Friday, May 27, 2016

Income Report Roundup – May 2016

One of the most popular posts I publish are my income reports.

So I decided to round up as many income reports as possible and rank them based on earnings to see how I stack up against the rest.

If you publish an income report on your blog and would like it included in next month’s post then please let me know in the comments!

Here we go-

#1) – $70,561.30 (+$1,165.30)

It’s been another great month for Michelle in terms of income and work-life balance, as she smashes through the 70k income barrier celebrating her best month for the fifth month running!

She’s expecting that number to dip a little in the coming months as she anticipates a slow summer while everyone is out enjoying better weather.

Having worked hard to get over a month ahead of her blog posts she’s now working on a digital product. She’s excited to see the business growing and is taking an online course to learn about creating and launching an eBook.

#2) – $43,291.00 (+$8,891.00)

Celebrating their best month for income for the fourth month in a row, Abbie and Donnie spent the month focusing on the launch of their new course.

This month sees them change the format of their income report to focus more on what they have learned along with strategies that they have found the most helpful.

They take a look at how they have grown through product creation this month and reveal the steps they took to get there, including how to build trust and confidence with your readers.

#3) – $35,697.67 (+$931.10)

It’s been an exciting month for Jon as several projects began to pick up momentum at the same time and he’s celebrating a record month for income for the second month in a row!

He completed his site redesign and bought one new site but says he needs to keep on top of his posting schedule for Authority Website Income.

In May he plans to launch a couple of new projects. While it’s often questionable to have so many projects at once, he says this month’s growth while some business experience natural swings shows the benefit of diversified income streams.

#4) – $20,855.90 (-$1,352.36)

I spent this month working on an endless list of back end tasks, from updating old posts to planning improvements to my email marketing strategy, along with a bunch of other boring tasks!

This month I introduced a smarter contact form that I built with Gravity Forms to save on time spent dealing with emails and I took the opportunity to experiment with a new post layout.

Aside from working on improving the user experience I also made the blog’s theme available for public sale!

All that means I haven’t had time to work on traffic or income on the blog. I’m about 3 weeks behind schedule with where I wanted to be so there’s a lot of making up to do this month!

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#5) – $19,161.00 (+$5,564.00)

untemplaterSydney is happy to report her best month for income so far this month while confessing that she is a workaholic!

As part of her goal to retire as a multi-millionaire she is continuing to save as much as she can while freelancing and investing in stocks.

She decided not to invest in April though as she has a feeling the markets could still go down even further.

Traffic was down for the site this month but she cheerfully reminds readers that you should work hard while you can, because someday you won’t be able to!

#6) – $9,564.00 (-$5,288.00)

HumanProofDesignsIt’s been a month of hustle and investment for Dom who is frustrated at this month’s dip in income.

That said, he isn’t worried because higher than usual expenses have played a big part in the dip, as the month saw them make a complete overhaul in their foundations after last months problems with growth.

Although he says they still have improvements to make he’s happy to have built a sturdy business that can still generate income when the going gets tough!

#7) – $9,130.00 (+$1,942.00)

TrueValhallaMatt’s had a challenging and exhausting yet profitable month as he spent most of his time producing a series of games for a client.

He was rehired by the client who contributed to his huge earnings in January and is pleased to report that they were so happy with the results they are back for more!

With this set to be his last major client for a while he says he has a lot of overlooked work to start catching up on. Going forward he’ll be working on his new game ‘Dragon Depths’ and his new book.

#8) – $8,882.06 (+$2,308.27)

brendanmaceBrendan is happy with results this month as he reports his second best month for income and also got engaged!

This month saw him with more time to spend on the business and he created and published five new YouTube videos. Despite spending more time working he didn’t see a huge growth in his results.

He’s not worried about that though, because he’s creating passive income streams that mean he can take time off in the future and still be paid for the work he did this month!

Going forward he’ll be keeping up that momentum into next month and is also thinking about creating his own business course!

#9) – $4,640.64 (+$1,930.73)

ohpRon is extremely happy to be celebrating his best month so far as his authority site went viral again!

Unlike last time he was able to chill out and watch the earnings roll in each day, as he had already done the work to get his site and hosting optimised.

He had his second best month ever on Udemy with their updated pricing strategy and thinks this upward income trend will continue as he releases more content and launches new projects.

His goals for next month include launching his new authority website, launching his email marketing course and publishing 5 guest posts for his JFFHub site!

#10) – $4,565.46 (-$5,529.12)

7FigureDadLast month’s newcomer Jesse is reporting a big dip this month and a bunch of learning curves.

He’s learned he needs to review his goals for the month more consistently to stay on track and that there’s quite a lot more work behind a membership site than he thought!

That said, he did complete 5 out of 12 goals he set for himself and going forward has set a smaller list of goals to manage for the month while they’re busy moving house.

#11) – $4,403.32 (+$3,691.13)

HuwHughesHuw’s happy to report that income has picked up again this month after last month’s time spent learning and brushing up on his skills.

He’s decided to create his authority site in the online marketing niche because it’s what he feels he really knows and loves doing!

This month also saw him take on his first coaching student which was a nice bump for his income and has decided to look into going down the membership site route.

Going forward he’ll be doing more product promotions and working on his membership site while going through a coaching program himself.

#12) – $3,947.70 (-$1,059.95)

bizziKaitlin is reporting a dip in income this month as things settle down and get back to normal after last month’s viral Facebook frenzy!

She expected the drop in revenue this month after a Facebook fan page sent a huge amount of orders to her Etsy shop last month, and as usual most of her revenue still came via the Etsy shop.

