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Success Story: Making Money in the Handheld Radio Niche

Today I am happy to share another niche site success story with you!  A couple of weeks ago, I requested that YOU the readers send in your success story from building niche websites.

I posted the first story last week from Mark, and today is story number 2.  I've received several others that I will be posting soon.  But if you think others may find your story interesting, its not too late!  Just follow the guidelines found here to send in your story.

Below you will find the story of Benjamin Aries. He answered the 10 questions I requested about building niche sites and some of his success.  I love that Benjamin is doing well in a somewhat “obscure” niche, and is one that I've never personally attempted to go into.  Just shows that you can do well in ALL kinds of niches.

And like all these stories, I really enjoy that they are current and relevant.  These people are making money in 2013…right now…from these niche sites!

Benjamin's Story

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

Benjamin Aries, Freelance business / technology writer

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

Started with niche sites by reading nearly every post on Niche Pursuits and
Pat's Smart Passive Income blogs. However, have been building websites for
15 years so already understood the technical aspects.

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.

I recently launched a small 3-page website with information about a
particular model of handheld radio. This type of radio is used by amateur
radio operators and public service professionals. (Prefer not to share URL,
since it's an AdSense site.) I own and use the same radio, which made
building the site easy and fun.

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

Currently, around $400 a month from just a 3-page site. I expect that the
income can be doubled without too much work.

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

Low competition! As Spencer always says, you have to find a niche where you
can stand out. There were very few sites dedicated to this product. Also,
the niche is product-oriented. In other words, people who search for the
radio either want to buy one, or are interested in accessories for it. This
helps drive clicks more than a general information-oriented site, I believe.

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.

My strategy is 4 major steps:
-Locate a competitive keyword and matching domain name. Keyword
competitiveness is huge.
-Build a good-looking, useful site. Make sure there is truly useful
content.
-Build backlinks slowly and naturally.
-Place Google AdSense ads tastefully. Avoid having the site look “spammy”
or build just for AdSense.

7. What link-building tips can you offer?

Use RELEVANT blog comments, forum posts, and social profiles. Don't go
crazy. Quality over Quantity. Request links from authority sites in the
same niche — in this case, amateur radio and electronics websites.

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

Want More Free Traffic from Google? Check Out My Complete Training Course

The Organic Traffic Formula Walks You Through The System I Used To Create Profitable Websites And Quit My Day Job.

Learn More

This one website earns enough to pay (most of) the rent, each and every
month. A stream of steady passive income is huge in terms of giving you
freedom and flexibility in life.

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

Focus on the core principles. Don't try to take shortcuts. Do proper
keyword research, and never try to “outsmart” Google.

10. Do you have a blog or other place that people can following along with
what you are doing?
http://www.LifestyleDare.com  is my blog dedicated to building online
income, and using it to create the lifestyle you want.

My Concluding Thoughts

Like everyone, I enjoy reading the success of others…as it really helps to motivate.

Benjamin has shared some of his tips for success, but I'm sure he has much more to share!  I've asked him to respond to any comments of questions that you might have below.  So, if you want more details, then just ask away!

You may be able to get some real “gems” of wisdom with the additional information that is sure to be shared in the comments section.  Thanks!

UPDATE:

Benjamin wanted me to post a screenshot from his Adsense account to back up his claim of earning $400/month.  In addition, he also wanted to clarify that this website is only about 4 months old; meaning that you don't need an old site to earn good money…newer sites can too.

Here is the screenshot:

5p30wz

Success Stories

By Spencer Haws
July 02, 2013 | 111 Comments

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111 Comments

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Leave a comment
Naveen Kulkarni

Welcome Benjamin,
400$ from a 3 page site…That’s incredible. Congratulations. I was curious to see your website 🙂

Benjamin Aries

Thanks Naveen!

For everyone saying that I’m making things up:

I grabbed a screenshot of the last two weeks of earnings.

Some of the image is covered, so I don’t violate Google TOS.

http://i39.tinypic.com/5p30wz.jpg

-Benjamin

Adam - Tropical Nomad

Well played sir!
A prime example of taking what you were shown and applying it in simple terms to make a profit. This doesn’t have to be difficult. Find a niche, KW and build.. Hope to replicate myself soon!

Lucas Vu

I think I found the site. Very lovely design and it looks like a genuine product site from the manufacturer it self. You call it 3-page site, but not 3 post site. Its true because you have more than 3 articles on it.

Hasan

Man where have you been?!! Missed your post very badly 🙂
BTW this is motivating article. Thanks.

Hasan Imam

Tuan

That’s so impressive for a 3-page website.
Congrats, dude.
I have built some niche websites but just one of them is making money.

