How to Make Your Niche Website Stand Out: Coaching Call 5 with Spencer and Samara

By Spencer Haws |

Welcome back to another coaching call for Niche Site Project 3.0!

Samara is making some great progress with her site and is about ready to start publishing content! Today’s coaching call is all about figuring out a vision for your website, how to make it unique, and a basic branding discussion.

As you may recall, during our last call we discussed in-depth keyword research.  Samara was left with the assignment to find 20 low competition keywords using the methods shown during our last call.

I’m happy to report that Samara SMASHED that assignment and found closer to 100 great keywords to target!  The other students might need to watch out, Samara is the real deal folks!

Now that she has her keywords in hand, I felt like we needed to discuss some bigger picture strategies before she just starts posted articles all willy-nilly.

Some of the big picture items that we discuss:

Overall, I think this is a very valuable call and hope you will listen in.

Samara’s Thoughts…

What’s up everybody?

Well here we are on coaching call no. 5, and as Spencer says, “It’s about to get real!” The call might have been on the shorter side, but it still packs a punch!

As I mentioned to Spencer, looking for keywords was totally addictive. I was supposed to find 20, but I went ahead and found more than 100. Once I got into a groove, I couldn’t stop; in fact, I had to be physically removed from my desk! Alcohol and cigarettes have nothing on keyword research!

Today we talked about the big picture. Spencer says it’s important to set out the vision you have for your business from the get-go. This is actually something of a challenge, since I initially thought we were just going to build a regular ‘ole niche site and call it a day. Before the project started, I hadn’t considered the possibility of creating a brand or developing my own product, so it’s hard for me to get my head around that. But that being said, the idea is so freaking exciting. Who wouldn’t want to try to build a long-term business and grow it over time into something big?

As you guys can see in the video, Spencer served up a lot of food for thought in this call. It was helpful to be told to approach my vision statement by answering the question “What problem is your site solving?” It’s easy to get caught up in picking a niche and then rushing to put a site together, but it’s vitally important to figure out what you’re adding to the conversation. How are you helping? What have you got for people? In the past I think I tried to build a site that catered more to Google than to the general public, which was probably part of the reason it was a total flop.

It’s also important to find a way to stand out, especially in the niche I’m going into, which seems especially saturated. Spencer gave two really good examples of gimmicks, so I have to get to thinking about my unique value proposition. I think this part will be fun, as I like to think outside the box.

I’m glad to hear that Google doesn’t give preference to exact match domains. Anyway, an EDM wouldn’t really be brandable, so I need to come up with something short, catchy, memorable and clever that’s specific to my niche but broad enough to allow me to cover a wide range of material. Sounds like a cinch!

When Spencer pulled up the slide about WordPress, I have to admit I felt ill. Roughly 99% of my previous experiences with the platform have all involved lengthy chats with customer support, an insane amount of swearing and, eventually, tears. As a result, it’s very exciting to just have someone tell me what kind of theme I’m going to want to install and to provide guidance during the process.

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Spencer has given me about a thousand assignments. From the logo to the voice of my site to the About Us page, there’s a lot to think about and many a decision to be made. I better get to work!

Watch the Coaching Call

If you would like to watch the entire coaching call, please do so below.  Or if you would rather just listen to the audio, please download it here.

Coaching Call 5: Vision Statement and Developing a Brand

Assignment from Call 4

Vision Statement


How to Make Your Website Stand Out

Brandable Domain Names


WordPress Theme


Developing a Voice

Again, this depends on your angle and brand of your website – they should align.

Assignments for Call 5

Your Thoughts

As always, I hope that you have found some value as you watched this coaching call!  If you have any additional thoughts or questions, please leave a comment below.  Thanks!

Stories & Projects | 44 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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Great podcast! Spencer gave me some of the direction and focus that I’ve been missing, but now I am back on track! The only thing I would change is the hosting provider. Currently, Bluehost has a technical issue with the server that is hosting my websites and they can not give an estimated repair time. So, my sites have been down for the past 2 days !!!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Jim! Hope Bluehost gets things figure out for you. Lots of other hosting providers out there that are great.


this is completely different than the approaches taught by others. Very interesting, especially the ‘tone’ and ‘voice’ of your website. thanks for this.

Your previous niche site on survival knife did mention that you needed a domain name that has the exact same main keyword of your website. Why did you change your take on this?

Spencer Haws

Here’s an article I wrote about 2 years ago that explains why using keywords in the domain is not necessary anymore:


Can I ask a question? As soon as you install a theme on a Bluehost account, will it then be “live”? Should you wait until you have written a certain number of articles before getting Bluehost and a Theme?

Spencer Haws

Yes, it will be live. No need to wait. No one is going to find your new site, and google won’t penalize a site for being “blank” for a while.


Man you guys are relentless. Pushing out the content like CRAY-ZEE.

I really enjoy the new NicheSite challenge. 🙂

Spencer Haws

Glad you are enjoying it!


nice couching call 5 indeed!

um I think i should speed up my process, start build site or maybe lose this opportunity again

good luck to all of us

Spencer Haws

Thanks David!


Great going and lot of helpful information.

Any reason that only .com is preferred for the domain name?

Spencer Haws

.com is the most well know and easiest to brand. However, all domains will rank just as well in Google.


Another great post from spencer and samara. Am also launching my blog and following steps as this coaching call keeps going as well.

Cant wait to get exclusive results and share here.

