16 Proven Money Site Strategies that You Can Implement Today + Your Questions Answered

By Spencer Haws |

So, I’m sitting just outside Banff National Park right now enjoying some time off with my family.  However, leading up to my vacation (and even while on my vacation) , I’m constantly getting emails from people asking about what niche site strategies are working right now.

I have to admit that its a valid question (especially if you are just getting started).  I have a strategy and plan that I’m following, but I’m always tweaking it as Google and other marketing tactics change as well.

I’ve laid out some ideas on what I feel are the best strategies for building niche sites in the past here.  However, I thought it would be interesting to get someone else’s opinion on the matter.

So, today I’ve brought back Hayden Miyamoto as a guest to share 16 strategies that are working for him right now!

As you know, I’ve featured Hayden on 4 podcasts over the past two years, most recently in episode 35.

So, why in the world would I bring Hayden back on if I’ve already had him on 4 previous podcasts?

Well, not only were those podcasts the most downloaded episodes I’ve ever recorded, but I continue to get asked about what niche site strategies are working today for both myself and Hayden.

In addition, I’m also very aware that Hayden has been running more internships lately and is growing his portfolio of sites and content production at a significant rate.

Hayden seems to always be adapting his strategies with his business partners and interns to maximize success; and for that reason I asked him to come back to Niche Pursuits and give us his best advice for what is working right now.

What you will find below are 16 strategies that you can learn from and implement today without any additional information.  These tips are actionable and I truly do hope that can help you build a better strategy for your online business.

In fact, Hayden is going to throw open the doors for an inside look into 16 of his proven strategies for succeeding online PLUS Hayden and his entire team will be available for the next 7 days to answer reader questions in the comments section of this post!

And of course, if you do happen to want to work with Hayden and alongside many other interns, you can join his internship program right here.

To find out exactly what is working for Hayden and his team, simply read the post below and then ask any question you like in the comments!

Take it from here, Hayden…

16 Money Site Strategies from Hayden

Today’s post is going to outline 16 key takeaways that you can implement in your online business right away for faster results.

Each of these takeaways are exactly what I am doing right now with my approach to building money sites and SEO in the current Google landscape.

The lessons learned and what you can take away right now, but before you race off, I’d like to invite you to ask myself and my team members ANY QUESTION you like and we’ll be available for the next 7 days in the comments of this post to help and respond.

But first, let’s get into the post!

#1: Build in Batches
As the old saying goes, there is safety in numbers. In the online world, there is also efficiency and in many cases, predictability in numbers.

A core part of our money site strategy is to build-out batches of sites at the same time. In our case, that can be up to 20 sites at any one time, but my personal opinion if you are someone that is working online part-time, is to build in batches of 3-4 and try to aim for sites in a related niche.

Building in batches allows you to order content simultaneously, link build two money sites with single PBN articles and perform repetitive tasks in succession for almost certain improved efficiency for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time you repeat the task.

Furthermore, building in batches spreads your risk. Rather than blindly pouring the equivalent of 4 small sites worth of content into one big authority site from scratch, spread your risk by first poking the niches with a handful of smaller sites.

#2: Launch Small, But Big Enough to Identify Winners
We launch our smaller sites (niche sites) with around 7500 words of content in the first month. 7500 words spread across say 3-6 pages on a site is a perfect Minimum Viable Product for a niche site that is built in a niche you are not familiar with.

We chose 7500 words as it is a sufficient volume of content to rank (test the niche), whilst being a small enough time and/or financial investment to write-off if the site does not perform.

Speaking of which….

#3: It’s a Waiting Game
There’s no doubt that new sites are taking longer to rank than they did 12 months ago. Greg wrote a post to this effect a couple months back that documented our experience and our pursuit of workarounds for the 4-6 month lag-time between launching a site and ranking on page 1 continues with our Experiments and Testing division.

#4 Add content to Winners
If you have managed to get into the habit of consistently building out new sites each month (which I do recommend, certainly until you find some winners), you will eventually refine your skills to the point where you do have some sites that are making decent money.

We are currently case studying a hypothesis whereby we set-out to add content to sites within proven niches where we could generate short-term revenue within 45 days of adding the content plus ongoing passive income and additional site value purely through long-tail traffic on proven high RPM sites.

Let me illustrate our findings at this early stage:

One in particular is a site in the finance niche that I believe is highly relevant to most part-timers online given its size as what we define as a Niche Authority Site (up to 200 pages maximum size). Let me show a mini case-study here (a exclusive actually):

The 24 articles added averaged approximately 1000 words in length. At a price of $10 per 1000 words, the price of the content was $240. If we were to sell the site right now, we’d have made over 5x the investment back within ONLY 30 days, even after broker fees.

None of the pages added were link built and none were ranking any higher than page 4 for any keywords of note. The money is all from long tail keywords (HINT, HINT)!

Furthermore, there is no way that the same amount of content when added to a fresh domain would have generated anything close to $78.59 in revenue.

#5 Brandable Domains even if only a Niche Site
The site above was also a great learning lesson on domain name selection; we messed up. The niche is broad, but we made the mistake of thinking too small with the domain selection.

We now have a site that has RPMs of consistently around $100, which means new content would in all likelihood pay for itself within 60-90 days of being added on long-tail traffic alone, but we can’t build it out to its full potential (301 redirect is an option, but not without issues).

We are now completely avoiding EMD and PMD domains, instead opting for generic and brandable domains.

Generic domains have far more appeal to buyers and more scope for site growth should they prove to be successful. So why limit yourself with a narrow domain?

#7 TLD Tip
In countries where the country TLD is restricted (e.g. Australia and Canada where you need to be a local resident to register a .au or .ca domain), we simply look for a .com and target the site via Google Webmaster Tools to the target country. This increases the pool of potential buyers down the track as opposed to a situation we have currently with a number of .au sites that are worth well into 5 figures, but are going to be hard to sell to non-Australian residents.

#8 Foreign SEO is worth pursuing
Greg and I have built plenty of profitable sites in Australia. I’ve previously ranked sites in the UK, Canada and Mexico along with many other countries. Although foreign SEO is not guaranteed to deliver results, those non-US markets are overall easier to rank sites and can often deliver higher Adsense CPC and therefore deserve your attention!

Let’s have a look at just one example:

“Best SUV” > this keyword passes our internal keyword research process as a target keyword and it certainly gives you an idea of how you can find vast differences (and opportunities) through thinking outside of the US.

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“Best SUV” Google Australia: 1900 exact monthly searches, $24.55 CPC

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“Best SUV” Google US: 33,100 exact monthly searches, $2.94 CPC

Key points:

#9 The Smart Money is in the Long Tail
It has never been more apparent to me, as evidenced by point 4 above, and also the site I’ll reference below, that taking time to carefully plan your pages so that you target as many long-tail keywords as possible is the path to faster traffic and faster revenue.

One of our Internship graduates (Matthias) who is currently living with us in Valle De Bravo noticed a nice little uptick in traffic earlier yesterday for one of our partner sites:

Nice result, but the actual traffic is not the important aspect here, its where the traffic is coming from

A number of LONG TAIL KEYWORDS that were not the primary target on the site are the key traffic drivers right now. The site would be getting more traffic from the 90 search volume term in position 2 than the 4 larger search volume terms at the top of the image combined!

I am yet to prove the theory with a documented case study, but my gut feeling is that groups of 10-15 <500 monthly search volume keywords are more profitable to target than 1-2 main short-tail keywords with far higher total search volume.

#10 Predict Year/Date KWs and Work Into Articles
Each of those keywords above that are ranking in position 2 contain the year 2014 in them.

This was a site built at the start of 2014, and Matthias’s strategy when arranging keywords on his main page was brilliantly simple in it’s execution.

He simply looked for searches of “best {product} 2013” which revealed over 3000 monthly searches. Common sense meant that he could realistically expect similar search volume for “best {product} 2014” and apply the same rationale to all the related KW variants such as “top rated” “best selling” “highest rating” and so on.

Matthias worked the year 2014 into his title and also strategically throughout the page.

Using this exact strategy right now, for any KW where there is a year attached, you can look at 2013 and 2014 search volume and then target 2015 in your articles to get the jump on next year. Sites are taking 4-6 months to rank anyway, so cut your losses on 2014 search terms and get ahead of the curve for 2015 to enjoy a full 12 months at the top of Google!

#11 Resourceful Pages Rule
Without question, the best way to create pages today is to target as many keywords as possible on them and make your main pages as resourceful as possible. If you look through many affiliate site keywords such as “{product} review” or “best {product}”, you will notice that the majority of pages that are ranking for the short-tail keywords have 1500 words of content as a minimum and often much more.

#12 Bonus Tip on Resourceful Pages & Ranking Long Tail KWs
Use the Table of Contents Plus plugin (or something similar) to target your lower-competition, long-tail keywords in the anchor text of the table of contents.

Ensure that you have at least 250 words of content relevant to the target keyword of each section. To avoid explaining this in 1000 more words, if you are interested in a strategy to rank long-tail keywords, view this post on our blog that covers the single page site structure, and apply the same principles to your main articles on your sites. It works!

#13 Niche Sites Are Not Dead
Myself, Spencer and others are currently on a parallel path of turning our attention to authority sites. But for all the information we are sharing on the topic of authority sites, I want to point out that niche sites can be both profitable and the best starting point.

In fact, my suggested approach to building niche sites is a 3 pronged approach.

Step 1: Build batches of small niche sites (7500 or so words) at a rate of 4 per month. This is achievable if you are working 10-20 hours per week and are efficient. Keep doing so for a few months.

After a handful of months, you will almost certainly have identified a site, or hopefully sites, that are showing positive signs and making money. At this point you have two options, having identified a winning niche.

Option 1) build out the current niche site into an authority site, just as I outlined above in point #5 above.

Option 2) start an authority site from scratch and pour as much energy into it as possible to develop a nice, clean, white-hat authority site that will stand the test of time.

The key here is that your months of building batches of small authority sites will probably reveal multiple money-making sites, but it will prevent you from pursuing an authority site in a niche that you cannot break into.

When you are only working part-time online, building a failed authority site can kill 6 or more precious months.

#14 Adsense is Not Sexy, But it is Easy
It’s easy, simple and it pays. Sure, there are many instances of keywords/niches where Adsense pays lower than other monetization tactics. However, we’ve also had instances where direct-selling advertising on sites took longer to facilitate and delivered lower ROI for us that Adsense revenue.

The vast majority of our sites make money via Adsense. It is unparalleled for ease and time convenience, which is important if you are either short on time due to having a day job or due to juggling many online projects.

When your time is short, you need to weigh up the opportunity cost of fiddling with other forms of monetization vs just slapping up some Adsense code and watching the clicks roll in.

Adsense is the ideal form of monetization for if you are feeling your way through the SEO and niche site world. Use the convenience and devote your spare time to improving your skills on other facets of successfully building sites.

#15 Adsense Ad-Block Placement
Forget the sidebar, forget header ad blocks. Load your content area with big ad blocks. We usually go with a standard 3 ad blocks in the main content area; 1 towards to top (usually after the first or second paragraph to avoid being too top-heavy with adse above the fold), 1 in the middle and 1 at the end of articles. Quick Adsense is a handy plugin for this.

#16 ABT: Always Be Testing

Individuals like Spencer, Pat Flynn and so on are continually sharing information and their own experiences to help you walk the quicker path to success. There is no substitute for experience though and it is crucial that you Always Be Testing.

This does not mean that you need to be launching batches of 20 sites per month or even spending more than a few hours per week on it. Your ongoing testing could be on 1 of your 4 sites that you launch each month. And it could just be that you test one small thing on one site per week. By 12 months you have proven or debunked 52 things, many of which have probably been bubbling away in your mind for months to this point

You can read, you can watch, you can listen… but the best path to results is to DO.

