How 9,900 Exact Match Searches Equate to $1,500 Per Month

As most of you know, last year I publicly built a niche site from scratch that is now ranking #1 in Google for the target keyword “security guard training” and is consistently making about $1500.00 a month.

You can read all about how I found this niche and built the site on The Niche Site Duel Hub.

Since revealing my niche site and my results, the number one related question I get via email goes something like:

“Pat – I don’t believe you. There’s no way a niche site targeting a keyword with only 9,900 exact monthly searches can make as much money as yours does. Something isn’t right here…”

At least 20 people have emailed me with this basic message in the last 3 months. Many of them are actually a lot more “angry” than what I wrote for you above (a couple of people called me a liar), but the core of the message is the same: how does a site with 9900 exact searches make $1500 a month off of Adsense ads?

I don’t blame people for being curious though. Based on the math, I can definitely see why my results are a bit perplexing.

The screenshots from Market Samurai and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool below both confirm that the keyword does get 9900 exact searches for the keyword per month:

Exact Searches - SGT

From this, we can assume that a website ranking at the #1 position will get somewhere between 38% and 42% of the clicks (shown in the SEOT column in Market Samurai) from people who search for this term, which is a general rule of thumb for searches and click distribution. You can read more about where this number comes from here.

So, with an assumed 4,158 visitors a month, in order to get to $1500 a month on Adsense I’d have to have:

  • A 100% Click-Through Rate (CTR) on my ads at $0.36 Cost-Per-Click (CPC);
  • A 50% CTR at $0.72 CPC
  • A 25% CTR at $1.44 CPC
  • A 10% CTR at $3.61 CPC
  • A 5% CTR at $7.22 CPC
  • A 1% CTR at $36.07 CPC

The issue is that the approximate CPC as shown in Market Samurai and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool is only  $3.25, which is relatively high, but that’s the cost that an advertiser pays per click. As a publisher, I would only receive a percentage of that, so it’s even less.

I’d have to have a CTR of about 25% or higher to generate this kind of income, but for Adsense that’s pretty much unheard of. The highest click-through rate I’ve ever seen on any of my niche sites has been a little above 5%.

So what’s missing?

I’ve mentioned this in previous niche site reports before, but apparently not clear enough.

The target keyword security guard training accounts for only 28% of the total search engine traffic, and 19% of the sites overall traffic.

SGTHQ Keywords
Another interesting thing to realize is that the site is currently pulling in natural search engine traffic from over 4,700 different keywords (and this is all within one month of data).

SGTHQ Keywords

Most of the 4,727 keywords are for key phrases that are 4 or more words (long-tail keywords) and only get 1 or 2 hits a month, but there are A LOT of them:

Long Tail Keywords - SGTHQ

And the pattern has always been the same:

Write more. Get found more.

This is true for every niche site I’ve worked with and my blogs too.

So the fact is yes, I targeted a keyword with only 9,900 exact matches per month, but by publishing 110 posts on various related topics (and optimizing my Adsense ads, as shown here) I’ve been able to rank for a ton of long-tail keywords I didn’t even specifically target to generate the traffic necessary to get up to $1500 per month…and it’s still climbing.

I’m on track to break the record once again in October.

Are 5 to 10 Post Mini-Niche Sites Dead?

Not at all – I have a few 5 to 10 post sites that are doing well and I know several people who are building several each day, but that a different business model than what I’ve done here.

The process of niche selection and building a website are virtually the same, however it’s the quantity of content on the site that give a “beefier” niche site like this the ability to get found more and generate more traffic (and income) that way.

And this leads me to some interesting questions…

If you had the ability to just snap your fingers and create 100 well-written posts right now about anything, would you rather have them published on one beefy niche site, or spread them out to 10?

Is it possible to do keyword research in a way to find out potentially how many long-tail keywords one could get traffic from for a specific target keyword? This would give us the ability to target keywords that might have less as far as actual search numbers for one term, but still cash-in on the industry. I don’t think anyone expected me to earn $1500+ per month with my security guard training site..

If all of us with existing mini-sites (sites that are usually worked on and then left alone once they are ranked) wrote 1 new article a week, how much more traffic and income could we make by the end of the year?

What would happen if I bought a small niche site and just started adding new content to it?

Hmm, a lot of things to ponder.

Feel free to address any one (or all) of these questions above, or just let me know what you think.

And lastly, you have 3 days left to vote for the SPI Podcast! Please click here to go to and vote for the SPI Podcast in the Business and People’s Choice section. You can vote 1 time per day (in both sections), and I promise this is the last time I will ask you :)

Thanks so much for your support! Cheers!

  • Mitch

    I think I would start and spread the posts on 10 niche sites. Whenever you see one doing pretty good you are diving into that subject to make it an awesome authority site. Cool update. Thanks!

    • Pat

      Interesting approach Mitch, and I sorta of do like it. It’s always good to test and see what sticks first, to see if there’s opportunity for something big in the pool of 10 niche sites. Thanks for the thoughts!

