NSP Update 2: My Primary Keyword and Domain Revealed!

By Spencer Haws |

A couple of days ago, I walked through the process of how to find a keyword to target for a niche site.  Now, I want to give you a very real demonstration of how I found my primary keyword that I will use for my niche site project!

This is by far the most important step of the entire process, so I wanted to make an in-depth video of why I chose this keyword.  If you haven’t watched recent live webinar I held explaining how to find keywords, then I recommend you check that out first.

Honestly, I was not planning on revealing my keyword this early.  I was going to try and get the first couple of pieces of content up before I made everything public.  However, I’ve decided to reveal everything right away even though there is nothing on my new niche site yet.

After reading your comments and hearing some feedback, I can see how anxious many of you are to truly follow along and build your own niche site following my process.  That is both gratifying and humbling to me as I realize many of you are really looking to learn and build a business.

In addition, as I look at the keyword I’ve chosen, I really want to focus on researching and providing stellar content on my niche site.  This is going to take some time.  So, rather than waiting around, I’m revealing everything as I go along.  This may open me up to additional competition as others seek to try and copy my keyword (a really stupid idea since thousands of people are seeing this and the niche will probably get very competitive very soon).

Finding your own low competition keyword is really the smart move anyway.

My Target Keyword Is…

Let me just cut to the chase – the keyword I have chosen to target for my public niche site project is: best survival knife!

Okay, now that the keyword is out there, lets get serious about why I picked this keyword, and how you can replicate finding good keywords on your own.

Here are some stats on the keyword I’ve chosen to target:

For this project, my goal was to find a keyword that had 5k exact match searches per month, so I fell just a little short of that.  But I really think that the amount of related keywords with search volume more than makes up for that.

The CPC and Advertiser competition tell me that there are advertisers and money being spent in the niche.  I don’t plan on monetizing with Google Adsense, so the CPC is less relevant.

Finding My Primary Keyword Video (Must Watch!):

This video shows exactly how I found this keyword.  I start with the brainstorming process to get some seed keywords, then how I actually found it and then analyzed the competition in Google.   If you can REALLY learn the process and skills that I show in this video, you will have learned the most important step of building niche websites.   I am using Long Tail Platinum in this video to find my keyword.

 How to Pick a Domain Name

After finding a good keyword with low competition (this is so important!), the next step is to find a domain name.  If the exact match domain was available, I would have picked it up.  However, I still think there is value in having the keyword in the domain name, so adding a word before or after (prefix or suffix) the keywords is still a good strategy.  So, that’s exactly what I did.

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I’m sure some people are wondering, “What about the EMD update? Aren’t all exact match domains penalized?”   The answer is, no, don’t be ridiculous.  The EMD update was about removing the BONUS that exact match domains used to get, now they are valued similarly to other domains.  So, owning an exact match domain is not bad, its just not as good as it used to be – but still good!

In fact, I bought an exact match domain and built a brand new niche site in early January.  That site is now ranked #2 in Google (soon to be #1 🙂 ).  I still recommend getting the exact match domain if its available.

In the video, I use Bluehost to host my new niche site.  I do recommend Bluehost as my #1 choice for building niche sites.  You can have up to 100 WordPress installations (different sites) on one Bluehost account.

Click here to get yourself a Bluehost account.

(Yes, I’m an affiliate of Bluehost and will get paid.  But I also have over 6 different Bluehost accounts – I use the service and love it).

I am purposely not linking to my new domain, because I’m hoping to keep this niche site project as natural as possible.  I want to build a model that you can follow on your own.

Next Steps for My Niche Site

Now I have my keyword: best survival knife, and my domain:; but now what?  Well, my next step is to develop a content strategy.  I am going to devote an entire post of how my content plan will work.

Obviously this is a very critical step as I will need to provide quality content for those searching on this term.  Some of the things I will consider are: how can I make my site better than others out there?  Can I make myself stand out in anyway?  Should I write all the content myself or outsource?

To be honest, I have limited experience with survival knives, so that a first step for me!  I’ve owned a few knives in my day, but there are so many out there, I’ll need to do a lot of research.  So, I’ll be diving into finding out what knives are out there and probably even buying a few.  I want to at least initially produce all the content myself, so I need to be pretty knowledgeable on the subject.

I hope that over the next couple of weeks I can get some of the initial content on the site.

Your Thoughts and Homework!

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on my keyword choice, domain, and the videos I’ve shared today.  What do you think?  And what additional questions do you have that I haven’t covered here today?

And if you are following along, here’s some homework you can implement to follow along:

Stories & Projects | 133 comments

By Spencer Haws

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

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

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

Yes! I Love to Learn

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Kris @ Detailed Success

Awesome stuff Spencer!

I just hope 10 other competing “best survival knife” niche sites wont pop up.

Monetizing strategies? Amazon and eBay?