Although there were no record numbers she’s happy to see consistent numbers each month from her Amazon affilate earnings and is making the most of the time she has to work now, with their new arrival to the family due in just a few months!

#13) – $3,023.87 (+$2,302.84)

GetPostCookieNew to the lineup this month is Dave at GetPostCookie reporting a healthy increase in income this month and his best month so far!

After completing his goal of launching a new version of one of his sites he was hoping that would help to increase revenue and was shocked to find it took just over 48 hours to make it’s first $1000!

With the conversion rate staying fairly consistent he’s set to achieve income targets he set for the end of 2017 by the end of May and hopes to achieve his 2018 goals this year!

He plans to continue his momentum with that site, put together a plan for the development of his ‘ApolloPad’ site and is looking to find someone he can delegate some of the running of his ‘Cheatography’ site to.

#14) – $2,821.57 (+$581.80)

IncomeBullyLast month’s newcomer Nathan has been having a fun month with his blog and has started to test out new strategies for traffic generation.

He’s focused more on promotion than content creation this month and has changed up his Twitter strategy. He also launched his hosting affiliate site and is interested to see how it works out.

After a successful start with only 2 hours a week input on the blog he has decided he needs to step up his game to compete with the fake gurus in the niche, so he’s decided to start working at least 40 hours a week.

Next month his plans are to work on a new Amazon affiliate site, create a PDF version of his course, start a Facebook group, take care of his autoresponder and email list and officially launch his coaching services!

#15) – $1,963.07 (+$223.80)

OnlineMoneyzNew to the lineup last month, Ilya is celebrating his best month so far for the second month in a row!

This month saw him finish his local website work and plan his outsourcing strategy while also getting a bunch of blog commenting done to build relationships and traffic.

Being a student he also spent time running with his track team and had a lot of exam prep and homework to take care of too! He spent some time reading books on selling and marketing but reflects it was probably too much reading and not enough action!

Going forward he plans to publish his huge post he’s been working on this month, work on having multiple authority sites instead of lots of small ones, create and publish his reddit ads course and publish at least one post per week on the blog!

#16) – $1,358.83 (+$614.31)

livingoffcloudIt’s Nadya’s best month so far for a second month running this month, with a higher revenue and lower expenses she’s happy to report a great month!

This month was high season for one of her Amazon affiliate niche sites, and she’s pleased to say that revenue was up 35% while the number of sales went up by 67%, that’s the best they’ve been since she bought it!

Her Kickfurther business slowed down a little and she’s also decided to sell her condo on her own without the help of estate agents so that has been keeping her busy too.

She plans to get more serious in her search for expired domains as she’s building a PBN for one of her sites, with seven websites in the network already she is on the lookout for stronger domains.

#17) – $1,088.57 (-$381.80)

incomemeshIt’s been a slow but good month for Drazen as he only managed to publish one article on the blog.

He says the reason for his lack of articles though, is that he is working on a new project! he’s currently building a landing page template marketplace and plans to launch it in the coming month.

He’s planning to produce more articles this month but as the blog survived his slow publishing month he also reflects on the beauty of creating passive income streams for yourself!

#18) – $239.54 (+$40.50)

mypathtopassiveincomeIt’s been an eventful month and Esteban is pleased to see income back on the rise. He feels great about every penny he makes online and encourages readers to get started!

While not much has changed for his figures he’s been busy starting another project while looking after this blog as a priority, maybe there are one too many projects on the go as he says he’s lost count of them all.

He’s still tempted by the idea of moving to a sunny location but would like his business to be fully kicked off before he does. Going forward he’s going to focus on stabilizing and scaling up his income.

He’s still happy to be growing and making progress instead of being stuck in the never ending dull working routine that comes with a job!

#19) – $127.98 (-$300.00)

AliRazaIt’s a bit of a drop in income for Ali this month as he continues to improve user experience and this month sees him testing out a new plugin.

He wrote seven blog posts and updated his about me page to include some of his certifications and events highlights.

His plans for the month ahead include a business tour, making sure he publishes at least 5 posts, planning a contest on the blog, guest posting and blog commenting for traffic.

On top of all that he’s planning to write an eBook to increase optins, so it looks like a busy month ahead!

Get all of my income reports & round-ups direct to your inbox!

In Summary

This month sees one newcomer added to the lineup and it’s yet another best month so far for all of the blogs put together. The total this month is up $18,466.85 from last month to $245,323.38.

It’s been a record month for 8 of the 19 blogs featured this month and as everyone continues to grow steadily it’s fantastic to see so many of our bloggers celebrating record income months for month after month!

There’s been a lot of interesting goals put in place for next month so I can’t wait to see how they all get on!

If you feel inspired to start your own blog then why don’t you start a blog now? It only takes a few minutes!

Performance Tracking

I only include the earnings history of the top 10 blogs each month to make the graphs easy to read.

I’m having a problem with the graph right now and will update the post when fixed

from Matthew Woodward

7 Types of Emails to Send Customers to Keep Them Coming Back

As everyone says…

You need to build an email list.

Email marketing provides the highest ROI for most businesses at $40 for every $1 spent (on average).


I’m sure you see a ton of content on a regular basis that shows you different ways to build that email list. Great.

But how much do you see that tells you how to interact with that list effectively?

I think it’s safe to guess not much.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you had questions such as:

  • What do I send my subscribers?
  • How do I keep open rates high?
  • How do I make my emails exciting?

While I can’t show you all of that in a single post, I’m going to show you 7 different types of emails that most businesses can send.

