The 2 Case Studies I Will Pursue This Year and Why

By Spencer Haws |

One of my goals this year is to complete 2 new case studies this year and document their progress here on my blog.  I shared 2 niche site case studies last year, and the positive feedback that I received from those projects was more than the feedback I received for anything else I’ve done on my blog.

I want to continue the energy I feel in the community here.

Last week, I wrote a post looking for your suggestions on what my 2 case studies should be this year.  I was overwhelmed with all the comments and great ideas!  You guys rock!

After reading all the comments and doing some serious thinking over the past week, I have a small confession to make.  I originally wrote that I was going to allow you to vote on which idea you liked the best, and the idea with the most votes would be the project I would tackle.

However, I’ve decided not to do that.  I know…boo!

Instead, I’m going to just make an executive decision and work on 2 projects that I personally want to work on…rather than relying on your “votes”.

After all, it is my blog. 🙂

Why I’m Not Allowing Votes

Before you get too angry, I will just say that the projects I WILL be working on are indeed projects that were suggested anyway.  So, its not like I’m doing something that no one wants to see.  It’s just that I don’t want to leave it up to the votes to determine my future for the next 12 months.

Reason 1: I won’t please everyone

First of all, no matter what project I decided to work on; not everyone would be pleased.  As you can see from reading all the comment here, there are just SO many different ideas.  Some people are very passionate about their pleas and will be crushed if I don’t choose their idea.

No matter what I do, some people will be disappointed.  At the end of the day, I have to just decide what is going to provide value and is something that I will enjoy pursuing.

Reason 2: I’m busy

In case you haven’t noticed, I do a lot more than just write on my blog here a couple times a week.  I own and manage Long Tail Pro, I work with Perrin to build out new niche sites, and I am working on several other projects that I’ve never discussed here before.

If I were to take on 2 NEW projects this year, I honestly don’t know if I would have the time to execute the projects and document all the details here.

As a result, I’ve decided to simply share publicly 2 projects that I had already planned on working on this year!  This solution is a win-win in my opinion.  You the reader will get to see 2 new case studies this year on some very interesting ideas, and I won’t have to add any additional work to what I was already planning on doing this year.

The projects that you see below, are 2 projects that I was going to do whether or not I blogged about them.  If I were to do something based on your votes, I would be adding a couple of projects on TOP of what you see listed below.

I just don’t know if I would have the time or energy to do it.

Reason 3: Staying True to my Business

Finally, I have to stay true to my own business and what is interesting to me.  If I were to leave it up for vote, its very possible that I would end up working on projects that I am not entirely passionate about.  If that happened, I probably wouldn’t put my full energy into the projects and the results would likely be less than stellar.

I need to stick with what my true business plans on for this year, whether or not I share things publicly.

The 2 New Case Studies Are…

Now that I’ve spent way too much time explaining why I’m not letting you vote, lets get on with revealing the actual projects!

I do want to point out that both of these ideas WERE suggested in my last post, so I feel like these are still what a great number of people out there want to see anyway.

Project 1: Buying and Selling 2 Different Sites!

That’s right, I plan on buying and selling 2 different sites this year and sharing the entire process.   In fact, this goes nicely with one of my original goals this year to buy $25k worth of sites.

I received a lot of feedback from people, so I know that this is fairly popular option.  People are curious about the process of buying sites, fixing them up to earn more money, and then selling them.  That’s exactly what I plan on doing…twice!

I have to admit, that I’ve already purchase the 2 sites.  However, this just very recently happened, and I’m going to review exactly why I bought the sites and my plans for each…expect that post in the next week or so.

I would absolutely LOVE to start buying more and more sites and fixing them up.  This project will help me get even more experience before I “up” my game with bigger sites down the road.

Here’s just a quick review of the 2 sites, so that you can get an idea of what kind of project they will be.

Site 1: Big Traffic from Pinterest.  This is a site currently earning about $250 per month.  The site also gets about 2,500 to 3,000 visitors per DAY!  However, what makes this site interesting is that nearly ALL of its traffic is coming from sources outside of Google…in fact most is from Pinterest.

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The site gets no real organic Google traffic to speak of.  I will discuss my plans; however, I think its an interesting project because it gets traffic from sources that I usually don’t discuss much.  Lets see what I can do with Pinterest traffic and see if I can increase the earnings…should be fun!

