Announcing the 3 Students for Niche Site Project 3!

By Spencer Haws |

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!

If you haven’t caught up with what’s going on here, I suggest you read about the Niche Site Project 3 here, and the video application and voting process here.

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

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:

Perrin here!

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.

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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 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.

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!

Join the Niche Site Project 3.0 Facebook Group Right Here!

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.

Stories & Projects | 85 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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Steven Clouse

Congrats to the winners! I’m so excited to follow the progress of this NSP3! Thanks for your time and dedication Spencer, Perrin, and Jake. Keep it up!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Steven!


So happy for you Ryan Spadafora! Your world is about to change 🙂
Great choice Jake. I am looking forward to following you two on NichePursuits.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Wendy…hopefully things go well for Ryan, and everyone.

Ryan Spadafora

Wendy, you’re the best!


Excited for Ryan also, being from Colorado am very anxious to see how this will turn out. I only see one little problem here though… Amazon does not accept affiliates from Colorado, maybe you guys will use a different network like CJ. Either way will be exciting to see if you find a workaround for Amazon or just go with a different network.

Steve Eason

Congrats to the winners! I’m super excited to follow along and participate as I can. I also am excited about the Facebook group. This allows the others who are not directly involved to participate along the way. Thanks again for your work, Spencer, Perrin and Jake.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Steve!


This is so exciting! Hey, Spencer, your video isn’t working for some reason… help! I really want to watch it!

Spencer Haws

Is it working now?


Congrats to the winners! Hopefully we will all be able to follow through 🙂

Prince Molak

Congrats to Samrara and otehr lucky participants. Hope they will also be in the Fb Group

Art Manville

What a fantastic idea and great to have a FB group so that we can connect better. This comment section can get lost after a few days.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Art…see you in the FB group 🙂

Guens P.

Congrats to all the winners. I cannot wait to see what project we turn up with.

Kim Smith

Congratulations Samara, Coleen and Ryan. I look forward to watching your progress in this new adventure.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Kim, should be a great project!


Congrats to all of the winning applicants. This is definitely going to be fun to watch as you go along. I know I share some of the same frustrations as Samara.

Thanks for Spencer, Perrin, and Jake for all of the great content.

(yo Perrin, get a web cam man! aren’t they are like $5 nowadays?! haha)

Spencer Haws

Thanks Bryan. Maybe I need to give Perrin a little bonus to buy himself a webcam 🙂


Spencer, Jake, Perrin, just want to say WELL DONE on picking three fine candidates and CONGRATULATIONS to Samara, Colleen, and Ryan! Good luck with the project guys – I am sure we are all going to benefit so much from following along with what they will be doing 🙂

Spencer Haws

Thanks Charlotte!


Excellent choices! I voted for two of the three so I must say that you spot talent nicely.
Good luck in your ventures. I will be keeping a close eye on this project. Also, thanks for the opportunity spencer to be apart of this.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Ray!


3 Americans…interesting…Good luck to all

Spencer Haws

90%+ applicants were americans; just the way it goes. Samara is in Spain though 🙂


insane creativity in those movies.

I think the community made the right choice. Congrats guys, and all the best… your lives are about to change.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Quinton!


I truly think that Niche Site Project 3.0 is going to come the case study of reference for anyone that wants to build a niche website! I’m really excited to follow along with the three lucky winners! I’m sure is going to be a great learning experience not only for them but for all the Niche Pursuits community! Three students, three different backgrounds and three different coaches with their own way to build a site, it cannot get better than that! Also, I think that the Facebook group is a wonderful idea! Congrats and best of luck to the three lucky winners!


Am I the only one whom when finding out I wasn’t the winner thought for just a brief second…”Maybe I should kill myself at my day job tomorrow.” ? Just kidding… sort of


Awwww, don’t say that Henry! Joking about killing yourself isn’t funny. Here’s the suicide lifeline number if you (or anyone else) needs it: 1 (800) 273-8255

I’m sure your application and video was great but they can’t pick everyone. Besides, you can still follow along and make your own niche site. It can still be successful, even without the 1-on-1 coaching. Make sure you join the Facebook group and we can help each other. It will be fun and, hopefully, in another 6-months or so, you can quit that boring day job of yours that is sucking the life out of you.


you are not the only one with a crappy day job so go to work and apply yourself now and, when the project begins join the teachings as they happen, apply yourself and escape the mess.

