January 2013 Business Report

By Spencer Haws |

Did January fly by for you too?  I feel like I was just ringing in the new year in my brother’s basement (that’s how I roll), and now January is already over!

I set several significant goals at the beginning of 2013, and so I’ve decided to do monthly reports on my progress.

So, let’s jump right into it, shall we?

What Happened in January?

I will forever look back on Janurary 2013 as the month my business REALLY took off.  Last month was by far and away the most successful month I’ve ever had in terms of income, increased traffic, and overall accomplishments.

I’ve debated back and forth with myself (and a couple of others) whether I should reveal my earnings for last month.  I still haven’t decided.  So, at this point, I’m just saying it was a very good month for sales of Long Tail Pro and my business overall.  If I decide to reveal the exact income figures, I’ll write a separate post.

I also saw some nice earnings and increased rankings in Google with my newer niche sites.  I continue to see success when niche sites are researched properly, have great content, and are executed the right way.

If you are wondering why my business did so well last month, its because I held a special promotion of Long Tail Pro, and it did much better than expected.  As a secondary result, my blog also received quite a bit of attention and traffic.

To all of my new readers…thank you!

Also, as a result of this new surge in “exposure”, I’ve had:

I’ll take all of those as a whole any month!

I don’t talk about my personal finances here much, but I thought I should mention one big accomplishment I had as a result of my increased business.  I was able to completely pay off my student loans (from my MBA in 2007) this month.  I now have no debt other than my mortgage.  Its a nice feeling to get that student loan paid off.

Here’s How I Did on My Goals

In this post here, I set 6 goals.  Here’s how I did in January:

1. Build 2 Public Niche Sites: I started the first public niche site project!  You can read about it here and watch the kickoff webinar replay here.  I started the keyword research process on the webinar.  I’m still working on finding the perfect keyword.  I’m feeling a lot of pressure to pick the perfect keyword, so I’m taking my time.

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I know that keyword research is the most important step, so I want to make sure I get it right.  I’ve also set a higher search volume threshold than I usually do of 5,000 exact match searches, so its a bit more difficult. I am still hopeful that I can report this week what I’ve found, but if not…please be patient :).  I am indeed still researching and plan to carry out this project over the next couple of months.  Stay tuned!

2. Accomplish at least 1 “Niche Pursuit”:  I haven’t started this yet, BUT I actually have a good idea for one.  However, the idea is to have YOU the reader pick my niche pursuit.  So, I need to get a voting form in place with a few niche business ideas, and then let you vote.  If you don’t pick the one I want to do, I may just do it anyway – in addition to what you pick.  So, sometime this month, watch for that Niche Pursuit voting form!

3. Double the Average Monthly Unique Visitors to  My average last year was 16,633 visitors per month (not visits, which is much higher).  Well in January, I had 24,134 visitors a nice uptick!  However, I’m still well short of my goal.  But most of my increase in traffic came later in the month, so I expect February to be even bigger.  And if things continue to grow, I should be able to hit my goal of 33,266 visitors per month.

4. Double the Affiliate Sales on  I’m not quite ready to start revealing my income here, but its safe to say I didn’t do very well here.  I just don’t have very many affiliate links on my site, so the commissions are almost non-existent.  I need to revamp my site a bit.  However, this is low priority for me – to be honest.  I think people like my blog the way it is!

5. Double my Income from Niche Sites: My income from niche sites had only very small uptick in income.  I only built one new niche site, which didn’t start earning anything until the second half of the month.  However, that one new site is indeed ranked #2 in Google now, and I’m very happy with it!  Its a small earner (will be around $100 a month or so most likely), but always nice to have.  I guess I need to go out and start building more niche sites!

6. Read 1 Business Book Per Month: Even though I started late in the month, I was able to do it!  I read, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh.  I really enjoyed this book and finished it in about 8 or 9 days.

Tony tells his personal story of business ideas as a child, through high school and college, and then when he finally had success.  I loved the story of how he built LinkExchange and sold it for $265 million to Microsoft.  Then Tony moves on to investing in Zappos and eventually going on to run the company.  Tony’s writing style is very personable and good humored.  He sounds like a guy I’d like to hang out with.  In fact, he built that sort of personal touch right into the culture of Zappos, which is really a big part of its success.

