MMWNS Episode #8: Interview With Spencer Haws

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The Niche Site U Podcast

Spencer HawsIn this episode of the How To Make Money With Niche Sites Podcast, I interview Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits.

Among other things, we discuss his Long Tail Pro software and his niche sites business.

Transcript Below:

Hey everybody. Welcome to Episode # 8 of the Make Money With Niche Site Podcast. Thanks for joining me today. Couple of things I want to get into, but the first and foremost that I want to let you know that’s gonna be a longer than normal podcast. I did an interview with Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits and I believe it was a fantastic interview but I wanted to make sure that you could stick around for this. So please enjoy.

But before we get into that I wanted to thank a couple listeners that took the time out of their days to leave reviews for me on itunes. The first one is from DM Franks. “It’s a great listen, 5 stars. I like it. This podcast is specific and puts its focus on one specific aspect of Internet marketing rather than some of the other podcasts that try to do a little of everything. I’d like to see some guest interviews”, which I’m doing today, “on the podcasts in the future to add some insights but have no completes about these episodes so far.” Thank you DM Franks.

The next one is talk about transparent and to the point from Gumbi blank but apologize for the language there but that’s the name of the person leaving the review. So there’s 5 stars on this one. Says, “I have only listened to one epi but I am hooked. Please never stop making podcasts.” Hopefully, you’ve heard # 7 already. You continue to stay hooked but if you’re a newbie in need of the real deal with no bs, plus someone that can break it down without an air of being better than you, try this podcast. Thanks for that one Gumbi. And finally we have “not a typical Internet marketing bs”. You people like to use the word bs, I see. by John the hoff sohoff. “Adam is a real dude making real niche sites. He is not intending to be an Internet marketing guru. This is just good practical info, not bs. Keep it up Adam, but put out more episodes.” So I’m trying john.

I appreciate all the comments. I’m trying to get these out as fast as I can, trying to create more episodes, trying to create more podcasts. We will continue to try to get more interviews. I do have a couple more slated for the future but understand that on top of building niche sites and doing this podcast, I should do a full time business that I try to focus on as well. So I am trying to make sure that I can teach as much as I can to the people listening, and most importantly, again I thank you for your time. I thank you for your interest and I thank you for the comments. I have seen a ton of downloads. I think we’re no 1 for niche site if you go in the iTunes, which is just fantastic. So I thank you for that.

The only thing I want to ask you (audience) for is more comments on the blog at makemoneywithniche sites.com. Give me your feedback. Tell me what you like. Tell me what you don’t like. Tell me what you want me to talk about. That’s the feedback I’m looking for, but so far from what I’ve seen, everybody seems to be pretty happy which is really fantastic to me. So, without going any deeper, I’d like to get started with the interviews. So I hope you enjoy it. I’ll be back afterwards to close this off.

Interview with Spencer Haws:

We’re going to thank Spencer Haws for joining us from Niche Pursuits. You guys probably don’t know this, but a couple of weeks ago, I had actually recorded an interview with Spencer and had some technical difficulties, I’d call it, where my recording didn’t work. But Spencer has been kind enough to grant me a second interview so I want to welcome Spencer to the show.

Spencer : Hey thanks. It’s good to be back on the show, you know. Maybe it’s good that we didn’t get the recording for the first time. These answers will gonna be so much better.

Adam: I’m looking forward to it and I appreciate you taking the time. I don’t think it has changed since that last actual interview that we did so there’s about some changes on the front that I think will be able to help the listeners a little bit better. But let’s start by talking a little bit about you. Tell us a little bit about you, where you grew up, where you live now, whether you are married or have kids, a little bit about you.

Spencer: Yeah, so I am. I’m a family man and I’ve got a wife and three kids and they’re a huge part of my life. Absolutely love spending time with them which is a great benefit of being able to work from home, which I do, which I’ve been doing for the past couple of years. But before that, I grew up in Mesa, Arizona. I was born and raised there and have lots of relatives there still and I grew up in a large family as well. But  I decided to go into business when I went into college primarily because my dad had actually had started a business around the same time I started deciding which degree I would go  into and business intrigued me at the time. I went into business finance, worked in the corporate world for about eight years doing either personal finance or business finance and then started dabbling around with internet businesses which led me to quitting my job in 2011 and here I am now.

