

Some niches just have a higher bounce rate naturally.  Also, certain themes can have a big impact as well.

I tend to look at my highest traffic pages and see what I can do to improve those pages.  This could be adding menus or more images.

I’ve found that category pages tend to have a lower bounce rate.  I don’t worry about tags, but categories work well because the bounce rates are low.

If images are too small at the top; bigger images make your bounce rate goes down.  Make sure your images are clickable.  I bold any anchor text.

Having related article plugins can also help.

Are your sites actually getting any links?

A few of them do, but not very many.  We don’t even put social sharing plugins on our site.

I don’t think we get very many back links, but we do get some. I don’t really check for them.

What other tips do you have for building niche sites?

You need to interpret the keywords that you are targeting.  Meaning, try to figure out what they are really looking for.  If someone types in “best high end microwave”, you should really include the high end microwaves.  Don’t think about what you can afford, just try to interpret what the intent is behind the keywords.

This is like magic that we get to do this.

I often find that working on my next site gets me to stop worrying about my previous site.

I still use EMDs and PMDs.  I just try not to narrow it down too much.

What’s happened to your sites when Google updates have come out?

For the most part, my sites tend to go up (particularly with the Penguin updates) when there are updates.  There have been a couple of times where there may have been duplicate content updates with categories and tags.

Do you have any projects in the works that you would like to mention?

We actually started selling our first product on Amazon recently.  We are part of the Chris Guthrie mastermind group.

I’ve been doing some domaining as well.  Its a good game, but I’m just not prepared to email people to sell my domains.  I’ll also probably sell a few sites this year.

Do you have any final business advice?

The main thing is to be aware of the Pareto principle; the 80/20 rule.  You need to be smart about how you are spending your efforts.

With every decision that you make there are going to be a good side and a bad side.

Where can people follow along with what you are doing?

My blog is:

People can contact me there or leave a comment and I will respond.

Your Thoughts

As always, I would love to hear any comments or questions that you have below.  Claire will try and stop by and respond to any specific questions that you have for her.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider leaving a rating on iTunes right here.  Thanks!

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190 Comments for this Post

  1. Loukay


    Great podcast!
    I’ve been waiting for something like this.
    Thank you so much!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Awesome…enjoy the podcast!

  2. Rich


    Nice, this is the content I’ve been waiting for 🙂

  3. Mike


    How do you write 30-40 articles for such a hyper-focused long-tail niche site? Is she combining 30-40 keywords into one single site?

    I’d also be interested in hearing about how she hosts her sites — can you host 40 niche sites all on the same Go Daddy account without Google getting suspicious?

    I’d love to see a example site, maybe one that’s not doing well or that she’s abandoned.

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Hey Mike,

      No examples, unfortunately. Not sure about hosting either.

      Writing 40 (or even a lot more) articles for a good, focused site should be relatively easy with good keyword research. aPennyShaved had about 100 and was growing rapidly before it got penalized.

      • Mike


        Thanks, Perrin. I agree that a site like APS can have dozens of articles, but that was for a much bigger market.

        I thought the idea here was to target hyper-focused, long tail keywords. If she is building an entire site around a KW with only 500 LMS, I guess I just don’t see how you can possibly write 40 articles on such a small market.

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Mike, she is NOT building an entire site around a hyper focused keywords. Each article targets a different hyper focused keyword…all on a related niche/topic. So, all of her articles might be about blenders, but they all target different hyper focused keywords.

        • Alistair


          Yeh, I agree, the issues with this I can see would be

          1. It’s very difficult, and
          2. It must be hard to make the content interesting and not appear as space filler fluff.

          I guess it depends on the niche to a huge degree, but that number of articles on a long tail must take quite some imagination!

        • Tao


          She is pretty much taking the “supporting keywords” idea that Spencer and Perrin have used to find additional content for your niche site and using those as the main content.

          It is something I have done before and yes, it does work. It is much easier to rank for these lower competition KWs.

        • Alistair


          ” It is much easier to rank for these lower competition KWs.”

          Writing that many articles (even outsourcing) is not easy, it is very time consuming and seems way over board for a low competition low search volume niche in my experience.

          I’ve targeted niches that have more allintitle competition and greater search volume than is discussed in this article, have done next to no backlinking (just like this case study), and I’m ranking with a mere fraction of the articles that is suggested here.

          Anyone starting out should not underestimate the time drain that original content can be – if you are going to do it right, with a long term passive strategy.

  4. Tim Seidler

    Tim Seidler

    I’ve been doing keyword research for a while and have never considered looking at it from an “All in title” perspective. I usually stick to the “average monthly searches” results in the keyword planner to base my decisions.

  5. Temitope Akinlonu

    Temitope Akinlonu

    Awesome…. I will focus more on allintitle keywords and do a little backlinking to see how it works out.

  6. Steve


    Really interesting guys, thanks Spencer and Claire!

    I’ve applied a similar technique myself for some smaller sites back in the day – it’s certainly nice building a site and ranking on the strength of your keyword research, and being near the top of Google means you naturally attract links which will bolster your ranking!

  7. Paul Oluwaseun

    Paul Oluwaseun

    To be sincere i love this. But there are few buyers keywords out there.

    My question is: Like how many articles do you post monthly? Is there any limit to the articles i can post monthly using your strategy…

    Do you link to amazon in all your pages? Hope this wont make google count a site as a thin content site when all the page is selling or linking to amazon?


    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Claire mentioned that she posts one article per day for the first month and one article per week after that. That comes out to about 74 articles for the first year and 48 articles each year after.

      • Tomas


        There are 52 weeks in a year. At least here in Europe where I live. 😉

  8. Michael Bely

    Michael Bely

    Wow. Such great results arerealy impressive, Claire. And to be honest, while reading this post my inner voice kept repeating “it’s too good to be true” 🙂

    $10000 / 40 sites = $250 per site per month avg.
    As you say, you target search volumes under 500 per month, so according to my experience even number 1 in serps for a certain number of traffic gives not more than 30% of it, so I assume 500 traffic gives about 160 visitors avg.
    So these 160 visitors bring you $250. This is pertty good I must say (if my assumptions and math are correct)!

    My best financial results were thanks to highly tarteted traffic generation on quite a high-price niche ($1-10K per sale), and it gave me less than $1 per visitor which I believe is still very good results.

    Also, I remember Spencer mentioned his experience with Adsense niche site, which gave him $370 from 12K sessions.

    And your results just look amazing compared to ours.