I’m pretty sure there are a ton of survival guide ebooks and products out there you can later sell to your list (if you are building a list, which you should).

Oh, and Tim’s latest book 4-hour chef has a knife section as well that you should check out.



The hope is mutual. I just wish everyone following this case study would be rational enough to choose their own case study and not clutter Spencer’s keyword’s SERPs with their practically worthless and petty imitations. To Spencer, nice work here. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds in the future.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Kris! I haven’t settled on monetization yet, but Amazon seems like a good option.


the commision on knives will be pathetic.


Amazon is too hard to make money out of .. the exclusions list (products that amazon will not pay commissions on) is a joke.


There are some people whose primary income is from Amazon.

If I remember correctly, that is how Chris Guthrie make a good chunk of change.

Remember that if they buy anything from Amazon through the link Spencer will make a commission off of.


Thx for being so open about what you’re doing. I do have a question. How do you determine CPC? That’s one thing I never fully understood how you determine that.


Joe Helms

Hi Tom – CPC comes right out of the Google Keyword tool within the Adwords product.


Good Stuff Spencer! We appreciate the time you are taking to explain your process.



Arguably this is one of your best posts in the whole blog. I love the way you bring your ideas and share it with others. I am very eager to see your content writing strategy, specially that I do not like outsourcing content writing. I often have very little experience in the niche I am building so I am striving to see how you do your research and finally put it in an article.
Keep the good work.

Matthew Allen

Thanks for revealing your niche Spencer. That looks like a great product niche. I’m sure your buddy Chris Guthrie will be able to give you some awesome pointers on how to “sell” knives as an affiliate, since you have mainly monetized your niches sites with Adsense in the past. I actually think there is so much more potential with product sites and it will be awesome to watch how yours unfolds.

I’ve decided I am definitely going to do a follow-along mini NSP on my site and somewhat try to mimic your processes and strategies, while at the same time implementing some of my own. I’ll be sure to share if I think I have something that can benefit you. I already have my niche and domain, and will share it in my next post in a day or two.

Spencer Haws

I agree that this niche along with lots of other product niches have potential. I’m happy to have anyone else follow along with their own NSP as well!

Brad Campbell

Love what you’re doing with this live case study, Spencer. It’s really going to provide amazing value to all of your followers – better than what you’d get in most courses out there 😉

I purchased LTP the other day and love it. Using it daily.

Still waiting on the “whitelist” so I can promote it 😉

Appreciate ya,


Spencer Haws

Thanks Brad, glad you see some value here. (Also, you should be approved now).


I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and am understanding more about how to earn money with Google Adsense.

Looking forward to seeing how you generate revenue outside of your traditional cash cow!


This should be a really interesting study, thanks for sharing with us.

The competition was surprisingly weak for the amount of searches showing. I’ll be keenly watching your progress.

Ben Hebert

You can probably drop ship the hell out of some survival knives or even go on Alibaba and buy some.

Then again you’re selling knives and that’s kinda sketchy.

Spencer Haws

Dropshipping might be interesting to explore…

Tung Tran

It’s great Spencer :).

I’ve started my site at the time you announced this niche site project.

I used LTP as well but my competition research method is a little different from yours (an additional step). But with this extra step, I’m 100% sure that I’ve chosen the right keyword which I can rank easily.

Do you want to join a challenge with me?

I’m Tung Tran – a newbie at building niche site, challenge you – an expert, to join a challenge at building niche site. All information regarding keyword research, content strategy, income and traffic report,… etc will be documented on our blog. The winner may receive a prize 😉

This will make our niche site projects a little bit fun and interesting ( and will help other people as well)

So Do you accept my challenge as a knight :)? Just for fun, no negative intention here 😀

Email me if you accept my challenge 🙂

Spencer Haws

Well, I’ve already got my site publicly revealed here. I’m not really challenging anyone – but I will be revealing everything.


Hi Tung,
May we know what is your extra step?


Thanks for sharing this with us Spencer! As usual your posts are full of great content and this is no exception..As Kris stated in one on the first comments though I hope no one jumps in the niche and tries to spoil it for you!

I will be following your progress for sure!!

Casey Dennison

Nice Spencer! I can’t wait to follow along. I’ve chosen my keyword, as well.

4,400 exact searches
$7.45 CPC
100 Advertiser Competition
Low top 10 Competition

I also got the exact match domain name.

Now, it’s just time to plan my content strategy. This niche has thousands, upon thousands of long tail keyword to write on, and I’m also using the keyword researcher tool (along with my new copy of Long Tail Pro ;)) for others to go after.

It should def. be a fun and profitable journey..

Thank you for all the wonderful info!

Good luck!


Casey – I would be interested to hear your story and how your niche developed! I ask you because you mentioned you found a niche with 100 advertiser competition and is very similar to a niche I discovered yesterday. Please let us know

Spencer – Reading further in the comments of this post, I discovered Spencer wrote, “eCommerce sites tend to be favoured by Google for these keywords EVEN if they are weaker sites (low back-links, etc).”

