Search

From Warehouse Worker to Internet Entrepreneur!

Today I'm excited to share with you another success story from one of our readers.  A couple of weeks ago, I started asking people for their own success stories in building niche sites.  I've been pleasantly surprised with all the experiences that are pouring in.

If you are interested in sharing your success story, please read the instructions here.

If you would like to read all of the success stories on this blog, you can visit this page here.

The Story of Casey Dennison

I'm happy to share Casey's story with you today.  Casey shares that he is a warehouse employee (manual labor), but has still managed to get some niche sites going on the side.  No, he's not a full-time internet entrepreneur yet, but he is making money online…and his business is growing.

Can ANYONE find success building niche sites?  No, probably not…but the barriers to entry ARE very low.  And Casey's story shows that with some dedication and time, you can find success.  In addition, Casey shares the URL of his niche site, so you can have another example of a live niche site, that is earning money right now!

So, take it away Casey!…

1. What is your name and current job/profession?

My name's Casey Dennison and I am a warehouse worker (slave laborer, for lack of a
better word lol).

2. How did you get started building niche websites?

It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I was hurting for money to pay off
some of my bills, so I was looking for a way to earn an income online
building websites. Long story short, I noticed the websites I visited had
ads all over them and so I started to investigate, finally learning that
they were earning money from having those ads on their websites. I
eventually came across “NichePursuits” (actually, I believe it was
nicheadsensechallenge.com) and that's when I fell in love with your
blog and have been following ever since. I've consumed a LOT of your
content, learning everything I can about building niche sites.

How long have you been building websites?

I taught myself HTML/CSS about 12 years ago – I was 15 – and been building
websites for friends, family and some bands I was in back in the day, but I
had no Idea that I could have made money from them. I knew nothing about
SEO!

3. Tell us about one (preferred) or multiple of your successful websites.
What is the URL and what niche are you targeting?   If you are not willing
to publicly share your domain or niche, that’s just fine.

No problem. I recently built a new niche site (monetized with Amazon)
following your most recent “Niche Site Project” and have managed to get it
ranked and earning in about 2 months, but it took about 3 to stabilize.

I chose to build it around the music niche because I have been playing in
bands from a very early age.

You can check it out here: www.bestacousticguitarsite.com

It was very easy to write content for this site, because I enjoy music and
I'm very experienced when It comes to knowledge of musical instruments.

4. How much money do you make from this successful website(s) each month?

The website is about 3 months old now, and so far I have earned a total of
$350. The first couple months were slow, due to my rankings jumping all
around, but now the income seems to be increasing. I'm really happy with
the outcome (and the income).

5. What is the reason for this website’s success?

The reason this website is seeing success is because I stopped reading and
listening to what others were saying on blogs and forums (e.g. SEO, niche
sites are dead) and I took action.

I was motivated by the success of your own niche sites and decided I was
going to build out a site of my own, and wasn't going to take anything less
than a “top 10” ranking.

I was determined to make this website successful, and that I did..

I had a burning desire to succeed!

6. Please briefly share your overall strategy for finding a niche, getting
traffic to your site, ranking in Google, and making money from niche sites.

My strategy is really simple!

I decided I was going to create a site around a topic I'm most knowledgeable
in.

I took the seed keyword “Guitars” and through it into Long Tail Pro
(Spencer's keyword research tool), and was then presented with a massive
list of keywords to choose from.

I decided to go with “best acoustic guitar” because I liked what I seen in
the top 10 – few sites with keyword in their title, no sites with keyword
in domain, low number of links pointed to the page ranking (not the root
domain), low juice page links, and the #1 position (before penguin 2.0) was
another Amazon affiliate site that was thin on content and added no value –
whatsoever.

I saw an opportunity, and I jumped on it!

Next, I registered a domain, took a week to write some content, let the
site mature a bit, then begin building links to get traffic through
everyone's favorite – SEO!

7. What link-building tips can you offer?

1. If you choose the “right” keywords, you WONT have to build many links.
Spencer has stated this many of times, “Keyword research is the most
important step“.

2. Build links slowly. You don't have to build a ton of links, fast; build
them at a slower rate (I built about 3-4 a day) and you should be just fine.