Site 2: Steady Adsense Earner.  The second site earns closer to $400 to $500 per month from Google Adsense primarily.  This site does get almost all of its traffic from Google organically.

However, the draw is that the site currently only has 5 or 6 pages of content (I can expand that) and it currently ranks on the second page or bottom of first page for some great keywords.   I’m going to see what I can do to increase the rankings of these keywords, and overall increase the earnings.

Depending on how it does, I may turn around and sell the site within the year.

So, for the many of you that wanted to see an Adsense niche site case study and a case study about a site getting traffic from someplace other than Google…hopefully this appeases you!

Project 2: Creating and Selling a Software Product (Outside of internet marketing)

That’s right.  I’m going to create a software product that has nothing to do with SEO or internet marketing!  Correction, Perrin and I will be working on the project together.

In fact, the idea is 100% Perrin’s, along with some of his buddies.  Perrin and his friends have had an idea in their back pockets for a while, and I really liked the potential it had.  So, I offered my experience creating other software products along with things, and we’ve formed a team.

Again, this is a project we’ve already started working on, but its still in the infant stage.  I’ll be sharing what we’ve already done, and how we plan to market, sell, and profit from this product.  This is definitely one that you will get to see and check out once we go live.  (Most of you won’t be the target market for the software, though).

This could indeed be considered a SaaS product, but its really all semantics.  I’ll just call it a software product and hopefully make money from it, you can call it whatever you want.

This is a big project, and definitely has much more potential than a standard niche site.  So, I’m excited because this is more the direction I’m taking my business anyway.   I still love building out niche sites, and actively do so; however, a software or other product business can obviously do SO much more.

Why Not New Niche Sites?

I love building niche sites, and held 2 great Niche Site Projects last year.  Many of you requested that I build another niche site from scratch to show the process once again.  However, as you can see, I have chosen not to build a niche site from the ground up as one of my projects this year.

Why not?  Well, I have a few reasons why I’ve decided not build another niche site publicly from beginning to end.

First, its been done…TWICE on this site!  To be honest, if I were to go back and build another niche site publicly, my steps would be EXACTLY what I’ve shared previously.  I wouldn’t do anything differently, there really isn’t anything else to teach.

Yes, with each new site comes new challenges or twists and turns, but the strategy and process is the same.  I’ve already taught for a long time how to build niche sites, and overall, its just already been done.  I want to try something different!

Second, I have to deal with copy cats and negative SEO.  I would say that 99.99% of you out there are really just along for the ride (and learning).  However, one or two readers always want to ruin the case study for everyone.

Its no fun.  So, I’ve decided to attempt other projects that hopefully can avoid these issues.

Third, there are SO many possible case studies out there, its just time to expand the possibilities.  Again, I love niche sites and will continue building them; and frankly will continue sharing my tips and tricks on Niche Pursuits throughout the year.  But online businesses can be made from much more than building a niche site from the ground up.

I hope to excite and inspire others by tackling projects that are a little bit outside my norm.  We all know that the more you stretch and get out of your comfort zone, the more you learn and grow…and possibly even profit more from (we’ll see about that).

Overall, I AM still actively building niche sites, and its a great business.  I WILL continue sharing blog posts about my adventures building niche sites, SEO, and more.  I’ll still teach what I learn.  However, I’m not inclined to do another year long case study on something that I just did last year.  As things change in the industry, I’ll keep you posted, but for now a new niche site case study would look exactly like the old case study…the process is the same.

So, I’m moving on to other case study ideas.

Your Thoughts

I hope most of you are cool with this!  If not, feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.  Either way, I’d love to hear what you think of the 2 projects that I’ve outlined above.  Are you excited…or is it a total letdown?

I’m sticking with my guns, and these WILL be the projects that I work on, no changing based on your feedback here.  These work well for me, because they are projects I would work on whether or not existed.

Overall, I’m happy to get started, and I’ll be sharing more details sometime next week!





Stories & Projects | 124 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

Yes! I Love to Learn

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Glad you didn’t succumb to the masses

Eric Gati

Ha, this is exactly what I was about to say.

I think doing what YOU want to do is exactly the right decision. Voting is fun and all, but in the end, it’s kind of irrelevant to the whole process.

Ultimately, you’re going to do a case study that will be interesting to most people – no matter what.

The haters…as they say…are gonna hate.

– Eric

Spencer Haws

Thanks Eric for the encouragement!

