Niche Site Project 2, Coaching Call 2

By Spencer Haws |

Last week, I posted my very  first coaching call with Perrin (my new student for Niche Site Project 2).  We covered all sorts of details ranging from the overall goal of the project and strategies.

The goal of the project is to make a niche website that is making $500/month after 6 months.

For the second week, we did another coaching call that was recorded!  So, you can listen to that below, but first I want to review everything that happened over the first week.

The assignment from last week for Perrin, and any of you following along, was to do some brainstorming for niche or seed keyword ideas.  Here was the assignment:

Well, Perrin took his first assignment and slayed it (in a good way!).  Do I have a young niche site prodigy on my hands?  Maybe so :).  I included every single seed keyword he came up with below (in the notes from this weeks video).

We also had a little bit of back and forth on email and instant messenger this week as well.  Rather than paste in all the emails and chats right here in the blog post; I’ve saved them to a PDF file right here.  So, if you want more info, its right there for you.

Perrin’s Thoughts of the First Week

Perrin and I also thought it would be interesting to let him share some of his thoughts of the whole process.  I think we will make this a weekly routine.

Here’s is what Perrin has to say!:

One week down, 23 to go! You guys having fun yet?! I am. It’s taking every ounce of my willpower not to forge ahead of schedule. I’m full of that giddy-schoolgirl zeal, and sitting in my cubicle during the day is getting much harder with all of these daydreams buzzing around my head.

It may sound silly, but I feel like one of the biggest obstacles for me is going to be just reigning it in – focusing on the site instead of what I want my life to be like in a couple of years. It’s like that old saying about diets: if you run around talking about what you’re going to do instead of focusing on what you are actually doing, you create a disincentive for success (because everyone will congratulate you on your plan instead of your results, and you’ll have no reason to actually do anything). So, as excited as I am, I think it’s important to keep myself in a practical, analytical, working mindset.


This week’s assignment was pretty relaxed. In case you don’t remember, the assignment was to brainstorm a list of seed keywords based four things: 1) my own interests, 2) things I think are cool but don’t know anything about, 3) everyday frustrations, and 4) random Amazon/EBay products.

It was basically a free-writing exercise, and I did it in about an hour. Really, if you’re following along, you can probably do it in 15 minutes, but I was being kind of picky.

Why was I being picky? Well, based on conversations with Spencer, I learned that building a large website that targets lots of long-tail keywords is one of the safest and most sustainable ways to create a site that makes a profit. More importantly, it’s a better way to create a higher-quality site that provides real value to visitors. These kinds of sites also tend to make a lot more money than the $20 “micro-niche” sites we’re all familiar with. With that in mind, I wanted to build an initial list of seed keywords that I thought could yield lots of articles.

So, for example, when I was whittling down my initial list (about 100 seed keyword ideas), things like “No cell signal” and didn’t make the cut because I just don’t think I can write 100 articles about that.

I also cut a few because of what I know about the industry. Gaming, for example, is something I want to stay away from. Gaming is one of my passions, but gamers are fickle, the industry changes incredibly fast, there is extremely high competition, and (as Jenda mentioned in the comments of last week’s post) most gamers use AdBlock. No bueno.

I ended up with this list:
1.     Home/personal green energy
2.     Free trade coffee
3.     Paying back student loans
4.     Energy Star certification
5.     Luxury shaving
6.     Aerobatics
7.     Rock climbing
8.     Restoring typewriters
9.     Extreme racing
10.  Electric scooters
11.  Pet playhouses
12.  Fire pits
13.  Interior design
14.  Helicopter lessons
15.  Organic chocolate
16.  Textbook PDFs
17.  Gaming mouse
18.  Saving for retirement
19.  Home Crossfit workouts

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This is a list I think (/hope) I can work with. Most of these pique my interest, and I’d love to learn more about them, which would make them easy to write about. At first glance, I think I’m most interested in home and personal green energy. Who wouldn’t want to write about solar-powered toasters!

Many of them also represent smaller subsections of much bigger markets, where lots of money changes hands. “Crossfit,” for example, falls under the fitness industry. My hope is that these seed keywords will lead me to a few good low competition keywords despite the massive competition in their parent industries.

Now, on to some in-depth keyword research!

Also, along with many of the NichePursuits community, one of my best friends, Suzy, has decided to try her hand at internet entrepreneurship. Suzy created SuzyQuilts after being inspired by Spencer’s podcast with Jamie Wilson from SuzyQuilts has only been live for a week, and she’s already made her first sale. Go Suzy!

Coaching Call 2 – Video

So, now that you are all caught up on what Perrin did all last week, its time for another coaching call!  Perrin and I got together a couple of days ago, and recorded this second video that covers all the basics for keyword research.

I got this video on YouTube – didn’t realize they accepted videos nearly an hour long!  So, enjoy the 2nd coaching call below:


Or you can save the MP4 file by right clicking and saving here.