    Would you mind sharing some more numbers please to help us understand what the magic happens on your sites? 🙂

    • Chris


      It’s 160 visitors per 500 searches keyword, right? You only did the maths for one keyword. I’m assuming each niche site targets many keywords (intentionally or not)

      • Spencer Haws

        Spencer Haws

        Correct, she writes 1 article per day for 30 days (30 different keywords) and then 1 article per week ongoing (52 different keywords in a year). So, she is not targeting 1 keyword, but 1 per article…and the sites at least have 30 to 40 articles each.

        • Michael Bely

          Michael Bely

          Thank you Spencer for the clarification.
          I’ve just thought why not building one super autoritive website instead of 40 websites then? I guess the more articles a website has the more thaffic it will get then?

      • Michael Bely

        Michael Bely

        Thank you Chris. It makes sense to me now after all the answers to my comment.

    • harry


      No your assumptions are completely wrong. When she is targeting one keyword with 500 exact searches a month, then yes she will get 30-40% of it but that’s only for that particular keyword.

      But after the site has lots of content, she will start ranking for several hundred other long tail keywords with ultra low volume like 20-50 only. But that’s 100 more keywords x 20 (avg.) = 2000 Highly SUPER targeted traffic which actually converts way more than your main targeted keyword.

      Be sure to link your main article with amazon links in all other secondary articles so you convert the traffic.

      • Michael Bely

        Michael Bely

        Thank you Hurry for your explanation.
        Yes, I think it makes sense to me now. What I inititally missed is that each website is not thin, but contains 30-40 articles.

        • Michael Bely

          Michael Bely

          Sorry for misspelling your name, Harry.

  9. Paul


    Does all your site pages review products? I mean do you link to amazon in all your pages? Or you mix informational articles with it?

    I really will love to understand that part to avoid being caught by thin content penalty…

    • Perrin Carrell

      Perrin Carrell

      Claire mentions in the podcast that she prefers to monetize everything she writes to be as efficient as possible.

    • Claire Smith

      Claire Smith

      Hey Paul, Most review products, some are just “how to buy/choose” pages, sometimes there’s “how to do something” related to the site/product too, depends on the niche.

      If I had the perfect answer for avoiding penalties I’d be a millionaire! I just make sure the content and products are applicable to real people, and be aware of/address what someone wants from their purchase. All I can think of until now is the low competitioness of these gives them somewhat more leaway. Remember this is the starved of content ultralow volume searches.

  10. harry


    Really great, exactly what i was looking for to get some motivation that I am not going the wrong track. Inspired by your niche sites journey in 2013 & 2014 I have decided to give it a try.

    I have already purchased long tail pro platinum. Its a great tool but honestly i had market samurai already with me which does the same job but I still bought it because i wanted to say thanks to you. I consider you as my tutor.

    I am not a native English speaker but I think I can write well for my sites. Do you think I can? Do above two paragraphs have revealed that they are not from a good writer?

    I have limited budget so I plan to write myself to save the content outsourcing cost. I have time so I can write.

    The most difficult part for me is SEO and this article almost made me say “wow”. I really do not like to buy SEO on forums or other sites but its also true that sometimes shit*y content but with good links outscores your great content with no links.

    I will be going the white hat way and build no manual links at least not for now. The only thing I am doing different from your guide is that I have purchased expiring domain from godaddy with 3-4 years old age but i made sure they had no spammy link profile (in fact there is no backlink for them yet) so I get some domain age advantage. Does it help as a ranking factor? Also one of them has a PR 3 which may help too.

    I will be focusing on 5-6 sites for now. If i see good results, I’l be happy to update here for your readers as well.

    Also I have one question: I made one site which i plan to develop more like a Semi authority site as I am targeting not one but 9-10 keywords with high searches which total add up to 100,000 local searches a month. Its around 20 days old site and I have so far added 15 articles and around 5 of them are in top 100 already.

    2-3 of them are in top 50 also. Not a single link made yet. But the rankings are fluctuating a lot. Sometimes i see it at 37, then in evening its nowhere in top 300. Then 2 days later its again at 50 or so. You referred to it as “google ranking dance”. Is that normal?

    • Kent Chow

      Kent Chow

      Yes, probably the KWs ranking dances in first 3 months.

      I’d suggest you focus on 1 site to start out. Learn and “test” SEO as you go. Then what works on the next 2-3 sites. I started out with writing most of content myself. It’s the best way to learn the whole niche site build process, and eventually scale and outsource more later.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Harry. As a non-english speaker, you would likely need to hire English authors. Yes, its common for rankings to fluctuate.

      • Harry


        Thanks for replying. I will try to outsource some content writing for the main articles.

        I have a question for you. Does it make any difference to publish your article in wordpress as page instead of post for SEO purposes.

        I read on few blogs that this can affect the rankings a lot. They recommend publishing main articles as pages and the secondary articles as posts linking to the main pages we built.

        They say pages are given more weight than posts. However few others say completely opposite.

        What’s your view?

    • Alistair


      Harry you English is perfectly fine for niche site articles, for sure. I would definitely save your money and produce your own content to start with, save your money for other aspects of this game!

  11. James


    Nice to hear from Skeffling. Wondered what she was doing since Squidoo went belly up.

    It’s certainly a different – and very successful – approach.

  12. Kent Chow

    Kent Chow

    Welcome Claire, I was following your blog back to 2012. It’s awesome to see you are still rocking with Amazon Affiliate. Finding low competition with allintitle is “brilliant”!

    Would I know which WP theme are you using these days? Also why didn’t you build more authority sites and just need to maintain 5-10 Huge sites instead of many 40-50 ones? Just curious. Thanks!

    • Claire Smith

      Claire Smith

      Thanks Kent! I have lots of different mostly responsive themes nearly all are magazine style. Some themejunkie, and some Genesis with Studiopress themes, so I can tweak and customize layouts and categories.

      As far as not going on with fewer, bigger sites, I may sell some of the smaller ones and either build out the ones doing the best or the ones I like working on the most. Many of the sites are still young so I can’t fairly compare and judge them yet. The other thing is I just keep coming up with ideas in new niches and wanting to try them out!

  13. Alex


    Has anyone tried ilovepage1 to extract bulk allintitle results?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      You can also get allintitle from Long Tail Pro…its called “Google Title Competition” in the software.

      • Vi


        Spencer, is it available in Platinum version only? I can’t find it in mine LongTailPro.

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Its available in regular Long Tail Pro. Just click “Fetch Additional Data”, then select the “Google title competition” box.

  14. Alyssa Francesca

    Alyssa Francesca

    i am new in Blogging.i also want earn in 5 figures hope i will earn and you are Great. Thanks for your share!

  15. Ted Lambert

    Ted Lambert

    This was a great podcast!! Thanks for all the great info. I may need to listen to this a couple of times to get all my notes written down. Best in 2015 to all, Ted

  16. Shaun Ling

    Shaun Ling

    Sounds so easy really.

