Podcast 123: Business Conference Takeaways and Niche Site Project 3 Thoughts

By Spencer Haws |

In today's podcast episode, Jake, Jason (who was introduced as a new team member in my last post), and I chat about the lessons learned at Traffic and Conversion Summit and we also give some of our thoughts on Niche Site Project 3.

Last month, we all attended Traffic and Conversion Summit, which is always a great conference. We each share our biggest takeaway that we hope to apply directly into our business.

Next we discuss Niche Site Project 3.  Now that it has been a year, the sites are not performing as well as we had originally projected.  We discuss why that might be.  In particular, why some people are successful at building niche sites and some are not.

Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes right here.

Read the Full Transcript Below

Read the full Transcript

Spencer:Hey everyone, welcome back to the Niche Pursuits podcast. I’m your host, Spencer Haws from Today, I’ve got a couple of people with me on the recording. They’re not guests. They’re actually part of team Niche Pursuits. I’ve got Jake that you know. He’s been on the podcast a couple of times before. I’ve also got Jason Wilson who is new to team Niche Pursuits. He just started as a full time employee at the beginning of this month and so we’re going to welcome both of them on.

Jake, first let’s go ahead and start with you, welcome to the podcast. Any quick updates you want to give?

Jake:Thanks, man. No, things are good. Some people know some of the writing that I do, that I have my first niche site was a baseball related site, Baseball’s back in season now.

Spencer:Yes it is.

Jake:I’m excited about that. That’s a good thing from the website side of things because it’s seasonal but I’m a big fan as well. Things are good, man. I’m happy that weather’s warming up and we’re getting some better weather these days.

Spencer:Yup. You had the chance to go and watch a little bit of The Masters this week, right?

Jake:I did, yeah. Went and met some buddies down in Georgia. Played some golf and then went and watched the golf but unfortunately the round we saw was shortened by the weather but had a good time nonetheless. It was a really cool place to see for sure.

Spencer:Yeah, very good. We’ve got Jason Wilson who is new on the podcast. Jason, welcome to the podcast.

Jason:Thanks, Spencer. I appreciate it. You want me to go ahead and just give a little brief intro on where I come from?

Spencer:Yeah, absolutely where you come from. Just a little bit about yourself. That’d be great.

Jason:Yeah, awesome. A little bit about me, I started working 14 years ago in corporate banking. I actually worked with Spencer back during our Wells Fargo days back in 2004.

Spencer:Back in the day, go Wells Fargo.


Spencer:Had some good times.

Jason:We had some good times, we were retail loan officers back then. It was an interesting world.


Jason:I know you made your leap, you’re doing your own thing, working on your site businesses. During that time, I actually started managing a sales team in mortgage. I did that for close to eight years and just bounced around in the banking industry with the major bank in the last few years.

I did start following Spencer’s podcast and his blog. I started following you, I think back in late 2012, early 2013. I actually think you had your own autoresponder created just for me. Like when I would like bug you, like something that would pop up and say, “Leave me alone.”

Spencer:Say, “I’m too busy right now, Jason, sorry.”


Spencer:Oh no.

Jason:I built my first site following your methods during Niche Site Project 1. Built my first site in 2013 and spent a couple of years just building sites on the side and flipping them. Finally in 2016, I focused on building an authority site which I had built. It’s doing well traffic wise, it’s producing well. You and I have just maintained contact ever since. This opportunity came up and I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of the team.

Spencer:Yeah. I’m excited to have you on the team as well. We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for the future. Can you give people an idea of how well your niche site is doing? I know you said traffic and earnings are good but just give maybe a little range of what it’s earning the last few months.

Jason:It depends on traffic but I would say it’s as steady as probably about $3,500 a month. It’s definitely enough to cover some of the bills, which is great. Obviously, I’m looking forward to adding to that portfolio in my spare time whenever I have it.

Spencer:Absolutely. I think it’s important for people to know that you’ve actually built a site, it’s doing well, and you know what you’re talking about because you are going to be on the podcast in the future as well and on the blog, you’ll be participating there, maybe writing some blog posts down the road as well. Of course you’ll have a chance to tell your story a little bit more there.