How can eCommerce sites be classified? If you are looking at the top ten sites for certain keywords in Long Tail Pro results page, is an eCommerce sites anything that is directly selling and have a checkout installed on the site?

Also Spencer – Do you have any additional comments or suggestions on finding a niche with a 100 advertiser competition?

Spencer Haws

Sites that sell the product (with a shopping cart) are ecommerce.

Finding a 100 advertiser competition is pretty easy – lots of keywords meet this criteria.


Thank you very much for your comments. I really appreciate your time it take to respond and value your opinion so I would like to ask another question, if I may?

If researching for an affilate site and doing keyword research, what is your experience with a niche that has a advertiser competition score of 100 and even has in the top 3 results? I ask because…

To me, if google is trying to determine importance of page and rank them accordingly, my senses tell me that is doesn’t look natural if amazon is already ranking in the top three and then a new site is created with new content but the new content then links back to the amazon (as an affilate link)?

I know there are tons of factors in choosing the right keyword and niche but with all your experience and trial and error, I believe you would have more clarification on this topic. What do you think?

Spencer Haws

First, advertiser competition of 100 is good (for people in SEO) – means there is money in the niche – nothing to do with ease of ranking naturally. Secondly, you can still rank in the situation you described.


Wow, I was anxiously waiting for this. I really like the fact that you chose a product based keyword to target especially since you will be monetizing outside of adsense. I didn’t really want to take on another website at the moment but I might have to follow along, this has me excited!

Danny Micheals

Great Video Spencer. Thank you so much for share all this info. Keep it up. Looking forward to other videos. Once again thank you. [edit – fixed]

cubicle free Quinn

Good on you for revealing all at the risk of competition Spencer. I really like the niche – like a watch its a product you could convince people to buy that didn’t even previously want one.
I have got no doubt you will attract a bit a bit of competition but I can assure you its all for a very good cause! It is great to hear your thought process and it makes good sense to me.

In terms of adding massive value, I think there are some terrific opportunities too – Video Reviews, Comparisons, Field Tests, Unboxings, “Bear Grylls Knife Fight”…… just kidding on the last one.
Anyway – I can see lots of great way you can crush it. I guess there is lower hanging (written content) fruit which will still see you rank well.

Spencer Haws

I agree Quinn on the opportunities. I’m already dreaming about getting my camo gear on and doing some “field tests” on camera :). Should be fun!


I am so interested in seeing how you take this from nothing to amazing! I don’t have much interest in knives, but I know plenty of hunters who do! This should be a great topic.

Fred @ Online Profts Factory

Great Videos Spencer,

I hope that your readers really appreciate the value that you are delivering in these videos. There are many paid courses out there that don’t give no where near the value of what you have delivered today. Believe me I know, I’ve bought a lot of them over the years.

It’s one thing to have someone tell you how to do something but when someone takes you into their mind and explains to you WHY they do things a certain way, that is typically called coaching and normally costs quite a bit of money.

But watching these videos is like getting free coaching from you and its rare that marketers actually make videos like this these days. I hope your readers truly take advantage of your knowledge and take action on what you are teaching.

***To Spencer’s readers who are watching these videos, don’t just look at that he is doing, but understand why he is doing it. Understand his methodology and you will be able to duplicate his success.***

Kudos to you and keep up the good work Spencer.

Fred Williams (Online Profits Factory)

Spencer Haws

Thank you Fred! You stated very well what I was trying to accomplish with these videos. I’m doing my best to share my thought process, which in turn can help others MUCH more than just showing what I did.


Can’t believe all these golden info are available for free! I’ve only seen them in membership sites! Now, we should quit on saying that coz Spencer might start getting ideas 🙂

Really really appreciate all this exciting hand-holding that you’re giving to your followers, Spencer.

BTW, I’m considering getting the pro version now.


Another great post Spencer! Thanks for being so open and sharing with us!

I couldn’t see the domain video (got “not found” errors on both players) so maybe you answered this question – to you or anyone here, what do you think of “.co”? I used Long Tail Pro and found a great keyword too but the .com was taken. The .co is a higher price at GoDaddy and I think it will get more popular in the future (Overstock is using it!), plus maybe I would get some traffic due to “type ahead” (auto-fill) features when someone means to type in .com? (not sure)

My keyword phrase is pretty long already (8 words) – would it be better to choose the exact name with .co or to add another word and get the .com?


Spencer Haws

thanks Valerie. You should be able to refresh the screen and get the video now. I haven’t used .co domains before, but its very possible that they are just fine. I’ve always used .com, .net, and .org. So, I personally add a word before or after. But again, a .co may be just fine…


Thanks Spencer – the video is working fine now. I clicked on your older blog post about picking a domain name and some people in the comments had success with .co and .info (I bought the .info too) so now I guess it’s a crap shoot as to which one I pick (or add a word to get a .com) – bleh! Where are the guarrantees from Google as to which one will make money?! Lol.

