Income Report for 90-day Old Sites

By Spencer Haws |

A common question that I get from readers is how quickly can they expect new niche sites to start making money.  My answer is that is can be as quick as 2 weeks or it can take as long as 90 days.  However, my rule of thumb is that usually by 90 days you can tell whether or not a site is going to be a big earner or not.  But can sites actually start earning any significant money after only 90 days?  Absolutely!

Today, I am going to do something a bit different and post the income of the 21 new sites that I created in August of this year.  These sites are now all right about 90 days old. As you will see below, these sites are doing VERY well.  I do NOT always do this well with new sites, but this is indeed what has been going on with my sites from August of this year.  So if niche websites are dead, someone forgot to tell me about it.

Before I go into the numbers, I wanted to share how I found my keywords and built the sites.  I did my keyword research using my standard methods with Long Tail Pro (my keyword research software).  I also did a lot of analysis on the top 10 competitors in Google which is by far the most important thing to look at to determine whether or not you can rank well.  However, I have to admit that I strayed a bit from my usual search volume and CPC metrics.

Search Volume and CPC

Typically I say that if you think you can rank in the top 3, you can target a keyword that gets 1,000 exact match local searches per month and has a CPC of $1 or more.  However, if you only think you can rank below #3, you need to step up the search volume to 3,000 or more.  However, I now look at is as a sliding scale.  So, the ideal situation is at least 3k searches with a CPC of $1 or more.

However, I am now accepting keywords with a lower CPC if they have higher search volume.  So, if the CPC is only $0.50 but it gets 6,000 search per month and I think I can rank on the first page of Google, I will go after it.  Make sense?  So, if the CPC is only $0.25 but the search volume is 12,000 per month I would take it as well.  Remember, this is not an exact science but these are some very general guidelines that I followed. I still stuck with over $1 CPC for the most part on my sites from August, but in September and October I have built more sites that have less than $1 CPC.

So, what is occurring with a couple of these new sites from August is that I am not making as much per click, but I am getting a lot more search volume and therefore more clicks.  So, I am making just as much or more than some of my other niche sites that have a higher paying CPC.

What About Exact Match Domains?

I have always said that exact match domains are preferred, but NOT required.  About half of the 21 sites that I created in August are NOT exact match domains.  I have simply added a suffix to the keyword to create a unique domain name.  So, if my keyword is “spencer likes honeycombs” then my domain name might be  So, don’t get too hung up on finding an exact match domain!  Its not that critical – most of my sites overall are not exact match domains because its hard to find the domains.  In addition, Google is placing less and less emphasis on having an exact match domain in the search results.

So, I simply find a great keyword in Long Tail Pro that gets a good search volume and CPC.  Then I analyze the top 10 competition (using the criteria I linked to above), if it looks like I can rank, then I check for the exact match domain.  If the domain is not available, I just create a domain with a suffix and build the site.  I hope I’m clear on this point.

Rankings and Earnings

I thought it would be interesting to break down the numbers both in terms of where I am ranking on Google for my primary keywords and the earnings by individual site.  This will give you a good idea of not only how well some sites are ranking, but the distribution of earnings for the sites.  In addition, I have included the local exact match search volume (US) and the CPC of the keywords that are ranking.  This will give you plenty of data to analyze and take a peek into the types of sites I am building and making money from. All of the earnings are for last month (October 2011).

So, the sites that I created in August, earned me approximately $1,816.19 last month!  So, I really won’t have what they are truly earning after 90 days until at the end of this month, but this will give you a good idea of how well these sites are doing.  Overall, I am currently ranking #1 in Google for 5 of my chosen keywords!  The ones with the * next to them on ranking are sites that just started ranking #1 this month, so I expect the earnings to be much higher for these sites for the month of November.  All of the rankings listed are as of today.

In the search volume column you will notice 2 sites with an *.  The first one is a site that will only get searches for the next 2 years or so.  The search volume is increasing quite a bit right now and I expect is really closer to 3k per month or so, and I knew this would be the case when I chose the keyword.  The second * is for a keyword that I knew got good search volume because of my analytics on a different account.  So, I think its easily over 1k/mth for this keyword.

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You will also notice that I only listed 20 sites above.  One of the domains I bought actually hasn’t been fully developed yet, so I can’t really include that.  There is no content on the site yet.

Obviously about half the income is coming from one site!  You might just say I got lucky with one site.  Well, even without my top earning site, I still made close to $1,000 from the remaining 19 sites!  That’s approximately $50 per site per month!  This is highly profitable.  According to my number with expenses, etc. any small niche site that makes over about 5 or $6 per month is profitable (this could be a huge discussion).  So this truly is money in the bank even without the top earning site.

With all the 20 sites listed, the average is $90.81 per site.  This is HUGE!  I expect my earnings for the month of November to be quite a bit better as well because I just recently reached number 1 on a few sites AND I have been adding new content to my top earning site.

I recently wrote that building niche sites is a numbers game.  This breakdown gives you a perfect example of how some sites are winners and others are losers.  Three of my sites did not make any money at all in October.  However, on average the sites are doing very well.  And because I build a large number of sites I now have 4 new sites all making me over $100 per month.  I was also able to gain a site that earns about $1,000 per month.  This seems to occur for me about 1 to 2% of the time.

Future Plans for These Sites

Some of these sites will be developed further, some sites will be sold, some sites will just sit and earn a recurring revenue.  Some of the higher earnings sites, such as the #1 site will get additional content and will be developed further.  I have already begun this process by adding around 20 articles to the site.  Depending on the individual potential of each site, others may get additional content as well.

I also plan on selling a few of these sites on Flippa or elsewhere in the coming couple of months.  I have sold a few sites in the past; 2 to private buyers, and 1 on Flippa – so I do have a very small amount of experience here.  I am interested in seeing how some of these sites will sell, so I will keep you posted as I move forward with my plans for that.

Finally, I didn’t stop building sites in August!  I have built more than 20 sites in both September and October.  The sites from September are starting to show some promise already and my September sites are too new to see any returns yet.  I will be building more sites in November as I continue to build my business.

If you are interested, I can also post the earnings for these sites in detail like this for the month of November.  What do you think?

Anyway, I hope you have found this massive amount of data both interesting and useful.  I want to be clear that I usually do not have such a high earnings on average for my sites.  But perhaps I’m getting better a keyword research?  The reality is that sometimes no matter what you do your site is not going to earn much and other times with very little effort, some sites will do extremely well when building small niche sites.

Do you have any additional questions?  Please let me know your thoughts below!

Stories & Projects | 286 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?

Yes! I Love to Learn

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Do you ever use .info, .me or other TLDs? Do you think they can’t rank as high or do you just prefer not to use them?


Todd – I do not use anything besides .com, .net, and .org. I just haven’t experimented much and don’t want to change how I am doing things as it appears to be working. So, its possible that other TLDs could work – I just haven’t used them.


Well i have larger number of infos. Some of them are ranking well. So, i can say info works, if we work and do serious work.

Steve Eason

Great information and highly appreciated. This really shows the great potential of a well researched keyword. Great results, and I would love to see more data next month.


Alright, thanks for letting me know you would be interested in seeing more data for next month! Thanks Steve! (Hope Portland is treating you well…)


Wow men, SIte 1 Rocks! , I would like to know how much it would make on Top 1!


Yep, it would do VERY well at #1.



How can a site with Rank 11 rank earn so high?

Something is fishy out here..

Please explain


Yes, there is an explanation for that. I shared this in a previous post a couple of weeks ago. That site ranks #11 for the keyword I was targeting that gets about 9900 searches per month, but it also ranks 11 or 12 for a very similar keywords that gets nearly 200k searches per month. So, a huge portion of my traffic is coming from a related keyword that gets much higher search volume. Hope that explains it – nothing fishy 🙂


Hey Spencer,

We run across situations like this too…especially as they relate to image results and ranking very well for (what I assume is) heavy image search. Images searches have an extremely low CTR, we’ve noticed. There are scripts you can put on the site that break Google’s frame, getting them directly to the page that help.

I was wondering…are you capitalizing on that 200K search term that you seem to be ranking fairly well for? Seems like opportunity in the making! 🙂 We’ve built sites around secondaries we’ve found worthwhile and had it worked out…I’m sure you’ve done this as well.



I’ve seen the same thing for image searches as well. Sometimes you can get some decent traffic from these, but the CTR is not good at all.

Well, since I am already ranking well for the keyword with 200k searches, I am going to start building more links etc related to that keyword rather than building a new site. I think I should be able to do pretty well that way…


Hey Justin,

Thanks for sharing that! I found the plugin and it is called “Break out of Frames”. Didn’t know you could do this! I get a ton of search traffic to my a few of my niche sites and didn’t think there was a way to convert this kind of traffic better. Much appreciated!


This is absolutely fascinating. Thanks, Spencer! I think it just shows how, as much as we want to predict how well a site will do, we really can only estimate. I’m working on a big rollout of Adsense sites right now and can’t wait to see my 90-day results. 🙂


Best of luck Jessica!