Here’s what was covered in the call:

Goals for NSP 2

  • Make a good learning experience for readers of
  • Learn all the steps of the process
  • Improve basic knowledge
  • Income of $500/mth or more (6 months)

Brainstorming – Interests

•Competitive gaming
•HIIT workouts
•Science fiction
•Board games
•Table tennis
•Extreme races
•Vacationing on Lake Michigan
•New technology
Things that are cool that I don’t know anything about
•Rock climbing
•Building your own furniture
•Restoring typewriters
•Men’s fashion
•Interior design
•Extreme racing
•Learning a language
•Helicopter lessons
•Building computers
•Professional go-kart racing
•Owning a dog
•Fiction writing
•Electric scooters
•Graphic design
•Wrinkly pants/ironing
•Morning commute in Chicago
•Finding a parking space
•Paying back student loans
•Low Kindle/laptop battery
•Bad grammar
•Wasting half a can of beans because I misjudged the number of beans I needed
•Nagging joint pain
•Misplacing keys/wallet
•Spam emails
•No cell signal
•Slow-walking pedestrians
•Planning for retirement
•Saving money
•Dripping food on my clothes
•Coffee cools down too fast
•Assembling IKEA furniture
•Long lines
•Loading times
Competition Analysis
  • Focus on Top 10 Sites in Google
  • Title of Page – Does it include the keywords
  • Page Authority – Multiple results have less than 30 (Once you get over 40 – gets pretty competitive)
  • Juice Page Links – Multiple results with less than 30
  • Good to see Newer Sites
  • Like to See other Niche Sites or Affiliate Sites, or Q&A sites, Forums, Article Directories.


  • Find 5 to 10 keywords that meet search volume, cpc, criteria
  • And low competition criteria
  • Deadline: 7 days

Now, we also covered so many more details than what this text shows.  I showed how you can use the Google Keyword Planner for free to do keyword research; as well as explaining how CPC works, what advertiser competition is, and so much more.  Perrin asked lots of great questions, so you really need to listen to the call to get the full gist of what we covered.

In addition, a good portion of the call was spent using Long Tail Pro to generate keywords and then analyze those keywords.  I expect that we are going to cover much more in relation to competition analysis in our next call as well.  Because keyword research is the most important part of creating a successful niche website, we are going to probably take a few weeks to really find a great niche to go into.

Your Thoughts

Overall, I’ve REALLY enjoyed working with Perrin so far.  He’s a great student and has a good head on his shoulders.  I hope you had a chance to watch the coaching call and learned a thing or 2.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say in the comments below.  So, if you have any questions or thoughts for either Perrin or I, please leave a response below…thanks!

Stories & Projects | 117 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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Career Help

Hey, Spencer and Perrin—

Excellent post–very useful. The exercise to come up with keyword ideas was very helpful, as was the competition analysis towards the end of the video.

I have one question about keyword research and LTP. In your experience, is it worth going after keywords that have a low advertiser competition? On LTP, I often find keywords that have a decent number of searches, do-able keyword competition, and a healthy CPC, but the advertising competition is “Low.” Have you found that you can make decent AdSense revenue off those keywords that have a decent CPC but are marked as “Low”?

Thanks, guys–

Spencer Haws

I prefer to avoid “low” competition for advertiser competition. However, with anything, there could be exceptions to this rule. In general, if a keyword has low advertiser comp. but a high CPC, that means the CPC is likely not very accurate for what you will get paid overall. Its complicated, but essentially this means there aren’t many ads to go around. So, you might have 1 good paying advertiser on your site, but the other 8 (or whatever) might pay pennies.

John Gibb

hey Matt

I prefer to tap either in niches where competitors are non existent (I spy on TV shows such as Dr. Oz to see when new products are advertised there…) — since I’m not building AdSense sites, but product oriented review blogs… I care less about keyword competition…

Career Help

Hey, John–

You’re absolutely right—AdSense is a great fit for many sites, but we forget that there are a ton of other options to monetize sites. And Dr. Oz is a great place to scope for new ideas!

Marc Possoff

Wouldn’t going after product name/model # keywords be better?


I use the advertiser competition score as an indicator if a keyword has any commercial value. Low competition indicates there are few advertisers interested in the keyword. If they have no interest, I assume there is little profit in that keyword. There are exceptions, but I believe this generally applies regardless of whether you’re doing an information or product site. Thoughts?

Career Help

Hey, Paul–

That makes sense, and that was my hunch, but I wanted to make sure. Sometimes you see a low-competition/high-value CPC, and you wonder, “Where did that number come from?” Makes sense to stay away.



What are your intentions for your social worker website??


Great to see some more information up. I can’t wait till we get building and linking to the site, this is where I have a been stumped!

Bryan @ Urban Smoothie


This video brings up a question I’ve been meaning to ask. Say we build a niche site around the primary keyword “helicopter lessons”. Now suppose we get a visitor through a direct referral (not from Google but from another website or something). AdSense may show an ad based on the content of the page, presumably something about helicopters, or it may run an ad based on the visitor’s cookies – perhaps an item at Home Depot that he looked up this morning.