Dhruv Bhagat

Hey Spencer,

Do share something useful about Flippa listings. Means, how can we earn highest bid by selling our site on Flippa.


Alex @ Online Business Geeks


I’m SUPER excited for the two new case studies you have outlined.. Especially the “creating software” outside of internet marketing niche.

SAAS model is something that has been sparking my interest, and certainly something I look to explore in 2014 to add to my diversified income portfolio.

Again, I’m super excited for you bud!

All the best,

Spencer Haws

Glad you are excited Alex! Software can be a great business…and this idea has nothing to do with IM. We’ll see how it does, but either way it will be interesting.


Hi Spencer

I think both of these projects are going to be fascinating and will really broaden the scope of Niche Pursuits in terms of what we can learn here, so thanks for that.

Best of luck 🙂



… meant… best of luck Spencer lol

Spencer Haws

I agree…thanks Lenny!

Donald W

I’m excited to see what the future holds here Spencer. After all your blog is called Niche Pursuits, not Niche Website Pursuits. Gotta love diversity. Good luck and I look forward to 2014.

Spencer Haws

Exactly!! You get it Donald, Niche “Pursuits” is much more that just building websites. In fact, the entire reason I built was to discuss small business ideas outside of niche websites believe it or not. (I had a previous blog that only talked about niche websites)…the move to this blog 3 years ago was an attempt to ween myself from that subject. I still discuss niche websites, but hope to expand subject matter here for sure.


Awesome Spencer. I’ve been looking to buy from Flippa for a while now and was always curious about how to go about and thoroughly vet a site so that I don’t get stuck with a lemon. I’m glad you decided to go about doing this case study this year. Looking forward to it.

Spencer Haws

I’ll definitely have some tips there…after doing my first purchase.


Can’t wait, dude. I don’t think I saw it mentioned on the list of suggestions…. which means it is all that more valuable of an idea since it hasn’t been hashed to death yet.

Good call.

Fetch Bargain

All the best Spencer. Great work


Hi Spencer! 😀

Just wanted to say that I can’t wait for the second one. Creating and selling a software would be a great skill to have, and what I like even more is that it’s outside SEO, niche sites etc.

When we will know more details about it (if it’s not a secret)?

Good luck to you and your team. 🙂


Spencer Haws

I am going to start sharing details about both projects in the next week. Perhaps 1 per week. The software idea won’t be revealed for a little while, but within a month or 2 it should be public.


Great, thanks for the answer. 😉


Awesome. I think you made a great choice. Can’t wait to see the results.


These are great project ideas…..thanks for sharing….I’ll be interested to see how the process works when buying existing sites.


Hey Spencer, Super Hooked up to the post , Eagerly waiting for the next post in starting either of the projects.
Good luck with them, and continue to be an inspiration to all of us

Spencer Haws

Thanks Atin!


Hey, Spencer!

Originally, I started to read your blog because of first niche case study, but now I’m excited to see projects from other business areas. Both projects look great and I will surely follow them!

Good luck, mate!

Spencer Haws

Awesome…thanks Jenda!


Great ideas Steven. I would have loved to see something about facebook, but can’t wait to read on your new case studies.

Spencer Haws

Its still possible that facebook marketing could play a role in one or both of the case studies.


Great choices!


I will follow you this year, and i will try to apply the knowledge in the spanish market !
thanks you


Hey Spencer,

I am your big fans and I always love your emails in my mail box. In fact I open them instantly and that is what happened right now. 🙂

I am super excited to know about your new ideas and hopefully will learn amazing things from you in this year as well.


Spencer Haws

Thanks Rehan!


Hello Spencer,

I am interested in both of your projects. This will give us more insight of what skills are needed to create diverse projects and see what is needed to make them successful.

Awesome choices!

steve wyman

Hi Spencer

Wise choices and tons of usefull info and experiences to come from these case studies.

Really glad youve included a buy/enhance and resell case study as this is a very interesting business model.

So many sites lack optimisation in layout, page count and site speed that are relatively easy to fix with your knowledge base.

as somebody that ran a software house the Software project will be very interesting to follow along.

Have a great year

Spencer Haws

Thanks Steve, glad you like the project ideas.


Great, I look forward to reading about these 2 new projects. It’s good that it’s something other than niche sites so we can learn other ways to make money online. Best of luck.


