Niche Site Project 3 Update: September and October Traffic and Earnings

By Spencer Haws |

Welcome to another update for Niche Site Project 3!  As you may have noticed, we are now doing updates every other month for Samara, Colleen, and Ryan.

The good news is that all 3 students continue to see growth for their websites both in terms of earnings and traffic!

In particular, Samara and Colleen are now in a rinse and repeat mode for the most part.  They have set up their site and can now just focus on continuing to produce great content and do basic link building each month.

Samara also hit a nice milestone of hitting her first $100 month!  And Colleen’s traffic has doubled since August!

Each of the students is making great progress, and much of their results now come down to the amount of time and effort that they continue to put into their sites.

Here’s the updates from Samara, Colleen, and Ryan:

Samara’s Update

Hey everybody!

I’m excited to bring you an update on all things Tiny Fry!

October was slightly complicated for me as I was visiting family, so I had less free time than usual, but I still tried to work as much as possible on my niche site. As you probably guessed, I have been busy implementing Spencer’s long-term strategy: publish content, do outreach, get a few backlinks.

I continue to look for low competition, long tail keywords for my articles, of which I published 7 in September and 5 in October. I’ve also started to add comparison tables, which I’m hoping will help turn visitors into actual buyers.

I have, unfortunately, dropped the ball with my social media accounts. For a while I was sharing articles every day, and then… I don’t know what happened. I guess I got distracted. It’s actually quite a bit of work to find useful information to share with your audience every single day; I didn’t think it would be so time consuming but it is. I’m hoping to get back on track this November.

I’ve seen a steady increase in traffic since the site was launched, and as you can see from the screenshot, traffic continued to grow over the last few months.


As for backlinks, I have done a whole handful of guest posts recently (including one for a site with a DA of 56), and am now exploring other strategies to mix things up a bit. My main focus is still on publishing content and then looking for a few links here and there, and that will continue to be my plan going forward.

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My Amazon earnings are on the rise, which I’m very excited about. In September I earned $90, and one of my guest posts paid $50, which technically brought my total monthly earnings to $140. In October, I made $105 on Amazon. Breaking the $100 barrier is a milestone, and I’m hoping to set a new record next month. I’m also hoping to develop some kind of self-control that allows me to stop checking my earnings every few hours, which has become something of a new obsession (anyone else do that?).


I hope everyone is making great progress on their niche sites and you guys are also in it for the long haul like I am!

Colleen’s Update

Hello from the Rocky Mountains!
It’s been a busy couple of months. I’m currently living in Colorado and enjoying the views of the mountains and hiking every chance I get. I’ve put a hold on traveling to focus on work, saving money, and building Coustii! I’m hoping that all my hard work pays off before I jet set off to Bali after the New Year.
According to Moz, has a Page Authority of 39 and a Domain Authority of 32. It’s crazy to think my site has come this far since only January! As mentioned in the last update, I have put a hold on my link-building strategy to create more content for Coustii. I’m now ranking for almost 6,000 keywords. My goal is to keep that number going up, up, up!
In October I saw a big growth in traffic. Back in August I had about 2,200 sessions, now I have 4,500! This means my traffic has doubled in only 2 months!
This month I’m working on getting a higher Amazon conversion rate. Right now, my average is about 3.5%, which converted only to about $40 in earnings. Still not a lot, which is why I’m working on going through all of my affiliate links. I want to make sure I’m still recommending the best, quality products for my audience.

Ryan’s Update

Wow, these months fly by. I mean, we’re rapidly approaching a year into this project. Yikes.

Okay, so, as you can see my site got a little boost in October. I wonder why? Oh yeah, that’s when we finally revealed the site.

I’ll admit, it was really nice to see some traffic come in – even if it wasn’t the hard earned kind. And it did give me a mental boost So, yay for that.

Here’s the other thing… I was expecting the spike in sessions, but I wasn’t expecting that to raise the overall organic traffic for the weeks after the initial reveal. Yet, so far at least, that’s what’s happened. So, organic traffic is up quite a bit (for me at least) and I’m looking to build off that momentum.


