Selling a 6 Month Old Niche Site for $10k: Tung Tran’s Success Story

By Spencer Haws |

A few months ago, I shared a post about interesting case studies other than my niche site project.  One of the people I mentioned was Tung Tran from

Tung has been sharing a public project on his site for a few months now, and as it turns out…he just sold his site for $10,000 on Flippa!  Pretty cool.

As a result, I wanted to share his overall success story from this site with you.  In addition to sharing the URL of the site and how much its making, he also shares a few of the tactics he used to get his site ranking at the top of Google.  I’ll let Tung take it away from here!…

Tung Tran’s Success Story

1. What is your name and current job/profession?

Hi Spencer, my name is Tung Tran. I’m a 19 year-old Vietnamese who has just dropped out of college to become a location independent entrepreneur. I’ve never had a “real” job before as I’ve been doing online business since I was at high school.

2. How did you get started building niche websites?  How long have you been building websites?

Honestly I don’t remember exactly how I got started but I’ve been building niche websites for over 3 years.

3. Tell us about one (preferred) or multiple of your successful websites.  What is the URL and what niche are you targeting?   If you are not willing to publicly share your domain or niche, that’s just fine.

My most successful website this year is which was built in March 2013 in a public case study (inspired by yours) where I showed people the process I used to build a niche website from scratch.

You can tell from the domain name the niche I’m targeting. The website is all about “adjustable dumbbells” and the mission is to help people find the best adjustable dumbbells for their needs.

4. How much money do you make from this successful website(s) each month?

Well, the total revenue in 2013 (03/17/2013 – 01/09/2013) is $2,709.18 so it’s around $540/month.

Here is the income broken down by month:

April 2013: $112.21

May 2013: $1002.23

June 2013: $533.36

July 2013: $314.73

August 2013: $749.23

Traffic since the site started:

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Traffic since the site started

One great news is that I’ve just sold this niche website recently on  Flippa for $10,000 (check out the listing here) so the total revenue from the site should be: $12,709.18.

The total cost is around $700 and 20 hours of my time (for setting up site, adding content and making some tweaks) so I’m left with approximately $12,000 in profit.

5. What is the reason for this website’s success?

It’s keyword research as always. I was able to rank #3 for the main keyword without a single backlink.

6. Please briefly share your overall strategy for finding a niche, getting traffic to your site, ranking in Google, and making money from niche sites.

  1. Keyword Research: Long Tail Pro + Semrush for generating unlimited keyword ideas.
  2. Content Creation: My own Filipino writer. He works part time for me as he has a 9-to-5 job. I’m building a team of in-house writers to help me with content creation.
  3. Link Building: I used to outsource this part heavily but recently I started to do it in-house with the help of my VAs.

Having your own high quality blog network is the key for quick and stable ranking.

7. What link-building tips can you offer?

Take control of your tier 1 backlink and build your own blog network as soon as possible. It will be the best investment and will pay off quickly if you use it right.

8. How has the success from this website impacted your life?

$500/month is not so much so I reinvested all the money into another projects.

The $10,000 is really helpful for me at the moment as I will be able to scale up my business and take it to the next level.

9. Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like to replicate your success with their own websites?

Take action and do something now! You already have all the resource you need to build a successful online business. Don’t wait for the magical system or method that will help you achieve overnight success. They aren’t existing!

If you want to do something big, start small first. Set the goal of $100/month for your first site and scale up.

10. Do you have a blog or other place that people can follow along with what you are doing?

Yeah I’m publishing regularly at where I talk about online business, niche websites, SEO, affiliate marketing and more.

I also love to experiment different online business ideas and share them as public case studies on the blog.

Your Thoughts

Thanks again to Tung for sharing his awesome success story!  As always, I would love to hear any comments or questions that you have in regards to this post.  Either Tung or I will do our best to respond to all your comments.

Stories & Projects | 88 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.

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Tung Congratulations! I have often seen your comments and visited your Cloud living journey blog a number of times.