There is a saying that you have to put inside your head to get anywhere in life. There is no such thing as something for nothing. and “You have to be before you can do and do before you can have” It is a quote by Zig Zigglar .

stated another way it all begins with what you believe inside your head you are capable of doing first, then by doing the work you believe in you can actualy have what you believe in. It is all in how you process it .


Yep, there’s many sayings and while they can and so inspire people they are also widely circulated to get people to buy one’s motivational material. There’s a lot of money to be made in “selling dreams.” Why do you think were having this chat here? The Irony. Here’s the skinny… after many decades of getting mediocre results in a wide range of pursuits, everything form sports to business and real estate, I have come to realize that the real difference between being successful and not is have a mentor(s). Tons of people are smart and loads of people have drive. It’s a mentor that makes all the difference. I would pay 1000s to sideline these “winners” and get coached.


Spencer and the project will be your mentor, did you know it took 10,001 attempts to perfect the light bulb, Colonel Sanders peddled his chicken recipe to1001 people before someone said yes. Had Edison quit at 8 or 10,000 we might still be in the dark, so motivational stuff and belief in yourself and what you are trying to do is not bull or to just to sell tapes.

I quoted that Zigglerism to you because it is true “you have to be before you can do and do before you can have” start believing in yourself . start seeing yourself as already having built a successful sight celebrate man, then focus on doing it, then you can have it. intelligence has very little to do with success when you look critically at many success, it had more to do with not giving up until the miracle happens. Don’t quit you day job till it happens but make plans to do that when you succeed because you refused to give up.

Yesterday, last year or even years past don’t count even if you failed
don’t count. Only you can say when you have failed but the people who win you included in that view the battles they loose as stepping stones and ultimately win the war. Move forward with us and try to make it happen. I am not saying you won’t have setbacks or the possibility of loosing a few battles if you do but, it may be the next project after this one that becomes a win. Spencer is right don’t go into this feeling as you have already lost or can’t do this because you will bring those realities to you if you do. It appears to me that they picked 3 different pepole with 3 different backgrounds and one of them is like you has been trying and has had problems making it work. So there is a wide spectrum here of knowledge that should come out of this all if you keep coming back and learning.

Louie Luc

Hi all!

Congrats to all the winners.
Samara, well done! I hope your daughter grows up to be what she had written on her pink baby clothes.

Actually, I think you and I can relate somehow because we live close to each other although in different countries. Lisbon is just 620 miles away from Madrid. Say ‘Olá’ to Cristiano Ronaldo for me.

Colleen I would also pick you every day because of all the beauty, cuteness and ‘huggability’ of… your cat Henry! 🙂 And for all the other reasons, of course.

Having girls here on NSP 3.0 makes this so much beautiful.

Ryan congrats too, it’s nice to have a man here to balance things on behalf of manhood. :))

Spencer, Perrin, Jake: you should have a contest to see which of your students (l)earns the most in less time. I know that people are here essentially to learn and not to compete (and that’s so right) but it would also be kind of exciting to have some of competition going on, just for the fun of it and for the delight of the crowd (we, your people, sirs). Who’s with me? (Say “Yo”!)

Happy holidays everyone!


Congrats Samara! We need more women in Internet marketing! I bet you’ll kill it


Well, I already signed to the facebook group, and I am really looking forward to follow this competition.


Very happy Ryan got selected because I voted for him. Liked his video. Will follow the FB group ASAP.


Haha to Spencer not mentioning the applicants that got unnatural votes. Think I know them because I check the voting stats almost every 3hrs and I noticed the two applicants whose votes jumped insanely all of a sudden. 🙂


Congratulations to the winners and thanks niche pursuits crew. I know I’m going to learn a ton from this project. I can’t wait to follow along.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Mike!


Congrats to everyone! BIG whoot whoot to the ladies!! Yes we need more females in this industry 🙂 I am excited to see everyone go through this journey and see the changing of lives.