  17. Francesca Halbert

    Francesca Halbert

    I’ve been studying this topic for a while, but you’ve made it quite easy to understand. Very enjoyable content!

  18. Irene Anum

    Irene Anum

    Hi Claire, many thanks for sharing with us. I want to know whether your sites i.e. the 40 are minisites and if you purchase hosting for all of them or they are free blogs. Many thanks

  19. Alex


    Thank you for sharing!
    I have an amazon affiliate site with no links built at all. Its 8 months old and has about 50 product reviews (400 words each) plus 10 relevant articles (600-1000 words). The site makes something close to 40$/month. Right now Im adding more content and more reviews. I thought I just got lucky, but now Ill follow this path more seriously.

    Cheers Alex

  20. ivan


    Guys, the info about bounce rate is wrong. Claire, if you’re reading this, you might be interpreting the data wrong.

    Google counts clicks to external links as a bounce (if the click happened on the landing page, of course), so the data Analytics is showing you might not mean what you think it means.

    Actually, the bigger the bounce rate for these kinds of sites, the better, since some of that traffic is definitely going through the external links.

    Also, if you guys are interested, I can give you an Analytics script that will stop counting clicks from landing pages to external sites as a bounce. That way you can interpret your data correctly.

    • Claire Smith

      Claire Smith

      Hey Ivan that is very good to know. Thanks. I think what made me sure it worked the way thought was the bounce rates were really low on my squidoo pages that had the highest click through rate (they were measured in the Squidutils extension). I have looked up the definition on Google numerous times to make sure I was getting it right too, duh! I am really not that technical when it comes to things like code, but that sounds wonderful! I do love juicy data, but it is crucial it is correct!

      • ivan


        Hey Claire, no problem. Here’s the link if you want to get the script that tells GA to stop counting external links as bounces. It has helped me a lot, because now I know how my sites are actually performing.

  21. Keith James

    Keith James

    Incredible show. I really appreciate when a guest like Claire is very specific with her strategies. You can listen to a lot of shows that give very vague recommendations. Claire told us exactly what is working for her sites. Many of her strategies are counterintuitive. I think this may be why her sites are so successful.

    This is one of those shows that I will have to listen to many times.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Glad you enjoyed it Keith! I should have mentioned in the post that I’ve been trying to get Claire on the show for a long time. She refused for several months! But then I met her at Rhodium weekend, and somehow I got her to agree to the interview. She was extremely nervous because I think this is the first podcast interview she has done ever. She obviously knocked it out of the park. So, once again…thank you Claire!

  22. Wayne


    When I started reading this article I thought – wow, this is new and refreshing, a simple folk doing her thing and making income. When I started seeing jargon like VAs and links to ‘tools’ and ‘last chance to get into’ training seminars – it completely killed it for me. I am highly suspicious of the whole thing, just as I am of the examples I’ve seen before. It’s just like in trading – people who know know hot make money trade, those that can’t – sell books, tools, and seminars.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Hi Wayne, we didn’t reference any training seminars or other tools. Either you are commenting on the wrong post, or perhaps this is just meant as a spam comment. Either way, the comment is way off base as there is nothing for sale in the blog post.

  23. Casandra


    Fun podcast! I love how easy Claire makes it sound. She just does it and it works – amazing!

    One tip – Claire, you mentioned that Analytics is hiding most of the keywords that people use to find your website. While this is true, you can still see all the keywords that are people are using to find you in Webmaster Tools. I like to use this data to find keywords that I’m already ranking on page 2-5 for, but wasn’t targeting. If it’s a good keyword, I’ll create a piece of content to target it specifically!

    • Claire Smith

      Claire Smith

      Thanks Casandra. That’s a good idea to create content based on the new kw coming up. Oh yeah, the kws are in webmaster tools, just shows you how often I check it!

  24. Thomas


    Very inspiring podcast.
    I am going to start over in 2015 and I will listen to it again the next days.

  25. Dan


    Thanks Claire, Spencer, and Perrin – this was a really great podcast and I’d love to implement this strategy! It sounds a lot more feasible for a newbie than the whole backlinking strategy (to me, anyway). The thing that doesn’t sound appealing to me is building and managing 40+ websites to get to the point of $10,000/month (although that amount of money would be life changing!).

    So – my question: since all of these sites sound like they are essentially product review/discussion sites related to specific long tail, low competition keywords, would it be possible to create one generic site that does the same thing? For example, instead of having one site for microwaves, one for dishwashers, etc., could a newbie have just one generic website (let’s call it “”) and then each page of the site targets a different long tail, low competition keyword – i.e. and, etc.? Each specific page could be really detailed and incorporate tons of the related long tail keywords related to each product and could include lots of pictures and links to Amazon.

    I’d love to hear some feedback on this potential strategy – thanks!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      You could potentially have just one large site, but this actually makes its a bit harder as google does value relevancy. Especially if you do happen to start getting links, you will do better if they are all relevant to your site. However, what you are suggesting has been done many times and is possible (,,, and many other sites).

      • Dan


        Thanks for the feedback!

    • Vishal


      Yes, Dan I must say it is possible as suggested by Spencer.

      Many people have done the same in the past. However, I do suggest you to go one niche at a time. Because it will help you a lot in the long term. As you write more about a specific niche, you will get more mastery and perfection in that niche. And it will reflect in your future content and it will also attract more fans for your site.

      It is definitely possible to earn more than $10000 a month with one single website. However, you need to be prepared to give your whole heart and soul for it.


    • Vishal


      Yes, Dan it is definitely possible to earn sizeable income with just one big authority site as suggested by Spencer.

      However, it is always a good idea to go with one specific niche at one time. It will help you master and perfect your content writing in that niche which will also attract more fans in the future.

      It is important for you to focus on one thing at any given time. You will have to put your heart and soul in one project which will yield maximum results.


  26. Tony


    Great podcast.

    I would like to know with Amazon sites, do you have a specific dollar amount for the products you are trying to promote? For example do you mess with keywords that have products that are only $10?

    • Claire Smith

      Claire Smith

      I try and avoid them that low. If I had a site already set up for a more expensive product and there was a $10 accessory kw and I was needing more posts, I would do it. I haven’t tried a whole site based on products only that amount, so can’t really give you any advice there.

  27. Rick


    So I presume is her website?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, its not her site. That’s just one of the tools she uses to find allintitle. is her website.