Organic Traffic:


All Traffic:


As far as whether I’ve made any money from the site yet? That would be a resounding no. However, I let my Amazon Affiliate account lapse after they rejected me for not making any sales. There just didn’t seem to be any point in having live affiliate links until I’m really seeing traffic.

I’ll probably re-apply soon if I can keep the traffic growth coming. It would be nice to at least see one sale before we hit a year on the project. Pathetic, I know, but we’ve already been over that.

Anyway, we’ll see what these next few months have in store. Hopefully, Colleen and Samara are seeing some great numbers starting to come in. Good luck everyone!

Niche Business Ideas | 67 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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Nice one guys, keep going!

Dan W

Glad to see the ongoing continuance of the students of Niche Project 3. Gives a very realistic picture of the stages in growing their niche sites, albeit different styles and niches themselves.

It is now 2016, so we all know the work put into these sites is more demanding than 5 years ago. Impressed with the determination and personalities of Samara, Colleen, and Ryan. To Ryan, remember you do not have to be perfect, necessarily, to attain results and stardom, just refer to Pete Rose. To Samara, they say it gets easier once you hit the $100 barrier; I’m watching your site progress and keep up the good work. To Colleen, amazing the site authority you have built up with the intensive backlink method you took. Your potential there looks like an eruption waiting to happen.

Spencer Haws

I agree…thanks Dan!


Great! Go Samara


Keep it up guys. Pretty sure next year will be even better!

Doug Cunnington

Great updates!

Samara, I’m the same way with the social accounts! It’s hard to keep things fresh. Congrats on the $100 mark!

Colleen, those are amazing stats for the DA. Is your link building primarily around guest posting? Do you do anything else? (I can’t remember from all the podcasts and stuff…)

Ryan, Keep it going, man. It’s the long game and you have as much time as you need. As long as you keep moving forward, your site will do fine.


Hi Doug, I, too, have found that it can be time consuming to manage social media accounts and keep things fresh. I’m working with writers to help me create fresh content and then using Buffer to help queue multiple posts so i don’t have to post every day. to make the process even easier on myself I’m also hiring Virtual Assistants at very low rates to assist with this and it’s keeping my social media accounts more active than they were before with fresher content. Hope this helps!

umroh januari

nice information. send me email if you have another article like this. thanks

Spencer Haws

You got it.


Thanks Spencer,
I have been looking forward to this update.


This site inspired me to start my first authority site and these case studies keep me going. The first few months are so tough when you’re pushing out tons of content and google shows you no love but these updates give me hope. Keep it going guys!

Spencer Haws

Totally. Thanks Erica!


Samara, i have like 400 to 600 daily visitor very far from the traffic you have but im earng $1,000 monthly

Aaslin @ Upniche

It depends on the keywords for which you get traffic. Buyer keywords Vs Informational keywords.


product price really matters


If I’m not mistaken it’s monthly traffic VS daily.


you mean samara’s graphic ? i believe its weekly.. even though hers is weekly, it still on 4000 daily visitors..mine is somewhere 400 to 600… i believe its more on product price…

Spencer Haws

I think you are not reading Samara’s traffic stats correctly. The graph shows her getting roughly 4,000 visitors per MONTH; or around 135 visitors per day. Hope that clarifies things for you, John.


Are you selling a rxtremly popular item with lots of demand or a high ticket price item . 1000 a month with the lower traffic. How ate you doing that


hi larry

my main product has 6,000 monthly search but im now ranking 6th ot 8th, so my traffic is low… but the price for the main product range from $250+ to $400… but an accessory to that product which has a price range of $30 to $50 is my top seller…that accessory products easily breaks..repeat order i believe

Aaslin @ Upniche

Thanks for this update Spencer.

All 3 of them showing good progress. But for Ryan, (Though I haven’t read all the updates of nsp3), It is still something wrong as he has not been able to make one sale yet.

I have had customers who make sales once in a while at least to save their Amazon affiliate account with the premade sites which we offer without them working properly on the site. When someone is working for a year and not making any sale, It sounds there is something wrong. Not sure if Google is not showing any mercy to him, or his content is not optimized for sales?.

Aaslin @ Upniche

For the Tinyfry site, Adding prominent buy now or “check price/discount on amazon” button will increase your revenue. And linking to the product in the first line of product description will help.


