Well, the time has finally come to reveal who the 3 students will be for Niche Site Project 3.0!
I'll be honest, the positive feedback received has already blown me away. Not only did we receive over 100 video applications, but we got over 6,000 votes for choosing the winning video applicant!
We received so many applicants, it was difficult to decide. However, below you will find out who the 3 students for the project will be and how Jake, Perrin, and I picked those students.
So, let's meet the 3 students!
Spencer's Student for Niche Site Project 3.0
If you had a chance to see the video's from the 12 finalists last week, you will know that we received lots of great applications. We left the decision 100% in your hands to pick which of those 12 finalists would be 1 of the students.
This was a little bit scary, but we trusted all of you to make a great choice.
What you may NOT have known is that Jake, Perrin, and I decided that the winning student would be MY student! That's right, the student that was picked by all of you, will be coached by me.
Since all of you put so much effort into creating awesome application videos, I decided that the least I could do was make a video in response to reveal the winner. So, below you will find my video that reveals which of the 12 finalists received the most votes from their videos.
Here's my video, hope you enjoy the little music montage!:
The winning applicant is Samrara! So, congrats to Samara for receiving the most votes. I've already reached out to Samara and she is VERY excited to be a part of this project.
As a reminder, here is Samara's application video. Join me in welcoming her to the project!
The voting was quite interesting. With over 6,800 votes cast…I was simply blown away by the participation.
Here's the final tally for all the votes:
As you can see, Applicant 2 (Samara), appears to have won by a small margin. However, I don't think the votes were really as close as they appeared. There was at least 2 applications (I won't name names) that would get sudden “surges” in voting.
It was very unnatural activity and it was clear that at least 2 and perhaps 3 of the applicants were receiving unnatural votes. (I'm not saying those applicants caused the unnatural activity, I'm just saying it happened). However, because I was able to see and review all the activity on voting, it was pretty clear the entire way through that Samara was the true fan favorite and was consistently #1 without any unnatural voting going on.
So, there's no doubt that Samara is the one that the Niche Pursuits community wanted. There is definitely some doubt that applicants ranked #2 to #12 actually are in the right order. 🙂 Luckily 2nd through 12th doesn't matter here.
Perrin's Student for Niche Site Project 3.0
Perrin's video revealing who he will be coaching for Niche Site Project 3!
I am going to let Perrin and Jake provide their own thoughts on their new students:
Man… what an amazing group of applicants. Really. I’m still reeling from the excruciating process of having to narrow down so many fantastic candidates to just one winner. It was almost impossible!
In the end, I was looking for a few different things. First, I was looking for someone with hustle. After doing Internet marketing for over two years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that hustle is the quality that makes you or breaks you.
I talk to readers all the time, and lots of people want a step-by-step formula. Of course, there isn’t one. Internet Marketing is a skill set. It’s something you develop over time. Most importantly, it’s almost completely about problem-solving. It takes a drive to try things—and to fail—in the name of getting stuff done. It takes action. It takes hustle.
Secondly, I was looking for an exceptional communicator. I think it’s fair to boil down SEO-driven businesses into two parts: written content & networking/outreach. These are communication skills. And I felt strongly that the better my student could write—and the better he or she could talk to people—the better the project would go.
Thirdly, I wanted a beginner. I started as a beginner, and I think teaching someone how to do this stuff from scratch provides the best learning experience for the Niche Pursuits community. If possible, I wanted to find someone who didn’t know much at all about SEO but who was strongly motivated to start a lifestyle business
Lastly, I wanted someone with both a lot of interests and that undefinable “X Factor.” Having lots of hobbies might sound like a silly requirement, but someone with lots of interests has the ability to find the interesting stuff in whatever they end up writing about. This type of person doesn’t need to fake being interested in their gardening website—even if they’ve never gardened—because they have the natural ability to understand why things are interesting to other people. This is the difference between mediocre content and truly compelling content. And the X factor… I suppose that’s just a feeling.
With all that in mind, for my student, I chose… Colleen Kinsey! Not only was I extremely impressed with Colleen’s video, her hustle, and her writing, she’s got about a million hobbies and is strongly motivated to get out of her consulting day job (sound familiar?). She’s got a tiny bit of blogging experience but is otherwise new to SEO and Internet marketing (although she’s been a long-time lurker). So welcome, Colleen, and let’s kick Spencer’s and Jake’s butt!
Here is Colleen's Application Video:
Jake's Student for Niche Site Project 3.0
Jake's video revealing his student for the project:
As we've all said – thanks to everyone who applied and has been following NSP 3 to this point!
Prior to working with Spencer, I was like many of you in that I was working a full-time job and reading sites like NichePursuits.com to learn how to make a side income online. It took quite a few tries, but eventually I was able to build a few websites that have turned into a nice source of extra income for our family.
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So coming into Niche Site Project 3, I was hoping to find someone that was in a similar situation – someone looking to create a niche site in their spare time to help support their family.
I thought this kind of application would be one that many of our readers could relate to. My hope is to help prove that you CAN do this around raising a family, working a job, etc.All of that said – there were literally dozens of qualified applicants that we reviewed.
It was a very tough decision.
After speaking to several outstanding finalists, I've made the decision to coach…Ryan Spadafora.
Ryan was also one of our top 12 videos, and really submitted a compelling written application as well. Ryan works full-time at a print shop, has a young child, and a generally busy life as I'm sure many of you do.
It'll definitely take some extra effort from Ryan to succeed with this, but I really believe he has the motivation and skills to make this work.
I'm excited to kick off this project with Ryan and I truly hope that many of you who are hoping to build an online income around a full work schedule and family obligations will follow along with us!
As a reminder, here is Ryan original application video:
Announcing the Niche Site Project 3.0 Facebook Group!
We have received a lot of feedback from people that say they want to participate as part of this project. As a result, we've decided to create a Facebook group where everyone interested in building niche sites can interact as a community.
This Facebook group is meant for everyone, not just the 3 students. So, even if you didn't get picked, you can still ask questions, post results, and just get to know other niche site builders!
I really do hope that this becomes a place where people can get their questions answered and be able to swap ideas with fellow project readers. However, this will be a community driven group, we can't make any guarantees that Jake, Perrin, or I will personally answer all your questions.
Unfortunately, we only have time to coach our 1 student each. We will do our best to chime in from time to time; but there should be no expectation that Jake, Perrin, or I will personally respond to all the posts inside the group.
Next Steps for the Project
Now that Samara, Colleen, and Ryan are on board as students…it's time to officially start the coaching!
We are going to do our best to get in our first call as coaches and students in the next few days. So, expect to see another blog post with our initial coaching calls early next week.
Yes, the holiday season is upon us and it could get difficult to keep everything moving along as quickly as desired; however, I do expect that we will be able to at least get a couple of calls done this year.
So, there you have it…Samara, Colleen, and Ryan are the 3 students for Niche Site Project 3. We look forward to everyone's participation and hope to make this a great public case study. As usual, if you have any comments or questions, we would love to keep the discussion going in the comment section below.