To summarize the above, here are 16 take-aways that you can implement right now to improve your online success:

  1. Build sites in batches for improved efficiency
  2. Don’t be afraid to start a site with 7500 words of content and let it sit until is warrants more attention
  3. Don’t be worried if your site isn’t on page 1 until 4-6 months > that’s normal
  4. Add content to sites with decent RPM > the long-tail earnings may blow your mind
  5. Choose generic, brandable and flexible domains over PMD and EMD domains
  6. Buy .coms (or generic TLDs) and use targeting by country in Google Webmaster Tools for countries with country TLD restrictions
  7. Foreign SEO is well worth investigating
  8. There’s money to be made in long tail keywords
  9. Use the Table of Contents Plus plugin to your advantage
  10. Target keywords as low as 100-500 monthly search volume > they’ll rank quicker and probably with less links
  11. Get smart with KW analysis to predict future year/month based KWs
  12. Pay attention to the total word count of sites ranking in the serps. Chances are, most will be 1500+ words
  13. Use small niche sites to test niches prior to entering with an authority site
  14. Use Adsense
  15. Place your Ad blocks in the main content area
  16. ABT: How did I learn all of the above? Always Be Testing

We teach all of the above in our monthly Internships and Private Training Courses, if you’re interested.

Ask Us Anything

Now, before you race off, build batch of 4 Adsense niche sites, with broad and resourceful well-planned pages, targeting Google Australia, Canada or UK, I’m offering the NichePursuits community 7 days of access to myself and my entire, newly formed NoHatDigital (NHD) team to ask anything at all that will help you succeed online.

Each of the 12 Interns in the NHD team have unique skill-sets, and to get your mind ticking about possible questions, below is a short list of the various areas of expertise within the team.


Now it’s over to you, feel free to Ask Us Anything!

Blogging & Niche Websites | 253 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

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

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Miki Vicioso

Hayden great post and thanks for the tip. I will sure implement a few of those. Also congrats on setting up sure a strong team.


Love the advice on launching smaller sites as MVPs first. When I first started building sites, I followed a similar idea.

It was one of the best ways to discover which niches were profitable. It also validates that you’re doing keyword research right.

Good stuff as always!


I am using the Table of Contents Plus plugin but I did not see any advantages. By the way, Using a cdn service really improve the rank.


I found it useful for “user experience” purposes for long articles

Jeff Vilcinskas

Great post as always, and some really wonderful tips. First heard about the No Hat SEO internships from you, Spencer. So I went ahead and took the plunge and applied and was accepted. So looking forward to 8/25/14 to get the ball rolling. Not too sure what to expect yet, but sure it will be a learning experience.

Thanks for all the time and energy you put into Niche Pursuits, I appreciate it!


Spencer Haws

Best of luck…and thanks Jeff!


I created a small niche site related to technical industry that is getting about 3000-4000 visits a month. However its not performing to well in terms of adsence any ideas or pointers?

Greg Nunan

Hi Josh, there are a lot of factors at play. Ad block layout is one (refer to point 15 in the post), but also it could just be that the KW set is not a high-performing Adsense KW set and you need to consider your alternate monetization methods.

I’ve had a personal site in the past that made less than $100 per month on Adsense and over $600 per month on the same traffic volume through Amazon.

We (the NHD team) have a site at 10,000 visits per month making $250 per month on Adsense, and another getting the same traffic making $1500-$2000.

3000-4000 visits is at a point where it’s worth doing testing of monetization.

Hope this helps.

Nate Tsang

Hey Josh,

Sounds like you’re getting some good traction already!

Tip #15 is a pretty good Adsense tip that’s worked well for us, if you have any more specific questions about Adsense just let us know.


Hi Spencer and Hayden,

You guys are real inspiration…

I have learned so much on your blogs that I have build 33 small-medium size niche sites and 120 PBN.

Just to give people idea about what’s possible with niche sites, here is a snapshot:

That’s Q2 2014 earnings from a single Amazon site.

And I am not expert by any means. Learning things, but more importantly, implementing fast.

Everyone, please make a decision to have at least small site ready by this weekends. Follow Spencer’s tutorials.

If you need help, you can always ask here. People are quite helpful.


Greg Nunan

Love the challenge to the readers to get a site up by the weekend Priyank! Congrats on the earnings too… would make for an interesting flip!


Hi Greg,

Good to see you here too 🙂

Actually I use public blog network links that most of the people get scarred off. So I am not sure I will get high value for that site.

But $2000-$2500 is not bad from a single site. And when it tanks, I can flip the switch and rank it bank in 1-1.5 months max. Have done it multiple time.

So I keep high ranking sites most of the times.



Priyank, very encouraging and impressive. Over what period of time did you do this? How did you find your PBNs?


Hi Steve,

I started back in March 2013 but found working methods past Penguin in Oct 2013.

I find my PBN domains through auctions, scrapping (thanks to Hayden), and backorders.

One thing for sure, people stretch it to when looking at quality. Out of 120 PBN domains, 80+ domains don’t even have PR still they work greatly.

I have tested ranking sites with no-PR PBN sites. Of course there must be some authority links on your PBN domains.

I think ROI instead of longetivity of the affiliate sites (google will kill 95% or more anyways).



Thank you Priyank for sharing your experience,

Can you give some tips about hosting your PBN?


Hi Muhhammad,

I variety of hosts really.

Here is a list:

Cheap shared hostings ($0.50-2 a month). I hosts 2 sites max. Both different niches. – (70% or more)

Reseller hostings. I create new accounts and get new IPs. – (10-20%)

SEO hosting (It still works if you know how) – (10-20%)

But real key is to change nameservers to your domains and using masking through cloudfare.

And, don’t forget to hide your PBN sites. You can use spyder spanker with custom IP ranges or htaccess and robots.txt files to hide your assets.

Hope this helps.



Yes it is very helpful information.

For me I don’t think so that CloudFlare is a good option because yes you can hiding your real footprint but also you left another one that is CloudFlare itself, and Google should know about it and it may not good for your PBN.

Anyways I am not an expert to suggest or not using CloudFlare masking.

Thank you Priyank for help 🙂



We get 1 Cloudfare account for one site/hosting.

No trouble for last 12 months.

But you can diversify as much as you can if you can afford.



Thanks for those great tips, I already started out my case study with two sites at once. What do you think of amazon sites in ecommerce style using the prosociate plugin and woocommerce for example?

Nate Tsang

Hey Phil,

We don’t use that particular plugin ourselves. I’d say as long as you’re adding useful unique content to each page it should be fine, but if you’re just pulling in amazon products and displaying them, it’ll probably get hit by Panda eventually.



Hey man 🙂

A few questions.

1. “Without question, the best way to create pages today is to target as many keywords as possible on them” Does that mean all pages should be set up in long-form with a table of contents and target multiple, related secondaries? Does this kind of act like a silo?

2. Are you guys doing any white-hat link building with your sites? If so, what methods are you using?

3. What’s the general link-building strategy for your small, 7500-word sites? How many links do you need to test if a site is a winner?

4. Similarly, is RPM the best metric for determining winners?

5. How do you target foreign keywords? Using a foreign TLD? Putting “[Country]” in the title?

Thanks for the knowledge bomb, brother 🙂

John Allen

Perrin you must have been reading my mind when you asked questions 1-3.

Would sure like to see a response to the questions!


Nate Tsang

Hey Perrin,

1. They should target multiple related secondaries, and long form is definitely preferred, but not necessary – I’d suggest working in related longtails even if it’s a shorter 500 word article. A table of contents is great for informational resource style pages, but you can have long form content that doesn’t follow that format and can still work in tons of related longtails e.g. an epic list style article, or an in-depth product review.

2. We’re focusing on PBNs for our linkbuilding, but we’re definitely planning to run some experiments on outreach based linkbuilding. I’ve done some outreach stuff for my own sites before and it can be scalable if done right, but it requires a lot more resources.

Our primary “white hat” strategy linkbuilding strategy is to create sites that are high enough quality that they can attract natural links once they get high enough in the SERPs. The other white hat strategy we’re experimenting with is building sites purely for social media sharing and not dealing with SEO at all – nothing to do with linkbuilding, more of a linkbuilding substitute.

3. For the 7500 word sites, we’re going with approx 2-3 links per week consistently over the first 3 months of a site’s life. Greg goes into more detail in his “PBN Link Building Answers” post from July 11, 2014 on the NoHat blog.

4. Everyone has their own metric, but profit is really the ultimate metric in determining a winner. Seeing consistent movement in the SERPs is a good sign as well, even if the site isn’t quite earning at its full potential yet.

5. Sometimes we use foreign TLDs, but we’re trying to move away from that. We geo-target in GWT, sometimes we put the country in the domain, and we put the country name in the title/text of articles when it’s relevant.


Dominic Wells

Hey here’s my ask you anything question!

Once a site has its 7,500 words, would you just let it sit and “marinate” before adding more content and PBN links etc, or would PBN links start earlier on, before you knew that this was a site to build out?

Greg Nunan

Great question Dominic. We did a post recently on PBN link building that covers this in detail (go to our NoHatDigital site, click Blog > R sidebar > Link Building category and you’ll find it).

We usually let it marinate in terms of on-page, but link build from the PBN right away at a steady rate (2-3 links per week). Once we see movement in serps, that’s when we’ll add content.

Dominic Wells

Cheers Greg! Will check out that post now.


Okay, I’m posting questions as I read to not forget anything, so I might be back:)

I’ve been blogging for two years now, but I haven’t built a niche site yet. (As in: not an authority site you start because you love the topic).

I have a few projects going at the moment and scheduled for the rest of the year and was planning to really jump into site building starting January 2015.

Given the results of the experiment where you added a lot more content only after the site had already “aged” a bit, would you say it would be better for me to create a site or 4 now already. Give them some first content and then let them sit until 2015?


Nate Tsang

Hey Sofie,

If you’re going to jump into niche site creation and you’re going to drive traffic primarily through SEO, it’s definitely a good idea to setup a few sites now and let them age a bit, even if they’re just one page placeholders.



Thank you for the awesome read! I have a question about something that was brought up. Hopefully it makes sense. I’m still new to this stuff..

Regarding the following:

“I am yet to prove the theory with a documented case study, but my gut feeling is that groups of 10-15 <500 monthly search volume keywords are more profitable to target than 1-2 main short-tail keywords with far higher total search volume."

My question is that for a niche site, how would you implement this strategy? Should I make 10-15 500 word articles that each target a longtail keyword, or should I find groups of similar longtail KWs, and make one long article that contains all of them?


Nate Tsang

Hey Mike,

You wouldn’t ever have 10-15 500 word articles that target just a single longtail keyword each. You could potentially have 1 long article that targets 10-15 similar <500 monthly search volume KWs, or you could have 10-15 that each target multiple related longtails.

The key takeaway is to optimize for multiple related longtail keywords in each article.



Great and valuable strategies you just published! Thanks for that.

My question:

Referring to #4, have you ever tested if piecewise publishing your initial content has any positive influence on the time it needs to rank? For example not publishing the whole 7500 words but publishing it piece by piece (f.e. 300 to 400 words for each article)?
I’m asking because i currently running such a test to see if freshness and significant changings of the content have a positive impact. (And sides anyway need 4 months to rank. So i split the main article with 4000 words in ten parts and publish each week a part of 400 words)

Greg Nunan

We haven’t tested this. Out theory is to get the 7500 words on the site as fast as possible to let it age and pickup long-tail traffic whilst the short tail keywords are moving up in Google.


What size ads do you usually use in content? Typical square ads or small banner type ads?

Greg Nunan

336 x 280 usually for all three ad blocks Rick. But we are testing the responsive ad blocks that is offered now to see if this increases performance.


Hey Greg, do you favour text ads or display ads?

Greg Nunan

Always leave the ad blocks set to both and leave it to Google to decide! But you could try split testing on a site by site basis.

Fred Campos


fantastic advice! I have been building one niche at a time, the idea of doing it in batches makes tons of sense. I like the idea of placing the ads inside the post block. Another idea I had not considered. Thank you, thank you for continuing to share your content and findings.


Hey Hayden,

Great post and very timely as just starting my next niche project. I have a couple of questions:

1. 1 page sites – are these still ranking after latest Panda updates? Do you need to “fill out” the site with other pages of smaller content?