If the visitor clicks on the ad, how can we say that the revenue generated has any correlation at all to the $0.84 average CPC of the keyword “helicopter lessons”?

Here’s a case where Google can’t be sure that the operative keyword is “helicopter lessons”. The visitor never typed it and (as far as I know) niche sites never come right out and declare their prime keyword to Google.

Spencer Haws

Great question. You are right, you can’t be sure that the CPC of 0.84 will be accurate for your site. Remember, its just talking about that one keyword – helicopter lessons – NOT your site. Afterall the tool is for advertisers, not SEOs. Paid advertising is very complex on Google – some advertisers pay more, some pay less…and you might get a mix of all of them. So, lets say you are using Adsense on your site with 3 ad units. Each of these ad units might have 3 different advertisers. So, you have 9 advertisers on your site. Maybe 3 of them will be for helicopter lessons, paying 0.84 (just to make it simple – in reality they will all be paying different amounts). The middle 3 advertisers lets say are from ad retargeting (ads based on users browsing history – like your home depot example). They might be paying $0.25 to 0.84. Then the bottom 3 ads might be totally different loosely based on the content of your site. So, they might be paying 0.05 to 0.25. So, depending on what ad is clicked on your site, you might get 5 cents or 84 cents. It all depends. Hope that helps!


Another great video doing this is huge and cleared up a lot of things. The only thing I would say is to watch the audio as you record as there is a lot of hum and white noise coming through.

As a thank you if you want I have went ahead and edited some of your audio in this video for you so there is less hum and hiss going on.

It’s not perfect as the hum does offend a lot of the audio frequencies, and if I over do it you both sound under water or in a box.

Let me know if you are interested and I can send the video with the edited audio back to you

Either way it is good practice for an aspiring audio engineer and niche blogger.

Thanks again for doing this


Spencer Haws

Yes, I agree the sound quality wasn’t great. Feel free to send the video to me. Thanks.


Great video guys! This is very similar to how I do my keyword research plus I also learned a couple new things too.

And I do have to say that, for all the griping that people are doing about the new Google keyword planner – it’s actually not that bad!

I spent a few days playing around with it and trying out some of the different functions and found that I can get close to the results that I was getting before (dare I say, maybe better?).

Plus, you actually can download your saved keywords and get more data that way too – but, that doesn’t negate the fact that you’ll still need another tool to help out with checking the competition. Still, a good place to start generating ideas.

By the way Perrin, are you in Chicago too?


I am! 🙂

James Petzke

Great questions for getting seed topics Spencer. Another thing I would add would be looking at info products on a place like Clickbank. Doing this allows you to see plenty of niches wherein people are already making money, and it gives you products you can promote as an affiliate.


One thing I am a little little confused about is.. When it comes to Page Authority in order to build out a site for the keyword does the first couple results like 1 and 2, maybe 3 out of 10 in Google need to be under 35 usually? Or as long as there are a few in the top 10. I mean if it’s the top 3 and especially 1st result that we need to get ranked to, then unless the top 1 or 2 has a Page Authority under 35 or so shouldn’t it just be avoided?


This is actually a really great question! I’ll send this to Specer via email, so we can have it documented for the next call.


Spencer Haws

This is a judgement call depending on your keyword. For most keywords (like my survival knife site) I would be happy to be anywhere on the first page of Google because its still profitable. But for other keywords, particularly very low search volume (under 1500/mth ? ) you might only be happy (profitable) in the top 3 spots. If that’s the case, then yes, focus on the top 3. Otherwise I don’t. Just use the criteria I mentioned for the overall top 10, and you can often outrank all sites…even the ones you thought were too difficult.


Hey you two!

Very interesting update and I’m looking forward to see what keyword you wil actually choose and how the site gets structured and promoted.

I will follow closely 🙂



Really enjoying this process, thanks for breaking stuff down so much Spencer, I need the occasional reminder that this can be done.

Good luck, both of you!

Donnie Law

It’s amusing just reading your list of ideas! It’s crazy how much opportunity is out there.


Somebody mentioned earlier that all the results in LTP coming back are retailers on a particular KW. This seems like an optimal niche because people that are looking for info/review/etc of topic and only finding retailers selling their product, it should be an easy KW to rank for as it’s missing an authoritative SME site that everyday people are looking for. Is this correct thinking?


@Jared, as I recall Spencer previously mentioned that if all or most of the results are ecommerce sites — i.e., retail — it generally indicates that Google has a preference to rank ecommerce sites. Not a good thing. Same idea goes toward results with all .edu, .gov, etc.

Ideally, you’d see some diversity in the returns.


Hey Jared 🙂

I asked Spencer about this same thing, and Paul below has it right. A bunch of e-commerce signs typically aren’t a great sign. You also want to watch out for .gov and .edu sites.

He wrote a great post about it here:



Spencer Haws

No, that is not correct thinking. See my blog post on this exact subject. . I avoid these keywords.