These types of emails are emails that your subscribers and customers will enjoy getting, will interact with, and will help you build strong relationships. 

1. Exclusive offers make subscribers feel special (but which kinds are best?)

It’s nice when someone, whether a close friend or a relative stranger, goes out of their way to do something nice for you.

As a website owner with an email list, you’re hopefully somewhere in the middle of that friend-stranger spectrum in the eyes of your subscribers.

If you can do something for your subscribers that they really appreciate, it will do many important things:

  • Make them think more highly of you
  • Make them more loyal (to stay a subscriber and to buy in the future)
  • Make them more willing to reciprocate (if you ask for a share, referral, or something else).

The question then is: what can you give them?

For most businesses, an exclusive offer is the best thing they can give.

Let’s go through a few real examples and then some more general situations.

First, you can offer a live event that only your subscribers are invited to. Not only will the event be valuable because it’s live, but it will also be well attended because it’s exclusive.

Bryan Harris often does this, so it must work well for him. For example, here is an email with an offer to attend a private mastermind:


He sends a few emails leading up to the event and one or two at the last minute. They aren’t complicated—just a brief description of what to expect in the event.

What else can you offer subscribers? Another thing of value that doesn’t cost you much, if anything, is early access.

Matthew Barby created a WordPress plugin and sent this email to his subscribers, giving them free access to it:


That’s a pretty sweet offer. In reality, Matthew is also gaining his first group of users, which is another win for him.

If you’re launching any big guides or tools, consider getting early feedback from your subscribers.

What else can you offer?

  • Discounts
  • Secret products (like limited one-on-one consulting)
  • Webinars
  • A sneak peak at original research
  • Free samples

Be creative. If you can think of any other ideas, tell me about them in a comment at the end of the article.

2. Give subscribers the gift of convenience

Take care of your subscribers because your list is one of the most valuable assets you own.

You can give value in many ways. Some may be big gestures (email type #1), but even small things go a long way.

If someone is on your list, that means they’ve already told you that they like your content (if they signed up from a blog post, for example).

However, just because they want to hear your thoughts and advice doesn’t mean all your subscribers want it in the same way.

Typically, you’ll email all your subscribers about any new content you create. When you do this, consider giving them alternative ways to consume the content. Make it as convenient as you can.

For example, Tim Urban created a long post about SpaceX. He then sent out this email to subscribers:


On top of the regular link that he had already sent his subscribers, he sent this email with two other options: a PDF version and an audio version.

It takes a fraction of the time to re-create the original content in a different form, but it adds a lot of extra value.

Nathan Barry offers another way to make your content more convenient.

After he hosts a webinar, he uploads it to YouTube and sends an email with a link to all his subscribers.


It’s something that I know most subscribers really appreciate, and it also exposes his webinar to those subscribers who forgot to sign up for the event.

Convenience typically comes in the form of different mediums of content.

If you wrote a blog post, particularly a long one, consider emailing it to your subscribers with more than one version:

  • PDF
  • a cheat sheet
  • audio version
  • video summary

Or if you created a video, reformat that into:

  • an e-book
  • an MP3 download
  • a video download
  •  a cheat sheet/summary

You don’t need to create all the formats. Just think about which ones your subscribers would like most and which make sense for the content you made.

3. Short value emails can be a nice change of pace

Think about your subscribers’ email boxes.

Day after day, they get several emails from friends, families, and businesses they like.

What do most of the business emails consist of?

  • “Read our content”
  • “Buy our stuff”

About 90% of business emails fall into these two categories.

And it’s not that those types of emails aren’t valuable to your subscribers—because they are, but some subscribers will get fatigued by them.

If you’re looking to maximize your subscriber happiness as much as possible, consider sending emails that focus on nothing but teaching something interesting to your subscribers.

No links to your content or anyone’s website.

No asking for replies—just a clear show of value.

Bernadette Jiwa is known for her story-telling talent.

She sends out this exact type of email I’m talking about on a regular basis. Sometimes her emails have links underneath, and sometimes they don’t.

Here’s an example of such an email (yes, that’s the whole thing):


It’s short but gives her subscribers an interesting thing to ponder, which helps them tell better stories (their goal).

It’s a nice break from overwhelming amounts of content (which I may be guilty of myself).

4. Highlights need to be interesting

Email newsletters are nothing new.

Any email sent out on a regular basis that summarizes what’s been happening on a site can be considered an email newsletter.

They’re supposed to consist of highlights.

But like the name implies, they need to consist of the very best of your site.

Whether you have user-generated content or content produced by your writing team, highlight emails are an option.

However, make sure you’re not including everything. But don’t select content randomly either.

You should be giving previews of the most popular content on your site for that particular time period.

For example, Quora (the question and answer site), regularly sends users the most upvoted questions from their feeds.

Here’s what it looks like:


I would guess that these are automatically generated by the most upvoted questions during the week.

5. One way to show that you really respect subscribers

One goal that every email marketer should have is to form deeper relationships with subscribers.

Admittedly, this is difficult. It’s tough to break down that barrier over email only. You’ve probably never met your subscribers, and by default, they think of you as just another business.

Even if they like your business, most subscribers will still be skeptical about your claim that you care about them and not just their money.

One thing I encourage businesses to do is find employees through their email list.

I’ve done it before, as have many others. Here’s an example of Ramit Sethi sending an email to his list while looking to hire for more than 10 positions:


When you do this, you make it clear that you think of them as people whom you respect and who you believe have valuable skills.

And it’s good business too. Your subscribers likely have an in-depth understanding of your business and obviously think in similar to you ways (since they like you).