2. Batch building of niche sites – say I was targeting “best knitting needles” how would this work? Would I have (a) 3-4 sites each with the “same” content (that is, best knitting needle reviews) or (b) have 3-4 sites targeting various keywords in the “knitting needle” niche. I ask because if it was (a) then I am writing very similar content

Right, off to get niche site building!

Greg Nunan

Stew, Hayden’s out for a bit right now so I’ll take this one.

1) not seeing anything to suggest that one pagers aren’t ranking post Panda.

2) a KW like “best knitting needles” is very specific so it would not be worth building 4 sites around knitting needles to test.

What I would do is get a generic domain that targets the broader craft niche overall, and place a main page (1500+ words) on that domain targeting “best knitting needles” and see how it goes. Then target other pages to related knitting needle terms also. Let it sit and see how it goes.

You could pickup a handful of other generic domains and target another craft term on one site (“scrapbooking” KWs or something as an example). And then make your other two sites on a different niche.

So you have 2 in the craft niche and 2 on something different. That way if the craft niche turns out to be terrible, you’ve not wasted your month on a dud niche.

Hope this helps.


bro, why dont you make it sound any easier…

1) writers – for every decent writer, I have to wade through 5 that suck – this is a huge time waste. How do you handle/manage this?

2) I have some OLD sites that have had adsense removed from the site. Not banned but no longer showing on there. Is there a way to get ADSENSE back on there? Or forget it and move on.. I’m willing to KILL a big batch of the content if thats what it takes.

3) Hayden can i have your baby?


Greg Nunan is a good service. Quick turnaround time, nicely priced and you can reject anything that is low-quality. Stick to 4+ star writers though and be very detailed in the article request copy.

Not sure why Adsense was taken off, but can’t see a problem with using those aged sites as money sites. Aged sites are valuable now for avoiding the sandbox. If you’re worried, just don’t put all your eggs in one basket and build some fresh domains also.

Greg Nunan

oh, and I can’t comment on having Hayden’s baby. Leave that for Hayden to decide. Kind offer though!


Very detailed information about building and managing niche sites to make profit into the time span of 12 months, also the tip to test multiple site for getting winners is worth trying without any delay.


So in your process you say that adsense is the way to go when you’re building out batches of smaller niches sites. What if your site is a product oriented site, like “best survival knife” wouldn’t it be smarter to use amazon links instead if adsense?

Nate Tsang

Hey Jack,

Yes, in the case of a product review site it would make sense to throw up some amazon links right away. Amazon is a lot like Adsense in that it’s not necessarily the highest ROI monetization method for most products, but its the easiest to implement and still very profitable – sometimes even more profitable than programs with a higher commission % just due to the trust factor built-in with Amazon purchases.

The key takeaway is that if you’re launching sites in multiple niches, you don’t necessarily have to try to start split testing different monetization methods until you’re actually getting a decent amount of traffic. 80/20 rule at work.


oloyede jamiu

Hi Hayden and Spenser,

Nice having you here for the fourth time, Hayden. I really like the concept of building a batch of niche websites at a go in order to see which of them would be able to be escalated into authority website(s).

I have a couple of questions for you before i forget.
1. You refer to an inhouse keyword research tool in the screenshot above, please can you tell us the name?
2. After the time you set up and write the base articles making the 7500 words, after how many weeks do you start to point your PBN links to the site?
3. What themes do you think are the best to use on niche websites these days?

I will be able to hear your replies on these questions.

-Oloyede Jamiu.

Nate Tsang

Hey Oloyede,

I’m not Hayden or Spencer, but I’m responsible for building out, ranking and monetizing NoHatDigital’s money sites so hopefully I can help:

1. Oracle
2. We often start linkbuilding right away, but sometimes these days we’ve left 1-2 months before we started linkbuilding. It varies, and either approach is ok.
3. It really depends on what you’re trying to do. For smaller niche sites, it really doesn’t matter which Theme you use, as long as it gets the job done.

Since we’re trying to build our sites into authorities, we’re paying more attention to design and using high quality magazine style themes from Themeforest. Those aren’t always ideal for small 15-20 page niche sites though.

Hope that helps,


How to do this ‘Foreign market (non-US) SEO’?

Is it merely ‘target the site via Google Webmaster Tools to the target country’ or we also need to do something else?

Sorry for my language Spencer & Hayden, English isn’t my first language. 🙂

Nate Tsang

Targeting via Webmaster tools is the most important if you don’t have a cc level domain. You’ll also want the country name to appear in relevant areas of your site. You can also include the country in the domain name, but it’s not necessary.

Some SEOs also suggest hosting in the target country, but that’s not strictly necessary either. It can’t hurt though (unless the local host is a lot slower).


Hello Spencer, i would like to know where do you find 1000 words of content for $10? I’m paying $40 for 2000 words articles!!
Anyway great post. You mentioned some good strategies, thanks

Jim Hofman

Hi guys, thanks as always for the great content – I learn something every time I get one of Spencer’s emails.

Question for Hayden’s team …

I’m building out a large authority site around the Made in the USA niche. The site spotlights all 50 states and the products made in each with short profile features. The site is linked in case you want to see it. I started it in earnest Nov. 2013 although the domain name is much more aged.

New content (written by me) is added daily, usually 1500+ words total.

My question is, if you had to pick one solid way to monetize this site, and one way to promote it, what would YOU do?

I know there are dozens of ways to do each, just trying to pick some better brains than mine here.

Thank you!

Nate Tsang

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the question.

If the products are usually found on Amazon, then that’s the way we would go. If not, then we’d go with Adsense. Once we had enough traffic/revenue to make it worth it to us, then we’d start split testing other monetization methods (other affiliate programs, drop shipping, paid reviews etc).

As far as promotion goes, I think its safe to say that everyone on the team would start with the PBN route for that type of site (alongside careful KW research of course).


Magdiel O.

Thanks for all the great tips Hayden. I decided to start my own niche website. It’s now about a month old, and wondered why it still hadn’t ranked up in google. I guess its still too early. But in the meantime, I start to implement your useful suggestions.


The problem with domains is from last time i looked they cannot be transferred/sold like the .com names although the local .tld rank better from experience.

Nate Tsang


That’s a great point, and its an issue we’ve run into as well.

If you’re interested in flipping, its generally better to go with a .com, unless maybe you already have access to a pool of qualified Aussie buyers willing to pay standard market rate.



Thanks for the article!

I have just one and only question – Are you building backlinks to your batch of sites or are you just waiting and if it shows potential you will start linkbuilding?

Keep it up!

Nate Tsang

Hi Jenda,

We’re definitely linkbuilding them, but we do usually give it a month or two to age before we start. If something does happen to “pop” in the rankings in the meantime, we would give it priority.



You know, once i spend almost two hours to figure how to get the table of contents on my site, because i saw it on my competitors website and i thought it looked cool and useful.

After a while i quit and i forgot about it, just to find out in how to do it when i didn’t even searched for it.
Thanks for the tip Hayden.

I was always wandering, Is anchor text density in the internal links matter as it would when it comes to backlinks from other sites or not so much?

Nate Tsang

Hey Milco,

It does seem to matter – in both the good and bad sense. It can help, and it can potentially hurt you if you’re over-optimized as well.

Best thing to do is just link to it 100% naturally the way you would if you were just creating a website for users, not Google. If it happens to contain the KW great, if not, that’s fine too. Google is smart enough to detect the semantic relevance and you don’t have to risk an over-optimization penalty.



Great stuff as always guys. I have a question about one of my niche sites that I’d like to turn in to an authority site but the domain is not brandable at all. Its a good old “best… .com”. Would you recommend I just stick with that domain or change it to something more brandable? and if i were to change the domain is there a way to maintain my rank? or should I just redirect the “best..” domain to the new one?

I wish I followed niche site project 2 before I built this site.

Nate Tsang

Hey Louie,

Depends how specific your domain is – are we talking something like, or

If its the former, you can definitely continue building that out into a broader site – just because the domain says “best widget” doesn’t mean you can’t provide helpful widget related articles, or articles related to the demographic that would use the widget. If you’re creative, you don’t have to be limited by the scope of the domain.

If it’s the latter, then it’s probably a bit too narrow to continue building out into a broader site. I would just keep building out the narrow one as a micro niche site, and if the niche is profitable, I’d build another site on a more brandable domain with the intent of dominating the niche.



Great Post!
I have an SEO question:
I am changing my small static website to a wordpress static site. Currently my pages are named without the /. for example:
When I finish my wordpress site the pages will be
I currently rank between position 1 to 4 on the first page of Google and I don’t want to risk losing my ranking.
Will the / added to the page names affect SEO?
Thanks for your help.

Nate Tsang

Hey Robert,

It’s good that you’re paying close attention to your permalinks during the transfer. You should be alright in this case, WordPress will automatically 301 redirect the url to

If you want to confirm, you can use this 301 redirect checker:

After you switch over to wordpress, just type in your old permalinks (e.g. into the 301 redirect checker. It should tell you that it’s being 301 redirected to

Checked link:

Type of redirect: 301 Moved Permanently
Redirected to:

I’m sure you have this covered already, but just make sure you have everything backed up so you can switch back right away if there are any issues with your WordPress Install.


When using .com domains to target Foreign markets (non-US) via Google Webmaster Tools to the target country.

Dont you also need to host the site in that foreign market
to get better rankings ?

Eg Target market Australia , using US .com domain
Host site in Australia


To follow up on John’s question, can I take my most successful sites and just translate them into a foreign language (on new domains)? Or does that give me a dupe content penalty?

Michael Bely

Hey Quinton,

Answering your question, translation into another language will definitely NOT give you duplicate content unless you use automate translation tolls like Google translate (what you are not going to do anyway, I guess)

Matt Cutts says that explicitly :

I’m working in two languages, so this question was also important for my content writing.


Thanks a milion. Searching odesk for a translator, today!

Nate Tsang

Hey John,

It couldn’t hurt, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary either.



Do you need a AU domain to target Google Australia ? I think you need ABN / business registration number to go for AU domain.

Nate Tsang

Hey David,

No, you don’t need a .AU domain to target Australia. In fact having the .AU domain can make it tougher to flip the site, for the reasons you mention.

You can just target AU in webmaster tools, and add Australia into the titles/headlines/text when appropriate. Adding “Australia” into the domain can be helpful as well.



Thanks Nate.

I thought that I need a .au to rank better in local seo. Reason why is, by default when we search in Google using our phone + desktop, the top 10 SERP that appears has .au.

Probably, they know my location is in Australia so they just route it to Google.Com.Au by default for all searches.

Drone blogger

I like the idea of not worrying about your SERP until at least 4 months have gone by. I remember reading elsewhere here that it took 3 months for posts to truly rank in Google, as if there were a sort of incubation period.


I don’t test as much as I should anymore. I feel that with the right keyword tools you should be able to know if the site is going to rank before you begin.

It’ll probably bite me one of these days, but so far, I’m 3 for 3! 😉

Nate Tsang

Hey Quinton,

Congrats on your success. Its true that once you get familiar with a good keyword tool and you’ve built out a few sites, you get a “feel” for what will rank and what won’t rank.

If you want to really scale things up though, it pays to have as much information as possible so you can calculate your projected ROI more effectively. Plus testing lets you stay ahead of the curve, which is really valuable.

It’s definitely a lot of work to do serious testing though, hopefully we can do the testing so you guys don’t have to.



Great post guys.When you do KW research for foreign markerts, do you check the stats for a specific country or do you have a list of countries and check the KW stats for all of them?

Nate Tsang

We usually have specific markets we’re targeting because we have an asset there e.g. a partner from the country & PBN sites, so we just check the KW stats for those target markets.


Awesome post! You said to initially aim for 7,500 words of content on 3-6 pages. That’s a lot of content. Where do you get your articles from?

Nate Tsang

Hey Sean,

It’s really not that much content when you think about it – if you wrote just a single 500 word article a day, you’d have 7500 words in 2 weeks. If you wrote just 1000 words a day, you’d have 7500 words in about a week.

NoHatDigital gets most of it content by working with interns. For my own sites, I use Textbroker (4 star and above, screened very carefully), as well as writers I recruit through various forums. I know other members of the team use sources like Odesk/Elance.



