6 Business Goals to Accomplish in 2014

By Spencer Haws |

Last week, I wrote a 2013 review post to cover how my goals went last year.  Overall, they went fairly well, even though I didn’t accomplish everything.

Today, I wanted to share what my business goals are for 2014!  Why should you be interested in this?  After all, I’m essentially writing these for myself and for you the reader to hold me accountable.  However, I really do think, and hope, that by reading some of my goals it will inspire YOU to set some of your own goals and accomplish great things.

I am a firm believer in settings goals and reaching for those achievements.  It helps you plan your future and potentially accomplish great things.  If you just take things day by day, then you are not as likely to build a successful business strategy or to reap the rewards.

I do want to clarify that the goals I share below, are strictly my business goals that I think you as the reader may find interesting.  So, I have additional business goals that I do not share, and I have other physical goals (running, weight loss, etc) and other personal or family goals that I do not share here.  As fun as it is to talk about what I hope my 9 year old son accomplishes this year, its not relevant!

So, with that, lets dive right into my 2014 goals!

1. Increase Niche Site Monthly Income by $10,000

My first goal for 2014 is to ramp up my niche site income even more.  I was to INCREASE my niche site income by $10k/month by the end of the year.  To clarify, I am not revealing what I currently make from niche sites, but I will share how much my income goes UP this year.  In other words I want this equation to work:

Total Niche Site Income – Income from Niche Sites Created before 2014 = $10,000/month

As many of you know, I quit my job back in March 2011 because my income was more than my day job (here’s an old income report).  At that time, 100% of my income was from niche sites.  Now my income is fairly diversified with Long Tail Pro, other products, affiliate sales, but a nice chunk is still from niche sites.

I’ve hired Perrin to help me expand my niche site business even more this year!  I wrote all about how and why I hired Perrin to work with me full-time.  But essentially his #1 focus will be teaming up with me to expand my niche site empire.

This won’t be an easy goal to accomplish, but I think with Perrin’s help, its a good stretch goal.  I’ll keep you posted!

2. Accomplish 2 Public Case Studies on

Last year, I did 2 Niche Site Projects…and they were a huge success!  I’ve never received more positive feedback from readers on anything else I’ve done on my blog.  And I know as a reader, I enjoy reading case studies and real life examples.

However, you also have to understand that sharing sites publicly is also the most stressful thing I do on my blog.  There is a lot of pressure to have the niche sites do well.  And obviously I open myself up to copy cat sites and even negative SEO that affect rankings.

Despite the downsides, the upsides in terms of public education are immense!  I’ve received hundreds of emails thanking me for sharing Niche Site Project 1 and Niche Site Project 2.

So, part of me REALLY doesn’t want to do any public case studies again, but I also know the tremendous value they provide.  So, I am setting the goal of doing 2 more case studies on in 2014!!

I don’t know exactly what those case studies will be.  Perhaps more Niche Sites, perhaps sharing other projects, or perhaps something completely new that hasn’t been discussed previously.  However, whatever they may turn out to be, you can expect them to be this year, and you can expect lots of details as I carry out the case studies, just like before.

3. Spend $25k Buying Existing Websites

I want to buy existing websites from or other places to build my website portfolio even more.  To clarify, any income I make from this goal will NOT count towards my first goal.

I know there are some great existing sites out there, and I’ve always had the itch to buy an existing site to see if I can improve it.  I’ve watched Chris Guthrie buy some sites and do quite well, along with other success stories I’ve heard.

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In the future, I could see myself building an entire business out of buying existing sites, improving their rankings and earnings, and then selling at a higher price down the road.  If I got successful at this, I could start buying bigger and bigger sites.

I’d like to get to that point, so setting a goal of spending $25k this year will help get my feet wet at buying and perhaps selling sites.

4. Double the Sales of Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro has been an excellent business for me over the past couple of years.  In 2013, sales of Long Tail Pro more than doubled, and I’d like to double it again in 2014.

How will I accomplish that?  Well, to be completely frank, increasing my traffic to through great case studies and more, will have a direct impact on Long Tail Pro sales.  However, that likely won’t be enough to double my sales volume of Long Tail Pro.