    • Stuart Russell

      Stuart Russell

      I initially thought that too.
      The chickens maybe me think it… LOL
      but a quick whois gave me MAO LAKY

    • Stuart Russell

      Stuart Russell

      actually i think it is.

      have a look at her blog page :-p

    • Claire Smith

      Claire Smith

      Nope not mine! Wish it was! I just saw the poultry farm example, very suspicious, haha!

      I think they are over in Europe, Luxembourg Maybe?

  28. Stuart Russell

    Stuart Russell

    How can longtail pro do the ALLINTITLE search?

    • Tony


      On the main screen look under the “Fetch Additional Data (Optional)”. There is a check box for “Google Title Competition”. There is also an option there to change the number of seconds between searches. I wouldn’t go lower than the 5 seconds it shows though or you are going to get the Captcha screen a lot.

  29. Robert


    Hi Claire,

    Great interview! You spoke a lot about how to improve click throught rate (i guess you mean click on Amazon/visitors) and how to improve, but what do you consider a good CTR?
    Also i would like to know what do you think about opening Amazon links on the same tab or another tab? Thanks again!

  30. Vishal


    Friends, Its very possible to do the same what Claire has been doing so many years. I mean I am also doing the same thing since last one year.

    I have also built an amzon product review site with very few or next to nothing backlinks. The unique thing about this site that with only 20 articles on my site at the moment, it is getting more than 10000 UV.

    So yes it is certainly doable what Claire is doing at the moment. I have seen that the niche you select plays a pivotal role in your authority site. The content you write also plays an important role.

    I have been able to rank most of my content on the first pages with no significant links and only because of length and quality of the articles. I always try to look at the currently ranking content quality and try to make superior content in terms of length and quality.

    This strategy always works in the short term as well as in the long term too. No matter what google updates come, your sites will remain at the top if you follow this method with full focus and dedication.


    • Claire Smith

      Claire Smith

      “I always try to look at the currently ranking content quality and try to make superior content in terms of length and quality.”

      I like this a lot! Great idea! I mean it is supply and demand, and we need to supply something better than what was already on offer!

  31. Gareth


    Bounce rates were mentioned quite a bit as a measurement, I used to be worries about this but then realised often with affiliate sites you want a high bounce rate. A bounce does not mean the user went back to google it just means they only visited that one landing page, if the purpose of that page is to send them to your affiliate then a bounce can be good. What I prefer to measure is conversion rate, takes a bit more google analytical code but you can add an event when user clicks on one of your affiliate links then work out the ratio of those to visits

  32. JIm


    Thanks Claire!

    Here are my 2 questions;

    1. Are you hosting the sites INDIVIDUALLY? Or bunch a group of sites into one account?

    2. You mentioned reviewing 3-5 products… do you then write all other articles around these 3-5 products on your site?

    Hope to hear from you

    • Claire Smith

      Claire Smith

      We have a number of multiple site hosting accounts. To answer Irenes Q, they are not free hosted, as I want as much control of my site and content as I can.

      The 3-5 products is just one post on the whole website, so we talk about more than just those few.

  33. Jeremy



    Great podcast, Claire says each article reviews 3 to 5 products,
    so should I research 150 products in a niche for 30 articles in the 1st month.

    Also do the keywords that are chosen all contain the word ‘best’ in them,
    since Claire mentioned she chooses ‘what is the best blender’ type keyword phrases.

    thank you. 🙂

    • Jeremy


      One other question, how do you write a 1000 word article and fit in a 5 product review, seems 200 words per product would not cover it.

      An example would be great. 🙂

      • Tony


        I agree that an example would be helpful but it’s probably not happening. Claire is not trying to sell us anything and is only trying to be helpful so I’m sure she doesn’t want her income jeopardized.

        Anyway here is my take on how she is doing these reviews. She finds longtail keywords that are relevant to specific niche and builds articles around it. So using the Blender niche she might find that “The best smoothie blenders” gets searched 150 times a month with only 20 sites with that in their title.

        She would write an article on this and inside this article she would have reviews of 3-5 blenders (most of the time 5) that fit this type of blender. It wouldn’t be that hard to write 600-1000 words for this because you have an introduction on what makes a great smoothie blender or why you need one. Then she could have 100-200 words about each individual blender.

        Then she might have an article on the “Top rated blenders to chop ice” because that came up and met her allin title criteria. There again would be another 3-5 reviews.

        To answer your other question “best” doesn’t have to be in the title but “best” usually indicates a buying mentality from the searcher. We need keywords that are from people that are looking more to buy than just information. For example, “How to make mayonnaise in your blender” probably wouldn’t be a great longtail keyword to base an article around on her blender site.

        That’s the way I interpret the interview after listening to it twice. It was a great interview and a long one although I think it really needed to go another hour because this is pretty different from what we are used to hearing and we all have questions. For me here is a few:

        1. Using the blender example, does the same blender end up on several review pages? And if so do you have problems with duplicating that content?

        2. Is the majority of the sites just these 3-5 product review pages? I know she said she wasn’t a big fan of single product review pages. And maybe give us an idea of what a non 3-5 product review page might be about using the blender niche.

        3. Near duplicate keywords. Let’s say with our blender example we find that “best blenders for banana smoothies” and “best blenders for banana strawberry smoothies” are 2 longtail keywords that meet our criteria. Do you write an article on each one with 3-5 blenders and are they the same blenders? I wouldn’t think this would be that big of a problem if we are just trying to get people to our site for that one page and ship them off to Amazon. But if they get looking around our site it might look a little silly with 2 articles that are basically the same thing.

        Hopefully Claire will come back and answer our questions. Probably my favorite podcast so far because it really hits home where I want to be in my business (I hate backlinking and social). I think she could do a whole podcast on just hiring writers and how her content publishing calendar works. I guess what I’m saying Claire is come up with some training materials and sell the hell out of it. We will buy it!

        • Claire Smith

          Claire Smith

          Tony, good answer for Jeremy’s Qs. Thanks.

          1. If a particular model of blender is the best for a couple of situations/titles, then it can get included more than once, though I’d rather avoid it when I can. If I know a niche is short of unique worthy products I tend to do 3 products not 5, and am more likely to branch out into other related products types on the same site.

          2. Intro first. A couple hundred words. Better with some emotion inducing content (like don’t you just love the taste of a fresh smoothie in the morning etc). You can add a little on what to look for in a “great X for their need”. Some of my writers write much longer intros than others, and that ‘s OK. I don’t want them all identical. I think as long as it is helpful and and interesting as you can manage, there is no set formula.

          Then onto 150-200 words on what each product has to offer, so both benefits as well as the highlights of the features etc. Basically this is a top 3 or 5 list for an uber specific query/use. With a short conclusion/summary.