Jason definitely has a good knowledge base even though back in the day he did try to pick my brain quite a bit on Skype. He learned a lot on a zone and it’s doing quite well. I’m excited to have you, welcome to the podcast. It’s going to be a lot of fun going down the road.

Maybe I should mention why I brought you on. Specifically I’ve got one particular brand in the home goods  niche that is doing very well. I wanted to take it to the next level so I brought you on first as a part time brand manager. When was is it? Early January?

Jason:Yeah, correct.

Spencer:Yeah. Part time to have you work on the website itself and then of course sell the physical products that the website sells. I wanted to grow that even more, I guess, so I brought you on full time and so that’s what you are doing. You’re focusing on that one particular brand but then you’re also going to be helping out here with Niche Pursuits.

It’s a really good fit for me. Again, I think I’ve talked about this on the podcast but I’m starting the view my individual businesses as brands and trying to have brand managers once they reach a certain level to run those individual businesses. Jason is the first full time brand manager for one specific brand that I brought on. He’s going to grow that and hopefully do very well, and down the road I hope to have additional brand managers that I bring on for other businesses as well.

Today, before we do jump in, I feel like my audience that knows I run marathons must just be waiting on pins and needles to know how my marathon training is going because that’s so important to every small business owner listening to the Niche Pursuits podcast.

Jake:I get emails everyday, Spencer.


Jake:Has he been stretching?

Spencer:What’s his calorie intake like?

Jake:Give me some updates. Yeah, they need to know. It’s great.


Jason:Did he wear a plastic bag?

Spencer:The training is going well. I feel silly for giving you an update. I did a half marathon about two weeks ago, that went pretty well. I got 138 and a few seconds, which is a good time. I’m shooting to get a 315 which is a Boston qualifying time at the end of the month. A 138 maybe doesn’t sound that great but the course that I ran had some very significant climbs, some significant hills so that made it a little bit slower. Overall the race, I felt really great. I think I’m well prepared for the marathon. To make the long story short, I’ve got about two and a half weeks till the full marathon. I think I’m going to get really close. I’ve been putting a lot of time and effort so I’ll give an update. If anybody is curious how that is going, feel free to reach out to me. You don’t have to send Jake anymore emails, you can email me and ask about the marathon updates. That would be just fine.

Jake:To clarify, that would be your best time ever if you get 315, is that right?

Spencer:Oh, for sure.


Spencer:My personal best right now is 323:50. It’s about 12 minutes faster is what I need to get. If I’m honest, I’m shooting for a 310 which would guarantee that I get to run in Boston. Getting a 315 qualifies me but a 310 would guarantee I actually get a go to the race and run it and do that sort of things.


Spencer:Anyway, it’s a big lifetime goal that will be taking place in two and a half weeks. Moral of the story, I do think it’s very important even for non-runners to set goals, to set big goals in your business whether that’s some lifetime achievement or a monthly goal, or an annual goal. I’ve found significant benefits from sitting down, writing goals, and following up on those goals. In my business, it helps me stay focused and accomplish the things that I want to accomplish. Maybe that’s a small takeaway that people can have there.


Spencer:Other quick updates in the business. An interesting thing that all three of us, Jake, Jason and I, we went to Traffic & Conversion Summit down in San Diego just about, was that a month ago?



Spencer:And had a great time. I wanted to share some of the things, these business strategies that we learned while we were at Traffic & Conversion Summit. Honestly, there were so many sessions. How many sessions did they have going on at once, guys?

Jason:Five? Was it four or five at a time?

Spencer:Yeah. It’s like four or five at a time so there are no way you could see it all. You have to pick the one you are most interested in.

Jake:No lunch breaks.

Spencer:No lunch break this year.

Jake:Morning to evening, five sessions at a time.

Spencer:Yeah. Talk about brain overload, they really do just dump tons of information on you. I wanted to try and pinpoint a couple of things that we learned and things that we’re going to try to apply in our business. Does one of you guys want to go first? Anything that you picked up, a strategy that you think the Niche Pursuits audience would be interested to hear or just something specific, a takeaway that really struck you that you’re going to apply.