Benjamin Aries

Thanks Tuan. Yes, I’ve built some niche sites that just don’t work. It’s a numbers game. Maybe half of the sites will succeed, but that’s okay — just build twice as many!

ray

Wow! That’s pretty awesome money from such a small site! I’ve got niche-envy over here! Great work and good luck in growing your business! Just a quick aside, how long has this particular site been up and running?

Benjamin Aries

Thanks Ray – I launched the site in February. So, that’s zero to $400+ a month, in four months. Very happy with those numbers!

ray

Fantastic!

Wolfe Ryan

Interesting that you can make that much off of such a small site. How many visitors do you get every month on average?

Benjamin Aries

Average of about 3500 a month, although the number is going up — so last month it was more like 4500 unique visits.

Naveen Kulkarni

Benjamin,
Just wanted to know what is the monthly traffic of your site and how much percentage of it from search engines?

Benjamin Aries

Hi Naveen —

The site is averaging 3,500 unique visitors a month. That number is still growing, due to increasing Google rank. According to Analytics, 74% of the traffic is from search engines. The rest is from relevant forums related to the niche.

Mike

What is the bounce rate for the site?

Jan Koch

Thanks Benjamin and Spencer for sharing this story! It is truly inspiring and motivating!
Benjamin, I’d love to know your click-through-rate.

Best regards,
Jan

Phil

Hey, thanks for the great insights. I love to see that in 2013 it’s still possible to rank a website without tons of content.

Would be interesting to hear how you managed to get links from niche bloggers to your three page site (that’s something I think can be hard).

Anyway, congrats to your success!

Ahmed

Its cool that the fact one niche site pays his whole rent. And plus just because you have only 3 pages doesnt meen you have thin content…or do you

Aaron

Benjamin – Great job! What Google search engine result page number does your site land on for the keywords you’re targeting?

Jon Haver

$400/month for a relatively small site is very impressive. I like how much common sense he is applying to building his site. The back links all seem to make sense even if google didn’t pass any juice.

Iain

For sure, sometimes it is just the common sense things.

I always try to make natural links back to he niche site.

3 pages and 400$ is pretty amazing. I didn’t think Google would rank such a small site so well still.

But that just goes to show you that it still possible eh.

Charles

I hear and see big figures all the time. Is it even possible?

Jeff C

Benjamin- Thanks for sharing your story! I was interested in doing something like this in the past but I was concerned about any copyright or branding issues.

Do you use the radio brand and/or name in your domain? If so are there any issues doing so or is it perfectly fine? For example if I wanted to have a site about Toyota Camry reviews and accessories you may register a domain such as ToyotaCamryreviewsandstuff.com any ideas if this is fine from a legal standpoint?

Charles

Using a company’s brand name in your domain name is not allowed. If the company finds out, they will seize your domain and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. However, you can use brand names in your subdomains or folders, e.g. amazonshoes.myshoesite.com or myshoesite.com/amazonshoes.

Benjamin Aries

Hi Jeff —

Very good question. My domain does not have the brand in the name … it has the model number, which is NOT a trademark.

It is probably smart to avoid obvious trademarks in the domain name, but you can have them in the URL — example.com/Product-Name should be fine. Disclaimer: I’m no lawyer.

Fran

I’m glad I read these comments as I am considering a site a little like this and would almost definitely have gone for the product name in the url. Obviously I’ll avoid that now so thanks.

alistairgd

You give away too much information, I found your site in about 7 seconds.

Anyway, great result, that is some awesome return on effort.

Tom

Same here

Charles

I don’t think so. Don’t have anything reasonable to say? Shut down your PC.

alistairgd

Actually the more I look at this, it’s an amazing site.

Without giving anything away, and I’m aware this post will disappear if it does…

He’s right, the site could make a *lot* more than it is currently drawing in, and if it is taking $400USD Adsense at the moment, that is amazing….

As it stands the site is only ranking middle of page 1 (below the fold) for two secondary keywords and the primary keyword is on page 2 of Google..

The primary keyword, currently ranking on page 2, has 18,100 search volume.

However, for the two keywords ranking on page 1, the search volume is very low, Global Exact is 2400 and 5400 for each keyword.

To make $400/mo on that kind of volume, below the fold on page 1, with a site that has 3 broken links on the index page and several # links going nowhere, and as he has said, only 3 pages of content, this is the sort of info that would make anyone stop what they are doing and focus entirely on Adsense.

Congrats, you struck a home run with that one!

I think in the interests of openness, you could expand on the link building, a quick check kind of shows more quantity that the interview might suggest – how much did you have to spend, to achieve $400/mo?

Benjamin Aries

The site ranks well for many more keywords than you are seeing. You’re missing the top keywords that people use to find the site, so the actual search volume is much higher than you’re assuming. Long Tail for the win!

For link building — I spent nothing. Zero. Nada. Link building was all done by me, by hand. As I said, I focused on relevant forum posts, and relevant blog comments.