Finally, throughout the book he really touches on what happiness is all about.  Hint: Its not about the money.  Once your financial needs are met for basics (food, shelter, etc) – your happiness is more derived from relationships, health/fitness, and being part of something bigger than you.  Tony was able to build Zappos into a place that employees wanted to be a part of because it had a purpose that they could all rally around.

The book certainly got me thinking about where my happiness is derived and whether I’m focusing as much as I should on those things.  I think I do a pretty good job, but we can always do better!

I definitely recommend the book.

For the month of February, I’m reading: The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by MJ DeMarco .  So far, I’m enjoying it.  MJ has a pretty blunt style and says it the way he sees it.  Once I finish, I’ll give a review and let you know if I’d recommend it or not.


The month of January was a great one for me!  I hope your new year started out great as well.  If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading!

Stories & Projects | 14 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.

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Ago @ New Piano Secrets - Piano Lessons For Beginners

OMG Spencer, how much stuff here!
I’m one of lucky people getting the special discount for LTP via Pat website.

Today I saw Pat Flynn’s income report and he had a great income about Long Tail Pro Affiliation, so I can just imagine about the sales you got !

Thank you for your webinar, I learned a loooot !!!!!
Keep up the great work!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Ago! Glad you enjoyed the webinar…


Busy Month! Congrats on the success with long tail pro. I am sure I speak for a lot of people when we say seeing your income would definitely be a motivator but I understand the desire to keep it a little more private.

Good to see the success you are having your original business as well…niche websites…I know from my sites as well that good quality content niche sites, researched and promoted correctly still work well!

Looking forward to seeing the options you will have for your new “niche pursuit”


If you don’t want to reveal the exact figures in $$$$ amounts I think a good idea would be to round it up into percentages.

EG. micro niche site earnings this month was 25% of my total income.
Long tail pro was 60% of my total income and I increased sales on last month by 50%.

Something like that would be ok for me. I just like to see whats working and how much it might be effected.

Anyway best of luck on the New sites.

I have started my first 3 niche sites at the same time as you. Almost all 3 have about 5-7K exact match searches a month as well.

I hope in 6 months time at least 1 of those is earning $500 a month.

For these new sites roughly how much content do you think you will add? and will you post new articles regularly?

Spencer Haws

I plan on starting with around 15 articles to start; perhaps 20. I’m shooting for a little bit larger sites from the outset now. I may or may not post regularly depending on how its doing after the first few months.

Michael Taylor

Spencer, I just purchased Long Tail Pro and I am learning the ropes with it. I have one of your competitor’s software packages also. Long Tail Pro definitely has some features I like. It’s awesome that you are now debt free except for your mortgage. My wife and I have been at that point for several years. Are you a Dave Ramsey fan? :o)

Thanks for all you do to help aspiring entrepreneurs!

Spencer Haws

Yep, I think Dave Ramsey has a lot of great things to share!

Partial Passive Income

Congrats with the stats Spencer. Awesome job, really! I have though about getting a copy of the same book. For starters, I have been browsing the fastlane forum, which has a interesting threads. Keep us in the loop about the book and the progress with the other projects.

Jeff Wolfe

Congrats on getting debt free! I just sold one of my websites and I will soon be debt free (again). Hoping to turn that profit into new successful websites. I just found your site a few weeks ago and I’m learning more every day.

Spencer Haws

That’s awesome Jeff! Hope the success continues…

IS Risk Academy

Congratulations Spencer!

Thanks for all the motivation provided on your blog. Keep up the good work!

All the best,



That’s a great book to read! MJ’s book is a mind set changer for anyone who reads it. If it weren’t for his forum and book I would have never have started my blog less than 2 years ago. It’s even worth reading more than once that’s how good it is.



I just finished MJ’s book last week. I am re-reading the book starting in section 5 due to its rich and abundant content. Too much to absorb in one reading.
Congrats on your goal reaching and thanks for helping and sharing.


Great work Spencer,

Read your post regularly.

Have nothing but great respect for you as you take your time to inspire newbies trying to stay focused on thier goals too.

Reading tribes now, and have made it a point of duty to complete a presonal development/business book each month now.

Look forward to your niche site project, going with you all the way… chao!


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