Jake:Yeah. I’ll go.

Jason:Go ahead, Jake.

Jake:I’ve got two things that I think really stood out to me, that I think people listening can implement as well. One, a guy that spoke was Donald Miller who’s an author, political consultant, many other things, has a company I believe called Story Brand. That’s what he talks about is having your brand tell a story with clarity. I just thought it was really interesting when he talks about simplifying your message. He talks about whatever it is that you sell, whatever your site is, you know it at a level 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. People that are reading your site know it on a level of 1 to 2. A lot of times we’re talking above their head but he talked it a very basic level.

Our brains are meant to survive and thrive and conserve calories. The longer somebody has to dig around your website to figure out what it is you want them to do, what it is that you offer if you’re selling a service or whatever. They’re going to disengage because they’re burning calories to do this, you’re making them search. He mentioned the idea of does your website pass what he called the grunt test. I remember he said that that was basically put a cave man, look at your website, and figure out what you do in I think 5, or 10 seconds or less.

Anyway, he showed some examples of that. It sounds obvious but you’ll realize I went back to some of our sites and things and tried to clean up some of the language and just simplify some of our home pages, sales pages, and things like that just to make it crystal clear exactly what we do and the actions we want people to take. Maybe something you can go back and take a fresh look at your site and see if it passes the grunt test.

One other thing we sat in a session from Perry Belcher, one of the digital marketer guys. He has an interesting tactic of how they email their lists, specifically when they’re trying to sell something. If you’re making an offer as an affiliate, or if you’re selling a course or something like that, one thing he mentioned I thought was interesting is that they do some AB testing as they go.

An example he gave was maybe at 7:00AM, they’ll email 10% of their list. They’ll send half of them one headline and the other half a different subject line. They wait an hour to see which one works better. And then they go back at 10:00AM to do the same thing just with two different email bodies. They send another 10% of their list, half of them this, half of them that. By that, they’ve emailed 20% of their list but now they have some testing to know, “Hey, this is our better subject line, this is our better body.” And then the afternoon they’re able to email their whole list, got some data to show that, “Hey, this email is working good. People are opening it, people are clicking it.”

I just thought that was a simple thing but a really cool idea because in businesses and stuff where I have a list, I’m sending a blast email, I’m sending it to everybody which is probably bad. If you’re not a big sophisticated tester, I think that’s a really easy way you can start doing some AB testing and get some better open rates from your email list.

Spencer:Yeah, great. Both of those are great pieces of advice, really great sessions those are in. Jason, what about you, any takeaway sir?

Jason:Yeah. It’s hard because we had so many good sessions. Sessions were just long enough to make sure that the speakers were captivating your interest and not losing you. I think sessions ran about 45 minutes for the most part outside of the opening and closing sessions.

I set out to really learn more about Facebook advertising, specifically for the brand that I’m picking up for you Spencer. Just because I know there are a lot of people in the FBA and ecommerce space that have had a lot of really good success running Facebook Ads and driving traffics to their ecommerce stores and selling products.

One of the speakers are Nich Kusmich. He’s like a Facebook Ads guru. He walks through his full time with all the elements that you have of a really good Facebook Ad. He walks through how to keep your content engaging, how to make sure that your potential customers are interacting with your ad. Basically how not to look spammy, making sure that you’ve got proper calls to action, making sure that your copy is really relevant to your audience, and obviously drives the angle which is getting new customers.

That session, there were just so many good little pieces of information in that session that we’ve already actually taken out. We’ve actually applied some of those practices to some of our ads on the business that I’m running for you now. Super valuable. Hopefully we start to see some big success there.

Spencer:Yup, absolutely. For me, I had a couple of takeaways as well. One session was with Ezra Firestone. This topic actually came up quite a bit. It was pretty new to me which was Facebook messenger bots. There were some really interesting examples of how ecommerce businesses and just businesses in general can start using messenger bots to engage with their audience.

Basically, Facebook has provided a way where you can create an ad that the call to action, the button that they click essentially opens up a messenger chat box. Your customer can start chatting with a chatbot. It’s an automated sequence. They might answer a question and then the bot will give an answer based on different things. Of course you want to let them know they’re chatting with a messenger bot. You’re not trying to trick them but you’re just trying to engage them with your brand.