Adam: What type of business were you in. I know you mentioned business finance and personal finance. Were there any particular areas of that that you focused on that led you into doing what you’re doing now or was it a complete jump?

Spencer: You know, it’s pretty like a complete jump. I don’t see a lot of correlation. I worked at Merrill Lynch for two and a half years, you know, with high end clients, high networth clients doing their stocks and things. I was just a junior on the team. I was the small guy right out of college but were there some very wealthy people there. But then I went over to Wells Fargo and was in business banking. And nothing that I did really translated into the internet business, but while at Wells Fargo, I did talk with a lot of business owners which just always got me fired up. As to these guys can do it, it think I’m as smart as these guys. I can do this, you know, start a business and in fact towards the end of my stint there at Wells Fargo, more and more Internet business owners started to have a (counseling) we’re doing well and I actually worked with several Internet entrepreneurs one on one. And you know doing their business accounts and things and that just motivated me more and more because I could see the money in their account, they were doing well. And so I started dabbling, building websites on the side for a few years before I learned and eventually did quite well. So it really was a jump but talking with business owners always motivated me along the way.

Adam: Got no question about that. I’m familiar with that type of story. I actually worked for an advertising agency as a sales guy and I would be the one out there talking with business owners all the time and like you said, you see these people having success and you know that you’re just as capable as they are. So it certainly built a fire in your heart to want that job to do it yourself.

Spencer: Exactly, absolutely.

Adam: So as you were building these website projects, were any of the initial projects midsize or were you doing others types of sites while working for Wells Fargo?

Spencer: Well, when I first started, I really didn’t know what I was doing. I started a website more as a hobby. I initially didn’t see it as a business idea. I was just intrigued with the ability to get something online and around 2005 was when I built my first site and it was actually a personal finance blog because that was related to what I was doing and so I felt like I had some knowledge there. But I didn’t really know how to blog or how to get traffic or totally didn’t know what search engine optimization was for sure. And so I didn’t do well, didn’t get much traffic and, you know, like I said, it was more of a hobby at the beginning. But over that year or so when I tried to start this blog, I started to learn more about how search engines worked and that led me later on to go into niche sites. So I really didn’t build my first niche site until almost 3 years after I built my very first website. So I spent three years kind of trying to build bigger sites, you know, targeting bigger keywords, larger blogs that didn’t work out.

Adam: When you started with these projects and with your niche sites, did you ever set goals? I’m a guy that loves to set goals and try to manage near the process and see how I’m doing compared to my goals.  Just (for curiosity), if you set goals and if you didn’t,  that’s absolutely great. But, you know. Do you set goals generally when you create your projects?

Adam: Ya. I usually do have some sort of goal and in particular talking about my history, when I, okay… So I usually don’t set too many hard goals until I know there’s some sort of potential for success. I do like to plan. I usually pull up a spreadsheet and project, you know, what could be. But I wouldn’t call it a goal until I see that first taste of success. So when I first decided, you know what? I should target small keywords that I know I can rank for that are easy and build these small niche sites around, you know, late 2008, early 2009, something like that, and I started to see some success. Then, I said you know what, I’m gonna set a goal to build, you know, I don’t know what the number was, but X number of websites every month. And by doing that, I hope to make X number of dollars. So certainly, I do like to set goals. I like to try and reach for those goals. It helps motivate and keep you on track as well.

Adam: For people listening that may not follow your blog, I know that very recently, you put together a nice post with a spreadsheet that could be downloaded for people that try and track their goals and plans for building niche sites which I thought was a very useful tool in just laying out the whole big picture, kind of a blueprint on making sure that you’re tracking what you’re doing. I thought that was an excellent post.

Spencer: Ya, thank you very. So I use that spreadsheet kind of as an overall look as to what is (potentially), you know. Is there something feasible here to make some money. And now when I do my projects as I did with my public niche site, my blog, I do strive to set more specific goals. As far as, you know, for the site I built, I wanted to get it to a point where I made 500 dollars a month after the first, you know, four, five months of existence. So I tried to set some goals like that.

