Niche Site Project 2 Update: Week 6!

By Spencer Haws |

Time continues to fly by for this second niche site project!  Perrin has already been working on this project for about 6 weeks!  And we’ve gotten alot done in those six weeks as well.

Although, from my own standpoint, I was not able to help Perrin out quite as much this past week.  You see, I work from home, and well our home was basically under construction all week.  As a result, I had to work off my laptop and we weren’t able to do our call this week as we normally do.

But that’s okay, Perrin was able to move forward and continue writing articles for the niche site.  I’ve been able to check in on the site and his progress, and I’m impressed!  The site has really come together well.  And we plan to get together for an official recorded call tomorrow that will be posted early next week.

The best part?  We plan to finally reveal the domain early next week!  We will be discussing it openly on our call and you will finally have a chance to go and look at the live website yourself…woohoo!

So, with that, I’ll let Perrin explain what he was able to accomplish this week (even though we didn’t have a call)…

Perrins Week 6 Write-Up

Six weeks down! I feel like I say this every week, but it’s crazy how time flies!

Last time we saw each other, I’d settled on two main keywords, written an article for one and set up my domain and hosting. My assignment was to finish the other article and find 15 more keywords for next week.

The good news is: I’m totally ahead of schedule 🙂

I was able to find 15 secondary keywords relatively quickly. Really, it was much, much easier than hunting down my primary keyword. First, there’s just a lot less competition with lower-traffic keywords. You’re still going to have to do a bit of hunting, and you’ll still run across high-competition keywords. But, on the whole, the percentage of low-competition keywords is a lot higher in lower traffic ranges.


NichePursuits Rating

NichePursuits Subscribers Free Consultation Call Includes:

  • A fully comprehensive competitor link analysis required to rank.
  • Custom Strategy Session Tailored For Your Site
  • Link and Content Velocity Analysis
  • An exact anchor text road map for your backlinks. (limited to first 50)

Schedule Your Call

Along those lines, Spencer’s recommendation to look in the 200-1,000 search volume range proved to be a sweet spot.  I found 15 secondary keywords, but I’m probably going to go back because there were a lot more. I should be able to get 50 articles out of this niche easy. And I don’t think it will be a stretch at all to get 100 if I decide to build out the site to that extent.

After I’d found those keywords and saw some of the search results for my Niche Site Project 2 site, I searched for keywords for my one of my other sites – just out of curiosity. And ya know what? Same story! In fact, for my other site, I found even more keywords with even lower competition.

Long story short: I’m not measuring traffic yet, but from a purely keyword-research standpoint, the 200-1,000 search volume keywords seem to be something of a goldmine.

Additionally, I was finally able to find some time to sit down and write, which was great, since it’s what I’m best at and most comfortable with (it’s my profession). I finished up the post for my home page (the bigger, high-competition keyword) and even got a few other articles done. So I’m ahead of schedule on the writing front as well.

That’s about it for this week! Nothing too eventful; mostly just writing. I had some of the typical troubles that you run into with any new WordPress theme (e.g. how to do this, fix this thing that’s broken, some plugin is incompatible), but most of that was resolved pretty quickly. So we’re on schedule!

My question to those of you who are making your own niche site:

Have you found some good secondary keywords? How’s the initial writing process going?

Thanks, and I’ll see you next week!

Stories & Projects | 77 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

You may also like

View all




I love secondary keywords. These are, for me, the money makers. Easier to find and easier to rank for and once they do, they drag the entire site up, including primary keywords.

I never write articles. Over the last few years I found a few writers on textbroker and they write them. They know what I want and the format I prefer. These min. 500 words and average is 900+ so so.



How’s the quality on these articles? I noticed you can choose between a variety of levels. Which do you use?


I always use Quality Level 4 and the results more than very good.

Arwin Adriano

That sounds pretty cool Artur. I think you are doing the outsourcing part the right way and let yourself to focus on being more productive.


Glad to hear this! This is pretty much the strategy we’re going for.

Do you have any TextBroker tips you can share (e.g. how to give directions that yeild good quality articles)?


