Something big is about to happen.
I was on vacation for the past couple of weeks (thank you internet business!) on a big road trip with my wife and 4 kids. Whenever I sit and drive for 5, 6, or 10 hours in a day, I have lots of time to think. (We drove well over 4,000 miles, so I had plenty of time…)
My thoughts turned to my business and I began reflecting on where I came from and all the business ideas I've started since. I've been incredibly blessed.
However, I also felt like I've drifted away slightly from my core of creating new websites from scratch and I missed it a little. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to start a brand new niche site from scratch!
And of course, if I start a big new project like that, I HAVE to document it on Niche Pursuits.
So, my plan is to start a brand new site and document the process right here on NichePursuits.com.
Welcome to Niche Site Project 4!
Quick Update: If you want to officially participate and build a site as part of Niche Site Project 4, fill out this form here. (There is no approval process, once you fill out the form you are officially apart of Niche Site Project 4).
A Brief History of the Niche Site Projects
So, what is a “niche site project?”. In a nutshell, it's a public case study where I build a brand new site and document the journey as it grows (hopefully) for you to learn from. I plan to share everything from earnings, traffic, and even the site itself so you can check it out.
If you have been a Niche Pursuits reader for a while, you will know that I've done this 3 times in the past. However, each project has been a little bit different. Here's a quick review of what I've done in the past.
Niche Site Project 1 – Early 2013
The very first Niche site project began in early 2013. I built BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com and got the earnings up to about $1,000 a month.
However, over time that site got a negative SEO attack and was copied about a 1,000 times. It went from the top of Google, to much lower. I eventually sold the content from that site to a new owner. That owner shut down the old domain and started a new domain with the content. (The new owner is doing very well with that new site to this day).
The overall project was a big success, and TONS of people were able to build successful sites following my process.
Niche Site Project 2 – Late 2013
Niche Site Project 2 began at the end of 2013. However, rather than me building the site myself, I recruited a reader to by my “student” and they would build the site. That student was Perrin Carrell, who I ended up hiring full time.
Perrin's site was aPennyShaved.com and we were able to quickly build that site up to over $4,000 a month in earnings! However, we got a little over ambitious with the PBN craze and got ourselves a Google penalty using these types of links. So, the site went from earning $3,000 to $4,000 a month for several months to very little over time.
I believe Perrin ended up selling off the content of the site as well. (And don't worry about Perrin, he went on to build and then sell a site that was making over $8,000 a month).
Niche Site Project 3 – 2015
Believe it or not, Niche Site Project 3 was started at the end of 2015…almost 3 years ago!
Niche Site Project 3 involved Jake, Perrin, and I each coaching one student individually. Those students: Ryan, Samara, and Colleen had varying degrees of success. But the overall project itself was very helpful with the hundreds of other people building their own sites as they followed along.
I still hear success stories from people that learned through Niche Site Project 3, including these Facebook comments from the last couple of days:
The amount of time it took to put together the videos, presentations, blog posts and more on how to build a niche site was immense for Niche Site Project 3.
However, I think I'm ready to tackle another project, now that it's been 3 years.
Other Projects I've Been Working On
When I look back at the history of the Niche Site Projects, I realize that it's actually been since early 2013…almost 6 years since I've personally built a public niche site. The other 2 projects involved sites that were built by other people.
Now of course over the years, I've built several other sites, but the last PUBLIC case study site I built was in 2013. Wow!
I think it's time to get back to my roots and work on a site that is primarily focused on getting organic traffic from Google.
You see in 2014 I learned all about Amazon FBA and in early 2015 I had launched an Amazon FBA business. That business did extremely well, and I sold it for $425k in Dec. of 2017.
So, the last couple of years, I've been WAY more focused on learning how to sell on Amazon, than worrying about search engine optimization and new websites.
I've also been involved in several other projects some of which I've written about here and some that I have not.
However, it's safe to say that it's really been at least a couple of years that I've started a brand new affiliate website where the main focus has been getting free traffic from Google. I'm excited to get back to my roots and see what happens!
What Happened to the Social Media Project?
One of the public projects that I did start was the social media project. I have to admit that I didn't follow through very well on that project.
So, what happened?
Well, I think the project wasn't as well defined as it needed to be. When I started the project, I simply said that I wanted to try and see what kind of money I could make by focusing on social media traffic.
I didn't have a specific website in mind and I didn't even have a specific social media source in mind. As time went by, I realized that I was trying a few different social media strategies, but without a specific defined website to work on from the beginning, I was just spinning my wheels.
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However, the social media project wasn't a complete failure. I did share a couple of tactics that I found to work pretty well; including: How to a build a Facebook page to over 10,000 followers quickly and how to run a Facebook giveaway to build an email list.
I was able to generate some money from those Facebook fans and email subscribers. However, social media is just one piece of the overall website strategy and as a result, since I wasn't sharing a specific website publicly, I've found it hard to just keep trying different social media strategies if those strategies aren't making a big impact on my site.
Since I haven't found a great social media strategy yet that can in and of itself be a great money maker, I will move onto the more defined case study of Niche Site Project 4.
How Will this Project Work?
So, here is how I envision this public case study working. I will build a niche site from scratch and document the process and results. Jake and Jason (my employees) will be helping with certain aspects of the site, but I'll be in full control of the sites direction and the strategic planning.
I don't have an exact time frame for how often I will publish Niche Site Project 4 updates, but I expect at least weekly in the beginning and then monthly as the site ages more. However, for more frequent updates and a place to ask questions, please join the Niche Pursuits Private Facebook group here.
I plan to document the process and results on the blog of course, but also on Facebook, and…drumroll please…the podcast! That's right, I'm going to bring back the podcast to share the results from the project and to record other interesting interviews.
Can Others Participate in Niche Site Project 4?!
Yes, I want participation!
But I don't have an official process yet for how you can join the project. The “official” project will be me and my site. However, the “unofficial” project will involve others building their own sites from scratch at the exact same time as I'm starting my project.
So, if you have been on the fence about possibly starting your first site or starting a new site, now is the time to start! In fact, you can now fill out the form below to become a participant in Niche Site Project 4!
Filling this out simply means that you want to build a new site and build it right along with me and my new site.
You won't receive any special coaching for participating, but you will get listed as a participant, and I will be following up via email for regular reports to keep you accountable…and those reports will be shared publicly probably on a monthly basis. This isn't a contest, but your results will be listed side by side with Spencer and other participants.
Goals for the Project…
I certainly want to build a site that makes me some money. I want this site to be bigger than just $500 or $1000 a month. Over time, I'd love the site to be making $5,000 or more per month. I don't have a time frame for that goal just yet, but it will most likely take more than a year or even 18 months. Good things come to those that can put in consistent effort over a longer period of time.
However, an even more important goal is that I want to see others having success following along with the project. I'm fortunate enough to own other websites that do well, and I've been a full-time online entrepreneur since 2011. So, the earnings from this new site might not impact my day to day life as much as it would others.
But if I can help a few people go from making nothing or very little online to $1,000 or $2,000 a month or more, that can have a huge impact in their lives.
So, seeing the success stories from this new project truly is my main goal.
Who's ready to join in? If you are interested in following along with this project, please leave a comment below and join the Facebook group here. If you are thinking you will start a new site from scratch as part of this project, let me know that as well!