Niche Site Project 2, Coaching Call 1!

By Spencer Haws |

Last week, I announced that the winning student of Niche Site Project 2 was Perrin.  And I didn’t want to waste any time jumping right in and starting the coaching process!

So, Perrin and I got together on Skype a couple of days ago and went through our very first coaching call.  I recorded that call for each of you to listen to today.

This is the beginning of what I hope will be a very successful Niche Site Project; not only for Perrin, but also for all of your follow along here.  This is the very beginning of what will hopefully be an exciting journey with me, Perrin, and you!

I am still exploring ideas for the best way to conduct the training publicly on my blog, so today’s post is just my first attempt.  If you have any suggestions for how you would like to get involved in the ongoing training, let me know.

What We Covered

In our very first coaching call, I wanted Perrin and I to just get our bearings straight.  Overall, we needed to ask the questions of, “What is our goal for this project?” and “What is the strategy to accomplish this goal?”.  We also fleshed out a couple of action items for Perrin to start working on to reach those goals.

Specifically, here is an outline of what we talked about in our coaching call:

Goals for NSP 2

  • Make a good learning experience for readers of
  • Learn all the steps of the process
  • Improve basic knowledge
  • Income of $500/mth or more
  • 6 months
  • keyword research
  • Create a 15 to 20 page niche site
  • First 90 days
  • Could be 100+ pages down the road
  • Get free traffic from Google
  • SEO and Link building strategies
  • Make Money from Affiliate sales, Google Adsense, or other.
  • Will come as find a keyword
Keyword Research
  • Passion
  • Go Where the Opportunity is…
Keyword Research
  • Ideal Keyword
  • 5,000+ Exact Match Searches Each Month
  • Minimum 1,500 searches per month, with lots of related long tail keywords.
  • Commercial Keyword – Are there advertisers?
  • Low Competition on the First Page of Google
Brainstorming for Ideas
15 to 20 Other Subjects that interests you and you are not knowledgeable about.
15 to 20 Random Seed Keywords

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  • – looking at categories
  • Looking around you
  • At the store
  • What’s on TV

15 to 20 Frustrations that people have

  • List of Interests, hobbies, passions
  • Video Gaming
List out 15 or 20 interests

Your Feedback

Overall, if you watch the actual call, you will get a lot more details, thoughts, and insights than what is listed in the bullet points above.  With this information, Perrin is now busily compiling a list of interests and other niche ideas that will eventually evolve into a niche site.

If you are interested in following along at the same time as Perrin, I recommend that you also start finding niche ideas!  Start brainstorming for some general categories, and then we can dig a bit deeper on our next coaching call.

I’m also interested in hearing your ideas on how you can get involved in this project.

One of the main reasons that I am coaching someone, is to allow others to listen in and learn from what’s going on during that one on one coaching.  And so, I feel like to make the most out of Niche Site Project 2, I need all of you to be involved somehow.

This could be a special forum, a Facebook group, or just an email list with more frequent updates.  Or I can continue to just use the standard format of a blog post with comments and responses.  Either way, I would love to hear your thoughts on the process going forward.  Thanks!

Stories & Projects | 117 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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Christopher @ This That and the MBA

I would love to keep going with posts and comments. Shh as some of us read this at work we are not able to get onto facebook and other forums to follow along. I think having regular updates is important as well it keeps us engaged and if we are doing a site on our own as well we likely will be ready for the next step…..I am not the most patient person, but pats nsd2.0 is moving too slow for myself, I hope this moves a little quicker..


Pat is building the kind of niche site that most of us cannot replicate, so I’ve almost lost interest in it. Ditto – it’s progressing too slow for me as well.


I agree completely on NSD2.0. I think he’s done more posts about it by now than Spencer has for the entire NSP1, yet NSP1 is earning $500/month and was and still is easy to follow, while NSD2 seems to be an outright mess at the moment.

This is way I stopped watching it for now, but will probably check back once it’s up and running and making money. I think it’s a kind of site that only more advanced and experienced IMs and SEOs can follow along.