Sounds really great, I’m sure it will be interesting for us. I’m interested in the pinterest site you mentioned as I am not one of those AdSense guys.


Spencer Haws

Yep, the pinterest site is VERY interesting. I haven’t shared all the details, but there are some other “twists” that will make it a great case study. Stay tuned 🙂



Excited to follow along with these. I think it’s the right call, to pursue different types of case studies–there are so many things to do/learn/teach, it makes sense to branch out, while still keeping it relevant to your audience.

Good luck.



Staying true to your stuff, that’s the real thing.

I appreciate your direction and I cannot wait to see your niche projects results.

Bought 2 sites already? Wow. I do hope you’ll reveal everything from A to Z, so we can copy-cat your success formula, and do something similar.

I’m not a Pinterest fan since I don’t use it – don’t understand it – however, once after you reveal your methods of traffic generation and income boosting with that first web site, then maybe I’ll give a second thought and become a Pi fan myself 🙂

Now, $400+ a month with a 5-page (only!) AdSense site? How? I had 3 AdSense sites all making barely $200 with 25k unique visitors a month… did this site get twice as many?



I love both case studies. I have several niche sites that need fixing so I’m excited as I will be able to follow along and improve my sites as though I bought them. Also, once I’ve succeeded in increasing my niche site earnings to some degree, I’ll start looking into buying sites as well and this case study will prove useful when that time comes. Nonetheless, I’m frankly not very interested in the software case study but I wish you good luck.


Hey, Spencer—

Good for you for following your gut! Your business acumen has proven pretty remarkable over the years, so probably best to follow it and ditch the vote!

You’re totally right—no matter what your choice would be, some people would be disappointed (and, for those who wanted another niche site project—the NSP2 posts really do provide a very clear, repeatable, step-by-step process). I think those who might be disappointed will come around as the projects continue.

Looking forward to both projects. Thank you again for involving us!


Spencer Haws

I think so, both should be very interesting projects. Thanks Matt!

Pratik Unadkat

Super excited. Those both projects are killer and frankly in my opinion may interest majority of the people.

What currently excites me more is the Pinterest site.

I recently read Neil Patel’s infographic on Pinterest market and how it grows sales ridiculously. Most Pinterest is overcrowded by Woman so if it’s a product or content that can appeal woman, the potential is endless!

I am not sure if I should link or not to that post as I am not aware whether you may like or not so do let me know if you would like me to link to his post.

Again, super excited all the way to see what’s in there.

Also, I hope the income report for Perrin’s site is on it’s way! 🙂




It is! 🙂

stephen aidoo

spencer this is great of you. i mean you are in control and your decisions are well respected because you have done it serveral times and you suceeded. so we support you 100%. To me this is yet another adventure and i hope to learn so much again from you. not to be a copycat but to be able to create original ideas from your ideas. Thanks spencer. By the way i have a quick question. how do you organize all this projects together as well as family. wow spencer do you have some kind of time space bending skills. 🙂

Spencer Haws

I’m still not sure how I organize it all :). Actually, I stick to a pretty regular schedule and “force” myself to work out and spend time with family. I usually stop working at a certain time each day and try not to look back until the next day.


I am very interested in reading about the site that is getting most of it’s traffic from Pinterest!

Thanks for doing such interesting and useful case studies, Spencer!

Spencer Haws

Thanks for following along Casandra!

Steve R

Whatever projects you do now and in the future Spencer I’m sure will be of great interest and benefit for all. Thank you for your hard work and effort in teaching from your knowledge and experience. I look forward to following you through these projects. Good luck.

Steve R.


Woo hoo! I had my fingers crossed for a software case study. Glad to see that’s on your to do list.

The case study with the Pinterest site should be a great learning experience as well. I’d love to learn some replicatable ways to gain traffic from sources other than Google.

Tung Tran

I’m with you on this 🙂

The software case study is definitely very helpful!


Sounds like fun … go for it and good luck.


I’m thrilled with this decision. The education will be amazing. Where else would you ever get to learn all of this? And for FREE? Good Lord, we got lucky when we found you Spencer.

Funny, I was thinking over the weekend that I love to watch you build niche sites but what else is there to learn? You’ve gone through all the details twice. And, we can always come back here and review that information. It would be nice to do something different to expand our knowledge of other business opportunities.

Nice decision Spencer. I’m looking forward to following along.