I have plans starting in the next month or so to use paid traffic to increase sales.  I’ll be using Google Adwords, Facebook ads, and other avenues to sent potential buyers to  This will be a learning process as I find ads that are most effective, test sales page layouts, and more.

I only share this as a goal because I think I will be learning a great deal that I can share on as I grow that business.  I hope to start sharing more about how to bootstrap and grow your own software business like I have done over the past few years.  Its a topic that I think many of you will find very interesting.

5. Read 2 Books per Month

Reading helps expand your own education and also can spark new ideas for your business or life in general.  I enjoy reading, but often don’t do it unless I have a focused effort!

Last year I set a goal to read 1 book a year, and am happy to say I accomplished it (see the books I read here).  In 2014, I hope to read 2 books per month!

I am still going to try and make at least 1 of those books per month a business related book, but the other one is a freebie…maybe even fiction!! 🙂

I’ll share the books that I read on my Facebook page and my Twitter throughout the year (so be sure to follow there).  And perhaps in some posts here from time to time.

6. Watch 2 Documentaries per Month

I’ve always loved documentaries, but usually forget to watch them.  Rather than watching pointless sitcoms, I’m going to try and squeeze in at least 2 documentaries per month.

I recently watched Blackfish, Bully, and Jiro Dreams of Sushi (all on Netflix)…they were all pretty good!

I know this last one doesn’t have much to do with my business, but I think documentaries are similar to books in that they are very educational and also really get you thinking.  Thought provoking things are always a good thing in my opinion.

I’ll share the documentaries I watch on Facebook and my Twitter, and perhaps on some posts throughout the year.  If you know of any great documentaries that I should watch, let me know!

Your Thoughts

Overall, I’ve set 6 business goals for 2014 that I am going to refer to from time to time publicly here.  Will I hit them all?  Not sure, but it sure will be fun and educational trying.

Have you set any goals for yourself?  If not, I really think you should!  I’d love to hear the goals you’ve set below, or you comments and questions in regards to mine.

Niche Business Ideas | 90 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.

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Quinton Hamp @ The Lost Cyclist

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by” – Douglas Adams

In all seriousness, I love the goal lists. For me, I set goals, and then broke each one down into a system. Then I set weekly/daily targets.

The hardest part for me is getting it paired down to the few most important goals.

Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration. I’ll be racing you to the 10k a month mark on niche sites. Although, I’m counting last year’s progress, so it doesn’t really count. 😉

Spencer Haws

Thanks Quinton – best of luck in your goals as well!


#3 ( Buying an existing/functional site) is a goal of mine too.
Been going through Flippa for some time now, it just feels like everyone ( or almost everyone) there are trying to scam you, big time.
Would be great to see how you go through this process, hope it will be as transparent as possible.

Cheers and good luck!

Spencer Haws

I will definitely share what I learn along the way!

Pratik Unadkat

I agree with you.

I was trying in the middle to grab some sweet deals but it seems all are quick churn and burn flipping guys there. Either they made too much spammy links or provided little to no value.

Finding out a gem from Flippa is truly an art and I would look forward as well, to Spencer’s process on buying websites from Flippa.



Fantastic goals for 2014! I can’t say enough how much the two public niche site follow-along posts in 2013 helped me to further my own personal website developments. I’ll be very much looking forward to the new ones this year. It seems like there is always something new I’m learning from them.


These look very ambitious. I usually don’t set exact goals, just a direction I want to go in and I leave the route the find itself. This has worked well in the past and I see no reason for it not to this year. There is just so much that changes along the way. If I review early 2013 and where early 2014 is it completely different from the expected, but the general direction is there.

Spencer Haws

Yep, its all about direction and focus.


Thats a busy year ahead Spencer, definitely a lot of stuff I’ll be keen to follow your progress on.

I’ve read a little bit about Chis Guthrie and his methods of improving sites and selling them so that will be interesting.