      • Gregory Ciotti

        Only problem I see with this is the fact that you have to write on 10 different topics, is quality (if you’re doing it by yourself) really possible with that amount of topics? I’m not saying it isn’t, but pursuing niches I’m actually interested in seems to be a necessary component for me personally.

      • Mitch

        Thanks for your comment on my blog. I realize you’re not coming back ever again because it is in dutch 😉 But very cool you take the time.

        Right now in Holland it is very easy to make money with niche websites selling infoproducts on subjects that are already working in the USA. Simply because there are none here and they had proven to be good markets in the USA. So no adsense for me, I am enjoying this as long as I can because I think in one year it is going to be busy in Holland also in various of this markets.

        • Marcin

          That’s interesting. But what strategy do you pursue?
          Do you make similar infoproducts on your own and sell them in Dutch?
          Or maybe you partner with existing clickbank products and translate them into Dutch?
          The last option I can see: you promote clickbank products (English versions) on your native language sites in Holland.
          I’ll appreciate your reply :)

        • Chris

          I’m coming to Holland right now then!

    • Allen

      Mitch, I really like what you said here for a couple of reasons. One, with doing the 10 different niche sites, you can target the keywords better with your domain names which google really seems to like, and two, with google constantly changing it’s algorithms for ranking websites, your chances of getting killed with a change are reduced greatly. Now, rather than having just one website be your bread and butter, you have spread out your risk over ten. Also, just as another thought, if you take those ten sites, and you’re getting decent success with them, you could potentially create a hub site that can become an authority site that might leach some profits from the smaller niches but ultimately it’d all be going in your pockets anyways.

      Pat, as always, invaluable information. Thanks a million (hopefully someday!) for taking the time to share.

  • Adam


    Adding content the way you have done with SGT is a great way to get more traffic. What most people don’t realize is that the main keyword of a site doesn’t always bring in the most traffic, the long tail keywords do.

    • KimP

      I agree, longtail keywords are important. I noticed that as sites move up the ranks, they were getting found for keywords I haven’t even targeted, more so than the primary keyword at first.

    • Pat

      Yeah – most people don’t, and it’s pretty cool when people call me a liar because I can easily show them with data exactly what’s happening. Good times :)

  • KimP

    I’d rather post all 100 to one site.

    I always amazed at the thin, poor quality niche sites out there. With the Big G’s panda update and the mini ones that followed, it’s beneficial to add as much content as possible.

    Hey, I noticed you added a new content to your niche site, Pat. What kind of posting schedule would you recommend for adding new content once a niche site reaches number one?

    • Pat

      Well – depends what your goal is, and what niche you’re in too. As I mentioned in a previous report, when I got to #1 I stopped writing content all together. It went 2 months with no new content and still held the #1 position, which was cool, but probably stupid because I did have the opportunity to earn more if I added more content. It is nice to be able to walk away from a site for a while though and know it’s going to stay.

      Really, it’s up to you. I’d say post when you can, and try to post consistently.

      • Chris

        I know it’s diff. for every industry, but how long did it take you to get to #1 if all you were doing is posting?

    • AK47

      I’m amazed too at the thin sites and still fail to see how they actually make any money. Though I’m new to internet marketing, I just can’t believe people will see such a site and actually click through anything. To me, they’re the “trolls” of IM…building up thousands of bogus sites with no content, and yet they “claim” to make money at it.

      Sometimes it’s hard to be a marketer and a consumer…because most of what I see out there in my learning the ins and outs of marketing really makes me re-think my decision to try my hand at it.

      • Pat

        I know what you mean – it’s tough. This kind of business is not for everyone, and there’s definitely people doing this stuff who shouldn’t be. That’s a whole new post / podcast episode though 😛

        • steve wyman


          Thin sites sell :-) they seel the links to amazon and also to adsense. :-)

          Whats happening is they arnt all ranking as well as they did.

          HOWEVER test dont listen to the masses. I have a wordpress site which has 100 pages of wpazon auto created content and three pages of content. post panda 2.5+ its making $20 a day! for no work.

          Would i designa site this way NO but they can still work :-)


      • Cristina Ansbjerg


        It happens the same to me. And it pisses me off when as a customer I find a crappy thin site ranking top 5 while more complete sites are way down the list.
        Especially, after the last Google update, a couple weeks ago, so many thin ugly sites are being rewarded for no reason.
        I hope Google fixes the mess soon.


        • Kathleen Robertson

          My thoughts exactly about a few niches that I’ve been looking at. The #1 result is written in such poor English. The homepages have 500+ pages of 3rd-world spun content. Blah! :)

  • Carey

    This is absolutely mind-blowing and eye opening for me.

    I’m now having second thoughts about a niche I left without exploring fully before.

    Thanks Pat for the wonderful post.

    • Pat

      Cheers Carey, and good luck. First thing to do may be to put your target keyword into the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and see what related terms come up that you could potentially focus on with your new content.