Thanks for the informative article. I am a Mum-to-be who is planning to enter the online business world. I am based in Australia but I am aiming to sell internationally. Unfortunately, I’m not up to speed with the ins & outs of web technology just yet but I’m hoping you can guide me on an appropriate e-commerce platform. I was leaning towards Shopify but now I’ve been swayed into considering WordPress. I want a world-class site but one that I can maintain and not be reliant on a web-developer for every minor change. Hope you can help!

Nate Tsang

Hi Paige,

It depends a bit on the types of products you’re selling, but based on the needs you’ve described, you probably want to go with either Shopify or Bigcommerce, they were pretty much built with customers like yourself in mind.

You definitely do not want to go with WordPress though – security would be an issue for you and it would just be a lot more work to maintain and setup.

Hope that helps,


Hi. Thanks for sharing all this great info.
Would love your thoughts —
I built my first niche site, I think it’s looks pretty good and has well written original content (I’m a writer by profession, so I know it was good content and engaging), nice photos. But got rejected by Amazon Associates, totally vague explanation that didn’t explain why other than saying it “wouldn’t be mutually beneficial”. I wrote back and they said they were unlikely to change their mind and not to write again as they wouldn’t reply.
Have you heard about this happening much?
PS: I was going about the blender/smoothie niche (tho in hindsight probably too many of the long tail KW are commercial enough).
What’s your advice give up on this site and try another?

Mark G

Kim, I’m not with Nohatdigital, but I have experience with Amazon. I’ve never heard of Amazon rejecting a specific website before. Usually, if you’re in the program, you can put their links on any of your sites, there isn’t a site-by-site review. Did you submit the site to them, or did they contact you?


Hi Mark G thanks for your reply. When I applied for my amazon associates account they asked for my website – so I put in this site, no reason to believe it would be a problem. I can’t remember if it was compulsory to include a site but like I say I had no reason to be concerned about this site.

If you google there are others out there talking about having the same thing happening. But for the life of me I can’t figure out why they have an issue with my site.

A couple of niche site builders have looked at it … But haven’t been able to pinpoint anything.

Any thoughts?

NoHatSEO guys did you have any insights??

Mark G

Kim, without seeing it I can’t really say, but maybe they are changing the way they do things. This sounds much more the Ebay affiliate program, where they have done similar things in the past. Can you reapply without submitting a site?


I live in Frankston, Victoria.
I have a site that is doing well, a few failures but anyone can definately do it!
The easiest way to build sites these days in my opinion is to get yourself wordpress, then get the canvas theme from woo themes and then go to pootle press and get the website builder.

You don’t have to but its quite easy way to go!
You will need to know some html and a few other languages to get through but you’ll get there and learn on the job.

Good luck!


Hey there, thanks for taking the time to write this and for answering questions!

1) I wish you would have gone more into silo’s and how you are using them and building them out for your authority sites.

2) I wish there was a little more SEO info involved. Backlinking continues to be my Achilles heel.

Nate Tsang

Hey Robert,

1) For authority sites, we do implement a bit of a silo structure similar to the one found on niche sites, but it’s not baked directly into the site’s navigational structure like it is with smaller niche sites.

For example: We might have a pillar article that is 3000 words long, but it’s not necessarily a category page. It’s just another post, but our goal is simply to make it a go-to resource for everything related to that particular topic, and it targets a ton of longtails. We link out to plenty of other articles from the pillar article, and we make sure to have tons of natural internal links to the pillar article.

What you end up with is certain posts that have a ton of high quality, useful content, and dozens (even hundreds) of internal links. These posts can dominate the SERPs for a ton of longtails and even shorttails.

Example: If we have a Men’s Lifestyle Magazine, we might have a pillar article on how to groom your mustache. Within that article, we’d cover everything we can think of related to the subject. Anytime we have an article related to grooming, fashion, or even job interviews (Can Facial Hair Hurt Your Chances At Landing Your Dream Job?), we can link naturally to this pillar page.

2) Backlinking is just one component of SEO (off-page), on-page is just as important (if not more so). I feel your pain though, backlinking is definitely the harder and more time consuming of the two.

There are lots of tactics you can use to get links via outreach and content marketing, but the most scalable and straightforward way at the moment is to build your own PBN. If you check Spencer’s podcast archives from 2012, you’ll find a couple of podcasts where he and Hayden go in-depth into finding expired domains and turning them into backlinking machines.

At the risk of sounding self-promotional, if you go through a NoHat internship, we’re launching a Links4Life program (shared intern graduate-only PBN) that you might find interesting as well.



Wow! Definitely over delivered on the information here and answered questions I didn’t even know I was going to have. Thank you so much Nate, and I am definitely considering the internship

Nate Tsang

No problem Robert! Glad you found it helpful.



Great tips in that article… I would love you to dig a bit deeper on some of the harder points, like link building and seo.

They always seem to cite most people in the arse..

thanks again…

Nate Tsang

Hey Glen,

Hayden has done a lot of stuff on Spencer’s blog about linkbuilding via expired domains/PBNs, which is why he didn’t really cover it here.

You can find the original podcasts here:

You can also find a round up of all of his content on expired domains and PBN build outs here:

Hope you find it useful.


So far… no replies to most of the questions.. I am interested in knowing answers to some of them, but all i see is a reply which points to NoHatDigital’s (NHD) blog post. Why not reply here when you can and promised to do so.

The great quality of content is already pushing me to check NHD blog but i do not want to be pushed.. being an internet marketer.. I know when someone is pushing too hard.



Hi Rick,

The NoHatDigital team was off yesterday but Greg did answer some questions above. The rest of the group should be online today answering questions on this blog. Sorry for the delay!

Nate Tsang

Hey Rick,

Believe me, no one hates pushy IM gurus more than we do.

A bunch of our replies from last night got pushed into the spam folder – from Akismet’s perspective, our comments looked like spam since we’re all sitting here in one house under the same IP posting constant comments w/ a linkback to the same site site. Lynn’s comment only got through because she’s in the US at the moment.

The issue should be fixed now and you should see the answers from last night in the comments. Ask away!


Thanks a lot for this useful post and especially #1.

It is actually so simple. I have made a mistake of spreading my different niches across the months. While making batches will definetely will increase my efficiency.

Nate Tsang

Yeah, spreading across different niches isn’t bad since you get to test things out, but its definitely more efficient to hammer on one niche after you know that its profitable and you can rank.


I agree that 10 to 15 long tail keywords, with lower monthly search volume, can do better than 1 or 2 primary keywords. with much larger search volume. The long tails also provide a great way to diversify rankings.

Great tips thanks. Especially like #11, #12, #14 & #15!!


Hi Heydan,

Thank you for your wonderful post.

1. What do you do after you published the first 4-6 articles (7500 words). Do you keep publish one article of 1000 words per week for the next 4-6 months?

2. What do you want to see after you publish the first 4-6 articles? If your niche site start to make money? How long do you wait till you continue or cut losses?

3. When you start to do SEO for your niche sites? For how long time?

4. Do you always use expired domains for your niche sites or new ones?


Nate Tsang

Hey Ori,

I’m not Hayden, but this falls under my domain as well:

1. The 7500 words can vary in length from 500-1000 words. Generally, we start linkbuilding and wait until some keywords start showing up in the top 100 before adding more content.

If you’re confident in your keyword research though, you can certainly start drip feeding in more content if you want to though.

2. We want to see keywords start popping into the top 100 (ideally top 10, but first things first) after we start linkbuilding and its been a few months. After that, we want to see a steady climb in the rankings. Generally if you do your KW research right you’ll see a steady climb to the top. If it gets stuck in the rankings, figure out what went wrong and make adjustments for your future kw research, and/or build a stronger PBN.

3. SEO should be baked into your niche sites right from the start – kw research, on-page optimization, site structure optimization, and then off-page (linkbuilding).

4. NoHatDigital does both, mostly fresh domains up until recently. Personally for my sites I usually build them on expired domains.

Hope that helps!



You mentioned using the same PBN site for 2 money sites that you build simultaneously.

What limit do you have with this?

For example if you have money sites A & B (in the same/related niche), say each one with 20 PBN links each.

How many of each of their 20 PBN links overlap between the 2 money sites? Do you have a limit?


Nate Tsang

Hey Larry,

Good question. Generally in each linkbuilding round, no more than 50% of the linkbuilding articles overlap between the related sites. This is just a rule of thumb though, and not based on any data-driven insight.

Lynn, who’s a member of the founding team and is an experienced data scientist, is in the process of analyzing our PBNs to identify interlinking footprints, so we might be able to give a more scientific answer to this question down the road.

Hope that helps,

Michael Bely

Thank you for the well-prepared post. I’m putting it to my favorites for further reference.

As you’re welcoming your readers to ask questions, here is a couple from me please. I’d be really grateful if you could help.

In short it is like this – How to hide PBN from competitors, so not to let them find the PBN in Backlinks analysis tools like Majestic, Ahrefs etc.?

You mentioned Spyder Spanker with custom IP ranges, htaccess and robots.txt.

For now I’m using tweaks in .htaccess files (since it is more efficient than using robots.txt that can be in fact ignored by crawlers):
SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent .*mj12bot.* badbot
SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent .*ahrefsbot.* badbot

Order Allow,Deny
Allow from all
Deny from env=badbot

But it does not help (i.e. many or even most of the sites in my PBN are visible in the backlink analysers).
Having read all stuff about the topic I could find, I have not found the solution yet.

Also I’ve heard about Spyder Spanker before, but have not checked it personally (by the way, good reviews on Warriorforum makes me suspicious sooner than trusting it).

So to be specific, here are my questions please:
1. Is there a way you could share the way you hide your PBNs and does it really work? (that’s the main and general question)
And a more detailed question please:
2. Is Spyder Spanker a magic bullet, that helps you to hide the PBN with the functionality from the box (or is it just a tool that helps to tweak .htaccess or anything that still requires you to know specific IPs or bot names to block)?

I know that if anyone wants to find out a PBN (or at least a big part of it), then he or she can do it manually even if majestic, ahrefs and other tools do not display information about the PBN. But at least I’d like to make such a task harder for that ‘anyone’ by hiding my PBN in such backlink analysis services.

Sorry for such a long question, but it is important as you surely know.
Thank you for your time!

ALi D.

Hi All,
Very inspiring post. Thanks very much for the tips.
My question:
If you have your niche site rank jumping for your target kewords (between 80 to 500+ rank), what do you do to keep it in stale rank? My sites are doing this for months, sometime ranking in the 80 in SERP, sometime in the 150, some 500+.
Thanks in advance for your answers.

Hayden Miyamoto

Depends how many months you’re talking Ali. If it’s anything under 4 months, that’s fairly normal. Just keep adding links and content consistently.


1. Let’s assume I plan to choose a hosting provider based in France, however my site will target mostly users in the US (and other English speaking countries). Does a geographic location of a server affect SEO?

2. What are your most profitable monetization methods? Do you offer you own products & services which seem to be the best way to monetize audiences? We all want to build nice businesses and an authority site itself is not a business, it’s just a medium so I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.


Hayden Miyamoto

1) It’s not an absolute must, as just getting a reliable/stable host is the main priority. But if you can get a reliable local host that would be best option. We’ve certainly done this in the past where possible.

2) It’s very niche/KW dependent and I can’t give a one-size-fits-all answer here. In terms of overall ROI on time/effort, Adsense can be fairly strong because it is just inserting code on the site… You need to weigh up the revenue increase vs the additional time other monetization tactics can eat up.

We haven’t made our own products just due to management time. We have a site with a paid directory that is promising and generating a consistent flow of listings on auto pilot – this is one we need to test more but could be a nice side-earner for certain types of sites targeting service industries in particular.

Again though, it depends on the niche.


Great post! I have a Q for the NHD team. I have a niche site that is about a yesr old and doing pretty well. I want to expand the niche into an authority site. I set up a new site on a brandable domain and would like to move the content from the niche site to the new site.

Should i just copy the content over to the new site and use a 301 redirect from each of the old pages to the new pages?

