Niche Site Challenge 1 – My Strategies for Success!

Let me just say that after a great response to whether or not I should do another challenge from my last post, I have decided to join the Niche Site Duel!

As mentioned previously, Pat Flynn and Tyrone Shum (now along with Mark at and Mike at are challenging each other to build a profitable niche website with EVERYTHING revealed to the public.  I am going to throw my hat into the ring and explain step by step how I build a niche website.

Aren’t You Already a Miserable Failure? Why Start Another Challenge?

Now some of you may ask, didn’t you already do that with your 100 Niche Adsense website in 30 days, and wasn’t that a complete failure?

While its true that I am not making as much from those sites as originally hoped; its also true that I learned a great deal from the experience!  Because of the time constraint of the original challenge, along with the fact that I made it public, I cut some corners and did things differently than I usually did.

Did You Actually Learn Anything, or Are You a Complete Idiot?

After the challenge, I fully discussed some of the lessons learned and how I would do things differently in this post.  The key mistakes that I made were lack of quality content (only 1 to 2 articles per site) and posting identical articles from my sites to article directories (both done to cut down on the work load in order to reach 100 sites in 30 days).  Big Mistake!  But now I have learned and hopefully you did as well!

In that post, I discuss how I would be moving towards bigger and better quality websites.  I projected that as I moved towards quality I would enjoy better site rankings and monetary rewards.  It has been 4 months since my challenge has ended, and I can tell you that the last sentence is absolutely true!

So, What? Have You Done Anything Since the original Challenge?

In the past 4 months, I have only built 4 websites (kinda a slow time for me :) ).  I applied what I learned from my challenge and instead of doing only 1 or 2 articles per site; I’ve added 10 to 20 + articles per site.  I have also done a number of things differently which I will get into later.

These 4 sites alone made me over $400 last month in Adsense income.  That’s just a start. I also expect these sites to continue to grow quite a bit more since they are only a couple of months old.  They also have plenty to move up in the rankings, so the upside potential for these is pretty good.

In addition to these 4 sites, I had built 1 larger website at about the same time as the original challenge.  I now have over 100 articles posted on this site and its ranking for TONS of great long tail keywords!  This month it will probably bring in about $700 in Adsense income.  Then of course I have my original niche sites that I built before the challenge that actually continue to do quite well.

So, did I fail?  Kinda.  Did I learn from the experience?  Yes!  Have I been able to apply what I have learned and accomplish something?  Yes, again.

So, I am going to give this public display of how to build a niche website one more try.  I am going to be showing exactly what I have done in the past to pick great keywords and build a successful site.  I would be happy if you joined along.

Okay, with that extremely long introduction as to why I am tackling another public challenge; I am ready to discuss my overall strategy for this niche site duel.

Strategies for the New Niche Challenge

First I want to establish some goals for the site::

  • Goal 1: Rank in the top 5 for my primary keyword(s) within 6 months.
  • Goal 2: Make $50/day from this site within 6 months time (notice this is much higher than my $1/day per site for my previous challenge).
  • Goal 3: Make more money than Pat and Tyrone’s niche sites within 12 months!

Okay, that’s the primary short term goals.  However, I would REALLY like to find a niche that could even be something more significant than that.  So, when I look for potential keywords, I will be considering the size of the overall niche and the potential for growth.

How Will I Accomplish My Goals?

Now that I have established some clear and measurable goals, I have a few ideas of how to get it done.

  • First, I will try and find a primary keyword that receives EXACT match searches of at least 10k per month.
  • Second, I will try and find a keyword that has a high CPC of at least $1 or more.  My primary method of monetization will be with Google Adsense at least in the beginning.
  • Third, I will find a niche that has LOTS of long tail keywords.  In other words, I will look for a niche that can expand into lots of related subjects (even though these subjects might not include my primary keywords).
  • Fourth, I will try and register the EXACT match domain if possible.  If not, I will still have the exact keyword within the domain name.
  • Fifth, I will produce high quality content that is 100% unique.  To start, I will add at least 20 articles to the site.  I would expect to add much more down the road.
  • Sixth, I will build backlinks!  I will promote my site through article marketing, social networking, bookmarking, and other link building methods to be discussed.
  • Seventh, I will continue to add relevant content over time and seek to improve the overall quality of the site for the end user.
  • Eighth, if possible I will try and create a product that I can then sell to the visitors of my site.  This will only be the case if the niche I choose is appropriate for this and it makes sense for the overall business.