Even if someone doesn’t apply or doesn’t get hired, it’s clear to them that you’re looking to develop partnerships and relationships with people on your list.

It’s one way to break down that barrier a bit and become more than “just another business.”

6. Don’t fall victim to the “curse of knowledge” (deliver your best stuff)

Many bloggers suffer from the “curse of knowledge.”

The curse of knowledge is a fairly old concept. It basically states that it’s hard to understand what lesser-informed people are thinking.

If you’re an expert in math, it would be hard for you to even fathom that someone doesn’t understand something like basic calculus.

It’s the reason why some people are geniuses but absolutely awful teachers. Conversely, someone who just learned something can often teach it best because they understand the perspective of someone who doesn’t know it.

Let’s apply this to your subscribers and content.

Over the years, you might write hundreds of pieces of content. At that point (possibly present day), you’re naturally going to assume that your average new subscriber is more informed than they used to be.

For me, as an example, it’s easy to assume that every new subscriber understands on-page and off-page SEO as well as concepts such as white-hat and black-hat link building.

From that perspective, it’s hard for me to send them my advanced guide to SEO because I’m assuming they already know everything in it.

Chances are, though, your average new subscriber won’t change much over time.

And it’s very likely that my average new subscriber could benefit from more general SEO knowledge before I get to the specific tactics I currently write about.

The autoresponder “crash course”: If you think that this is a problem, one way to fix it is with an autoresponder sequence.

Think of what an average subscriber knew even a year or two ago, and make a list of what they need to learn to get up to speed with the rest of your content.

Then, put together an autoresponder sequence that you send to all new subscribers, where you showcase your old content that teaches these basic concepts.

For example, if you sign up for Wordstream’s list, a PPC optimization business, you’ll get a few emails like this:


The guides are all older content, and the field may have advanced since it was written, but the fundamentals hold true, and new subscribers will greatly appreciate learning them.

The takeaway from the “curse of knowledge” is that you’re probably giving subscribers a bit too much credit. Don’t assume they’ve read every single post you’ve ever written—because they haven’t.

Don’t be afraid to send emails featuring the best of your older content.

7. Preview big events that subscribers will be interested in (be your own hype man)

You need to give subscribers incentives to open that next email.

There are many ways to do this, but one way is to build hype in advance.

Think about any popular TV show. They show previews for the next episode in commercials and at the end of episodes.

These get you excited, and you make sure you watch the next episode.

Brian Dean does a similar thing really well, but for content.

For example, he sent this email to subscribers:


In that email, he shared his story about struggling and then finally succeeding with SEO.

It’s an interesting story that draws you in and makes you curious about the specifics of his success (building hype).

At the bottom of the email, he teases subscribers with bullet points that outline what he’s going to show them over the next few emails:


Right at the end, after building that hype, he tells them to watch out for his next email in which he’ll send the first post about how to succeed with SEO like he did.

You’d better believe that he had a fantastic open rate on that email.

You can do the same. When you’re planning to publish a big piece of content or a new tool, first send an email that focuses on the benefits of it.

If possible, tie it into an entertaining story to suck in your subscriber even more. That will only add to the anticipation.


It’s not enough just to build an email list—you have to use it effectively.

Emails are a great personal way to communicate with subscribers and customers.

Use as many of these 7 types of emails (where they make sense) to start building more meaningful relationships.

If you’re having trouble deciding exactly what to send to your subscribers, just fill me in on your situation in a comment below, and I’ll point you in the right direction.

from Quick Sprout

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Podcast 112: How Jon Haver Built an Amazon FBA and Affiliate Site Business That Shattered His $15k Per Month Income Goal

Three years ago I interviewed Jon Haver from because he was doing some pretty interesting things with his websites.  Well, I’m excited to have him back on the Niche Pursuits Podcast because he continues to develop some great strategies for building amazing businesses.

If you are familiar with Jon and his site over, you will know that he has been publishing monthly income reports for a few years now, with a goal of reaching $15,000 per month in net income from his business.  His plan all along has been to quit his job once he hits this income goal and has a specific amount of money in the bank.

Well, he revealed on a the Niche Pursuits Podcast for the very first time that he is quitting his job!  He has finally given notice to his employer and will be a full-time entrepreneur very soon.  Join me in giving a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Jon!

Also, during the interview he shared a brand new software business that he just launched.  The new software product is for Amazon sellers to help prevent hijackers from taking over their listings.  The new software is called Listing Eagle.

Jon is offering a 50% Discount on Listing Eagle Right Now to Niche Pursuits Reader’s Here

Overall, Jon has done an amazing job building his businesses, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him.

Podcast Overview

To listen to the entire interview, please hit play on the audio recording.  Below are some of the questions/topics that we covered:

  1. Last time you were on the podcast in 2013, we talked about building authority websites, using expired domains for links, and other website building tactics. What has changed in your business since 2013?
  2. Where are you focusing most of your time right now?
  3. I know you have been doing a lot of FBA stuff recently (like me), and you’ve had an interesting approach of buying or building niche sites to help support your FBA business. Can you share with everyone the primary strategy behind that?
  4. How much of your sales are coming from your niche sites vs. directly from Amazon (estimate)?
  5. You publicly mentioned that you were trying to sell your FBA business on your website, and I know we chatted about it privately. Were you able to successfully sell that business?
  6. How did the sell go? What issues came up along the way?
  7. I know that you have been working on a new software product behind the scenes. How did you come up with the idea?
  8. How did you find the developer?
    1. What are some of the difficulties you’ve had creating the product?
  9. You track your monthly income and publicly share your goal to quit your job by the time you are 35, and hope to have an income of $15k/mth. You’ve been exceeding the $15k/mth goal now for several months…so when do you quit your job?
  10. What other parting business advice do you have for listeners?
  11. Where is the best place for people to follow along with your journey?