You’re probably seeing a high number because several of the blogs have a “Recent Comments” widget on the sitewide sidebar. In other words — while my blog comment was recent, it was featured on every page of the blog. But it is a single comment.

And thank you for not sharing my URL. That would be uncool.

alistairgd

Thanks for the additional info, interesting link building. A quick look at the sites BL metrics made it look like a link subcontractor had been used, fantastic that you managed to do that for zero cost.

To your continued success!

Mike

Link building is best when done on your own because when you outsource it you get a big spike in link velocity since the company will build 200 (or whatever number) or so links within a month. This makes you obliged to have to create links to keep up the link velocity. However if you keep the link building to 1 link max per day you can get away with creating higher quality links but still easily maintain link velocity.

MagazineFern

hmmm, if that is really the website then the numbers Benjamin provided do not make sense at all. It does look like the correct website (too many things add up).. the site is ranking page 1 and page 2 for the only main keywords (nowhere in top 5 even), and the CPC on those keywords is less than $0.30.

$400 / month does not make any sense whatsoever, even if he had 100% click thru rate on adsense ads. unless am missing something

Benjamin Aries

You’re missing all of the traffic from long tail searches. My click thru rate is very reasonable, a little low even.

Benjamin Aries

AdSense click thru rate is based on PAGEVIEWS, not visits. You’re also only looking at one keyword. People use many different keywords to find the site.

My site gets over 20,000 Pageviews per month. You’re using the wrong numbers for your calculation.

Charles

@alistairgd Sorry for doubting you. It’s a nice site though.

Sibo

Short, nice and clean answers. I was shocked by the idea of 3 pages earning $400 per month with purely Adsense. Would you mind sharing how much exact search per month on Google for that key word you are targeting, mate?

Thanks a million!

Sibo

alistairgd

Already posted, look up.

James

He’s not making $400 a month with those rankings and those keywords, lol.

Benjamin Aries

Okay, you keep LOL-ing, I’ll keep pulling the cash out of the ATM every month.

Steve Wyman

Hi SPencer

you need to mod the comments. some rude new people around here. like posting the guys URL very rude.

Yes i found the site in less than a minute but so what.

I have to say that whilst i dont want to cast doubt I’d like to see screen grabs in future on claimed income.

SEMrush doesn’t support the possibility of $400 in the first month the site had traffic June 2013. its historical data so it could be out. but i have to agree with James until otherwise demonstrated.

As to what works. Ive seen .me sites ranking in niches with a KC of 50 and all the 25K links were built in the last 30 days.. a different case but strange things happen. So yes three page sites can rank very well Google in July 2013 heck even 1 page sites do.

Lastly a 3 page site is just waiting for a manual review and to get tanked by google as “thin content” yes its happening.

Spencer Haws

I’ve removed the comments that showed the domains. Thanks Steve.

Benjamin Aries

Hi Steve —

I’ll try to get some screen grabs of the income. I have to double-check Google’s terms of service to be safe.

SEMrush is very delayed and does not reflect current numbers. Also, I have found SEMrush to be unreliable when it comes to new and fairly low-profile sites.

The site has 3 pages because it is unfinished. It will have many more soon.

Steve Wyman

Thanks for the screen grab.

Of course youve had to cover up the sites name. So i for one will take you at your word.

now what i was and am saying is that by reverse engineering your site (and the whole niche) I still cant see how this is possible.

You see both my father and brother are ham radio operators (both for over 40 yrs) and we’ve researched this market from side to side.

At no point have we established a sub niche with a keyword that was worth building an authority site around that we could win in.

The radios themselves have fairly ok search volumes (1600) but the long tails for them are very small.

My guess is your ranking well for a short tail keyword that has some low comp.

I’ll have to do more work over the coming months to establish the reason.

Your right that semrush is a lagging indicator. But in the next update Ill be able to see a more extended period.

Also i dont just rely on semrush to tell me whats happening to a site. Its quite possible for me to run complex reports on sites i dont own as i do this for off line business prior to pre-sales calls. the data is usually sound.

However when claiming the income you were i had assume that this was an average over a period of 3 to 6 months.

A 1 age site can work for a while BUT it wont long term nor will a three page site. YES there are exceptions to every rule. But a successful site should be one thats able to reproduce its earning over the long run.

1-2 months shows you have success but not that you can hold the ranking or income.

It also suggests that we should all go make 3 page sites thats dangerous, as dangerous as backlink building using old techniques is in 2013. Yes they work you can still blast a page with 1000’s of links and rank. but who wants very short term gains.

A congratulate you on this site and the income. very nice.