Paul Beach

They are two different strategies, to classify it as an outright mess is a little extreme. If you go back a few years spencer was implementing 100’s of small sites that he probably could (correct me if I’m wrong spencer) bang out in a month or less. The security guard site evolved over a longer period of time (I think 3-4 months).

Seems to me nothing has changed here, SPI’s approach has always seemed to take longer than NP’s. Even though both there strategies have evolved as google has evolved.

Just my two cents.


Spencer Haws

Thanks for the feedback Christopher! Comments do work well, and has the least resistence as I don’t have to set up anything new. This will probably make the project move along the fastest.


I agree about Pat and the NSD 2.0

He is trying to do way too much and it’s becoming confusing on what is even going on. The blog is now just one big, jumble mess of random posts and no direction or focus now.

Listening to the call right now…good stuff so far Spencer. Love the brainstorming steps!


I’m all for sticking with posts and comments. When I go to forums there’s always numerous threads to jump in and explore…and get lost in without a targeted objective and getting no work done.

I believe for this kind of instruction, posts and comments leads to more focus on a specific topic.

Also, maintaining this format requires less administrative burden for Spencer and Perrin leaving them to do more work and provide more info. Again, better focus.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Paul…based on the feedback, I’ve decided to stick with the blog and comment format. If its not broken…don’t fix it!


Great call and I think this really will help a lot of us or at least me. I’ve yet to even set up a website.

Off to brainstorm.


Glad you’re following along!

Spencer Haws

Best of luck Ron!


In choosing a niche how important is it that Amazon has good products. What if Amazon doesn’t have enough of a certain product (I know it’s rare), and there are other sites/stores that have it, is it okay to mix Amazon with other affiliate programs? Or do you just do with what’s on Amazon, or leave that niche idea.

An example (not so great example though), in exercise Amazon doesn’t carry some brands, like NordicTrack, Gold’s Gym, etc. Can you mix in your Amazon links with other affiliate programs (be it individual company like NordicTrack, or another retailer like Dick’s Sporting Goods)


I think this really depends on the niche your in. Not every niche can be monetized using Amazon products. I have a site that is monetized by ClickBank and seems to be doing OK. I did mess up the keyword research a bit in the start, but it is a good pointer.

The thing with Amazon, however, is that people are a lot more likely to trust it. It’s very likely that they’ve even got their credit card already entered in, so buying is really easy and fast.

If you’re in computer/consumer electornics niche, newegg seems to be a well trusted site as well, although you need to look at US local search volumes then, as they don’t deliver outside US (not sure about Canada). Sadly they offer only a 2.5% commission rate.

Hope that helps,


I actually finds its better sometimes to use other affiliate programs because they’re popular amongst the niche/community. I have a product based site that doesn’t use Amazon and does pretty well.


Hey Spencer, perhaps you could consider building a forum where we could discuss the whole niche site project thing, steps completed, and plans for the future together with Perrin. He could also provide unofficial updates via the forum. What do you think?


+1 for the forum and I’d be happy to pay a membership fee.

@Spencer: Check out Darren Rowses membership site that is a spin off from
He charges 5.95 USD per month.

Spencer Haws

I’ll take a look at the problogger forum. Thanks!

Spencer Haws

Yes, I’m considering a forum; this would maybe be ideal. However, its also something new to setup…and not sure its worth slowing the project down over.

Steve wyman

Don’t slow down!!!!

Forums is just for people to talk tons of se on nd2

Watching and following progress is much more important than yacking



I agree. Stay on target. 🙂


Hey Spencer!

This was a great call! I’m really hoping you and Perrin make it to $500/month. The part I’m really interested in is keyword competition research. With this last one please do more then just LTP stats. I think it would really help lots of people if you go into the search results themselves and show us how to spot competitive niches.

The other thing I’m really interested in is you link building strategy. What kinds of links are you planning to build and more importantly WHEN and how fast are you planning on building them. I have a site that I think is just about ready for me to start building some links, but I’m a bit afraid of overdoing it (which will probably cause me to under do it) and sabotaging my site.