          3. Near duplicates, I’d likely use the shorter less specific one, “best blenders for banana smoothies” and maybe mention banana strawberry smoothies somewhere in the article. At this low competition/super long tail level it may still likely rank for both anyway.

          As you get to know your niche, you’ll see how people shop and the types of keywords they use and how similar or different they are and they can be grouped into similar kw, you will soon see when they are just too close. You can break your categories/types of articles up by that. Eg. if buying blenders do they shop by use, like ice crushing/smoothies/summer drinks, by top ratings, or by budget/price. Is it for entertainment, health/baby food? All are likely different audiences that all want probably different blenders for different reasons. So you can confidently write about all those uses IMO. Hope that helps!

        • Jeremy


          thank you Claire and Tony,
          great answers.

  34. Tony


    Could someone explain to me about the duplicate content penalty that Claire was getting from some of her categories? And how the SEO by Yoast plugin solves this? Thanks.

    • Tao


      It’s where WordPress allows you to click on the category (or categories) that the post is made in, to see all posts in that category.

      If Google sees this information, especially if you are not showing excerpts and are showing the full post, it looks like you have the same post on your site more than once. Add into that the same issue when using WordPress tags and author profiles and your 1 post could show up at least 3 or 4 times, under different URLs.

      The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin (plus others such as AIOSEO) allow you to set the category or tag pages to be “noindex” which means that search engines should ignore them and not include them in their data.

      I theory, this should prevent your site from “appearing” to have duplicate content on.

      • Jim


        Thanks Tao for yoerful explanation. Please could you kindly give step-by-step guide to “set the category or tag pages to be “noindex” in Yoast plugin” ?

        I really need to do this asap.

  35. Tao


    If you are using the allintitle idea, you need to be careful, especially if using tools such as ilovepage1 or Scrapebox with proxies.

    For example, I ran a set of keywords through and identified some with a search volume of 490 and an allintitle of 219. When I checked again, manually without proxies, the actual result was 2600.

    Google is great at showing results closest to you and relevant to your location (based on IP address) so remember to take this into consideration.

    • Tao


      Just been messing with Google Sheets to do this work and it is quite effective.

      You can use this formula to grab the allintitle for a keyword:


      The keyword should be in cell A1

      • Dennis


        Hey Tao,

        I tried your formula in Google Docs spreadsheet and got this “Error: Formula parse error.”

        Is it working for you?

        This would be very helpful if you can get it to work.

        Thanks in advance.

      • Dennis


        Keep getting an “Error: Formula parse error.” when trying out your formula in GDocs.

        Is it working for you?

        • Leann


          i tried.. doesn’t work for me too. .. are we supposed to replace the @id with our own?

        • Matt


          Hey guys,

          You should be able to do the above xml function through the public sheet posted on this site. Its pretty awesome and actually has a ton of other functionality you can plug in if so inclined.


    • Yara


      Hey, Tao.
      The free version of I love page one is without proxies – so does that mean that is even better to use the free version?

    • Jason


      I agree with Tao on this one. I just tried all in title search with ScrapeBox (no proxies) using the Google Competition Finder add-on for a long-tail phrase and it said there were only 8 exact match results. Did a manual search in Google and it showed several thousand. — those results are WAYYYY off.

      I guess this “low competition” approach will still require some manual due diligence.

  36. DUY


    I love this post, thank you so much 😀

  37. John The Tenth Man

    John The Tenth Man

    I have a niche website I would like to bridge or redirect over to an authority site. Just want to know how to do this correctly. Thanks for any help you can provide

  38. Alex


    What if one didn’t have Analytics installed on the website? That way Google loses the visitor as they click in from the search results, and regains them later, but they may have visited Amazon in the meantime.

    I mean, if it’s like someone said in a comment above, that google counts clicks on Amazon links as bounces, and you didn’t have analytics installed on the site, then Google would have no way of telling if a visitor stayed on the site or went to amazon.

    I don’t have any numbers in support, but it may be worth seeing how a site does with analytics installed and without it. Or maybe that’s just too geeky lol

  39. Martin & Ying

    Martin & Ying

    Very intriguing and got us rethinking again! Excellent podcast guy’s thank you

  40. Simon


    Great share, i get really useful informations here, i just want to ask if there is another good program like “i love page 1”, cuz i tried to install it but i have some problem installing visual c++ 2010 on windows 64-bit,
    Thank you.

  41. sim


    Hi Claire,

    What keyword tools do you use?


    • Chris


      Claire has a great post on this on her blog. It’s an older post, but still relevant, I think. She also gives lots of details about how she uses those tools.

  42. Simon


    I solved the problem, program work fine, let’s go to work!

    • Dennis


      Is ilovepage1 software a Windows only program?

  43. Jack


    I am a little confused about how the content all sits together on a site. It seems like a lot of the articles will contain similar content. For example, a site that focuses mainly on blenders or microwaves surely has to have articles that fulfill the same purpose: comparing different blenders…

    Do you have different articles with very similar content that review blenders for different keywords? E.g. “best blender 2015” and then “what is the best blender available 2015” (not great examples but i hope they demonstrate my point).

    Is it important to niche down more creatively to space out the content? As Claire mentions “best blenders under $ __” vs “best smoothie blenders” vs “best food blenders” etc….

    I ask because my research gives me keywords that are often covering the same topic. Is the best strategy to target multiples with the same content in this case?

    • Perrin


      As long as the keywords are different enough to warrant different articles, they should be different enough to write unique articles on.

      The information on “Best juicers for smoothies” is probably different than “Best juicers for orange juice.” They may have slightly different requirements; you may need different sizes; etc.

      If they’re NOT that different, then they probably shouldn’t be different articles.

      Also, keep in mind that lots of the info in these articles will be about specific products. So, at the very least, if you want to make them different from each other, just talk about/review different products in each.

      Gotta get creative, man!

  44. Aaron


    Hi Spencer and thanks Claire,
    such a great podcast so much information in there, it really made me want to try out a niche site again. I did have a couple of questions which i am sorry if it has been repeated but the thread is pretty long.

    1. You mentioned in the podcast that you use PMDs and EMDs for the domain. In the example in the podcast, would that be or
    2. How many pages do your sites have, appreciate that it is on a case by case, but generally speaking when you launch a site.

    that is basically it. Thanks very much again!

  45. Don


    Whats the problem of no backlinking?
    I don’t use backlinks. I just dont have time and dont outsource the backlinking.
    Just write low competition keywords in a specific geographic area that is well written content (write myself). Theres no need to waste time backlinking.

    I even have some scraped sites in this day and age getting 400 uniques a day.

  46. Quinton


    If it wasn’t for Claire I may have never gotten back in the game after Penguin 2. Always glad to hear she’s still rocking it.