Donald W

I have to agree with Steve that it was very rude to post his url. If he wanted it posted he would have posted it himself. Overall I am still fairly new to building niche sites myself and like to read success story’s. I don’t feel however that he is lying about his income. I would like to see screenshots as well but I still don’t think he is lying. What good would it do him to not post his url and lie about this. I don’t see a benefit so it doesn’t make much sense. What I have seen is a site of my own with way less traffic make close to this amount of money on page 2. Especially because of exactly what he says his visitors are looking for the product and his ad will generally display this most of the time. Almost a sure click through. Benjamin keep up the great work and don’t let people bring you down. They will certainly try. Thank you for putting your experience out there for us and good luck. Here’s to your success!

Mark N.

Do you mean to say that a website built around a specific product will generate close to 100% CTR for AdSense ads?

Donald W

Lol, No way! I’m just trying to defend the guy 🙂 And i did some very quick small calculations that if he gets .23$ per click and 1700 clicks of the 5400 local searches, which he obviously wont be getting all of them or probably not even close to that number. But say from other longtail keywords or secondary keywords he gets that 1700 that its possible to get somewhere in the 350$-400$ range. Granted A LOT of luck and other things would be needed but again I’m just trying to defend the guy since he isn’t doing it himself.
Also as you know already from your post I’m new to this too so I could likely just be making stuff up for all I know. However I think its possible. Not saying he is telling the truth but its possible.
Don’t come down too hard on me for trying to help up someone who is down and being kicked! Even if it is with good reason. 🙂

Donald W

With all of that said. I too still would like to see something concrete of this. Just to put our minds at ease 🙂 Even if its just traffic.

Mark N.

No, I was actually just asking a question, not trying to come down on you 🙂 I too don’t see any reason for him to lie about this, especially since he wasn’t disclosing his website. I also like the site itself a lot, even though it’s very small (but it does make sense that it is so small in this case)

I’m just trying to make sense of these calculations and hopefully learn something as well. The site only has around 800 words total (assuming this really is the site in question), so it can’t be getting a lot of additional long tail traffic – not enough text for that to happen in my opinion.

Yeah it seems there are 5400 local monthly searches and there is around $0.28 CPC (roughly; my CPC is displayed in my local currency so I have to calculate it :). The website owner typically gets around 50% of the actual CPC value (the rest goes to Google etc) from what I understand, so the actual amount the site would generate per click is probably closer to $0.15.

Considering his current ranking and at least based on my limited experience, the site shouldn’t be getting more than maybe 5% of the traffic for that keyword. That’s say 300 visits per month. If the site were to have even a 50% click through rate on the Adsense ads (which is an absolutely _BEASTLY_ number from what I understand and I don’t believe it’s possible for any site to get even remotely close to that regardless of how targeted the website is), that would mean 150 monthly clicks (again, the actual number is probably closer to 30-50 I would guess, but I could be completely wrong). That would give the site a monthly income of $22.

Again, I’m not trying to accuse anyone of anything. I just want to understand what is happening here so that I can hopefully use that information myself 🙂 Perhaps this is not his website at all and so none what we are saying makes any sense 😀

Either way, I can’t wait for Ben to drop by, and also for Spencer to remove the comment with the website address.

Donald W

Ok cool. I was going to say my comment was posted with Ben in mind 🙂
But yes now that you mention it, my calculations were way off because I didn’t take into account that the cpc is practically divided in half, if not more, for most clicks because Google earns half or more as well.
As for traffic I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and then some.
Personally though I think we would have to visit the other 15 or so sites ranked higher than his to find out what they offer. And I’m not going do this 🙂
But for informational purposes maybe those sites don’t offer the content he does. This too is still a longshot. Google is an algorithm but we all know they rank sites of high quality. So it’s hard to say but I agree with all you have said.
I too am looking forward to the link, His site or not, being removed.

Donald W

If the site is his I like it too, I think it’s useful and informative. Although I would definitely correct the links in the footer, because they are dead/404ed and put some content there or remove them. If I’m not mistaken Google looks for this sort of thing and it can hurt your site pretty bad.

Mark N.

This also made me wonder about another thing. How much traffic do people typically generate from being on the second page of the Google results for a keyword? This is a question to anyone who has something to share.

For my main site (the one mentioned in my story), I am ranking 10th right now for a keyword with 18,000 exact local monthly searches (I wasn’t targeting this keyword, I just ranked there “naturally”), and I’m only getting around 2-3 visits from that keyword per day. Wondering if this is normal (and yes, my site is very relevant to that keyword).

if it is, then it would mean that page 2 rankings are pretty much useless even if a keyword has 100,000 local monthly searches.