Great to hear about the two niche projects planned for this year…. can’t wait 🙂

Best of luck with everything


Spencer Haws

Thanks Lenny, we’ll see if I can accomplish it all…all of you can now hold me accountable!


I wish you good luck with reaching this goals. I also like to watch documentaries, I would recommend you “The Four Horseman”.

My only goal in 2014 is to make a few niche sites that will earn some income over time. I hope I can reach it.



Awesome goals. I’m pumped to work on these. Let’s get after it!


perrin how much do you charge per hour??

i need help too.

Spencer Haws

He’s not available for hire 🙂

Spencer Haws

hehe…for sure! You are an integral part to hitting these goals!


Those are some pretty loft goals. Good luck sir!

Also I’m glad you’re continuing to do 2 niche site projects this year. Your case studies have been extremely helpful. The NSP updates are one of the best resources out there for niche site builders who want strategies that work today.

So despite all the copycats and haters, thanks for the public case studies. Many of us really appreciate them!

Spencer Haws

You guys are definitely the only reason I do the case studies. Its stressful, I get copied, sites get attacked, and more…but at the end of the day, everyone learns.


I can only imagine how frustrating it must be when you are trying to do a “good thing” for all of your readers only to be copied, attacked and have to work twice as hard in order to show your readers it can be done. You Sir are the “one” who “walks the talk”.

In some ways I feel sorry for your extra effort but also I am glad you are attacked so we can see what you do to get yourself out of it. We still learn from it just in case this happens to us.

I am very happy to see that 2 more niche sites will be done this year. I hope this years travels will be easier but having more eyes on your success will only bring the “low-lifes” if IM straight to your door.

In case the term “lowlife” needs clarification: From Wikipedia: A low-life or lowlife is a term for a person who is considered morally unacceptable by their community. Examples of people who are often called “lowlifes” are thieves, drug dealers, drug users, alcoholics, thugs, prostitutes and pimps.

I personally learn more from you than any other IM site out there. THANK YOU!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Wendy!


Hey Spencer!

Great goals you set out for yourself (including for us with respect to case studies) for this year!

I particularly look forward to those two case studies you mentioned and for all the life in me I hope one of them includes a Google Adsense niche site! 😉 Come on, you have Perrin on your side and I’m sure he’d be thrilled to work on an Adsense site too! 😉

Whichever, all the best of success to you for 2014 and your goals (personal ones included). I am confident that you will learn a great deal even if you don’t necessarily accomplish them all like next year…

Spencer Haws

Thanks Ruan!

Brian Dean

Really enjoyed reading your goals for 2014, Spencer.

I would definitely love to see a few case study-ish posts on how the Adwords and Facebook Ads work out for you. That would be really cool.

Rock on!


Ditto on the Adwords and Facebook Ads

Spencer Haws

Brian – great idea!


2 books per month it is too much¡¡

i read 1 book and it takes me a lot of time, A LOT¡¡¡ but i loved more than the movies 🙂

if you call a 150 page a book, that fine, but a real book it over 500 pages, all it depends.

nice goals¡¡

Spencer Haws

I set a goal to read about 20 pages per day – I can do this during my lunch and dinner time usually.


Great to see you have so many challenging goals.
I agree with you, niche site projects were so inspiring, can’t wait to read another one of it… 😉

good luck Spencer (and Perrin!)


#3 seems a bit wonky.

Spending $25K for websites sounds more like a budget limit rather than a goal. Looks more like the goal would be something more like, “expand website portfolio by X% (or number of sites…).”

Spencer Haws

Perhaps its wonky then. But I have not purchased sites before…so its a goal to actually purchase sites. If I don’t set the goal, the entire year could easily go by without me doing it. So, its a budget limit I suppose, but I’ve never purchased an existing site before either, so its definitely a first time goal as well.

Kent Chow

Hope you could share more on your#1 goal.. any plan or process to get there?

I look forward to your case studies. At least I could follow how SEO changes in 2014.

I read couple business books for my 9to5 last year. Hope to catch up with your reading too. Reading books are the best IM education.. to think out of box and scale up business as the successful ones.