As for us asking participating in propose some kind of a Q&A site like User Voice (free plan would probably suffice) or some self-hosted Q&A platform ( I think these are better then a forum as people can vote on both questions and answers. This would bring up the Qs that are more common and the really good As.

Good luck to both you and Perrin. I’ll be following along closely – probably even creating a site of my own.

Cheers, Goran from Niche Cove


@Goran Users can give thanks for useful posts on a forum – useful threads can be bumped and featured as well. Nevertheless, your suggestion is an intelligent one. As for link building, Spencer has covered a lot on that topic, but a link building strategy specific to Niche Site Project 2 would be really nice to read about.

@Spencer I think we would all be interested in a webinar that details the keyword research process exactly the way Goran wants. Btw, I appreciate all you are doing on this blog.

Spencer Haws

Great thoughts Goran! I’ll have to look into the Q&A options.


Good lucks both of you Spencer and Perrin, I will keep updating this coaching. Cheers.

Willem Grobler

Spencer – great call and a nice kick-off agenda for this project. I would put in a vote for keeping the updates here on your blog rather than Facebook or somewhere else. Looking forward to seeing this develop.


Spencer Haws

Thanks Willem!


Great first addition.

I really loved the questions that Perrin asked.

He really brought it easy to understand level. Perrin piped up just at the right times.

I wonder what he is going to come up with.


Thanks, Iain!

I really feel like one of my “jobs” in this process is to ask good questions, so this is good to hear!

If I miss any, definitely be sure to post them in the comments. 🙂


So far Perrin, you have done well.

Keep up the great work.


Yeah, I was thinking of questions during the conversation and then Perrin would ask them exactly how I was thinking. Good work, Perrin. Good luck.


Nice! I hope you will pick something else than Amazon since we already saw the possibilities.

I made some money with affiliate marketing. Adsense seems like impossible (few bucks). I have dutch site and the sites aren’t so well known as Amazon that’s a shame.

Anyway good luck and looking forward to see more.


I’d love to see the format continue as posts and comments, with a quick email letting us know there’s been a post. Or maybe a specific subscription to the project posts? Looking forward to following along! Congrats, Perrin!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Barry…seems like lots of people are happy with just keeping it as posts/comments.


great video but please try to upload on Youtube and embed it here. Flowplayer sucks and too slow

Spencer Haws

If you click the link below the video, its plays in something other than flowplayer.

Kevin Smith

Ya Hoo! Found out about niche websites about 4 days ago and have read tons and downloaded all of Spencer’s podcasts! Love this and will be following intently. Thinking about starting mine this Saturday and undecided about getting the one time only edition Long Tail Pro at the moment. Where can I find some videos on how to use it and how it will benefit me to finding my niche website idea? Thanks in advance.


Awesome! Please keep us updated as you follow along. 🙂


Question for everyone:
What is a worthy replacement site for Amazon to do affiliate marketing with?
I live in one of the “banned states” and Amazon doesn’t pay commissions to its residents anymore, so Amazon won’t be an option for me to monetize my site.
I’ve found (former that pays commissions and covers a lot of categories.
What other sites are out there that would be a great Amazon replacement?


“What other sites are out there that would be a great Amazon replacement?”

Linkshare, Commission Junction, Shareasale, etc.


Hi Spencer – I like that you have a coaching call available so soon and one that is easy to access. The video presentation and recap on your blog are also good ways to share the project.

I have a suggestion for your next call/video. Perhaps you could start the call with an agenda or outline that would allow you to move through the call more quickly. As you were talking with Perrin it seemed like you were trying to figure out the flow of the call as you were going along and it dragged down your delivery of the material. I am guessing that as you and Perrin work together you will develop more of a conversational style, but this first one is a bit slow in pace in my opinion.

I look forward to the next update.

Steve Wyman

Hey Spencer

Great start.

The most important part for me will come when you start doing content.

I really want to finally understand the exact steps and choices you take in creating the Initial long article and how you decided what the secondary articles will be.



