Podcast 142: Niche Site Project 4 Update for October 2018

By Spencer Haws |

This is the podcast episode for the most recent monthly report for Niche Site Project 4.

You can read all the details in depth about what happened in Oct. 2018 right here.  Enjoy the episode!

Read the Full Transcript

Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits podcast. I’m your host, Spencer Haws from Today, it’s a solo podcast. It’s just going to be me behind the microphone, no co-hosts, no guests. 

Today, I’m talking about Niche Site Project 4. I wanted to give an update for October. I’m currently typing out the monthly income report or just monthly report for Niche Site Project 4. I thought it’d be good for me to explain that verbally via the podcast here. I want to give a quick history of Niche Site Project 4, what happened during October, what the results were in terms of traffic and earnings, and then my plans on it going forward. Let’s jump right into it. 

The history of Niche Site Project 4, just to remind, it was back in July 31st of this year that I announced that I wanted to do Niche Site Project 4. Building a niche site from scratch with the idea of it ranking in Google or getting traffic however I can and making money from that. On July 31st, I announced that project, it wasn’t until about a month later, August 22nd, it was when I decided on a new niche. I sort of spent a few weeks there where I had picked a niche and then I decided, “You know what, I’m not going to go into that niche.” 

It was August 22nd where I picked the niche that I’m now going into and then August 21st I actually, bought the domain for the new site, and then September 10th was when I published the very first article on that new site. It gives you a quick timeline there. Really, from September to the end of October, it’s only been about a month and a half, a little over a month and a half. The site’s about a month and a half old since it’s had content just to give you some context for the traffic and earnings report that I’m about to jump into here. 

Unfortunately, the site has not made any money yet. It didn’t make any money in September. October, I was hoping that I might get my first affiliate sale there, but it didn’t happen. But that’s okay. I know that building sites takes time and I’m not really shooting for the first one, two, three month—that’s not where most of the money is going to be made, anyways. It’s much further into the future. There was no earnings. I did get a few affiliate clicks on my Amazon affiliate links, not a lot. Probably most of the clicks were me testing my own links to make sure that my links were working properly. So, I got a few clicks there. 

In terms of traffic, overall, traffic to the site is—let me pull up my spreadsheet here, total number of sessions in October were 342. How does that compare to September? About 100 more. In September, there was 258 sessions. That’s good, it grew. However, the actual organic traffic was down, it went from 90 in September to 69 in October. Part of that, I do believe was in September, I did a lot of searching for my own website, so I think that sort of skewed a lot of the results there. For now, in October, getting some visitors from Google organic search, 69 visitors, so that’s okay. I got to start somewhere and so that’s where I’m at. 

The number of articles published was 12 in October. A little less than September. I came right out of the gate, did 20 articles real quick in September, 12 in October but I’ve got a good process now with my authors. I’ve got lots of keywords in the queue ready to go. I don’t know that I’ll be publishing a lot more than say, 12-20 articles a month, but I’ll probably be in that range pretty consistently. Now, I’ll be much more hands-off because I’ve got the process in place for the authors. They’ve been assigned their keywords, they write them, they can just have me check the work once it’s done. That’s called pretty good there. 

One of the silver linings here even though I publish less content and I have less organic visitor from Google this month was my social sessions were up from Pinterest. In September I had only one total visitor from social media website. In October that was 144, so that’s where the growth took place was in social media and definitely from Pinterest. I put a lot of effort into Pinterest. I got my account set-up. I got a Canva template all set-up so it’s really easy to create pins. What I’m doing is each for blog post, I’m creating two different sized pins—a longer one and a shorter one, they’re sizes that Pinterest likes. You can look more into that. Each article that’s written, I create two pins and I publish those on Pinterest. 

Beyond that, I’m not doing a whole lot. Doing some re-pinning and some scheduling on Tailwind (see my Tailwind review). I can maybe talk about that more in the future if Pinterest continues to grow. But right now, it’s great to see that yes, some of my pins are gaining a little bit of traction. We’re only talking about three or four visitors a day here on average, that is probably growing a little bit, it’s still very, very small, but it’s a trickle of traffic now that I’m seeing and it’s a great sign. 

What I do like about Pinterest beyond just the visitors is that I see as a secondary link building opportunity. The links coming directly from Pinterest I don’t think are going to provide a whole lot of value there, they’re no follow links. I’m not expecting that to help me get a big boost in Google or anything. But people do view my content on Pinterest and these other website owners, they may then decide to either publish one of my pins on their website or for whatever reason, link from their website directly to my website. I think it’s a way for people to find my website that could potentially link to my website. I like that aspect of it as well. 

Overall, what are my thoughts on these results, traffic from Google really is not increased significantly yet, traffic from Pinterest is up, but I’ve made no sales. I wish that I had made at least one or two sales just to get on the board and most of that is probably just from the pressure I feel from having a public project. I just want to be able to say, “Hey, I made some money.” But I know that will come. If I was building this site privately, it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal. That would be very normal. It’s only been a month and a half, I don’t expect the site to be making much money. 

There’s some pros and cons there. Yes, I wish that I could publicly say, “It’s making money already and see how quickly it’s doing well.” But typically, a site is going to take two, three months before it makes its first sale anyways, and so I’m okay with the results. I do like the signs of Pinterest, as I mentioned, there’s some growth there, but I’m okay with the results. 