I let them know who the target audience is and the purpose of the article and that I want H2 and H3 titles and bullet points. Once you find good writers just send them direct orders.

Spencer Haws

I agree…easier to find and definitely easier to rank for.


Totally agree. Targeting those secondary keywords can be a great benefit if your primary keyword is a more competitive one.

Some people take it to the next level and just do whole articles based on those secondary keywords.

I try to incorporate some secondary keywords in primary articles but nothing too crazy.


Good job, Perrin! I can’t wait for seeing your website! 🙂

I have about 40 secondary kws right now and today I paid for my first articles! That was my first order ever so I’m pumped to see results!

Hey, Spencer, are you building mansion or something? 😀


*to see
<- That's why I have to buy articles, my English language sucks, haha.


Thanks! Let us know how the articles turn out. 🙂

Spencer Haws

Ha, no mansion yet :). We just replaced our old carpet with wood floors, so everything was torn up and being worked on.


That’s awesome. I think that’s a topic that is overlooked – secondary keywords. For me personally, my secondary keywords have gotten me off the ground so I’m able to see some returns. This validated the process for me which was really important.


Perrin, That’s awesome that you are ahead of schedule. I really appreciate your willingness to allow us to look over your shoulder. I found my keyword. Search volume is lower than I’d prefer (1600) but a lot of good secondary keywords. I would think you rate secondary keywords in the same manner as primary.

I am anxious to start writing. Any thoughts on what makes a good secondary keyword?

Fred Owusu

Keep it up Perrin. I can’t wait to see how the site will look like. Yeah you are right about the secondary keywords though. Very easy to find when you have your main keyword. Keep having fun, it’s the key.


Thanks Fred 🙂


Hi Perrin and Spencer,

really loving the progress narrative!

I managed to find a great buying keyword for a product type with 4,158 regional searches and 188 Title/Anchor Competition per month. But struggling to find smaller volume associated keywords. Found a different way of approaching my research by looking at the Amazon headings then looking for keywords around that.

Just an idea?

Best of luck with the new venture.



Hi Keith,

If you’re using LTP or even the Google Keyword Planner, you can try buy searching for your primary keyword.

In these results, you should see a lot of other keywords that have less traffic.

Try digging even deeper. Take some of the results and plug those into the search field.

For instance…(Per Keyword Planner>Keyword Ideas)

Primary kw : Leather belts

Enter leather belts into LTP or GKP and see what results come up (actual results) KW + Avg monthly searches:

Handmade leather belts 720
Custom leather belts 1000

If you want to get crazy you can then type in the secondary KWs you are finding like so… Handmade Leather Belts:

Handmade leather belts for men 140
black leather belt 590

And so on…

Not sure if these are good KWs or not, but just to make the point. Hope that helps.


I meant try searching (not try buy)….haha

Josh Escusa

Can’t wait to see what keyword you decided to go with. Not sure if I have this correct, but Perrin, are you planning on writing all the articles yourself?


I’ll be writing at least the first 15 or so myself. Currently, 12 are done and published! 🙂


i am so bother with this project wih ALL DO IT YOURSELF, start outsourcing spencer¡¡¡


also what it is the complete purpose of this post, just waste my time, you don´t discuss secondy keywords, nothing special, just nothing helpful, personally this was a waste of time, in the future try to give some value not be arrogant¡¡


Congratz for the first troll you got here, guys!

Liz chapman

Hi Gabo – if you’re not getting value you don’t have to come back. I think Spencer and Perrin are delivering FANTASTIC value to us all. And this post reflects real life – sometimes you have weeks when you just keep doing the same thing as before but are making real progress.

Perrin and Spencer – thanks guys – looking forward to next week!!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Liz and Jenda! I agree…if Gabo isn’t getting any value, he can just stop reading.

the rookie

yikes, its just a blog post man. How much time did it waste. Just an update and right at the beginning it said not much happened.


The trolls are here; them we must ignore!

– Master Yoda 🙂

Glenys @ Website Tips 4U

I agree that these updates are providing great value!!

I find Google Webmaster Tools very useful, after publishing a post. The ‘search queries’ option can often indicate additional secondary keywords that are being triggered by the post. These are often keywords I hadn’t even thought of before and then I can make use of them, if they have enough search volume, either by tweaking that post or including them in future posts.

