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I Work Off The Clock

Make money. Save money. Be happy.

Lots of Internet marketers have been saying for the past year or more that niche sites are dead.

Some of us believed them and stopped making niche sites.

And some of us refused to believe and just kept right on building them and making hefty profits in the process.

One of those niche sites guys was Spencer Haws of NichePursuits.com.  Spencer is one of my “gurus” if you will.  Not that he even knows who I am haha.  But I know who he is, and I know that he’s really good at building niche sites and getting them to rank in Google (and therefore, make a lot of money).

In Spencer’s latest post on Niche Pursuits, here’s what he had to say…

So, what kind of niche sites will I build going forward?

Well, to be honest, I probably won’t be building many niche sites.  Perrin and I stopped building new small niche sites almost 6 months ago.  About 2 months ago, we started a new site and that will probably be the last one we start new in a long time.

The site we started about 2 months ago is our “authority” site that we’ve talked about many times in blog posts and on the podcast…

So why is the owner of “NICHE Pursuits” no longer building niche sites?  Because he saw that the days of the niche site were numbered, and that’s why he’s been shifting towards building larger authority sites.

Then this past week Google dropped the bomb that pushed Spencer and many other Internet marketers out of the niche camp and into the big authority camp for good.  Google recently started penalizing sites that had links from “personal blog networks” (PBNs), and many successful niche marketers were hit in the process.  Spencer and his business protégé/partner Perrin were among them, losing close to $10,000 per month income overnight.  Using PBNs was one of the most effective and most popular methods used by niche site marketers to get them to rank high in the search results.

And now that is all over.  Spencer says PBNs are dead.  And perhaps niche sites will die with them.

So this is a sad day for a lot of IM guys, and even though I wasn’t into PBNs and therefore didn’t lose any money over this, I was actually considering going in that direction very soon.  And as you know, I recently committed to building out 100 niche sites, using the methods I learned from Spencer and others.

I even commented on his post and asked Spencer for some guidance.  Here was his response…

Definitely don’t go the 100 site route, that hasn’t worked for a really long time.  One site is a MUCH better approach.  [emphasis his]

Great.

So now what do I do?

Honestly, I’m still leaning towards the niche camp.  Niche sites WITHOUT spammy links can still do okay (mine are).  But for how long?  Where is Google heading in the future?  Will the time come where small websites just won’t have a chance to rank at all against the big juggernaut authority websites?

Maybe it really is time to rethink this whole thing…

Another guru that I’ve followed for over a year made the same move just recently as well — Tung Tran of CloudLiving.com.  And then, my original guru/ninja/buddy Patrick Meninga of TheFreedomBlogger.com…well, he’s always pushed the one big website approach.

It’s just that I’ve put my faith in a single site before and added lots of really good content to it, only to have it burned to the ground by Google (thanks to hundreds of super spammy links that somebody else built to my site).  That was my first successful site, and it was very depressing to lose over 80% of my traffic last October.

I don’t want to leave myself so vulnerable like that again, which is why I got really excited to build out multiple sites instead and spread my potential (or inevitable?) losses.

So I’m still thinking about this one…

I figured I’d just do a quick little follow-up to that post I did a couple weeks ago, where I decided to build 100 niche sites.  I already have 4 niche sites with 7, 24, 47 and 62 posts on them.  A couple of those are earning some money, but not really that much (average $10 to $30 per month each).

Well, last week I bought 6 more domains and so far have 3 new niche sites up and running, with 4, 4 and 5 posts on them.  Like my 2 older niche sites that are earning some money, 2 of these new ones are product-focused sites and will be monetized with Amazon links.  I really do think that Amazon sites are the way to go, but researching and reviewing products all day long makes me want to die, so I had to do some informational sites too, which I’ll monetize with AdSense.

Okay, I just wanted to share what I’m up to.

So what are you guys up to?

Are you building multiple websites or just focusing on one?

Any new projects or plans in the works?

Have you built your first niche website yet?

Have you added enough content to it to get it earning $20 per month yet?

If so…AWESOME!  What’s next?

If not…what’s holding you back?

Feel free to share in the comment section below…

For two and a half years now, I’ve been chasing the dream of passive income on the Internet. I’ve been earning passive income for long before that, but as far as making money online, that’s only been happening for me since March 2012.

Now, first, there are folks out there who like to nitpick and argue over words. They go on and on about how there is no such thing as passive income. Fine. This blog post isn’t for them, I guess.

The rest of us may now proceed.

I love passive income. The idea of building up a stream of income that continues to pour in around the clock – even when you stop working on it – now that is something to get excited about!

So I cannot speak from experience about every single source of passive income out there, but I can talk about what I’ve experienced, and those are primarily Internet marketing (blogs and niche sites), article writing (like for HubPages and Bubblews), banking and investments (savings accounts, CDs, stocks) and real estate (renting out property for monthly income).

Hands down, I’m going with real estate.

I don’t even have to think about it.

In my case, I owned a couple of warehouses and a farm (which I inherited). They were all paid off, so my expenses were crazy low. Mostly just taxes and insurance, with some occasional maintenance expenses and such. I’ve since had to sell them (I don’t wanna talk about it), but I dream of the day when I can set my family up like that again.

That is the way to go, and if I could do it all over again, I would go with real estate in a heartbeat. In fact, that is really my ultimate goal: to build up my little empire of websites and then cash out and put that money into real estate.