    Picked up some tips on bounce rate. Digging it.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Glad you enjoyed it Quinton!

  47. Kajal Joshi

    Kajal Joshi

    pls share more ideas with us about ranking a site without links..

  48. Leann


    very insightful – thanks! But pardon my ignorance .. I’m a newbie – how do you exclude or avoid the proxies in a google search for allintitle? I did ‘allintitle: keyword’ and almost for all keywords, it turned up a whole chuck of allintitles.. for e.g. 800 over to 3000 over..

  49. Jackson


    This just shows that links are a secondary method to get good google rankings. Good quality content will get you ranked if you are patient and provide value to the visitor. Great podcast!

    • Chris Desatoff

      Chris Desatoff

      Yeah, but don’t forget the “low competition/low hanging fruit” part…

  50. Dave Nicosia

    Dave Nicosia

    it’s really great to hear about somebody else who doesn’t worry about manually creating backlinks! I’ve found that when I stopped creating backlinks, and focused that energy back into high quality content creation & conversion , my income started to rise.

  51. Justin


    Awesome stuff once again!

    Claire, would you be willing to share a template of your article spreadsheet? Always on the lookout for things to improve my own 🙂


  52. Jon


    Hi Claire,

    Are you just targeting or do you do any geotargeting/ redirecting to other Amazon sites like

  53. tarek


    hii spencer thanks a lot for this podcast it is really helpful.but i did not get the point about ratios what does it mean and how can i find i search for it but no results.can you tell how can i use because im just a newbie and it is a new notion for me thaanks spencer keep going !!

  54. Matthew Allen

    Matthew Allen

    So – just listened to this episode today. Been using Long Tail Pro for a couple of years now and have NEVER used the Google Title Comp feature. Didn’t even know what it was! Playing around with it now and looking at keywords similar to what Claire targets and I’m finding that many of the good ones (per her ratio method) also tend to have pretty low KC scores!

    Targeting low search volume keywords has always been a strategy of mine – but not that low! Might steal this strategy to go back and add content to my sites that are still ranking and earning. Thanks Claire!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sounds good…glad you found the hidden gem in Long tail pro 🙂

  55. Randy


    I loved this podcast and have listened to it a couple of time. Claire I would be interested in what are your monthly content writer costs and what writer services do you use?

  56. Ryan


    Love your site Spencer. I’m a little confused over one thing though. If she is writing articles with 4 or 5 product reviews in every post, how does she create 50+ pages? That’s upwards of 250 products. Is that right?

    What would be an example of a niche like this?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Alot of the products are duplicated in each post. For example, if she is writing an article on “Best blenders under $50” and one on “Best blenders under $150”, there might be an overlap of a few products. Each articles is its own “entity” as she called it. It doesn’t matter so much what you’ve reviewed on other pages; review what the reader wants for that specific keyword.

  57. Teresa


    Great podcast! Listened to it several times – thanks!
    Claire mentioned that she would be happy to answer additional questions – I’d love to reach out to her and share information. How should I contact her? I tried on her website, but it didn’t seem to go through. Feel free to share my email with her:)
    It was great to hear Claire share her passion for the power behind keywords – matches my own:)
    P.S. We also have chickens:)

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I think her website is the best place. Although she will likely be back here to read comments. I think she is out of the country right now for a couple of weeks and not reachable.

      • Teresa


        Thanks Spencer! I’ll try again:) Can you share any of her niche websites – would love to get an idea of what she talks about. BTW – loving LongTail Pro:)

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          I can’t share any of her sites, I’ll have to leave that to her. Glad you enjoy LTP!

  58. Simon


    Always a pleasure to listen to you’re podcast! I recently helped my mom setting up a WordPress blog, so she can blog about all these things she is baking in her sparetime. And the plan on there is, to do some kind of affiliate or adsense.

  59. Malen


    How do you do the all in title query in google? Does it need to have quotes in between? Whenever I do it, it always bring results for no quotes.

    • Jay


      allintitle:your keyword here

  60. Brian


    Just wanted to express my appreciation for this interview. Probably one of my top 5 favorite podcasts Spencer has, with lots of actionable, useful content. Claire, thanks for letting Spencer convince you to do the interview!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Brian…it’s been a poplular podcast so far!

  61. ko


    Thanks for this, it was terrific. I am new this field and this came at a great time. I cant affor to go the paid traffic and campaign route so figured SEO and keywirds woudl be my way. What was really interesting is just last week I ‘discovered’ PBN…haha yip really really late to the party on that one…but then read some earlier posts you had made and realized that PBN is no the way to go …then I was l stuck…but coming across this has been great. Thanks so much. On a side note if I have more general questions about SEO and keywords where do people reccommend goign to aks them , is there a forum where the SEO’ers hangout . Thanks again

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks ko. Yes, there are lots of forums where people chat about seo. Google, “Seo forums” or “internet marketing forums”.

  62. Lee


    This was a fantastic podcast! I was wondering, how is Claire getting her content produced? Does she have a few hired go-to content writers or does she use a service like iWriter or elance? It seems to me the upfront cost of ordering 30 articles could be rather expensive (at first) for a small niche site.

    Thanks guys

  63. beid


    Hi Claire.. I have a question – do you care whether the top 10 are e-commerce sites, or the majority are e-commerce sites?

    • Yara


      Yeah, that is what I was wondering too.

      I mean, how do you manage to compete with those big sites?

      Since you are writing about products, most of the “all in title” results will be dominated by Amazon links, aren’t they?

    • Millette


      Really enjoyed the podcast! Some awesome ideas were shared. However, I too am interested if e-commerce dominates the rankings how that affects things. Seems like a waste of time to write articles if they have no hope of ranking because e-com has the entire first page. Be interested to get Claire’s perspective on this question.

  64. Azam Khan

    Azam Khan

    yes, She is Right…

    She is making more than $10,000 ….. I know her

    I offered her an Article Posting service on her blogs on a freelancing site… I posted her written articles on her blogs

  65. Howard Silverman

    Howard Silverman

    A $10,000 income on 40 websites breaks down to about $250 a website which isn’t that difficult to generate. At the same time running 40 active websites is a full time job.

    • Azam Khan

      Azam Khan

      How, it is possible, like me many others are not able to generate even $100 from a single website..

      She is earning money, without doing anything only the content brings her $250 from a website..
      She did not do any seo, link building, forum participations etc.,

      • Rhi


        it’s because she is building websites for people (who have a problem/need/inquiry)… not for Google.

  66. Adam


    Hey Spencer, Perrin and Claire.

    Great interview, and very inspiring.