      • Carey

        Thanks Pat.

        The keyword I have in mind has around 14,000 exact match searches each month.

        There is little competition but one site (on in particular is the biggest competition. She (the blogger) is offering free downloads for solved assignments of a particular University. Much like your LEED site, I guess?

        What might be the best approach to such niche site?

        Should I buy a dotcom with the keyword in the URL and offer premium solved assignments? Or, go the free download way too?

        I have actually started a blog, to see how much I can write on the subject – is this a good approach too?

  • Eric

    Hi Pat,

    I’m fairly new to building websites online, but I always love go through my Google Analytics stats to see what keywords lead people to my site. Sometimes it’s keywords that have misspellings in them and other times it’s keywords I would have never thought to optimize for.

    Not really sure how people can doubt what you’ve done since you’re so transparent with everything you do, but oh well. Great article, thanks!

    • Pat

      Well, I think it’s good to show and express doubt actually, especially online where we all know you can be had really easily. I don’t have a hard time responding though because most of it is just pure data which really can’t be argued against. I’m not good at arguing, so I let the numbers talk for me 😛

  • Shaun

    I have a dozen niche sites that are doing great (I make my living doing this) and I can completely vouch for everything in this post. It’s not at ALL crazy to make $50 bucks a day from this kind of topic.

    Love your site, Pat, I check it all the time. Thanks!

    • Pat

      Nice Shaun, and congrats on your success, that’s awesome! Thanks for the support and all the best to you!

  • Sarah Russell

    I’d spread them out – something like 50 articles to one beefier niche site and 2-5 smaller sites receiving 10-25 articles a piece.

    Some niches can be expanded on. Your security guard training site is one example, as there are a lot of different aspects of the niche that can be examined (training, testing, certifications, finding a job, etc).

    Other niches don’t have that potential – no matter how many articles I throw at it, “toenail clipping art” isn’t going to support a larger site. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t target it. If the traffic and CPC numbers are right, I’m going for it, even if I have no intention of ever growing the site past a few pages.

    • Pat

      Good points Sarah, although in my opinion a site that gets enough traffic to build a niche site for and meets a certain minimum criteria would have enough related terms in and around that subject to potentially get some more traffic from.

      Toenail clipping art templates, supplies, examples, colors, styles, accessories, designs, techniques, etc. You’d at least get 1 person a month checking on those things. Doesn’t mean you don’t have to write a post specifically about them, but mentioning them here and there could give you some more long-traffic in the end after some time.

      • Sarah Russell

        Haha – I stand corrected… I don’t think I thought through the full potential of the toenail clipping art niche :)

        I guess a better answer would be, “It depends.”. For me, at least, the decision to scale up a smaller site depends on a number of factors, including estimated search volume, existing traffic and proven income. If I have a small site that’s performing steadily, but slowly, my time might be better spent building up a niche site with more indications that it can grow successfully.

        Just my strategy for now, though – that might change when I’m self-employed and have more time to commit to my sites.

        • Riley Cabot

          Maybe it’s just me, but I read your suggestion as Art made from Toenail Clippings. Whether or not it was marketable, I would probably give up on that one before even starting.

        • steve wyman

          Hey riley

          Never give up on a niche unles the number say so :-)

          You neevr know the number of searchers world wide might be huge :-) Although im probably going with a gut instinct and not bother to check :-)


    • Englischtest Online

      >> “toenail clipping art” isn’t going to support a larger site <<
      Sarah, just think big. You want to attract visitors that are interested in having their toenails styled (in whichever way). Why not build a directory of pedicurist across your country and offer the visitors you attract this way a toenail clipping art guide. You also could offer advertising either via adsense or private ad deals (like Pat described in this post: )

  • Brian Lima

    Pat, nice article and good that you basically put to rest the negative emails people are sending about the matter. I can understand being frustrated and having to vent if needed but I don’t understand why someone call you a liar. What is the benefit in posting false numbers for you?
    We’ve never met but you’ve always been open and honest via email and this blog. keep up the great work. keep inspiring. keep teaching us how to make it happen. b

    • Pat

      I’m not frustrated at the negative comments towards me – not at all. I actually like the negative emails because it’s really easy for me to respond, and if I can change a person’s mind who is at one point totally seeing things the other way, then I can be sure that person will be there to support me for a long long time.

      • Gabe

        I have a feeling the people emailing in are noobs because once you have a few successful sites it’s obvious that you can get a huge amount of traffic from unintended and unexpected longtail keywords.

        I wouldn’t give a rip what anyone said if I was making $30k per month like Pat. I’m hitting $6K and I don’t care.

  • Tony @ Investorz’ Blog

    Don’t take any notice of those people who called you a liar, Pat. They’re
    a) jealous
    b) should be spending time to make their lives successful, but instead waste their time calling others liars.