Another Mike

Will there be anything this time around about webpage conversion optimization? Some 30% of the webpages might be monetized and some of those will be by reviews, I expect. There are all sorts of review web-pages on the internet – I’m sure some layouts are more lucrative than others, even for basically the same sort of information.
What sort of conversion rates might you expect on an affiliate page? And have you noticed big differences just by presenting the material differently?

Spencer Haws

We may or may not ever get around to doing conversion rate optimization.


Hi Spencer, when choosing the theme what category i will choose or magazine or ………………etc..
because i’m confused, there are many awesome premium theme out there.

Spencer Haws

Blog, magazine…it doesn’t really matter the style of theme you chose.

Hung The

Hi Spencer,

Hope you can answer my questions, I really confused about keyword research progress?

1. Take an example, my keyword I want to rank for is “best survival knife”. Now I need to find more longtail keywords (example: flashlight survival knife, fire survival knife). Does need “buying kw” before them? (Such as: “best flashlight survival knife” or only “survival knife”)

2. As you told, “At least 3 keywords with search volume of 1,000”. Has forced the main keywords or longtail?

I’m hope you can help me out this issues. Thank you so much.

Spencer Haws

1. no
2. I don’t understand the question.


Hey Spencer great post it’s good to see you guys considering your sites voice. The NSP 3.0 journey is excellent and it’s great to get the coaches different view on things, but with that being said, I’m wondering when we will be getting coaching call #4 from Perrin and Colleen?

Spencer Haws

Probably next week.


Nice post Spencer,I too started a adsense micro niche site couple of weeks back.It was doing well(I think)


Great post as always. You guys are really being helpful with this challenge. Though I have been able to follow along previous challenges as well but this one seems more existing probably I am progressing too.
Thing about Samara I like the most is that she puts everything in words. I hardly get time checking the video, though that can be the most helpful thing but by just going through the notes helps me save my much needed time. Thanks Samara for that.

Spencer Haws

Glad you enjoy the blog posts!


Hi and thank you for this project. I am really enjoying following along and learning.
Quick question – Is putting the words …over forty or… over fifty at the end of a domain name going to make the site too limiting, in so far as someone might see, over forty and click off right away? Really interested to know the answer to this or even if there is an answer.

Spencer Haws

Yes. I wouldn’t put anything like “over 40 or 50 in the domain name. Make a brandable domain (without keywords in it usually), rather than worrying about keywords in your domain.


Thank you. I have been thinking about this for some time so can put it right out of my head now


Thanks Spencer.
This is quite interesting… You have covered some of the major aspects of developing a great website that we often miss!
I’ll surely put this into perspective as I continue with my quest for more sites.


I have a question about branding. What if the name I want to be my brand, is actually out there somewhere in the internet, but nothing big though? Can I use it and is there a way to make it legally only mine?

Andrew King

Thanks Spencer for these powerful notes! My website will stand out and I’m happy to say you are my mentor!


mm.. i am accepting..


Hi Spencer,
I have recently signed up for Long Tail Pro, and I have yet to get around exploring it. But I know I have found something really good in LTP 🙂

However, I have some questions.

How do I go about creating an online business, perhaps not an eCommerce store that carries physical products that I have to keep stock of and ship? I was thinking of a niche site/blog that has affiliate links that can be profitable for it to work. Or is this niche site/blog route too slow and needs long term planning and building for it to earn anything, if at all?

Could you provide some advice?
Or is all about finding that profitable niche(s) and to eventually create your own eCommerce stores that carry physical inventories?

Thanks, Alan


Hi Sir,

Great ans super sureshot tips. Thanks for sharing.


Doug Cunnington

Hey Spencer, you guys are pumping out so much new content! Great work! It’s hard to keep up. 🙂

Hey Samara, I know exactly what you mean about WordPress! This time will be better. 🙂
“Roughly 99% of my previous experiences with the platform have all involved lengthy chats with customer support, an insane amount of swearing and, eventually, tears.”


Spencer, just curious, not complaining, just asking is the focus of the podcast going to be about building out the niche sites with students for a while?


Hi Spencer, I really love your coaching calls and have a more advanced question about keyword research. You always recommend targeting low comp keywords.

Once you establish an online presence, how do you identify higher comp keywords you can rank for. Your own site for example has PA and DA that is around the 40-50’s I believe do you then target keywords that have sites ranking with less than your DA and PA or can you shed some light on it for an established site?

Thanks in advance, Joy


Hi, I think I know abit about WordPress because I am a web developer. Actually this above test is very nice to guide other people as a key and to alert their works..Hahaha

Odhora Khan

Another great case study you produced.Thanks for sharing!

Tony Hilsden

Have been following the great training and have LTP… planning 2 new Niche sites.

I note that many of the reference links and podcasts for the various steps in creating Niche sites were made in 2013… So, are they still accurate in 2016 or have things changed, if so what do we need to be aware of ?
Thanks for the abundance of knowledge shared….

Spencer Haws

The information in this project 3.0 is the most up to date.

Sifat Shahariar

Hi Spencer,

Thanks a lot for your amazing coaching. I have few questions in my mind regarding website layout. What is the ideal layout for a niche site? Do you recommend magazine type layout or simple blog layout with latest 5/10 post? Or a simple static homepage with 1 pillar article? Looking forward to hearing from you. :)

Spencer Haws

Magazine, static, or blog are all fine.

S. Andrew

Can you clarify which thrive product to buy? In the article it says thrive themes but the link takes me to thrive content builder. What do you mean by “complimentary”?

I’m about to purchase thrive content builder but am unsure if that’s what you were recommending?

Spencer Haws

Yes, thrive content builder.

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