What’s really interesting about that is once you get people to engage on Facebook messenger, it’s essentially like having another customer list. You‘ve got this messenger list that at any time in the future, you can send a broadcast message to your list.

What’s really interesting is that the open rates on Facebook messenger are ridiculously high when compared to email. If you send out a Facebook message to 5,000 people, I don’t remember what the stat was but it was above 80%, it’s just a huge amount of people that are going to open and see your message.

That was the unique takeaway that I need to be looking at. That’s another way that we can communicate with our customers in a different way than on email. We can get them on a Facebook messenger list and engage them that way. That’s kind of cool. It’s not something that we’ve specifically applied just yet but it’s something that I’m thinking about and wondering how we can apply that into our business.

The other big takeaway that wasn’t in a specific session but just for me, as I looked at my overall business, I realize that I need to be setting up systems and processes a little bit better that will help me to manage the people that I have and to scale the business that I have. I think that’s important.

Even if you’re just starting out but you plan to let’s say build multiple niche sites at once, you probably should think about setting up some system, or process, or at least a standard operating procedure that you hand off to a virtual assistant. Anything you can do where there’s a step in the process that you have to repeat multiple times. If you can have a process that you can hand off to somebody or just follow yourself, it’s going to make your life a lot easier. That’s something that I’m trying to do a little bit better with my business. It gets more difficult as you grow but it’s always important to think about that as well.

Overall, those are some of the takeaways that we had. Any final thoughts from either of you guys on Traffic & Conversion Summit? If not, we’ll move on to our next topic here.

Jake:I was just going to say on the Facebook bots that you mentioned, the tool that they kept talking about to manage all that was called is what they were using to manage that bot setup. That’s not built into Facebook, it was a third party tool. If anybody is interested, you could check that out. They were raving about it but we’ve not use it personally yet.

Spencer:No, perfect. Very good. The next thing I wanted to chat about was Niche Site Project 3. I wanted to give a little bit of an update because I haven’t shared that on the podcast. I did publish a post on the blog at the end of March with just the updated earnings.

To refresh people’s memories, this project has now been going on for about a year so their sites have been up for just about a year is when they started. Samara’s site has been earning over $100 a month for a few months but not much more than that. In February, it did earn $179. In March, she didn’t have an official update but it was right about the same, I want to say around $170 for the month of March as well.

If you don’t have a brand new site, $170 is great. If you’ve been building a site for a year, we all hope that the site would be earning a little bit more. Our goal was $500 a month but they’re not quite there.

To give an update on the other two, Coleen in January did $114 and in February did $71. And then Ryan, the nice update is he did have one sale or two sales maybe. It looks like he had his first referral commission so he made a couple of bucks there.

Overall, it’s one of those things, I publish the update and then I said, “Well, we’re going to give them another six months before we publish another income report because we’ve been doing an income report every couple of months. I felt like they might need a little bit of time to grow that.”

We got some mixed reviews in the comments. Did you guys happen to read the comments at all on that blog post?

Jason:I did.

Jake:I did not.

Spencer:What were your thoughts on the comments? Some were negative and some were positive, right Jason?

Jason:Yeah, some were negative, some were positive. I think it’s probably like a 60/40 split. A lot of folks are asking if building niche sites is still a viable way to earn money on the side. Obviously, I can attest that it is because I’ve been doing well in my site. It was launched probably about 17 or 18 months ago and it’s words ad. Not too much for the back than where Samara’s site was.

Spencer:Right, yup. Certainly there were some people who said, “Oh this project is a failure, a complete bust, and we should give up in niche sites. We should never think about it again.” Then there was other people, and I’ve heard from lots of people that started with Niche Site Project 3, followed every step along the process and now their sites are making $1,000, $2,000 a month, and several that are above the $500 a month sort of goal that we had set.

Was it a failure? We wish that the three students were earning more but I’ve heard from a ton of people out there following along with the project that are doing quite well. Why is that? Why are some people doing well and some people not doing so well? Any thoughts on that, Jake?