Thanks again for sharing as much as you do – looking forward to your thoughts on content – another huge decision / task!

Paul Kostoff

Very cool stuff indeed. I am curious really whats gonna take you to rank this site when it is PMD. As i see what is going on with other one that is even EMD (the one that is #2 for now :)) you are doing pretty good job.



How do you plan to generate content from this niche site?

Spencer Haws

I’m going to write the initial content myself. I’ll be explaining more in depth later this week or early next week in a post dedicated to content creation.

Joe Can Write

This is great stuff!

I’m tempted to give it a try and start another affiliate site.

Trouble is I had so many EMD sites like this that got hammered by Google Penguin and don’t rank anymore.

How much are you hoping this site will make a month?

Cheers, Joe

Spencer Haws

The original goal was to build a site that could make $500/mth after about 6 months of creating it. That’s the ambitious goal 🙂

Joe Can Write

Sounds like a good goal and a nice amount to be making from one site.

I guess an ebook could be made and sold as well as promoting on amazon.

Good luck!

If you need content, you know where to find me 😉

Kent Faver

Hello Spencer – awesome video! The tutorial for this new LTP member was fantastic. A couple of questions:

1) Why not go for a larger authority site of which this micro-niche is a category vs. the entire business? Survival Site Guide, vs. the knife only.

2) Pertaining to No. 1, it seems this entire structure is totally at the mercy of Google, no? What if the next animal update penalizes all sites that pertain to one topic only?.

An authority site can derive traffic from a multitude of sources: videos; FB fan page, etc. It seems this micro structure will forever ebb and flow with the whim of Google.

Thanks again – not being critical – just curious on your business structure thoughts.

Spencer Haws

1. The site could certainly be an authority site. But that has nothing to do with covering lots of topics. And why can’t I write about survival information and not just knives. I most certainly can if the site grows.
2. Google Panda already penalized sites that were not focused (most article directories got hammered with panda because they had poor content on every topic under the sun). Focused content is ALWAYS better than broad content.

I don’t think you and I see eye to eye on what a “niche site” is versus an authority site. A niche site can indeed be an authority site. My blog here: IS a niche site (I cover a very narrow topic of how to build niche sites mostly), but its also an authority site. “Niche” has nothing to do with how much content is on a site.


Can we expect to see Spencer dressed as Crocodile Dundee and in his best Australian accent saying – “you call that a knife?? THIS is a knife”

Great, simple niche – Even for a newbie like me I can see the potential in this one and it proves that not all the good ideas are taken at all!


I also have my niche but have decided to focus on the UK instead of America. It´s where I am from and I feel that I think this will be better when writing articles – especially for the audience.

After our joke about you Americans inserting a “T” into the smooth and flowing word “niche” I started to think that if I am going to be producing quality content, it needs to be written in a way that the audience would write/think/speak it themselves. Surely the most important thing is that the local searches for my keyword are sufficient and that the competition is low and beatable?!

My keyword has 3600 local monthly searches in the UK, and a CPC of €1.15 – The ranking top 10 are a mixture of question/answer sites, low quality pages none with my keyword in the root domain. I feel there is a real opportunity to get ranked quickly.

One question I do have though – I will use an example – imagine my keyword is “best place to buy ipads”

would I also be automatically ranked for people who searched a combination or variation of the above words, like:

ipads best place to buy
place to buy ipads
best ipads to buy

Would I need to target each keyword individually or would be all be part of the original one?

I hope that makes sense?



Spencer Haws

No, I wouldn’t target each of those – that’s just repetitive (and a way to potentially penalize yourself). Google will potentially rank you for all those with just one article.


I’ve been on that very hobby site! Great minds think alike.

I think you should write the content yourself Spencer 🙂



Thanks for the update.

In the homework section you talk about getting a keyword rich domain and I know that this is a “niche site” tutorial. But, what are your thoughts on doing an authority type site where the root domain doesn’t really have any keywords and one is attempting to rank in several niches.

Say for example, someone wanted to rank for all different types of fruits and vegetables. So, they go out and get the domain or something.

Then they start building out pages. Something like

So then each page is a hub for that fruit. And then they want to rank for the following keywords: “best cherry cobbler” and “sweetest apple pie”

So they create a page like:

Can you maybe elaborate on the pros and cons of going this route and whether or not you feel that there will be difficulty ranking for the keywords in the short term versus the longterm.

I realize this kind of gets into a niche site vs. authority site debate and I don’t think that it what I am trying to illicit. I think I am trying to understand the mechanics of backlinking and ranking an authority site vs. a niche site.

In the video you mentioned adding future content about other knives. Presumably those knives are all survival knives. I guess what I am getting at is…should you decide to rank for “zero tolerance knife” or what not in the future…what advantages (long term and short term) and disadvantages (long term and short term) do you face going this route with respect to ranking?