    I just have one question. If the reason Claire has decided not to build backlinks is she is worried that her effort will be diluted because so many other people are doing it. Couldn’t that same mindset be applied to building niche sites in general?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      That’s not really the same. Everyone builds niche sites differently: some build links, others dont. Some do good keyword research, others dont.

  67. Dan


    Hi Claire, I have a question for you. What do you think of a keyword with a approx. 700 search volume, with a allintitle of approx 350. The ratio will be 1/2 but the allintitle is way over your 20 “magic number”? What is the most important metric: the ratio or the allintitle<20?


    • Chris


      Go for it. Claire said the ratio is mainly what she looks at. She threw out “20” as an example. The main thing is that the search volume is higher than the title competition. That means more people are searching for it than there are pages that talk about it, and that’s a good thing.

  68. Daniel Sun

    Daniel Sun

    Thanks for this, it was terrific. I am new this field and this came at a great time. I cant affor to go the paid traffic and campaign route so figured SEO and keywirds woudl be my way. What was really interesting is just last week I ‘discovered’ PBN…haha yip really really late to the party on that one…but then read some earlier posts you had made and realized that PBN is no the way to go …then I was l stuck…but coming across this has been great. Thanks so much. On a side note if I have more general questions about SEO and keywords where do people reccommend goign to aks them , is there a forum where the SEO’ers hangout . Thanks again

  69. Ado


    I loved this podcast. My question always is how/when do you decide to make this your full time job? I started building niche sites and a small logo design business a year ago but I’m scared even of thinking to do this full time. Specially having a family makes this transition seem impossible to me.


    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      When your income is more than your current job and you have 6 months of savings saved up…perhaps its time to consider going full time 🙂

  70. Joyce


    Great podcast, thanks Spencer and Claire!

    I have a question.
    The absolute lowest competition phrases, how long it takes to rank page 1?

    I appreciate your reply.


  71. Craig


    Great podcast, thanks for the honest and transparent info. Very helpful for me just coming back to niche affiliate marketing… perfect timing.
    Can I ask Claire if you use your actual name or an alias (or nothing at all) on your niche sites and whether you have privacy protection as standard on your sites.

  72. MILO


    Thanks a lot both of you guys ,learn a lot and enjoy the comments options most 🙂 .Actually i am trying to build a site and want to make my journey with it but many often lost my hope but this site gave me huge stamina to depend on myself ,can anyone from here give me a real guideline so that i follow along .

    NB : I am not a native English speaker (from Bangladesh Asia) .

  73. elevator


    This is a great kind of stuff I love to see !!! You are both great, the podcast is unique and worth so much.
    Only one contribution I have for somebody asking for how long it takes to rank a site. To rank any site is strictly depends on how much work done and how low is the competition rate of the keyword matters a lot. I f the competition is high; it will take you much works, SEO and time to rank such site But if the competition is low it can be a bit easy to rank and should also have good CPC for good conversion rate.

    One question I have for you is to know if one can combine Google AdSense with amazon affiliate links on same page.

  74. The IT Bros

    The IT Bros

    Great Podcast, thanks for doing this! Question: I’m not sure if this was mentioned somewhere or not but what plugins do you use for your affiliate links? Easy Azon or something else?


  75. Jagger



    Back when I started doing this in 2014, it seemed that you were thinking you could rank in a very short amount of time for medium competition, medium search keywords (see niche2 projects). Something like 1.5 to 3 months. Towards the middle of last year it seemed you changed your mind (or likely Google changed your mind) and started thinking that it was taking 6 or more months to rank. It seems like I’m seeing more feedback lately that the 1.5 to 3 month time frame is back in vogue (maybe not from you).

    What are your thoughts on this in early 2015?

    BTW, I’m still trying to recover from the PBN Google update that wiped out my sites (not that they were doing that great at the time). All three of my sites were hit on the same day as Perrin’s APS site. It threw me for a loop.

    What I don’t understand from what I’ve read about Claire’s sites is how she has avoided the “Thin Content” penalty that Perrin and I received last September. On the surface it seems like having Amazon affiliates links and short product reviews would match what Matt “Prince of Anti-SEO Darkness” Cutts has described as “Thin Content”. Matt seemed to specifically say that affiliate sites have to be extra careful to provide true content as opposed to repeating product descriptions that’s on Amazon (or whatever affiliate you’re using).

    Claire, are you doing any cloaking? Or, a redirecting and/or “no follow” strategy?

    Are you writing the review as if you actually are using the product? If not, what “tricks” are you using to garner “trust” that what you’re writing isn’t just something someone else said and you “aggregated” from other places? Reading back I hope the word “tricks” isn’t offensive. You obviously are doing something very right. And, I’d love to understanding what that is better.

    BTW, what Claire has accomplished is precisely what my goal has been for my sites. Kudos to Claire!! This post has definitely point out some differences between what I’ve been doing for a year (and failing at) and what I should be doing differently. I HATE backlinking. So, this post has given me a LOT of hope that even after a year of failure that my goal is still possible. And, that it might not require any backlinking or social (both things I would never be able to succeed at if required).


    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I still subscribe to the philosophy that the amount of time it takes to rank in Google depends. For certain keywords or sites (depending on strength of site) could be 1.5 to 3 months, for others it could be 6 months+…or never.

      As for the thin content question, I know that not all of Claire’s sites rank well…so perhaps some don’t avoid these thin content penalties? But she has enough sites that do well, that it all averages out. I’ll have to leave the other questions for Claire.

      • Jagger


        Thanks Spencer for the answers. I’m really glad you didn’t give up on getting Claire to agree to the interview. I can tell from the comments that her strategies have generated a lot of buzz. And, you can count me as one that is re-energized after a tough year of “failure”… Uh, I mean “learning”. 😉


        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Yep, she did a great job in the interview! Best of luck Jagger!

    • Hendrik


      The “thin content” penalty might have been due to Perrin using “Rankhero” links from Spencer’s service and don’t have much to do with the way he structured his site.

  76. Bill


    do you include the omitted results in your allintitle query? Many times when i go to the last page of the results for a query, it says “In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 50 already displayed.”

    So initially the search term might bring back 200 results, then when I visit the last page, it’s closer to 50.

    • Dan


      On her website under one of her blog posts, she said she does not do this.

  77. Cam Koll

    Cam Koll

    I love real stories like this. Very encouraging!

  78. Paul Oluwaseun

    Paul Oluwaseun

    Hello, Did claire mention how long it takes her to start seeing signs of sales from amazon?

    I started writing on an adsense niche site using her method and now in 90days am ranking for 30 keywords without a single link. i gave up on the site a month after posting, its november now and i am getting 50visits daily. Not good for adsense but of course you know 50visits can make you close to $200 average if its an amazon niche.