I really liked your niche website for the adjustable dumbbells and it looks like your hard work has paid off!!

Great effort and good luck on the next project!!


Tung Tran

Thank you Carl 😀


Great stuff Tung and you inspire me as always (along with Spencer)

Waiting for your epic post on Flippa 🙂

Jon Haver

Tung – Congrats! I know you worked your tail off to make this happen. Great tips and best of luck with your new project I am certain it will be an even bigger success!


You could say he worked his (long)tail off 🙂

Sorry… couldn´t help myself

Spencer Haws

Great point!


Oh man that was such a bad joke.

I laugh because it is something I would have said too. 😛

Tung Tran

Yeah the new project is going to be fun.

And thank you for your help yesterday too.

I wasn’t sleep last night working on that 😛

Quyen Hoang

Congrats!! So jealous! You are loved by many people 🙂 Keep trying 😛


Yeah for sure. His new project seems really cool. I like the idea of it.

I wonder how it is going to play out.


Grats on the success Tung!

6 months to build a site that earns a five figure sale. I love it.

I’ve got your blog followed on my feed and looking forward to see what your next project is.

Tung Tran

Thank you Jason 😛

I’m waiting for your new posts too 😛


Great success Tung! I look forward to following along on your next case study.

After seeing you sale your site, it makes me think about selling a site to scale my biz quicker vs sacking slowly and keeping the consistent revenue coming in.


Hey Tung,

congrats on that one. i followed your progress on your blog and it was really amazing to see how it worked. Will you do another case study? Would be interesting to see if it’s possible to repeat this success.


Tung’s blog is definitely a great one to follow. I got to know it from and have been following it since June. Inspiring stories and tons of details. Now excellent exit strategy!

Keep up the great job, Tung!


Congrats Tung. Awesome to see what happens when you work hard. Since you’ve conquered the world of SEO, what’s next? Ranking for Car Insurance in Los Angeles? Asbestos cases?


Nice sale – I have often thought that building a site, making it successful and then selling it might be a good idea to stop yourself going stale on a niche.

I guess it all depends if you are writing the content yourself or not, as this can become a bit of a bind over time unless you are invested in/interested in then niche.

I would like to hear some more podcasts/interviews/information about the flippa process.

Nick LeRoy

Great to see the payoff. I’ve been reading your updates and its great to see a decent multiplier for a site thats only been live for 6 months. Congrats Tung!


Tung, congrats again. Could you clarify…

“I was able to rank #3 for the main keyword without a single backlink”


“i build backlinks after one week” (CLJ blog post dated May 3)

Are you saying you ranked #3 in the first week?



Fantastic results! I’m especially interested in hearing more about your private blog network. If you don’t mind, how many sites do you use and what PR are they?

oloyede jamiu

Hey Tung, the final result of this case study is awesome. I wish you the best in your next case study. I am a big fan of CLJ. I have a lot of things to learn from you and Spenser.

Tung Tran

Thank you man 😀

Bashoo Zmmarraii

Tung dude! is one dude who knows how to do niche sites (Y) Congrats


Awesome post. I really like these inspiring case studies, since they keep me motivated. I am scratching at 100$/month right now and can’t wait to further scale my online income.

Dave Irwin

I love reading these stories. Inspiring and totally do-able by anybody willing the learn. Congratulations Tung!


Seems that both Spencer and Tung sites were hit in the recent penguine update. Spencer site seems to be on #13 while Tung site on #9.

Spencer Haws

I’ll work on getting it back…no worries. I’m sure its a result of the negative seo I’ve written about extensively…


Oh…just seen that your site is on page 2, Spencer.

We woud love to know how you’ll recover your number one position back from Google.

How do you plan on doing this?

Does this mean that the negative seo links from black hatters can affect other peoples websites rankings??

This is going to be very scary since no one’s site is going to be safe 🙁

Good luck and thanks for sharing!