Now, some folks will try to argue that real estate is not so great, and that it costs you a lot in the long run. These guys are almost always talking about real estate with a mortgage loan. That is not what I am talking about though. Loans are a deal-breaker. I’d rather just save up my cash and buy a dumpy little mobile home in Barstow CA to rent out than to take out a 30 year mortgage on a nice house in a better area.

But that is just me.

Another objection is the market ups and downs. That is true, sometimes your property will be valued at less than what you paid for it. But no matter how bad the market sinks, guess what? A house is still a house, and you still have it. If its market value shrinks by 50%, do you lose 50% of your square footage? No. Can you say that about websites or stocks or mutual funds? No. At least with a CD or savings account, you still have your initial principal, but the returns are so low that you won’t really make much with them anyway.

But with property, even when the market is bad, things are still looking good for you. You just keep collecting your rent checks and ride it out til the market comes back up. Then you can sell, if you want to. Or you just keep collecting rent til the cows come home.

That’s my plan.

Cows. ;)

I spend a lot of money at McDonalds.

We’re talking close to $100 a month, all by myself.  Add in my wife and kids, and we easily spend $200 a month on this crap.

But I’m a blogger and Internet marketer, so you know what that means…

I take my laptop to wherever there’s free wifi and free refills, and I blog my brains out.

It works well for me.  My wife works part time on the other side of the island, so I drive her to work and cruise at the McD down the street for a few hours til she’s done.  It’s the same routine when she and my mother in law want to go out to the mall or wherever.

But McD is not the ideal place to get a lot of work done.  It’s noisy — especially right aroun 2pm – 4pm when all three schools across the street get out.  Frickin riot over here.  They even have a sheriff deputy sit in the corner booth during that time til all the teenagers move on to other places.

But still, I come.  And I spend my money.

But that isn’t good enough.

The manager here at the McD by my house has been eyeballing me for awhile, and when I went to get a refill and order a sandwich, she was sure to ask, “Did you buy this just now?”  Yeah lady.  I did.  And it’s my first refill.  And I have a receipt.  And I come here almost every day and help pay your salary.  And I sit quietly (unlike most of your younger customers) and I mind my own business and don’t bother anybody (unlike most of your older customers), and I always smile and say please and thank you (unlike…uh…unlike some of your own frickin employees).

So yeah, I’m a little irritated right now.  In the grand thing of things, it’s no big deal.  I guess I’m just not used to being treated that way.  There are tons of other customers that I see here every day who never get policed like that.  Fricking irritating.

But I know…policy…30 minutes…refills…yadda yadda…

I’m about to start camping out at Starbucks pretty soon here, but it’ll just be a matter of time until they start with the same routine, I suppose.

God, I really can’t wait til we move and I can get my own office.  Then I can have as many refills as I want, and I can plug in my laptop whenever I need to.

But how will I survive without all those free napkins?

Ah…sacrifices…

A couple days ago I was talking with my 13-year-old about my websites and trying to encourage him to work on his blog a little more.  I started him a blog when we were homeschooling him last year, and he has 35 posts (and 5 drafts in progress).  But he hasn’t worked on it since before summer.

So I showed him an item on Amazon that I had just sold through one of my niche sites the night before.  My commission for this item was over $12.  So I made $12 while I was sleeping!  Not bad, right?

Well, he perked up, so I asked him if he wanted to do some work on his own blog and see if we could get it making some money (it’s currently not monetized).  He was interested in making money, but he didn’t want to work on his website.  Well, that’s okay.  I’m not gonna push it right now.

So my wife walked by at this point and asked what we were talking about.  So I told her about how this little niche website I built and haven’t touched in over a year easily makes me money every month.  Last month it made about $10.  The month before, $20.  And for this month it already made $12, and it was barely the 2nd of the month.

So my wife stares off into space for a couple seconds and mumbles…

“What if you had 100 websites like that?”

God, I love this girl.  ;)

Race To 100 Niche Sites

So now I have a new quest!  I’m going to make it my goal to have 100 niche websites up and running with at least 5 posts each by the end of next year (2015).  Right now we’ve got our plate filled up pretty good with trying to sell our house here in Hawaii and move to California.

Not only that, but the money just isn’t available at the moment.

So our plate is full, and our wallet is empty!

But we figured out a plan to make it happen, though.  I currently have 8 websites, but one is expiring in a few weeks.  I’m totally done with it and will not be wasting any more money on it.  So that leaves me with 7 active websites.  Once we sell our house and get settled in over in Cali, then I’ll be purchasing 13 new domains, and those will all be built up into little niche sites, some monetized with AdSense and some with Amazon links.  I’ll also set aside $500 to build out more sites.  That won’t get me all the way to 100, but it will get me about halfway, and then I can use the income they generate to keep the project going all the way to 100.

So that’ll give me 20 websites by the end of this year.  Then I’ll build more every month through 2015 until I have 100 in total.  Then I’ll add some content here and there and let them age a little bit.  By the time they are a year old and it’s time to renew, I’ll keep the ones that seem to show some potential, and I’ll dump the losers and build some more.  The point isn’t to build 100 niche sites and keep them all forever.  That might be dumb, because some will be winners and some will be total losers.  But eventually — maybe within 2-3 years — I will have 100 or more niche websites, each earning me $10-$20 or more per month.

I can live with that.

Thanks, Babe.

Mwa.