Also, on link building. How many article submissions do you send for each website? Do you spin multiple links inside a single article? For example your niche site has five articles so you submit a spun article for each page or one article submission with spinning links inside?

Yes, I have a ton of questions still. I think I need a direct line. 🙂


I am essentially doing 3 articles on and 3 articles on Unique Article Wizard. I do not spin the links – however, other parts of the article are usually spun. I think I am going to do a detailed post about backlinking soon.


A detailed backlinking post would be VERY helpful. Just to validate what I’m currently doing or so I know to stop wasting my time.


I don’t post much but I am a regular reader. I think that the most difficult part for me is the backlinking. I would like to see a detailed post explaining how you do you backlinking. Things like where do you get them from, what kinds of links, the frequency, etc.

I don’t mind paying to use a network like UAW, but I don’t want to waste money on a network that doesn’t perform well. You seem to like UAW, but I have other people say that it doesn’t work well anymore. It would be nice to see what is working for you.


Alright, I will plan on doing a post…stay tuned!


If you’re taking any more post requests, I would love to see a post about Flippa. I find it useful for locating niches/sites which are easy to replicate, but I know that there are a lot of faked profits and scam sellers on there too.


I would really appreciate more info on backlinking and how you go about organising that. Do you use an outsourcer to do all that for you or just get on with it yourself?

Links to any resources you use would be much appreciated.

Thanks for all the great info and congrats on your sites.


What do you mean by “spin the links”? Are you saying create one article and put in links to your five pages on your site? I’m curious because I’m in the process of getting my first four or five sites started in the back-linking process and just wondering what methods I should be considering.

Also, Spencer – do you spin your articles from your sites and submit those to the directories you mentioned in your reply below, or do you create new articles and spin those and back-link them to your niche sites?

Thanks in advance,


Nice job!
Are you using the same backlinking method for all the sites? Are you using any new backlinking methods?


I’m also curious about this. Awesome results.


I am using the same backlinking methods. As mentioned above I am going to do another post on link building.


That would be totally awsome Spencer! Waiting for this. Thanks for all of your hard work you put into this blog. It’c life-changer for many people.


Are these strictly being monetized with Adsense or are you using other programs?


These are all adsense only sites.


Good to see that those sites are bringing in some great income after a couple of months. I definitely wouldn’t argue with an extra $1800 in the bank! Definitely a major motivator (as I’m trying to expand my site builds as well).

Looking forward to seeing how your these and your September/October sites will be performing in a few months time!



Thanks Bryan – Best of luck expanding your site building!


Wow, impressive results Spencer. Thanks for going into some of the details.

You touched on it a bit towards the end when you mentioned adding 20 articles to the top site. I’m assuming most of these sites still have your standard 5-10 articles that you start with…?

It’s interesting how extremely low CPC keywords ($0.18) can still bring in a nice bit per month given #1 rankings and good search volume.


I actually did things a bit different here with the amount of content as well. I meant to go into this, but I will save this for another post. But essentially I started each site with 1 article that was 750+ words long that targeted my primary keyword. So most of these sites only have 1 article on them. I am always experimenting and this brings the intial investment down so I can build more sites. The plan is to see which sites rank quickly and start earning money and THEN add additional articles. I think I have only added additional content to the one site I mentioned, but I have plans to add more to others. This really needs a full blog post as it is a new method I tried starting in August – to see if a 1 page site could rank well – turns out they can!

Also, the experiment with CPC is interesting as well. I think that there are some related keywords that pay more that is also contributing to the earnings as I often get clicks that are more than $0.18 on this site. (Usually less, but sometimes more).

Shae Bynes

Spencer, this is an excellent and highly detailed post! Thanks for sharing the 90-day results….I’m actually blown away that some of these sites have only 1 article on them. The thing I’m having the most challenge with is getting the backlinking formula right…in terms of being most effective from a speed to high rank and cost perspective. My 90-day sites are making money, but are looking more like sites 13-16 right now 😉


Thanks Shae!


Dude. 1 article. Aren’t you risking the de-index hammer?


🙂 I live in perpetual fear of mass de-indexation


I’ll get around to adding more content…don’t worry 🙂


Wow 1article. So much for the google thin site feat. Do you have any 1page sites older than90days that have continued to rank? Just goes to show the power of backlinks. Ditto om the request for backlinking post


Actually I personally think it shows the power of keyword choice not back linking. But both are important.

Lindsay |

I also seen Trent post about this and I think it’s a great idea,instead of purchasing around 2500 words for each site at first you only have to purchase 750. If the site ranks and the keyword pays you then know if it’s worth throwing in more investment. Looking forward to your posts about this experiment.


Unreal man, this blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I love getting an inside look at how others are running their businesses.


Thanks Tipjar!


Great results, Spencer!

I’d be interested to know more about:
– the amount of content you put on these sites
– what you did to rank them over the 90 day period
– what you do for each of these sites on an ongoing basis

You’re so right about it being a numbers game, the bit I’m finding hard is scaling my processes up to enable sites to be produced en masse like this. Would love to hear more.

Cheers and great to see you doing so well!



For the amount of content, see my comment to Daniel above. Also, see my comment to Todd above for linkbuilding. So, far I have not done anything other than linkbuilding to the sites on an ongoing basis. I have a VA that does all the linkbuilding for me. The only way to scale this business is to outsource. I hire articles writers and I have a full-time VA that builds the blogs, sets up the sites, and builds links. I still do most of the keyword research myself – I have experiemented a bit with a VA doing some initial keyword research. But I am back to doing it all myself.


thanks Spencer – sorry for some reason when I wrote my comment at 5am or so my time I didn’t see all the other comments that had already asked the same questions!


Thanks Spencer for another incredible post!, of course I would like to know how these sites perform in November :D.

Please, tell us about what kind of link building you did for these sites, I know you already have a post on this subject, but, give us just a few words 🙂

Thanks again for such a great post!



Hey Daniel – thanks!
I submit 3 articles to and 3 articles to UAW. That’s about it. Drip feed at 20 posts per day on UAW (as slow as possible). I will be doing a full post on this.


Hi Spencer,

With regards to UAW and MAN (yes I know I’m jumping the gun), Do you have the links pointing directly to the money site? Or to other sites that then link to your money site? I think it should be mandatory for visitors to read the comments just as much as your blog posts themselves!

Steve Roy

This is really inspiring stuff! I’m very interested in creating multiple niche sites and your methods are easy to understand,which is really helpful!

I’m curious though, how do you keep track of all your sites/earnings? Is there a program for that?
You must have hundreds of sites!


Since all of my earnings come from Adsense, I just run a report from within adsense – so its very easy! The report shows how much each site earned. Only took me a little while to remove any sites from the report that were not created in August.

[email protected]

I have a ton of questions.

How many articles per site.

How many backlinks per site ( I know you outsource but well).

Is this how I should go-buy 10 domains-(I now have 4) and then write an article a day for each site?

When do I start building backlinks just randomly..

Maybe I should print all the niche articles and evrything and just go through. I am using the video that you gave and that has helped a lot.



Grace – I have answered in the comments here answers to your first 2 questions. (They were added after you posted).
Buying 10 domains is how I personally do things, but may not be the best strategy for everyone. Some people will do better just buying 1 domain and focusing all their energy there.


Hi Spencer – just curious what you mean by buying 10 domains. Do you mean you buy 10 domains at a time to get the volume discount at Go Daddy or do you mean you buy multiple domains to backlink to your primary site?


Eric – I was responding to Grace where she was essentially asking if she should buy a large quantity of domains at once and work on all of them (she could have use the number 8, 12, 20 or anything – but she just arbitrarily said 10). I was just saying yes, I buy lots of domains and work on all of them at once.

I wasn’t referring to any bulk discount – although you do get one for 6 domains or more. I actually have a membership to the domain discount club on godaddy – so all my domains are right around $7.50 each.


But I do have some additional questions..

How much did it cost to develop/get these sites developed? Are they pretty meaty sites with lots of content (especially site #1)?

What kind of backlinking methods were executed in getting these sites ranked and earning what they are?

What kind of theme are using for these sites – CTR Theme, Prosense, or something else (assuming these are monetized with Adsense)?


As explained in a comment above, these sites all have just 1 article on theme except the top earning site which I just added 20 articles. So each site with articles, domain, VA, linkbuilding subscriptions, etc cost right around $60 to $75. It really is hard to calculate per site because the VA does alot of the work across lots of sites and I also have monthly subscription to UAW and MyArticleNetwork, etc. But this $60 to $75 is MAX what these cost to build.


Do you use the same theme..what’s your favorite?


Spencer – Awesome!! Way to kill it. Are you building these all on your own or are you outsourcing? I know you outsource content, but I’m wondering more about keyword research or backlinking.

Keep it up!


I outsource almost everything other than keyword research. So I actually spend very little time on building sites – most of my time is devoted to other projects like Long Tail Pro, this blog, and other things I have going on.

Chris Ryan

Interesting, can you tell me how do you rank for your posts… What backlinking strategy do you use? 90 day period is pretty decent and do able.. thanks


UAW and MyArticleNetwork (see comments above). Yes, its doable.