In summation, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the notion of creating a separate web 2.0 squidoo page and all these other different accounts for each keyword.

Spencer Haws

That works fine as well. Many sites do the exact thing you mentioned. And in fact I will be doing the same thing with my niche site essentially, BUT I am targeting 1 keyword with my domain. It just makes sense. Having the keyword in the domain does indeed still provide some benefit – so that’s why I do it and recommend it.


Thanks for the keyword research video Spencer. This shows really valuable information for me – I realize that getting the right keywords is the foundation to success but I was struggling with assessing the competitiveness of any particular keyword. Your video gives insightful information about competitiveness e.g. mentioning that some types of sites are low competition.

I started my first niche site last month, purchased Long Tail Pro last week and am ready to research my next niche site. I’m hoping that armed with this extra advice that my second attempt will be much more successful.

I’m eagerly awaiting the next post so I can work along with you on my project. Thanks again and good luck 🙂


KC seems to be 35 right now, can’t be due do people hi-jacking your keyword since you just revealed it today?
I’ve seen the KC “dance” on some of my own keywords too btw. Do you have an explaination for it Spencer?
Other than sites in the top 10 optimizing/adding links?

Really appreciate what your doing for us btw..!

Greets from Amsterdam / Holland

Spencer Haws

The top 10 results in Google change all the time. That’s why the KC changes. I can see today that there are 2 youtube videos in the top 10, rather than just 1 that was there yesterday. That’s the difference 🙂

Steve Wyman

Hey Spencer

Great insights into your process.

The very best of luck with this venture. Lets hope that the copy cats dont waste to much time and effort trying to copy you 🙁 lol

For me the actual content strategy that you use is going to be the most interesting part.

thanks for sharing


Thanks a lot for sharing. Good luck !
Just wondering you said you have 6 bluehost accounts with 100 site each. Did you really repeat this process 600 times ?

Spencer Haws

Not all of my bluehost accounts have 100 sites on them. But yes, I’ve repeated the process several hundred times. And the six bluehost accounts are just the start for the amount of hosting accounts I have (many more in other places).


For the exact match .com domain they may be links from Sape, I guess you have heard of it. These links are not weak if you know hot to use the network, pretty strong actually. Some big money keywords that are bringing thousands per day. are using Sape

Scott Stembridge

Hi Spencer,

Appreciate you sharing all this info. I also hope the muppets leave this niche well alone so your site develops naturally.
I have recently started my first niche site, so I’ll be following along and watching how you go about things. A great learning curve to be sure.

Thanks again 🙂

Darnell Jackson

Congrats on the new site Spencer,

Thanks for sharing the metrics this is extremely valuable information.

I’m linking to this article in an ebook coming soon.


Awesome work. What is the fastest way to produce quality contents for niche sites that you have no idea about?

Would you recommend using Article spinner? How good should you content be?

Spencer Haws

No spinning for niche sites! The content needs to be excellent…100% original and useful to readers. That is a must.


Spencer – thanks again for openly sharing your thought process on your new site! Very helpful and encouraging for me. I’m walking probably a step or two behind you on what will be my second niche site!

Keep up the great work!

Question – I keep fretting over which wordpress template to use. I feel like I’m spending way too many brain cells on picking one, or a collection of themes from one package. I really just want something that is simple for me to use, yet is dynamic and not boring. I’ve noted some of the examples you suggested. Do you have any others you can name?

thank you!

Spencer Haws

I created this theme: I definitely recommend it for the exact reasons you mentioned.


Thanks a bunch for doing this publicly! I haven’t started a niche site yet but I have one burning question for you. You selected ONE keyword to build this site around. I assume that keyword will be the focus of the front page content of the site?

Are you going to use that same keyword repeatedly on different pages with different but related content? Or are you going to select different related keywords to be the focus for each of the pages other than the home page?

I’m just trying to understand where and how often to be using the primary keyword and whether I should be collecting a batch of keywords to begin with? Confused?

Thank you so much for your time and good luck!

Spencer Haws

No, I won’t use the keyword repeatedly. I’ll use it on the primary article, but then I’ll never target that keyword again on other articles. Each other article will target other keywords. I may use the primary keyword on other articles, but only coincidentally.



How can you detect what page a brand new niche site is showing up on Google? After it is indexed what is the way you can tell?

Spencer Haws

I use Long Tail Pro rank checker to check my ranks.


Thank you for this! You are such an inspiration to me.


Unfortunately the value of this case study has gone out the window since you revealed your niche – and even worse, your site. There will now no doubt be dozens, or more, imitators competing against you which will skew the results more than regular SEO competition would. I still don’t understand why you chose to disclose that info during the study, and not after.

With that being said, I was very interested in the process through which you chose your keyword (even though it shouldn’t have been disclosed). Thanks for sharing.

