Niche Site Project 4 Monthly Report for November 2018

By Spencer Haws |

Niche Site Project 4 continues to roll on!  Over the past few months, I've been working diligently on my site and today I'll be sharing the results for the previous month (November).

In some regards, I was able to accomplish some big things for my site; in other aspects, I didn't accomplish everything that I wanted to.

So, overall, I'll be reporting on my traffic, earnings, and strategies.  In addition, I'll be sharing the report from dozens of other people that are participating in Niche Site Project 4 at the end of this post.

Let's get started!

Niche Site Project 4 Timeline

As a reminder, I wanted to share what has happened in the project so far.

So, as you look at this timeline, you will see that as of 12/10/2018 it will have been 3 months since the first article was published.  In the grand scheme of things this is not very long at all…but it FEELS like a long time.

I probably shouldn't be checking the stats and rankings daily.

Traffic and Earning Results for November

Because this is a public project, I wish things were happening faster.  However, I also realize that it's been less than 3 months since I published the very first article, and most articles have only been on the site for a month or two.

If this wasn't a public project, I wouldn't be concerned at all.  But only because I have to share everything so openly, I know the progress of my site is being tracked by thousands of people!

Rankings and earnings for niche sites take time.  So, overall I don't have any major concerns.  


Proof that I didn't make any money! :).  I'm getting some Amazon affiliate links, but no buyers just yet.


The trend in traffic was a bit better than my earnings for November.

The yellow bar represents November compared to previous months.  Organic, Social, and Total sessions all increased on the site…great news!  Always nice when things are at least moving in the right direction.

In fact, when I look at total sessions, the traffic more than doubled from October to November!  I know the numbers are still so small, but seeing a 109% increase in traffic in one month is a small win.

Again, I know the numbers are small…but this is the case for every new site.  However, the above line is the type of thing you want to see with a new site.

Now, here's the raw data for just November.

The spike for 3 days that you see around Nov 26 – Nov 28th was a small experiment I did with FB ads.  I spent about $50 and drove traffic to a massive pillar article that I had just completed.  

I wanted to see if this would get the article indexed quicker (it did), and wanted to see if any traffic from FB would buy some products through my affiliate links (they didn't).  However, this experiment did give me some ideas that I'll explain in a bit.

The other spikes that you see in the graph are mostly from Pinterest. 

What Was Accomplished in November?

November had some ups and downs.  As with any website, it can sometimes be hard to find consistent writers.

I eliminated 2 writers in November and have finally replaced them near the end of the month.  As a result, the content production was down considerably more than I had hoped.

Overall, only 7 articles were written for the month.  However, one of these articles was a MASSIVE pillar article of nearly 13,000 words long!  I think this is the longest article I've ever published on one of my sites.

However, this article is going to be a central topical theme for my site that I'm hoping established my topical authority.  For the next few months, most of the content on my site will revolve around this pillar article.

I now have 4 authors for the site that I believe will start producing content on a more consistent basis.

Plans for Future Growth

Overall, the model hasn't changed.  I plan to continue ramping up content with the knowledge that over time Google with start indexing and ranking my content better.  This increased organic traffic will lead to more people buying products through my affiliate links.

However, I'm really interested in getting on the “earnings board”.  Maybe I'm just overly competitive (or impatient), but I hate posting results that don't have any earnings associated with them.

As a result, I plan to start building an email list and start monetizing that list ASAP.  The problem is that my site doesn't get many visitors, so building a list through the traffic coming to my website is likely not going to build a list that moves the needle.

So, here's my plan in a nutshell:

I've done contests and giveaways that have generated several thousand leads in a week, so the potential is there to build a decent list in a “short” period of time.

The key will be two things:

  1. Building a list of people that are interested in the same niche as my website.
  2. Emailing these people 3 to 5 times a week with offers or other content that keeps the list “warm”.

The benefit of doing all of this is 3 things:

  1. The more people I get on my list and the more I email them, the more likely I am to earn money.
  2. As I generate traffic to my articles using sources outside of Google (my email list), I believe that Google does take notice and starts crawling your site more often which can lead to improved indexing and rankings.
  3. If I do future contests or giveaways, I won't have to spend as much on ads because I'll already have an email list I can “launch” it to.  As these existing email subscribers share, like, and get their friends on my email list…I get lots of new subscribers.