Jake:Yeah, I’ll give my take. One is that it’s hard to commit the time. That’s the boat that Ryan’s been in. I know some people giving grief about that and for whatever it is. If you’re working full time, or even if you’re a stay at home mom, whatever, you’ve got a full schedule. To find a time to do that late at night, early in the morning, whatever, it takes a different level of commitment. Not everybody is able or willing to do that consistently and you need that.

The other thing is that people that are just starting out, I kind of remember this feeling like it’s just an intimidating process, even just publishing your own content and stuff like that out there online. I think some people have a hard time just getting past that mental hurl. Like, “Oh, what if nobody reads it? What if it fails?” That sort of thing. Some people never really kick it into drive. I think these people that are succeeding, my guess is that they’re getting after it. They’re like, “Forget it. Hey, if it succeeds, great. If not, I’ll keep trying.” I think a lot of it is a mentality shift on the people that get in there and just follow the steps.

Obviously, the step clearly still works. Some of the methodology and things have changed over the years but the concept definitely still works. It’s just a matter of hey, you’re going to put in the work and the time and do it.

Spencer:Right. Any thoughts from you, Jason, on that same subject, why are some successful, others not?

Jason:Yeah. I think that some of it is probably niche dependent to you. Some niches have the ability probably to have a little bit more of an immediate return than other. I think it depends on what you’re doing, what product you’re selling, what affiliate program or advertising platform you’re using to make money on your site. All that can play a factor.

I think just chiming out what Jake said, if you don’t have the time, you’ve got to have a marketing budget. You’ve got to have money set aside and say, “Hey, I know that I can’t do this. I’m just going to have to realize that.” I mean hey, you got an LLC and you set aside a couple of thousand dollars to work on a niche site because you know you can’t do it on your own. There’s no reason why you can’t repeat the same success.

Spencer:Right, absolutely. I agree. I think you guys hit the nail on the head. A lot of it is the ability to put in the time which unfortunately, a couple other students I think, just haven’t been able to do that. It’s the level of commitment. I’ve been publishing a couple of podcasts here. It may be the one that’s about to come out that I haven’t quite released yet but it is from somebody that started their niche site at the exact same time as Niche Site Project 3. They talked about having an obsession with it. Everyday, they’re essentially obsessed with building that site, growing it, doing everything they can, and that’s a big reason for why they’ve been so successful.

It either comes down to one you’ve got to have that level of commitment and be willing to put in the time or two, Jason, like you mentioned, you got to have some budget where you can hire people that will do the work for you. A lot of times that’s what it comes down to you. Either you got to have a lot of time and a commitment or you’ve got to have a little bit of money you think you can invest.

Whether or not niche sites still work, I don’t think that’s a question. We are seeing it all the time, people are building sites, they are being successful. If you follow the right process and put in the time and effort, and maybe have a little bit of a budget to get some help, then they can be successful for sure.

Also related to Niche Site Project 3, one of the things, Jason, you brought this up. You were looking at Samara’s site, Tiny Fry, you said, “If she just made a couple of tweaks to her site, I think it could be doing much better.” I agree. I’ve been very hands off with Samara for the most part. I mean I’m doing the coaching and we exchange a lot of emails, actually. She asks a lot of questions and so I answer her questions. I haven’t really worked on the site at all. I’ve never logged in to her WordPress, or built a single link, or done any of the actual work.

I discussed with Samara, I said, “Hey, what do you think about me getting involved just a little bit? I know you’re about to have a baby and you’re probably not going to have time. What if we just help to put a little bit more effort in and maybe did an outreach campaign, link building or something to help boost your site a little bit?” Of course she’s all for that.

Jason, maybe you can walk through some of things that we saw on the site. We basically looked at the Tiny Fry, thought of a few things that we could do to improve the site overall. I’m asking you Jason because you’ve looked at it quite a bit.


Spencer:Jake of course, you weren’t involve there but I’m curious on your thoughts as well with some of our plans of action. Yeah, Jason, what did we see there and what do you think we can do to the site?