Spencer Haws

To hit #1, I hired Perrin full time :). Yes, I have set some pretty detailed plans with Perrin on how to get there. Best of luck!


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s so refreshing to see someone who actually practices what he preaches.

After speaking to you today, it confirmed with me that you’re the kind of guy who follows through. Therefore I can almost guarantee you’ll achieve your goals this year.

Best of luck in 2014!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Josh! It was great video chatting with you as well…great interview!


Great goals Spencer! I am with you on the 10k from niche sites, but I am trying to get to my first 4 figure month, then 5.

Your case studies this year inspired me to get back into building sites again and helped showed me the mistakes I made before. Now things are going good and should have my first 4 figure month in January.

What about a FB ad/ ppc case study?

Spencer Haws

Yep a FB ad case study could be interesting! Maybe that will be one…

Phuong Le

Target traffic from SEs may be bette as FB is much more suitable for CPA offer, similar to Youtube. I have tried to promote on FB before and not work.


Nice goals! I have a few niche sites I’m building out myself. I wouldn’t mind seeing your process for buying an established site.

Will Blears

Great post dude.

Interesting that you watched Jiro dreams of sushi, I watched that same documentary a couple of days ago and found it awe inspiring. If there is one thing to say about Japanese people it is that they are not scared to dedicate there life’s to one profession and become a master. I think this is a fundamental life lesson, for everyone in any career and especially those aspiring to be self-employed online advertisers.

If you need any advice regarding Faceboom and PPC advertising do let me know I am happy to give you suggestions 🙂

Good luck with your goals.


Spencer Haws

Yep, I enjoyed that documentary…amazing how they can dedicate their lives to a trade; very amazing. Thanks for the offer on FB advertising, I’ll figure out what I’m doing over the next few weeks/months.


Thanks for posting Spencer. I really enjoyed reading what your goals are and I plan on keeping tabs!
Congrats on the new hire. Thanks again for posting all the details about the decision and how it played out.
Perrin, welcome aboard and I look forward to seeing both of your hard work!


Hey Spencer this is a bit off topic. But I couldnt find a current answer. I have been making quite a few niche sites with low competition with the help from long tail pro and your site.

At the moment I am more fond of making many small sites than few authorative ones.

I have read your posts on link building which is great, but I know you do or atleast used to pump out hundreds of these niche sites in a month.

If you were me and making ten 5 page niche sites per month is there a generic template you use for building links to see these sites rank? Just to gauge the potential kind of thing.

Such as, 1 paid link to each page, 1 directory submission to each page, 1 article to ezine for each page?

The process of linkbuilding anything more than a 1 page site confuses me.


Spencer Haws

I usually only pick one or two pages to build links to, even if the site is much larger. Perrin’s site is a perfect example. Once 1 or 2 pages/keywords are ranking, move onto other pages. I don’t have a specific template.


I really want to thank you Spencer as i am reading your blog daily starting from last year I hope in this year you will do more case study helping like me start ups
Your blog is the most useful blog thanks for all what you do
Italy milan

Spencer Haws

Thank you!


maybe a test case with adsense, of course with a different account to get protected

Anoda Kelvin

Hi Spencer,its Kelvin once again and I wish to say those are nice goals and big plans for the year 2014.Thanks for sharing with us and i wish you success in all of them and many more you may have forgotten.Thanks

Spencer Haws

Thanks Kelvin!


Interested to see what steps you go through in purchasing existing sites……this is something I’m interested in trying this year as well. Given your past success, I’m sure you’ll have no problem hitting this goals in 2014. Thanks for sharing.


Your list looks great and it’s an inspiration to me. May you consider domains flipping as a case study or do a case study on monetizing sites via google.

Spencer Haws

I will consider that for sure.

Miki Vicioso

great goals Spencer! I think you should focus even more on LongTail, you have an amazing product there. Cheers to a productive 2014 for all of us!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Mike

Lishiel Aquino

Hi Spencer,

I’m looking forward to hear more good news on your goals for 2014. I’m also aiming to have $10,000.00 monthly income from internet marketing and I’m planning to build my niche site. Will use Long Tail Pro for sure! 🙂



Spencer is trying to increase his current monthly income BY another $10K not TO $10K. I suspect Spencer is already making over $50K per month quite easily. He’s certainly one of the lucky ones.