Donald W

Ok so this is the point where it becomes clear that I have spent a lot of time reading articles on niche pursuits. I have just searched for the place Spencer referenced the rankings stats for page 2 for 5-10 minutes and I thought he even had a pie chart for it. But it could have been somewhere else entirely. Although I’m almost sure it was posted here. He said if I remember correctly that page 2 ranking #1 gets 40% and then the numbers went significantly down from there. I even remember him saying something like #1 on page 2 is still alright but he doesn’t like to settle there. As you know we all want #1 page 1. So if I remember correctly it was like 40% but he also went into more detail about how most people never see page 2 and things of that nature. I couldn’t find it but if I come across it again. I will post it here.

Mark N.

“He said if I remember correctly that page 2 ranking #1 gets 40%”

40% of what?

Mark N.

Ok I’m going to sleep 🙂 I just did a quick search and skimmed through a quick case studies, and it seems position #11 in the Google rankings (top position on page 2) gets around 1.1% of the traffic for a keyword. So for my 18,000 exact local monthly searches a website ranking at the top of page #2 will get roughly 6 visits per day, on average.

I guess my visits for #10 might be OK then; I haven’t been on this spot long enough to draw any meaningful conclusions, but I’m definitely not as far off as I thought I was.

Donald W

Good night When you wake up here it is from Spencer or at least the post I read it on, on this site, The chart is from someone else but if you look under (How to Calculate Estimated Search Volume) There is a chart and at the very bottom you will see page 2. You are closer than I was lol and hthis post is older. Page 2 I’m assuming #1 says 10.18 % whether this is accurate or not is hard to say. I only know a site I am earning 15-20$ on page 2 #1 gets way less than 10% and it bounces between page 2 #1 and page 1 # 10 so I cant give you accurate numbers. I can tell you that from what I can tell when its number 10 on page one it seems to do worse than page 2 #1. That I know for my site/niche is true. Now that I am backlinking hopefully it improves.

Donald W

It won’t let me post the link. But the pie chart is in the post How to Calculate Projected Traffic and Earnings for a niche website Search for it!

alistairgd

Ah, I think you’ll find that top spot on PAGE 1 gives 40%, not page 2 LOL.

Naveen Kulkarni

Hi Mark,
I went through Benjamin’s site and I shoudl really appreciate the way he has positioned adsense units. They integrate well with the site and in fact act as additional source for knowing more information about the niche he is in. That’s clever.

Another thing is he has revealed in one of his comments here that his site is getting 3500 unique visitors a months. So you can refine your calculation and estimate the earnings.

And since it’s an earning of 4 months, the total visits for the site could be around 14000 visitors for generating 400$ of income.

Benjamin,
Correct me if I am wrong.

Benjamin Aries

Naveen –

Yes, I spent a lot of time “experimenting” with ad placement to maximize revenue.

Yes, an average of 3500 unique visitors per month. The most recent month, it was actualy 4,500+ unique visits. The traffic is increasing every month.

REMEMBER — that is DIFFERENT from Pageviews. They are two different Analytic statistics. Pageviews is much higher, because people load several pages in one visit.

The AdSense Click Thru Rate is a percent of Pageviews, NOT visitors.

If you just look at estimated numbers on the Keyword Tool, it isn’t the whole story. Again, those are estimated visits, NOT pageviews.

Benjamin Aries

Mark —

With respect, you are making a few assumptions that are not accurate.

-You’re assuming only 5,400 monthly searches. That is for one keyword. The site receives visits from many related keywords, and ranks well for most of them. So the 5,400 assumption is low.

-The Keyword tool is not always accurate about CPC numbers. Your 0.28 CPC might be incorrect (hint, hint)

-AdSense publishers receive 70% of revenue, not 50%.

-AdSense click through rate is based on PAGEVIEWS, not unique visits. Pageviews are several times more than the number of unique visits.

-Your 300 visits a month number is incredibly, dramatically low. It was closer to 4,500 last month — unique visits. Again, Pageviews are even higher.

So, your numbers are way off. It’s a heck of a lot higher. About $400 a month worth.

Mark N.

Thanks for clearing this up!

Benjamin Aries

Thanks, Donald.

A lot of people seem to be making a mistake here: They’re looking at AdSense clicks as a percentage of local searches for one keyword, NOT as a percentage of TOTAL Page Views.

For example, in your comment above, you say “1700 clicks of the 5,400 local searches.” And, you’re right — 1700 ad clicks out of only 5,400 searches is impossibly high. There is no way that 30% of ALL of those searchers click an ad.

But they don’t have to.
Because 5,400 is for just ONE keyword. It’s not the big picture.

There are many different keywords that people use to find the site. I’m looking at Webmaster tools right now. In the past month, people used 334 different search terms (queries) to find the site!

In the past month, the site appeared in Google results 40,000 times (Impressions). That’s 40,000 chances for people to click on my site from Google, NOT 5,400!

See what I’m saying here?

So here is some BETTER math. It’s not exact to my site’s actual numbers, but it is very close:

40,000 search impressions per month X 11% click rate on Google = 4,400 unique visits per month.

