Should I Sell? May Income Report and Thoughts

By Spencer Haws |

Believe it or not, its already time for another monthly income report for 2 sites that I purchased earlier this year.  The reports are in fact rather close together due to the fact that I published the last one on the 12th of last month and now this one much earlier.  I hope you don’t mind.

This monthly income report is luckily a bit more positive than last month, when both of my sites declined in earnings.  I have some good news to share for at least one of my sites this month!

In addition, my Pinterest site has got me thinking about how long I want to hold onto it.  As I will discuss below, I am considering whether or not to sell the site so I can focus on other projects.

Overall, I hope you enjoy the report.

Adsense Site Earnings and Traffic

As you may recall, I purchased 2 niche sites in January that I am now sharing as a case study on my blog.  Last month was the first official income report.

I want to jump right into the traffic and earnings for both sites; but I’ll start first with the Adsense niche site.



As you can see, about half way through the month the traffic really started to pick up!  The site went from getting an average of 200 to 230 visitors a day to 300 to 340 visitors a day!

I didn’t add any new content, but I had been building links to the site previously, and so I suspect that Google picked up some of these links or there was simply an update in Google and this site was deemed worthy of a rankings increase.  Either way, I’m happy with all the new traffic.

This rankings and traffic increase led to higher than normal earnings during the second half of the month.

In fact, here is the complete stats for the site over the past few months:


As you can see the earnings increased by $33.75 from April to May.  Its not a lot, but that increase can definitely be attributed to the traffic increase, and I expect the increase to be bigger in June.

Here’s a nice graph that shows the traffic trends:


With a full month of higher traffic in June, the site should get back up above the $300 per month earnings benchmark.

Here’s a look at the monthly and cumulative earnings for this site since I bought it:


Please note that I purchased the site near the end of January, so I’ve just combined Jan. and Feb. on these charts.

Overall, the site earned a total of $271.80 in May and has made $1,163.48 since I purchased it.

Due to the extra Google love this past month, I’ve decided to add another 10 articles to the site to try and continue the upward trend in earnings.

Pinterest Site Earnings and Traffic

I bought a site that gets most of its traffic from Pinterest in January for $2,100.  I knew this site was risky when I bought it, because it was banned from Adsense and wasn’t a traditional SEO site that I am used to.

Getting Adsense on this site didn’t happen, so I’ve tried to maximize the earnings through and as much as possible.

In addition, during May I sent out a couple of broadcast emails to my list of 160 on this site (I know its not very much); to see if I could drum up some affiliate sales.

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Here’s the stats from those 2 emails broadcasts (used Aweber):


Considering that the broadcast with 45 opens was sent to 128 subscribers and the one with 59 opens was sent to 164 subscribers, the open rates are actually pretty good.  Unfortunately, these emails didn’t generate any sales.

Here’s a look at the overall stats for the site:


And here’s a screenshot of the Google Analytics for the month:

pinterestanalytics pinterestvisits

The traffic appears to be slowly trending downwards; which may mean I need to add more content and pictures to Pinterest to send more visitors to the site.  However, I’m not sure its worth it.

Here’s a look at the earnings for the site:


The site earned a total of $244.51; which is just over a $1 less than April…so, fairly steady.  The total earnings since I bought the site is $1,010.64.

Considering that I bought the site for just $2,100; I’m already half was to getting my initial investment back after just a few months.

Should I Sell the Site?

However, I’m not sure what else to do to increase the overall earnings of the site.  I could continue to collect emails and find the best offer to promote.  I’m sure that this would increase the earnings some.  But how much?

Do I really want to spend my time and energy on a site making $250 a month?  Not really.  Even if I increase this site to $500 (double!!); its not something that has me jumping out of my bed each morning excited to work on.

In reality, I bought both of these sites as a learning experiment…and this Pinterest was the biggest experiment of all due to the issues and traffic source.

So, I’m strongly contemplating just selling the site and moving on to another project.  At $250/month in revenue, I should be able to sell it for well over the price I bought it for of $2,100.

I’m more interested in keeping the Adsense site because I’m more familiar with SEO; where adding content and links can really help.  But this Pinterest site just isn’t big enough for me to worry about anymore.  So, I don’t expect to take too much action on the site in June.

I’ll let it continue to earn as it is.  If I hold onto it, I should still make my money back in a few months.  If I sell, I can get my money back right away and move onto another project.