3. Build quality links. When I say “quality”, I mean to take some time when
building out web 2.0 properties and writing articles – use pictures,
videos, unique content that isn't spun to complete gibberish.

8. How has the success from this website impacted your life?

Although this niche site hasn't had a huge impact on my life, it has had an
impact on how I will spend my time going forward.

Instead of reading about the latest link building trend, I'll spend my time
focusing on my own sites – writing content that's helpful, building links,
and so on..

I truly believe that now I should be able to replicate my process and build
out more successful niche websites, hopefully one day going full-time.

9. Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like to
replicate your success with their own websites?

Yes. Stop listening to the negative stuff people have to say about building
niche sites, and just get started building one.

Master keyword research, build out a site and don't stop working on it
until it becomes a success.

I've found that just jumping in and doing something is the only way to
succeed. You'll fail, probably more than once, but eventually you'll see
success.

Taking massive action is the only way to learn!

10. Do you have a blog or other place that people can follow along with
what you are doing?

Yes. I've recently started up my own blog in the Internet marketing and SEO
niche to detail my own successes (and failures) so that I can track my own
progress and show others whats working for me currently.

You can check it out by visiting www.imwithcasey.com.

My Thoughts…and Yours!

Thanks for sharing your story Casey!  I love that you were able to find a niche that you were interested in, quickly find a lower competition keyword, and take action.  I try to emphasize this alot.  You will learn SO much more failing on your first site, then you would spending a year reading about how to build a niche site.

Overall, I think you've shared some great tips here, and most of all, shown that REAL people just like you are making money in 2013 from niche sites.  Even though I've shown that its possible over and over again with my Niche Site Project, its always great to hear from others and their success.

If you have any questions or thoughts for Casey, please leave a comment or 2 below!  I've asked Casey to stop by and respond to your queries, so I'm sure there will a great discussion (which I'll chime in as well on, as needed).  Thanks!


Success Stories

By Spencer Haws
July 10, 2013 | 91 Comments

You may also like

View all

91 Comments

Join the conversation

Leave a comment
Paul Hill

Great story and I wish Casey the best of luck with the niche site and the blog…

Just took a look at the blog and I actually intended to follow / subscribe to keep track of the progress but there was no means to do so…

Start building your list Casey!

Casey Dennison

Hey Paul – thanks for the kind words!

I actually had a bad feeling about sending people to a blog with no list or social channels up, yet. I’m actually in the process of setting up a list that sends out a mini-course, so check back if you’d like 🙂

Iain

It’s always the simple things we tend to forget.

I haven’t started list building on my niche sites, but I definitely have main blogs.

Awesome to hear that you got some success with nice sites Casey.

I started seeing some results lately. It’s pretty awesome when it happens.

Dan @ Live Work Travel USA

Casey,

Thank you so much for sharing your story as well as your URL. It’s always good to see the actual site, so I appreciate that.

I totally agree with “Take massive action”. A lot of people love to read and learn and never take action. The only way to figure out that building niche sites is working, is to try it out yourself.

Dan

Casey Dennison

Hi Dan,

No problem – sharing the URL was no big deal, as I knew it would be of great value to the Niche Pursuit readers.

You’re right. I read blogs and forums for 2 years before I took any kind of action. It wasn’t until I started to experiment (and fail) that I learned what I have.

Take care, Dan.

Marc Possoff

I’m in the same position. I have a lot of info and no action.

Phil

Hey Casey,

great to hear about your success. I think $350 in only three moths is a great result. If you take further action this could easily grow into a serious authority site.

The guitar niche is great for mixing Amazon and clickbank, I also saw some fanpages doing great on Facebook because it’s a very social niche.

That’s why I chose cooking as my primary niche, just because it’s social and you can make people talk about your site.

Good luck,

Phil

Casey Dennison

Hey Phil,

Hope all is good on your end!

You’re so right – $350 in three months (from 1 niche site) is a lot, at least for me. I don’t think I’ve ever made more than $10 from a niche site that I’ve built in the past. Things are surely starting to look good..

Mike

A great start for sure!