On my site, most people view several pages, not just one.

4,400 visits x 3 pages = 13,200 Page Views

13,200 Page Views x 6% Ad CTR (example only) = 792 ad clicks per month.

(Remember, AdSense CTR is based on Page Views, not unique visits. I can’t give exact CTR and CPC numbers because Google doesn’t like that.)

792 ad clicks x $0.51 CPC (example only) = $403 per month.

Long story short: You have to look at the TOTAL potential of a site, not just one specific keyword.

Does this make any sense, or am I just rambling?

Donald W

No that makes perfect sense and that’s what I was thinking. I’m just happy your here and appreciate all of your information. 🙂

Travis

It makes sense, Ben. Don’t worry too much about all the complanypants people. It’s good to help them understand with some extra details like you already posted, but if they keep jumping down your throat and accusing you of lying, just ignore them.

While it has been rather comical reading some of their posts this morning, they are clearly uneducated when it comes to website traffic. Mistaking unique visitors with pageviews, not understanding AdSense metrics, not understanding your site can show up for more than one or two search terms (they are on NichePursuits and don’t understand long tail keywords? yikes!), and then accusing you of lying about your stats based on their own naivete. For those of us that actually have websites making money, your stats don’t look out of the ordinary.

Keep up the good work!

Mark N.

“There are many different keywords that people use to find the site. I’m looking at Webmaster tools right now. In the past month, people used 334 different search terms (queries) to find the site!”

That’s a really col number of queries for such a small site, really congrats on that – you definitely found a good niche 🙂

Mark N.

My main mistake was in assuming that a small site like this one could not possibly generate a lot of long tail traffic; now that you’ve provided your actual number of visitors / number of queries people use to find your site, all the numbers make perfect sense 🙂

Ben

I also found the site quite quickly (the comments of the people who posted it should be removed still).

For those saying it’s highly unlikely that Ben is making $400 a month from that site. It may be possible, the main keyword does have a pretty high exact match search volume, as do a few sub keywords that I found it ranks for. The ad placements are also in relatively good positions in terms of maxmising CTR.

Just to further say it may be possible, I have a 5 page mini site with keywords that have less than a quarter of his keyword exact match searches (less than 40 visits a day) and it makes me about $160 a month.

Drew

Thanks for sharing, Benjamin. Very helpful and inspirational.

Nathan

Yea that wasn’t very nice to post the guys site. But it would be nice to see some screen shots of Adsense account to back up the claims. Otherwise great “success story” enjoyed reading it can’t wait to finish up my keyword research and start my own nichepursuit!

Matt

For the next case study it might be worth having Spencer check the numbers, similar to what Flippa is doing with their verified Analytics/Adsense reports.

If he says it´s true, I´m sure most of us would believe him.

This would add credibility to the case study without the need to reveal KPI´s in public.

Benjamin Aries

I grabbed a screenshot of the last two weeks of earnings.
Some of the image is covered, so I don’t violate Google TOS.

http://i39.tinypic.com/5p30wz.jpg

-Benjamin

Nathan

Congrats! Keep it up!

Tom

Benjamin,
Thx for sharing some great stuff! It’s awesome to take what you and Spencer did and apply to others sites. Much Success to you!

corey

what theme are you using or ads positions to get such high CTR

Benjamin Aries

Hi Corey —

The site is not based on WordPress, it is a customized HTML site. For smaller sites, I’ve personally found WordPress to be rather overkill.

So, there isn’t a WordPress theme, it’s custom.

codi

very nice the radio site and congrats to you ben and thanks for sharing your story, is the manly adventures site yours too?

ray

For the love of god, some of these folks are requiring more evidence from you than they are of their own government, which is hilarious given our political and economic climate these days. Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing your success with us!

Larry

It just shows that the CPC “REALLY” matters!! I have a website which is 3 months old and has 4 pages of content, a privacy page and a contact page.

It gets around 25,000 unique visitors monthly but only earns me £120-£150 monthly.

You make more than double me and I have way more traffic, I guess the reason why my site doesn’t convert as much, is because it’s not a buying niche.

I made the site for my nephew a while ago and realized there was some nice traffic, so I built some solid links and have it ranking for some good keywords.

I use AdSense too but it’s the niche itself that is letting it down with a bad CPC of around £0.20-£0.50.

Benjamin Aries

Larry —

Yes, CPC and the “type” of niche is important.
On one of my other niche sites, there is good traffic but the CPC is horrible. The click rate is also bad. This other site is more of a “general information” site.

I think that one of the keys is to find a niche where people are “actively” ready to purchase something. They’re looking for product information or for a service that they need, etc.

Warren

Benjamin,
I just want to say thanks and sorry for the attacks you’re getting.