Spencer Haws

I’ve done lots of other websites, this one is offered up as example only.


Great Videos. Weezer, Royksopp, and Spencer Rock! 🙂

Spencer Haws

Where is the like button on this comment??!

Rob Cubbon

I’m confused. How come ranks at all? I would have thought that site would have been killed by Penguin or Panda.

Great videos, Spencer.

Spencer Haws

Perhaps the links are keeping it around 🙂


hi spencer i just want you to know that i’ve given up on niche sites after trying for a year or so.. but i’m going to give it another shot by following your guidance along on this site. i started doing keyword research again yesterday but haven’t found my keywords yet.. i think i’ll follow your exact strategy (monetizing not using adsense) and find keywords with numbers similar to yours (won’t be using your keywords). thanks for doing this!


Hi Spencer,

Great couple of videos! I’ve been using LT Platinum, and it’s been terrific (particularly its KC numbers!). May I ask two questions?

1. I’ve found a few seemingly awesome keywords whose competition is relatively weak in all fields (page authority, KCs, juice links, etc) except almost every single website in the top 10 has KEYWORD MATCH in their URLs or titles? Should I bypass these?

2. One keyword is weak in all areas except its top two stops are Youtube videos (with exact keyword matches in their titles) but with NO juice links. Will I ever hit number one with this keyword?

Okay, that’s about. Thanks once again a bunch for your awesome videos!


Spencer, this is a smart niche. Not only does it check out on LTP, but is sure to get better as the “sky is falling” crowd huddles around their bunkers with their survival knives anticipating the country’s collapse!

As far as all the people carping about this getting knocked off the rankings by competitors, didn’t Pat at SPI do the same thing and still stay #1?


These videos are fantastic! I have been listening to podcasts and reading blogs for some time and set out today to get started so watching this was spot on.
As I’m in the UK though I wonder what local search volume would be sufficient, we’re obviously on a different scale to your ‘local search’. What do you think?

Also to any other Brits building niche sites, I’d be keen to hear your thoughts.

I’m really keen to get into this now and following along with your progress.

Tanks again,



Hi Adrian.

I am from the UK too and in the past always built sites for the UK market, looking at UK local search for the data and getting or domains.

For this project I’m going to try and build a US site as there is so much more people searching. Although I’ve not done this before, I’d recommend going after the US market.

It is easy enough to sign up with instead of associates programmes and buy a .com instead of a

Good luck!


Hi Spencer,

Just wanted to thank you for all your work. I’ve been following you for about 2 years now and I’ve built a few sites myself. One of my sites was ranking #1 for about a year and now slowly losing ranking (#7) even after all the updates. I think the key is easy keywords and good content. Since then I’ve added new content but since the penguin attack, I’ve been afraid to do more backlinking. I really look forward to your linkbuilding strategy and wondering if I can get a preview? 😉

Anyways, best of luck!


Hi Adrian

I am also from the UK and have targeted a niche with a domain. I have decided that I am probably able to write more relevent and better understood material than trying to reach out to an American audience.

For the local searches I kept to the same principles as Spencer suggested for any Niche site. This is open for correction if I am wrong but I dont think it should matter which “local” area you target, the same strategy can apply.

I ensured that my keyword had low competition and that the CPC is around the €1 mark. The selected keyword currently receives 3600 local (UK) searches a month and I feel that I can easily rank in the top ten after looking at the competition.

My page has been live 6 days and is already showing in the first page of – I can´t believe it haha! I am still at the stage of adding content and so far haven´t built any links or added Adsense. This will be my number 1 priority once I have a decent amount of original content.

What can you tell us about your project Adrian?


Hi Spencer,

I’m getting together a list of keywords but am not sure about them.

Do you offer and kind of keyword checking service for people who bought LTP?

Just thought I’d ask 😉


PS can you install a plugin to notify us of new comments on your blog please?

Spencer Haws

No, I don’t have a keyword checking service :). I previously had a plugin to notify of new comments; didn’t function well with my theme…maybe can find a different one…

Theodore Nwangene

Well done Spencer,
I just discovered your site and i must commend your efforts here. Really inspiring.

I like the niche site project and will be following along.

More strength to your elbows man.


Are you going to use the niche website theme for which I/We received an email today for that particular site ?

Spencer Haws

Yes, I will be using the Niche Website theme for this site.

Peter Hall

Do you actually buy 100’s of domains at $10 each to start this Niche business? I hear about guys in this business on the web talking about 100, or even 1000 adsense sites, and 100 websites are $1000.

Is there a cheaper way to buy these domains?


Hi Spencer,

The website is about 10 days old and it already has an Alexa rank of 1,000,000? how is that possible?

JJ Collins

Hi there,

Fantastic progress. Thanks for the updates. Love following your blog.

One thing to note. Your main page is full of typos and grammar mistakes.