Your Thoughts

Overall, I would love to hear your thoughts.  What do you think of the traffic and earnings for the 2 sites that I bought?  Also, do you have any input on my decision whether or not to sell the Pinterest site?

As always, I look forward to the discussion.

Oh, and one more thing…I actually just bought a MUCH bigger site last week.  Perhaps, I will discuss that new site sometime in the future…


Stories & Projects | 87 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?

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Hi Spencer!

Thanks for the update. Numbers look good.

The recent panda update… did a nice job I guess 🙂

Once again a sign we should focus on bigger sites, instead of many small niche sites.

On one of my sites I saw a huge trend upwards from May 19th -> effect on Panda.

Well, hold it or sell it, but just don’t put in too much effort. You have many other great projects to focus on. 🙂


Josh Escusa

Sounds like the site may take some work and you’re no longer interested much in this kind of site, so I would sell it if I felt that way.

In the end you’ll turn a profit from it and you can spend the extra time crushing it on all your other projects!

A new site, huh? Can you hint us on if it is in another new market type? or are you sticking with the SEO niche style you’re use to?

Spencer Haws

Josh, the new site I mentioned is very much in line with what I’m more comfortable with. Gets traffic from Google, monetized with Adsense and Amazon and does very well in the serps. Lots of growth potential as well.


I think pinterest site was a bad idea . I wonder how much money you could have made with it if you can monetize it with adsense. Certainly , the results would be impressive.Honestly , I think selling this site is going to be a good move .

Thank you Spencer & Perrin

Spencer Haws

I think it was a lesson learned, so that’s always good 🙂


How about another niche project? I am sure you can find someone to teach!

Spencer Haws

I’m holding off on any more training/projects at the moment…


Interesting problem. I would look at it from another standpoint, the amount invested is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, more so as the site looks like it will easily pay for itself on autopilot. Rather than looking at what this one site can earn, look at what it could do for lets’s say a new site in the same niche, that could have adsense on it, if you can figure out how to move half the traffic to the pinterest site to the new site you could have a couple of sites earning a decent amount that are not reliant on google and its updates..

Spencer Haws

That’s actually a really good idea…I may have to experiment with that.

Dave Nicosia

I totally agree, I’d really like to know how that might turn out. It would turn this site into a great case study.


What would happen if you modified the current site to look for the referring URL of the visitor, and if the referrer is ** then do a 301 redirect to and wollah… is getting a sweet amount of visitors and it just so happens that it has Adsense.

What are your thoughts guys?

Lori Anderson

Hello Spencer, I read a couple years ago you got banned and I was wondering if you are using google analytics with adsense? I don’t know if that is possible to not use it to see your adsense traffic, if so how? Thanks

Spencer Haws

I got banned…but also got a new account a couple months later (under an LLC). I don’t use google analytics with adsense. I just login to adsense to see my adsense earnings.

Dominic Wells

Hey Spencer,

Nice growth on the Adsense site there! When you say you’ve been building links to it, is that just the base-links and things Jon Cooper talks about, or were there 1 or 2 significant links you added?

No idea what to about the Pinterest site, just let it simmer for now and see how you feel in a few weeks I think. Like you say, at least it’s earning for you at a steady rate.


Spencer Haws

PBN links.


Is it possible to link images on Pinterest to a page on Amazon where they can buy the item shown in the image?

Spencer Haws

I don’t think so.


@Greg The way the pins work on Pinterest is from where the pin *originated from*. You don’t get to upload an image and link it to anywhere you want.


What would be interesting Spencer is having a each product on the site link to an Amazon product. You could utilise a Hello Bar ( that pops-down as the user scrolls down saying “Own this today at Amazon!” or whatever works best.

All you have to do then is add the Amazon product link to each product on the site. Sounds easy. Haha.


I’d personally sell the Pinterest site for at least $2,000 and take the profit and learning experience. There’s no reason to focus on and lose time with a website that you’re not comfortable with.

The AdSense site is clearly showing sites of getting better, so I am really curious to see how much will it earn a few months from now!


Great income report for those sites, Spencer. Always good to see an increase in traffic and earnings, no matter how insignificant it is. If nothing else, it shows you’re on the right track.

As for keeping vs. selling – the Adsense site looks like a keeper with growth potential after adding more content that will probably lead to an increase in longtail keyword traffic.

The Pinterest site – don’t you think you can earn a lot more with a site you know what you’re doing etc with the same amount of time spent?