I have to admit that is a huge issue with me and niche websites, i am hopefully starting mine very soon and i am looking to start writing within days, but how do you decide which articles should be you first and second one.


“but how do you decide which articles should be you first and second one.”

Your first article should be the main one that appears on the home page, which of course is going to be about your main keyword. After that it really doesn’t matter. Just write them. Worrying about which one should be second, and which one should be third, etc is just worrying about things that don’t matter.


Thanks, Steve 🙂

Do you mean with the actual writing? If so, hopefully, I’ll be able to add a little of my own expertise here, since I’m a writer by trade and have a lot of experience writing for the Web.

That said, I’ll be as curious as you are to hammer out a content strategy with Spencer — picking primary and secondary keywords, deciding how to produce the content, which articles to write and settle on a publication schedule.

Should be a good learning experience!

Steve wyman

Yes and no …

What I’m most interested in is to understand the decisions on which keywords go into which articles.
but as you suggested the actual writing mythology would also be useful to understand.

Good luck with your journey


Guys this is a fantastic resource, and I have not seen anything offered like this for beginner niche site marketers. I believe posting the back and forth you described (emails, instant message logs, etc…) will be crucial to rounding out the education provided by the open coaching, especially when it comes to choosing one particular keyword phrase over another.

I believe this is probably the most important component to being successful with niche sites, why one keyword phrase is preferred over another keyword phrase when both phrases have nearly identical exact match searches, keyword competition and advertiser usage.

Excellent first call, and great job to both of you!


This is an excellent point, and it’s something I hope to learn in our next call!

For a newbie like me, it’s tempting just to look at the numbers and make a quick decision so I can start working. I made this mistake (I think) with my very first niche site. It had what I thought were great numbers but turned out to be super competitive.

So, hopefully, we’ll see which nuances I’m missing in this week’s installment. 🙂



I’m in the same situation I started with NSD 1.0 followed along and created my first niche site.

It’s now 9 months later I’m still struggling to break to top 30 in google for my main keyword due to high competition with colleges. I have about 5,000 views a month, and my best month was $130 with amazon and $16 with Adsense, but I average right now $50 a month so I can’t complain for my first niche site.

I wish I would have known to pick something less competitive and niche down a little more. I am with you I need to REALLY focus on the right keyword this time and do it the right way.

None the less it is a good learning experience which I plan to bring to a new niche site as I follow along with you and Spencer.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Joseph! We will be spending a lot of time on the keyword research portion, and I will post everything we discuss along the way.


I have brainstormed some ideas, and i think i have found my keyword, or keywords, the issue i have is deciding which one. I have one that has great searches, with a little bit of competition, and huge searches per month, but the products are low priced, but there are lots of them.

Where as my other niche has far more long tail keywords, yet the products are higher priced, and there are so many more things to write about.

These choices are hard!


Do ’em both! =) Buy both domains.

Get the first site up and running with 10-12 posts within 30 days. Then do the second one…10-12 posts withing 30 days. Along the way, do a little “safe” link building for both (website directories and blog/forum comments).

Then trickle in a little more content.

When you see one of them pulling ahead of the other, in terms of traffic/income…focus more on building out that one and promoting it.

Buy your domains this weekend, and by Christmas you’ll have one (or two) sites earning $10, $20, $50 per month,, maybe more.

Go for it, man! If you let ANOTHER week/month/whatever go by without starting, you will regret it.

I remember an illustration by author/speaker Brian Tracy. He talked about how the most sophisticated guided missile in the world is powerless while it’s sitting on the launch pad.

Even if it’s fired in the wrong direction, once it’s in flight, it can gather data and make course corrections…for hundreds or even thousands of miles…right to its target.

But it can’t do anything while it’s sitting on the launch pad. You’ve got to LAUNCH!

Good luck!

Adam - Tropical Nomad

Always keen to learn from you Spencer. I voted for train a student and plan to follow along with my own project with the same tips and goal in mind


Great first call guys

I would prefer that we keep the current system in place on the NP blog. Creating a forum or another place we have to sign up and into will just be another one on my bookmarked list that rarely gets opened.