Now, all of this is easier said than done, but I'm going to give it a shot this month!  I've seen great results in the past with similar attempts, so I hope you don't mind me adding this “wrinkle” to the project.

The Tools I May Potentially Use:

I may use all of these or only 1 or 2.  I'll test some things out and let you know what exact process I end up with.

Update from Niche Site Project 4 Participants

Below you will find the monthly report for many of the people participating in the project.  As usual, I find it interesting to see people's thoughts and how their sites are doing.

Overall, I'm happy to see the effort that people are putting in!  If you would like to participate in the project, go ahead and register here.

<td data-sheets-value="{"1":2,"2":"I am still focusing on how to run the site more effectively. I finished putting a system in place for writers and VA to speed up the content but still requires me to manage a big part of the process so now I am working in creating procedures for those tasks that I feel I am ready to delegate in someone else. Also started a backlink campaign and achieved a DA=14 / TF=9 / CF=10 so I think is working very well, however not much movement in Google ranks, have a few keywords in page 3-4, but taking into consideration that I started with the new site end of September beginning of October I think it is ok. "}”>

I am still focusing on how to run the site more effectively. I finished putting a system in place for writers and VA to speed up the content but still requires me to manage a big part of the process so now I am working in creating procedures for those tasks that I feel I am ready to delegate in someone else. Also started a backlink campaign and achieved a DA=14 / TF=9 / CF=10 so I think is working very well, however not much movement in Google ranks, have a few keywords in page 3-4, but taking into consideration that I started with the new site end of September beginning of October I think it is ok.
Real Name or Nickname (What you want to be publicly listed as in this monthly report). Number of articles TOTAL published on your site since inception? Number of Total “Sessions” your site received in November 2018? Earnings for November 2018?
What was accomplished in November 2018 for your site? (Please limit to a few sentences if possible). Feel free to link to your niche site (if you want to reveal publicly) or link to your blog where you are giving more detailed reports about your niche site.
Kutluay 5 3518 99.63
No new articles – no additional work on the site. Just continued the process to drive traffic to my site from Pinterest. The experiment details are on my site:
RichP 8 27 0
My site was launched and 8 articles were published. I found a solid writer who I trust with the copy. We have been getting views which is huge!
Jesse 38 372 0.81
Facebook page created, about 7-8 more articles, made my second amazon sale
Diego Vizcaino 1 0 0
I built the site and created a massive article, I'm pumped!
Jac 0 582 0
Increase Social Media followers.
Jerry Jhonson 5 152 0
publish an article on every week. Done few blog comments.
Steve Allen 3 34 0
I made the decision to restart my niche site in a completely different niche and I launched this one just 3 weeks ago.

It was an old domain I owned but I had never written any content for it until now.

In November, I published 3 articles and I have already seen some traction in Google with 2 articles on page 3.