    • Rich

      Completely Agree. At the end of the day success online is not something that happens overnight, it takes lots of hard work and dedication. Thanks Pat for your posts and information, gives us all inspiration!

  • John Paul

    Shutting people down with #’s luv that haha Greta work Pat.

    What people miss is if you are ranking first for a key, you are most def going to rank well for many “similar” keys too. Just because you are ranking for that main key in 1st position.

    I rank for keys I have never wrote with just because I rank well for a similar key.

    Also there are MANY factors that go into niche site success… design, niche your in, keywords your targeting etc.

    Some keys have a long list of similar matching keys and some keys do not.

    So to look at JUST the key volume and assume results can or can not be real is silly.

  • Gary

    Hi Pat,
    thanks for the detailed post. I have taken Pat’s Niche Site Coaching Seminar a while back and just wanted to let everybody know that Pat is willing to go the extra mile. He is a great teacher and hard (very hard) worker. That’s what it takes to make a site as successful as his Security Guard Training Site.
    Pat I have a lot of respect for all your efforts and I am glad I had a chance to work with you.


  • Jimmy – Niche Experiments

    Making a site to rank for just 1 keyword is a crazy! If you’re going to go through the process of picking a niche, market research, building the site and keyword research, then why not try to rank for many keywords?

    The bonus of that method is the random, longtail traffic you get without targeting. People often forget that Google users are real people and real people search in quite unusual and idiosyncratic ways. By have a lot of content focussed tightly around a niche you’ll get found for all kinds of weird and wonderful phrases.

    Great stuff Pat! :)

  • Onder

    While this approach is good. Very soon, it’s going to be pretty difficult to pinpoint exactly where the traffic is coming from due to Google blocking the ability to see these longtail keywords in Google Analytics (Which sucks!) by introducing SSL to their service.

    So really, it’s all going to boil down to one thing – How passionate you are about the Niche you’re targeting.

    So not knowing about the longtails will literally encourage and force everyone to go deep into their niche sites. With a 100 posts to a site, there’s no doubt you’ll get traffic and potential income along the way.

    • steve wyman


      The answer is to move away from analytics if that actually happens to players such as stacounters.

      Then you can still get the raw data.

      Analytics doesnot control the data it meerel filters and represents it.

  • Brusca

    I started a new niche site in May and similarly the targeted keyword is only a small portion of my traffic. I now have close to 4000 uniques from 1000 organic keywords/phrases and closing in on $600 per month.

  • Brad

    I think its just jealousy. Its much easier to claim someone is lying about results than admit to ourselves that we are simply underachieving.
    You really are inspiring me to start working hard on my niche sites. I have let them sit for too long, and as a result still have no income.

    PS. On a weird side note, I had a dream that I was working with you on your campaign to be President. We were building niche sites and that work was going to help you get elected somehow.
    I think I need to stop reading SPI right before going to sleep.

    • Pat

      Whoa Brad, whoa. LOL!

      So many funny things about your dream – me running for President, but I think it’s even funnier that we were building niche sites together for my campaign. LOL! I love it.

      Thanks Brad!

  • Christiaan

    Reading this blogpost and others over the last few days has rekindled that itch inside me to start building some small sites.

    Over the years I’ve been postponing this, and although I don’t believe in a site gathering such a masive income, (Sure, there will be sites out there, but they seem few and far between) I DO believe in smaller sites making something like 30 a month. A dollar a day per site.

    Ten sites, 300 dollars, thirty sites 1000. Which is more than enough for my needs.

    What do you think Pat and fellow readers, can this be easily done? Or is even a 30 dollar site a rarity?

    • Ben

      For starters, great post Pat! Those who don’t believe you simply don’t know the power of long tail keywords.

      Anyways, to answer your question Christiaan:

      A $30 a day site is not as difficult as you would think. For a while, I took the route of making tons of micro niche sites, but ultimately, I found it to take too much time (managing all those sites isn’t easy). I’d rather put my focus into 3 larger sites, which is what I’m currently doing now:

      Site 1 – 149,000 exact searches – $12.00 CPC
      Site 2 – 17,500 exact searches – $3.50 CPC
      Site 3 – 6,000 exact searches – $17.00 CPC

      With all the updates by Google, I feel like those micro niche sites aren’t doing as well. Google wants sites that are constantly being update, and that’s what I’m doing. I write a new post for each of my sites 4 times a week. Just think 3 months ahead. 4 posts a week, for 3 months? 48 posts per site already. Keep going at it, and you’ll have hundreds of posts before you know it.

      So my two cents, don’t take the path of building tons of smaller sites. With 3 sites, you cam kae well over $1000 a month (as Pat has clearly shown us here).

      Good luck!

    • DJ Duty

      I’ve had a niche website for around 4 months now, and I made $40 last month, $43 this month via adsense alone. I’m now in the process of writing my first informational product, which I’ll be selling starting next week for $50/month.