I counted 5 just on the paragraph’s about the ESEE-6.

Best of Luck,


Spencer Haws

Fixed the typos, thanks.


Hello Spencer! I was wondering…how important are page and domain authority of other sites when choosing a key word for your site, especially when the other numbers are on the low end?

Thank you,


Hi Spencer!

Thanks again for a great post! I looked up [best survival knife] using Market Samurai because of curiosity.

MS came up with following numbers:
SEOT: 91; SEOC: 126.000

Looking at Pat Flynn guides who said that he filtered keywords with a SEOC of more than 50.000. I am wondering that he wouldn’t have considered that niche. I am aware this process is no science.

Do you think that the SEOC of a keyword is a misleading number?

Spencer Haws

I never use SEOC, and would never recommend it. This just tells you how many sites mention your keyword. In theory, its a nice number to look at. But in reality, you only should care about how difficult the top 10 results in Google are for your keyword. So SEOC IS most certainly a misleading number, and like I said, I NEVER look at it. Not an important number (in my opinion). What you SHOULD look at, is exactly what I did here: (read the first 4 posts and watch the videos).

Nicolas Daudin

Hi Spencer,

First, thanks a lot for sharing all this information. Much appreciated, as usually!!!

I checked the first video here (how you found the keyword) and I have several questions:

Why do you prefer info-based keywords (best survival knife) over product-based keywords (survival knife)? you mentioned that it is because Google tend to rank better ecommerce sites for product-based keyword. Is it the only reason? Or if you managed to rank first for such a keyword (survival knife for example), would you expect low conversion as people would be looking to BUY a survival knife and would not find your site relevant since its a comparaison site rather than a site where they can buy the product?

In the video, I’ve seen that you’ve checked throwing knives keyword. To me it looks pretty cool (AKC is actually 26 right now). You decided to go for another keyword. Is it because “throwing knives” is a product-based kw?

The point is, I’d like to understand why you are not interested in product-based kw. After all, if you put the same kind if site (comparison of 20 best knives) and some affiliate links, I guess they would get clicks all the same, right?

Thanks again anyway. If i’m asking this, it’s because I’ve found many very interesting keywords (KC around 26 or 27, more than 20000 exact local search) but yet i’m wondering if “it’s too good to be true”. Some of them are product-based.

Btw thanks for the music at the end! Pretty cool 🙂


Spencer Haws

The reason for not targeting ecommerce keywords is because they are harder to rank for…that’s it. Ecommerce sites tend to be favored by google for these keywords EVEN if they are weaker sites (low backlinks, etc). That’s it, no other reason.

Nicolas Daudin

Ok thanks Spencer!

Nicolas Daudin

So… would you TOTALLY avoid to try to rank for an ecommerce keyword? even if its a 30000+ exact local search by month with an average KC of 16 ??? I did find more than half the Top 10 ranks were ecommerce site but they sould be easily outranked, right?

Adam Finan

Hi Spencer,
First of all I would like to say thank you for doing this project. It is a great help to those of us looking to build niche websites so we can live location independent.

I would like to say to those slamming Amazon that, yes the commissions are low, but consistent selling is key to making decent cash from Amazon.

The only real money I have made online is via Amazon products. Although clickbank products are much higher commissions, they are also really competitive and mostly of poor quality from what I have found. I am sure there is a method to the madness of selling CB products, but I have not found the gold yet.

With this niche site, you can gather a list, get a facebook fan page going and do a competition or something, and help get the site more exposure.

The aim here is to make a niche site that generates approximately $500 per month and I think the best survival knife guide will do that.

FYI – To check out the site, I had only typed best surv, when google suggested your site. Nice work.

And bad luck on the spammy links, just read that post, could be a spam samurai trying to take it down! Hopefully it doesn’t effect the project to much.



Hi Spencer, Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. I have a question. Although you choose best survival knife i see your website name is best surval knife guide. The “guide” doesn’t throw off the search results? I am asking because I think I have a good keyword but was going to add a another word too and was hoping that is was not going to hurt the search results Thanks for your help. Elin


Dude what should i say you rock, my niche website is now in #3 place 😀 love you man


my problem is how can i know if I will found a good keyword I send a lot of time but with no result


Hey Mike why did you decide to go with the suffix guide instead of site or pro since those had less characters. Wouldn’t you think its best to keep the domain as short as possible?


lol i meant to say hey spencer not my own name lol

Spencer Haws

Guide sounded better, that’s why. No need to overcomplicate things.


hey spencer do you think your site would have moved up in the ranks if you added “THE” to the front of best survival knife guide

Spencer Haws

I’m not sure I know what you mean. Do you mean if my site domain was called: Yes, it would have.


Hi Spencer,

Where can we view your ‘Finding My Primary Keyword Video (Must Watch)’? It is part of NSP Update 2 but is no longer clickable.