I like the current system its fine and its not broken.
Email (update) Visit (blog) read/view/learn (join in conversation) happy campers:)


Spencer Haws

Sounds great…thanks for the feedback Mark!


Loving This!! The first installment has been great – thanks to both of you!

I’m not saying that the best survival knife project was missing anything however think that this introduces a new dimension that is even more useful.

I second the above comments and agree a Q&A session could be great. Also, Question for Perrin: As this is the first step of what will be a fantastic journey for you, do you have any plans to document your own progress and thoughts? I think a journal of some kind to get your own personal thoughts would be great to read and also beneficial for the future?

Cheers Guys!!


Thanks, Carl!

I was thinking about that. Do you think it would be useful? On the one hand, it’d be nice to have a space where I could just kind of brain-dump.

On the other, I don’t want the NSP2 readers to have to go back and forth between two places. It might make more sense to just brain-dump via email to Spencer; that way, it becomes more of a dialog.

However, I do think it makes a lot of sense to start a blog when NSP2 ends, so anyone interested can follow along and see where the site goes from there. 🙂

Kevin Smith

Downloaded the free trial version and it’s great.

QUESTION: Does anyone know if we should be sticking with “low” advertiser competition keywords, or is “medium” or “high” acceptable and possible to rank for?

Spencer Haws

You actually should shoot for High advertiser competition, with medium being okay. I would avoid those that are low. Advertiser competition tells you how many advertisers there are – more ads means more money in the niche. It does NOT tell you how hard it is to rank for that keyword.

Kevin Smith

Thank you Spencer, this makes sense and I am very glad you clarified that. How about if my niche was going to be more focused on Amazon affiliate sales, could I still hit for a “low” advertiser competition if the monthly traffic was around 3000.

This would be my first niche site so just looking to make a bit of money and learn some valuable lessons.

Thank you in advance.


Spencer Haws

Yes, you can still go after “low” ad competition. You could just expect less money being spent in the niche, but its still possible for you to make money depending on the traffic volume and how well you rank in Google.


I like this format very much. It will give a much better insight into the thought process. Really looking forward to the coming weeks.


Nice work boys, keep em coming!


I wish there was a way to identify unread comments here on Niche Pursuits. As it is we have to wade through all the old comments trying to spot new replies. Previously there were WordPress plug-ins such as Smart Unread Comments. I’m not sure if any are still supported.

Spencer Haws

I’ll have to see if I can find a plugin for this…

Frank @ Bucket List Rebellion

Congratulations Perrin!

I think you made a great choice with Perrin he seems to have a great attitude and is on most of our levels.

I think if you follow the same process you used for the previous project with the added video calls it should work out fine.

I would try and keep a running list of all the questions Perrin raises throughout the week no matter how insignificant they may seem.

He asked a great question in the video about the minimum content the site should have.

I was thinking that this site would only be about 15-20 pieces of content in total. You then clarified that this would only be to start with.

I think a private facebook group may not be a bad idea for this project as well as any future projects. Anything more than that may be a bit much.

If you’re serious about building sites I would recommend spending a few bucks on Spencer’s products.

The time savings alone is worth the minimal investment you’ll need to make.

Good Luck Everyone!

Kevin Smith

Totally agree Frank, the price you pay for the Long Tail Pro is worth it in terms of how much time you’re going to be saving and it just reduces the margin of errors which you may make if you are new to the game like me. I’m going to purchase it once my trial runs out.


Obviously, I’m new, too, but to me, the KC metric is worth it in itself.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Frank!


Great idea Spencer, we will learn a lot from the back and forth of the emails, instant message logs, etc.
The proposition of some kind of Q&A site like User Voice is a good idea, followers of the NSP 2 project can leave their questions regarding the project and Spencer & Perrin can respond on their call sessions.
James Schramko uses an application SpeakPipe, it enables people to leave questions and he answers on Listener Comments Episode podcasts.
Thanks Spencer & Perrin for a great first call.