      My goal was never to create an informational product, but to create the niche site and leave it alone to create another one.. but once I saw the potential of this audience (I’m #13 in google and seeing 500-3000 unique visitors a day) I couldn’t resist creating a product.

      You can’t get better at guitar without a guitar, you can’t learn to ride a bike without a bike, and you can’t get better at running a business if you don’t have a business to practice on.

      I’m writing my first eBook as a way to practice running a company, so I can bring myself out of the lower class and into a comfortable lifestyle.

    • Kirk

      Christian very easy to do. Takes a bit of time and if you want to do it with free tools probably much more time. But Pat has pretty much posted the formula here. His backlinking strategy will get you near or on page 1. Then you will have to get a bit more creative but getting on page 1 is usually enough to earn you 20-50 on a micro niche site if you choose well. Once you do a couple though you will notice that if you spend more time choosing your keyword can earn much more. Sometimes it takes awhile to season a site so if you keep nudging a micro site every once and awhile it will slowly keep bumping up.

  • Bo

    Hey Pat, I actually had a debate about this. Oct. 13th panda affected my long tail and a fellow marketer mentioned that your site was still #1 so there was nothing to worry about. My problem was that I was also still #1 for my main keyword but I lost most of my long tail. This was consistent on a few sites. My main argument was basically ” so what if his site is still #1, he mentioned most of his traffic is from long tail.” Point being, that it was too early to conclude that you didn’t get affected just because you still ranked #1 for main keywords.

    From the sounds of it, looks like you did not get affected by panda 2.5. Can you confirm this?

  • Bo

    To anybody that may recognize my name or comment, that is not my gravatar. I was asked to be an editor to a blog and I wanted to show blog owner how adding a gravatar would show authority on his blog. Forgot to change it back, oops. Will do when I get in front of computer lol.

    • Pat

      LOL – no worries about the Gravatar Bo, however when you change it back it’ll say that THAT one is not the real one, hehe. No biggie.

      To confirm, I was not affected by Panda 2.5. If I was it wasn’t anything huge.

  • Joel

    Thanks for the informative post Pat! I started f out reading “domaining” blogs and then found my way here. I love your site and listen to your podcast on my walks between classes. It’s great!

    I have one question: Did you specifically target other researched keywords with the articles on your site, or write them as you thought of them? Thanks!

  • Nick

    Great post Pat! I believed you already, but it definitely shows why you are making so much. Erases any doubts people may have. I wish my blog had that many keywords. Maybe someday! I have found that my biggest keyword that is driving traffic was actually an accident.

  • dave

    Great post, one question (you’ve probably mentioned this before in previous posts but I’m new to your blog), what kind of link building (if any) do you do for the security guard site? Or do you just focus on the 100+ articles? Cheers!

  • retirebyforty

    Thanks for sharing. So the total SE visit is around 12,000 right? You still need a pretty high CTR to get $1,500, don’t you? I’m still learning about all these.

  • Conrad

    Awesome article, Pat. I’ve had this same discussion with others in the past. Long tail keywords comprise around 70% of searches so it’s important during niche selection to find keywords that have decent exact results as well as good broad (/synonym) searches.

  • Ian

    Nice work, Pat.

    I’d definitely spread content out over a few sites. I had an amazing site that accounted for 90% of my income and it got wiped out by Panda 2.5 (which was almost definitely targeting affiliate marketing).

    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. 😉

    To Pat or anyone else who wants to see an awesome site that got hit by Panda, DM me on Twitter.

  • Allan

    Interesting article, Pat.

    I’ve found that early on it can be difficult to determine what the long tail keywords will be. Once I target a keyword with more searches and start getting traffic, that’s when I begin to see the long tail searches and I do additional research on them to increase the traffic.

    I also agree with the idea of increasing the number of articles on the one site. I’ve found with one of my blogs that the level of traffic has increased in line with the increased number of articles I’ve published – there’s more ways people can find my site via google searches.


  • Alana

    Thanks for sharing the exact numbers! It’s nice to see that it is possible to build a profitable niche site as long as the content is valuable.

  • Find Freedom

    I think that this is awesome. Ive been testing mini niche sites as well, and I don’t think its dead either. I’ve been creating blogs for a specific product and then having affiliate links to buy the product as well as adsense. This post is very inspiring. Great job and thanks a lot!

  • Chris

    Pat – I think its GREAT that you addressed the critics (skeptics)… There’s a lot of gurus in every type of niche that don’t touch these issues.

  • Brigit | Biddy Tarot

    Isn’t it crazy that you have to defend your success? I have seen some of the comments on other posts where people are challenging your success and I am just taken aback. Can’t we just give you a pat on the back (no pun intended) and say, awesome job?
    Anyway, appreciate you going through the details as it helps for our own niche sites.

  • Loretta

    Finding those unexpected profitable niches is half the fun of niche marketing! Anyone that called you a liar is just a jealous fool. You always provide us with great information backed by integrity.