Jason:There are a few things at least in my opinion that I just looked at, I’m like, “What will I do if this site was my own?” Again, this is me being nit-picky because overall the site looks fantastic.

I would say the categories, she has a ton of categories all over the place and some of the categories only tag one or two posts, she’s got them in the drop downs. I’m not a big fan of drop downs because if you start building serious traffic and you’re using display ads and you got drop downs that can conflict to which people accidentally clicking on an ad when they meant to click your drop down.

The first thing is I will clean up all the categories that she has. Maybe just have four to six primary categories where all your content falls under. Fix them all to the top navigation bars so that’s where the link juice goes through. That was one small piece.

The next thing I looked at which I thought she’d get a big win out of is some of her articles, some were ranked, some of the potential bigger money makers are just off page one. I think if you’re not on one page, you’re nowhere. We wanted to go ahead and affix those articles to the home page because that will pass more links used to those articles. Majority of links to a normal site generally go to the home page. People referencing it by brands, linking it to the home page. We can take advantage of some of that juice passing to those primary articles if we attach them, it speaks mostly to the home page. That’s another small thing that we’re planning on doing.

As you mentioned, we just had an outreach plan that we put together, that we think that we can get some big links because the content is very sharable. She did a great job with the way she wrote her content. I think when I looked at it the route domains were just under 40 domains. I’d like to see that closer to 100 because that shows that you got more people that identify with the brand and we can see some big gains.

Spencer:Absolutely. That’s a plan. I’m going to be working with Samara. She may do some of that. We may get involved like I said a little bit to make sure the link building happens, that sort of thing. Any specific outreach campaign that you have planned if you were to take over down the site?

Jason:Yup, absolutely. I’d do a roundup right away. The site has to do with motherhood. The motherhood type blog is a really popular thing right now. It could be really easy to put together a list of experts that are in whether it’s childhood education or just moms that blog for fun on the side. You could put together a real quick list of 100 to 150 blogs that are good, that are reputable, that are all topically relevant, and reach out to them and say, “Hey, what are three things you wish you would have known before you had your first child?” Format that list, do the outreach. I’ve seen some really good results from outreach campaigns that center around doing the roundup post because people love to engage when it’s something catering to them and it’s something that just naturally gets shared with their audience.

Spencer:Right, yup, absolutely. Those two worked very well. Jake, that’s something that we did on another one of our sites. It’s similar but with a little bit of a twist. We basically did a top rating and gave out a digital reward if you will, like a badge.


Spencer:That worked pretty well for us. Maybe you can talk about what we did there. I don’t think we’ve talked about that on the podcast before.

Jake:Yeah. That’s pretty much it. We handed out an award on the blog and had somebody we were working with go through and these were events. Let’s say they were going through and checking out Facebook and different places that review such events and sort of figuring out in a state by state breakdown, which ones are the most popular? We just curated that into a small list of five to seven events and say, “Hey, these are some of the best events in the state.” It’s very easy from there just to go out to that event’s Facebook page or their is website or whatever. Just like, “Hey guys, congrats. We give you this award and all of that.” It passes the eyeball test. It looks nice, we put some time into it, maybe quoted some nice things people had to say about it who had attended the events and stuff like that.

We got some great links from that because I think we may have used of Fiverr to get a badge created that looked nice for the award. We said, “Hey, no obligation of course, but you’re free to use this if you want. We have a lot of people that put it into their marketing material, they put it on their footer of their website.” Things like that so it resulted in a lot of social shares and a few really high quality links works as well.

Spencer:Yeah, absolutely. It’s something simple. Like you said, we went to Fiverr, we got a little graphic created, a little badge award looking thing. That was about it. We essentially made up the award. It said the top whatever award and that was it. That has worked very well. That’s an idea for people that maybe have a site that are thinking of outreach campaigns that they can do, something that they can implement perhaps in their business.

Before we wrap up, any final thoughts on Niche Site Project 3 from you guys? I guess my final thoughts are like we talked about, a lot of it just has come down to the level of commitment. I do think Coleen has already started on a new site that she’s working on. I don’t know if she’s putting more effort into that site than the other site. I don’t know what the level of commitment is there with the original site like I said but I know she’s got a couple of projects and she’s travelling the world now.