I will be documenting my journey with this niche site at my blog

Jules 10 1227 4.43
I published 3 new posts in November, which is way less than I really planned, but I'm still writing all of my own content and this is a side-hustle for me. Having said that, one of my posts has become pretty popular on Pinterest! I've also been working on my own digital products/courses to sell on the site, which is also slowing the growth a bit because I'm working on those instead of more blog content. I also added a “resources” type page that is filled with affiliate links. But overall, I'm happy with the growth of the site and connected social media.
Andrew Courtney 48 1948 0
Continued to publish articles. Keyword research for next 20 articles. Tidied up styling of site, improved images and formatting of articles. 319 organic sessions this month. The rest from Pinterest. I plan to publish another 10 articles in Dec.
Endre 0 0 0
I changed my niche after almost completing the keyword research. This time it moves faster, but I still struggle.
Ben Doyle 41 116 0
Write 6 articles, built around 100 links including guest posts, business citations and resource page links
Chris H. 1 21 0 Published 1 article
Justin 2 0 0 Another post
Alwayne 24 246 14.24
I was able to earn income for this month, i have got a few powerful guest post links. The sad part is i had to delete 6 of my articles so it's now 24.
wendy 10 229 0.6
Connecting ads with site.. other than that, not much.. struggle to increase number of audience and try to see what work and didn't work
Ally G. 3 0 0
Nothing, too busy dealing with personal stuff to work on my niche site.
Chadwick 13 75 0
I only posted one article as I have been very busy.
Dave Starr 0 0 0
Foundation Building and Procrastination
Christina 23 34 0 Low times this month!
Kevin 20 30 0
Few backlinks and social signals, ill take it slowly but surely.
Md Billal Hossain Sarker 0 0 0
Somehow, I needed to change the domain. The domain selection was wrong. So I've bought a new domain and waiting to replace it. Due to huge busy in this December with my existing projects, I think, I can start work again for the NSP4 site from the January 2019 with a big breath.
Mr Alexander 1 0 0
About 3 articles have been created but not published. I haven't done much otherwise.
Kawsar Jahan 14 1300 47.2
I just update my site with fiew article. And also also get 2 backlink from guest post
Bill 5 185 8.84
Slowly growth in this month only 5 published articles. But some of my articles is seasoning (Black Friday + Product keyword) rising to top 10 and got some earning from this keyword.
Renuga 0 0 0
I have not published any articles yet, but I have so far written ~10k words, planning to complete 20 full articles before I publish them. That would be 20*2k words, planning to publish before march. This has been my off-screen achievements so far.
Rohan Bhardwaj 86 64 0
The number of sessions dropped in November. I think it is partly because I didn't write good articles in November. The drag was too much. I hope to write awesome in December. Fingers crossed.
Mike Ryan 21 53 0
Seeing less sessions this month, but more of those sessions are starting to come from organic traffic. Have done absolutely zero link building so far. Any traffic coming to the site is coming from targeting low competition keywords.
Hassane 10 20 0 More articles added
John 0 0 0
Niche research is just about completed. Working on further shortlisting the niches. Found a niche that I liked before the research phase and after further analysis, found that it may be a viable niche to get into. Purchased a domain for it and setup hosting. Installing plugins and finishing up content ideas. Will begin to write about five articles in the next couple weeks and outsource about ten additional.
Sharkey 16 85 0
Set up a Pinterest account – pins are doing well, but not really translating to traffic yet.
Burnt myself out on writing blog articles, but MUST get back to it.
A trickle of traffic from organic search – enough to give me encouragement.
smshs 15 87 0 na
Simon 15 5000 86 authority sites published. I hit over 2k in instagram followers and my pinterest traffic is steadily increasing."}”>

I did a few long product round ups that are better than anything I have seen. It was a lot of work. I got several guest posts on high authority sites published. I hit over 2k in instagram followers and my pinterest traffic is steadily increasing.
Hredoy 25 183 0 started backlink.
Amit 9 200 0 Na
Ryan Faucher 72 877 30.4
An off month for me. I got married! Full details:
Jobe 15 223 0
Nelly 13 30 0
After scrapping my initial niche site (due to the medic update), I got start late with my new niche. But ive got the site and logo built, had my first review article written, bought tablelads and have added my first comparison table. Researched and put together a new list of keywords.
Sakralarab 12 84 0
I am going to build more Web 2 Links ,
I have fixed some security issues reported by google and enhanced the content i
i have sent more outreach mails and dealing with some guest posts ,
i will start paid traffic to get some traffic
My website is
Mike 16 489 1.16
Finished branding, added a logo, added 4 new articles, set up an email capture, found more keywords to go after.
Rachel 15 432 6
2 new articles published, 4 new links secured. Progress slower than hoped. Pinterest still accounts for majority of traffic to the site.
Towfiq 17 182 0
Can't fill up the target in November. I've a goal of publishing minimum 3 Buying Guide in November but I published only a Buying Guide.
Mouad Real 25 203 00
i get 5 guest post , and the keywords that i target all in 2 page right now
Angela Lewis 12 220 24
The site continues to grow. I believe publishing reviews on my YouTube channel on a couple of products and sharing on Instagram and Facebook is the reason for the views. Always improving and split-testing adsense ad placement.
Jae Jun 0 253 2394.31
Earnings down slightly from last month. Spent most of November making a huge upgrade to our infrastructure and working out the kinks. Bounce rate is still too high so I want to try and bring that down. Email open rates are average at mid 30's%. Would like to get it up to 40-50% range.





Success Stories | 29 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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No bad I guess. BTW, Are you building link for this site? if yes, what kinds of links?

Spencer Haws

I should have mentioned links in the report. My plan last month was to start a more diligent link building campaign, but that didn’t happen (life got in the way 🙂 ). The only links that have been “built” are some blog comments. Now that I have my pillar post up that I mentioned, I plan to do more link building outreach.