Thanks for all your help!

Nate Tsang

Yeah, you can certainly do that. Personally though I would just build a new site on a more brandable domain and have 2 sites owning the same niche.

Jeffrey Dibble

Hi Grey and Spencer,

I am curious on how you can rank in foreign country like Australia with .com. Say i have a .com site and doing seo to target primarily in US and UK, then is it advisable to just keep ranking and hope that it will rank in the google australia as well or how do you rank in Australia?

Please share as i am trying to rank in Google Australia?



I have a pie recipe website that averages 755 unique visits a day and peaks 6000+ a day as Thanksgiving approaches. I average 1199 page views/day. My RPM is between $6.50 – $9.75.

Presently, most of my income comes from Adsense. I tried Amazon and Affiliates of lady dresses, but I can’t seem to get the income much over $200/month. I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on how to monetize the site for more income. You would think I could get $1000+/month.

Thanks a lot guys.

Nate Tsang

Hi Warren,

In my experience, its pretty hard to get high rPMs out of recipe websites. People are usually in “cooking” mode or “print out recipe” mode, not “buying” mode. Recipe sites usually rely on sheer traffic volume to make money. Do you have a specific theory for why it should be earning $1000+?

Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to improve your visitor values 5X by simply swapping in another monetization method. You’d probably have to start capturing visitors with an email opt in – likely with a pretty attractive dangle (free recipe book?), and then re-market to them, and/or use the list to build up your brand and authority, which you can use to sell our own products.

Hope that helps!


Hey Nate,
Thanks again for the reply. I just got that $1000 number based on what others are getting for their RPM.

I worked on this site for over 5 years. It’s time to move on to a more profitable project. I will hold on to this as a hobby site.



Question for the NHD Team.

I have built a specific health based niche site over a year and a half ago with an domain name.

I put up a couple of blog posts and started to rank on page 1-3 on google then I guess one of the panda/penguin algorithms came along and it totally tanked the site.

I have recently started to add some new content to the site about 20 or more 1000+ word articles targeting LTKW’s over the last couple of months one post a week, and I’ve started to see a gain in impressions in google analytics. Going from 3500 impressions to 160,000. Analytics also says im ranking 9.4 for my main keyword but yet the site is nowhere to be seen in google.

My site got a pr1 when google updated a few months ago and my Alexa ranking has improved from over 9 million down to 1.3 million and is still dropping.

Recently I’ve started using Pinterest for traffic promotion and I’m getting about 5000 hits per month. Earning about $20 per month Adsense and the odd amazon sale.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes on this site, a lot of over optimisation I think now looking back. It was my first attempt at a niche site. I’ve spend a good bit of money for content and it had a decent enough website design.

Sorry for the long winded background!

My question is:

Is it possible to turn a site around from the possible penalty/over optimisation it has to maybe get site to rank better?

Back linking is not my strong point I’ve not managed to do it much.

I’ve hired a new writer and planned to throw more content at the site. I keep thinking the site could be an authority on the subject but I’m just not as skilled yet in IM to make it work.

Am I just wasting more money at this point?

Thanks so much any help would be appreciated!

Great post Spencer and Hayden!!!

Nate Tsang

Hey Des,

Sounds like you’re describing Google Webmaster Tools, not Analytics. The impressions don’t necessarily mean that much if you’re at the bottom of the page. Its a good idea to use an actual ranktracker to track your main keywords and see who they’re performing over time, and install Google Analytics to see the # of actual visitors/pageviews.

Not to sound discouraging, but it’s probably worth noting that PR means essentially nothing these days. Alexa rank at low volumes of traffic is meaningless as well…you can actually end up in low hundred thousands just by regularly checking your site yourself with the toolbar installed.

As for your question, its certainly possible, but there are no guarantees and its difficult.

Realistically unless you’ve invested hundreds of thousands into a site, it makes more sense to just launch a new site. You can re-use the old content on your new domain and delete the old site, or leave that one up if it’s earning a bit of passive income and just start a fresh site in the same niche if you know it’s profitable.

Nate Tsang

^ The good news is that it sounds like you’ve learned a ton working on that site. Personally, I would take what you’ve learned and start a fresh site that’s bigger and badder than the last one.

Hope that helps!

John Zakaria

Hi Spencer,
I really thank you for sharing those 16 money site strategies which are proven .

I discovered new strategies and i will apply your strategy number 14 Adsense because my goal is to make money from Adsense ads on my site

Jeffrey Dibble

Hi Spencer and Greg,

Which is the free tool that we can check the cpc accurately insted of keyword planner. I was going through the keyword planner and check the keyword best suv, the suggested bids are way too high compare what is written here.

BTW, how do you add your domain into the google webmaster tool. I know this is dumb but just to be sure about this, guys. Hope that is not too much to ask.

Thanks again. This is really GOLD stuff compare to most of the posts i read some Vip..


Hi guys
First off, this was a great post. Bookmarked, and will revisit regularly.


Hi guys
I have some questions for the guys over at NHD.

I love your ideas around the longtail keywords. I am convinced I should be spending much more time on these.

1. On an existing site, if I wanted to target some long tail keywords, is it a case of just going back and expanding the content to include as many of these as possible? Should I also be using these long tails as anchors on links built to the existing site?
2. Big G ran a very deindexing algo the last couple of days. I lost half of my PBN, and I know of others who lost anything between 20% and 100% of their PBN sites. What precautions do you take to protect your PBN sites?

Look forward to your answers!

Nate Tsang

1. You could do that to optimize your existing content, and also add new content targeting groups of longtails.

2. In a nutshell, use quality content on your pbn and minimize footprints – think of anything Google could use to algorithmically separate you from the pack. Hayden did a pretty extensive post on this back in April.


Also make sure you create fake whois information. Remember if you use privacy on all or most of your pbn sites, then this creates a footprint. Fake whois information is the way to go – create different info for each pbn site. Since Google has address information, make sure these are real addresses and don’t use gmail for email as they can check that too.


Hi, Interesting post.
I’m a newbie and have two niche websites.

One niche website (healthcare) have about 2000 visitors and click through rate 5%.
When investigating KW i saw the keywords costs about 2 euro.(longtailpro info)
Despites i notice that adsense clicks give me only €0,13 cents.

So my questions:
1. can you tell me, what is the ratio between keyword price in google (longtailpro) and the amount of money i receive per click in adsense?
2. i like to create an affiliate page for airco’s.
I’m not sure which option is better:
-create a blog article site about about particular models
-create a price compare pages (with best price) with lots of models, shops and affiliate links
I heard google dislikes (small) affiliate pages.

Can you tell me if it’s possible to rank in google with an affiliate pricecomparison page?

Nate Tsang

Hey Leon,

Long Tail Pro (and every other KW research tool out there) shows the CPC data from the Google Keyword Planner, which is designed for Adwords. The CPC numbers for Adsense are usually lower because the advertiser bids are lower + Adsense actually takes away 33% of your revenue.

You’re also probably not factoring in the Advertiser competition numbers, which can affect the actual value of clicks. Its far from exact, but a good rule of thumb is to take CPC * 2/3 * Advertiser Competition %.

2. I’d probably do the later, but make sure you’re actually adding a lot of useful, unique content, not just pulling in data from other sources.

Yes it’s possible, but it won’t stick around in the rankings if all you’re doing is pulling in data to price compare. You need to add some unique content there as well.

Hope that helps.


Hi Nate

Thanks for your reply. I check it in Longtailpro…but i can’t find Advertiser Competition %. Only AC High,Medium and Low.

Is this Advertiser Competition %. only available in your tools or is this information public?



Hi, Tnx for all that helpful information. I really appreciate all of it and it is really helpful! However I have a couple of questions:
1)What is the difference between an expired domain and a regular domain with a lot of content? I have the impression that weaker expired domains will not give you that much juice and it is more important to have a lot of content on that site rather than back-links.
2)What value could a regular domain with no back-links and content above 7000 words give to a money site?
3)What are the average indicators like ( Majestic Trust, Majestic Citation, MozTrust and MozRank, PageAuthority) for your expired domain and what are the minimum required stats for expired domains that you consider buying?
4)Have you ever done link building from multiple weaker expired domains to create a stronger expired domain that gives much more link juice when linked to a money-site?
5)I have “.com”(English language) money-site and PBN on foreign domains in foreign language. Is it a good idea to link from this PBN to that English money-site?

Nate Tsang

1. Building a money site on an expired domain has 2 primary benefits:
– You can sometimes bypass the “sandbox” and start ranking quicker
– You already have a base of authoritative links.

If your expired domain has weak metrics (sub DA20) and has already been de-indexed for awhile (as in the old site has been offline for awhile and is no longer in Google’s index), then you’re right that there wouldn’t be any significant benefit to building on the expired domain.

As far as content being more valuable than links though, that’s not quite true. Once you have enough domain authority (through backlinks) that you can add content and have it naturally pick up longtails in your niche, then adding content becomes more valuable. But without that base of domain authority, its generally more important to get links than to add content.

2. In what context, as a source of backlinks? I’d say not much.

3. We look at DA as the primary metric (DA 20+ is more than enough, but we usually try to target DA30+), then dive deeper into the backlink profile for spam checking.

For more detailed information about how to weigh those factors Hayden wrote a post about this exact topic back in Feb:

4. No, but that’s the basic idea behind tiered-linkbuilding, which is usually used to “launder” spammy links so they look clean. If you’re not trying to launder spammy links, (or not trying to daisy chain PR to sell links), there’s no reason to tier your linkbuilding. If you build-out your expired domain properly, even if it’s weaker, you should be able to link it directly to your money site. It makes more sense to link it directly, since you get more link juice and the benefit of more unique linking root domains to your money site.

5. If it’s in a foreign language, I wouldn’t recommend it. If they’re in English and just happen to be .ca/.us./.uk/.au etc. then it wouldn’t be a problem.


big thanks for the great Infos. my questions: 1. which rank tracker do you use to monitor your tons of keywords? 2. how do you find good keyword topics in which you target the long tail keywods? 3. should i target a bigger keyword better with my Homepage or a single longer post? big thanks guys

Nate Tsang

1. We use our own in-house ranktracker. Personally I use ProRankTracker, and I know a few guys use SerpBook.

2. That’s an important, but also a very broad topic!

The basic idea is to identify keywords with lower volume, but lower competition as well. There’s almost no way to dive into a topic like that without writing a full-on essay, so I’ll just link to one of Spencer’s posts on the topic:

Its actually a whole week of training in our internship, and its covered pretty extensively by Spencer (not surprising since he’s the creator of Longtail Pro!) as well, if you’re looking for additional information.

3. With the small niche site structure, we usually target the bigger keywords we’re going after on the primary silo pages. With larger sites, we go after them in individual posts – though we might leave some competitive shorttails targeted for the category/homepage. We’re not usually going after those keywords aggressively though.


When publishing a long (5000+ words) page targeting several long-tail keywords do you optimize keyword density for each keyword based on the length of the entire page? Seems you could really get a lot more repetitions in even at 1% and so rank better — as long as you can manage it without it reading strange.

Nate Tsang

Hey Steve,

We don’t go out of our way to look at keyword density, and we never aim to repeat keywords – its simply not necessary and we believe that it can only hurt.

We’re more interested in finding related longtails (for 5000+ words there’d be related shorttails as well) that we can work into the content naturally.


Shadow Crawler

What are you using to keep track of your projects? (From Idea to created stage.)

Thanks for all the info!

Nate Tsang

We use Google Docs + Custom software.


Hi Hayden,

Although you recommend here also Adsense, because is easy, I noticed on your blog you are more inclined to go with selling presell pages. Can you please explain more this concept and how this works and why it works better? I don’t know anything about this concept.


That was an old experiment from an internship awhile ago. Long story short we reverted back to Adsense as it ended up being too difficult for people.


Hey guys,

Started my first niche site last month. Currently have 8000+ words of great content. I have 2 individual posts that are my money pages targeting my primary keywords (with a few more to come).

Based on what I’ve read here:
Would you recommend I make my main money page the static front page on my domain, along with 1500+ words of content?