And then Ryan, as you explained, he’s got a couple of jobs and a family and he’s very busy. Samara is about to have a baby but boy, she’s put a ton of effort into her site. I feel like all the content there. It really could just be a couple of more months with a little more effort and some tweaks so that site does finally hit that $500 a month. I’m very hopeful there.

Going forward, we’ll see. If we see some big updates or some big improvements, we’ll maybe do an update a little bit sooner than the six months that I said. Certainly if there’s anything major to share, we’ll come back and do that. Any final thoughts from you guys?

Jake:Yeah. My final thought on this is it relates to these sites and I think you guys would agree with me is that there really is the idea of having momentum in a site. For somebody like the Tiny Fry site that we’re looking at where it’s creeping over $100 and seeing little increments, I found that getting from $0 to $100 is a lot harder than going from $100 to $1,000 and then from $1,000 on up.


Jake:It just seems to snowball. Once you start picking some of the stuff up, maybe a bit of encouragement for somebody who seems like, “Hey, I’ve put in a lot and I’m still not…” Maybe this is you, $50 to $100 a month and whatever. Gains can come very, very quickly if you stick it out. I think we’ve all seen that happen with different sites that we’ve done.

Jason:Jake, you stole it from me. I was going to say the exact same thing. I remember with my site, specifically the authority site that I have right now. It literally went from I think $200 one month and then within 60 days it was over $1,000 a month. It really can happen quickly especially if you’re doing big outreach campaigns. The big thing is just making sure your content is really solid and it appeals to the readers because time on site is a big deal from an SEO perspective. If you got solid content, as long as the momentum rolls, it can happen fast.

Spencer:Yup. Great tips, great closing thoughts there. I appreciate it guys. For everybody out there building a niche site, don’t necessarily give up, take a look at your site, see if there’s little tweaks and improvements that you can make. If you’ve got that momentum, just realize that that can grow pretty quickly with time.

Jake, Jason, I appreciate you guys coming on to the Niche Pursuits podcast.

Jake:Thank, man.

Jason:Thank for having me, I’m excited.

Spencer:Absolutely, yup. I’m excited to continue to work on projects that we’re working on. Going forward on the future for podcast listeners, I’ll try not to wait so long before my next marathon update. I will let you know what I’m eating and how my training is going because I know that’s so important. Until next time, everybody. Thanks for listening.

Building Niche Sites

Podcasts | 19 comments

By Spencer Haws

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

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

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

Yes! I Love to Learn

You may also like

View all




Hi Spencer, Jake, Jason

You said:

“It either comes down to one you’ve got to have that level of commitment and be willing to put in the time or two, Jason, like you mentioned, you got to have some budget where you can hire people that will do the work for you”

With regards to Samara’s site, from what I could tell anyway, she DID have a massive level of commitment. I still don’t really understand why her site hasnt broken the $500/mo mark because I think her commitment has been on point.

Please could you clarify why you believe this hasn’t pushed the goal threshold yet?

From a newbie perspective, I don’t mind committing 6 months of hard graft building an affiliate site up, but I would be disappointed if I hadn’t broken the $500/mo, so it would be great to get a little more granularity as to why Samara’s site is a little stuck.

@samara – I’d be interested in your response to this if you are able to comment please?


Spencer Haws

Committment is one of the conditions, but not all of them. This is a business after all, and not a formula. Meaning sometimes things will work out better than planned or worse. I think Samara put in the effort, its just taking longer. We are still working on it though.


Hey Jamie – to piggy back off of Spencer here, I think all of the people in NSP put in effort to an extent, and Samara especially has an extremely content rich site. There were some simple changes (as noted in the podcast) that might be beneficial for her site. We won’t know the changes are made and it’s been tested.

As mentioned – Her site definitely needs additional links. Hopefully Spencer/Samara will have a good update for everyone in the coming months.


Hi Spencer,

First, thank you for this podcast.

So far, I have managed to keep my mouth shut but today I will say what I deeply think: What is this intro on each of your podcast?!?!?!? The music… the voice… everything is very difficult to listen without having the envy to put a rope around my neck and jump through the window:)) It sounds so fake, like an advertisement for a sect or something from a crook.