Spencer, what do you think of revisiting a post to revise keywords if you find that your post is attracting other phrases that you hadn’t intentionally targeted?

John Bakken

Spencer, what do you use to do your keyword research?

Spencer Haws

I use the keyword research tool that I created: .


i can’t wait to check out your new site, perrin. in my opinion, second keywords are the kings. for my money site, i was only able to rank my primary keword to no.6 after 2.5 months, but ranked a secondary keyword to no.1, which brought me 3000 visitors in one month. i love secondary keywords in deed.



Nice! That’s awesome and encouraging it hear. 🙂

Donald W

Hello Perrin and Spencer,
Great to see the process moving along so smoothly. I too am finding this project very helpful just following along and filling in the blanks of what I haven’t already gotten from previous posts 🙂 Keep up the great work both of you and Thank You!

My question is in regards to adding amazon affiliate links. I didn’t see in the last niche site project the amount of affiliate links per the amount of words you used.

I follow the hubpages rule of 150 words per affiliate link but on best survival knife I noticed there are a lot more, Spencer do you have a minimum amount of words per affiliate link? How did you know how many to use after the penalty? I appreciate any help you can give and Perrin may possible need this information as well soon 🙂

Thanks again for all you are both doing!!!

Spencer Haws

Donald, I think that’s a good rule of thumb – around 150 words per affiliate link. Less is safer obviously, but maybe not as profitable…you have to find a balance.

Donald W

Ok cool that’s what I felt as well. I appreciate your response and thanks again for all that you do! I think its great listening to you and Perrin work together. I even get some laughs out of it too when you guys are joking around! Keep up the great work!


Or 1 affiliate link per visibe-in-browser area of the site content. So that a visitor can spot a link wherever she’s on the page.

Jye @ Full Volt

@Spencer: Floorboards, house will be a lot cooler in the summer now.

Nice work on the progress so far Perrin. I focus a lot on secondary keywords as well, and I like to target anything above 50 searches a month. Reason being is naturally those sort of keywords have little to no competition due to low search amounts and they don’t take much content to rank for.


I also like to focus more on secondary keywords and related keywords with less search volumes each, but when you sum them up they bring you more than the main keyword… plus they are so easy to rank!


Hi Spencer and Perrin

i have a question

what is the best place to get a good article because I am not good at writing articles

Spencer Haws

I like or


Well done Perrin and Spencer, your doing a great job here 🙂


I found my secondary keywords by using the keyword planner. first i input my main keyword, set it into the country you target, limit the average monthly search volume to 200 searches and above. go to keyword ideas tab, make sure you set it to exact match, and sort out your keywords from high to low volume and pick out relevant secondary keywords.



Can you expound on the problems you had with the plugins? What were the plugins and how you solved the problem.

Are you using any security plugins? Consider WP Firewall 2.


The plugins just weren’t compatible with my theme. I installed alternatives. Nothing fancy (or hard). 🙂

John [email protected] Zone

Well done guys!

Love the update and i too love secondary keywords.Can’t wait till next week to see the site 🙂

Keep up the good work Perrin.


6 weeks in and only a few pages have just now been put up? Yikes! Is the site about turtles, lol?

Spencer Haws

lol, because its a public project and we are documenting everything, we are going slower. The first few weeks were spent talking strategy 🙂


Is this “Gabo” for real???

Everytime I read these posts i get more motivated, learn and have little ah ha moments, Spencer these case studies are something that you don’t have to do, BUT you do, and you do it out of kindness to help anyone and everyone, if we take action on what you show we will get results. There are Tons of people who really, really appreciate what you do here…So thank you

Spencer Haws

Thank you Shannon!!

Phuong Le

The content is mainly outsource or self written?


I’m writing the first 15-20 articles myself.


Great post! BTW, would love to see a post on your thoughts on the Oct 4th Google update. My niche site got SLAMMED and I’d love some input on what you feel like they were targeting and how we should react going forward.

Thanks as always!