Spencer Haws

Thanks for the vote of confidence Michele. Appreciate the kind words as well 🙂


Fantastic Spencer! I’m especially glad you’re taking on the software project. Can’t wait to read about it…


Good for you Spencer – I look forward to anything you do and it will be good to see something different anyway. Best of luck with both projects!


I couldn’t have chosen any better choices myself. It’s like you completely taken and read my mind on these two projects that you’re undertaking.

Can’t wait for the next post!


I’m really excited about the 2nd project, it reminds me of a smart passive income episode (46), about finding a niche, creating a product (software) and marketing it with no expertise and even no money!
I really wish you all the best 🙂

Spencer Haws

Thanks Roberto!


Nice plan for 2014. Im really looking forward to the site buying one especially pinterest. Good luck

Al-Amin Kabir

Will be waiting for the interesting case studies!!

BTW, I’m sure you not be writing about niche sites as much as you are writing now. 🙁

Truly speaking, your posts keep me motivated, and now seems, I have to manage another motivational source to work with niche sites 😀


I’m glad you havent done another niche site, besides what you have already taught here there are also a few other sites doing niche site duels and challenges such as SPI blog, cloudliivng and Steve Scott. Both projects seem so much more ‘niche pursuits’ than just creating niche sites.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Ash1

Ian McLaren

Hi Spencer,

“Reason 3: Staying True to my Business”

Should always be the first consideration.

Whimsical notions and adventures are
fun but by definition unpredictable.

All the best

Ian McLaren

Spencer Haws

Good point Ian

Adam Finan @ Tropical Nomad

Look forward to seeing where you go with this.. Your site has been a massive help in learning how to build niche sites.

I would love to see some posts about using Pinterest to leverage traffic as I hear this is huge at the minute for some businesses and works well for certain niche sites.

Honestly I am staying away from the Adsense world. I feel its saturated, very competitive and most of the people who do it well have a MASSIVE network of sites just to make a few thousand.

Always interested to see where your articles go Spencer..


Looks like fun projects! Here’s one question – when you buy an existing site that’s making $400 to $500 a month and you swap in your Adsense codes – is there a drop of any sort in the income because of the new Adsense code? Thanks!

Spencer Haws

No, there has been no drop.


Awesome! Really looking forward to following along 🙂

Aris T

Hi Spencer

would it be boring to have a post on how to actually buy a web site? and where, flippa or? there are so many scams out there, and this task is so frustrating to me

Spencer Haws

I think that’s a good post idea for sure.


Very stoked to see how these progress!


Hi Spencer,

If you were turn the entire process of your last year two projects into a complete and step-by-step product, you’d definately skyrocket your bank account in the blink of an eye… 🙂

Anyway, best of luck with your currently choices..


Spencer Haws

Maybe so. Thanks Sud.


Spencer that is great. Love the Pinterest angle, love the SEO challenge on the Adsense site. Also hope to learn your thought process for the software project. Thanks for sharing. Rick.


These look like two great case studies! I’ve just started getting into Pinterest traffic recently, I think it’s great to have sites that don’t just rely on Google for their traffic. Really interested in the software case study too, as you say there are many more opportunities online outside of niche sites that we can do so much more with 🙂


I’m looking forward to each of these! Thanks for sharing your decision-making process, too.


Our Fine Adventure

Hey Spencer, can’t wait to read about the two case studies, especially the buying/selling of 2 sites. I have always wanted to learn more about this process, so I can’t wait to hear your thought processes and steps you take! Looking forward to it!


ok you decided to do business à la wall street by venturing full speed into m&a..;great since you have background in finances, I can’t wait to read what are the economics of the deals and how do they fit into your overall investment criteria

By the way, did you say anything about your investment criteria? I don’t think so so what are they and what are the expected ROI and ROE at the end of the day?

Can’t wait to read!

Spencer Haws

No, I didn’t mention investment criteria. I’ll lay out more expectations in my next post in detail. Thanks!

Dave Starr

Thanks for branching out, Spencer. Like you, my thoughts about building another set of niche sites is .. well, as you said, it’s been done. I doubt I would have followed along for that ride, so I’m a happy camper now.

Also, I’m more interested in semi-stable income .. even if the income per site is modest. I don’t really have the energy or the time budget to build site after site after site.

But I do have a modest budget for investing in things which will bring in income without continual building and tweaking.