Casey Dennison

Mike, thanks for stopping by to check out my story, it was very generous of Spencer to share it with the NichePursuits community. I think is is a pretty good start to making some REAL money online, as I’ve spent more than I’ve made in this game, so far.

Edd

Nice story.

just hope some twat hasn’t hacked his site now.
It was down when I checked it out.

Casey Dennison

Thanks, Edd.

Spencer said that it was down for him, too. It’s working on my end, as well as for some others. Not sure why that is, but I’ve shot bluehost an email. That would really suck if it is not showing for some people. Yesterday, I had a record income day with Amazon 🙂

Mike

Funny I actually came across this site when doing keyword research.

Casey Dennison

Mike, that is funny. I come across hundreds of sites when doing keyword research. I’ve probably seen some sites belonging to you as well, not even knowing it. lol

Take care, Mike!

charley

Wow, these success stories greatly inspire me. Thank you spencer for all of them as they give me the courage to keep keeping on.

i am currently trying to launch my first niche site and this posts tell me that i wouldnt be wasting my time.

One question please, Spencer, is it advisable to go into a niche with a keyword that has high Page authority but all the other matrices (links, juice links) are low?

Casey Dennison

Charley, you’re right man – take action starting today!

Spencer Haws

If all 10 sites have a high PageAuthority, I would still be a little hesitant.

Mudit

Many congrats Casey ans special Thanks to Spencer for initiating such a wonderful and inspiring series.

A question from me too, Spencer, should I go for a niche if, for a main keyword, the competition is low and is with internal pages of webiste but all the website in itself are very high authority websites (other matrices like DMOZ listing yes, thousands of backlinks to root domain etc)?

Casey Dennison

Mudit,

First off, how do you know the keyword has low competition?

Mudit

Google KW tool suggests main keyword (a long tail kw starting with “best A B C”, where A, B, C represent actual keyword) with low competition and approx. 8000 exact matches.

Checked websites for main keyword on first page of google search results which are high authority sites (among finest in gadget review industry and high Alexa ranking) but only their internal page is ranking. Second page of google search results suggests youtube videos and some low PR and low competition websites, facebook page, vimeo video etc.

After that I checked with Market Samurai which suggests that the top websites have high metrics(thousands of BL to root domain, millions of pages, DMZ listing etc) but the internal page has low metrics (page back link etc.)

Due to this whole scenario, I am bit hesitant. Any suggestions?

Casey Dennison

The “low competition” you see in GKT is referring to how many Adwords advertisers are bidding on that particular keyword – it has nothing to do with how difficult (or easy) it may be to rank for that term.

Mudit

Thanks for suggestion Casey. Will keep that in mind.

Vic Dorfman @ DocShare Doctor

Casey, that’s badass man!

I’m a musician too and one of my very first affiliate sites was a site that reviewed various singing courses, monetized by clickbank. It got slapped to oblivion but was doing great for a while.

Looks like your site is down at the moment…?

Casey Dennison

Vic,

That’s awesome man. What do you play?

Yes, I heard from several people that my site is not working for them. I’ve sent my host an email, hoping to get this resolved asap.

Charles

Nice work Casey. You’ll actually be able to augment your earnings by scaling it, I.e. building more sitrs, developing existing ones, etc. By the way, your site is currently displaying blank pages – your content is not loading. But I checked it out via it’s Google cache and it’s definitely respectable.

Casey Dennison

Thank you Charles!

Yes, I plan to build out more sites so that If Google is in a bad mood and decides to bitch slap one of my websites, I’ll have a greater chance of some not getting slapped.

I’ve sent my host an email, hopefully they can resolve this issue.

Drew

Nice job, Casey. I like your site banner; where’d you get that done, and how much did it cost you?

Casey Dennison

Thanks for the kind words, Drew!

I actually designed the banner myself, using Photoshop. I was a designer waaaaaay before I got into the niche site game.

Mighty

Hi Casey,

Nice story! How long did it take you to break into Google’s page 1?

What are your favorite backlinking strategies? Did you ever try expired domains?

Casey Dennison

Hey Mighty,

Thank you for stopping by!

You know what, I actually used expired domains to rank this niche site, with a couple web 2.0/blogs here and there. I really love expired/aged domains, as they seems to give the quickest results imo.