Spencer Haws

Heidi, I already wrote a full blog post about this yesterday, perhaps you missed it 🙂 :


Congrats buddy …

Hard work really pays off!

Josh Escusa

That’s awesome, man! I didn’t know realize you sold the site. $10k is definitely a good chunk of change, especially for only 20 hours of work. A couple of years ago I was doing $6-7k on flippa, but I was working my ass off.

The place where it’s really at though, is private sales, but you’ll need to get the buying traffic in order to really hit the high numbers.

I’m pumped to finally get back in the game. This next year is going to be exciting.

Fredrik Andersson

Congratulations Tung! You managed really well!

Since I am quite new to this, I have a questions. How do you find a good VA and what is your VA helping you with?

And also, how did you find a good content-writer?
I have tried some at Elance but haven’t been able to find anyone really good.

Thanks and good luck,

Tung Tran

I found my writers and VAs mostly through Odesk.

If Spencer doesn’t mind I post a link in the comment, here is the article I wrote a while ago

Fredrik Andersson

Thanks a lot Tung! 🙂

frank joseph

Congratulation Tung, and am sure we are all inspired by your case study and am sure a lot of people will take the business of building niche site a little serious. 😀


Congrats tung! Starting an entrepreneur route at such a young age is bound to have more future success. The fact that you started at 16 and now you’re already tasted success at age 19 is impressive. I didnt start my online path til I was 23. Good luck with your next chapter of CLJ.

Jean Maurice

Congratulations man, I really enjoy reading your blog, anyways it’s been long time you didn’t post .
Waiting to follow along the second case study, I found very interesting the keyword research using SEMrush and your coupon code worked well ,.
I just noticed that the site you sold has lost it’s ranking for the main keyword.

Thanks again for the coupon, and good luck.

Jean M.


Pardon me, but this sound like too good to be through.

This website is not even ranking on first page of Google for ‘Best adjustable dumbbells’ as of today.

Avg monthly traffic is like 1,600 for the primary key word.

Am I missing something here?

the rookie

Its in the top ten currently. It might have dropped but its there right now. Thought Id just give you an update.


It was also ranking on #1 for adjustable dumbbells which has a lot of traffic.

But seems he got hit by the latest pinguin update of google.

Steve wyman

Congrats up and coming star no doubt.

Would have liked to hear more about your stratgy to rank. And what if any thing you did to improve after July



I agree Steve although he does talk about it quite a bit on his site.

Perhaps that’s the reason why he didn’t elaborate too much.


Tung got lucky..his site was hit by Penguin 2.1.. 😀

Tung Tran

Yeah…. dropped quite a few posititons… but let wait for a few days for things to settle down… don’t freak out too soon 😀

oloyede jamiu

Hi Spenser,
Please can you write an article on how this google penguin 2.1 can affect niche websites?

Hi Tung,
Is it true that the just sold site was affected by penguin 2.1?

I just need to know these.


Tung Tran

Just wait for a few days man…. Google algothim update doesn’t just happen like when we push a button. It needs a few days to settle


Ah, so here’s your success story on 🙂

Great case study!

The 2 things I really like in Tung’s mindset are ‘focus’ and ‘take action’. You can really achieve a lot with these two.


Thanks for the great share!

Anyway I’d like to have a question for you and Spencer. Both public sites (survivalknife and dumbbells) follow the same pattern: Long homepage, few suggested products and related general articles/reviews of products. What do you think about pooling product listing from Amazon to your site? To make it appear more like a “ecommerce” site and maybe compete on product names searches.


Congrats on the sale, that is awesome! I’ve only sold one of my sites before, it was just a blog that had very little value. I may have to consider selling some of my bigger niche sites after seeing this!

Ryan Cote

Fantastic success story! You’ve inspired me to make my next case study an authority type Amazon affiliate site.


best survival knife ??? what happens with your rankings, it seems that your site is out rank with 5 copycats, how this is posible? what they are doing better?