I love all of these comments. This is all new to me as well and I am super excited to be following along. I started a website last fall and it is not doing well at all because I never had a foundation. I have the same goals as Perrin, so I will be following along and be doing the same assignments on my own in addition to going through the Longtail classroom and Pro. I really like the idea of a private Facebook group as a forum. It is simple to use and is something that would help (at least for me) to have a closer tie to the project. Thanks again!

Spencer Haws

Thanks James, and best of luck!


This video was fantastic.

I’m half way through brainstorming and have learned something. In contrast to the topics I’m now discovering, all the ideas I’ve considered in the past involve big projects that require too much time and effort to produce content. I never realized that before, so thanks!


Awesome! Glad you’re following along. 🙂

Can I ask what you mean by “too big”? I’m just curious because accidentally picking a niche with high competition has been one of my stumbling blocks in the past. Is it the same for you?


By “too big” I mean the actual production of content would have been a big project for the niches I’ve previously considered.

For example one idea I liked involved special effects software templates. Making videos that explain how to produce special effects in videos would be more work for me than writing 1,000 words on a topic I research.

Spencer Haws

Great to hear Greg…!

Content Gorilla

I Appreciate this one, you are a great author. It is really written in depth analysis and have urged visitors to look forward more on your writing.


Hey Spencer, Perrin!

Great introduction, looking forward to watching your keyword research! I think I’m pretty good at it but I want to be sure 🙂

Perrin, I love video games a lot! (What did you play as a pro?) I have to say that my biggest dream is to own Games developing company 🙂
But back to niche sites – I recently read this article about Adblock ( ) and in this study, most Adblock users are gamers (I mean people who visits websites about gaming). So be aware of it, if you want to monetize website with Adsense.

Keep it up!


Ha. Nice!

I played Halo: CE. My team was sponsored by the now-defunct National Video Gaming League (NVGL), based out of Kansas. The pro scene back then wasn’t ANYTHING like it is now (there was a lot less money in it), but we still made enough through our winnings for it to be my full-time job.

At our peak, we were the third best team in the country (after The Alliance and TDT; huge bonus points if you remember those guys). Those were some of the funnest years of my life!

And yea: I don’t think I’d make a site about gaming. The industry is too fickle, and it changes a lot. Gaming websites are as far from “evergreen” as you can get.

Good to find a fellow gamer on here! If you play League of Legends, I’ll hop in and play one with you! 🙂


Awesome! Such a great gamer and now niche site builder too? Are you my idol? 😀

I’m more Dota 2 guy, hahaha, but I tell you if I change my territory 😀

Best of luck!


Great call guys.

Spencer thanks for putting the whole process out there! Amazing that there is enough pie to go around for everyone.

Perrin go kill it! I hope you blow past the 500$!


Thanks man!

Lindsay Collins

Awesome. I can’t wait to see how this goes. Good work Spencer. Motivated me to start brainstorming and think I found a killer idea and looks like it’s easy to rank. I noticed on you knife site you have that rating table. Just wondering how you done that? Is it a plugin or something?

Spencer Haws

Yes, the plugin is: TablePress…a free wordpress plugin. Good luck!

Lindsay Collins

I guess I should ask, Does most of your clicks/conversions come from that table or the individual articles? If you were to go back and make the site again would you add that table? I guess the answer would be yes because if not you would have just removed it.

One other question, sorry. When I am using Long Tail Pro and I am analyzing the competition, am I seeing results from Canada (where I am) or for the US? Any way to change that if so?


Hey Spencer, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and would like to say that this has really inspired me. I’m really looking forward to seeing you and Perrin’s journey throughout this process.

I love the fact that this challenge is relatable to so many of us and thank you for putting this out there.

I’ve created a few niche sites in the past and am ready to give it another go so, I’ll be building my own right along with you guys.

Spencer Haws

Thank you Hermine! Glad that this process is inspiring you…I really do hope to help people jump start their own business and find success!


Besides the main videos, the idea of also including questions and answers that go back an forth is good, because a good tutorial shows all the steps involved in a project, with no steps left out.

Video is a richer medium than text. You get to have more back and forth discussion, hear tone of voice, etc.