Clint Wilde

Awesome job Spencer.

Is the Search Volume and the CPC you listed come from the GoogleKeyword tool?

I would love to see your Nov results too.



Yes, its from the Google Keyword tool. Thanks for your vote on the November results! Thanks Clint!

Thomas Strock

Awesome post, Spencer! I really like the transparent, site-by-site income breakdown. I would love to see more of these for other months and how this month continues to develop!


Thanks Thomas!

Steve wyman

Hi Spencer,

Once again thanks for sharing such valuable informtation. A couple of questions if i may

1) Is there any difference in the way you build sites now against earlier this year? I assume they are fattter with more words per page and more pages?

2) Whats tha magic pixie dust you spread on the domain names and where can i buy it? (promise not to rwll anybody else :-))

3) I like your higher search volume lower CPC idea its one ive been working on for a few months as I find i can get more EMD’s that way and I’d say in general less comp as well. With you first page analysis would you agree you typically find less comp using this approach?

4) If i watched your video is there anything missing from your complete process?

5) we’ve taken about this before but whats your average or total build cost for those 20 domains ~= $2000

thanks a lot and lets hope you get to $20K in novembers.


Hey Steve great questions.
1. They actually have less pages, but the posts are longer (750 to 1000 words). See my comment above on this one.
2. I don’t know, maybe it comes from all the honeycombs I eat 🙂
3. Actually, this may be a valid point that lower CPC often have less comp. I don’t know for sure, but its seems like there are plenty of low competition keywords with high search volume and low cpc out there.
4. The video is very good in my opinion. However, it only briefly discusses link building. I plan on doing a more in depth post on this though.
5. In my comment above I pegged my cost per site at around $60 to $75. So, I would say max is around $1500 to build all 20 sites. So, I have probably already doubled my money because the sites did pretty good in September and are doing well in November.

Steve wyman

Hi Spener

Thanks for the responses. Clearly a lot of people posted at the same time!!

A lot of my questions were answered by the time mine actually showed up.. 🙂

The really really intresting thing youve done here is tested just one big page on a site. Now that really cust my costs down as I will try theis on my next batch of domains. 1 x750 is a lot less than 7-10 x 750 🙂

I have my backlinking down pat so thats ok. Im as always going to be very intrested to read your backlink stratgey article. I know its an area a lot of people struggle with. If nothing else than it getas tiresome.



Yep, less content really cuts down the costs and allows you to try lots of different niches at once.


I watched the video that you recently did with Long Tail Pro and I’d assume you used the same method here? Is your keyword you want to rank for in all the articles or just the main?


Yes, this is essentially the same method; although as discussed in a comment above I actually have less content on each site. So lots of the sites only have 1 article. But for other niche sites, I do not typically use the same primary keyword in all the article titles. Just in the main article.


For the site number 1 on #11, is it high competition on adword?


Yes it is.


But, Spencer do you sell any product or is your total income solely from Google Ad Words?


Its all from Adsense.

Fiverr Arbitrage

Hi Spencer – thanks so much for sharing this information – very helpful! And awesome results. Couple of quick questions:

1 – About how much content had you added to the above sites ?

2 – Other than adding content, how much backlinking, article submission, etc have you done to the sites ?

3 – What is your flippa username ??

thanks again


1. 1 article each for the most part.
2. 3 articles to MyArticleNetwork and 3 articles to UAW.
3. Not ready to share that just yet 🙂


Spencer, I love the figures.

Could you perhaps add a column that indicates how many articles you have on each site.

Do you start off with only 5, 10 or 20 articles and then grow depending on if the site is a hit?


I added some comments after you where I discuss how much content is on the sites; see the comments above.


great post and insights. would love more data next month.


Can you tell me the SERP competition of each site?


Hmmm, that would take a while – perhaps next month.


Hi Spenser
Great post..look forward to your backlinking post and bigger text in your post font to match the comments text size.
Do you employe someone also as building all these sites is time consuming?


Is the text size to small? Anyone else have trouble reading my posts? Never thought about that.
Yes, I employ a VA to build all the sites.

Steve wyman

the font you use is small in the post. But even with my terrible eyesighjt its ok. the comment font is much bigger.

if somebody is having a problem just zoom your screen for a quick size improvement. hold down ctrl and tap the + key…



I agree with Terry on the font size. A bit bigger helps when there is a lot of text.


Okay, thanks for the feedback – I may try out some different font sizes – I’ve just used the defaults for the theme…


Great timing from this post from Social Triggers – – He said that the font size that a web site uses is vitally important and bigger is better.

14 or 16 is the new 12.

Quinton Hamp

That’s really helpful to know. I’ve been considering going up a size on my sites.


Awesome stuff! Please do keep updating us about next month’s earnings.. It’s amazing to see that in only 90 days you get pretty much full time income. And that’s not 100 sites, 20 can be done by anyone in couple of months.. I hope that happens to me soon!

Strange to see site number 20 doing no revenue, lots of searches, ok spot on Google…what’s up with that?


As I said in the article, I don’t think everyone should expect to replicate this and I certainly don’t always get this kind of return, buts its definitely possible.

Yeah, some sites just don’t do well on the second page. Maybe it will do better this month…


I’m happy to see that you launched some sites with only 1 article of 750 words. I just launched two websites both 6k+ search volume with 1000+ on one site and 1500 on another. Didn’t do much linkbuilding tho yet. I hope large articles will pay off.

And hey, you still got half sites that will improve performance probably.

Nigel | A newbie marketer

Wow, Spencer, all I can say is what a power packed post.

Really lot of hardcore info in this post more than you find in the average no brand supermarket adsense course. I don’t expect you to reveal your niches and to be honest I wouldn’t have even revealed the numbers that you did, but this post really is starting to put the pieces together for me.

I read in another course to post twice every week for 6 weeks with articles being 1000-1500 words in size then steadily increase backlinking as the sites mature. Add adsense ads after 3-4 weeks which I always did immediately.

I’de be interested to see what you do with these set of 20 sites. I’m assuming your going to build out your winnerss and drop the duds.

Another really good point I believe this post has addresses is the REALISTIC timeframe it takes to make money with adsense 90days +.

No-one is really doing this stuff, they teach adsense but don’t actually show you examples they implemented like you did Spencer. It’s one thing to learn theory but to actually see it in real time action I think is a very important point. Teaching by example.

That’s what this post shows in detail without giving away your niches.

Great post man….



Thanks Nigel in Australia! I think you don’t always get this kind of detail from “Adsense courses” because those people don’t always really know what they are talking about. They teach but they do not actually build sites consistently. I enjoy building sites – so I enjoy sharing what I have learned along the way.

Steve wyman

Your experincing the nightmare of IM and the benefit of finding somebody like spencer.

There are guys out there earning $1000 a month on adsense selling course for $97 (and some monhtly costs!!!!) theyve made money before and can see how to doit again!! out of new people.

Whats great about spncer is we get lots of hard data with the practical teaching as well. for free…

Ofcourse he can be repaid in part by LTP purchases 🙂


I also accept donations Steve! Okay, just kidding 🙂


i seriously would give you money, love or anything you need!


Fantastic post spencer!! There’s light at the end of the tunnel!! 🙂

You built 20 sites, but how much did they cost? What do you spend on average? Would be a great follow up post!


Cary – this would be a great follow up post, I discussed in some comments above that each site cost me around $60 to $75. So I spent a max of $1500 for all the sites. This is other than the additional 20 articles I added actually. So add another $200 or $300 to that. Anyway, these sites are already very profitable and will just be money in the bank from each month here on out.


You mention that most of the sites only have one page of content. I’ve always thought that Google take such a dim view of having Adsense on a single page site that it’s why a lot of people park domains until they have time to develop something with a bit more substance. It’s why I do it anyway, but I hate to think I’m adding to the woes of the poor surfer who has to stumble around all this ‘dead’ internet landgrab looking for info. That’s on the odd occasion that a parked page surfaces at all. So… I could put a single page of content with an Adsense block on these domains instead and it’s ‘Google legal’?

Thanks for the blog, it’s one of my favourite reads. I love Long Tail Pro too, especially for competition analysis.


Its not like my sites aren’t actually answering the questions of the searcher. So, they do a search on whatever it may be and they land on a page with a 750 to 1000 word article which is actually MUCH more than most pages on alot of sites. So the query is fully answered on that one page. This is different than a parked domain that has no content on it. Of course this is Google legal – they are ranking my sites #1 after all. Its also important to point out that many of these sites may eventually have much more content on them, I just start them small.


can you give a sample of how you position your adsense ads. I have about 3 websites that I build few months back with more than 3000 searches per month. I rank number in google, I am getting traffic but somehow, I am not getting clicks….


Most of my sites will have a 300 x 280 adsense block under the title of the article either right or left justified with the text wrapping around it. I’m not sure why you are not getting clicks.


Awesome, Spencer! Am I incorrect in saying that 300×280 is not an Adsense block option?

Did you mean 336×280 or 300×250?