Thanks for the guidance! Almost stepped off the deep end and would have been headed for a painful journey into the abyss. 😛 Glad to see you already have a post about his very subject as I’m still new to niche and your awesome site (lots of learning to do).

Back to the KW research


Wonderful and timely post for me a newbie like me. I’ve found some really nice keywords of interest. They are not ecommerce or gov sites but they are news sites, specifically current event articles with only high domain (90’s) so I divide to get page authority which leaves everything else zero’s. Any experience tackling these?

Spencer Haws

I’m not sure what you mean about everything being zeros. But if there is no page authority (PA of 1), then divide domain authority by 2. So, these all sounds like difficult sites. Especially if they are news keywords, I would avoid.


I really like how Perrin asked about that third result in the SERP.

He picked it out and asked a great question to see whether he could determine why it was ranking.

Great job Perrin.

Spencer Haws

Yep, he’s a sharp one 🙂

Josh @ Form Your Future

I’m excited to see how you’re journey will go Perrin! I’m actually in the process of building my own authority site as well and I’d like to see how my progress compares 🙂

And to Spencer, I love the idea of this mentoring project! I know we will all learn a lot from it.


Remember it’s not allowed to have the word Crossfit in your domain if you are not an affiliate. I thought it cost $3000 a year. Just for other people who maybe are interested.

Spencer Haws

Crossfit is a brand? I did not know that. I thought crossfit was just a category, like cross training. Interesting.


Me too! Good to know, though!


10.6. Do I need a website?
Once you are accepted as an affiliate, you will need to have a live website before we will be able to link you on the CrossFit site. This is our primary vehicle for promoting you; therefore, we expect you maintain a good site. Please DO NOT register a domain with the CrossFit name in it until AFTER you have been accepted; CrossFit is a licensed trademark and its use without our prior permission is illegal.

Yeah, this is in their FAQ. So it’s only for the root domain but it’s of course harder to rank for it without crossfit in it. 🙂

But enough other subjects to choose from 😉 Good luck.

Kevin Smith

Yup this is true. I actually looked at this key word and “CrossFit Workouts” is a hot topic right now which I thought I could easily rank for. The further I looked at it I thought why are they not many sites around CrossFit Workouts. And this is why, it’s trade marked and you’re not allowed to use the word in your domain.


Awesome post! I’ll be following along pretty closely on this one, good luck guys!

Anindya Roy

Hey Perin!!

I must congratulate you on your smart efforts that you have put in till now.

As a newbie I have a question to you and in fact to Mr. Spencer Haws.

While Perin did his homework of Brainstorming with seed keyword ideas I think It would have been better and more transparent had you been able to provide with the actual process and screenshots as an example so as to show – How actually Perrin came up with this seed keyword ideas. Look this could be a very basic step and might not interest others but It would definitely help the newbies and would probably do complete justice to the objective of Spencer – Building a Niche site right from the scratch.

Apart from the personal interests as quoted by Perin, there could have been steps or screenshots showing how the seed keyword ideas have been extracted from Amazon. I mean drilling down to category and then sub category and so on. There must have been a definite reason of coming up with these particular seed keywords. How?? is very important.

Hope I am making sense. Would appreciate your comments.

Are we discounting this step assuming it to be too basic or is it something else?

Spencer Haws

I’ll leave this to Perrin, because I actually didn’t give him any additional instruction then what was on the video. I just said go to amazon and find seed keywords based on categories or products. He found them on his own.


Adsense sucks!

Please spare us all the pain and agony of yet another crappy adsense site being slapped up on the world wide web.

I hope Perrin wisens up and goes with a product focused site…


Hi Spencer, it is unfortunate that I didnt get picked to be your student but anyhow. Your courses are still the best. Actually I have a question, I have been working on a few websites now and I followed all your instructions in picking keywords and posting articles regularly, however I dont see the ranking of my site moving up from the billionth spot. Any reasons why that is the case and do we need link building? I think link building is now ban by google right? Thanks.

Spencer Haws

Yes, you need link building. That’s a big part of the process. No, linkbuilding is not banned by Google…its how they rank sites.



I currently am doing a product review site and using Amazon. I noticed that some selections of products in the same niche are not available on Amazon, but on the Overstock website. It seems that Overstock is partnered with Commission Junction. so my question is,

“can you implement the commission junction affiliate program combined with the amazon associates program on one website?”

or is that not allowed due to some terms and conditions agreement rule?

Or can you combine the overstock affiliate program with the amazon affiliate program together into one website?

Spencer Haws

I’m not sure if you can have Overstock and Amazon on the same site. I can’t see any reason why not, unless one of them explicitly states otherwise. You would need to read their terms.

umer hafeez

Spencer, you nailed it man…I am in loving with the things happening here.

I am feeling as I am being trained by you at the moment!

Spencer Haws

Thanks umer!


So exciting to be here going through the process with yourself and Perrin. (everyone just close your eyes and imagine that when Spencer is talking that you are the student.