Instead of having transcripts of emails that go back and forth, how about simply producing the occasional “Q&A Video #1…”

The would allow the entire case study to be in one format – a series of videos.

Spencer Haws

We are going to do coaching calls once per week – which we will review the questions. However, I still suspect some questions via email that we may not specifically cover via video…but it will all be documented somehow.


Hey Spencer,
Your blog is awesome.
I gone thr NSP1 details and it was amazing.
I hv also some big ideas and 2-3 niche ideas to start.

However after reading your blog I am looking to work on my niche idea parallel to NSP2, so that I can learn and implement same on my niche website. And hopefully to get $500/month :-).

Looking for more interesting stuff on NSP2.




You are doing great with the NSP2. Would like you to stick with the same format as you are following right now. Lost interest in Pat’s NSD2 due to the big mess there.

Just one suggestion/wish : please publish the transcript too along with the podcast.


Spencer Haws

Thanks NK. I don’t think I’ll be doing transcripts though…takes too long.


That’s perfectly understandable. But, how about a little bit clearer pronunciation (especially Perrin)… would be a great help for some of us, non native english speakers. Sorry for asking, maybe too much.
Anyway, your work is so great and useful, I have to thank you so much.

Jawbone Up Tips

You are using the skills of podcasting on this! Way to go man! Do you have transcript?


Keyword research is the most important part of the process as mentioned a million times. and i’ve learned to apply quite a few criteria’s on them following long tail classroom, the first niche website project and using longtail pro to find keywords for the websites i build sofar. The gray area however ( and by grey i mean, some keywords turn out to rank way easier than others while meeting the same initial criteria’s) stay grey to me. Do you have an explanation for this Spencer? Is it a gamble at some point? Hope you can adress this point is the niche website project 2… Maybe give a percentage of failure for keywords that seemed as good as any other but didnt work out in the end. Or maybe point out thing’s that people seem to overlook a lot when picking keywords.?

and good luck Perrin, I’ll be following, as always,

forgive the possible bad spelling/grammer, i’m from the Netherlands / Amsterdam.

Spencer Haws

Sure, its a business – so there is always some gamble/risk. That’s why its a tough business.


I’ve started to rely more and more on Spencer, and less on Pat Flynn since he started this NSD 2.0 at SPI.

Spencer use an approach that everyone can learn and apply quite straight forward. Of course it still needs a lot of work, but anyway I get the sence that almost anyone can do it.

Regarding Pat Flynn, he has e.g. bought an domain that is several years old for his NSD 2.0. It already has quite some authority and backlinks as well. (I figured out the domain is BTW…). Of course it’s not cheating, but it’s not very easy to copy. Also, Pat tends to shift his strategy from day to day (actually he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing…). A couple of months ago he send out an email explaining how to make the best out of article directories. Recently he announced that this strategy maybe shouldn’t be used at all…


Excellent first video. While I’ve read most of the information on NP already, it’s always nice to have a reaffirmation of the basics of getting started. I think you could have stressed how important it is for folks like Perrin and myself, to WRITE GOALS DOWN before starting a project. Have these goals in an easy to locate place and to frequently review this document, perhaps each day before you set down to work. By reinforcing the goals, you allow yourself to really determine if what you are currently doing moves you towards accomplishing the goals.

Very interested to see how you handle the keyword research portion. With LongTail Pro premium, it’s easy to see someone simply putting in a bunch of words and really focusing on the KC column, rather than understanding how that calc was derived and why it makes sense. This is the area where I really struggle in figuring out what makes an attractive keyword truly a good keyword.

I do wish you had a forum, if not for this project, but in general. I like the idea of folks being able to have an ongoing conversation, something that is difficult to do via these comments. I think you have a big enough audience that it could thrive, even without the momentum of this project.

If you don’t do a forum, what sites do you find helpful to seek community advice from? Anything on Reddit perhaps?


Thanks, Johnny!