Sorry, I actually meant the 300 x 250 ad unit from adsense – my mistake. However, the 336 x 280 unit is also one I use sometimes as well.


Just what the doctor ordered! Great stuff Spencer you are a great example to all of us. Thank you


Hey Spencer, I’d like to know the breakdown of the costs of each site, from Domain purchase, Cost of content, and all costs for outsourcing your link building strategies. That would be a great add-on to what you invested, vs the ROI of these sites before 90 days.

Hope to hear from ya, this would be great eye opener for investors.



NM.. I read the above posts! My apologies!


ShakD – I answered some of those questions in the comments above (probably posted after you posted this). My ROI is very high; I’ve already basically doubled my money on these sites and I will probably get at least my intial investment back each month for the next 12 months. (I may sell some sites within that period of time so I don’t like to predict past about 12 months.)

Lindsay Collins

Hey Spencer,

If you took all of your sites that are not making anything or doing very poorly and analyzed them…what would you say they would have in common most likely? There has to be some reason for their poor performance so I’m wondering what can be learned from those sites. I’m guessing you have already analyzed the losers.


I wish there was a simple answer. Obviously its because they are not ranking; perhaps its because I chose poor keywords, or perhaps I over or under optimized my sites. It really could be any number of things. I guess the lessons I have learned have been internalized and basically everything on this blog is what I have learned from failures…


you have the golden touch! i have been doing kw research for the past week using LTP and nothing. i have using the same thought process using a lower CPC as long as the search volume is there. also, regarding the yahoo site explorer results. i read its going away and compared to majestic the yahoo numbers are really low. so do we use the yahoo numbers or ?


Yahoo site explorer is not going away. The links are still updated and its still reliable. They said their API is going away (which it did) – but the site itself is still there and active. Majestic SEO uses their own formula and indexing to count links. So the data is very different. I also use Yahoo Site explorer.


Woohoo!! Great month Spencer. You’re really doing great. And yeah, just like the other commenters above, I would definitely benefit from a detailed backlinking post, too. I built 5 sites in the last week of October and I would really love to see nice results within 90 days. 🙂


Okay Miggy, thanks for the input!


Great info Spencer! I definitely vote for showing the results of your next batch of niche sites next month. As a bonus, if you want to show the further progress of these 20 sites as well, I’m sure no one would complain…

I’m really glad you have a product like LTP so your readers can actually have a way to compensate you for all the free information you give. I’ve been really happy with it so far!

Regarding site #4 – are you getting a lot of traffic from sources other than your target keyword? That’s a lot of money at $.018 (or less) per click!


No, I am not getting much traffic outside of my targeted keyword. Your question made me look at my analytics to check. But 77% comes directly from my exact keyword. And really probably close to 95 percent comes from phrase match, misspellings, or essentially the same keyword.


I agree. The LTP is a GREAT resource in helping discover great keywords. I now have 5 keywords waiting to be developed into niche sites.


Hey Spencer –

Thank you again for sharing your earnings. I did find this encouraging and useful information. It gives me hope that my niche sites will make some money in the up coming months. I doubt my sites will make any money in the first month but hopefully by month 3 they will be earning something.

And YES doing more of these posts would definitely be useful. Please keep them coming!!! They are encouragement for all of us not doing as well as you are.

Thanks again.


Thanks Michael!


Hello Spencer, I really enjoy reading your blog and all the information you share. You are really a first class person for opening up your methods and numbers. I love reading real information, not hyped up garbage. It is inspiring to see what you have done. I don’t often comment but I wanted to give you my honest thank you so you will continue to post this type of information. Keep it up


Shawn, thanks for the comment. I hate hype honestly, so I’m glad to be able to share some up front and honest information with all of you. Thanks for commenting!

Online PC Backup

Great stuff Spencer.
When you say you do 3 articles to UAW, and MyArticleNetwork – are these unique articles related (but different) to the main 750 word article on the home page, with a backlink presumably to the main page domain?

And wherebaouts do you place the Adsense ads? Do you blend these into the article? and/or do you have these as text only/image only, (or both) as widgets in the sidebar?

Also, for a site that is performing after 3 months, what would you sayis the ideal timing to start adding content to the sites, given that they are effectively ‘made for adsense sites’ -do you see the additiona of extra content as being quite important within the first 3-4 months?


These are different articles that what I place on my site. I am using PLR articles that I distribute to UAW and MyArticleNetwork. They are not always related to the same content that is on my site.

Ads are in the content. See me comment above about my primary ad that I place. I do both text and image ads. I usually have a sidebar widget with an ad as well!

If the site is performing well, then after a few months it may be a good idea to add content as I discussed doing with my top earning site here.


How are you monitoring your rankings? Thanks!


I use both Long Tail Pro and Rank Checker for


WOW! Great post Spencer!

Here’s another vote for backlinking process, even though you said only 3 MAN & 3 UAW.

Because of all the Panda updates, I’ve added many different types of links into my backlinking process. But if we’re targeting these low competition type terms, maybe that’s all not necessary.

Let the good times roll!


Spencer, can you use a prefix instead of suffix in your URL?

for example:


type of sites?



Yes, a prefix is just fine. In fact, as I look at my sites I did have 1 prefix from the month of August. My #4 site listed above is a prefix domain.


also would love to see how you backlink too. this seems to be where I lack.


Great Income Report. I am both impressed and depressed at the same time. I bought my first batch of sites in September, but so far I have only earned about $4.00, $3 in that first week and $0 the past few days. I have good onpage SEO (i think), and some of my sites are ranking around 10-20 but the volume is so low that I need to get them to the top 5.

I would love to read another article about link building strategy. I’m kind of going CRAZY being pulled in so many different directions when it comes to link building.


Kevin – I sorry to depress you 🙁 Hopefully, you can find some motivation in these posts as well. As a reality check, its not like these are the first sites I have ever built. I started building websites in 2005 and struggled and failed for 4 years…4 LONG YEARS!! I didn’t really start making any money until the middle/end of 2009. So, I would never expect anyone to replicate this very quickly. Its a long road and a difficult business. I also don’t think linkbuilding is a big mystery here. I’m more than happy to talk about my linkbuilding – but the key is NOT link building. Its keyword choice. Seriously, the success comes in chosing good keywords – that’s it. That’s what I’ve learned over the past 5 or 6 years in this business.


Hey great work!! I have a question regarding keywords and anchor text. I assume your main page is optimized for your main keywords and your back links to your main url use those keywords as anchors. My question is, when you make additional posts targeting other keywords, do you make back links with those keywords as anchors to your main url or a deep link to the post url. Are you trying to have the post page rank for those words or the main url?




Yes, sometimes I do build links to secondary articles and these links point to “deeper” pages. However, my primary focus is generally to get my main keyword ranking first – then if the site has potential and is making money, I then add content and start targeting secondary keywords and building links to inner pages. This is what I am doing right now to my site #1 listed above. I am also doing this with my “authority site project” which i have discussed in detail in previous posts.


Ok I think I understand now. I have done some linking to inner pages targeting secondary keywords but was also targeting my main page for the secondary keywords as well. So the page with the actual keywords is whats important for the secondary ranking. I think i got it now.

thank again!



Hi Spencer,

Great results for the new websites and a very good lesson as well.

1. I seem to recall that you generally use free themes for your websites, therefore would you be willing to tell us what themes you used for your top 5 new sites, especially the top one.

2. You stated that you primarily place a 336×280 under the title (left or right justified) with text wrapping on your sites, therefore, do you then look at your CTR figures to judge which theme seems to contribute to your best CTR, or have you found the differences attributable to a theme marginal?

I would also vote to see the figures for next month!



Sure, I can do a post that lists lots of the free themes I have used.
2. Yes, there are definitely some themes that perform better than others. However, I try to keep all of my sites on a different theme if possible, so I may actually sacrifice a bit of CTR in order to use different themes on all my sites.


I wasn’t think of a whole post on the themes you use, just a comment reply with the 5 themes you used for your top 5 new sites from August would be great and more than sufficient.

Do you stick with the default ad colours, have your own colour choices or try to match the style of the theme you are using?


I think a whole post is better suited for this. Also, as soon as I post what themes I use everyone will rush to that specific theme (as though it were some magic bullet) and I have a bunch of look a likes around the web. The point I want to make about themes is that this is not extremely important. You can get your site ranking well and earning money despite having a poor theme. For lots of my sites, I literally go to the free WordPress theme gallery and just pick one that looks good…that’s it. The theme I have on my #1 sites from the list about may be a theme I never use again. For future sites, I will just out (or usually have my VA) go out and pick a free theme and run with it.

I do stick with a general white background for the theme. Then the ads are typically blue titles and black/gray words for the most part. Sometimes I change them up a bit to match the themes colors, but usually not.


I take your point about the rush to a magic bullet scenario.

I have always tended to stick with themes that had a white background and I also primarily kept to blue titles and blue/black text for the ads.

However, I am now playing around more with different themes,in regards to clean coding and page speed as well as ad placement, font sizes and etc. to try and improve the CTR’s.

Regardless, you have re-inspired me so I am firing up LTP for the next three days solid!