Perrin asks the questions that we are all thinking about so everything is covered and if we have a question that we were thinking about that was not answered we can ask it here.

For those who are using the Google Keyword Planner I have a few questions:

1. As the exact|broad|phrase match search selection is not available in the Google Keyword Planner tool now, what does the search volume results default to, broad, exact or phrase?

2. In the Long Tail Pro keyword tool are the Juice Page Links equivalent to Page Links in another competition analysis tool?

Thanks guys, I am following along with my own site niche project.

Spencer Haws

1. Google keyword planner is exact match now by default.
2. Yes, if the other tool is NOT use Moz metrics, then pagelinks would be the same metric as just normal links in those tools.

Lindsay Collins

Here is an example I just found and I am guessing you guys would pass still, I know you have said so but it’s kind of an extreme example.

Top 4 sites are Best Buy, Amazon, Ebay and Crutchfield. All popular sites.

Those top 4 results all have a Page Authority of 1, and 0 Juice Page Links. All using keywords perfectly. Still passing right?

Spencer Haws

Yes, most likely.


I just finished watching your whole tutorial. Very informative and helpful even for those of us who have built a few sites now.

I do have a question: Google hasn’t updated the toolbar Pagerank since Feb 4 and that’s what one of the elements that LTP appears to be using to compile the KC score. However because the ranking of our domains and subdomains seem to move around all the time, we know that Google is constantly calculating their own Pagerank score as they index more and more content. Since there is likely a difference between toolbar Pagerank and the Pagerank that Google uses each day to calculate the top 10, how much of an impact do you feel this has on the KC score? If Google does decide to update their toolbar Pagerank, do you feel that once low KC keywords could suddenly find themselves to be very competitive?


Hey MMD,
If you review the video at about 50 minutes in, Spencer mentions that he doesn’t really consider pagerank in his analysis. This would probably be reflected in the LTP algorithm as well and not affect KC to any significant degree.

Spencer Haws

PageRank is NOT a factor in calculating the KC score. So, this is a non-issue. PageAuthority is used as a big part of the KC score (among other things), and Moz is constantly updating this PageAuthority value.

The Rookie

This is a great series. Nice to see how detailed you are. –Also love the thunder in the background— I just got back to Washington (Was in Colorado then Disney –marathon was going on their while I was in Disney. Where were u lol.)
Anyways, I get back and theres a huge lighting storm for a couple days. Guy in my old town got hit on the freeway.

So back to helping people. I remember trying to help a large group years ago and I just didn’t have the patience back then. (Not that Perrin would be irritating)

Problem with the large group was that half the people didn’t know how to use a computer but wanted to learn how to rank a site in google. (Years ago I was trying to help struggling senuke members 100% free seriously no strings—but I stopped it.) Most the people griped that it wasn’t working after two days or that they couldnt get anything to work. (I talked to a few on the phone and they were having a hard time with standard computer stuff) I felt for them but really they should have taken some computer courses first.

Senuke was and is fairly expensive so I thought the members deserved some extra help. Plus I didn’t like how most of the moderators promoted the “less work” approach which was very spammy, Its a shame too the tool was and probably is still awesome if used right. (Im not building as many sites as I used to so I felt it was overkill – may go back someday)

For me, having 50 plus people in a group that I made for free and hearing the gripes and their lack of patience to learn the program first made it tough to continue helping.


Great post. Perin seems so very knowledgeable. During the selection process I voted for him, thinking that he is as ignorant as I am and hence would be a great bridge to learn; but looks like I am deceived. Jokes apart,l the process so far has been so very informative and I am getting to learn the intricacies of SEO especially the most difficult part of it…keyword finding. Hope to learn a lot from your interactions Perin.


Haha. I don’t know about that! Hope I’ll be knowledgeable by the end though! 🙂


I have one more question. If I look for ‘best survival knife’ I don’t see any advertisers. So the adwords competition will be low I suppose.

(BTW do you see different results, I am in the Netherlands so it may differ)

Anyway, you said you like to see high competition for adwords. Is this only if you want to monetize it through adsense? So if you have a different approach to monetize the website it doesn’t matter that much.

Since you know “best xxx” is a buyers keyword, so you can monetize it with affiliate products?

Spencer Haws

Yes, its most important for an adsense site. A product site, its not as relevant (as my survival knife site).

Bill D-G

Put into your browser and you’ll be re-directed to the American Google site.


Damn, thanks a lot!!

Troy Wiedeman

Hi Spencer & Perrin,

This has been a great series thus far and I look forward to seeing the whole project play out.

Spencer – In your example in the video, you come up with 400+ keywords after initial filtering, but wouldn’t it be nice to filter by word or phrase as well.

For instance, you were looking for keywords with the word “best”. I would LOVE to see “includes” and “doesn’t include” boxes at the top of the results to further filter by keyword.

Take “banana nutrition facts” for example. Let’s say we wanted all words with “nutrition” but no words with “facts”. We then add the words to the fields and press the filter button.