Sorry for the negative criticism. I really like what you do here but this intro does absolutely not match what you are.


Spencer Haws

You are the first one in 4 years to say they didn’t like the intro. What’s wrong with it? You don’t like the voiceover guy or the words that are actually spoken?


Like I said I don’t like the music and the voice, but I just listen it again and the words are maybe not so bad (although not original at all). It sounds really fake and very old for me. I thought I could deal with it, but even after some listening I can’t. I prefer the small intro you do yourself at the beginning of the podcast for example.

That said, this will not be enough to prevent me for listen all future podcasts. I just wanted to share my opinion with you.

I’m not from the US and maybe this kind of voice/intro is something the people there are used to listen, but not me and I can’t be the only one.

Spencer Haws

No problem, I appreciate the feedback!

Brett @ Niche Laboratory

Nice roundup.

The awards thing reminds me of the old days when I had a software business and my products would sometimes win awards. One time I actually won a fairly prestigious industry award (but they wanted something like $100 for the trophy). Then all the shareware download sites cottoned onto the fact that you could just award a 4 or 5 star award and the product owner would be so thankful for the award that they would link to the awarding site for free.

Well eventually it all ended horribly with the download sites being smacked down in the rankings.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Brett!


Hi Spencer! I’m a long time follower of yours and just wanted to chime in about NSP3. I started my niche/authority site around the same time the project started. My site has been earning around $80 per month since Dec 16 and is on pace to earn $200 for this month. I’m averaging around 280 unique visitors per month. Other than a few blog comments and directory listings, I’ve done no link building. Saying all that to say, I have no doubt this system works. I know my site would be earning more if I would do more quality link building, which I plan to do here shortly. I think how well a site does depends heavily on your niche and what products you are promoting. Anyways, just wanted to two scents. Keep up the good work! P.S. I really love all the new success stories of everyday site builders that you’ve been doing. It really gives newbies like me inspiration to keep trudging forward.

Jason Wilson

Hey Mike – you’ll get some momentum, keep it up! Definitely carve out some time to build some high quality links, it will benefit you in the long run!


$200 for 280 visitors is really good numbers.

High conversion rate or high selling products or a bit of both?

Spencer Haws

Thanks Mike…I agree! Awesome to hear your small success, keep up the great work. Glad you are enjoying the new success stories as well.


Thanks Spencer/Jason!

To answer Nate’s question, I’m actually getting about 280 unique visitors per day. My conversion rate is about 5%.


How many articles do you have Mike?


Hi Spencer, Jake & Jason

I can identify with the commitment/time factor.

I started a niche site the last time around, when Perrin was the student, got up to about 15 posts but over time commitment waned and I left site fizzle out.This was really due to the volume of upfront work with the time I had to spare.

I’ve been inspired to try again watching NSP3, however I feel I need to work in a way that will suit my available time. I’m planning on adding video content that I create to the site.

Any thoughts / links to methods or discussions about the pro’s and con’s of different ways to add video clips to a site ? My main concerns here would be the videos playing across desktops/tablets/phones, loading times for my site and ease of use of any method I use.

One other technical question … I remember from Google webmaster tools when I used it a couple of years ago their was an option to target a location for your site to rank in e.g usa….. with regards to seo is this sufficient or would it be better to host site in target market country ?

Thanks for all the info and inspiring podcasts and posts.



Jason Wilson

Hey Lenny – sorry for the delayed reply here.

Typically what I would do is upload the videos to youtube and then embed them on your site. The page will still be heavy when the visitor is there, but the videos are at least hosted on Youtube.

Regarding your second, question – I don’t do anything specific for my sites in other countries, so I can’t really comment on a strategy there. I can tell you that I prefer to host my website in a US location since most of my traffic is US based for my own niche site.


Hi Jason

Appreciate your info, thanks, Lennny

Mathew M.

Thank you for this business tips. I believe and know that it will benefit a lot of us who are looking to get started.
I can’t stop coming here every day to learn new stuffs.

Recent Posts

View all