Allen Young

Great stuff Spencer. Maybe you can do a post on how you use VAs to build your sites. Where to find them…what they do for you etc….



Great idea Allen.


I’ll second that!


Love it, Spencer, thank you.

Looking forward to that back linking post because the UAw stuff is what I want to know, like how u vary your anchor text and how soon after buying the new domain do u start back linking and what abut the 20 post drip frequency, etc.

Thank u thank u thank u….


Exactly, I will hit on all of that info.


Hello Spencer – Another great post! Thanks for being so transparent on how your 20 sites are doing at ~ 90 days.

LTP is an awesome application and I’ve just watched the related training video (which is also great). I noticed that in the video not a lot of emphasis was put on Title Competition and Advertiser Competition.

How important are these factors and what thresholds did you look for when creating these 20 sites or for keyword research in general?


For these 20 sites I do not think I looked at Title competition at all. I also don’t put too much emphasis on advertiser competition. If it has extremely low advertiser competition I would perhaps avoid it. But for the most part if it pays well, gets lots of searches, and most importantly has low competition in the top 10 – then I go for it. Analyzing the top 10 is by FAR the most important skill you can develop in building niche sites.


Thanks Spencer. A great post as always.

I want to share my experience here with ranking and profiting from Adsense. I started my internet business part-time earlier this year. I have around 10 Adsense sites now. The best one is earning somewhere from $40 to $90 a month (it’s 6-month old). Other sites earn me a few bucks to less than twenty a month, but they are newer, just less than 60 days old.

I think most of us have no difficulty at all to do great on-page SEO. What really hinders us from earning money is ranking. I have tried many different methods, now found that the following two are the best ways to build links and rank quick.

Firstly, private networks for posting articles (I use Blog Blueprint which posts 20 articles containing your link to a network of blogs). I had experience of ranking a site from nowhere to page two in just two weeks. This is a very effective tool.

Secondly, I use social bookmarks and .edu & .gov backlinks. You can easily find Fiverr gigs doing these for $5.

Combining these two methods, I pushed most of the Adsense sites created in October to page 1 on Google in only 1 month. These sites target at keywords with monthly local exact search of 1900 to 3000.

I have a particular site which has only 1000 local exact search but around $6 CPC. I did not do any backlinking except free press release submission. Now the site sits right on page 1 of Google. So I guess PR submission is also a good way to backlink, especially for low competition sites. And the cost is cheap (use Fiverr).

What didn’t work:
– Web Directory submission
– Blog commenting (unless really high PR blogs)
– Profile links

I can’t say my method absolutely works for anyone but they worked on my sites. I’m still a newbie who is learning by trying (and reading Spencer’s blog) so I think by sharing my experience we could learn together (hope that Spencer doesn’t mind my long comment here).

How do you people backlink? Anything your tried that worked (and what did not work)?


I agree with your list of things that don’t work well. At least I never do any of those link building methods any more. I basically focus on blog networks. I guess UAW also submits to some article directories, but I almost consider it mostly a private blog network.


So private blog networks are your bread and butter when it comes to backlinks? What else would your recommend?


Yep, private blog networks is my bread and butter. I don’t really do much else to be honest. Like I said and UAW is all I used for these august sites – nothing else.


Hey Peter –

You really think those gigs on Fiverr work? I’ve tried them in the past and they really didn’t give me much of a boost in the ranking of my niche sites.

However I can try one that does social bookmarketing for .edu and .gov and see if that works better. The ones I got were profile links and they were super horrible quality in my opinion.

However I guess it can’t hurt to try again.


Hi Michael. I think profile links have limited power so when I order gigs I only go for social network, social bookmark or edu gov contextual links (on edu / gov blogs and wiki sites).

The edu gov contextual links are similar to blog networks because your backlinks are mentioned in a blog post / wiki article talking about something related to your niches. I only order this kind of edu gov backlinks, I always ask the seller what links he would provide before placing order.

I recently tried some social network & bookmarking gigs and they helped boosting SERP positions. A few of my built sites moved from bottom of Google page 1 to top of the page by using social bookmarks and social networks.


Hey Peter –

Do you recommend any particular gigs on Fiverr that I can check out?

I am really interested in moving up the position of a couple of my keywords for some of my niche sites.



Spencer, congratulations. i read your post everyday and you teached me a lot. i am your Loyal Fans and l lOVE your Long Tail Pro very much. I follow you and have built some sites, but i dont know how to make some external links. What i want to know is how do you outsource your backlinks. i am really looking forward to your detailed post about backlinking soon.


Glad you are loving long tail pro! I have my VA submit articles to and UAW – that’s how I outsource it. There’s a bit more to it of course, I will go over that.


This is really useful and motivating on niche site.I had never think that it is easy and fast way to make money on niche sites.I had always think that it takes around 5 -6 months to make money from niche sites but i was wrong.

Thanks Again.


James I want to be very clear here. Niche sites are neither easy nor fast. Just ask anyone who has tried. I have struggled for years from about 2005 until the end of 2009 before I started making any real money. There is a VERY big learning curve. I am now reaping some of the benefits from the long hours that I put in for YEARS trying to learn. So, I would NEVER say that niche sites are easy or fast.


Spencer, Thanks for sharing your expertise on adsense business.

I bump with the questions from “John”

Can you please answer those questions?



Hi Spencer:

You are becoming a legend now in the MMWA space!

I am following very closely all your teachings,tips, tools and data! … and saving a bunch as well, as I don’t have to
pay for the next “shiny object” or a monthly membership fee for getting all the training!

Looking forward for your BL post!

Best regards!


My new title: MMWA Legend! Sounds pretty tough to me (really close to MMA, right??) 🙂

Thanks Gautam!


it is a very good job. and my dream is to have sites like that. but can u please do real proofs, like with videos logging in to adsense! google analytics account etc? you can hide site url and any hint. is that hard to do?


Semir – I don’t feel like I need to convince anyone by logging in etc. My information here is free…take it or leave it. But I can tell you that I’m not making this stuff up – its 100% legit.


75% of me says everything in this website is true! but i am a little bit suspicious! lisa irby from , sunil from the extra money blog, almost everybody proves thier adsense money and affiliate incomes!
they dont want to brag. but they want to proof to all that money can be made. almost all of the top bloggers and internet marketers do it. May be it wont help most of your readers, but i can beileve in it 100% and work my butt of to get money! and change my life! actually 1000 us $ in my country is the annual income for the middle class!


If I may interject on this. If Spencer was selling memberships,ebooks on how to make money, etc. Yes I too would be suspicious. While he is selling a piece of software he is not saying ‘buy my software and you’ll earn $1,000 per month in 90 days!’. In other posts he has said (and shown how to) do the research for free. His software just makes the process easier. You still have to do the research, backlinking, etc…


i see your point. but after all who knows? in my opinion– not selling memberships or ebooks doesnt make your blog legit. i am not disrespecting spencer but i want to be 100% sure. there is a saying seeing is beileving! and i think it would be beneficial for many people too.


I have created lot of sites.. My two 1k exact made me $130 in last 30 days….

I have 50 more…..So, if all of them ranks number 1 then i will be making $3750 per month…only from main domain name…I will satify with even half of that..let see..

If you still feel, you need spencer advice..please go to link love section on my have 40+ internet marketers..many of them already proved and left internet…all of them make tons of money.

Read this post:


Another great Post Spencer…Looking Forward to the backlink post… This show how consistent work pays.. You are my role model in niche site building and It’s very kind of you to share a detailed post on your recently created niche sites…I hope to reach your place one day 🙂 Thanks Once Again!! YOUR POST IS ALWAYS AN INSPIRATION FOR ME 🙂


Thanks Sudarshan!


Looking forward to your backlinking walkthrough,a post like


Jenny Nassour

Phenomenal Spencer!

Your niche site building keeps getting smarter. It’s great that you trialled the 1-page approach, it just seems so much more efficient to identify the better performers earlier with less time/cost investment.

Keep up the great work, as always really appreciate your insights!


Thanks Jenny – that’s exactly how I see it – find the winners, then build them up and focus your attention on where the real money is to be made. Best of luck!

Tom Ewer

Fascinating information this Spencer, thank you for sharing!

Here’s a question, which is especially relevant since you have started your own authority site. You are very specific about targeting noncompetitive keywords. What’s better – targeting such keywords with loads of different niche sites, or having an overall authority site with articles that target each one?

An authority site certainly seems more “efficient” and also provides you with far more scope in terms of the website itself.




Tom – great question! Both are great strategies and I am actually doing both: I have small niche sites AND I have a large authority site I am working on.

Small sites are easier to rank well than a subpage of a larger site typically. However, with a larger site, you are able to target keywords that get less traffic and ALOT of them. So, both have advantages and disadvantages.

So, I would never target a keyword with less than 1000 searches per month with my smaller sites. However, with a larger site I can get away with targeting keywords with only 500 or less searches because I can add so much content that the amount of traffic will add up to something significant.

Tom Ewer

Great advice Spencer, thanks!