Thanks for your help!

Nate Tsang

Not necessarily, we would have a homepage that isn’t necessarily targeting any longtail keyword (maybe a few short tails we want to rank for a year down the road). For a small niche site, we’d have a static page that has a lot of contextual links to inner pages on the site. For a larger site, it’d just be a standard posts homepage.



Thanks for the great info. I do have a couple of questions that I would greatly appreciate answers to.

With so many niche/authority sites, how are you able to limit/prevent footprint using very limited (if more than 1) Adsense account?

Also, if I have only 1 Adsense account and monetize, say, 100 niche sites on it, would that not be a red flag to Google?

Thanks for being so transparent and sharing all of your great findings!


Nate Tsang

The quick answer is we have more than one Adsense account.

Having 100 niche sites on an account isn’t necessarily a red flag if they’re high quality and don’t pollute the serps, but it’s generally better to diversify your risk.


Hi Hayden / Nate / Greg,

Great post and follow up answers to peoples questions, learning a lot from you guys!

Was just curious – how many pages is your largest website that earns an income from Adsense? How many page views does it get on a monthly basis? And would you be willing to share an estimate of the earnings?

I am in the process of building a pretty large website (1000 pages or so) in the health niche, and was curious as to what the earnings potential for such a site could be.


Nate Tsang

About 6000 indexed pages, but not all of it is written content, some of it pulls from a database. About 4k pageviews a day, around 10k a month. We plan to crank surpass that significantly in the near future though!

Keep in mind earnings will vary drastically between niches and will depend a lot on the keywords you’re targeting as well.


Thanks Nate – is this site in the finance niche?


I have a software question.

I would like to use my programming skills to write some code that could query the Internet using Google searching, Crawling targeted websites, and access Adwords for searched terms. I would like to use Access or MYSQL or some type of free database to store data and sort and analyze for various studies that could benefit webmasters to maintain their page rank or rank better.

This project will be a learning process since I’m a C++ programmer and haven’t done software for over 9 years. I think most of these web crawler or spider bots are javascript based. My plan is to hack my way through and sit down with a good book for directions.

So, I would appreciate what you could share to make this as easy as possible. I have learned that you could just about make any program do what you want. However, there’s always a better programming language more suited for certain tasks. You know certain languages are designed for certain functions.

I might want to market the software in the future if it’s something people might want.

I have a part 2 question. What do websites use to build calculator and graphic programs on the Internet? I’m assuming it to be PHP.

Many Thanks


Hi Warren,

I know your question is about the best tools for web crawling so I’ll answer this one first. If you have a background in C++ I would first consider C# for crawling. I’ve been building commercial grade web crawlers for almost 10 years and C# works very well for tasks like you are describing above. This will also be pretty quick for you to pick up on since you already know C++. As for databases, I would stay away from Access as it’s not usually used for commercial products and is not well suited. Mysql is a much better choice. It’s very scalable – I have 300 million records in my database and the performance is still very good.

While above I am mentioned tools which work well for crawling, I would really suggest you start with your minimum viable product (MVP) before you write any code. Most of what you are describing can be done with VA’s (or you can do it manually). So first identify your MVP, create it and then get feedback from potential customers. This would save a lot of time when you code as you will know what a viable product looks like.

Matt S

Hi Lynn,

Where have you had good luck hiring VAs for programming? I’m wanting to dive into this myself and had been wondering if Odesk, Freelancer, or some other website has a good pool of talent?




Thank you for this amazing post; I have been following Hayden for a while and he knows his stuff.

Aurelius Tjin

Great share, Spencer. Hayden is a genius when it comes to SEO and scaling a business up.

I’m definitely leaning more towards branded/broader domain names. There’s a heap more potential in scaling it up to become an authority site.

With smaller niches, PMD’s are more favorable, however, I completely forget about EMD’s to avoid over-optimization penalties.


Great strategies introduced here! Thank you !
I like to ask where can we get writers to write good quality content for $10 per 1000words article ?

Nate Tsang

The thing is when it comes to getting decent content at that price, there is no secret location where you can magically find hordes of great writers willing to write for a penny a word. Mainly you’re looking for college educated, native english speaking moms who live in low cost areas and are willing to work for less in exchange for some flexibility.

In some cases, you can find really high quality Filipino writers as well, but generally they’ll still make small grammatical mistakes a native English speaker will notice. You can look on Fiverr, Odesk, Elance, and work at home mom forums.

You generally need to filter through a lot of poor writers at that price point to find someone good who will produce consistently.


Thanks Nate!


Hey Spencer and NHD team! First off, thank you for helping us all out with this stuff. I really appreciate this post.

My question has to do with the link building process. I feel really comfortable as a writer and understand the basics of on-site SEO. But once the site is built everyone says something to the effect of, “Now just go build links!” Well, where to start? I don’t have a PBN (just found out about those) and when it comes specifically to link building it seems that there are conflicting opinions as to what is working and what is not. You say you are building 2-3 links per week? I don’t even know where to start! I don’t want to spend a lot of time on some outdated strategy that will not return results. Please help!!

Thanks 🙂

Nate Tsang

1-2 years ago I did a lot more outreach based linkbuilding, but landing links on legitimate sites is much more difficult these days, and its really tricky if you don’t have experience. It’s more marketing than linkbuilding really. I also buy links on true authority sites (Alexa sub 1000), but that’s also difficult if you don’t know the right sources and can get expensive. Really, the lowest hanging fruit these days is to build yourself a small PBN. Even 10-15 DA 20+ domains can make a dent in a low competition niche.

Here are all of Hayden’s posts on finding expired domains compiled into one page:

We also teach PBN buildouts and link injection in our internships.


If I’m researching for a new site and building my keyword list, how do you forecast the RPM for each keyword on page and for the whole website?

I feel this is where I did went wrong with my current sites. They rank on the first page but generate little income.

Thanks a bunch

Nate Tsang

Hayden has a video where he covers this in-depth:

The basic idea is to look at CPC/Advertiser competition/Page CTR and adjust for the fact that Adsense earnings are lower than Adwords earnings.


By this:

Don’t be afraid to start a site with 7500 words of content and let it sit until is warrants more attention

7,500 words for one post or several posts combined? Does it refer to the homepage?

Nate Tsang

Several posts combined, not just the homepage.


Noob question I am sure. Lets say you get two links from web 2.0’s

What kind of stipulations are involved? Do you lose any link juice? Is there diminishing returns where using a link 10 times might drastically reduce effectiveness? Not just web 2.0’s, but how about High PR backlinks? How about if you are pointing them to different links on your own domain? I’m curious because everybody generally uses the same 10-30 web 2.0’s, and outside of PBN links and guest posts, everybody basically eats off of the same plate in terms of where there links are coming from.

I’d like to rank some inner pages, and I’m curious if its worth pointing links to it from tld’s that I have already used. Thanks!

Nate Tsang

Not a noob question at all, we’ve actually had this discussion here in Valle even with decades of collective SEO experience between us.

There would very likely be a point of diminishing returns from web 2.0 links coming from the same root domain. There is most likely a benefit to pointing them to multiple links on your own domain. To use web 2.0s effectively though, you really have to “juice” them up, either by driving some internal links within the web 2.0 site itself, or by using lower quality links (tiered linkbuilding).

For standard expired domains, I work on the theory that you still get a return on pointing to multiple pages on your money site. In theory you should still get the benefit of the link juice, as well as links directly to the inner page, which could give you an edge on other pages in the same SERPs. The main disadvantage is you’re getting fewer unique linking root domains to your domain, which probably means some sort of diminishing returns.

I’d say its very likely worth linking to multiple inner pages from the same PBN domain, but I can’t say I’ve actually split tested it to prove that theory.


Extremely detailed answer! Thank you so much Nate 🙂


@lynn & @nate Thanks for your answers to my other questions.

My question is this, once I have built a site and I want to do the initial link building to check if it gets any traction, do you use a specific anchor text ratio?

I assume initial link building won’t be exact match. Do you use page title anchors, naked urls, phrase match?

Look forward to your answers. This post, with the comments, is absolute gold!!

Nate Tsang

Correct, we never use any exact match anchors.

No specific anchor text ratio – I feel like people often drastically overcomplicate this aspect of linkbuilding. There’s no reason to pick a specific %, because whatever % you pick will be arbitrary and won’t really line up with how Google’s algorithm processes your anchor text anyways. Just keep it simple!

If you think about how the web actually works and why linking exists in the first place, people link to stuff as a reference so that’s how you should link. There will be some naked URLs, some “click here” type keywords, but the simplest way to do things is just link naturally, rather than trying to make sure you have exactly 20% generic anchors, 20% naked URLs, 20% related KWs etc.

Occasionally, we’ll mix in a few keyword anchors, but never exact anchors – the anchors are always wrapped in a phrase that isn’t SEO optimized, and only if it can be worked in naturally into the article. It’s really not necessary though.


How would you go about doing foreign seo with a .com (US) based website?

Nate Tsang

Hi Lea,

If you check the comments above, we’ve actually given a few tips on how to do exactly that.

Hope you find it helpful.


Thanks for all the helpful information, great post.

I have a few questions:

1. What are the plugins that you use for every site install?

2. What would be the minimal search volume that you would target with a 1000 word article?

3. How many articles would target your main keyword and how many keywords would you target per article?
4. Say you target 3 articles to your main keyword would it look like this: Main Keyword to target, best water coolers. Article 1 targets best water coolers, article 2 targets best blue water coolers, article 3 targets best water coolers for office. Would this be what you mean by targeting your main keyword in 3 articles if that was the number of times you targeted the main keyword for the site?

5. Given a very low competition keyword is it possible to rank at the top of google without any PBN backlinks?

Thanks for the help.

Best Regards

Greg Nunan

Hi Barb,

1) You want a caching plugin (no preference), we use Yoast SEO plugin or all in one seo plugin, Quick Adsense for easy adsense placement, Table of Contents Plus for adding table of contents that look a bit like Wikipedia pages, Contact Form 7 for a contact form, Tablepress for tables. Those are the main ones.

2) It really depends on the potential earnings. We have a very specific keyword research process that calculates potential earnings and also how many links are required from a PBN to rank. The best advice I can give you here is to target as many keywords as possible on each page. Make them BIG, resourceful pages and you’re in good shape.

3) Just 1.

4) Target them all on one page if it makes sense to do it, which it would in that example you gave. Gone are the days of targeting 1 keyword per page.

5) Yes, certainly is once your site has been link built (by whichever means you choose) and has some authority. Takes some time though, maybe 6 months minimum for this to start happening.



I want to start making profitable 1 page websites. I would want to have plenty of content on the page… 2k-5k words, images, video, etc…. but would like to hear your advice on what topics would be best to find keywords for this type of site.


Nate Tsang

Just find low competition keywords with high rPMs. Almost every major vertical has keywords that meet that description, but a good place to start might be amazon product keywords.


I have very basic question:

What mean RPM, EMD, PMD?

Nate Tsang

RPM = $$$ per 1000 pageviews.
EMD = exact match domain
PMD = partial match domain


How wise and difficult is to build pages in English language for non English audience?
And, if it is meant to be for 5 different countries/languages, then I need to build 5 different sites, right?

Nate Tsang

You can actually build a single site, and just have multiple language versions of the site on the same domain. That way you can piggyback off the domain authority on each of your sites.

One of our core team members, Matthias, actually has a site he built out this way, and its ranking in multiple countries – in some countries without a single backlink targeting those language pages.


I haven’t read through all the questions right now and my question may have been answered, but didn’t want to miss the 7 day Q&A:

Since you are using generic domain names for your sites, if a niche site is not producing, do you recycle the domain and use with a different niche?

Say you had a domain for a niche in doghouses and this niche just wasn’t paying off in getting traffic. Could you redo the whole domain and make it a site for storm shelters?

Nate Tsang

No we don’t. You certainly could, but personally I don’t really see the benefit unless it’s an expensive domain you bought at auction or through a broker.

After all the time and energy invested into building out a site, personally I’d rather just leave the site up and let it gain age, with the thought that I might have some use for it a year or two down the road. It’s happened to me a few times where a site I thought wouldn’t get traction just starts picking up traffic after I’ve completely forgotten about it.