Nsek N.

Hi Casey, good job!

Since you are being so transparent with the site and all, would you mind sharing links to those expired domains that you purchased and used to rank the site? I’m sure they can be found by analyzing your backlinks but I just prefer to ask you first.

BTW – your site loads just fine for me (it was loading fine even when others were writing that it didn’t load for them a while ago).

Casey Dennison

Hi Nsek,

I just used various services I found through SEO forums. You can easily find my links using any Majestic SEO, or something similar. I’m not going to post any links here..

That’s great that the site is loading for you, I’m hoping that the issue has resolved on it’s own.

Nsek N.

Ahh ok, I thought you just purchased your own domains and used those.

You should be careful about those public sites as they always eventually get too big and Google takes them down, slapping any site that was using their services. Google is fully aware of BlackHatWorld and other similar forums and I’m sure it doesn’t cost them anything to simply login there and check out similar services. Then they just have to wait until the network has enough clients and bam, they take down thousands of webmasters simultaneously with a few clicks. This has happened many times over the past years, so just a word of warning.

Again, great work!

Staar

Thanks so much for sharing this information!

I have been reading and dabbling in niche site for a year but just recently decided I needed to stop reading and start doing, so your article is just the kick in the pants I need to make sure I stay on that track 🙂

I was just wondering about expired domains, do you think they are the deal breaker as far as ranking or is it still quite possible to rank with just good keyword research and some quality links?

Thanks again and congrats and best of luck!

Casey Dennison

Hey guys,

I’ve sent bluehost an email, letting them know that my website is not showing up for everyone, which is bad, because 1.) You guys can’t see what it looks like; and 2.) I’m most likely losing sales.

Rich

hey casey I had same problem with one of my sites hosted on blue host at around this time. I dont know what the problem was but i got intermittent site down. also google webmaster tools informed me of a dns error.

Casey Dennison

That’s strange, Rich.. Let’s hope that this problem is only temporary.

xingfan

Hey Casey, just wanted to say great work on your niche site and thank you for sharing it with us. Please don’t forget to share with us your result in the future, I’ll be visiting your blog :D!

Casey Dennison

Xingfan,

Thank you for the comment! I’ll be posting about future results over on my blog.

Winston

Great work Casey!

Wanted to ask how many pages do you currently have on the site and how do you go about getting new topics for the next posts?

Also, on backlinking, what types of backlinks are you creating mostly? (web 2.0, web directories, etc.)

Casey Dennison

I have about 10 post, a homepage, and some other pages like contact, about etc.

I built my site around the music niche because I play music and can write about it, so coming up with new topics is that too difficult.

I would def. say go for something you enjoy, know a lot about or have an interest in, because it’s much easier to write. Of course you can go into niches you know nothing about, there’s outsourcing, but I often find the work of outsourcing to be of a lower quality than that written by someone who has a passion, or liking for a particular topic.

I’m purchasing aged domains, and building some articles and web 2.0s here and there..

Cathy

His site is just a blank page! I wonder what happened to it?

Winston

It looks ok to me. I used the link from his name of the comments and the site came out ok.

Casey Dennison

Hey Cathy,

I’m really sorry to here that the site is not coming up. I’m hoping bluehost can figure out what the heck is going on with that.

tom

Casey,

bluehost sucks! my last site with them was offline every couple hours. To monitor your site uptime use pingdom, it’s free.

If your traffic continue to grow (i’m sure it will) i suggest something like wpengine or websythesis.

best of luck and thanks for sharing

Casey Dennison

Thanks for the recommendation, Tom!

Neeraj

Casey,

Congratulations for your success!! There is very little information about links which you used for this site. Can you please give a rough idea, how many links you have made till now, type of links, pr of links etc. Are all links coming from relevant sites?

Casey Dennison

Hi Neeraj,

Majestic SEO shows that I have 45 backlinks coming from 15 referring domains. I haven’t really built a ton of links to the site, to be honest. I purchased some aged domains that were PR 3+, varying my anchor text (e.g. brand,URL,exact,partial, click here, this site etc.), built some web 2.0’s, and built them all over the course of a month of so. I’ve since built nothing more to the website.