I think adding some sort of keyword filters for use after you’ve generated the keywords would be super beneficial and save tons of time.

Love LTP and your site!


I believe LTP has this. It’s to the right of the keyword after adding it on the first part of LTP (before generating results) – both include and exclude options.

You may have not seen them because they only appear when you mouse over the keywords after they’ve been added to the search list but before hitting Generate Results.

Troy Wiedeman

I was just coming back here to apologize to Spencer. He does have that feature on the Campaign page next to the keywords.

I tested out my exact example above and it filtered out the words with “facts” fine and only included words with “nutrition”.

Sorry about that Spencer, just noticed it. 🙂

Spencer Haws

No problem! 🙂


Weird question (apologies if covered in material).

If a niche has interchangeable words (let’s say for example.. not my niche – “yogurt ice cream” & “ice cream yogurt”) that are advertised both ways of wording on amazon and in search engines, if you purchase the domain name to both and have a redirect of one site to the other, will it be pointless since the domain is just pointing to the other site?

One has higher search results but also has a higher KC (35). I’d like to pick up both since both are searched for.



If you’re talking about the SEO advantages of EMD, keep in mind that Google no longer gives as much weight, if any, to EMD.

Things seem to be going in the direction of “the brand.” In that light, choose a domain that lends itself to being brandable.


I noticed in the video that you kept mentioning that there were certain keywords that you just knew were bad keywords that were going to be way too hard to rank for?

How do you know this? I was under the impression that the keyword tool was supposed to be able to explain all of this to us?

But you were talking more like it was an instinct type of thing. How do you do this?

I think that if you could do an article or video on how to do this then it would be extremely valuable for your readers because we are tired of wasting our time trying to rank for keywords that we have zero chance of ranking, but we are oblivious to this because we ‘think’ we are following the proper guidelines in choosing our keywords.

Spencer Haws

Travis, I thought I covered this pretty well in the video…we discussed this specifically. Watch for a few minutes started at around minute 33. Not sure if you missed this discussion, but Perrin and I definitely dove into why I was skipping certain keywords.

However, the platinum version of Long Tail Pro does essentially do this for you with the Avg. KC number. You would find the avg. KC very quickly for each keyword. Even then, there are certain keywords you should know to skip…based on some of the things I said at around minute 33 🙂


Hey Travis 🙂

Just wanted to add onto what Spencer said based on what I’ve learned so far (correct me if I’m wrong, Spencer!). It may be useful to familiarize yourself with the most competitive SEO markets.

Moz’s list of the most difficult keywords can give you a good idea:

There are some industries that are always going to be difficult — stuff like nutrition, real estate, fitness, insurance, sports, news, credit, education, etc.

You can still rank for super-long-tail keywords in these niches (a la Jon Haver — a recent NichePursuits guest who ranks in the student loan niche), but when you see a keyword that seems to be relatively common and falls under these major markets, it may be best to avoid it.

That’s why, I think, Spencer skips “good nutrition” (or something; I can’t remember exactly) in the video.

Now, there’s probably no way to get the “instinct” Spencer has other than just doing SEO a lot, but hopefully it’s something to go on — it’s how I’ve adapted it for myself at least.


Incredibly valuable stuff here, guys. Can’t wait to watch the whole video!


Extremely detailed process and a great resources for beginners to work out a method for identifying keyword opportunities.


Where do we post suggestions for LTP? I’ve come across a suggestion when doing research that I think would be beneficial.

This can be done in a long way around but it would be cool if LTP had a feature in the Analyzing Competition window to run the stats on a specific keyword (KC, Local Searches, Global Searches, etc) that is entered into that window and have the stats show up in the bottom of the page (reduce the white space since only the top 10 results are being shown).

For example, in the video posted @ 40:16 (just for illustrative purposes), if you choose to change the search to ‘best greek yogurt nutrition’, you could find out what the hits are on that specific search.

Spencer Haws

Yep, that’s a good idea. I can consider! Its probably better to submit ideas at But I saw this one…so no need this time 🙂


Thanks Spencer. I’ll submit there in the future. 🙂


Spencer , I have a question but it is not 100% related to this post.
If you have a keyword, and are looking how google is ranking it, how do you look for that?
How do you look where your website (or blogpost) ranks on the keyword you are focussing?
I have some blogposts which I SEO’d, but have no idea on how to look which position the page has on the SERP. (unless entering it in google and clicking on next everytime until I find my website is the way to go, but this is time consuming)

BTW: Love the project and love your website! Keep on doing this, it really helps me build my on-line empire 🙂

[email protected]


I’m gonna watch your coaching call asap. Both of you are doing great job, really appreciate! Keep it up! 🙂

Btw, I’m mentioned in this post – aka I’m mentioned in part of the best niche site guide! :-OOOOOOOO
That makes me smile, thanks guys, haha! 😀


Spencer and Perrin-

Thanks so much for doing this project. I am really enjoying the dialogue so far.

In the past this is about where I get stuck. I can never find any keywords with enough search volume that aren’t stacked with fierce competition. So I will be eager to see the next step.