  • Brusca

    It all revolves around the keyword research. I like to spend a good amount of hours on keyword research. The rest is easy to follow and is a simple system to setup, but if you don’t find the right keywords then you are likely wasting your time.

    For example my latest niche site, I spent quite a few hours finding a keyword/phrase and once I did, on September 30 I started a new small niche. In 25 days my new niche site has had 1871 unique visitors and it is 100% organic traffic with 189 long-tail keywords.

    Just spend the time researching and making sure the keyword/phrase checks out.

  • Ming Jong Tey

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for sharing your traffic data. This possibility with this kind of traffic is truly amazing! We knew that most of the mini niche sites contain around 10 pages (more or less) and if it certainly worth to snap a few ready mini sites and keep adding more posts with LSI target the long tail keywords to bump up the income :)


  • Tram tran

    So much MatHs;) I can’t hack it. I’m kidding.
    The idea of niche site is awesome, however, like you said it takes heaps of time( well, anything does, really) good luck and keep rocking Pat

  • Dave Starr

    Tu know what I feel a lot of people fail to realize about this Security Guard jobs site, Pat.

    The fact that it is way more than just a numerical exercise. To my mind it would be just as possible to select a keyword in, say the “surf board” niche. I just looked an saw a number of words in that general area sitting at 9000 plus exact match USA searches.

    But what is going on in the USA right now? A huge recession and massive unemployment. And the hardest hit in unemployment are those with no special job skills.

    Those folks aren’t likely to be looking for surfboards.

    But they are very likely to be looking for a job, especially when their unemployment benefits run out.

    And not to denigrate the security guard industry, but security guard jobs, on average, have very few educational or experience requirements.

    Hence, 9,000 people a month looking for some variation of surfboards are a heck of a lot less attractive as site visitors as are 9,000 guys and gals who need a job and need to know where they can get training, the requirements for their state, how to get a license, etc.

    Don’t just look at the raw numbers, folks, look at what Pat is “selling”.

    No matter what sort of site you contemplate, the bottom line algorithm for making money is, find something people NEED (like a job) and direct them to it.

    People ‘want” surfboards, they “NEED” a job, though, before they can buy one.

    I think a lot of IM’ers out there would make more money if they turned off the keyword tools, stopped chasing a lot of nebulous numeric parameters and started thinking more about what people NEED and how to help them find it.

    Or so this old man opines, anyway.

    • dave

      But if you wanna go surfing guess what you need? hehe just being argumentative.

      That’s an interesting point though and something I hadn’t really considered. But if you’re just monetizing through adsense does it really matter? I agree if you’re trying to sell a product it makes a lot of sense.

      • Dave Starr

        I’d submit, if you want to make money with AdSense, you ARE selling a product … to make money you need to attract readers who click on ads, exactly as if you were selling, say an eBook, or a camera, or whatever.

        That is where I feel many of us who make money from AdSense miss the point. People are more inclined to click on ads (or click on a “Buy Now” button) for things that they perceive they need.

        There’s really very little difference between”selling clicks” and “selling” something else. I also have learned over the years that “what people click on” makes a big difference in theri “after click” behavior and thus what Google pays you over time.

        If dozens of people click everyday on some phony scam site, which they leave in an instant, although no one here can speak authoritatively, my experience indicates Google will rapidly put you down into the “penny per click” area.

        If readers click on ads that they spend time on, and especially click through to buy from … wow, your CPC will certainly take a jump .. or so it seems, being on the receiving end of what Google decides to pay.

        That’s why I feel this site has been a success for Pat. If the site was instead, “how to build a Ponzi scheme and make a million in 24 hours”, he’d get a lot of clicks and a lot of advertisers, because the ‘Net is still awash with suckers and those who want to fleece them, but there would be no value received by “clickers” and thus, I’m pretty sure, a heck of a lot less AdSense revenue.

        I may be riding the “Provide Value, Honorably” horse too hard, but I rmeber some great advice I got from a real expert some years back … never build or be associated with a site you wouldn’t feel comfortable explaining to your grandmother. Pat can say, 100% truthfully, “I have a site to help people in need of a job get work.” Seems like good advice to me …

  • Phil Jensen

    This is awesome….I had a post in draft about the same topic (I think I’ll drop it as you’ve covered the topic quite well).

    I had some people call me a liar when I mentioned that my site was making $30 a day on only 6,000 global searches for my main keyword. Pat is right, with proper niche focus, a high CTR theme and attention to long-tail keywords it’s definitely possible to design some fairly profitable sites with lower monthly global searches.

    Another great post.


  • Jeff Carson

    It’s so dependent on the niche (and helpfulness of the site, and payout, etc) …I have a site that ranks #1 for a “hosting” keyword that comes back in the GKWT at 3,600 exact per month, and consistently makes between 1k and 2k a month.

    …of course I haven’t done anything to it since February! Oh, man, if ONLY I had written one article a week since then!