Spencer Haws

That’s correct, I’m hoping to INCREASE by $10k. I’m not making $50k/mth from niche sites…yet though 🙂


This is insane, to know this is achievable makes it really hard to ever considering working in a building on a 9-5 again.

I also noticed how you said “from niche sites”, i’m doubting this is including the 40% commission you get from other affiliaters of LongTailPro.

Spencer, are you earning majority of your niche income from your well established niches? Or is it the accumulation of the few hundred 1-5 page adsense’ers?

Spencer Haws

When I say “Niche sites”, I am not including anything from Long Tail Pro – its separate. I have lots of sites, but the majority of income is coming from top 10 sites…most are adsense sites; all more than 5 pages.


Hey Spencer,

Nice set of goals and personally, I think it’s a great way to hold oneself accountable.

Why not combine your goals #1 and #3? Buy an existing website and share a live case study on how to double/triple its income within 6 months.

I think it’ll give people an amazing learning experience of buying the right websites and building on that


Oops, I meant goals #2 and #3

Spencer Haws

That could indeed be one of the case studies, we’ll see.


Hey Spencer, always good to have goals and a direction. With the 2 books a month, how do you manage that time wise… I get so busy, I’ve even tried audio books… in the car.. to cram as much in as possible… to my 24 hour day..

Spencer Haws

I read while I eat quite frequently. I’m lucky enough to work from home; so I don’t have commute times, getting “ready” for work, or other time consuming activities.

Tung Tran

Wow it seems that 2014 will be even a busier year for you Spencer 😀

I’d love to see your experiments with paid advertising as well…

Spencer Haws

Thanks for the feedback Tung…yep a busy year…but I enjoy it!


For me, the most exciting part is “2 more case studies”.


Hi Spencer,

Just a thought… translate LTP to other languages.
I know people who don’t like to use software in another languages. I guess you have affiliates all around the world who love your product and are willing to “contribute”.

My 2 cents 🙂

Cheers from Amsterdam,

Spencer Haws

Thanks for the feedback.


My goal for 2014 is to set 100 niche sites each one of them earn me back 50$ per month at least:) Is that possible? I have started with the first 3 sites now, they are two weeks old:) i have not seen any backlinks yet, but i keep doing every day link building and seo. so 100 niche sites x $50 each= $5000 monthly income i will be the happiest person on the earth:)
Is that possible? 🙂 By the way how many weeks it takes for google to start crawling and indexing my backlinks?



A personal suggestion would be to focus on a few sites rather than go all out building 50.

I’ve learnt this from experience and it was a real pain trying to manage multiple sites all at once (unless you have a team of writers, SEO etc etc).

Stick to 3-5 sites and build them into larger ones


thanks for the advice 🙂 but with 5 niche sites only i wont have a big chance to earn much, and i wont have many opportunities either, if those 5 sites don’t bring to much i wont have other second chances…My thought was that: if i had around 50-100 niche sites at least the half of them would still bring me good money. I know is really time consuming doing seo by myself, but if i had enough money from my earnings in the coming future i would surely hire someone to help me:) Ok i take your advice, i will built the first 5 for these 1-2 months, i already have 3 so i must make another 2, and lets hope that i will get a good income from those 5 niche sites, even $1000 dollars i would be happy, and the next month i will focus to create another 5-10 more.
Now, how about you? How many niche sites you have and how much revenue do they bring you monthly? I would love to hear your story:) Let me know,
Martha 🙂

Spencer Haws

I would recommend reducing the number of sites, and building them bigger. Maybe set a goal to build 1 per month, but try to get them to $500/mth. That’s more feasible in my opinion.


Thanks Spencer:)
Yes your suggestion is really good i will try it. Tell me, my sites are 10 days old and i am checking their rankings at the check rank option inside longtailpro, for google it shows 500+, at bing 170 and at yahoo 140. bing and yahoo were at 200+ so they have shown a movement …but google..still 500… do you know why? how long it will take for google?