I am doing my own research in parallel with you. I have generated my own lists and will find 5-10 possible keywords over the next few days. Would I be able to get your help if I have specific questions on it?

Thanks again…


Hi Spencer,
Since Google made a few changes in the keyword tool I was wondering will this have an effect on the LongTail Pro ?



If you’re referring to the Keyword Planner, Spencer incorporated it into LTP several weeks ago.

Spencer Haws

Yes, we already updated the software about a month ago, the software continues to work as usual.



Jon Bishop

Hey Spencer and Perrin,

Really loving this so far. Love how Perrin is asking so many questions and how Spencer is breaking each step down. I’ve just purchased Long Tail Pro and I have a quick question. I’m based in the UK, so should I change the location (setting up a campaign, competitor analysis, etc.) to UK?

Thanks guys, keep up the great work.

Jon Bishop

Spencer Haws

Set your location to where you are trying to rank. If you want to rank in, then set your location to Uk. I prefer to rank in, so I set my location as US to get the search volume in the US.


Just ran into a snag, and since I’m fairly new to this and was following step-by-step, I thought I would share. I had my keyword picked out, my page setup, and ready to start getting pieces put in place to become an Amazon Affiliate so I could monetize the site like NSP is primarily driving.

I found out this afternoon that I cannot become an affiliate due to the legal battle around Amazon and the recent tax bill that passed. I knew about this bill but had no clue Amazon dropped affiliates residing the states that are requiring tax collection.

Note: Residents of Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina or Rhode Island are not eligible to participate in the Associates program.

So I will adjust my strategy to adsense and look for other affiliate programs that are still OK with affiliates in my state.

Spencer Haws

You might want to check out skimlinks: . They are an Amazon affiliate, and you run skimlinks ads. So, skimlinks pays you, so you can still make money for referring people to Amazon. Worth a shot.


Skimlinks is a no-go for Amazon. I asked them specifically if they would honor Amazon’s ban on those restricted states. It took them a couple of weeks to get back to me but they said they would.


Hi, just watched this and I have learned so much, it makes a world of difference to see LTP work from your perspective and that of Perrin. Thank you both!
I am having a bit of trouble though with LTP:
1) sometimes it gets stuck, and then I have to restart it and start a whole new campaign to get it running the research
2) When I click to analyze the competition in the top ten, I get the results for a language and location I have selected before. But not the language and location I chose when I created this campaign. When I change the language and location in the competitor analysis, the results change. I am a bit worried that the first avg. KC results in the keyword research might not have been correct in that case. Very confusing, I am having a hard time navigating all the data anyways 🙂 So how can I fix this? thank you!


OH hold on…I figured it out! It’s not related to each other! ehmm never mind…carrying on 🙂


Loved this second video thanks, just almost at the end of it now.

I’m really curious about drilling down into the competitor analysis part and how you analyse the top 10 results.

You say PA is very important and that under 30 is best.

On a search I did recently, screenshot below….the top result has a PA of 45 and a DA of 91. But it’s an Ebay page.

So I’m looking at these results and thinking the only real competition is number 3 because of the Juice page links. Would that be correct?

The other thing I was hoping would come up in the video, that leads on from this is – if the competition is slightly higher (higher PA and DA etc) but you could buy the EMD – would that be a big factor to take into account?

So if you knew the EMD was available and you could put some good content on, would that be a big help?

I think I’m just getting past the keyword analysis stage and trying to work out how to decide on a domain name.

I may be jumping ahead of myself a bit here, or getting worked up about EMDs when there is no need.

Do you have thoughts on these two points?

Thank you!

P.S. For Bibi above – I find exactly the same thing. I am also confused about the location being different from what it is set to in the campaign (UK) and then what it shows in the analysis (US). If they are not related….how does that work??

Spencer Haws

I definitely see some weakness in that top 10. However, you mentioned ebay, so I’m guessing it might be an ecommerce related keyword. In that case, you might want to avoid. Read this:

I wouldn’t change my mind on a competitive keyword just because the EMD is available. Having an EMD is not that big of a deal.

PS – You can set the country and language on the competitor analysis, its a separate setting than the campaign settings. 🙂


Thank you Spencer!


Hi Sarah!

Great to know I’m not the only confused one here 🙂
I realised they are separate settings, you just have to make sure you have both the settings the same before you start running the research.

Good luck Sarah!
Probably will see you hanging around here 🙂


OK, now I’ve just read this

Again, very helpful.

About 7 of the results I found above are sites that directly sell the product.

If I built an affiliate site that sold the product via Amazon does that not get counted as a “selling site”?

So I should avoid the keyword, despite the good stats?

Still have the query over the EMD though, whether that would make a difference.

Reason I am so hung up on the EMD thing is the first niche site I tried had an EMD and it ranked number 1 *very* easily (with no links to it). It did have low competition so that was probably why but I can’t help but think it was to do with the EMD too…?