Agreed. As a newbie, it’s really easy to just focus on the KC coumn; in fact, I think that’s one of the mistakes I made in my first sites (before NSP 2). This time around, which you’ll see in the next third video probably, I kept track of 8 different data points. I tracked those 8 data points onto 10 different keywords I found using LongTail Pro.

So, while the KC metric is a great guide and can point you in the right direction, I think it’s important to dig a little deeper.

Spencer Haws

Yes, write your goals down…for sure! I’m not doing a forum; its decided. There are lots of internet marketing forums – just do a google search.

Lindsay Collins

I’m finding it extremely hard to find any good keywords that do not have mostly popular e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and so on. Low Page Authority, Low Juice Page Links but lots of e-Commerce sites ranking in top 10.


Hey Lindsay. 🙂

How are you searching? I just finished my keyword research for the next video. I ran into this, too, and found a couple ways around it. Maybe I can help. 🙂


Hey Perrin,

Mostly I’ve just been plugging in products into LTP, but I think I have found a way around it, which is what Spencer said “adding best or review”. I discovered this on my own but good to see it confirmed a way around. If you have any other tricks it would be great :p btw, I know you are new and under Spencer’s wing at the moments but I thought of getting a few people togather on skype to help each other out, like a little group chat. my Skype is Newff87.

Spencer Haws

Try adding adjectives to ecommerce words, like review or best or cheap. Or get away from product keywords and go informational…how to… This will help you avoid ecommerce results.

Jake Hess

Just downloaded the call and I’m listening to it. Just 5 minutes in and I’m already taking frantic notes.

Great Info.

Keep it up..




Awesome. Hope you’re following along with your own site. 🙂

Spencer Haws

Thanks Jake!


This is awesome stuff and I’m glad round 2 has started. I’m new to niche sites and, having attempted building my first, I fell flat on my face from not doing better keyword analysis. This truly is the place to make sure to do heavy work in to set the foundation.

Question – I’ve found a niche where the anchor keyword is searched heavily “how to…”, totaling 5 words. Long URL main pages is to be avoided even when “how to..” is a highly searched term with low KC, correct? Is it best to find a shorter, low KC, keyword and somehow use the phrase that is searched for somewhere in one of the articles?

Spencer Haws

You can do either. But if its a 5 word phrase, maybe just get a domain that brandable, rather than 5 words long.


Hey Jared!

Glad you’re following along. Of course, I’m still learning, too, so everyone (and Spencer!) please correct me if I’m wrong…

The length of the keyword doesn’t matter. We often reference long-tail keywords, and in the video, Spencer advises me to use a keyword-length filter. But, that’s just because low-competition keywords TEND to have more words in them. However, the length is incidental.

If you’ve found a keyword with low competition and high volume, go for it! If part of that keyword is “How to…” then target the whole thing, including the “How to.”

And remember, the KC metric in LongTail Pro is a great indicator for good keywords, but you should look at all the other stuff, too (some of those data points are mentioned here, but a more detailed process will be outlined in the next installment).

Is this right, everyone?

Keep us updated, Jared! 🙂


Hey Perrin, love your posts but want to point out that Long Tail Keywords does not mean long keywords. A quick Google search should explain what people mean when they say long tail. Sorry if I mistaken in thinking you were unaware of that.

Spencer Haws

That’s correct Lindsay. Long Tail Keywords does NOT mean a long phrase. It means low search volume – in comparison to something else (a head term). I’ve written about this alot in the past.

Ryan Cote

Hey Spencer, I love this case study format with the recorded coaching calls. Very helpful!


This is great. I agree with Ryan the case study with the recorded coaching is fantastic. This allows us all to participate as we follow along. I’m a little behind so I best get busy. Just wanted to say thanks to both of you for letting us look over your shoulder.

Mike W.

This is great!

I have already read all the posts ahead of this one (Nov 27th being the latest) and I am going to start following along.

All the best!



Hi all, I know I’m a little late to the game here but I’m going to follow along and make my own site. Can’t wait to get started. 🙂

Spencer Haws

Welcome aboard!


Can I use amazon affilate (US) if I am from Europe (Poland)?

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