Divyanshu Jangid

Hi Spencer, I am a big fan of your blog. Learned so many things. BTW, In this comment thread, you are saying that the only links this niche site has is by blog commenting. Does blog comments helped in ranking or getting traffic. And much you are spending per month on this niche site.

Spencer Haws

I think the help is pretty minimal from blog comments. It helps you get indexed, gets some referral visits, and can give you a real link every once in a while. Its more just to get things started. I outsource all the writers, so it just depends…around $100 per article.


It’s really inspiring and motivational.

Theodore Nwangene

This is getting interesting Spencer,
Especially for the fact that I’m about setting up another site, so I already know what to expect.

A few questions though:
1. Talking about the 13,000 words article, is it informational article or a buyer’s guide? If it’s the later, did you review different products in different categories in your niche, or same different products in the same niche, like say best 50 products?

I just want to know what made up the 13k words as its really massive.

2. About the giveaway, what exactly are you giving away? A product on Amazon? Like you’re going to be buying the products for them? Sorry to have asked, just thinking of a way I could also mimic this approach for my niche site.

Thanks and good luck.

Spencer Haws

1. It’s an informational article…mostly. Let’s say its something like, “101 Things to do in San Francisco”. Most of it is information on things to do, but some of those things might be monetized with an affiliate link.
2. A product on Amazon. I will be buying the product and shipping it to the winner myself.

Theodore Nwangene

Sounds great Spencer,
Eager to see how the entire giveaway thing goes.

Thanks for your prompt response.


Hi. I was struck by the August medical update, but I didn’t get out, it seems that not having authority but being just a fan I can’t rise into the search engines, do you have any advice to give me?

Spencer Haws

I would focus on overall content quality, targeting the proper topical clusters for your site, and real links.


Great job as always Spencer.

I was slow but finally, have a website up with plugins and getting ready to initiate my first article content. I am following your NP4 as we are aware Google is constantly changing creating challenges.

What you may be demonstrating in your usual sincere, honest approach is the increased use of snippets, paid ads and other distractions by Google, which makes organic clicks more difficult for affiliate marketers starting out. I believe I read somewhere that over the last 5 years, organic CTR is down a good amount(maybe I read 37%, I forget).

Personally, I am still moving forward. Too much work done, am addicted and I guess I enjoy the uphill battle. Some battles are lost, some are won along the way, but persistence pays off to win the war. Along the way, I have learned and am learning new skills.

Good luck to all and thanx, Spencer for the enlightening case study which you generously donate your time to us.

Spencer Haws

Glad you are sticking with it! The process takes time, but we’ll get there!


Learned some very effective strategies from this post, Spencer. I just want to learn one more thing from here if you could help. How can I re-target my website visitors through FB Ads? Thanks much!

Spencer Haws

If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find lots of resources on that subject. Better than I could provide in this comment.


What is the URL of your project? Is it public or private?

Spencer Haws

Its private for now. I’ll reveal it once its making good money ($500 to $1000 a month).


Ah cool 🙂


Thanks for again sharing the update, like you I am excited to see your first sale.


I researched and found out that the current authority sites in my chosen niche are mostly 1 or 2 decades old. Any tips on how to overcome the fear of the big boys? Or do I even stand a chance?

Spencer Haws

It’s all about finding the right keywords. If all the keywords you look at are dominated by sites that are high authority and/or 10 years old; perhaps its time to find a new niche.

ali rehman

Thanks i Learned some very effective strategies from this post. But i want how can i retarget my blog vistors.


Hey Spencer, big fan here, I would love to read in detail about your Pinterest strategy. I’ve tried Pìnterest in the past but I’ve never had any success, I don’t really know what to do other than creating my profile there.
Best of luck in your endeavours.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Per, I’ll have to share more on Pinterest in the future.

Fitness Welt

Thanks for being so open about your progress.
A lot of gurus always share how many millions they are making.
It’s great to see that there are “normal” people working their way up as well 🙂

Spencer Haws



Thanks for you update.

I was wondering if it is still possible to participate in niche site project 4. Started publishing articles on May, then stopped working on that site after few weeks. Only 7 informative articles published and no backlinks have been made. I want to start that niche site again with NSP4. Is it still possible to participate?

Derek Marshall

Great Update Spenser.

Where can I participate in NSP 4/5 with full proper training?

Jake Mays

I have an idea for a niche, but when I search for the terms I would target there are a lot of big websites that have covered the topic but are generic like Do you think it is still worth pushing ahead with the niche?

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