Ryan. I am also on the same path on which you are.. but remember slow and steady wins the race.


I believe Jeb Bush said the same thing. Yet Trump, the brash, outlandish, extravagant, attention grabbing showman came out on top. There is a lesson in that.

Mr. Moneybags

I feel like Ryan is wasting your time and should quit. He is not taking a slow and steady approach; he is taking a lazy approach.


I agree. It looks like he only posted one full article last month, and one so far this month.

Dan W

I disagree in the phrase “wasting your time”. This is Ryan’s project of which it his gain or loss for the future; another words, it is “his time” thus he makes the choices how fast he progresses. His pace has no effect on anyone else in their own life pursuits. I’m sure Ryan feels the pace he is going presently, is what he has to offer given, family, health and full time job issues. All three students, give an interesting perspective to pursuing the project of building an affiliate web site, Not everyone is going to bolt out of the blocks to immediate gains. Perrin Carrell just happened to be a extremely quick learner who galloped to success in this field.


Welp, he sure shot himself in the foot by giving away his chosen niche early and then not posting anything.

I know because I started a baseball-related site back on the NSP2 project and watched dozens of copycat baseball sites pop up all of the sudden. He might as well choose a new niche now and relaunch since he gave everyone else a head start!

Michel Veloso

These case studies keep me going with site! =D

Thank you very much!!

Spencer Haws

Great to hear…thanks Michel!


ohh sorry about it Spencher, i really thought it was 4,000 daily..


I like the progress Samara has made – it makes me hopeful. Being a newbie, I am interested to know more on the link-building strategies each are doing.


Thanks foe sharing, insightful.


Great update and good progress for everyone. I wanted to give some perspective and advice as someone who is making money online from 2 sites (about $5000 gross).

1. I wouldn’t worry too much about posting on FB as a main strategy… As everyone knows organic traffic on facebook has been declining and even when your stuff is seen, it is very hard to connect it to any real Return on Investment. Maybe going to a schedule of 2-3 posts a week is fine and I would still do it, just to share your content and see if you can get some engagement – but focusing on other areas will have more impact so it’s not a big deal!

2. I noticed a lot of you are monetizing with Amazon affiliate earnings. With the low percentage they pay out, it can become increasingly discouraging. Your traffic numbers are not bad, but you may need to monentize later on in other ways. I’d look for other opportunities to monetize. Either affiliate products that pay above 30% commissions, or develop your own products and sell those. Making money with 4-8% commissions is so hard… The best is really have your own products!

Best of luck.
Looking forward to more updates.


It would be interesting to know how many pages the sites have. It often goes hand in hand the more pages you have the more traffic but not always.

Spencer Haws

The sites are publicly available, so you can see how much content each site has.

Sam Frost

Great to see some quality sites being built (I especially like Coustii as I’m a guitar player myself) – the traffic has started flowing, so they shouldn’t be far away from seeing some compounding results!

Sarfraz Khan

Samara can do better with that much traffic. I think she is focusing less on amazon affiliate marketing.


Spencer [email protected] Can you hit me an email please. I have an interesting case study. I hope you will like it. Waiting for your quick response.

local seo Brisbane

Pretty cool! Thank you for sharing updates.


Colleen’s backlink binge is very impressive!

Kayode Smith

Honestly, this case study is unque in the sense that the websites are revealed for everyone to see. With this remarkable update, i think its high time i stopped building shady links and focus on creating great contents on my website.

Spencer Haws

Sounds like a good plan.


You just built a shady link with that comment…

Bhuboy Villanueva

It is really good to read this updates, as it gives me an real life look of how really it is to build a profitable website. Thanks for this

Frank Joseph

Keep it up guys, soon enough we start seeing $1k+ earnings. I know it will come to that stage! I trust Spencer and crew.

Personally, started a top 10 site and in just 3 months, am already making $150+/month


Hello, I am Chinese, because my English is not good, do not understand your video tutorial, your tutorial has e-book PDF document? if there are e-books, I can translate, please reply

Kontent machine crack

Thank you for sharing income report. Hope, you will earn more in coming days.