I know that it takes a lot of patience, I’m expecting to build the site that after a year or 18 months is doing really well. That’s when the exciting things are really happening. I don’t just want a site that’s only making $300 a month or $500 a month. I want something that’s $1500 or $2000 or much more over time. That’s what I’m shooting for. I know that I need to have some patience. If you’re out there building a niche site, please be patient, don’t give up after a couple of months. It’s very normal to not see a lot of traction after the first few months. 

Now, is there a way that I could speed up the process? Yeah, perhaps there is. If I were doing more link building that would give my site more authority and of course, Google ranks sites that have more authority a little bit quicker. But I know that authority will come. Over time, yes, the site will get some links naturally. I do plan on, perhaps this month, now November, doing some outreach possible link building opportunities, finding some link building opportunities there. I’m not going to put a ton of time and effort into it, but I’m going to put a little bit and we’ll see what happens. I’ll share how that goes, of course, in a future podcast and blog post. 

The other thing that I did during the month of October that I think is worth discussing is I eliminated a couple of categories from my niche site. When I initially found the niche, I thought, “Hey, this could be a really broad,” not necessarily broad, I mean it was a very specific niche but there’s a lot of different subjects that I could cover within that niche. I created about five categories and I had started writing articles or I hired authors to write articles in all of those categories. But when I started to sit down and think about it, I thought it’d be better to establish myself with topical authority and just a couple of those categories. 

I actually eliminated completely three of those categories and I’m now down to just two categories within the niche that I’m going to cover in more depth. I’m going to just produce lots of content in those two categories and that may be the only categories I ever go into. Maybe in a year or two, after the site is doing well, I’ll venture into these other categories that I had originally thought might work well. 

Maybe you’re wondering, “What is topical authority and how do you establish that topical authority?” that might be worth a whole other podcast. But in brief, what I’m going to do is create a couple of pillar articles, these are really in-depth articles that maybe just are informational articles or listicle articles that sort of let Google know that, “Hey, this is the subject that I’m going to be covering and I’m going to be covering it in-depth.” I’m going to be writing a couple of these pillar articles for the two categories that I have. 

Then as I do my Amazon affiliate review-type content, “Your best XYZ,” type articles, I will be linking from this informational pillar article to the best of articles. Then the best of articles will be linking back to my pillar content. I will have this nice linking structure that makes it very clear to Google that, “This is the topic that I want to be an expert on and I am establishing myself as an expert in because I’ve got this really huge pillar article and I’ve got this other 10 supporting articles.” and they’re all inter-linked and it makes a lot of logical sense from a search engine perspective. 

That’s one way that you go about establishing topical authority is really honing in on just a couple of topics and really diving deep into those subjects. That’s what I plan on doing and eliminating those other categories, as I mentioned. And then the other way of course is to build more authority off of your website; more domain authority, building more links pointing back to your website. If you can get those links from those topics that you’re wanting to be an expert, that is ideal. 

I’ve done a little bit of blog commenting just to get my name out there. I may go back on those blogs and do outreach and see if I can do a guest post or some other link building strategy there. But that is about it for at least on-page, how I’m going to establish myself as an authority, and then off-page, going forward, like I said, over the next month or so I’ll share any link building strategies that I actually implement, and I start using for my website. 

And then just briefly, in case you are curious, there are still a lot of Niche Site Project 4 participants, maybe you’re one of them and people have been reporting. I’ve got lots of their reports here and most people are on the same boat as me. They haven’t made any money yet or didn’t make any money in the month of October. It’s completely normal to have not made any money on your niche site after a month and a half or two months. 

There are a couple of people that have made, it looks like $30-$40, and then we’ve got our huge outlier, Jay June that was on the podcast. He made over $2500 on his niche site. Of course, that’s Gorilla ROI, the Google spreadsheet add-on that we had talked about. He’s doing a great job there. He just continues to crank it out. He’s doing good but he’s kind of going a different route where he actually created his own software product and he’s selling that. Everybody else out here that’s essentially creating a content niche site, zero is the most common number in earnings there. 

Overall, that’s my quick report. I wanted to do this to keep me honest, to keep on-task and focused on the project, and just to let you know that sites don’t always start making money right away. I think it’s important to have these zero earning reports. It’s just important to have those as it will be in the future to have the bigger number report. I think it’s great to share all along the way that, “Hey, we’re on the same boat.” It takes a couple of months to get the ball rolling, to get the content out, to get Google to recognize your website, and that’s completely normal, and that’s okay. 

I’m going to stay motivated and focused and keep consistently working on my site each and every month. I think that’s important for you listening, if you have your niche site, to just keep working on it month after month, you will slowly to gain traction and that will snowball after a few months. Hopefully, we’re all starting to see more results then. 

That’s it. I’m going to wrap up this podcast. Thanks so much for listening in. this is my quick report for October for the Niche Site Project. Best of luck building your website and your business overall. Thanks a lot! 

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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.

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Jae Jun

Keep it up Spencer and everyone else.
Can’t wait for all the others to start cranking it out too. Will be awesome to see the different strategies that go into effect.


Great content, as always Spencer.

Thank you very much for sharing, it is definitely very nice for you to be transparent and “admit” openly that it is not so quick, it is ok to have $0 months for the first 12 or even 18 months.

01. Sorry to bring this up. There seems to be a grammar error “ will slowly to gain traction and..”., seems like “begin” is missing.

Someone is paying attention and reading thoroughly 🙂

02. Out of curiosity, how many writers do you have working on this niche?

03. What is your view on using media (images) for each article? Do you bother with it? If so, where do you source your images.

I am so happy that you have created NP4, I am following along!

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