Hi Specer.When selecting keywords using Long Tail Pro, what is the best Avg. Keyword Competitiveness level you recommend.


Hey Spencer,
I have been following your blog since past few days, especially your niche site projects. These are really very helpful and thanks for putting so much effort for your readers. I wish Perrin good luck for this project. I am really excited to get a look of your website.
After reading all your posts I have decided to follow you along and Started with keyword research, but lots of things have changed since you explained the KW research process. Now if you see the top 10 results for the product based keywords most of the sites are commerce like amazon, ebay and high authority websites. Still I found few good KWs but still need some confirmation. Basically I want to know if there is any change in your strategy for KW research after recent penguin update?
Spencer if you are willing to take a look at my kws and give some advice on those, let me know and I will send you an email. Only if you agree to help me out.

@Perrin, good luck again for your website.


Thanks 🙂

All of this was done a few weeks ago (we’re doing it live, basically), so it’s post-Penguin.


Great post, but I have some questions:

can you explain more about secondary keywords?

You publish just one article with optimize title (secondary keyword in the title), meta-description and meta-keywords or more?

Do you make link building for every secondary keywords?

And what is the optimum value of Avg. KC in LTP for a secondary keyword? Same metrics of main keyword?



Secondary keywords have become my main source of traffic (and revenue) for almost all my sites. Even though I’m on page 1 for my main keyword on my first two niches, that’s not enough. The more synonyms and similar keywords I can rank for the better my chances are of drawing in that organic traffic.

Right now I’m experimenting with a site where nearly all the content writing was outsourced. Even though I like to write, I just find it easier to produce way more than I ever physically could myself by using freelance writers. This allows me to focus on the other strategic parts of the business such as what to do with the site, how to build it up, etc.


Let me know how this goes!

It’d be hard to hand the writing over to someone, I think, but I also know I’d enjoy the more strategic parts of the business a bit more than writing.

Glad to hear of your success. 🙂

Can I ask how many sites you own and how they are doing (e.g. Do you make your living from them?)?

Liz chapman

Hi Spencer, how many words do you recommend for posts targeting secondary keywords? Thanks

Ryan Cote

I can’t wait to see the site! Let’s hope it doesn’t open the door to negative SEO like was the case with your knife site. I still don’t get why people do that to people that are openly sharing information to help others…very puzzling.


Can anyone tell me if Google will penalize two sites that are on the same hosting account that are in the same broad niche such as one site that is about golf clubs and another site that is about golf shoes?


Spencer…as I’m starting from scratch I frequently run into stoppers because either do not know the meaning of the language you are using or I encounter a step which doesn’t match your description…e.g., trying to use Long Tail Pro free period…have blown my 10 day free period trying to set up….

Have signed up for Adwords and have a customer ID but in order to use itI need to “-choose your budget; -create your ads; select keywords that match your ad to potential customers; -enter your billing information”???

Haven’t a clue as to how I am to deal with these requirementsto activate Adwords (and then Long Tail Pro)…since am still back in the phase of trying to find desirable keywords, i don’t have a) a budget, b) an ad; c) keywords and d) billing information…

can you help me with this brick wall I can’t figure out how to get through?

Don Johnsen

Marc Possoff

Hi Perrin you asked…”Have you found some good secondary keywords? How’s the initial writing process going?”

Secondary keywords are easy to find in the 100-200 searches a month spot. My plan is to post both informative content and product based/review content. Maybe 20% informative and 80% selling content(product reviews). The informative content seems to get more searches compared to product based review content from my experience. What I have been doing when I have a specific product in my niche is to just research the product and add a buying keyword to it such as review, reviews etc. The search volumes are low and in some cases the competition is weak.

I’m subscribed to another blog and the owner says that Google has changed their SERP’s and I think he’s right. Before I started to take action and just doing keyword research I noticed that in most cases product name review/reviews would produce low competition SERPS with no eCommerce or authority sites. Now in the same niches the SERPS are being monopolized by eCommerce and authority sites it seems to me. The one niche I didn’t take action on months and months ago the SERPS were 70% affiliate sites now it’s 80% eCommerce and authority sites although the metrics and criteria look like a go. And I’m finding this with other niches that I had saved for future action.