I’d stop giving it more attention than it deserves but I won’t sell it either. Passive earnings of $200 per month is one or two additional PBN domains if nothing else. I’d also perhaps consider it as part of a PBN network – surely with that amount of traffic it has quite a bit of authority and value?

I’m excited to share that I’m well on my way to earning my first real income from my first niche site this month. I have 12 keywords getting a decent amount of traffic, all ranking within the top 100 after three months. My primary and secondary kw’s are in the top 30 right now and climbing steadily as I add more PBN links, so I’m starting to get really excited after realizing I can actually do this myself and it’s not only an expert thing. I’ve learned so much in the process that I’ve actually decided to start my own ‘authority site’ where I will be sharing all my experiences and lessons learned as I go along!

I have a quick question for you…

It struck me like lightning last night that ALL of my Amazon affiliate links are dofollow! And guess where I ended up when I did a search on Google trying to find answers? Yep, your post about how to get a Google penalty with affiliate links…

So, after reading it and doing some more research, I found that the overall feeling is if you provide valuable content (which I believe I do) and use Amazon affiliate links, Google may not decide to penalize you. I also read a discussion with Matt Cutts where he said Google penalize “thin sites with little value to anyone and promotion written all over it”.

So, do I need to update my links with rel=”nofollow” or do you think I should be okay if I provide good value?

I went over to and jumped behind the code of Perrin’s links (thanks Perrin, send me the bill buddy 😉 ) and found his comparison table links aren’t nofollowed but inner page links are, using the EasyAzon

What do you recommend? If I need to update my links, is there an option to do it in bulk? (I friggen sure hope so!)

P.S. Sorry for the essay – I find it really hard writing anything less than 700 words 😛

Spencer Haws

Thanks for the “essay” Ruan :). And congrats on your first real earnings.

I usually no follow the amazon links; however, its not critical. As long as you are providing value, its fine to use affiliate links…just don’t overdue it (as I mentioned in the article you found).

I’m not sure if you can bulk update your links to nofollow…unless you are using the easyazon plugin.


Thanks man 🙂 I have started to nofollow any links I create from now on, but I’m going to take a chance with the existing ones and see what happens. *thumbs crossed*


Hi Spencer – I would keep the adsense website. Based on your numbers this site is doing $50 RPM which is great !. You don’t need to maintain it so what’s wrong with a nice passive income ?

About the Pinterest website – RPM looks like “joke” as it’s only $3 – am I correct ??

Pinterest and any other social media websites require quite a lot of ongoing daily effort (based on my experience), Your numbers for this website hardly justify this effort but if you can get those numbers on an auto pilot then there is no harm in keeping it. Another approach would be to funnel some of the traffic to other website that will have adsense. though people in Pinterest don’t like to click on links too much so the conversion is going to be extremely low.

Let me know if you want to offload your pinterest website as I have a few established accounts and I may be able to use your website.( you have my email address).

Spencer Haws

I agree, good points. I’ll email you if I decide to got that route.


OK you took a gamble with the pinterest site and you’ve had a play with it whilst letting all your readers know the outcome. If you don’t feel you can take it any further and your bored with it its time to offload it.
Rather than sell it why not have a competition to let someone win it and take on the challenge.

Spencer Haws

Interesting thought.


Once the passion is gone for a project i think it’s time to sell or put it on an autopilot. Life is too short and the web is full of many other opportunities to waste time on something that not only does not excite you, does not even offer the prospects of a big reward.

Great case study with purchased websites, looking forward to see how the adsense site progresses and how the new bigger site turns out.

Keep us updated.

Andrew Nelson

Hey Spencer

I think your in a great position.

The site is growing plus you have added additional content and if its about to be breaking $300 a month then probably a little early to sell up, in just 4 more months you will have got your money back and then I would sell giving you a $2,000+ profit on the site.

Still either way its all positive so well done.

Jay Patel

Selling them may not be a good idea. You can definitely develop them and take them to a new height

Fahad Usman

Great case study.. I think now its time to sell that website and get some bucks.. 🙂


Hi Spencer,
you wrote about creating new backlinks,
i would like to ask, do you use a service for this? do you have a recommended one?
thanks you,

Alistair Cochrane

Sell if you can get top dollar for it i.e. $5000

If not just forget about it and let it die off slowly. You’ll probally earn more money in the long run even with a declining site.