I was concerned about that too. That blogspot site is just a simple post.


That has me worried too. I always thought that content is the king. It seems to me that Google favors fresh content. if you check out the site that is ranking no.1, the latest post is on the 28th Sept. If you update and add new content regularly on your blog, Google may like it more. Now there are 5 copycats competing with Spencer’s Site. Just my opinion. I makes me wonder should i reveal my study sites to the public.

the rookie

I don’t think Id be concerned with the blogspot one (maybe not any of them it is only one keyword.

Id say all the competition popping up really only proves that niche site building still works. The sites pretty much are copycats, they even look basically the same.

It could just be google messing with his site to see if he changes things. There is some talk around the web as well as some evidence that google will intentionally mess with rankings to see if anything changes (as far as links etc) assuming that if link building is done manually then someone trying to spoof google will change what they are doing if they notice a change. If the marketer does change what they are doing when slapped googles algo will notice this and then the site may be permanently punished. If the marketer doesn’t change his or her actions googles algo figures that as manipulation. Naturally the link building should stay somewhat consistent if traffic doesn’t dip too much. You could say that links for that one keyword would change some because the rankings dropped meaning less exposure. So I would suppose google (if it actually does the above) would adjust for that.

I don’t know if google is really doing what I wrote about above but its possible. Several years ago I was guessing with some others on a forum about future google changes (I think it was the warrior forum but cant remember). I had mentioned similar things to that as well as using bounce and time on site to really see if people liked the sites. We were all just guessing but some of the stuff we talked about has come true. We were playing devils advocate as if we were on googles team. Someone else went into mass detail about the google dance and what he thought it was really doing. Giving others a chance to shine briefly to see what how people on the site acted.

I guess that went off track lol, point is other sites like spencers are now number one so bottom line is it still works. Maybe their youtube videos are giving more weight, many of them are utilizing youtube. Maybe its just the same old google dance. But Im sure hes getting traffic and if not he will write about it.

Việt Hùng

Congratulations Tùng Trần, you can tell about 1st site?


Congratulations Tung 🙂 I have also been following your blog 🙂

I have a new niche site and in addition to content writing, I’m using textbroker but most of their writers aren’t that good. Do you mind sharing me your writer’s contact details so I can hire him/her to write some of my content. Is your writer a member of textbroker or from somewhere else?

I hope to hear from you soon!! Thanks.


Hey Bella,

He mentioned that his “own Filipino writer” does the writing for him. TextBroker only allows writers from the US and UK so I’m pretty sure he didn’t hire his writer at TextBroker.

I hope I was of some help. 🙂

Tung Tran

yeah you’re right Darshan 😛


So where can i find your writers? 🙂


I first found Tung’s blog through a comment he had left on EmpireFlippers and I have been following it since. He’s one of the very few bloggers in this niche who’s a non-westener and as a non-westener myself, it is highly motivating to see him make it big (also, him being so young just makes it better).

I also know about BestAdjustableDumbbells. In fact, I was looking it up in LTP just last night to see how well it was doing, how many backlinks it had, etc. because I was trying to get into a similar niche as Tung.

It’s great to hear that he could sell the site for such a huge profit, although, if I were him, I would have kept it as it targets one of the primary Amazon niches in the fitness industry. And having had over 700 backlinks (that he didn’t build?), there was no moving it from the first page of Google!

I really thought he had a winner there.

Tung Tran

thank you Darshan 😛

No matter which country you come from, work hard and you’ll succeed 😀 It’s simple!


This “best X” is a e commerce keyword, and I think Tung just prove that those works..

(a couple post back Spencer advice us to avoid those)


Well, that was a really good price you got for this niche site.Best of luck!


Hey Tung & Spencer

These real life stories of success are very motivating! Tung’s story is detailed enough to follow his example and movie one’s own websites forward… as well as your public case study.

Spencer, thanks!!


