Podcast 15: Building a Niche eCommerce Business with Nathan Hartnett

By Spencer Haws |

I am always thrilled when I find people outside of the “internet marketing” niche that are finding big success with the principles that I teach on my blog all the time.

I am constantly trying to harp on the fact that finding “long tail” keywords is something that EVERY business should be doing, not just affiliate marketers.  I've shared the success of Marcus Sheridan with this for his pool company.  Jon Haws built a successful landscaping company using long tail keywords.  Last week, I shared the story of Perry Rosenbloom that found success with his Glacier National Park travel guide site using smart keyword research and great content.

And now today, I'm happy to share with you the story of Nathan Hartnett.

I had the privilege of interviewing Nathan Hartnett recently about his niche eCommerce sites.  And you guessed it: he attributes much of his success to solid keyword research (understanding markets), and exposing low competition.

The Story

Nathan was an air traffic controller for the Australian Air Force for many years.  He had a great job, and as you'll hear, was offered $160,000 a year to take new position.  With a great career path ahead of him, why would he decide to make a change?

Well, 2 words: Love and Lifestyle

Nathan, met a girl and also started thinking about the lifestyle he wanted to live.  He wanted a career that allowed him to live where he wanted and to let his business work for him (not the other way around).

As a result he decided to research and sell a product on eBay.  He found that jewelry was a good option, because it was both profitable and easy to ship.  So, he started his business even without an internet connection!  He used an internet cafe when he had time to get the business up and running.

Eventually he created, which is still his primary website.  However, he learned a lot along the way.  He discovered niche sites, and how they could actually help his business.

He also began to fully understand the importance of keyword research.  As a result he has been able to build 9 different niche eCommerce businesses.  He attributes his success to proper keyword research and truly analyzing whether there is a market for the product.  Its a very similar process to building niche sites!

He has since lived all over the world with his wife, and is enjoying the lifestyle he wants.

Here is what is covered on the podcast:

Nathan continues to build his online retail business; however, he also blogs about business lessons he has learned at  So be sure to stop by and say hi to Nathan!

Listen to the Podcast Here!

(or listen on iTunes here)

Podcasts | 5 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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Cool story bro. Great that is worked out great for him.

Lewis Saka

great podcast, I’ve downloaded the free version of your long tail keyword book and plan to niche down my blogs. This is a point Ramit Sethi has made in the past – find a niche and then niche it down some more.



This is a really good podcast. I am a little surprised there are not more comments. To me, anyway, these interviews that overlap different areas of marketing, internet, product, etc. are some of the most interesting because the intersections of all of these areas is where the growth will be. Thanks for this interview.


Awesome podcast Spencer! tnx for the great info!

Angela Allen

Awesum!! I bought the book..just finished reading it!

Ecommerce and physical products are my “thing”… This is so very helpful!



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