I’m still learning this as well so take this with a grain of salt.. From the research I’ve done over the last couple weeks both on nichepursuits, moz, etc, google has devalued the bump that EMD previously received. So, although it still likely makes sense to get an EMD because it’s easier for the searchers to understand what your site is about, you won’t get the bonus factor from google. Hope this helps.


It does help, thanks Jared.

I just have a mental block over EMDs.

My EMD was number 1 then when I had it 301 redirected to a new one, it hangs around position 6, so I still can’t help thinking that EMD helps.

Ayal Naor

Yet another great post and video, thanks Spencer! Perrin is awesome and adds a fresh perspective. Really looking forward to seeing how NSP 2 shapes up!


I have chosen my seed keyword (4400 local searches, 34 KC), picked up a domain 7 days ago, purchased niche wp theme same day, published my homepage article 4 days ago, and a search on google site:mywebsite doesn’t show I’m even indexed.

Being that I’m completely NEWB to this, is there a common mistake or oversight on my part that would lead to this? Any pointers on where to look?

The site is listed when I go into google analytics.

I’ve got a sitemap showing when I go to


Btw, I haven’t done any link building but am curious why it wouldn’t be indexed yet when some say they get indexed (of course in the high hundreds) by just having the “hello world” still on the homepage.

Spencer Haws

Its only 7 days, give it some time. And make sure you have at least one link pointing to it, so Google finds it for sure.


Thanks Spencer. Wasn’t sure if it was something on my end or whatnot. By having at least one link pointing to it, you mean a blog, directory, or some other way correct? Apologies again for the newbiness question.

Spencer Haws

That’s correct.


Spencer, around the 41:30 mark, Perrin asks if the keyword “Greek yogurt nutrition” would have to be in that exact order.

The titles:

Greek Yogurt Nutrition Facts


When Comparing Greek Yogurt, Nutrition Has to be Prioritzed NOT Price

would carry the same weight, correct? Google will disregard the punctuation. Just as long as the three words are together.

Spencer Haws

That’s correct. Google will disregard.

Jawbone Up Troubleshooting

Really excited to follow through this. I remembered Spencer mentioned he’d do 2 niche sites project per year. I hope you can increase to 3 or 4 for us to learn.

The more we follow you through, the better we’ll get. Thanks so much for all your efforts!


I am a total newbie to this and I am super excited to be following along. Thank you Spencer for putting this out there for all of us!

One problem with Google Keyword Planner I have (I followed the exact same steps shown in above video) is that after I enter my keyword, I don’t have the option to click “get ideas”.

I only have the option to “get estimates” or “get search volume”.

As I said, this is new to me so is there something I have to do or something I missed? Why can’ t I “get ideas”?


Spencer Haws

I’m not sure on that. Can you make sure you selected the correct option like I did in the video? (There are 3 different options in the keyword planner).


I think the idea is to outsource part of any out there, relating to life and you feel excited ^ ^

Syed Sirajuddin

Hi Spencers,

I am really excited to start my niche website along with you.

During my keyword research, I came up with a keyword, which has 2400 local searches and KC 38 (.org is available). But, 4 youtube videos & 1 google image tab are dominating the page. Other than that, wikipedia (ranking for some other keyword), amazon, ebay, 3 authority websites are ranking as well.

I am seeing a lot of potential in this keyword and my intuition is forcing me to just go for a kill because average product price is $50 and some have even +500 in this range. But, I am confuse to judge the competition.



Hi Spencer. Question? What if when you are doing kw research in longtail pro and the top ten results are online stores and regular stores? Is that bad or good? For my kw I saw do niche sites, affiliate, or Q&A sites at all. For the page authority there are 5 pages under 35, and in the top ten on google there 4 sites that have optimize for my keywords in the title. Should I go for it?



I think this is one of the extensive keyword research guide with video and in-depth.


Hi all, You have executed a fantastic work. I will surely digg this plus my opinion highly recommend so that you can my friends. I am certain they are taken advantage of this web site.


After going through this video and other lessons for Niche Site Project 2 I am ready to start my first niche site project. Although I have 1-2 sites running Adsense I am pretty sick of the earnings. It seems that my main hurdle is link building. I can manage the rest of the stuff. Although I am not getting confidence in outsourcing the work to other writers.

Do you think I should write the home content myself and outsource the rest of the articles.

Last question: For many niche topics I see that the competition ranking for top 10 sites is mostly amazon, best buy etc. Do you think that with an exact domain name for the keyword and good content I should be able to rank in the first page.

Please let me know.


Spencer Haws

Yes, I would at least make sure the homepage content is top notch -whether you write it yourself or outsource is up to you.


Realize that this is a pretty old post, but new to me!

I really dig that you had “restoring typewriters” initially. My long-time “service station” in Harvard Square closed down a few years ago, leaving me and my Underwoods (and a prized Royal Aristocrat) kicking in the wind. (Lapsed poet/academic myself.)

Great series. Glad it seems to have worked out! Kudos to Spencer and yourself for doing this.

Best, Chris.

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