If you are someone that is building Amazon affiliate sites OR is involved in selling physical products through the Amazon FBA program, I really think you will like this interview with Jon.

If you would like to follow along with Jon and his journey, head over to

And finally, Jon’s new product is Listing Eagle.  I’ve been using this product for over a month now to monitor my Amazon FBA listing, and I really do like it.  Jon has been kind enough to offer a special discount to the Niche Pursuits audience.

So, if you sell physical products on Amazon, I highly recommend you check out Listing Eagle Here.

Overall, I hope you enjoy the interview!  And if you have any questions, Jon and I will do our best to answer them.



The post Podcast 112: How Jon Haver Built an Amazon FBA and Affiliate Site Business That Shattered His $15k Per Month Income Goal appeared first on Niche Pursuits.

from Niche Pursuits

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Find Your Readers: 6 Marketing Channels (and which ones to pick)

Creating great content is pointless…

…unless you’re getting it in front of your target audience.

You do this by using any one of a number of promotional tactics to reach your target audience on a variety of platforms.

Most of these platforms can be grouped together, and that’s where we get marketing channels. A promotional tactic can then be applied to most of the platforms in the channel.

For example, social media is a marketing channel, consisting of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Depending on whom you ask, you’ll get different answers to the question of how many marketing channels there really are.

The number gets even more complicated if you consider that there are many offline marketing channels as well.

However, for most of us, the number of channels doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that there is a handful of core channels that are by far the most effective digital marketing channels.

That’s what this post is all about.

We’ll go over the six main digital marketing channels you should at least be familiar with. On top of that, I’m going to show you how to evaluate each channel to determine whether it’s worth your time.

The real power of studying channels: If you want to learn this stuff because you love marketing, that’s great. But there’s also a great practical reason for you to want to learn it.

Once you learn how to identify the best marketing channels for your business, you can study them and create content for those specific channels (and sites in them).

By targeting content towards a specific audience, you’re much more likely to create something they’ll love and want to read. 

Channel #1: Search engines (SEO) is the best place to start

There are very few websites that wouldn’t benefit from search engine traffic.

No matter what industry you’re in, some of your target customers are using search engines to search for something.

That doesn’t mean you should necessarily spend all your time on SEO. It’s not always the best channel, but it’s one that you must research.

What you should be looking to do at this point is just some basic keyword research. Afterwards, you can do some more advanced keyword research with these resources:

Here, we just want to see the general number of searches your target audience does every month.

For that, the Google Keyword Planner will work just fine.

Start by entering some broad niche keywords. For example, “content marketing” or “social media marketing” if you were starting a blog like Quick Sprout.


Look through the list that comes up, and see how many keywords have a significant search volume (at least a few hundred per month).

While you’re missing out on a lot of keywords using this simplistic method, you want to see at least 50 keywords worth targeting.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to searching for keywords, find a close competitor in your niche.

Then, enter their URL in the website field of the keyword planner instead of typing in keywords.

If they have a WordPress blog, you can typically add “/feed” to the end of their blog URL to get a more complete set of keywords.

For example, instead of entering:


That will give you a set of really broad keywords, and you can enter any of those into the tool to get a list to analyze.


Channel #2: If you want readers fast, PPC (pay-per-click advertising) is the way

When you identify a marketing channel, you first want to make sure you can actually reach your readers through it.

After, you need to decide if it’s ideal for your business. All channels have their strengths and weaknesses.

SEO, for example, can provide you with steady, high-quality free traffic. The downside is that it is hard to earn that traffic, can take a long time to get, and requires an upfront investment.

PPC, on the other hand, allows you to drive the same type of traffic (if you’re using AdWords) from day one of publishing content. There are also many more platforms you can use other than search such as Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising, or even a small network like 7search.

The downside is that it’s expensive, and if you don’t have a solid conversion funnel in place, you’ll end up wasting that traffic and losing money.

When can you use paid advertising? Another benefit of PPC is that you can use it for virtually any niche.

If there’s search traffic, you can advertise on Google or Bing.

If it’s most popular on social media, you can advertise there.

If you have a significant content promotion budget (on an ongoing basis), PPC is an option at your disposal.

However, if you don’t already have a solid sales funnel, be prepared to lose money.


Your time should mostly be spent optimizing ads and conversion rates of your content (readers into email subscribers). From there, you’ll need to determine the best way to sell to those subscribers.

Channel #3: You don’t always have to compete with other blogs

If you’re starting a blog, I sure hope there are at least a few other, remotely similar to yours, popular blogs that already exist.

If not, there probably aren’t many potential customers reading blogs in that niche, and you’re wasting your time. The one exception is if you’re writing about a very new topic that has just started growing.

These blogs are usually seen as competition, but they don’t have to be.

A reader is not an all-or-nothing asset. A reader can follow multiple blogs.

If you give blog owners an incentive, you may be able to get them to allow you to get your message in front of their readers.


The main ways are:

  • Guest-posting – I guest-post on a regular basis and have written multiple guides to using it effectively. Here, the incentive is free content for the site owner. Of course, you need to make sure that your content is good enough to be worth it. Not all blogs allow guest posts, but many do.
  • Joint content – For all my advanced guides (in the sidebar), I’ve gotten help from respected bloggers in each niche. They get publicity, and I get help with my content.