Unless you need the cash fast… in that case… I’ll give you $500 for it 😉

Alistair Cochrane


You might want try Rank Hero. I am a customer and it has helped improve my site rankings.

Or learn how to create your own private blog network.

Spencer Haws

I used my own PBN and

Joe Magnotti

Spencer, should you choose to sell, I hope you choose to sell with us! 😉

Spencer Haws

Go reminder 🙂


I would sell especially since you already have established sites making you a lot more money. These small niche sites can become a distraction in the long run. Its happened to me. Pick a niche and go with the one that hits.

Spencer Haws

Yep, that’s about how I feel.


Nice one Spencer. Interesting for the Pinterest site. I can’t remember, but i believe you actually tried to add some content didn’t you? How did these target keywords evolve over the months? Is there any potential in the near future related to these new ones?

I’m always interested in buying / testing new projects, let us know of course if you’d like to sell, i may find an interest in pursuing your experiment 🙂 And in my case, $250 passive would not be that exciting, but would still represent a fair % of my incomes, so why not!


Spencer Haws

I did add some original content, but Google isn’t ranking it. I think its due to the rest of the site being “curated” (non-original).


Where do you recommend going to did and sell sites like this, Spencer?

Spencer Haws

Flippa or EmpireFlippers


Bummer, was hoping to see how you would take the Pinterest site to the next level. But it seems emails haven’t panned out. And it’s not even an interesting niche for you.

I’d probably sell in your shoes. You’ll get a good multiple, you’re not interested in the niche, and you’ve already recovered much of the purchase price.

Still a really good example of a quick flip though!

Raniel Douglas

Hello Spencer. great results, I believe that you can increase the profits that site to sell with a price greater than $ 2,000. You said that in addition to adding content, links you added.
What criteria do you use to see if a link is good, if it will bring good results to the authority of the site?

Spencer Haws

Look at authority of link source.


I didn’t understand how much effort (in times of time spent and link building) you put in the Pinterest site?
If it is a totally passive income site – why sell it?
Having a differentiated site (not dependent on Google for traffic and monetization) could be a good idea, especially in the future.
Anyway, thanks for sharing valuable information again.

Spencer Haws

True, it is passive for me. So no problem keeping it. I just think part of me wants to reduce the number of sites I have, so I can better focus on the winners.


You’re probably right after all, focusing on winners is a better approach from a global point of view.
Scaling the pinterest site to an extent that would add enough value to your overall business would not be an easy task and would surely take time.


Your reports looks impressive. I don’t know which niches are the best when it comes to adse, because I have a site that gets between 1000 and 2000 visitors daily and I only manage to earn a maximum of 80 Euros in a month.
Anyway, am really motivated by your tactics and earnings


Sell and be happy 🙂


Man! It’s been fun following this!

I bet, with the new content and the strengthened link profile, that the Adsense site hits north of 700 visits a day in the next 6 months. It’ll pay for itself and be a great addition to the portfolio.

That’s my bet.

On the Pinterest site… all bets are off.

If it were mine, I’d have the VA add some content/ do the pinterest promotion 4-5 times a month like the former owner was doing. Hopefully that would only costs about $50 a month.

I would probably also use LTP and Shareasale (or amazon) and find a vendor and some long tails that would go great with the site. Add 10 pages and start bringing in some SEO traffic.

Once traffic and monies are showing an upward trend, I’d sell.

The ongoing pinterest thing sounds boring as heck.

Spencer Haws

Yep, I’m about on the same page with you. I do have a VA that monitors the Pinterest site every now and again…so its totally passive for me.


It depends. how much money will you make from selling the site? If it yields a certain amount per month, ad infinitum, then you have to consider it in the longterm;


Hey Spencer,

What’s the Pinterest site about? Maybe you can sell an infoproduct using clickbank or jvzoo?

Keep inspiring,


I think both sites are doing relatively well. I understand you point of view on the Pinterest site, since it is a little outside of your normal business methods.

I kind of look at it this way though. The site was an investment of $2100. With an income of approximately $250 per month you are making about 12% on your investment monthly. Although it may be a small amount, if there is a relatively low workload to keep it going at that pace and no additional investment is required, the return on investment is good.

At least it beats what you could do in the stock market, rental properties or other traditional passive income investments

Spencer Haws

Very true.

Chris Jensen

If it doesn’t fit in the portfolio get rid of it.