For Ryan – I feel the daycare killer pain.. I have a 6 month old and every penny counts. Good luck!

I think that Spencer, Perrin and Jake will have more that one student because all of US will be hustling along as well 🙂

Happy Holidays –

Toki-One-Kanobie 😛

Spencer Haws

I agree my young padowan.


Congratulations ….


Wow, I was 2 out of 3 on my picks! Congrats to Samara, Colleen, and Ryan! I’m looking forward to watching closely and learning from this as well so thanks ahead of time to Spencer, Perrin, and Jake for doing this. I know 3 people’s lives will most likely change dramatically with this experience but know there are guys (and gals) just like me who also hope Niche Site Project 3 will be life changing as well. Best of luck to everyone! God Bless!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Brian!


Congrats to the CHOSEN ONEsss… Samara, Colleen, and Ryan good luck, and let the show BEGIN… Whoo hooo… we are thrilled.


WOW cool, please make it quick, over the years I have learned so much from your blog!, now it become better with 3 students 🙂

Spencer Haws

We will do our best 🙂


I have no issue with the applicant chosen. BUT…as someone who has seen this process now twice…I want to see someone who is like me and not EXCEPTIONAL. I want to see someone who has no skills or writing comprehension skills figure out how to make money online. That would inspire me. This whole choosing a candidate to is most likely above average IQ just works against the spirit of the project. Next time, find someone who can barely do data entry and show them how to make money online. That would be a story in itself.

Spencer Haws

Someone with no skills and cant even do data entry is not likely to succeed at building websites or starting a business. I want to make no illusions. If you want to succeed online you likely need to be smarter than average or know how to hustle. If you don’t fit in either of those categories, this is probably not the business for you.

The spirit of the project is NOT to show that anyone can do this. Anyone cannot do this. The spirit of the project is to show that with the right framework, strategies, skills, and hustle…that someone that has never built a successful website before can indeed build onw.


I think the greater point here is if you don’t apply the knowledge that is taught and let your deficiencies stop you this information won’t help you. If you can learn and grow and take on the mindset you can do this and overcome your deficiencies this is attainable. I know of at least one marketer who overcame her disabilities by moving through them and has become successful. the marketer who I am talking about found a way to work through dyslexic issues and is out doing this full time. don’t let your deficiencies stop you.


Congratulations to the winners. I was thinking it would be great to see written applications of the three winners, it will give us a great idea of what actually clicked for the judges. Hope you can share them in a post !

Spencer Haws

Actually, that’s a good idea. I may just do that. Thanks Sanjeev!


Do you personally interact with your students in Long Tail University, like when requested by a student, you will have a look at their niche website and give specific advice and all?

Spencer Haws

No, that is not the case currently. LTU is a learn on your own video course.


Oh well, then the only course left for me is to twist your arm and force you to mentor me! Ha ha just kidding… but here’s a serious offer – How about me creating regular high quality posts for your FB page (I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with how I align with your brand vision and develop interesting brand building creatives, especially since I noticed that currently the page doesn’t do anything more than announce your posts) in exchange of getting your advice on email once a week?

David Robinson

I can not wait to see the valuable info that will be garnered from this new project for everyone including myself to enjoy and reap massive benefits
many thanks guys!!!!!!

mohammad umair ansri

Hi Spencer.

Congratulations to all the 3 winners. I guess even though so many missed out, still many will learn a lot of things during this entire training program itself through the posts to be put up by you three guys.


Hi everyone, this is really great. Been waiting to get a chance to learn from your lessons and thankfully we get to follow along in a group.ü really excited in the outcome for the project.


Congrats to the winners! Now Let’s get moving, I’m still excited to get started! 🙂


A big congrats to the winners !


Congratulation to the winners, I definitely knew it would be a close race between the video vote contestants, all of them were insanely good so props to you all.

Spencer, just curious as an applicant, was it not in your best interest to contact everyone who applied, even if they were not chosen to simply say thank you? Or, was there simply far too many applicants (that’s my assumption).

I am pumped to join in on this contest, so I am actually thinking of launching a case study to run alongside you guys, would you be OK with this Spencer? Let’s see who can win 😀

Spencer Haws

Thanks Will. There were too many applicants to contact personally by the time the deadline rolled around. I do appreciate all applications though! I’m definitely okay with your case study alongside ours!