Adam: And I heard you came very, very close in one of your recent posts.

Spencer: Ya, that’s as close as you can get. I was at 476 dollars. My goals is 500 dollars a month. So hey, I missed it but I’m very happy.

Adam: I’m confident that you’ll get there. So one thing I want to ask you. As you’ve grown, you know, from doing the personal financing and business finance, just dabbling in some websites to being really one of the premier niche sites out there. Tell me a bit about failure. Do you, you know…I believe you have to fail a lot to learn anything especially with niche sites. What is your theory on failure and what has been the biggest failure you have had so far?

Spencer: Ya, so failure is never fun. But if you have the right attitude, it’s a huge learning experience. I have failed probably more than anybody else and I most certainly was not successful with my first site or even my first half dozen sites. It’s a big learning curve and you learn better as you try things. And many times when you try these things you fail. I learned early on before I started building niche sites. Maybe this isn’t exactly what people are looking for out there, but one of my biggest failures was a website project that I built early on where I invested a few thousand dollars actually. And I haven’t told the story a lot. But it was after I tried the personal finance blog, if you will, I decided to try and build a clone of the website cashcrate.com. It’s basically a website where people fill out surveys or fill in offers and can get a kickback. I saw that it was doing well. I thought, you know, why not. Let’s do that. And so I hired a, you know, custom developer to build the site and do all sorts of things. And you know, it was only maybe 3000 dollars, but that was a lot of money for me at that time and, you know, still it’s a lot of money but, you know, money that I probably didn’t have to invest. So I was risking a lot and it was a total flop. I just did not understand how to get people to the website. I didn’t really think about marketing. I thought, hey if I build this awesome website, people come to it and they’re gonna love it. But that wasn’t the case, you know. Marketing is such a huge part of any business and, you know, search engine marketing targeting free traffic from search engines is now what I do. But I didn’t know that or how to do that when I built that initial site. And so it wasn’t search engine optimized, you know. I didn’t get any traffic from search engines and that’s probably perhaps the trigger for how can I market my business to get people to come to my websites for free. And that, you know, then led me on this journey of researching as (Yeo) and how to rank in Google. And then finally, you know, how important low competition keywords are and the fact that you can rank quickly and can get this great free traffic from Google if you know what you’re doing. And so it was a huge failure. I lost, you know, a few thousand dollars. I didn’t make very much money at all. As far as, you know, I got a few people to sign up for that, you know, cloned website, if you will, and I had them fill (up) like a couple of surveys but I lost almost everything I invested. But it’s led me on to this journey now that has been much more successful.

Adam: Well, that’s a perfect segway in both talking about learning from failure and the talking about, you know, having success here.  Anybody not familiar with Long Tail Pro absolutely needs to be at one of the things I promote on my blog and on this podcast. Anybody familiar with Niche Site Tool which is a very big buzz right now (Kathleen) talks about this and is promoting it very,  very well based on this most recent income report. Tell me a little bit about why you built Long Tail Pro and how it can help people.

Spencer: Ya, absolutely. So I sort of building lots of these niche websites and so I started doing more and more research because I think I found out that keyword research really was the most important part of building niche sites because if you find a low competition keyword, the rest is almost details in a way. If you can find something that is easy to rank for and there’s not much of a market, you could have, you know, a winner on your hands. And so as I did more and more keyword research, I became less and less satisfied with the existing tools out there. I used Market Samurai and the free Google Adwords keyword tool which are great, but if you want to do a lot of research quickly, they just didn’t meet my particular needs. And so, I decided to build my own keyword tool. And I did this not because I’m a programmer, because I’m not, but because I knew that it would help me but I also knew that there was a market out there. I looked at all these other people building sites and I just knew from how actively I was doing keyword research that other people must be having the same problems and as I researched in, was active in forums and on blogs. I could see that that a lot of people weren’t satisfied with other tools that were out there. So I hired a programmer and, you know, it’s a long sort of a story, but, you know, where we are today we have this great keyword research tool that works the way that I wanted it to work and based on the feedback and other changes that we’ve made, works how other people want it to work. And so that’s, you know, a quick rundown of why I created it was to meet my own needs but also to satisfy a market that I knew was out there as well.