I’ve been convinced for some time now that buying proven websites and making incremental improvements is _one_ of the ways to go/grow. I’ll be reading with great interest, my friend, thanks for all you do.

Spencer Haws

Awesome, glad to have you on board Dave! I agree that buying is much easier than building from scratch – just more up front financial risk. Should be interesting…


Can’t wait to see you go through this process! These are great choices by the way.


Sounds great and I think it’s cool that your covering new ideas and subjects. I’m especially looking forward to the buying, improving and selling case study. I’m sure many of the lessons here can be applied to new niches sites too for anyone who was looking for another niche site project.

Good luck as always!


NichePursuits without “Niches”. I am disappoint 🙁


P.S.- I am however looking forward to the other case studies.

Spencer Haws

“Niche” pursuits always stood for “Niche business ideas”, never “niche websites”. But glad you will still follow along 🙂


Really looking forward to the software project – especially the iterative process getting it built.

Will you be sharing all phases of it here or just the marketing and selling of it?

Spencer Haws

The project is already underway – the development of the software. But I will do so posts covering what we already have done. After a few posts, we should be caught up, and I’ll share things “live” as they occur.


Congratulations Spencer, excited to look forward to the case studies.

I too applaud your decision to not make a vote for your business goals this year. Makes you look way more professional and assured of your own path. I think a post asking input like you did and taking them into account but making your own decision is the perfect combination of listening to your community and doing what’s best for you.

Plenty of luck.

Spencer Haws

Thank you Nick – everyone has been very positive…its gonna be a good year…

Stuart Walker

All sounds good to me Spencer, look forward to it.


Looks like Perrin Carrell really promising. Can build a site and also software either.

Spencer Haws

Perrin is an idea guy, kinda like me. Neither of us know how to code anything…but we have good ideas and know people that do code 🙂


Ha. Seconded! I’d die if I had to code anything. 🙂


Hi spencer,

I have been following your blog for the past few months and I Just want to let you know that I have learned a lot, so thank you. I am glad you chose to do a case study on buying/selling websites because this is something I very am interested in. I look forward to the posts. Thank you.


Awesome, sounds great Spencer. Looking forward to the process. I’m really interested in the first project! Thanks for sharing and your generosity!!


Great projects – looking forward to seeing your success.

Just sold my first website the other day and have been making purchase offers to site owners in niches I want to get into.

So…perfect timing!

Spencer Haws

Very cool!

Tung Tran

This is gonna make Niche Pursuits even better!

Looking forward to the next post 🙂

Congrats Spencer


I am very excited about watching these two new projects. I think it is great to learn new things


Hey Spencer,

Can’t wait to dig the next projects with you. It’s so exciting.

I’ll surely be a steadfast follower this year again.



at least adsense site is included….


Hi Spencer,
I think the 2 projects you’ve chosen are great. It’s always better to diversify and learn something new, as far as I’m concerned 🙂

Will be following the progress of both projects, religiously!

Best of luck, Spencer.


Very interested to see both case studies. I have experience selling websites but have never bought one. I’ve thought about buying with the intent of flipping but have never done it. I’m interested to see the results through your case study.


Fantastic that you’re broadening the scope. I think the software project will be very interesting. Can’t wait!


Please post the earnings of pennyshaved site for Jan2014.. I want to see how it is doing.

Spencer Haws

The earnings will be posted tomorrow…prepare to have your mind blown 🙂


Spencer, I really appreciate what you are doing and I make the following comments and ask the following questions respectfully. I appreciate no nonsense answers being as specific as you can.
I understand you have over 200 niche sites that you’ve built and monetized. Is the reason you are getting into other services and products outside of monetization sites has anything to do with your current empire of websites making less money than they once did or do you see the writing on the wall, being the future of making money with ad sense is on the way out?
Had the changes in Google in regards SEO made it more challenging to build a profitable nitch info site worth managing today or do you see it becoming more difficult in the near future? Personally, do you feel Google is unpredictable and unreliable at times?
My last question, being 2014..If you lost it all and had to start from scratch, what would be your first priority and what would you consider your biggest money maker? Would you go back into the site building 200+ niches and monetize them, would you build sites just to sell/flip them, would you develop products and applications to sell…thanks

Spencer Haws

Lots of questions. First, I’m actually INCREASING the number of niche sites that I’m building in 2014 compared to 2013. In fact, I hired a full time employee to help me do build out more niche sites; read that post here: Second, I actually created this blog 3 years ago for the express purpose of documenting my small business ventures OUTSIDE of niche websites. At that time 100% of my income was niche websites (3 years ago) and I quit my job: So, I’ve been focusing on ventures outside of niche sites for about 3 years now. I do both.