Overall, those are the basic steps that I will be taking to build a high quality niche website!  So, for starters it will be a smaller website with only 20 articles or so; however, as the traffic grows or as my rankings improve I hope to make this a much more significant site if I can find an appropriate niche.

How Will the Website Make Any Money?

I love Adsense!  How could I possibly choose anything but Adsense to monetize my site?  At least initially (and possibly forever), I will be using Adsense to make money on the site.  If appropriate, I will create a digital product for the site and sell it there in the future.

In addition, for this challenge, I will only be using free methods to generate traffic.  So, the majority of my visitors will come from natural search engine traffic; although some will come from articles, forums, or other places I might add articles or links.

What Am I Going to Share With You Along the Way?

EVERYTHING!  That’s the whole point.  I have just shared my strategies.  I will share the domain name, the earnings, and everything else about this site as it gets under way.

Won’t Sharing Everything Have a Negative Impact on the Site?

Possibly.  However, as part of the challenge, I have agreed to share everything as part of the learning experience.  So, once the domain is revealed, I would ask you NOT to link to the site in any way.  I will not be linking to the actual site from this domain either.  The purpose of this challenge is to show I go about choosing a niche and built a profitable website from scratch.

I Want to Hear From You

Throughout this experience, I encourage feedback both positive and negative.  If you think I am doing something wrong, let me know so that we can all learn from the experience!

Also, if you have questions along the way, please feel free to ask because I hope to make this as interactive as possible.

So, please leave your comments below in regards to my initial strategies for my niche site.  My next post will focus on how I am going to find a niche and the tools that I use to do that.

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37 Responses to “Niche Site Challenge 1 – My Strategies for Success!”

  1. WOW….this is GREAT! I’m excited about following this…thank you!!!!

  2. Terrific approach. It’s clearly something I expect to follow and learn from.

    Two questions:

    Can your viewing audience make suggestions for the competition?

    What about using CPA offers on the site?

    Thanks and good luck.

  3. Hi Spencer,

    This looks even more exciting than the last challenge. Count me in.

    I just sent you an email via your contact page, too.


  4. I’m excited about this.
    Would like to follow step by step in your footsteps.
    I have bookmark this site.

  5. Looks like the right place to be and looking forward to following along.

    Thanks much for the invite,


  6. Hi Spencer,

    Good on you for accepting the challenge. I’m rooting for you to beat the others.

    Kind regards, Steve.

  7. Hey Spencer,

    Just letting you know I have finished my third post. Would really appreciate if you could mention that I am also doing the challenge.

    Let me know your thoughts on my niche selection! I will certainly be following yours.

    • Hey Shane! I’m glad you are joining in on the challenge! I read your post and it looks like you have picked a profitable niche. Now you will just have to see if its possible to rank for your primary keywords!

  8. so you’ll be following the model of one of the 4 sites that make $400 per month, or even the larger site that makes $700 per month?

    • Chris, that’s right! I will be implementing what I have already done on a few other sites and hopefully be able to replicate the success on this new one.

  9. I will follow you and do as you do also. Thanks for the invitation for this procedure.

  10. im in the ring as well 😀

    lets do this thing \m/

  11. This is going to be great fun and i hope, instructional, reading your adventures.

  12. Hi Spencer,

    i’m not good at writing articles. Is it worth
    to outsource the articles, for a 350 words could cost
    you $4.50? .And you need 10-20 articles per site.Plus
    the initial cost of domain name and hosting.

    And you need to keep adding the sites with new
    articles every week/month?

    Appreciate that you open up this program
    and see how you implement your niche
    adsense sites.

  13. Arman:
    Yes, it is worth it to outsource the articles at even $5-$7 per article. Even if your site only makes $50/mth, it would only take a few short months to recuperate all of your investment. Then each month after that would be pure net income.