Adam: One of the things I love most about this tool is the competitor analysis tool. Obviously, keyword research is great, but once you actually find what keywords that you want to go after you need to make sure that the swimming pool isn’t too full, if you will. And I love to utilize this tool to kind of check out what the competition is, you know, see what kind of page rank they have, how long their site has been around, the pages are the _______that you pull using as you must and you know, you can use other tools but nothing really provides an old one like Long Tail Pro does. That’s one of the things I can get enough using the competitor analysis tool.

Spencer: Ya, absolutely, and that is such a critical factor to research in keywords, is knowing who ranks on the first page of Google because that’s where you want to be if you’re a website. And so those are the sites that you should look at. Those are the only websites that I look at, one, deciding whether or not ____your keywords. So, ya, the competitor analysis function in Long Tail Pro does just that. It pulls the top 10 sites and then pulls in all the relevant statistics that you mentioned either from SEO Moss as far as, you know, page authority, Moss rank, you know, Juice Page links and all these things that you should be looking at to very quickly see whether or not you have a good keyword.

Adam: Now tell me a little bit about the difference between just the regular version versus the final version, the Platinum Plan of Long Tail Pro. What’s the benefit?

Spencer: Ya, so there’s a couple of different benefits to having the Platinum Version and what I’m finding is the primary reason that people like the Platinum Version and why they stick around and keep using it is because of the keyword competitiveness calculation that’s available and that’s a part of the competitor analysis module that we just talked about. In the Pro Version, you can pull in all the top 10 sites and get all of those stats that are provided by SEO Moss, you know, the page rank that we talked about. But the Platinum Version takes it one step further because with the Pro Version wall, everything is there for you to look at and analyze. It does take a little bit of education and know-how to understand, you know, what you should be looking at, what page rank is good, what another page rank’s so good. So you know, those types of things. But the Platinum Version, there’s this keyword competitiveness function that’s added, a calculation that’s added that is essentially a formula that I use through my research to determine whether or not the overall top 10 are easy or difficult to rank for and so, you get essentially one number between 0 and 100 that tells you how harder it would be to outrank these top 10 sites. And so it just makes it a little bit easier to see if the keyword is easy or not based on, you know, all these relevant SEO factors. And so there’s that…there’s a couple of different ways that you can use that calculation. You can use it very quickly on a keyword research tab just clicking up button to get that one number very quickly on each keyword. There’s a way to…another function that’s part of the Platinum is to upload up to 10,000 of your own keywords and then to quickly pull in all of the search found in the CPC advertiser competition all of that for all of those keywords. And then there’s a couple of other more minor functions of the Platinum Version but those are at least a couple of the distinguishing factors that people really like.

Adam: Keyword competition goal …get a target number for the users that are familiar, that have been, you know, trying it out. Where do you want to be. Imagine that, you know, you can be anywhere from one to (higher). What’s the target when you’re doing your research?  Where do you like to see the keyword competition goal fall in?

Spencer: I like to see keywords that have under 35.

Adam: Okay.

Spencer: Ah, that’s sort of my threshold, that they’re above 35. I usually don’t look at them too closely. But if they are below 35, I will take a look. If they’re below 30, I get pretty excited and will take a real close look and usually like those keywords. And it’s also important to understand that as the number gets higher, it gets in…it’s on an algorithmic scale, just meaning that it gets more and more difficult. So the difference between a 35 and a 40 is a bigger jump than the difference between a 30 and a 35. So it’s not just the difference of 5. It’s increasingly more difficult. So as you get keywords that are, you know, 50 or 60, I mean you can see these are hugely, hugely competitive. Ah, so I just throw that after. But 35, ah, is what I like to see. Under 30 is awesome.