Spencer Haws

Probably a month at least.


Wow Spencer, I am eagerly waiting for the goal #2 in particular.

Syed Irfan Ajmal

Spencer, thanks for sharing your goals with us. These are truly inspiring and exciting. Here are my goals:
1. Set up 2 niche sites each month and work on content and seo for them
2. Continue my digital marketing services business; stick to keeping in low-to-mid scale (which is going great money-wise) so that I have time and revenue for niche sites and other businesses
3. Invest more in real estate (I won’t share the details of it here ;))
4. Invest in Facebook PPC
5. Write at least one blog post each week
6. Read one book each month
7. Exercise regularly
8. Eat healthy
9. Do take at least one day off each week!
10. Build a team

Spencer Haws

Sounds like some great goals! Thanks for sharing!

Donald W

Hey Spencer,

Great goals. I also appreciate you being so transparent in your buisness. You and Perrin are definatley a valuable resource I am happy to have! Thank you for all that you do and I look forward to following along while you hit each goal! Hopefully I’ll be hitting my goals right along with you! Just wanted to say thanks again.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Donald!


I know wrong place to post this, but thought you will not have time to review old posts comment.

I am very concerned after reading your this post

I have many sites of different products like your knife site, I have comparison table with 50 products like yours with image and text link, so nearly 100 link in a table all are “nofollow” using easyazon plugin.

Should i remove the table or make page no index to avoid penalty?



Spencer has mentioned how he overcame the penalty in the same post that you have linked to. Read it a 2nd time 🙂

Jae @ U-Save Moving and Storage

These are great goals.

I truly hope you do more projects as they keep me motivated, and right now I need that.

I won’t lie: I am getting frustrated because I see your success and the success of others and my sites just are not cutting it.

So keep up the projects cause I need the motivation.


This is really ambitious and I must say this is really the first “true” business goals I seen around the blogosphere! Seeing what you aim to achieve this year has really fired me up to up my game. Thanks for sharing.

Gareth Bull

Very interesting, I’m definitely going to trial Long Tail Pro. Thanks Spencer.


Hey Spencer I have been following you blog for a long time. It is great how you put yourself out there like this. I hope you accomplish all this and more.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Chris.


wow spencer ! such a list ! hope you can make it good luck 😀

Theodore Nwangene

Great goals you’ve set for yourself Spencer,
This is my first visit to your blog this year so I say…… Happy new year to you and your family man and, wishing you all a prosperous 2014 :).

It’s always good to publicize our goals as this will make us more accountable and force us to achieve them knowing that we will be reporting back to our audience. And, setting achievable goals is also very necessary for the growth of any business.

I’ve also set my own 2014 goals……….
1. Create and start making money with niche sites. I created one last year but, have not been so serious with it.

2. Create my first product (ebook precisely).

3. Be more serious with email marketing.

However Spencer, I’m finding it real difficult to use Long Tail Pro on my laptop and I don’t know why. It takes longer to load when I’m performing keyword research. Sometimes, it will work at all even when I have fast internet connection.

And, I can’t even check my rankings too. This is why I asked you last time if you have the iPad version of it. I don’t know if others are also experiencing this issue. Please, what’s the cause and the solution?

I’m sure we will all achieve our goals for the year man :).

More strength to your elbows and, my warm regards to your family.

BTW: you made wise decision by employing Perrin to work for you, I’m so happy for that.

Spencer Haws

If you are still having issues with long tail pro, please contact the support team at:


I am so glad you are going to do 2 more niche sites. I am looking forward to following along. I learn so much from you Spencer. I already mentioned how I’m finally making consistent money on two of my sites and am working on a third and it is all due to you and your niche sites. So you know how much I appreciate all you have done.

Wishing you tremendous success. You are such an inspiration. I love coming here to read what you have to say.

Pedro Guerra

Grean Spenser!!! Keep going and I hope you reach all your goals in this 2014. Good luck

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