Hello Spencer,

Congrats on having your site on GPR-1, i have a basic question on using LTP , i m searching for keyword / niche specific to a Singapore, so if i chose the location as Singapore in LTP and find a keyword with all the conditions matching of what you mentioned above is it still fine ?? Or i should be selecting the country as US ????

Sorry havent gone through basic training for LTP , can you share some important link for LTP ?

Spencer Haws

Yes, if you are targeting Singapore and find that it meets all the criteria I mentioned, its still a good keyword. Here is a link to the training videos for Long Tail Pro:


Spencer, thanks for sharing all those cool tips.

I have registered my domain and have a sub-domain set-up on another host. Currently, I am doing a forward masking from my registrar to the host.

On the other hand, this makes the main domain have a frame and appears detrimental to SEO. So I am wondering how best to re-use my host with the registrar.

In other words, how do you do it?


Arrgh, it’s in the second video. I think I got it. Thanks a lot!

Ron Chan

Spencer, you mention a guideline of a minimum of 5000 exact match searches per month. Would you ever consider doing ones where the exact matches were less than 1000 but the CPC was high i.e. $50. +???

Spencer Haws

Sure, I would go after lower search volume. 5k is just ideal. As far as $50 cpc, you won’t ever actually get paid that much. You might get $2 or $3 a click, but its rare to get much more than that (consistently).

Steven Fabian

Hi there Spencer, GREAT advice and extremely helpful, step-by-step stuff on how to rank niche sites highly and earn money that way. I wish all the info in the IM niche would be at least half this helpful. I have only 1 question regarding your niche site building strategy: when you register a new domain name, do you purchase WHOIS privacy protection EVERY SINGLE TIME for EVERY SINGLE domain name? I’m just asking because I think the $10/year/domain price is a bit high and I see that your is not protected, but neither does it use your name. Could you please clarify that? Thanks, Steve

Spencer Haws

No. If its free for the first year (namecheap) I take it.

Steven Fabian

Thanks very much for the quick reply!

Ayal Naor

Hi Spencer- Awesome information on this post. The NSP in general is super informative, but as you point out the heart of it is finding the right keyword…and after reading this post (and watching the video), for the first time ever I really feel I understand how it’s done. Amazing. Thank you so much!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Ayal!


Hi spencer! I have been following Niche site project 1 and am impressed with detailed info I get here..have already chosen a niche using the longtailpro and planing to join affiliate program as my main income strategy for my niche site, the problem is that am from Kenya in Africa and cant find my country in the list provided by most affiliate companies like Amazon, clickbank, cj when signing up…this is limiting my plans for my site..please how can you advise ? Thanks!

Casey Rees

Thanks for all the information Spencer. I’m at the beginning of my niche site education and have found this project to be extremely helpful.

I learned about from the podcast that is put on by Justin Cooke and Joe Magnotti

Thanks again!


hi great blog and great info just one request is it Possible to have the video as a downloadable file to watch off line
thnks again for all the hard work


Hi Spencer, I use Hostgator as my host. Do you think Bluehost is better to host niche sites?


Spencer Haws

I personally like Bluehost better, but Hostgator is fine.

Paul Strachan

Hey Spencer, nice website by the way. I agree finding those ”money keywords” as I like to call it is the most important step. I usually go for keywords that get around about 4/5k searches per month also. Thanks for sharing your tips. going to take a lot of great info away with me.

Keep up the good posting buddy!


Hey Spencer,

What would you recommend in terms of the distribution of linking to your root page vs linking to specific pages? Should you have 80% of you links point to your root and 20% to specific pages? Or doesnt it really matter?

Steven Pearson

Hey Spencer!

I see you are still in the number one spot for the keyword “best survival knife”

Excellent job man, you are a true mentor 🙂 I will be purchasing Long Tail Pro on Friday

Keep up the excellent training, It’s good to see that some people are still giving away highly valuable information for free, you are a rock star. Keep it up!

I’m in the process of building my first niche site and this training you are providing is proving to be a blessing is disguise.

Thank You


Spencer and gang,

For KW example “Best Word Word”, what do you think of:

1. The exact match .NET of BestWordWord.NET


2. BestWordWordGuide.COM ?

Basically, is .NET better as EMD that .COM with the “guide” or any suffix added on?


Spencer Haws

Go with the .net. But also read my new post – keyword rich domains don’t really matter anymore:


Thanks! Posted over there…


Hi Spencer,
This is Luis from Spain.
I know it is really long ago from another galaxy, where you built this post 🙂 . Although it, i will give it a try and throw my comment down here.
Thanks, thanks, thank you very much for this invaluable info. I am following it one step at a time.
The fact is that i am missing one step.
How do you go from suvival knifes to best survival knife?. Do you make another search for survival knife as a keyword, or you just make a guess and research it?
Thank you a lot!!.

Spencer Haws

I put the seed keyword in Long Tail Pro, and one of the results was best survival knife.

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