Adam: Terrific, terrific. And ah excuse me, as one of the things that, you know, when you’re doing your keyword research you find that, hey look I’ve got a, you know, a keyword that I think is going to fit with the 35, under 35 target (about) keyword competition, are there any other things that you think, you know, obviously work when you’re doing this research you wanna look at more? You open the tools that’ll most work for you, but do you like to look at pages targeting goals after seeing that…that…that keyword competition number and use page lengths to ______target or does that keyword competition number really put it all on the perspective for it that you know you can go after it?

Spencer: Ah, that one number definitely puts it in perspective, but I double check everything. So and this is what you can do with the Pro Version as well. So there’s ah, perhaps three things that I would focus on, you know. There’s anything anybody out there listening wants to know what I look at. Page authority, definitely I like to see at least a couple of results that have page authority under 30, preferably. Then I look at Juice Page links. I like to see at least a couple of results that have less than around 30 Juice Page links point to that page. Ah and then, you can look at either, you know, Moss rank or page rank, if you’re looking at page rank and this is less important perhaps than the other two I mentioned. You know, page rank of, you know, 1 or 0, couple of results is good to see. And then I guess also another thing that I look at is the relevancy of the keywords. So if the keyword is ‘best survival knife’, are the top 10 results using that exact phrase in their page title, and you can see that in Long Tail Pro. If they’re not using ‘best survival knife’, that’s a sign of weakness there. So those are the few things that I look at to verify those numbers.

Adam: Great. Well I recommend everybody check out Long Tail Pro and I’m gonna talk about another thing that you launched recently, longtailclassroom.com. But before we jump into that, you just brought up something that I want to get into real quick is your public niche site which is best survival knives and how you just got beaten out. You did all the homework, you did all the things right and you’re number one. And now you’ve easily dropped to number 2 and I think maybe..maybe it’s the Youtube video that might even bogged you for number 3 on my search results the other day. But tell me a little bit about that. And now that you just did some post but tell my audience a little bit about how that happened, why you think it happened and why you think you’re not worried about being number one again?

Spencer: That’s right. And ya, so this is pretty interesting. I’ve got a little twist for you Adam here that will be just for your audience here. So ah, ya, so I reached number one. I did a public niche site targeting the keyword ‘best survival knife’ and I reached number one in Google after about 2 months. And so the sight was doing great and then lo and behold, just last week, about a week ago, I noticed suddenly I’m ranked number 2. I had a competitor outrank me. And as I looked at this competitor, it became quite obvious that this was a copycat. This is somebody that was reading my blog and basically took my exact idea, even used the exact shopping comparison chart that I had built, put it on his website and, you know, so through his own methods, he got to number one. And then there was also a YouTube video in there that…so I was, you know, bouncing between number 2 or number 3 even. Ah and so ya, it’s depressing to not see yourself in number one for sure. But as you said, I don’t let things like these worry me too much because as I looked at my statistics, it became quite clear that, I mean not all of my traffic is coming from this one keyword, ‘best survival knife’. Ya it’s my biggest keyword but as it turns out, because I’ve written lots of great content, targeting other keywords, I happen to be getting search traffic from, it was just over 1200 different keywords. And so even though I’m ranking, you know,  2 or 3 or 4 from my primary keyword, I’m still getting traffic from 1200 different keywords.

Adam: That’s an asset,

Spencer: Yes, so that you know, that’s why it doesn’t worry me a lot and so as I looked at the overall traffic, you know, it may have brought me down, I think I have figured it was like 5 or 6%. Ah not a huge deal, nothing to tear my hair out about. Now here’s the twist, Adam.  Late last night, I was up late and I just…it was about midnight and I decided, you know, I wanna check to see where I rank today. Well, I’m back in number one.

Adam: Fantastic.

Spencer: So if, and maybe you can verify this on my end. I’m number one. If you want to check in Google right now to see if it looks like I’m number one, you can do that. Ah but I notice my competitor, my copycat site, has since dropped to the second page ah you know, 13 or 14 or 15, ah something like that. And so it looks like I’m back in number one and my competitor was short lived there. So hopefully I’m there to stay.

Adam: Well, I’ll tell you this. I did do the search and your competitor is long gone, I will tell you that. And I will say something though that I want to bring out which is actually good move towards this conversation.

Spencer: Okay.