Congrats everyone who won! I cant express enough how excited I am for this to start!


Congratulations for all the winners, good choices indeed. I’m backing Colleen all the way, as her ambitions are the same as mine. Go Go Go Team Perco!

Spencer Haws

haha…team perco…like it!


congrats to those who got picked and to those that didn’t get picked lets but lets get together as a group and make our own projects as we follow along. get motivated you all.


I like the fact that 3 different skill levels were chosen for the 3 different projects. It will make this experiment all the more valuable and should bring up questions and possibly answers that can help us all no mater what our level is. I realize that this stuff you are going to teach is valuable only if it is followed by action so follow along at home for those who didn’t get picked and take action.


Man, it’s hard to put into words how excited I am about NSP 3.0. I have thoroughly gone through the first two, and they were so inspirational for me. Seeing three people go through it, each having their own challenges will really be helpful to those of us grinding one day at a time to earn a living building the niche sites.

Congratulations to all the winners both in being chosen and for your upcoming success.

All the best,


Another Mike

Congratulations guys. You look to have a good mix of candidates there. I am super interested to learn how Samara fares. Surely she won’t be a ‘complete failure’ again 🙂
Seriously, though, there are a lot of people who are missing a few key pieces of knowledge of where they are going wrong with the niche jigsaw puzzle (like Samara) and I am VERY interest to discover what Samara learns.
I strongly suspect that the a lot of people go wrong at an early stage – i.e. they pick the wrong niche. Those people probably brainstormed to create a lot of ideas, used tool like Longtailpro to evaluate those ideas, checked out the PA of competitors in the SERP, crossed over SERPs dominated by certain ecommerce sites or .Govs etc etc… ie all the steps that Perrin has referred to… but still, when they get down to that final short list – pick the wrong niche (or perhaps out of some form of tunnel vision didn’t even pick a good niche in their original brainstorming [I bet that 75% of ideas on brainstorm lists are shared by everyone that tries to brainstorm!])…

Spencer Haws

Yep, I think it will be interesting to see how it all plays out!


thanks for making the process as transparent as possible . looking to tag along with NSP 3.


If it wasn’t me chosen then I am glad it was Samara. She sounds like an ideal candidate. I love that she is living in Spain too. I was hoping you would choose a digital nomad for the project. Many of the sites followers live around the world, so I’m happy were going to see one of the many digital nomads getting a chance to build up a U.S. focused niche site, but from a foreign country. Good luck all, and I think should sell those baby niche site jumpers that she showed in her video.


Spencer: You are getting me re-interested in creating niche websites again! Will you and Perrin be outlining the exact steps on your website you will be coaching these three winners with as they develope their respectictive niche sites?

Your interview with your cousin (Nursing career info) about his online success was excellent by the way!


Spencer Haws

Yes, we will be revealing all the steps and posting the recorded calls.

Glad you enjoyed the podcast with my cousin, Jon!


Congratulations, guys! I am one of the people who voted for Samara so I’m super happy that she won 🙂


Awesome stuff Spencer + team, I’ll be following along with this too. Interested to see how you attack niche sites these days. I may host my own niche site case study at some point next year as I’m considering adding more sites to my portfolio.

I wish all 3 students good luck, although they won’t be needing it with some of the best in the biz in their corner 😉

Spencer Haws

Thanks Julien!


Congratulations, guys! and thanks to make the process transparent. Learnt a lot from you thanks. Merry Christmas.


You guys had a really awesome process for selecting candidates…well played! Congratulations to all three winners and best of luck!

Spencer Haws

Thanks JerBear!

Michael Lofton

Congrats to the winners… Time to rock!

Even though Facebook is rather ‘linear’ (threads only) for project tracking, hopefully you’ll further provide pertinent blog references, et. al. in order to keep detailed tracking and checklists pursuant to the three tracks…

Dave Nicosia

Congratulations to the three winners! I’ll looking forward to seeing your progress and success!


Thank you
I ‘m blogging best school của much .
But English awful beige understand one bit bit 🙁

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