Sheyi Shobayo

Sure, he’s a phenomenom!
Keep doing the great work man.



Thanks Sheyi!


Hi, Spencer

I have one question about using VA.

How can you find someone that you trust him 100%?

What if he puts some virus on your site or other thing that will benefit himself when he build site for you?

What if someday he asks to get more money per hour but get refused, so he clicks the ads on your sites improperly on purpose, and make your adsense account get banned?


Its always a risk, but I’m paying his income so he is incentivized to work appropriately for me.


Hi Spencer,

Thanks for the valuable information. I am also started my journey in developing small niche sites. I have one doubt. While you searching for a niche, in which region you will target..either All countries/regions or only US. Expecting your reply. Cheers 🙂


Only the US.


Fantastic and inspiring post as usual. One question – do you think the original article sites such as Ezine Articles are a waste of time now for building back links if you don’t want to start out by paying a monthly subscription. I can’t wait for the post on backlinking. Your blog is the one I read religiously now as I feel so grateful that you generously share so much information with us beginners. Keep up the great work!


Ezine Articles is still fine, but its very time consuming so I no longer do it.


thanks for this blog it’s one of the greatest of the web !
one question : you have a lot of niche website (more than 200 i believe..) How do you follow the rank for each one ?
Do you have a software for that ?
You can’t check all this website one by one..

thanks and continue to sharing it’s great 😉


I use Long Tail Pro and the free Rank Checker by to check my ranks.

Tung Tran

Do you use Google Analytic to track your niche sites? Have you ever been banned from Google Adsense? I saw a lot of people got banned here.


Yes for analytics, no for getting banned.


Thank you for posting this information – highly motivational. I’ve been following you for a few months now and I’ve really appreciated the information you’ve been putting out there. I’m a current owner of Market Samurai and I’ve watched all your videos and read most of your blog posts. Because you’ve provided so much quality information, I’m actually considering buying Long Tail Pro as well – I don’t see it replacing my Market Samurai as there are features in there I think are invaluable once you’ve locked in your keywords, I do believe that using Long Tail Pro in tandem with Market Samurai could be pretty spectacular.

To answer your question above, I’d absolutely love to see a November report on these same 21 sites. I’m very curious to see how they progress over that time frame – if you do decide to do that, would you please make sure you keep the 21 sites in the same positions they are now? What I mean is you currently just ordered these by the most made in October – I’d love to see the same sites in the same position just to see how they fared month over month – so if site 10 is now making more than site 6, keep it in the 10 slot simply so we can see that just because things start off a little slower, it doesn’t mean they can’t make a nice jump with a little more time.

I would love to hear your thoughts on that – I know it’s a tad more work on your side, but I think it would provide some nice insights into the ever-changing state of the web (and Google).

Thanks again for all the information you provide on here. This is one of three blogs that I actually open the emails from and read religiously.


Okay, thanks for the vote. And yes, I was thinking the same thing – site #1 will always be site#1 in future posts even if it makes less money.


Hi, Spencer

I hope you can give more details in your next post about your link building. Especially about how fast you build backlinks to your BRAND NEW sites.

I read some posts said you can not build too many backlinks too fast, or else your website will be sandboxed.

You said you build backlinks using 2 blog network, so when do you start to submit articles to them? One week(2 weeks or 3 weeks) after your site set up?

You submit 3 articles to those 2 network, so do you submit one and then wait for how long you submit the second, and then wait for how long do you submit the third one?

This will help us a lot I think.

Thank you very much!


Eric – I will go into all these details.


Wow, Spencer!

I found this blog this week and I’m blown away by the quality and value of the content and your support comments. I’ve printed off loads of your backposts to read through this weekend.

I’ve been procrastinating too long; you’ve now persuaded me to have a real try at making Adsense blogs and building up a passive income over the next couple of years. It seems to be abusiness model that should build on my analytic skills and experience, and not be dependent on my (almost non-existent) artistic skills!

Your clear advice, based on real experience, is invaluable. I hope you can keep it up. I’m already salivating over the idea of some of the future posts you’ve flagged in your Niche Website Hub.

I can’t wait to see your backlinking and outsourcing posts. I think they will fill in a number of holes that we all have, in how to systematize the process further.

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned so far is a workplan. I’d be keen to see an outline of what your day/week/month is for developing these sites. And do you plan to continue at the rate of c20 a month?

Oh, and do you think Google gives you some “credit” (versus someone like me, with no Google history) for new sites? Or do you think we all start on a level playing field and Google is agnostic as to “your” history with them?


No, google does not give me any sort of credit – if anything its the opposite. Having a large volume of sites probably raises some red flags in Google’s mind and I am more likely to get manually reviewed than someone who is brand new.

Kien Steve

Hi Spencer

Seem like you have been busy to answer our question 😀

Just one question : Did you using UAW to create backlink directly to money site ?





Wow comments are pouring in with this post. I was wondering if you have better success with info keywords or products keywords or doesn’t matter. Also do you pat attention to advertiser competition for keywords to help make sure enough relevant ads will show in your sites adsense blocks. Thanks againf for keeping it real not theories


Both info or product keywords work. These sites are a mix of both. Yes, I look at advertiser competition as higher is better – but even if its on the mid to lower end I still might target it. Only if there are basically no advertisers would I completely avoid just based on that criteria.


I would like to have your opinion on the dofollow vs nofollow debate – what to do on a new niche site.

Also could you please suggest some free wordpress adsense themes and how to integrate adsense.


My links are dofollow.

Okay, I will make the themes a future post.


Thanks for the detail in this article. I’m just starting out building niche sites or any sites for that matter. I too am confused about the backlinking aspect of ranking a site. I look forward to that post.

Syed Akram

How much your investment before making this result because its looks like at least your must buy 17 domains at first place.


I bought 21 domains. The investment in these sites was $1500 or so.

Syed Akram

Sorry this reply come a little bit late since so many reply here and I can’t find mine(after scroll up and down). So what is your suggestion for those who cannot come out with $1500 at first place?


Then don’t build as many sites and don’t outsource – do things yourself I suppose 🙂


Wow, I’m truly impressed. I understand everything you do, except one crucial thing :
where do you find ideas for keywords/niches… I assume, with 20 sites built in one month, this goes far beyond passions or hobbies. Do you use Amazon bestsellers ? Where do you find your ideas ?


By the way, I’m not talking about keyword research (I know you use Long Tail Pro), but about niche ideas.


I wrote a post about brainstorming for niche ideas/seed keywords here:


Would you recommend over


From what I gather, BuildMyRank is probably a better quality network overall – but you only get 1 link per submission. I am actually considering BMR to my link resources. I think both are good.


Spencer – 186 comments and counting!!? Wow. Thank you so much for this information and for being willing to share your earnings. This is a fantastic post.

You’ve helped me see where my limitation has been in building niche websites, and that is KEYWORD RESEARCH. I really believe that is the key with being successful in this type of online business. SEO, theme selection, technical details, etc. are just secondary. Thanks for creating Long Tail Pro – it’s a gem and invaluable for us aspirers 🙂


Jon – I agree 100% – Keyword Research is BY FAR the most important aspect of the business.

Hard Boiled Greg

Spencer you make this business model so tempting! 🙂



Hi Spencer,

Great info as always, thanks so much! Two questions if that’s okay (I tried going though all the posts so as not to repeat anyone else’s qs):

1. Are your top earners generally websites about products, or about a service/information?

2. Re: your insistence on using a different theme for every site… what is the thinking behind that?



Thanks Gene!
1. The websites are a mix of both product and info. Some of my top earners are product related, some are info related
2. The different themes is really for a manual review (or if somehow this is build into Googles formula). If someone looks at all your sites and they all look exactly the same with the same theme, this might raise a red flag. Having different themes is just one additional step to making the sites more unique.


Great post Spencer. I have been building up my adsense business since Jan of this year and building just one site a month and then backlinking for about 12 weeks. I am interested to try the one article process. I have a couple of keywords and niches in the hopper that I think I will give this a try on. Also just wondering how many domains do have on a single hosting account? And do you use a different theme on every site?

PS: just cracked the $300 a month barrier last month and on pace for around $500 this month in adsense.


I host around 30 or so per hosting account. I have several bluehost accounts and also an account with with 10 IP address hosting (essentially 10 hosting accounts). Almost all of my sites have different themes on them, yes.

Great job cracking $300/mth…you know the process, now you just need to do it again! Best of luck…


197th comment!
Is this a record??


Yes this is an amazing record! I had no idea this post would get this kind of reaction…its great though. Previous record was I think 173 comments…

Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek

Awesome stuff, Spencer, that’s really all I have to say. Speechless otherwise. 😛

– Eric

Quinton Hamp

Dude. I thought I would get to be the 200th comment but Eric beat me to it.

He’s a cool cat, though, so I guess we’ll let him keep it.

Just wanted to say that I appreciate the post. It’s both inspiring and eye-opening. I just hit #1 for one of my key phrases and I am blown away by the income jump. Now I just need to replicate it 10 more times and I can go part-time at my corporate gig.