Management

Great start, Casey. Is your site down? Its showing me a blank page right now. Just wanted to know how many articles do you write for your blog in a month?

Tung Tran

Congrats Casey

Taking action is really important. We are just one step away from success 😀

Roy

Casey,

Awesome site man! Just one question how did you plan the backlinks? Did you do all on your own or outsourced it? Did you used layered links as Spencer suggests in this website?

Casey Dennison

I do a bit of both. I’ll purchase aged domains, as well as go for a tiered approached (web 2.0s, aticles – with links pointed to them).

Phil

Casey,
A very inspiring story. Thanks and all the best to you as you move forward.

ray

Awesome stuff! Agree totally about just diving in and DOING it. It’s easy to put stuff off under the guise of research. Impressed with the site–you’d assume that niche would have been very competitive, so it just goes to show that there’s no need to become discouraged before you even do the research—there’s a keyword out there that will work for you, just have to find it and commit to building the site.

Casey Dennison

Thanks, Ray!

And yes, so true.

alistairgd

Thanks for sharing, your site loads fine for me.

Big TIP for you here, it seems your only monetized page is the home page, however once the visitor browses off your homepage, *there is no way back*.

You really need to put a HOME link as your first option in your navbar 🙂

Thanks for your story, really enjoyed it.

DT

Casey, great story and thanks for sharing.

I have questions as I am also in the guitar niche (different area though):

1) What are your daily/monthly visitor numbers?
2) What is your bounce rate?
3) What are your conversion rates like?

I’m personally struggling because I didn’t target a product. I instead targeted information and plan on setting up some courses to sell. I think I will do better then. Currenly I’ve made about $5 from adsense after one month (site has been active for 2.5 months and sitting at 2-3 for quality keyword).

Casey Dennison

Hey, DT!

What’s up?

To answer your quesions..

1 ) The site currently gets around 60 visitors a day, so about 1,680 a month.
2 ) My bounce rate is actually pretty high, at 73.95%
3 ) My conversion rate is 6.08%

Information is a diff. type of searcher, most likely looking to fix a problem, or for an answer to a question they may have. I can see those types of searches converting poorly.

I’m targeting a product that people are searching for because they are most likely looking to buy, thus I’m making sales.

I’m also not using Adsense, but monetizing my site through Amazon associates. I use to do Adsense niche sites but had little luck, as you yourself seem to be having.

Mike

A tip is to add analytic tracking code to your affiliate links so that way you can determine what percentage of visitors click through vs go back to google. That may explain the bounce rate a little better

DT

Thanks so much for the info.

I’ve gotten to around:

-roughly 100 visitors a day (about 3k in 2 months)
-roughly 68% bounce rate
-maybe 25 adsense clicks so far (typically low – under $.50)

You are right, info is much different, but I really want to turn my info into a product. My thinking is that if you can package information correctly it can become a product itself.

Time to take a note from your playbook and put aside the research and take more and more action! Thanks for the inspiration.

mohamed elhosary

conversion rate 6% mean every 6 of 100 visitors to your site buy the product?

so if you have ctr 6.08% * 1680 visitors = 102 sales on month

Juan

Hi Casey! I noticed that many of your links are coming from PR 3 websites, something like a farm. Later I knew you bought these domains cuz I read your replies. I would like to know where to buy similar domains. And how much they are. Any steps or criteria you like to follow before you buy the domain.

Thanks

Millette

Hi Casey,

Nice site!

I was wondering if you would address your reasoning for choosing a keyword with such a high KC score in LTP. I am seeing it as a 44 which I thought most folks wouldn’t mess with.

Congrats on getting this to page 1 so quickly!

Casey Dennison

44 is a bit high for most people, but really nothing to me. I’m not an “SEO master” or whatever they call it, but I’ve been messing with expired domains for a couple years now and know their power.

Millette

It’s good to know that there’s power to be had with the expired domains.

Thanks!

Matthew

Hi, Casey—

Thank you for sharing your story—I will definitely make it over to your blog!

If I wanted to learn more about buying expired domains, where would I go? I’ve done some preliminary research, but I haven’t found anything that helped too much. Where did you learn how to use expired domains?