I know you want to help us succeed.

Benjamin Aries

Thanks Warren.

People who only criticize won’t be very successful. It’s actually funny reading “You’re not *really* making that money” because the bank account doesn’t lie!

There’s lots of money out there. Everybody can go and build their own success, but it’s hard to do while pointing fingers.

Anisul@NicheSitesSecrets

I totally agree with your last sentence Benjamin! people should focus on their goals rather than criticizing other people’s success! Btw, Are you participating in NSD2.0?

Benjamin Aries

Anisul —

Yes, I entered the Niche Site Duel today. I’ll be documenting my success (or failure!) on my blog starting this July 4th weekend, at http://www.LifestyleDare.com

Vic Dorfman @ DocShare Doctor

This just further convinces me that working SMART is where it’s at. Not that you don’t have to work hard too…but, you know what I’m saying! 😛

Benjamin, so you basically just did blog comments, forum links and social? And you also reached out to some webmasters in your niche to get links? Any article submissions, etc.?

Stefan

The more I learn, the less I know. I would have never expected the traffic results you’re getting with such a small amount of content (i.e. number of words).

And money wise, you’re only using Adsense and not even using Amazon links.

As someone who is still struggling financially and to really get a niche site to work, seeing a result like this is equally inspiring and depressing.

Looking at your site(s) and keyword selection, I wonder what your selection criteria are. The KC doesn’t seem super low. The CPC isn’t super high. It does have multiple search phrases with… well what I used to think were ‘average’ stats.
Am I wrong? What makes a niche a winner for you?

I have the feeling I’m pressing for high search volume and low KC far too much. Do you also only ever go for EMDs and do not use any suffixes or prefixes?

I’m looking forward to your site launching and hope you’ll share your insights quickly. You’re concise, to the point and don’t take any bullshit.

Carl

Benjamin – Great work and congratulations!

I started my first niche site in Feb also and June was its first “dollar a day” month using Adsense. I have made it clear in previous comments that it is not the amount of money that has impressed me, but the proof that following all the information and advice here can give you a credible business model.

There is obviously a difference between the earnings of our two sites, which only encourages me to complete more research and better content in my future niche sites.

Thank you for sharing your story and the effort you have gone to explaining the science behind your page views and visitors etc. Some people will just never be satisfied no matter how much you try to explain. These are obviously the people not making anywhere close to what you are ;o)

Carl

Best Adjustable Dumbbells

Good Work,

If anyone is looking for a niche to start in

check http://www.bestadjustabledumbbells.com , the domain is for sale

Naveen Kulkarni

Okay,
I believe you own http://www.bestadjustabledumbbells.org/

Correct?

Batuhan SASI

Mate

Look at cloudlivingjourney.com .org is his domain.

Regards
Batu

Best adjustable dumbbells

Incorrect the .org is not owned by me, I think the person I bought the .com from did at one point try copying the owner of the .org however I am unsure as he registered the .com in 2010

The .org is owned by someone in Vietnam same as the .com was so unsure if the guy I bought it from is the same person.

The domain is getting only 40 odd visits a day, I haven’t researched the niche only the 2 main keywords and the site is not ranking very well for them, it looks like long tail traffic so would be great for someone to build it up? I was only interested in the other 2 niche sites I purchased from him.

Neeraj

Benjamin,

Regarding CMS, I understand that you are not using wordpress but customized html. Are you building these html pages from scratch or you are using some templates and then customizing it? If yes, can you please share the website from where you are taking the templates ?

Benjamin Aries

Neeraj –

I do usually use an HTML template, and then heavily modify it.

For templates, I’ve had very good results with the Envato marketplace: http://themeforest.net/category/site-templates?ref=website180

They usually have very professional-looking themes for both standard sites and WordPress. The professionally designed themes are much better than free ones, and worth the money in my opinion.

Aloe Vera Headquarters

Congratulations on your sucess Benjamin!!! Its a dream of mine to have a niche site perform that well. Can you maybe share some more tips on how you backlink and get all that trafic to your site so quick.

Keep up the Excellent work!!

Jessica.

Benjamin Aries

Hi Jessica —

First of all, I don’t think that I got traffic “so quick,” really. I launched the site four months ago, if I remember right…. So that first full month, it earned almost nothing.

It steadily moved up toward the first page of Google during that time. But that’s still a month or two of being patient before it hits Page 1. Certainly not overnight.

Regarding backlinks — I believe that you have to be “conservative” in this area, and not go crazy. It’s very easy to think, “Five backlinks is good, five thousand is better!”

But that’s not true, usually. Focus on well-placed backlinks. Find blogs and forums and sites that are RELEVANT to your niche — the more relevant, the better — and build a few links on each site. One or two links on each property.

Build links naturally, by hand. A few a day. Spread them out through different types of sites. Not ALL forum posts, not all comments, etc.