I’ll be looking forward to your backlinking article. I am hesitant to point spun articles at my sites as I am trying to create authority sites and I don’t want to overly jeopardize them.

Maybe I’m just too jittery.

However, handwriting blog posts is getting to be very tedious and time-consuming. 15 minutes a backlink? Gaaah!

Keep it up! You enrich the websphere.


Thanks Quinton! Sounds like you are well on your way to saying goodbye to the corporate gig! (Just like I did about 9 months ago). Yep, the link building post should be a good one – I’m actually deep into writing it right now. I understand not wanting to point spun links at your site – and perhaps an authority type site you might not want to. But I will go over exactly what I do and leave that decision up to you!


Thanks Eric – I hope your niche site experiment goes well! I’m following along!! And oh yeah, congrats on having the 200th comment on this post!!


Spencer’s right! It’s all about the KEYWORD.

I have a 10 year old info site. Steady flow of income. More competition came on board 4-5 years ago.

How to drive more traffic? Already on page 1 for three keywords.

I came up with a 3 word keyword and registered the hyphenated 3 word .com name. Built one content page with links back to my site. I didn’t know my original site was an “authority site”. :-0

I didn’t even know I was using a long tail keyword!

Within 3 months it was #1 on Google, Yahoo and Bing! Still is after three years.

I added NO BACKLINKS to the new niche site.

My links in this niche site to my authority site are NO-FOLLOW. I don’t want to slapped by Google for having a link farm. I’m not building links…..I’m getting new customers to my “authority site”. Spencer has alluded to this for his next endeavor. It works!

In the case of adsense, you are looking for PPC revenue.

This site drives 30% of my travel to my “authority site” which is on page 1 already. 80% of visitors to the new site click through.

Oh, no change in basic content for three years. No added pages. Nothing! No backlink building.

Of the competitors on page 1 for this site, 8 are not primary domain names and have no page rank and few backlinks.

So I’m on to build more LT keyword sites to send traffic to my little niche 10 year old web site. It’s my bread and butter.

And then…….. on to to start another profit center using my competitors adsense ads! And I’m an old guy 68 years old but a geek forever.

To affirm Spencer’s information it’s all about the KEYWORD and research!

Thanks Spencer for opening my eyes of why this happened. I had no cue.

Dave Starr

Drive on KrazyKar, I’m right behind you … 66 this year and intending to keep counting for many more.

I get a kick out of so many guys and gals who seem to think the web and MMO/IM are only a young man/woman’s game.

There’s 1000,000 new “baby Boomers” per month in the USA alone … how big a market is _that_?


KrazyKarGuy – Awesome comment! Thanks for highlighting how important KEYWORD CHOICE is above all! I also find it fascinating that you built a second site to drive traffic to your first and discovered that you were ranking well for this secondary site. You must have picked a great low competition keyword in order for it not to need any links. Best of luck with your additional Long Tail sites!

Dave Starr

I always feel a little concern when I see discussions like this involving a lot of new-to-the-game folks that keep harping on CPC.

CPC is really a poor name, at the least Google ought to call it MCPC … Maximum Cost Per Click … but then again, that would add another letter to the acronym and possibly wouldn’t make things any more clear.

While it’s essential to make sure there is a CPC “potential” in any keywords you choose, it’s a “fools errand” to set off building sites thinking you are going to earn 60% of the Google CPC figure per click.

The price Google charges an advertiser depend (so far as we know) on the competition for that keyword and the quality (relevance) of the page Google is sending the click to.

I get clicks for a keyword every so often that has a CPC well over $18.00, but I don’t get anything close to the $10+ dollars some might expect.

The main reason, so far as my educated guess goes, is that the page Google shows those ads on is only marginally (at best) relevant to that keyword, and there are few other advertisers out there willing to bid as high as the advertiser who does get an occasional click off my site.

Therefore, and rightly so, Google charges that advertiser way less than the “top dollar” price s/he might have had to pay had Google found a better placement.

It’s perfectly possible for a keyword an advertiser was willing to pay $18.00 per click for earning only a nickel or two per click.

In fact, Google AdWords pledges to ad purchasers that they will _never_ pay higher than the minimum possible amount to get them a click that meets the parameters they select.

Anyone who wants to play the AdSense game should definitely have an AdWords account. You can learn a ton by studying the other side of the equation.

Doing perpetual calculations on expected payback … or worse yet, giving up before attaining success because CPC figures are lower than expected is a real danger.

Regardless of what keywords you started out targeting, Google will “tell you” (in terms of income) the keywords it really thinks are valuable … chase the keywords that actually pay you, not the published CPC’s.


Well said Dave. I totally agree! I think looking at CPC is helpful in determining which keywords are more likely to pay higher than others, but actually owning a site and see the actual earnings is the only true way to know for sure.


Your e-mails are one of the few that I actually read and enjoy.

Do you think you could let us know when you post your
website(s) on Flippa to sell?. Some of us may want to bid on them.



Thanks for sharing this great information here on your blog Spencer! Great results you got and great rankings with little effort.

Do you mind share the amount of traffic these blogs get a month? Maybe in the next report 😉

I think these new domains still benefit from the new domain/content bonus and they can be sandboxed (dropped in the serps for few months and then coming back almost as high in the SERPS) in the coming months. Have you been experiencing this sandbox with your small niche sites?

Really enjoying your writings.


Sami – most of the time I don see any sandbox effect. However, sometimes it does indeed happen. Also, I will definitely eventually be sharing traffic stats for my authority site – but not sure if I will do so for all my smaller niche sites as its quite time consuming. But at least I know you would like to see that – so it could still happen!


Wow what a great post! Definitely have the wheels spinning on developing some Adsense niche sites. I’ve implemented some of the techniques here to improve my lead generation site for private mortgages. I then get paid for the leads that I provide to the private lender. And for others, reading this post this is absolutely a great monetization strategy…selling leads to local businesses. You will find optimizing for local search terms easier as well. Maybe you or someone reading this thread can do a post on comparing LTP and Market Samarai.

Thanks Spencer I look forward to reading your backlinking post! Ron


Hey Ron – I’m fascinated with the idea of selling leads to local businesses. I actually wrote a post about it as a business I would consider – never done it but I see the potential. Also, I will have to do a post that compares LTP and Market Samurai.


Spencer, do you purchase the domains for a year and then renew or extend them if the site proves to be lucrative? or Do you buy them for 2-3 years upfront?



I buy domains for 1 year and then renew if its worth it.


Hey Spencer,

Fantastic month by the way! Actually, I want to jump into this whole niche game because of you! But before I do, I’m just trying to gather some more information. You emphasize that the most important aspect of niche building is keyword research and analyzing the top 10 competition, which is what I have been doing. But it seems that for every keyword that I’ve looked into, the competition has pretty good page ranks. I know in your other posts that 2 of the top 10 should have no page rank. So my questions are:

1) How important is page ranks when analyzing the competition?
2) Is yahoo links more important than page ranks?
3) Is it hard to rank if the top 10 results show .edu/.gov links?
4) Also it seems that many of the sites that are pulled up are not at the root domain but on subpages, but the root domain has a high pagerank?

I’ve been looking up a lot of keywords, and I want to jump in but money is really tight for me. I have about $500 to invest and want to build about 10 sites. I just want to make sure I make the best possible keyword selection.



1. PageRank is ONLY important if the page is specifically targeting your keyword and they have relevant links to it. The generally just tells you how strong the page is. However, a very strong page won’t beat a site that is targeting a keyword better. So, may have a stellar PageRank but it will never rank well for “laptop reviews” because its not targeting the keyword (extreme example, but hopefully makes the point).
2. Yes
3. Not necessarily. If the .gov/.edu links are going to the page you are trying to outrank it would be harder.
4. You should only be concerned with the PR of the page that is actually ranking (the subpages).

Hope that helps!


Spencer, thanks for the income report. This amazes me that one article on a site can make $900+ using adsense. It really shows the power of passive income.



So the Google ranking you show in your earnings are for your main keyword only right? How well are your sites ranking for your other keywords? Starting out I am finding it fairly easy to get on the first page for my primary keyword but am finding it difficult to rank for my other keywords.



Yes. Most of the sites do not rank well for other keywords. Only my #1 site listed above ranks well for another related keyword which brings in a lot of traffic in addition to the primary keyword.


Spencer thanks for this great post. I was wondering how soon do you monetize the site with adsense? Do you put the code on right away or do you wait until you see some ranking and then add the adsense code?



Hie Spencer,

I assume you have been drip feeding 20 posts a day with UAW for 3 months.I mean how long should linkbuilding run? ,is there something like a threshold? 1 month,3 months or forever? Also are you still doing daily linkbuilding for your older sites?

I really want to understand this backlinking thing,especially the frequency.


Hi Spencer, I’ve been getting your email updates and watching your list for quite some time now, and it’s actually this post that triggered my attention more than others. I think your income chart above is an excellent illustration of the 20/80 rule, in that the first 4 sites out of 20 make up the bulk of the total income. Those are great numbers, congrats!