Thanks, man—
Matt

Winston

Casey,

When do you start making backlinks to a new site?

Casey

I like to point 2 pr 3+ links at a new site and then wait to see where Google places it, then Ill begin building more (usually 3-4 a day).

Winston

Thanks Casey.

Do you wait a month like Spencer does before making any links or how soon do you start building links to the new site?

Casey Dennison

You can wait, or start right away.

darren

I’d like to know what happened to the rest of your sites? You stopped making updates. Did they fall out of Google with various updates?

I can’t help but think if they were earning, you’d post about it.

Anyway, I enjoy the stories.

Casey Dennison

I gave up on all my other sites lol.

Phuong Le

Wow, the niche site use default theme and the content is so useful and in depth.

Arwin Adriano

Another inspiring story and it just proves that it does not matter what kind of job you are into as you believe with yourself. It is all about dedication and taking action.

Winston

I came across a site in the camera niche that had about 1500 links and was fairly new less than 0.5 age in Long Tail Pro. When I clicked to see the links its strongest links were all pointing to a totally unrelated industry (toys) and domain name that that those links pointed to were not the camera site but a toy site.

So I tried a few of the links and the kind of redirected to the camera site. How did they do that and how did those links become ‘useful’ to the camera site in google’s eyes?

Hope someone can explain this ‘trick’. It really looks like it works because the camera site ranks in a lot of different keywords.

mohamed elhosary

conversion rate 6% mean every 6 of 100 visitors to your site buy the product?

so if you have ctr 6.08% * 1680 visitors = 102 sales on month

Naveen Kulkarni

Hi,
It’s percentage of clicks versus purchases.

Amazon can’t (not bothered) to track how many visitors you get to your site, it tracks only how many clicks occurred to your affiliate code.

Casey/Spencer,
Correct me if I am wrong.

Naveen Kulkarni

Hi Everyone,
Thought of sharing some useful stuff about “Affiliate Marketing” advice from Big Daddy Google itself. Check the link below and incorporate the tips 🙂

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/76465

Chaise starck

I tried a few of the links and the kind of redirected to the camera site.

Rene

Hello guys, sorry for being a bit of topic but has anyone else noticed the sudden change of the adsense font in the ad blocks? I’m based in The Netherlands and the font of all my ad blocks have shrunk and CTR is dropping with it…

Best,
Rene

Andy

I can’t find your site anymore on google for the keyword “best acoustic guitar.” What happened?

Casey Dennison

A lot of the backlinks had been ‘deindexed’ so I saw huge link loss.

Bas

Great site and story man!

I saw you put on your blog pages like:
http://www.bestacousticguitarsite.com/learn-acoustic-guitar/

an adsense box, how is that one converting?

I was thinking about adding one to my site as well. Did you use a plugin for it, or what is the best way to get one there?

I have also 1 tip for you, make those images on your mainpage also clickable + affiliate link to the product. People can see there more picture but I know for sure if will increase your conversion rate. Let me know if it works 🙂

Casey Dennison

It was converting alright, nothing spectacular though. It really depends on what ads are being served up. I was focusing on Amazon when I chose the keyword, so I really did not pay any mind to the advertiser competition.

John J. Ziemba

Way to go, Casey! Your success is truly inspiring.

Guess the big secret to success in IM is to actually do the work LOL.

Thanks for sharing & I wish you the best for the future so you can dump that warehouse slave gig.

Casey Dennison

Thanks John,

You’re absolutely right – you’ve got to do the work to reap the rewards. So many people get caught up on shiny objects they do nothing more than give false hope to “newbie” marketers.

If you want to succeed in this business (or any business) – you’ve got to put in the work!

Take care,
Casey

Justin

Congrats Casey on your success!

I’m just starting out now and hope to be where you are in a few months.

Just followed you on twitter, can’t wait to see your blog launch and where you go from there!

Good luck!

-Justin

Lenny

Hi Casey

I was thinking of doing a site similar to yours and was going to email you but appears your guitar website and blog don’t exist anymore.

Maybe just down temporarily ?

Cheers

Lenny

Kancur

It’s a pity it doesn’t exists anymore :O

Jeff

I see that the this niche site is still down…permanently?

Recent Posts

View all