  • Sponsored posts – You can contact a blogger and offer to sponsor a post. These typically involve a few mentions naturally throughout a post.
  • Joint ventures – You can even get involved with a product a blogger sells and help improve it. Their customers will see you in a very good light, and many will follow you because of it.

For now, you want to find as many of those blogs as you can.

It’s pretty easy these days. Start by Googling a phrase like “top (niche) blogs.”


You’ll probably find at least a few results, featuring long lists of blogs in your niche.

Write these down somewhere.

You can also head to Alltop, find your niche in the menu bar, and then write down the blogs that come up:


Traffic is king: There’s no point in doing a guest post on a site with very little traffic. Even if your post is great, you’ll only get a few readers from it.

Your next step is to estimate the traffic levels of each site you wrote down.

Visit each site, and look for:

  • Average number of comments on each post
  • Average number of social shares
  • How well designed the site is
  • Whether the number of subscribers is listed anywhere

It’s hard to know if a site has a lot of traffic, but if it’s getting 5+ comments or 100+ social shares on each post, it has enough to consider partnering with.

Filter out all the low traffic sites. If you still have 20+ sites left to potentially work with, then these blogs are another channel you can target.

Channel #4: Can you be social?

Social media sites are usually hit or miss.

Some niches, like fitness, food, fashion, and even marketing to a degree, are highly shareable.

In order to use social media effectively, you need those extra followers and readers you get from “likes” and “shares.”

That’s why you don’t see a lot of asphalt companies or paper companies killing it on social media. It’s really hard to create shareable content in those niches.

To see whether it’s viable for your niche, you can use Buzzsumo, a tool I’ve mentioned many times before. Not only will it show you if your niche is popular on social media, but it will also tell you which social media sites to focus on.

Type your niche into the top content tool. If the results seem irrelevant, add quotation marks around your keyword:


In addition to the core keywords, I recommend typing in a few related keywords for more data.

You’re looking for two things here:

  1. Is content in my niche shareable? – If there are several pieces of content with over 1,000 shares, it’s safe to say that your niche is viable on social media.
  2. Which network(s) is most popular? – You’ll likely see that one or two networks make up 90% of the shares. In the case above, Twitter is the dominant source, followed way behind by Facebook and LinkedIn in most cases.

While there may be a few fluctuations, you’ll see that there is a pattern when it comes to the most popular social networks. You’ll want to focus on the most popular ones if you choose to use social media.

Channel #5: Forums are the backbone of the Internet

Forums have been around since the start of the Internet and continue to play a big part in most users’ online lives.

While getting readers from forums doesn’t scale very well, it can be very effective when your blog is new and you need that initial audience to write for.

On top of that, it’s free—other than your time investment.

Here, you need to find out whether there are any popular forums. To do so, Google for “(niche) + forum.”

You need a minimum of one highly active forum. You want to see 100+ users a day making new posts.

Check out the first few results, and see if any meet that criterion.


You can usually scroll to the bottom of a forum to see how big it is.

Turns out, there actually aren’t any good content marketing forums – bummer.

If you run into a case like this, you do have the option of expanding your scope (“marketing forums”), but it’s usually better just to move on.

Channel #6: Q&A sites

Some might group question and answer (Q&A) sites with social media sites, but I think they’re distinctive enough to warrant their own section.

The biggest Q&A sites are Quora and Yahoo Answers.

Just like forums, these don’t scale well, but they can drive a good amount of traffic to your blog (if you include links in answers).

One bonus is that your answers will rank well in Google for long tail search terms (which are usually questions), which will send you consistent traffic in the future as well.

Head to Quora, and start typing your niche into the search bar. You’re looking for a topic that is exactly the same as yours or close to it (click it):


Quora provides follower statistics on each topic page on the right. If a topic has a good number of followers (say 20,000+), it’s active enough that you could focus on it as a marketing channel:


As a side note, here’s my post on using Quora for marketing.


Now that you have a good grasp of the ways to determine whether you could use a channel for marketing, it’s decision time.

Take a look at each channel, and first decide if your audience uses it (as I’ve shown you).

Then, consider the relative popularity of each channel, your budget, and your goals, and determine the top 1-3 channels.

You don’t want to try to target too many channels at once. Instead, focus on one or two, and put all your resources into using them effectively.

If you need help doing this, I’m happy to try to point you in the right direction. Leave me a comment below with as much detail as possible, and I’ll try to help out.

from Quick Sprout

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Happens When You Add 500 Pieces Of Content To A Website?

Hey everyone, this is Spencer.  Before I turn this guest post over to Ken, let me explain why this is a pretty unique blog post.  Yes, this was written by Ken Roberts (more details below); however, this is a project that I am very involved with.

Here’s the deal, just over 3 months ago Hayden Miyamoto, Scott Davis, and I went in on a website purchase together.  We developed a plan to massively scale and grow the earnings of the website in a short period of time.  Because Hayden, Scott, and I already have lots of other projects, we decided to bring in Ken and Jake to help us implement our strategy.

Part of that strategy was bringing in interns (you may recall seeing me ask for internship applications a couple months ago).  These interns saw the inside story of the website and got to learn all our advanced strategies…and in return they helped with some of the labor behind writing and publishing articles.

Overall, I’m SUPER excited to see the great results this website has had.  In fact, we are going to take this exact model and apply it to new sites in the very near future.

So, with that quick intro, I’m turning it over to Ken Roberts for more details on this in-depth case study.

Three months ago I was trudging through the snow to my office job in Pawtucket, a sleepy city in the United States. If you had told me that I would quit my job and move to sunny Mexico to build a website one week later with an aerospace engineer from Texas that I had never met, I would have said you were off your rocker. This is a story about how two people who had never really made money online before, added 160k in value to a newly acquired website in 3 months.