    So, with my goal of $50/day the investment to outsource and other costs is very small compared to the income potential. Hope that helps!

  14. Hi Spencer.

    Arrived here from Donna’s blog and your challenge looks to be MIGHTY exciting. Always good to meet real can-do people online so I’m looking forward to this adventure.


  15. Spencer,

    You always get me pumped when I read your latest post. I be keeping close watch on your progress. Good Luck!

  16. I’m joining the challenge also, and had a question, are you going to disclose your site and domain?
    Also articles at 5-7$ each? where? I’d like to know.

    • Hey Larry:
      Glad to have you join! Keep me posted on your updates okay? Yes, I plan to disclose the site AND domain…pretty cool, huh?
      Also, I’m not sure if you are surprised how cheap or how expensive articles are for $5-$7 apiece. That’s pretty average for article writing. You can go to and get articles for that price all day long. You could also get them much cheaper or MUCH more expensive depending on the quality level you select. I am going to be doing a write-up on textbroker because I love their service so much.

  17. Just discovered your blog thanks to Pat Flynn’s link. Am I glad I stumbled upon your site !
    You give great value for beginners (and not so beginners).

    Just one question, though, since you seem to be quite keen on Adsense. Have you ever experienced Google SmartPricing ?
    Does it affect your strategy at all ?

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    Take care,


  18. I really think the relevant content over time is the key to your success this time!

  19. This will be a great learning experience…
    I textbroker, do you use level 5 or 4 writers?

    what are your link building strategy and methods?
    Could you please do a post on just the link building part?
    I can outsource and get all the great articles, but I need
    a efficient and easy way to build links over time…

    Best of luck with your project!

    • I use either a 3 or 4 on Textbroker. Usually a level 3 actually. These tend to be written fairly well, requiring only minor edits usually. I do get a bad apple with level 3 every once in a while, but you can always requests that it be re-written if its not up to par.

      Yep, I will be doing a post on linkbuilding next!

  20. Pardon me if these questions have been asked before:

    1. Are all your domains primary domains or do you also use sub-domains for related niches?

    2. Did you post the 20 articles for each website at one go?

    3. For those just starting out with limited budget, is it ok to build niche websites using the free blogger platform?

    Kind regards,

    • 1. I have a separate domain for each niche.
      2. I posted the articles over time, a couple of days apart.
      3. You can try a free blogger platform, but you have less control over the domain name, which is a big component of this strategy. I don’t recommend it long term, but you can certainly try it out at first.

  21. Hi Spencer,

    I love your website and your challenge!
    I have 2 questions: what is the best keyword density for articles?
    And what is the best length for an article (how many words)?

    Thank you in advance!


  22. Hi Spencer

    First of all i would like to thank you for spilling the beans and showing us how to do this step by step.You are really generous for doing this.I haven’t read the other posts yet so i don’t know how much detail your willing to expose in terms of the domain,the niches,the keywords, or other info you’ll include.But if your really showing everything then i’d have to take my hat off to you.With the info you’ll be giving could easily be packaged into an info product and sold.
    I have bought lots of IM products but still have yet to earn my first dollar online.There are so much to learn in so many different areas and so many gurus teaching us contradicting methods its hard to know where to start.
    Looking at your post gives me hope so my goal before the end of this year is to build my first niche website.
    Thanks again and i will keep following to see how your sites go and looking forward to learn heaps from you.

    cheers Godfrey

  23. Hey Spencer,

    read your blog all the time and came back to this post to find out what you considered low competition keywords. Are there really that many keywords that get 10k monthly visitors and aren’t highly competitive?



    • Trends,
      No I don’t think there are that many low competition keywords that get 10k searches per month; however, there are SOME. My goal for this challenge was to find one of those. However, generally speaking I find keywords with searches between 1k and 10k per month to build websites around. If a keyword only gets 1k a month, it better be REALLY low competition and I better believe that I can rank in the top 5.

  24. Spencer,

    Glad to see another challenge. I to intend to follow along closely and try to learn from each of your successes and mistakes (if any). Thanks again for the timely info.



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