Finally — backlinks are NOT magic. They used to be. They’re not anymore. I have managed e-commerce websites for clients that are #1 on Google and make $10,000+ in sales monthly, but have done ZERO backlink work.

Today, it’s about how UNIQUE and VALUABLE your site is, compared to other available sites. Fill a niche that people are searching for better than others, and Google will reward you.

Donna

Thank you, Benjamin, for your wonderful insight. I do like your website and I love the concept!

Great Niche goldmine! 🙂

It’s funny… I use to be a Ground Radio Communications Technician for the US Air Force for 10 years and use to take apart and put these things back together with my eyes closed! Back when radio shack carried resistors and capacitors in the bulk and troubleshooting was down to the component level (not swaptronics). 🙂 And yet, I didn’t think of it! LOL…

I do have one question… did you build your site from scratch, or did you “hopefully” use a wordpress template and plugins? And if you did use a template and plugins, are you willing to share their names?

You truly inspired me to keep trying… And of course, helped me “rethink” my keyword research!

Best of luck in all you do!

Kindest regards,

Donna

Ron

I really appreciate these examples.

Bought a keyword research tool with high hopes but still not finding success so it helps me to see things like this.

Thanks for sharing, Benjamin.

Ian

Hi Benjamin

Do you use HTML for all your niche websites, I used to create my own websites using HTML but have been using wordpress for years now.

I didnt think HTML sites ranked good longer term due to freshness of content ?

Whats your experience with this.

Stefan

Whether you build a static HTML site or a dynamic PHP site has nothing to do with ‘freshness’.

Freshness would be based on how ‘alive’ your site is. How often you add new content. The technology you use for your website doesn’t matter regarding this aspect.

Freshness is the number of trips you make to the store, not the type of car you take to get there.

Static HTML sites done the right way, can be lower maintenance and generally less vulnerable than WordPress sites. There are also plugins that will allow you to convert and publish your WordPress based site to a different location as a static HTML site (obviously losing some of the dynamic aspects like the built-in WordPress comment system, which can be replaced with something like Disqus). This way you can use WordPress as the engine, but have a somewhat safer frontend that doesn’t rely on keeping WordPress constantly updated and sealed tight for its security.

Benjamin Aries

Ian –

Yes, I usually use HTML / CSS for my niche sites. I’ve found them easier to customize for sites with 10 pages or less.
Wordpress is great — I love it for more “authority” sites — but it can be overkill for a small site.

Also, it is easier to understand the structure of a simple HTML site. WordPress has a bit of a learning curve once you start going under the good and customizing it.

Stefan is right about “freshness” — it’s about how often the site is updated, not how it’s built.

WordPress uses PHP. Google and web browsers can’t see PHP — they only see the “result” of PHP code. If you click “view source” on a PHP WordPress site, it looks just like a static HTML site. Google sees the same thing.

I strongly believe that how a site looks — professional, good content, smart ad placement — is much more important than which CMS you use, or don’t use.

Antony

While I did like the way your website was designed (the one to which a link was posted earlier – I won’t mention the URL), I do believe your ad placement is (unintentionally) deceiving, as the top ad looks as if it’s a clickable menu on your website. I clicked it thinking it’s a menu. I would personally be afraid of using such placement simply because Google might shut down my AdSense account due to low click quality.

Heidi

That’s just the point…people who are visiting his site ARE looking for more info or are ready to buy so anyone who clicks on those “genuine” links do not think about ads abd they ARE RELEVANT to what they are looking for hence Google sees this and rewards Benjamin with higher payout…just take a look at Pat Flynn Security Guard Training site and you’ll see the same thing…very good tactic if used effectively.

Hey Spencer please tell us how you manage your over 200 sites…link building, content creation, keyword management…and how much you are making from those sites in relation to your monthly income…? Thank You!

Heidi

Donna

This answered my question from earlier… guess I should have kept reading… 🙂 To which I did and found this and therefore this is a moot reply 🙂

Again… Thank you!

Regards,

Donna

Job Search Websites

Great shared experience of Benjamin

Victor Björklund

Impressive that it ranked with just 3 pages of content!

lmehdi

reaaly impressing that you can make money from such little content and visitors

alistairgd

Thought I’d catch up on some of these show and tell sites, )even if the show part was obfuscated ;op )

Anyway I was wondering if this site is still making money, or is it even still online, I could not see it anymore….?

alistairgd

Spencer, any update on this? Folks will be thinking all these case studies are great headliners for a few months before the income dries up….?

An update would be great!

Spencer Haws

You’ll have to ask the person highlighted in this post. Since these are not my sites, I don’t know…

Jeff

Even if this small niche site is pulling in a $1/day, it still works….for a few pages of basic material, it’s worth trying out.

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