Google has made things more challenging, no question; and they are not predictable and reliable for sure. Its a risky venture; but also can have high returns. Niche sites are not for the low risk/low return crowd. But for those that stay on top of the changes in SEO and are ever learning, there’s still plenty of money to be made.

If I were to start fresh, I’d probably create a product and drive traffic via SEO, PPC, content marketing, or any other way I could. Owning your own product gives you much greater returns. Having said that, if I had no money, I’d probably still build niche sites because of the low barrier to entry. Once I got money in my pocket, I’d reinvest into more niche sites or creating a product.


I’m actually glad to see you change things up. You’re right – the two case studies from 2013 are great and will continue to be terrific resources for at least the foreseeable future. Adding a little diversity to the scheme will be good for the audience and keep things interesting.


Looking forward to both of them. I actually am working on a software idea I have right now too. I’ve been programming and trying to perfect it the last month. I don’t know if it is marketable to others, but I created it to help me and it has. So the software case study will be very cool, thanks Spencer!


Hi Spencer,
I think you are right to choose what you wanted to work on … after all if you don’t enjoy what what you are doing you won’t succeed, I think Steve Jobs said something along those lines.

In any case that will be fun for all of those to follow. I am also working on a niche site and have several apps projects in mind so this might get me started in fact. So thanks for that.

I have an IT background so I will surely put in my 2 cents when you start posting your process 🙂

Have fun.

Spencer Haws

Sounds good – I’d love to hear the thoughts you have with your IT background.

Greg Moore

Spencer, based on my experience in IT, I’d say hire someone like this as a programmer:

A super high hourly rate isn’t bad if the elance person takes 200 hours, whereas the person who appears expensive can do the same thing for you in 20 hours – using far better techniques and producing code that has far fewer bugs.

These programmers are really good!

Like this one:

Consultant at JPMorgan Chase, Information Architect and Developer at Xcellecom Inc., Consultant at VMware, Consultant at Barclays, Consultant at Citi, Consultant at Broadridge Financial Solutions, Consultant at Chase.

Or how about this one:

Lead Developer at JPMorgan Chase, Senior Software Consultant at HBO, Lead java developer at Morgan Stanley, Senior software consultant at Moody’s Investors Service, senior software development manager at Aetna.

If an elance programmer would take 3 months, it would not surprise me at all if one of these people could do it over a weekend – and produce a much better product too.

Spencer Haws

Actually, perhaps you would be surprised by some of the talent on elance. Some of those guys you listed might be moonlighting on elance as well. Elance has all ranges…low quality…to extreme high quality. But I agree that paying more for a better programmer is usually better…


Looks promising Spencer. Personally am really excited about the 1st case study of buying and selling websites – also because it was one of the ideas I suggested 🙂

Look forward to amazing updates

Greg Moore

Yeah, hearing about how Spencer takes an existing site and optimizes it to increase revenue is going to be a blast.


Honestly I have gotten an overdose of niche site ranking info from your site. The hardest part for most people is following through, but unless you follow through, you will never graduate, you will keep asking the same question and getting the same answer. I am excited about the software product, especially the fact that it’s not an SEO product. The pinterest site project is also interesting. These are two case studies I will be following this year. Good choices.

Ryan Wolfe

How is that adsense site making that much money if it’s barely on the first/second page for its keywords? How many visitors is it getting per day?

Spencer Haws

It gets about 200 visitors a day. That’s not uncommon for adsense sites – tons of money in adsense if you are targeting the right keywords.


Hey Spencer its like you’ve read my mind 🙂

This year is all about breaking my reliance on fragile search traffic and add a bit of diversity into working online.

Building sites to flip is on the cards (don’t have the money or guts to buy) along with coding or writing something I can sell.

Looking forward to see how your two case studies go.


2 new case studies are interesting thoughts but honestly speaking I would have changed software case study to something related to IM. Weather it is adsense, clickbank or software related to IM.


Interesting choices for your two new projects. I’m really interested in your program project and looking forward to following your progress.

Credit Limit Increase

Can’t wait Spencer! I especially love the buying/selling of websites idea… can’t wait to hear more about that!

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