Adam: There is a new number one on my search. Now this can be _________is at news.discovery.com or ____ about the top survival knives. Now one thing that I want to point out and this is what where I want to be going. This person has a Google Plus account attached to it. So you talked about seeing yourself at number one. This has…this person has a picture of themselves with their…with their main _____ one thing that I know you’ve been talking about at your blog as attaching your site to your Google Plus account and whether or not you think that will have any effect. So when you get your perspective on that real quick, do you think that it’s going to be worthwhile to attach your Google Plus account to this best survivalknifeguide.com, or do you think it’s something that it’s not worth the aggravation of having potentially other…other content that you put out there exposed?

Spencer: Ah you know, usually I don’t link my Google Plus account to any of my niche sites. You know, ah…I just…I used to be…am not public about my niche sites which is the reason I haven’t done it. This one on the other hand, I’ve hardly been very public about my niche site. Ah so, there’s no real good reason that I couldn’t link my Google Plus account other than the one fact that I wanted to make this project something big, everybody can replicate easily on their own.

Adam: Well hopefully not copy like (Paul Knife) did, but to replicate it…

Spencer: Right, exactly in their own niche, hopefully using their own data, you know. Ah but I have a fairly healthy Google Plus account, you know. I’ve got lots of people that have added me to their circles. Ah and so I’ve been hesitant because I know that it could have an effect. If anybody is listening, yes I would advise you if you want to attach your Google Plus account, please do it. It probably could help a little bit. I’m trying to do it just because…I’m trying to rank without it just because I want it to make it easier for everybody out there. And so ah you’re right. It looks like I am number one. So…or number 2, you know, Google counts us around a lot.

Adam: Now let me say. This is my ____ Google there. Let’s Just try to figure out where you need to base also.

Spencer: Ya, you know an hour after we record this, I could be back in number 1 or I could be back in number 3, ah you know, or number 2. Who knows. But it looks like my competitor is gone, the one that looked like he had copied a lot of myself. That discovery side has been around for a long time.

Adam: 2011 it looks like that they got _______has got 2074 Google Plus circles. So that there’s certainly some _____ (curve) there, but I think the takeaway for me and for my listeners should be that this, your site came out like a rocket. You rank number one within like 63 days or something like that ah and more importantly you made…almost made your goal within three months of 500 dollars a month which is to most people listening, a huge success that most people would dream building websites like that. So as I say first of, congratulations as that’s just fantastic and I know it’s not your biggest site or anything like that. You’ve built a lot of sites like that. But I know that you also just launch a Long Tail Classroom, longtailclassroom.com to kind of walk through the process a little differently with another site. So tell me how people can benefit from joining that classroom.

Spencer: Ya so exactly, Long Tail Classroom is a video training course where I go through all of the staffs from building a niche website from scratch. And so I, from the very beginning brainstormed for keywords, did keyword research, found a great keyword and then built a website on that keyword and I did these all on video live in front of, you know, everybody. So you can watch those and see the entire step and then I, you know, took that to number one in Google as well. And so it’s ah, it’s something that I provide a little bit more detail in Long Tail Classroom than I do on my blog because I did everything on video and so you can see everything ah that, you know, the backend of my website looks like I do a lot of keyword research videos in there so you can see what’s a good keyword, what’s a bad keyword. I give a lot of bad examples of keywords that I didn’t go after and I give the reasons why. So if you wanna understand what’s going through my head when I look at keywords and why I think it’s good or bad and eventually, you know, the keyword that I did pick that was good, this video training course will be very valuable to you because that’s exactly what it is. Since I’m talking through these videos, I’m sharing my thoughts and what has worked for me over the years for building successful websites. So I think that it is valuable and a lot of people have said as much that there is a lot of value there. Ah so if people are interested, they can check that out.

Adam: One of the things I’m very active in now that I just recently started doing was Google Plus which we just talked about. There’s a couple communities about niche sites which I’ve gotten into. And what I felt was a lot of people are very (tentative) to get started with because they fear that they don’t have enough, you know, I guess the computer skills to get into building niche sites. They don’t know any of the details about how to buy a domain, how it’s set up, hosting rate, something like that. Do people require a lot of skill to follow Long Tail Classroom for entry level people as well?