  • Andy

    You know how Market Samurai says that the CPC rate is THE most important Golden Rule? Well, if you know of various ways that a site can make money besides google ads (affiliates etc.), is it possible to make money off a keyword that gives a decent amount of traffic, but which Market Samurai said had an almost 0.00 CPC?

    • Kirk

      Very true!

    • steve wyman

      Sure, especially when your tacking the traffic and sending it to amazon!
      One of the many reasons I completely ignore MS for KW now its just off. for example why default or have anything to do with Broad match… Yes i understand broad but to default to broad leads to confusion and folks buying domain with 10 exact matches a month :-(


  • Casey

    I’ve been waiting for this post. :) I just started ranking my site about a month ago. I’ve had the majority of all my traffic coming from long tailed keywords i didnt target. Each keyword brings in about 2 visitors a peice and there are new keywords poping up each day. Thats the beauty of long tailed keywords and analytics. It makes me want to build out an authority site on a niche i enjoy myself. Anyways, this post was very much needed indeed and im glad you mentioned the power of the long tailed.


  • James Hussey

    It’s clearly easier to point fingers at you for being a liar than to stop and simply do the necessary work to learn basic SEO and traffic/profit generation strategies, though.

    I could come here and point fingers at you for lying, but where would that increase my bottom line?

    Seriously it’s pathetic, straight up blog and income envy – but thanks for the post since it just illustrates that you know what you’re talking about (don’t you hate having to prove to detractors all the time?).

    Sorry, just a little frustrated on your behalf – seems petty and I’ve had a few pepper me with similar comments and have to wonder what good it does them to bother.

    Anyway, great breakdown here, way to make lemonade out of lemons.

  • Richard Scott

    Great post. Always love the attention to details.

    I do feel it depends on the niche. I have one website with 1,000 pages that brings in $2,000 a month, and another website with 70,000 pages that brings in $1,000 a month. They both get about the same amount of high traffic. Every niche, site, product and visitor is different and results will vary drastically. Even with all the time and effort spent researching the field, you’ll just never really know if it’s a winner until you try.

    Your posts inspire me to keep moving and building more. :)

  • Dan @ I Would Coach

    I’m sure this silenced and critics you had…once again. Transparency at it’s finest. Keep up the good work. I think you have earned the name Kiyosaki 2.0 – for the modern generation. Now you just need to come up with your title for your first book…Rich Site Poor Site?

  • Greg Lam

    I’m up in the air on niche site vs. all-in-one. Right now I’ve gone the all-in-one site as I felt the authority of the domain would help all the articles rank better. All my topics are business related, so it works for now.

    • Kirk


      I am moving away from the Niche sites at least for awhile because they are so dependent on Google. To me that is a single point of failure. I think a good solid authority site with a wide funnel of twitter, video, direct, article, blog referrals plus organic is a safer long term view. And I am also looking to make that site in the business areana.

  • Phanindra

    Its really great to see the kind of transparency which you provide to the users.
    I never doubted your abilities, but had a doubt if it is really possible for one to build a kind of search with low traffic and make huge income from adsense.
    And this post details everything. You are really an excellent motivator :)

  • Paul Caparas

    Hi Pat, congrats on the success on your security guard training niche site. As for if I had 100 articles, I would actually spread them out to my sites differently. Ex. if I had a site that was low on content, I would add about 15 articles to that site versus one that had a lot of content which I would just add 5.

  • Ally

    Funny story, well, it’s actually not funny to me but it might be funny for others. Back in March, I was so impressed with Pat’s niche site that I decided to try one myself. I found a great career related keyword with 9,900 searches per month and a similar CPC to Pat’s niche site. The competition was a little tough but doable. I bought the domain name, added a theme (same theme as the security guard site), installed plugins and started writing. I wrote 1 article for each of the 50 states (I couldn’t afford to outsource it). It took me weeks to get it done. I followed Pat’s backlink strategy exactly. Since the competition was a little more fierce, I had to create a lot more backlinks. It took 3 months to get into the top 10. However, my site was only making $100 a month. I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t making the $1,000’s of dollars Pat’s site was. I didn’t think Pat was a liar but I couldn’t figure out how his site was making so much more than my site. I eventually decided to move on and start another site. I was doing keyword research last week for my new site and figured out the problem. I was searching by broad match and not exact match. When I do exact match, my site should only get 500 searches a month. Ouch! All that work for only 500 searches. And, since I stopped adding backlinks, the site quickly fell to 23rd in the rankings. It is now only making a few dollars every couple of days. The good news is that I found a new keyword that has me very excited. It has 3,300 exact match searches, most of the sites in the top 10 have 50 backlinks or less (three websites are niche sites with less than 5 articles each) and the CPC is $75. I’m thinking the $75 is a glitch but I’ve got to try it and find out for myself. I have the website all set up and now I just need to crank out some articles. I have a ton of ideas for this site. Sorry for the long comment. I just had to tell that story.