I have found blogs ranking in a day or two, sometimes it just another fresh blog with 20-30 low quality articles and spammy links. How are they able to do it? If you need more information I can share.

Nate Tsang

You would need to provide more info for sure. Don’t name the actual URLs though, just explain what specifically you observed.


Hi Spencer and Hayden,

Great post! But I have a question.

How can I build a PBN for non-English site?

Can I just buy expired domain with PR2 – PR3 and start build the non-English blog there?

Thanks, have a nice day!

Nate Tsang

Yes, you can. You can also look for domains with your local country’s ccTLD. It’s probably actually cheaper to do it that way.


Where is the place to find expired domains in non .com area?


2 options – either crawl sites which have country tld’s since they will yield many domains of the same country tld or buy them at auction or through drop lists. You’ll need to do some research into the best droplists as most well known ones focus on com and net

Claire Smith

Great posts and answers guys. There’s lots of good solid info here, thanks for sharing it. It is a good read. A lot of it applies to Amazon sites too, though I know Adsense is a larger part of your monetization.

Funny, #5, I have just gone back to broader topic short EMD domains with at least a few hundred monthly search volume in .com and at least 10k in .co (jury still out on the .cos yet for me-not enough time elapsed yet). I have been, all things being equal having less luck with the branded domain sites in the past year.

Here are my Qs…

1) Do you do a static home page or add your new posts? Does it vary by site size and intent?

2) I know this next one is both niche and specific “buyer keyword” specific, but what do you to minimize bounce rate? Are you seeing bounce rate patterns over time?

a) Do you use any specific on-page traffic path type tracking tools? If so what are they and what you you like/not like about them?

b) Are there specific home page columns and layouts (and theme types) you prefer for reducing bounce? I find magazine themes with a number of images and some small text work best for Amazon home pages anyway.

For posts are there image, link and text layouts you prefer? The biggest one for me is adding a 1/4-1/2 post width image, left or right at the top of the page, that drops bounce by about 20%. On home pages, bounce is lower when menus and post thumbnails are organized well and clearly seen.

Would love to hear your thoughts as improving ctr ad reducing bounce are certainly an important part of ABT!


Nate Tsang

1) Yup, with our smaller niche sites we tend to use a static page with content that links to a ton of inner pages. For larger sites, it’s posts.

a. For our smaller niche sites we don’t usually bother. For larger sites or sites with high visitor values/high traffic, we just use Google analytics. I’m sure there are probably better tools out there, but it’s good enough for our purposes, and you need Google Analytics if you ever do happen to want to sell your site.

b. Yeah, that seems to be a winning formula all around. You still need headlines and articles people want to click though or your bounce rate will remain high.

3) Agreed about menus/post thumbnails. We’ve used the layout you describe for posts and full-width images as well and both seem to work fine. Might be something worth split testing, but I have a feeling it varies depending on the specific article, the specific image, the niche, the theme etc.


Please I want to ask How do I get content from an expired domain to post in my site as a content in my PBN. is there a workaround.


Nate Tsang

We don’t rip content from for our expired domains, we just build a new site on the previous domain, so I’m afraid I can’t really help you there. There’s definitely software out there to help you restore a site from the wayback machine though, but you’ll want to watch out for copyright issues.


Q: how do you create a system to manage your business – from start to finish.

Mangers to manage content creation, site building, posting and seo..

Nate Tsang

It really depends on the business you have, and what you mean by “manage”. Are you talking about just maintaining the status quo, or scaling your business?

In either case, there isn’t really a step by step process, it’s just basic problem solving – identify the bottlenecks and fix them.

Start by creating a Standard Operating Document that describes your business’ mission and goals, then create Standard Operating Procedures that describe specific processes within your business. Use automation, outsourcing, or training/hiring individuals with the right skillsets to take over those SOPs.

Then find the points in your systems that are still holding your business back and address them by either tweaking the processes or eliminating them altogether and building new systems from the ground up with your scaling goals in mind.


Hi Guys,
Great Article!
When just getting started, would it be possible to use PLR articles or curated content? And when a site starts to make money begin outsourcing the articles?

Thanks for your time!

Nate Tsang

Hey Les,

No, I definitely wouldn’t take that approach. In this era of Google, it’s pretty important to have unique content if you want to rank. If you’re trying to cut initial costs, imho you’d be better off outsourcing cheaper content to start, then tweaking it to make it better once it starts picking up some traction.



Hi, It’s been great going through the Q&A. Here are my questions:

1. What works best – one article on homepage only and the others on the sidebar or a magazine style homepage with all articles in snippets?

2.Any experience with Amazon astore? It allows you to integrate Amazon products in your niche right into your site without the visitor being taken to Amazon. My question is this: Is it Google-safe to have maybe two links in each of your articles that refer to products in your astore?

3. I don’t have a budget to invest into a PBN yet so I am relying on guest posts and other backlinking strategies.

Is it ok to have 50 backlinks to my site in the first week through guest posts, web 2.0 sites, forum posts, blog comments and press releases?

4.How do I quickly get indexed by Google and is it safe to submit my site to say, 500 directories?

Looking forward to your responses


1) They both work, but for SEO purposes I’d recommend a unique homepage, not snippets.

2) Can’t comment on that – perhaps someone else can add something.

3) If they are quality and manual then yes, otherwise I’d advise against it.

4) A single decent comment is all you’d need. In fact I’ve seen sites get indexed just from being visited through Chrome… And no submitting to 500 directories is not a good idea.

Nate Tsang

Regarding #2, I haven’t used Astores, but I don’t think its ideal for SEO based niche sites. The Astore itself won’t rank since it doesn’t have unique content, and you’re much better off adding affiliate links in your ranking content than just having a separate Astore on your site.


Ad 3.: Is PBN really an expensive thing?


Hey guys, thanks for the time and for all the free info you’re giving, i read all the questions and answers above and still have doubts:

1) You said that it’s better to pick a general domain and build a big site, i understand that but in foreign counties EMD and Partial EMD are dominating the rankings. Does Google works differently in foreign countries? ( for example)

2) I’m interested in building links to a spanish website, do i have to build a spanish PBN? the PBN content have to be related to the money site?

All the best


1) The EMD update hit all of my Mexican EMDs as well… so no I don’t think it works that differently, and I don’t feel the PMD/EMD is worth it.

2) No and no. You can link build from English, and the content can be tied together creatively as illustrated in the webinar Spencer and I did.

Good luck!


Where can I see this webinar?


Hyden, can you give a link to a webinar were you’re talking about buliding PBN for foreign money sites? You mentioned this here. What’re the rules? Thanks.


hi everyone,
I will take an advantage to ask some questions from my point of view.
I will just start with those simple ones:
1. What is better strategy for a NicheSite:
a) 6 articles 1250+ words each, or
b) 15 articles 500+ words each?
imortant, please explain “why”?
(I would prefer dedicate 15×500+ and dedicate each article for 1 or 2 main keywords in title, 6 articles will not give my suh opportnity).
2. Can my PBN be made from free blogs such WordPress, Bloger, and Youtube channel or Pintrest? Can they be harmful for my nich site? Why?
3. I live in Spain, and would like to build my niche sites for foreign countries to and not limit my strategies only to my country (40 million citizens).
a) Can I build sites for US market from here? The market size for USA is 10 or more bigger then here. As example word “bicycle” in USA have 110.000 searches/month and word “bicicleta” which means exactly the same but in Spanish has 8100 searches/month in Spain. Is there any inconvenience for me to build my niche sites for US market? Apart from my English skills of course.
3b. Similar question with reference to other Spanish speaking countries such as Argentina and Mexico. Can I expand my Spanish sites (Europe Union) to these markets? How can I do this?
Please explain “why” little bit further, that would be really helpful for many people I guess.

I must say, great sites your both Spencer’s and Hayden’s!


1 – Both have their advantages. You will hit more long tail with 15 x 500 due to having more title tags. 1250 word articles are more likely to be shared which can mean more links and social traffic.

2 – Yes you can use freehosts, no they;re not harmful

3a – What you target assuming that you are equally fluent in both languages should be based on a combination of keyword difficulty and volume. I call it thirst (search google for nohat thirst)

3b – they should naturally rank in Mexico and Argentina as well. Just don’t target them to a specific location in WMT. Some anchor text around Mexico and Argentina would likely help, as would publishing a Mexican or Argentinian address (or at least talking about it in your articles).


Have a few questions…

#1: Nate had mentioned “We don’t go out of our way to look at keyword density, and we never aim to repeat keywords – its simply not necessary and we believe that it can only hurt.” I was always under the impression we want to keep our target KW at 1% KW density. Is that really not the case? Also, that ties into related longtails as I was wondering if they should only be mentioned a few times, have a paragraph or more of their own, have a certain density etc. to give the serps a reason to rank me? This has always been a big issue in my head…..I believe I’m overthinking the content and worrying about KW density too much.

#2: Right now, I only have about a dozen PBN sites and I’m really being careful not to have one PBN site link to the same IP more than once. Am I being too careful? I think my problem is all of my money sites are on shared hosting uner the same account with the same IP. Any recommendations on spreading this out?

#3: Do you have a good method of inner-site link building or do you just manually link build to other internal pages as you write and post articles?

Thanks…great post here and very helpful.

Nate Tsang

Hey Brian,

#1. As long as you make sure to include your main target keywords in the title tags, and your main keyword in the permalink/headline, and include some longtails within the text, you’re good. If you want, you can optimize your image names as well, but its not necessary. After that, just write a normal article and you’ll be fine!

Think of it from an algorithm’s point of view, if you’re writing a natural article and a certain word comes up a lot, it’s going to come up a lot on legitimate sites as well.

The whole 1-3% thing is a vast oversimplification of how Google’s algorithm works and its leftover from the days when you could keyword keyword keyword keyword keyword stuff and rank for that keyword.

#2 Depends how many money sites you have. If you have more than a handful then yes, I’d probably recommend spreading them out on different hosts. You can definitely link to the same IP more than once though.

#3. We link to internal pages from our PBN sites and we interlink within internal pages as well.

Hope that helps!


@nate Thanks for your answer on my anchors question. Look forward to implementing your way of doing it.

I have some questions on your process of identifying the winners.

1. Is there an estimated number of links to build to a site for it to start seeing some traction in the SERP’s. I would think 5 links would be too little, while 50 links would be cost prohibitive. How many links do you typically build to the new sites before you leave the site to mature? Over how long a period will you build the initial links.

2. How do you determine a site is a winner? Do you monitor rankings for the site, or look for traffic increases? Or is it a case of just checking AdSense for sites that have earned lately?

Thanks again for sharing so much info!

Nate Tsang

1. It’d be great to give you a simple answer, but it does depend on the competition in your niche and the strength of your links. I’d say a good rule of thumb is about 20-30 links for smaller niches.

2. Yes, we actively track rankings for keywords we’re targeting. Its an absolute must imho. And of course like anyone else, we check our Adsense accounts regularly.


Hi Scott, Hayden and Spencer, here are my questions about the 1-page site structure, please:

1) After i setup my 1-page site, if later want change it can i re-structure it to a traditional niche site structure with plenty of pages and also would it perform well?

2) When you said 1 page site you mean everything including full product reviews, how-to and news articles too, right?

3) How do you calculate the OOP for a 1-page site, is it per section or whole page?

4) Please, i want you to shade more lights on the 1-page site structure apart from the basic details you mentioned on NOHATSEO Blog.

Thank you for the privilege.


1) Yes, no problem.
2) Yes.
3) OOP is usually keyword focused.
4) This would take a long time, and we’re actually moving away from this as we’re not sure how long it will last. The basics are on that post though (the TOC plugin, each long tail keyword in an H tag, 250ish words per TOC point).


bravo (y) , nice post 😀

Theodore Nwangene

Hello Hayden,
Thanks a lot for this helpful resource and, thanks to Spencer too for bringing you around to share your wealth of knowledge with us.

I have few questions for you if you don’t mind.

