For my second Niche Site Project, I am coaching a student through the site building process. Having a student ask lots of questions and sharing their progress along the way is great way to learn from a different perspective.
The goal of the project is to build a niche site that ranks in Google and is making $500/month or more after 6 months.
After just 4 months, the site earned over $650 in one month. After 5 months (January 2014) the site was earning over $1,400 in one month! We have exceeded our goal faster than expected. See the income reports below for updated earnings.
Many posts and updates were written about this project. However, below is the final summary given.
The Final Update for Niche Site Project 2
What Happened to Niche Site Project 2: aPennyShaved.com?
The first niche site project was such a fan favorite, that I decided to do a second project with a twist. In the second project, I wanted to coach someone else on building a niche site. I wanted to prove that we could start from scratch again and build another successful site.
After getting lots of feedback and opinions from Niche Pursuits readers, I finally picked Perrin Carrell as my student! (Perrin has since now became my full-time employee for a couple of years, but has now gone full-time on his own).
The project went VERY well this time. The site aPennyShaved.com quickly ranked #1 in Google for one of our chosen keywords, “best safety razor”. However, we continued to do additional keyword research and content creation, and the site began ranking for thousands of different keywords.
By March 2014, the niche site project site was earning over $2,000 per month.
This was more money than Perrin had every made (by far) from any of his sites. As a result, we started to get a little bit nervous about sharing everything so publicly. We stopped providing earnings updates after March, because we were kinda hoping people would “forget” about it. We were nervous about someone doing negative seo on the site like someone had done on BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com.
Even though we stopped sharing earnings reports, the site continued to grow in earnings…a lot.
In fact, at its peak in August 2014, the site made nearly $4,000 in one month! Perrin and I were doing lots of happy dances privately, and we hoped the gravy train would continue.
However, during the project we had jumped on the Private Blog Network bandwagon and that eventually proved to be our downfall. I wrote about this PBN update extensively, and swore off ever building another single PBN link. (And for the record I STILL have not built or even been tempted to build another PBN link).
That PBN penalty came crashing down on aPennyShaved.com just like so many other sites. Here is what the penalty looked like before and after on aPennyShaved.com:
At the end of the day, we shot ourselves in the foot with our own link building strategies. We did everything right in terms of keyword research, strategy, and content production; however, as soon as we tried to take the easy route by using PBNs the fun eventually ended.
Lesson learned…big time! As a result, Perrin and I have steered WAY clear of any type of link building strategies that could be considered against Google's terms of service.
Overall, the project was very successful in terms of earnings for Perrin. In fact, in 2014 alone, the site earned over $22,000 in Amazon revenue.
Obviously, the loss of income hit Perrin like a ton of bricks and he honestly went through a bit of depression. Luckily I pulled him back from the brink and got his head straight again. 🙂
Perrin tried all sorts of recovery efforts including disavowing links, restructuring articles and affiliate links, removing affiliate links completely, and many other things. Despite his efforts, there has been no sign of recovery in over a year.
As a result, I'm calling the project officially over! I don't plan on making any additional updates on this project, unless by some miracle there is a turn of events.
However, you will be happy to know that Perrin was able to move on, build a new site, and that NEW site is already earning over $2,000 per month and is growing quite well. And obviously we did all this with no PBN links!
Overall, the project really was a huge success both in terms of earnings for Perrin and as a training ground for people trying to build their own niche sites. I've had TONS of people email me and tell me that as a result of this project they were able to start a site, rank in google, and continue to earn good money from it.
Having said all that, the Niche Site Project 2 is now officially closed!