Great to see results which encourages us not to lose hope <3


Great to see how resilient you guys are. As they say, Rome wasn’t built on a single day. Seems like my friend there has really mastered the art of link building, a DA of 32 in only about 8 months is marvelous. Go on guys, sky is no limit!


Hey Spencer,

Thanks for the updates on these projects. They really help inspire people who are staring out on their own small business online.



I wonder what’s the bounce rate for samara and colleen’s sites, my site’s bounce rate is about 85%, I tried many methods but still can drop it down.
Another question is, My site have nearly the same number of articles and the moz metric is very good, but in semrush I only saw 700 keywords ranking, But I saw samara and colleen rank for 6~7K keywords! Why?

Dan W

You make an interesting comment. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I will give it a whirl.
1) are you using long tail keywords which tend to have lower competition, thus easier to rank?
2)I believe Google likes to see one use similar variations of the keywords you focus on such as in Google suggest. I believe they call it semantic variations(similar meaning with different words)
3)Do you have long content that is relevant to your niche. Longer content seems to bring higher rankings which in turn ranks more keywords
4) According to Brian Dean, content promotion is just as important as creating good content. He claims the content will not rank on its own without promoting in some fashion of the content produced!
These would be my initial investigations.
One more important point is of course SEO. Internal linking throughout your website is a SEO factor not to be ignored(and of course external links too). Have you studied your competition and their keywords used. Semrush of course is the go-to tool for this analysis!

N Patel

Hey I follow and love your blog 🙂

You have great content and you should keep it up. I found you through a Google search and see that you have links to Bluehost. I have a web hosting company that is fairly new and I’d love if you could mention or link to it. You can also sign up as our affiliate, I can help you build a custom landing page that will have your sites names on it and will convert like crazy!

Let me know if you are interested in our web hosting affiliate program and I’d be glad to give you personalized recommendations to maximize your profits!


N Patel

Bryan Walker

Ryan’s website is violating Amazon’s terms and conditions by showing Amazon customer review. Amazon will ban his account.


Nice update!
I am really excited to see how much TinyFry can grow. The number are amazing and inspiring!


Hi Spencer,
I am regular user of LTP and reader of your great Posts. Well this question is about your suggestion for” not to build website which are having low KC and lot of eCommerce websites ranking for that particular keywords”.
I had found a Niche which is having very low KC keywords (15-25 almost) and Top 10 results are showing small eCommerce sites (not the big players) .
As you had suggested in your previous posts, to avoid such keywords which having ecom. sites ranking in Top 10 results. I am confuse with-
1. is it applicable for Big Players like Amazone, ebay etc.. ? or any website that have shopping cart and products ? Suppose 10 eCommerce sites are ranking for a very low KC but are not big players , is it possible to get success ?
2. If the Niche is demanding a blog that require to explain about products and comparisons, I mean buyers would love to read it before jumping to these No Brand eCommerce sites, will it rank ?
Is it thumb Rule, any eCommerce site(even small eCommerce ) in Top 10 results = No opportunity


Hi Spencer, the thrive theme / content builder you mention. On the thrive site it talks in terms of pages. Does it allow you to build posts too or is it working on the basis that the site will simply be page based? DO you use it for posts?


Does it make sense to jump start the site traffic by buying traffic? How will that help with rankings?

Prince Molak

Samara is really doing a Nice Job and her conversion rate looks really good too


Great! Motivating post. Let’s see what works in the future. I think with more efforts each one can earn a decent income.
Good luck!


Hmmm.. I think blogging is becoming difficult day by day. As some ‘GURUS’ in the industry are saying nowadays, blogging in itself is not a business. I feel blogging is a good way to build a following fast. But to build a life changing income stream we might have to work very hard. Anyway, all the best to you guys who are trying their best.


Great blog, worth of information.


agree…thanks Dan!


It is really good, it is to build a profitable website. Thanks for this


Thank You very much Spencer, but I am not sure how to use LTP for my content strategy
Do I make a piece of content for 2 – 3 long tail search queries or I focus on Topical Seo, meaning I gather
20-30 Long-Tail Keywords and I write on guide on that topic

Spencer Haws

I would focus on 1 main keyword per article, then perhaps 2 to 5 secondary keywords (think sub-headings) in the same article.

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