1. When you’re building an Adsense niche site, do you usually make it a static homepage like that of Amazon site?

2. How many of your money sites can you link to from one PBN?

3.Do you also make your PBN’s a static homepage or a blog home page?

4. Like how many links can you through to a money site before expecting any result?

5. What is the minimum and maximum amount of articles you normally publish on your PBN?

Thanks a lot


1) Yes.

2) Pretty much unlimited. I tend to stick to no more than 10 posts per PBN site per month, and about half of those posts have 2 links to 2 different domains, the other half just a single link. I think it’s plausible to do more, though you’d have less time with the post still on the homepage.

3) It’s custom in that I sticky a couple good posts to the top, and then show 10 snippets of the 10 most recent posts. This was covered in the webinar Spencer and I did if you want more detail.

4) It used to be only around 25 to break past a PA35ish SERP though that number has almost doubled in the last 6 months or so. I’d say 50. And time of course if it’s a new site.

5) 0 and 10 at the moment.


This is one of the best posts I’ve read this month…Nice work Hayden and Spencer…


This Q and A is great, i’ve read every one. One thing that has always confused me, as i’m relatively new to all this, is why are the expired domains that make up a PBN not monetized? or are they? I always hear about the “money sites” getting build up by the PBN links but why not slap some adsense on those PBN sites that already have the good PA and DA?


You can, though you need to link build as well. In fact this is a way to somewhat avoid the sandbox (if the expired domain never got fully de-indexed).


For Local/ Leadgen sites, do you recommend a similar amount of content (7500 words) to start out?

Nate Tsang

It’s a good number to get a feel for any niche, so yes it’d work for leadgen/local as well. Its just a rule of thumb though, you can adjust it based on your own needs.

Evan D

Great article and tips. Quick question – I keep hearing about “el monstro”. Can you explain in detail how this biting engine affects the online community?

Greg Nunan

hahahahahaha. That comment is going to make zero sense to anyone not currently in Valle De Bravo. Feel free to skip this comment everyone!

Wayne Martin

I am currently doing the July PTC and I have one burning question I have needed to ask for a while now:

How are the tacos in Mexico?

Nate Tsang

Hey Wayne, sounds like you’ll probably be finding out for yourself soon!


@nate thanks again for your insightful answers.

Somewhere in the comments I read that you guys wrote your own rank tracker.

I have about 10 sites now, and the costs of tracking keywords are starting to add up.

I plan to follow the process of building out a couple of sites every month, and this will add to the cost.

Was this rank tracker alot of work, or do you think it is something that could be put together by a decent programmer?

I am a programmer at my day job, and I like to think that I am decent 😉

Nate Tsang

Hey Monadnock,

If it’s just for personal use, I’d say its still much, much cheaper to just pay for ranktracking =)




Can you please list a few sample for domain names you would use for a brandable micro niche site that is suitable to grow as an autority one?

I really hope you wont dismiss this question, just because it is getting harder to find a short, memorable domain name and this is going to be even harder for a non English language speaker.

One of the reasons why i am still looking or EMD PMD is the click thrue rate (expected to be higer than unknow brand) but I agree emds are not good for an autority site.

So the key here is to be able to register a made up brand with avalable com.

Nate Tsang
etc. etc.

You can use something like or other free services that append prefixes/suffixes to domains to find lots of brandable domains.


What’s the safest strategy for building links to new site apart from the PBN, I am specifically interested to know about Submission based links, (Video Submission, Profile and articles)

Hope you answer.

Nate Tsang

We don’t do submission based links these days. Some people make these links work by automating everything and doing “churn and burn”, but there’s no strategy that’s both effective and “safe” here – the reason is that if you can gain the link by making a simple submission with no barrier to entry, anyone else can get the link as well. This means eventually it will be abused, if it’s not being abused already. If it’s being abused publicly, it’ll either be devalued or penalized.


Thanks for the post guys.

After launching a new money site, how long do you wait to add analytics and webmaster tools? Or do you do it right at launch?

Do you think it is bad to have several sites tied to the same account?

Bob H

Great stuff, thanks for answering all these questions!

I’m wondering, with interns sharing PBNs and discussing strategies/websites, is there risk of your keywords being ‘poached’ by other interns who will undoubtedly see which keywords you’re targeting?

Or is there a mutual agreement between interns to stay out of eachothers keywords?


There’s always a risk, but it runs both ways.


Hi Hayden & Team

I think you missed my 5 questions above.

Would greatly appreciate the answers.


Best Regards


This question is selling a product through an online retailer.

I have a small website where I help DIYers build their own watering system.
I found an online retailer that is willing to re-purpose an existing product for my website. It’s a kit of parts that will be used to build a watering system.

I could do each part through Amazon but it would include a handful of separate sellers and not be that affordable after paying for shipping. This retainer will stock the complete kit and sell it as a single unit.

My question is: how should I setup the business relationship with this retailer so that they don’t take my market?
1. Should I setup the storefront on my website and have it redirected to their site. If so, how would I do this without getting a merchant license?
2. Should I get a contract or something that states I will get a percentage of all kits I put together no matter where the sale comes from, either my site or theirs just as long it’s one of my kits. This one would be the easiest but I have no way of tracking sales.

I have many concerns that I might be making someone else wealthy off of my free help.
How do I know they are paying me on each sale?

If I link to their site and Google redirects keywords to them or if they start to market against me, what precautions can I take now to prevent this?

I guess my question is how do I setup a relationship with an online retailer like you might have with Amazon or Ebay?

Right now I have been reluctant to do this even though this is what I wanted to do.

I would really appreciate any help or direction.

Some info:
I’m in California. Retailer is in Georgia. Retailer currently sales on Amazon. I’ll build the kits and provide instructions.

Greg Nunan

This is really not our area of expertise sorry Warren. Suggest looking for some folks online that specialize in ecommerce. Ecommerce Fuel might be a good start:


What are generally monthly costs for web sites according to your system? Let’s say 10 or 20 pages …

Greg Nunan

Depends on the quality of content. iWriter 4+ star would be you minimum quality article, which is $5.50 per 500 words.

Add link building (can be less that $5.50 per article). Hosting is minimal on shared hosting accounts.

The main costs that are not set are domain name purchase, content for the site and then link building content (presuming you have access to a PBN and also a shared hosting account that is a fixed cost).


Where do you write about how to choose domains?
As it seems, that expired domains aren’t your first choice … or?

Greg Nunan

See tip: #5 Brandable Domains even if only a Niche Site.


What are examples of “bandable” domains?


Thanks for these tips. I have a lot of work to do on my site. I feel like it is decent, but I am missing something. all my content is 100% original I have been adding content at the rate of 1 article a week. I am about 5-6 weeks in, and I am at a standstill of what to do next, I have done some link building on my own and some I have outsourced, I am running adsense on chitika on it. If you could take a look and give a quick opinion of your thoughts that would be greatly appreciated.

Greg Nunan

Keep adding links consistently. And add articles if you like to as you are currently doing. It’s very normal to not be ranking anywhere for up to 4 months.


What are other ways to monitize site? appart from adsense, amazon? I have a smartphone site with 1000 pluss daily hits all organice google, adsense and amazon have been implimentted and earning nice but wondering what otherways can be implimentted i have tryed cpa but not much in the smartphone niche.



Lots of great tips here!

I want to ask, if I get a .com domain, and develop it as an Amazon affiliate site. Since all income comes from Amazon, the U.S. traffic will the most important but not other traffic (people outside U.S. rarely buy from

My question is that, would it worth to set the website to Geo target the U.S. in GMT? As traffic from other country doesn’t help much… Would setting such Geo target help ranking in Google U.S., or it has negligible effect?

Many thanks!

Nate Tsang

It’d be negligible.


Thanks for the great info Hayden and Spencer! I have made a good amount of money over the past 2 years from what I learned from your sites.

I don’t know if you or your team are still answering questions, but if so I have a few.

I currently have a small PBN (30 sites) ) which I use to link to my main site. I have been very careful to avoid any footprints when putting this together.

I plan on creating more sites within the same niche and I had planned on using my PBN to power the sites. Other then using separate hosting for each money site, how to avoid the following footprints?

1) Is it safe to link 5 sites using the same PBN? Doesn’t that create a huge foot print itself that they all have the exact same links? I never really hear this addressed when people discuss PBN’s The benefit of your own PBN besides complete control, is that you can use it to power multiple sites. But 5 sites with the same 30 links seems bad to me. If this is a bad thing it would severly limit how much I can leverage the power of my PBN. I would always have to be adding new sites even if my money sites are in the same niche. What are the limits of overlap before you trigger a red flag?

2- How do you deal with things like Webmaster tools, Google Analytics, and Adsense? I read in a previous response that you do use multiple Adsense accounts, but I only have one available. Is it not a good idea to use the same Adsense account on sites that share the same PBN?
I know there are other analytics programs, but I actually like GA and especially that I can link it with my Adsense. How to you deal with this? Do you use webmaster tools as well? How do you set up all of these accounts without leaving a giant footprint.

3) Do each of your money sites have there own unique Google account? Do you worry about accessing these tools from the same IP?

As I said I have only had one main money site up until this point and never really gave thought to how to avoid footprints with multiple money sites.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks again for all the great information!



Hi Hayden!
I’m in the process of creating a niche site in the health market. I’ve chosen a broad based name for the site. Question: If the name is broad enough, can’t you just have one big authority site with different pages with long tail related keywords. I mean is there a particular reason for many sites when you could have just one big site. And when is one site large enough, before you start on another site.

Thanks so much for your time.


Nate Tsang

Hi Leah,

It takes more work & planning to build out a large site. Also, you’re taking a bigger risk with respect to Google when all your eggs are in one basket. If you’re newer to SEO, you’re also taking a bigger risk by committing to a single niche.

Of course, there are lots of advantages as well, which is why we’re focusing on larger sites. You just have to decide what’s the best path for you.


I’ve seen mixed comments on building a niche or authority site on an expired domain. What are your suggestions? Is it a good way to avoid the Google sandbox?

Miguel Alas

Do multilanguage backlinks work?

Hi, I’m new in this backlinks and SEO world, but studyng as much as possible to make a profit living from it.

As I’m a native spanish language speaker and all the best info about SEO is in english, I´ve been wondering if I make a niche site in spanish and build backlinks to it, do they have to be only topic relevant in spanish or can they also be topic relevant in any language so I can find more sites to link from?

Thanks in advanced!!

Miguel Alas

Any suggestion to this



This really opened up my eyes. I never though of using foreign seo before. Heck I never heard about it until today. Thanks Spencer for your blog it has definitely helped me in affiliate marketing keep up the good work!

Spencer Haws

For sure…best of luck!

wilfred weihe

wow, I have never considered international seo… but will look into this for sure!


Why do you keep deleting my posts? Truth is not easy to digest?

Spencer Haws

I haven’t deleted anything. Maybe your comments went to spam? Not sure.


I expected Hayden to look more Japanese.


Hi Spencer,

PLEASE PLEASE answer this question. I just can’t get around with this.

You said 1 towards to top (usually after the first or second paragraph to avoid being too top-heavy with adse above the fold)

I have already install the adsense plugin and just can’t get it right with the above. Please tell me where to put in the ad. Which column? I have no problem with the ad block on the middle and end of post.

You can email me to show me the steps. if you want to.

Anyone, any help with much appreciated.

Rohan Bhardwaj


This is indeed a great inspiration. As of now, I am not inclined to start right now, but I have bookmarked this post for future reference.

The best tip is to build new websites in batches and let them grow their ranking, then go for content and earnings.

Adsense is surely easy and a true winner for long tail keyword.

Awesome tip man. Loved it. 🙂

Jitendra Shekhawat

Welcome Dear,

Thanks for those great tips, I already started out my case study with two sites at once. What do you think of amazon sites in ecommerce style using the prosociate plugin and woocommerce for example?


Hey Spence, nice tips.
Would you still undermine the statement from Perrin in which he says.
If there are some other sites ranking for your keyword, Copy there backlinks or at least get more ( more heavy ones) and killing it on page?

Thanks luvluv


It seems google dont like this PBN anymore

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