An alternative to putting in up for auction could be to make a lottery for it. Sell a lottery ticket for $5 a piece and you would only need 220 sales to make your initial investment back…
I know I would love to own a site like that – but am not ready to spend that kind of money on it. I would however happely buy lottery tickets with the chance of winning the site.

Just a crazy thought.


Spencer Haws

Interesting idea for sure.


hi Spencer i have a quick question for you
If my site has been hit by penguin and i fixed whatever triggered the penalty
Will i need too wait until the next penguin update for my site to recover ?

Spencer Haws

Yes, the next penguin “refresh”…not sure how often they run a refresh (different than official update as I understand).


Of course not , google is always scanning crawling sites , so once you fixed the thing that triggered the penalty , you site will move to where it used to be.
Don’t worry


With all the comments you should figure out how to have your readers put content / pictures on the pinterest site


Hi Spencer:

Thanks for another thought provoking post.

You don’t seem to rate Pinterest as a worthwhile avenue to pursue affiliate marketing.

Sounds like time to sell up, or start a lottery for it among your subscribers, like Chris Jensen suggested earlier.

I’m just a dabbler in IM, but was about to shell out for a course on Pinterest.

I was thinking it could be more fun than Facebook, but maybe now Pinterest is not the way to go.

Spencer Haws

I’m not saying pinterest is a bad traffic strategy. Clearly its bringing in tons of traffic for my site; but its more hands on than I’d like to be. For some people, Pinterest probably is the best route to go.


great work , interesting to know a bit more about how the pinterest site works


Spencer, how are you generating your traffic from pinterest? You don’t use any pinterest bots to pin?


You can definitely make money with pinterest if you use a bot to help pin

Spencer Haws

We post articles on my site with lots of images; then use a plugin to pin all those images to pinterest.


Hi Spencer could you share the name of that plugin with us please.

Ryan Biddulph

Thanks Spencer! I’d say, revisit your vision. If you’re not having fun, and dream of doing other stuff, sell…just don’t let a few months of less than desired income – aka circumstances – cloud your overall vision. All the best!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Ryan!

Koen the flying Dutchman

Hi Perrin/Spencer,

Nice article again. I would just keep the site and not look at it for like a few months, then see if the income is steady and if it decreases then I would certainly sell. If it is steady or growing then I would wait untill you got your initial investment back and then sell it. But still I’m more of a ‘portfolio paul’ xD, just my 2 cents.

Off topic: May I ask what the website is of the woman that made the banner for ‘a penny shaved’. Thanks in advance.

Love you guys.

Kind regards,



Great info Spencer!
Seems a shame to sell the Pinterest site, surely if you could ‘crack the code’ to making a success on Pinterest …. that would be of huge value?
Bearing in mind the size and importance of Pinterest and how big business is coming on board to use for marketing (and how Pinterest intend to monetize) …. would be a worthwhile project to pursue?
Maybe the answer is to get help from someone who knows about Pinterest marketing?


Hello Spencer,

What will be your selling price and were ur planning to put up listing….Can your readers like me, get chance of owning it…Thanks

Spencer Haws

I hadn’t thought of price; just considering whether or not to sell.


Do you think the Pintrest site traffic could be a seasonal issue and would possibly pick back up again towards the holiday season?


Spencer I applied for adsnse and got approved for the 1st part and now they said insufficient content. This is my 3rd time applying. I have 8 500 word articles.

How many articles is usually enough?

Can I submit a different website or does it have to be the same?

Should I just buy an authority website to apply?

Help would be great!!


Spencer Haws

I haven’t applied for adsense in a long time, so maybe the guidelines are stricter now. Sounds like more than 8 articles is needed.

Phuong Le

Recently the panda 4.0 has been released and this affect many niche site, mine is the victim, too and the previous 2 week my site had ranked at the highest slot, so sell it for a good price when the site is at top is really a smart plan.


Spencer, I have caught myself on thought that didn’t saw your report on best survival knife site. Now I see the site is not live and there are some “clones” online.
What happened?


Cool Stuff Spencer, your blog’s like an online marketing dictionary man LOL.


Cara, como eu não encontrei esse blog antes? é muito inspirador.



“…it’s nice to know how much Pinterest accounts for total traffic but understanding which piece of content is driving all that traffic is even better!”



I really admire how you present data, which I also saw on your other posts. Relatively, you may decide based on the results you have gotten. Weigh the pros and cons of course.

Jason Statham

You may sell it or not; it depends on you. But if you think it is not earning as it should, you may sell it out and focus on another site.

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