Awesome work, Tung! Love your insightful comments here on Spencer’s site…and will definitely be following your stuff now.

lindsay collins

Looks like Spencers site for hit by today’s update? Can’t see the knife site in the top 10. This has thrown a wrench into my plan for link building for my site I just finished


Yup, looks like that’s the case. Its penguin 2.1 Algorithm update. nothing to worry about because Spencer’s site has traffic coming through from other long tail keywords.

Lindsay Collins

Yeah, most of his traffic is coming from long tail, good point. Hopefully not much of that has been affected. I’m wondering if that “Negative SEO” campaign someone attacked him with is finally catching up to him after this Google update.

Jye @ Full Volt

As I mentioned over at Cloud Living Journey, congratulations Tung.

This is just another prime example of how profitable niche sites can be, whether you have the intention of keeping them for the passive income or selling them for a bulk profit, they have a strong ability to give a high return, if done right.


Great sale T


Sorry about the last comment, it submitted when I pressed enter in the text box, not sure what happened. (Please delete that Spencer if possible)

Great sale Tung!

That’s one of the fastest turnarounds I’ve seen from any niche site projects that made big returns.

I looked through the rankings and it seemed to have slipped quite a bit to #9. Not sure if the buyer made any changes in content or link-wise though or was it just affected by the Google update.

It would be interesting to know why it slid a few notches.


Congrats Tung! I’ve enjoyed reading CLJ and learning in a very straightforward directions. Glad to see you and Spencer hook up.. maybe for Spencer’s 3rd project (after rockin Perrin’s case study), you guys can go heads up and see who wins 😛

Tung Tran

Yeah it’s a great idea.

What do you think about this Spencer? =P

Lex phumirat

Congrats on your accomplishment, one can only hope to get that kind of success at 19.

I had a question, since you didn’t use any back links, how long did it take you to get on the first page of google?

thanks for your story.

Tung Tran

I ranked the site in 38 days. I did use backlinks.

Glenys @ Website Tips 4U

Great effort Tung.
And thanks for posting these case studies Spencer; they are always very, very interesting!

the rookie

Great job Tung. Your dumbell site was nicely done. Great look and feel for a niche site. Ill be following your stuff.


Very nice! I’ve been following Tung’s website for a while now and all I can say after his sale is “Good job!” He not only managed to build a great website, but marketed it well and sold it for a really good price.


If his main KW has taken a hit, chances are that long tail KW’s too would have dropped in the SERP’s.

I’m sure Spencer will answer all our doubts in an upcoming post


Hi Tung,

Thanks for sharing your story, but I have a question.

1) You said that you built the site into a success without a single backlink, but then you wrote that the best backlinking strategy is having a strong blog network.

Can you explain what the “blog network” means, and maybe use an example of how someone can do it?


Tung Tran

I didn’t say that 😛 The keyword did rank #3 without any backlink but I need backlinsk to rank other keywords.

Listen to this podcast and you’ll know how to build your own blog network



My website here: is an Indian religious website with 105K+ monthly google impressions with 500 visitors per day, and potential for at least 36K visitors from single keyword alone if we take the 33% success (report by chitika) that a site gets at number 1 position (this site is bouncing 4-5 and getting at 1 is not tough.

i have couple of 500K+ sites to work on, so how much do you think i could sell this for? any offers anyone?

PS: This site just got here 5 days ago, it was on page 2 before then



How did u go abouts creating your blog network?

Jawbone Up

Congrats. However, I’ll rather listen to your success story via podcast than to read it. Reading it makes the whole story dull. Don’t you think so?


“Take control of your tier 1 backlink and build your own blog network as soon as possible”

What does this mean? How do you take control of a tier 1 backlink?

And a blog network? Please elaborate.

Awesome post


Nice success story………..niche sites still have some value.

Omotayo DPNG

I almost kicked myself for not earning much but all the same, I thank God and also will work harder towards achieving bigger and better goals.

frank joseph

This is wonderful and am sure anyone can achieve this also!

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