    The point here is that i posted articles based on this same strategies and i ranked few months later, if i was consistent with posting for 2-3months i could be getting over 500 visits daily by now.

    The only question i have for claire is how long it takes her to start ranking and seeing sales from amazon…


  79. Russell Lobo

    Russell Lobo

    Amazing article. Just a quick question. Do you target only United States when you are searching for keywords or leave it global?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I check both local and global, but I am most concerned with local (US) numbers.

  80. Yelmis Pravida

    Yelmis Pravida

    Claire, great podcast! I used to work for a company with a pretty niche B2B product, and I managed their website. I followed (what I realize now) basically your advice. Write a lot, don’t put energy in pursuing backlinks but just focus on producing great content as much as you can, and you will get a lot of visitors (which we got).

    Now, what I have been thinking about and really curious to hear your thoughts on is this: You produce a lot of content to drive people to others’ products, and you earn a commission from that.

    But with the obvious marketing skills you know, why not pick a niche keyword to find a *lack of product* and actually produce that product? It will take longer time, sure, but ultimately you know you will drive traffic there, and the margins from selling your *own* product will be huge, so long term you will likely make much more money doing that.

    Have you ever thought about this and what are your thoughts around it?

    • Chris


      Towards the end she mentioned that she is starting to market her own product on Amazon. I didn’t catch any details, but yes, she seems to be looking into that.

  81. Bill


    She metions 5 products, but what about reviewing more products on a given keyword?

  82. Azam Khan

    Azam Khan

    can anyone explain me:
    what is the difference between, because, I get the different results with every search as example below:
    allintitle: “keyword”

    how it effect on our keyword choosing, what value we get from different searches?

    • Chris


      I don’t know the difference, but from what I understand, Claire doesn’t use quotes in her query. So to check out a keyword like best high end microwave, she would google…

      allintitle: best high end microwave

      No quotes in there. Hope that helps =)

  83. Chris


    Claire, I found this podcast a few weeks after it was published, and I have to say how happy I was to see you on here. I was kinda following you a couple years ago on your blog, and you were KILLING it on Squid, and then they went belly up and you stopped posting to your blog. I was so bummed out and basically figured that you guys got wiped out and left the MMO game to go do something else with your farm or whatever. So I was sad over that…

    And now HERE YOU ARE!!! =)

    I’m so happy for your success. To see somebody who is so real making a living online…so inspiring. Some day I will get there too, I hope.

    Aloha, Chris

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I agree, it’s pretty awesome to see her success. Best of luck Chris!

  84. Ian Wilcox

    Ian Wilcox

    I am a little confused, Do people actually goto google and type “allintitle: best keyword review” etc … i personally have never done this.

    I would just search for the keyword, Is Claire saying people actually type in allintitle or is it just a way of seeing how many pages have that title on the webpage so try and then rank for the actual keyword “best keyword review”

    Also domain-wise (i know this was not mentioned) are you going for exact match domains (which i find still tend to be near the top of google results) or are you just going for a more brand-able domain or I am i out thinking that and it don’t actually matter.

    The interview was excellent! would love to see more content from Claire and hopefully a catchup interview with Spencer and Perrin in the future 🙂


    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, people never search using “allintitle”. However, this does tell you how many websites are using that keyword in the title. More sites that use keywords in title the more likely it is to be difficult to compete.

      I believe claire still does keywords in domain/partial match…but I’m not 100% sure.

      • Ian Wilcox

        Ian Wilcox

        Thankyou for taking the time to reply Spencer :), Time for me to get started then!

  85. Victor


    When creating a site that deals with medical issues. What disclaimers do you use? Does anyone know of a free resource for all the necessary disclaimers?

  86. 1tu


    Great podcast. I don’t know if I missed this question being asked and answered but here goes.
    Claire or Spencer … what type of matching is used in the Google Keyword tool when keywords are being sourced? Is it broad, phrase, or exact match?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Exact match. Google provides Exact match by default.

  87. Jason


    Great podcast.

    I’ve got a few small sites that aren’t ranking and are really too small to write much content for. Therefore I’m thinking of doing some link building. In one of your posts for aPennyShaved you recommended a service by Do you still recommend them and if so is it the Link Building Package for 2014? One final question would you use them for bigger sites as well or do you outsource to someone else or just do guest posts?

  88. david


    yes good articles.
    about the “all in tittle ” Claire’s’s technique: if i have understood: you typing google search bar the tittle bewteen quotes and the less number of sites it gives, the better it is?


    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No. You type: allintitle: best blender. (Or whatever your keyword is).

  89. Onyx


    Hi everybody,

    A quick question for Spencer or the user of Longtail pro.
    I have the captcha blocking my research everytime. Even with a 10 sec interval.

    Any solution? VPN ? proxy?
    Thanks for your help

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      You must be checking title competition (otherwise there shouldn’t be a captcha). Unfortunately the answer is to just slow down – filter out more keywords before checking and increase the delay more perhaps. You can of course always try a VPN with proxies etc as well.

  90. Scott


    Spencer, Really enjoyed this podcast for two primary reasons
    1. I HATE building backlinks!
    2. I HATE having to deal with social media in order to get more eyeballs on whatever I’m trying to promote.

    I have a question I would like to ask you if it’s ok.

    1. Someone already mentioned getting authority sites like Amazon when they do an actual exact match search for their seed keywords. I have been playing with LTP and I get the same thing on page one for my basic seed keyword. It’s the typical best blue widgets keyword. I have also tried “best blue widgets under $100” and I still get authority sites on page one of Google. In order to avoid this am I going to have to dig deeper with my seed keyword? Maybe something like “Best blue widgets for people who are handicapped”?

    Scott Denham

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Seeing authority sites in the top 10 is typical and will likely always happen. What you want to see is at least one of two, non-authority sites ranking in the top 10. So, if you see 2 small niche sites ranking on first page, and 8 authority sites (like Amazon), that might be a good potential keyword. (Of course look at all the metrics to confirm).

  91. Scott


    One more question if I may..

    You mentioned that you check both local and global searches when you input your keywords into LTP. I have noticed that sometimes the global searches might be triple what the local searches are. If you pursue a KW phrase like that do you ever set up Amazon UK or any other countries when this happens?

    Thanks again

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      With EasyAzon, you can automatically redirect any traffic from the UK to Amazon UK (or any other country). So, yes.

      • Victor


        I would like to see EasyAzon bundled with Amasuite.

  92. Lynne


    Do you know if claire promotes the articles or submits to e-zine etc? Or does she just post them and let them be alone since the competition is so low?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      She justs posts them to her site, she does not post anywhere else.

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