Spencer: Ah you know, entry level people can certainly benefit from this. And you know, I don’t want to give a caveat, you know, that there is a learning curve here. Ah you know, for some people that perhaps have either built a website before or familiar with blogging and you know, in particular young people that sort of grow up on the Internet, they have all the skills they need. Okay, but for some other people that, you know, aren’t really familiar with how websites work or search engines, it’s gonna take a lot of time for them to really get it and to understand it. So the course if certainly for beginners but the caveat is that, you know, the definition of a beginner may be different for certain people. So you need to have some computer skills, understand how the Internet works. If you’ve built a website before, you probably have all the skills that you need.

Adam: So I know that one of the things that I love to do is reading and we’ll gonna let you up _____and I’ve taken a lot of your time already and I do appreciate it. Ah tell me little bit, you’ve been doing book reviews on your website. Tell me what your favorite business book if you have one or if you’ve a couple. What do you like to read, what have you read lately that has made an impact on your business?

Spencer: So I have been trying to read at least a book a month. Ah and I’ve been reading business books because I do enjoy reading about the success of others, other entrepreneurs, sort of light a fire under me to, you know, try to achieve bigger and better things. Ah one that I read recently, just a few months ago but…that I really enjoyed was ‘Delivering Happiness’ by Tony Hsieh. He’s the founder of Zappos.com. It goes through his whole story of few different businesses he started and, you know, he just sounds like a great guy. He tells some great stories of his days early on and just motivating book overall. And I’ve read a few others but one book that also I recommend for people that haven’t read it is the ‘E-Myth’ by Michael Gerber. It’s a great book for any entrepreneur out there. Just great for developing systems in your business and other things. So those are a couple that I really enjoy.

Adam: Terrific. One thing I think that a lot of people in niche building and in business in any sort really need is a role model. So I know that a lot of people are looking up to you as a role model in this type of business and I know _____  widely successful and people looking to him as a role model and I know that you two collaborate to help with this niche site dual2.0. Tell me who’s your role model and then why you look up to that?

Spencer: Ya so as far as the role model, you know, I don’t know that I have an online, you know, other blogger or other sort of business owners for such concern. But I do look up to my father a lot as a role model and more of course, in particular, what he was able to do with his business. As I mentioned early on, he had big impact on me, it led me to getting a degree in business because I saw what he was able to do with his company. And I still of course consult with him and he, you know, advises me and I bounce ideas off to him and so I certainly look to him as a role model and consult him, if you will, you know, for my own business.

Adam: Terrific and I know mostly the answers already because we had the interview alright, but tell me a little bit about how you like to get involved in the community _____. I know that you said you’re a big runner and, you know. What do you like to do to try and get back outside of doing things online?

Spencer: Ya so I am a big runner. I’m involved, you know, in a lot of community running events and often these are, you know, the proceeds are going to charity and things like that. So, that always feels good not only to go out and run a half marathon but to know the proceeds are going to, you know, a children’s hospital or something like that. So I am very involved in running. I’m also very active in my church ah, you know, in that community and so I do a lot there with my wife and kids and those sorts of things. So you have to learn a couple of areas outside business. I like to be involved in either community events or, you know, things with my church. They keep us active.

Adam: The no brainer tip for the day is gonna be to get Long Tail Pro to help themselves with researching their niche sites. But what’s the best technique that you can ____to the audience that has helped you or you think would be worthwhile for anybody getting into this business?

Spencer: Ya piece of advice that I always give to any business owners out there, people hoping to get into any kind of business is to try to do things on your own. Try not to copy people too much. In other words, try to be unique. So find what’s unique about you or find what’s unique about your business angle and go with that. So even though perhaps you want to go into building niche websites, just like me you can learn from me, you can, you know, replicate a lot of the things that I do but you’re gonna be even more successful if you look at the entire process, develop a strategy that’s perhaps a little bit different than mine, or perhaps ways that you do things because as you think about things on your own, you’re gonna become better educated, you’re gonna do things that make sense to you and perhaps you’ll uncover an opportunity that I didn’t uncover. So my advice is to be unique, do things your own way and that’s how you’re gonna stand out the most.