The Team


My name is Ken Roberts – I’m the guy in the red shirt, and you already know a bit about me from the introduction.

Jake (far left, codename: Rocket) was in a similar situation to me. He quit his job as an aerospace engineer in February to trade in the office life for la vida loca. I didn’t know him before this project. We were invited to live in a little community of entrepreneurs in Valle De Bravo Mexico led by Hayden Miyamoto & Scott Davis. We built the site together with interns and outsourced writers.

Why Mexico?


I’m insanely more productive in Mexico. Imagine if you could work without interruption during the day. No more “can-you-join-this-meeting-and-pull-a-report”. Cooking, driving, cleaning, laundry, and other first world time wasters are easily and inexpensively outsourced leaving more time to focus on your business and well-being.

Between all this I’ve gained a major time advantage over my U.S. counterparts – over 3 hours a day. Time that I use not only to work but also to do things I never could back home (I’ve lost 13lbs playing sports since moving here). Renting a place with a beautiful lakefront view, the cost of living is less than half of what it is in the U.S. which gives me enough runway to work on the business full-time without worrying about making rent.

The Experiment

Buy an aged website that ranks new content quickly, and add a ton of content to see how quickly it ranks.

Could simply adding MORE content to a website with existing authority increase the earnings? We decided to not do any link building – a major factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. This test was purely about adding more content.  The content would all be moderately competitive with a KC below 40, it would be moderately popular with LMS above 1000 searches per month, and it would mostly be monetized through Amazon’s affiliate program.

For a proper test, we planned to add 500 articles. The articles would be organized into groups of 10 around a topic or niche, forming a “silo” of content. This would show Google that we have more than one relevant piece of content around a niche, and provide opportunities for long tail rankings. The site would be built through the help of interns and with the advice of experienced money site builders including Spencer, Scott, and Hayden.

The Hypothesis

Hayden & Scott hypothesized that within 3 months, each silo would receive 500 new visitors/mo from search, and that on average our visitor values would be around 20 cents.  Therefore, each silo would be worth $100/mo.  Over 500 silos that would be $5000/mo, and at a 32x  flip multiple it would be worth an additional $160k.

They hypothesized this based on long tail and fluke short tail rankings alone. Based on their experience, they believe that within a year, if we hire a full-time site manager that works equally on link building and monetizing silos, we will be able to average $250-$1,000 per month per silo in revenue, and flip the site for 500k-2mm.

The Website

The website was a generic domain that was founded in 2006 with a strong backlink profile, and a decent social following (20k twitter, 5k+ facebook).  Most importantly, when checking the most recent articles and their KC, the site ranked content very quickly. The website was purchased for $68k in February.

The Results

Organic Traffic

Jake and I arrived in Mexico in February and since then, organic search traffic has grown since then by 66%. Every day this week has topped the last, and yesterday was our highest search traffic day ever.

We had over 19,000 sessions in the last two weeks compared to 11,000 in the previous period 3 months ago. We’re averaging 143 sessions per silo/mo, which is well on our way to the 500 session prediction. And, the content was only added to the site one month ago. We expect this to increase even further as the content ages and continues to climb the rankings.


Keyword Rankings

Content popped into pages 2-5 of the SERPs within a few days of publication, and it took exactly one month for our newly published content to finally make to the first page of Google.  At the 1 month period, around 20% of the main keywords are already on the first page and about 60% are on pages 2-3 with rankings increasing every day.

We are tracking over 200 keywords with an LMS over 1000 and also ranking for lower volume long tails that are not being tracked. If they all made the top 3 results, with say a 30% click through rate, this would be 600,000+ visits a month.

About 20% of the content either didn’t rank or ranked and then dropped.

In the future I plan to tweak the keyword density, titles, and descriptions for these pages. I imagine Google was testing them and decided to drop those with low click through rates.

Slowly but surely, we’re continuing to climb the search results. Here’s a sample of our keyword rankings over the last two weeks for main page keywords over 500 LMS:



When Spencer, Hayden, and Scott purchased the website it was making $2k in monthly earnings from a combination of advertising and guest posts. We saw this as an opportunity to add Amazon affiliate monetization to the mix, and build a more predictable source of revenue.

After adding the content, monthly recurring revenue is up to $4k this month and I expect it to reach $5k by the end of the month when we hit the next Amazon Affiliate tier. We’re tracking earnings from each silo with a unique code. Here’s a snapshot of our Amazon earnings from just 5 silos. This is 5 codes of a total 60 tracking codes.



We purchased the website for $68k. It is now worth well over $128k, based on a valuation of 32x of our currently monthly earnings of $4k. Minus the content costs this represents a 79% return on investment. I expect earnings to continue to increase up to $16-17k per month as we climb the rankings and the Amazon affiliate tiers. If we get stuck on page 2 of the search results, I may do some link building in the future as well.

How We Did It

Keyword Research

We used Long Tail Pro along with Spencer and Hayden’s keyword research process. The process takes a scientific approach to keyword research, focusing on the calculation of potential earnings for each keyword. You start by finding a “seed” keyword, that has over 1,000 searches and a low KC score.

Keyword Competitiveness Score (KC) – a proprietary metric from Long Tail Pro – helps to determine how difficult it is to rank in the search results for a particular keyword. We targeted KCs under 40 for this website, because this is what our test articles could rank for. Most importantly, the combination of all of the keywords targeted on the main page of a silo of content needed to have an estimated page earnings of over $500 per month.