Thanks for the input, Marc. 🙂

I think it’s also worth noting that many keywords that include the word “review” may show eCommerce sites because many eCommerce sites (like Amazon) include reviews).

Who knows! I’m definitely interested in this. 🙂

Marc Possoff

Hi Perrin the list of niches with review or reviews attached I’ve had for at least 6 months at that time and prior when I didn’t take action, the SERPS were not mostly eCommerce sites like present. They were mostly affiliate sites.

What I’m saying is according to some affiliate marketers Google changed the SERPS per se to include more eCommerce sites, YouTube videos, Google shopping, and images.

Taiwo The Knife holder


Spencer I feel there is something wrong about your keyword research. You said we should not go for a buying keyword i.e a keyword with e commerce site. Since i had not started my site yet i decide to go for a keyword close to your niche. I saw ebay/amazon in the first page. I did built a face book page and it is ranking no 4/5 in the same keyword. Today i see a niche site on number two. I have about four keyword and watched over the month and some other guys using this your techniques are ranking No 1 for those keyword in less than a month. Are really sure of what you said about ecommerce sites and ranking.


Hey Taiwo,

If you can see other niche sites ranking on the first page then this is okay. Spencer has always recommended avoiding keywords where ALL the results on the first page are only eCommerce sites.

That’s still not to say it will be impossible but it will probably be a lot harder work. If it is achievable will also depend on how valuable those keywords are to the retailers on page 1 and if they are actively optimizing for it.

My first site I made the mistake of going for such a phrase as I had not see this advice then. I’m still working on it and its been touch but I’m not giving up as it is a very valuable learning experience. However I am staring other sites with keyword that are not dominated by eCommerce sites.

Taiwo The Knife holder

yep. I understand that clearly. today the FB page is number one for the secondary keyword. Another niche site just came up and is number three today.


Hi guys!

Thanks so much for sharing all this. I have been interested in affiliate marketing for a couple of years, but life got in the way and I never really got stuck in. After wasting too much time and money buying “systems” from a particular forum, I decided to come back here and start from scratch. No doubt you’ve heard it hundreds of times before, but you seriously do give more information and assistance for free than I have ever received at a cost. Very cool!

I’ve recorded your podcasts to play in the car while commuting each week just to try to get myself in the right mindset for committing to this project, and am loving this project! Thanks for sharing your experiences and learning curves, Perin – its much appreciated!

I have a question which I know you touched on in one of the podcasts – I purchased a generic domain (relating to my elderly dogs) and put up one or two articles about 2 years ago but I got sidetracked and never did anything else with it. I’m now thinking it might be worth trying to build as a follow along with your project. Is this something that would be advantageous in terms of Google, since the site has been up without any advertising for that time? Or would it be best to avoid a pre-determined niche to begin with? (I realise its like putting the cart before the horse, but I’d value your opinion on how to proceed if its feasible)

Most of the keywords I’ve found for primary keywords have been choked up with e-commerce sites, but alot of the smaller ones seem quite achievable.

Thanks so much 🙂

Jawbone Up

Way to go! I’m eager to see your site! Do share more with us in the next post!


“Have you found some good secondary keywords?”

I realized that the keywords are not as important as they once were. Do not get me wrong, keywords should be, but the importance of keywords when optimizing a website is much smaller.



You doing great job. I have been following you for long and do helping others the best possible way.
Keep going Perrin.

Good luck.


Hello Spencer. I was was currently in the process of starting my first niche site. I found a good product keyword started re-reading your NSP1 and NSP2 post/videos then realized that the Amazon Affiliate Program does not apply to Illinois residents. Won’t let it get me down though but now I feel kinda of loss in which direction to go.

My question is there other affiliate programs similiar/effective to amazon or should I research a no product keyword and go the Google Adsense route?


Hey Spencer,

Just wondering how your linkbuilding strategy will be going forward? Will you still be using Layered Links?

Spencer Haws

No, I don’t think we’ll be using this time. More to come on the link strategy down the road…but we’ll be looking for more genuine/real links.

Recent Posts

View all