I also have a question. I have a couple of sites for adsense up, not making much, and I want to start more sites. Do you think that using a for-Adsense layout (you know those, barren, no graphics, just the posts and three Adsense blocks – one 336×280 at the start of the post, a skyscraper on the side and a link bar at the top) – do you think that using these layouts will ban my Adsense account or are they safe?


No, you will not get banned for using a basic wordpress theme or other layout. Google adsense isn’t out to ban people in fact they are out to get you to add more units to your site etc (they send emails to me constantly telling me to add more adsense to my sites). However, if you start clicking your own ads or encourage others to click ads then you probably will get banned.

Tung Tran

Hi Spencer, I wonder if product niche site works well with adense ads. What do you think? Should I make a product related site to monetize with GA?


Sure it can work well. If there are lots of advertisers then product keywords work fine with Adsense.


When you use tools such as UAW do you plug them directly into your money site or indirectly through blogs and social bookmarking sites?


Tung Tran

I have bought LTP but still have difficulty finding keyword :(. Can you make a video on how to find and choose a keyword for a site from scratch?


How did you manage to set up 21 sites since August?

Reading your blog, I’m starting to seriously question my work ethic. I seem to manage maybe 3 sites every three months, and have a stack of domains just sitting there waiting for me to pay attention to them! I really need to step up my game.


So much information here to absorb and so little time!! Great Job here Spencer not only with your sites but also for sharing all these small but vital bites of information so that we also get out of the rat race! My only concern is that if these sites that brings you small amount of money – 5 dollar per month or 10 – can really hurt your adsense account and get banned. What is your opinion? Thanks!


Why would small earners hurt your adsense account. Google likes ANY earnings. Small earning sites will not get your site banned.

Lindsay |

Wasn’t sure where to ask this so I used this post.

I’m wondering about Privacy and Contact Us pages. 2 things.

1. We are not allowed to have adsense on those pages I think because we are supposed to have ads on content pages only. Do you know how to not have ads display on those pages?

2. I heard that we should make out Pricacy Policy pages “noindex” so it don’t get indexed as duplicate content. Any idea what to do here and do you do this?



1. Quick adsense plugin allows to to specify whether to put adsense on posts or pages or both. Just select posts.
2. I have never made my privacy policy a no index, but if you want to there is the plugin called: Meta Robots plugin by Yoast. (Google it).

Lindsay |

Thanks Spencer, you were right..that stopped any Adsense from going into the body of the Privacy Policy page. There is still a scyscraper ad in the sidebar though when I’m viewing that page. I know this would be hard to get rid of I think, but do you know if that’s allowed? I guess it’s not the actual post so it should be ok you think?


that’s fine, I have ads in the sidebar or otherwise not in the actual content of the page on lots of Privacy Policies. This has been a non-issue for me.



Great post- lots of interesting information and details you don’t see anywhere else.

I have a couple questions I haven’t seen asked so far here: 1) what do you do for hosting? Do you have all your sites on a single shared hosting account or do you split them up?

2) Do you select “private” for your domain registration?

Thanks- looking forward to future posts!



1. Read this post for detailed answers:
2. Only sometimes, but not usually anymore.


Thanks for such a detail post!

This has got me off my ass and started a few niche site and of course I’m using LongtailPro to find my keywords!

Wish me luck!


Best of luck Dennis!


Hi spencer,

Great post. VERY motivational. I have one quick question. I also have a site that I got lucky with and struck gold when I hit number one. What do you usually do to your sites to get them to make more money once you know they are golden. Just add more content? Add different revenue streams? Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.



Definitely add more content. If there are other revenue streams then look into that as well. I have created my own products before and started selling those to increase overall revenue. I created an ebook for one of my niche sites that does decent now.


Are sites with no page rank stronger than, weaker than, or equal to pr0 sites?


A no pagerank is usually weaker than a PR of 0. It usually just means that the site/page is new and hasn’t been assigned a pagerank. Or it could just be a very deep page of a large site (like a inner product page on and its just not a strong page overall.



I’m curious how the first page competition looks for site #1. Does it contain an ample amount of No PR, PR0, and PR1 sites with few backlinks. Or are you going up against strong PR sites?





Curious about sites 4, 7, & 16. I understand that you are using a sliding scale now for CPC, but these values still seem low.

Can you explained why you picked those keywords in paricular?

Love the blog and Long tail pro is awesome!


Hey Matthew – glad you love Long Tail Pro! I picked sites based more on search volume and whether or not I thought I could rank well; rather than CPC. So, even though the CPC seems lower, I knew I could rank well and that they got decent search volume. There really was no more complicated reason than that.


Spencer, do you think that word count really matter? I mean, if I have a single paged site and the site’s home page is of 450 words, can’t that be ranked when compared to a site with 1500 words on the home page? what’s yur catch on that?

And one more thing. If I write one post and stick it to the home page content (Using the wordpress setting), would that cause a duplicate content issue because of the home page content and the post page URL containing the same content?

Pls reply…..


I think longer articles can indeed rank better. For your second question, no there will not be a duplicate content penalty. I do this will all my sites.

Ryan Web


When you say you target $1 or more CPC. Do you mean what the google KW tool says OR are you estimating what you will “actually” earn CPC.

For example a $1 KW tool listing may only really pay 30 cents or so.

What number are you using? I haven’t gotten any clicks worth over a dollar yet when the KW tool is saying $2-$5..



I mean $1 cpc on the adwords tool. So, you are correct that the actual clicks will often be lower than $1. However, this helps focus on the higher paying keywords in general.

Eli - IM Newbie since 2007

i just created and posted my first article on my second adsense site for the year!

I read from all you guys doing niche sites (adsense) that you give it 90 days, that’s why i started creating 1 site per 90 days thing.. hope it goes ok!

thanks for this post! i think ill go back and check my older sites’ earnings too 🙂


Hi spencer, i’m one of your biggest fan, i read almost every post of yours. Well, my question is that..
Is that a good niche which gets search trend only from a specific country? (i.e 10,000 exact searches but 98% from Brazil) . I think i explained well 🙂

Spencer Haws

Well, you just have to know that you need to rank in Google brazil then (rather than Also, the traffic might be high, but there might not be many advertisers in Brazil for that keyword, so be aware.


Thanks Spencer, i got your point.


And how about taking the domain name with the extension Brazil ( , Will then search engine prefer my site in google brazil? Is that a good technique?



My name is Mohit & I am from India. I am following you from a long time and i am really a big fan of you and your system. Here I just wanted to understand how much time or work you are doing in link building/back link for these website. Which means article submission, web 2.0, social bookmarking etc ? Can you please share the link, if you have already written some post on the same ?
I enjoy you post and hope the niche site will always rock !


What really surprises me is the fact, that you are making a ton of money with sites that not even rank #1!!! Your site 1 is making $957 and is ranking on top of the second page of google! Really cool stuff.


Very nice and insightful post, Spencer.

You are doing quite well when you look at the average return across all sites……

One question I have is in regards to your doing domain registrations, and how you minimize costs with purchasing so many domain names?

I know many domain names are cheap, and can be purchased in bulk, though not all domain names are cheap.

Especially, those competitive, quality keyword terms that pull high CPC and big traffic volume….

I am guessing you own hundreds of sites, going by your work rate, and even after deducting those sold(flipped) you would still have many active registrations going…

Also, though many domain names are cheap(


do you ever get hit by the “google sandbox” or do you think its a myth

imran Khan

How clearly you explained the real game of adsence….amazing its…thanks a lot

Harshit Singhal

Awesome work Spencer. You’ve really done a fabulous job with all those niche blogs.

Hey there! I simply wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have got right here on this post. I am coming back to your website for more soon.


hi Spencer,

im really confused, the highest CPC in your lists is $1.54 while in my research i saw $80 and $243 CPC with 480 local search …

there must be some errors in my free long tail pro settings ? but google adword keyword planner displays the same amount ..

original amount is displayed in pesos, but when converted to USD its exactly $80 and $243 … im excited with this local keywords but in the same time im hesitant cause im thinking if there is a setting error in my browser or pc .. im not sure..

have you seen CPC with this high amount too ?


i mean the highest CPC in your list is $6 .. sorry i was looking at the site 1 only ..

Spencer Haws

Sure, CPCs can show that high; but you won’t actually get paid that amount. You are on the content network, so its less. Also, there are likely only 1 or 2 advertisers at that rate, find a keyword with “high” advertsier competition, to make sure there are lots of advertisers.


hi Spencer,

yes i will be on the content network, so from $80 google serp ads that all money will went to google, how much do you think a content network publisher get? is $5 per click is reasonable? to get even $2 per click is enough for me..

yes this is a high competition keyword with a total of 11 adword advertiser in the serps.

Spencer im really excited about this keywords, but my final question is … i know this ads are locally targeted , but will the same ads will show up in content network websites?

the 11 local ads are showing in serps even im here in Philippines, but when i check the ads on my website, the ads are mostly local business here in Philippines…. could it be that geo targeting ?

will a person from UK, or USA see a different local ads on content network the same as the 11 ads showing in the google search engine results pages?

thanks for your thoughts on this, im really excited about this keywords

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