Adam: That’s a terrific tip. I don’t think there’s too many millionaires or billionaires out there that will tell you, “Hey I read it on online, you know, how to get rich or, you know, buy an e-book.” It’s ___ all the ways how to make ____

Spencer: Exactly, totally, hundred % exactly.

Adam: So I couldn’t agree more. Well thank you so much ah, you know. I can stay here and talk to you for hours and I’m sure my audience will love every minute of it. Where could we find out more about you and what’s going on with your projects?

Spencer: Ya so the best place is definitely in my blog at nichepursuits.com. That’s where I write pretty much everything that’s going on with my business and so I have a pretty active community there so if you will leave a comment on one of the blog posts either I will respond or other people will respond. I do have a contact form on my blog that people can get in touch with me. The other place is on Twitter and my Twitter handle is @nichepursuits.

Adam: Perfect and let me ____ a question because you mentioned Twitter. Have you got and taken up with this buying thing where everybody is doing their (sex act) in videos or _____ what they’re doing. Tell me what you think of them.

Spencer: I have not looked into it yet. You know I am not really familiar with that. I will be honest that I’m on Twitter but I’m not super active on Twitter. It’s just one of those things that haven’t clicked with me, so I do tweet a little bit but it’s almost more responding to other people tweeting to me.

Adam: I was reading an article recently in Forbes about garry _______and that’s his new big thing is to ____videos getting 300, 400,000 young followers ____ in three days is something ridiculous.

Spencer: Interesting.

Adam: But, alright, so hey, thanks so much for your time. Hopefully, you know, in a couple of months we’ll have you back on here to talk about some more exciting projects that you’re working on and, you know, just checking to see how things are going. Well I can’t thank you enough for the time that you spent with us today.

Spencer: Absolutely. I appreciate it. It’s always good to be on and talk about business with anybody. So I enjoyed doing it, I appreciate your time very much and hopefully the audience’s. Got some good takeaways from this. Thanks a lot.

Adam: Thanks so much Spencer.

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed that interview and I just want to thank you again for investing so much of your time for me this week. I plan to get some show notes and links up as soon as possible but I want to get the audio up as soon as I could before I worry about transcription or anything like that. So thanks as always for listening and be sure to check out makemoneywithnichesites.com for more. Have a great one.

 

Important Links from this show:

MMWNS Episode #8: Interview With Spencer Haws by
Get Special Niche Site Tips and Tricks
About Adam Roseland

Adam Roseland is a blogger, podcaster and entrepreneur who also owns a digital marketing firm called 814 Interactive. Adam has been working in the advertising industry for the past 15+ years primarily in the digital space for advertising agencies, has built hundreds of niche sites.

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Comments

  1. Great podcast.

    I loved how you got a bit more into the nitty gritty of niche websites. You got Spencer to go into some things that I have never heard of which was pretty cool.

    Great job.

    I loved how you talked about how his site was outranked by that news site.

    • Thanks for the visit and commemts Lain!

      I think it was a great interview, I really enjoyed it.

      I think he actually went back up to #1 right after our interview. Doing the google dance right now.

  2. Samir Shah says:

    Hey adam.

    Great podcast. Loved your website. Just small suggestions the audio will have to be improvised.

    Your sound was coming from right side of ear phone n Spencer’s from left side 🙂 kind of tossing my concentration.

    Amazing I would love to learn n work with u. Let me know your thoughts.

  3. Fantastic interview Adam! I follow Spencer pretty closely and it was cool to learn a few things about him that I had never heard before. Kudos to your excellent questions.

    I am hooked on your show and can’t wait to tear through all the past and future episodes.

    I did have the same audio issues streaming through my Bluetooth to my truck speakers. You were on the left and Spencer was on the right. This was only a minor annoyance though because the content was awesome!

    • So I figured out my issue with the recording… future interviews should sound much better. Sorry again for that. I guess that is a small failure that I can learn from 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words Matt!

  4. Nice to see things from Spencer’s perspective. Great interview!

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