With our main page needing to make at least $500 per month the other 9 articles in the silo just need to bring the total silo earnings up to $1000 per month for us go after a particular set of keywords. This data is based on historical click through rates, search volume, and visitor values. By focusing on earnings instead of search volume, we were able to write content that would actually make money.

Finally, the search results were checked for “Definite Wins” – opportunities where we could definitely beat the competition in the search results. We needed to see 7 “Definite Wins” in order to pursue the keyword. Finding the “Definite Wins” was accomplished by weeding out the “Unknowns” such as high authority websites, ecommerce sites, exact match domains, and local results.

From this seed keyword we found a list of supporting keywords in Long Tail Pro. These were again checked for KC, Definite Wins, and Earnings Potential. The requirements for earnings on supporting keywords were lower as naturally they have less search volume. As mentioned above, in total, we needed to see a minimum potential projected earnings of $1,000 per silo in order to pursue it.


I quickly realized the importance of creating fool-proof systems in order to scale a website. We created spreadsheets to track every step of the process, with video explanations and notes in each column of the spreadsheet. By creating these bite-sized golden nuggets of information, you can easily hand off a section of the spreadsheet to a VA and come out with the desired result on the other side.

Without SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and spreadsheets, you can’t scale content and a flaw in your process is magnified tremendously. In this case it would have been by 500x! Luckily, by mapping these processes out beforehand we avoided mistakes, increased efficiency, and made it easier for the business to continue to grow automatically into the future.

How Much Do 500+ Articles Cost?

The cost of the content was 1.2 cents per word. With each silo containing approximately 9,000 words, the cost per silo was $112 and we ended up with a total of 56 silos.  Note that more than half of this content was generated from the internship, but we did purchase the rest at the above rates.  Had we purchased 100% of the content, the total cost would be $6,272 (one-time). I wouldn’t recommend trying to write this amount of content yourself to save money. It doesn’t scale well and has a higher failure rate.

Where to Hire Writers

You can find high quality and inexpensive writers on freelancing websites like The secret here is to look for writers with zero feedback.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but you wouldn’t believe how many high-quality writers are overlooked because they are filtered out by feedback score or number of hours worked in the search settings. Often you can find a university student or freelancer that is new to upwork for just 5 bucks because they are trying to get good rating!

Hire two writers and have them each write a test article for you. Pick the best one and give them more articles. Continue testing until you’ve established a relationship with a writer and negotiate a higher price to keep them around. Setup systems so that you can simply share a keyword spreadsheet with them and have a completed, optimized article returned the next day.

Due Diligence & Where To Buy Sites

Starting a website from scratch is hard. By purchasing an existing website, we were able to skip the Google sandbox and start ranking for content right away. It also saved us the time and money of designing a new site.  We looked for a website with a domain authority (DA) of 50+. Domain authority is a strong indicator of a website’s ability to rank content and gain backlinks.

There are three major places where you can buy existing websites: FE International, Empire Flippers, and Flippa. FE is the most expensive of the three, often with very well established businesses and in-depth prospectuses.

Empire Flippers is a middle-of-the-road marketplace with sites generally above the $5k mark.

Finally, Flippa is the bottom of the barrel. There is no due diligence here so be wary if a deal seems to good to be true. Regardless of the marketplace, you should perform your own due diligence.

I looked to see if the website had strong whitehat links as part of our due diligence process. We used tools like Majestic to check backlink profiles –  excessive comment links (no-follow) or links from spammy, thinly built blogs are also red flags.

Next, ask the seller for read-only Google Analytics access. In here you can verify the seller’s traffic claims and see if anything is abnormal. For example, if the website has huge amount of traffic coming from paid search or social media, the owner could be paying for ads to boost traffic before the sale. Time on page, bounce rate, and what the site is currently ranking for are key factors to check for in Google Analytics as well.

While the site you purchase doesn’t necessarily need to be making money, you should definitely hop on a video call with the seller to walk through their accounts and ask questions. Have them sign into their advertising and affiliate accounts so that you can verify the earnings.

Before buying a site, ensure that it ranks. To determine the KC that we could rank for, we ran a test. We published several articles with KCs ranging from 20-50 and then checked back later to see where they were ranking. This was an important part of the due diligence process.

If you aren’t able to do this, you can simply look at some of their recent content that hasn’t received any links, and check the KC of the terms they are targeting.  If you see KC 30+ terms ranking in the first 3 pages, you know you’ve got a winner.

Takeaways For Niche Site Builders

  • If the 2 of us can manage the process while creating the systems, then you can do it too.  You don’t need a big team, and the writing can be outsourced.
  • Create processes to scale content creation
  • Buy an aged site that ranks content quickly.
  • You don’t need to be #1 in Google to make money
  • You don’t need to target high traffic terms to make money
  • Focus on one traffic source (organic search in this case) and do it well.
  • Keyword research?

This clearly worked for us, so we’re doing it again with another site that we bought for $850 that’s just aged (1 year, in order to skip the sandbox) and has little to no link profile.

If you’re interested in hearing on how the $850 sites goes, as well as to continue to get updates on the 500 page experiment, sign up here:

Get More Updates on These Case Study Websites

Spencer here again…Ken and Jake managed the last internship and the site in question was a partnership between myself and Hayden & Scott.  Coming up soon we’re going to teach people how to do this in another internship – we’ll be providing the systems, spreadsheets and processes…so stay tuned.

The post What Happens When You Add 500 Pieces Of Content To A Website? appeared first on Niche Pursuits.

from Niche Pursuits