    • Pete

      Thanks so much for sharing Ally. Your story finally made it click for me why my site was doing the same thing. My story is basically identical to yours so I went back to check exact match searches and its actually only a few hundred per month! Ouch. Now I can move on to finding a new niche. Thank you.

  • Jonathan

    I would love to see an analytics report from your security guard training site!

  • Momekh

    Of course Pat, you are talking about Adsense earnings.

    If you focus now on affiliate earnings – selling products DIRECTLY RELATED to they exact match keyword – then I reckon the site can make upwards of 4000 per month, given that you have about 3400 exact match searchers pitching up to your website.

    If nothing else, it will be a very ‘instructive’ lesson for all of us :)
    Very happy – and inspired – to see this Pat, rock on and God bless.

  • Dennis

    I have a niche website with 6 pages 3,000 page views a day, CTR of 25 to 26% and 99.99% organic search engine traffic and it earns $50 a day.

  • Dave

    Here are my answers:

    Q: If you had the ability to just snap your fingers and create 100 well-written posts right now about anything, would you rather have them published on one beefy niche site, or spread them out to 10?

    A: I would spread the 100 posts to 10 different sites (don’t put all your eggs in on basket). Among those 10 sites I will continue to build the ones that get better results and turn them into big authority niche sites.

    Q: Is it possible to do keyword research in a way to find out potentially how many long-tail keywords one could get traffic from for a specific target keyword? This would give us the ability to target keywords that might have less as far as actual search numbers for one term, but still cash-in on the industry. I don’t think anyone expected me to earn $1500+ per month with my security guard training site..

    A: I don’t think there is a way to do keyword research that will tell you about all the long tail keywords your site will rank for and get traffic from. You wouldn’t take the time to try and rank a site for a long tail keyword that will bring in a few visits a month. By working hard on the heavier keywords you will get ton of traffic for other long tail keywords just as your site proves.

    Q: If all of us with existing mini-sites (sites that are usually worked on and then left alone once they are ranked) wrote 1 new article a week, how much more traffic and income could we make by the end of the year?

    A: I can’t tell you the exact number but i’m sure we will make more money that will be well worth the little extra time it would take to write and article a week. And for those of us that don’t like writing we can always outsource that out. That would be money well spent in my opinion.

    Q: What would happen if I bought a small niche site and just started adding new content to it?

    A: That is an excellent question and I feel that it might be your next project. If so, it is a great idea and i’m sure I won’t be the only one to think so and look forward to the results.

    Thanks Pat for sharing this information.

  • Mary Jaksch | A-List Blog Marketing

    I’ve been reading all your niche site material. It’s highly addictive.
    I’m doing a lot of study and experimenting with niche sites. In contrast to Pat, I’m using affiliate marketing to turn the niche sites into cash.

    It’s a bit too early to report how it’s going. But so far, so good :-)

    What I’m not clear about is whether an affiliate oriented niche site has the same potential for long-term development. Maybe one way to hedge our bets is to create niche sites that work for both affiliate – and adwords monetization.

    Pat, thanks so much for your niche series and this post. Inspiring!

  • Byron

    Hej Pat, may I ask how much you spend for your VA, Theme, .. so far for this site?

    Cheers, Byron

  • Justin

    Great post! I think you’d mentioned some of this before, but it’s good to address based on the frustration and disbelief posted in the comments in your income report, I think.

    We’ve been working on two mini-authority sites…something in-between what we’ve done and what you’ve done here (One of them using a modified SimpleFolio theme, actually) and are interested to see the results. I’ve been very disappointed with the low CTR as that’s not what we’re used to, but hoping over time we’ll make up for that with traffic and improve/optimize over time.

    Do you do any targeting or grouping to get your long-tail traffic, or did you really, simply just write for readers and let the traffic come? For example…did you target cities or geolocations with higher search volume initially and move down the list, based on search volume? I don’t remember reading a post on that.

    Thanks as always, Pat!

  • Tom Ewer

    Never doubted you Pat. I am definitely a fan of the “authority” style site, so would definitely go for lots of articles on one site. My site (modeled after SGT) was doing pretty well until Google destroyed it.

  • Paul Cunningham

    Those screen shots are obviously Photoshops 😉

    • Pat

      LOL Paul!

  • Brian Wallace

    Pat, I went to look at your site to see how the ads look. I wanted to see I would be comfortable placing ads on my site or if they came across funny. I don’t see any ads on the site???


    • Pat

      Hey Brian – there are ads there. Did you go to You can see a horizontal row underneath the image of the make security guard, and then under that, sort of in the middle is an adblock. All of that is Google Adsense.

    • Riley Cabot

      Brian, do you have an adblocker on?

  • Alex

    Thanks for the great post Pat. Just bought “The Long Tail” by Chris Anderson and it shows that the long tail is where its at. Pat, Thank you for everything, I just had my best adsense earnings yesterday. I just kept on grinding and stayed focus,and the results of alll that hardwork are showing. I remember the days when all I got was a few cents, or a dollar, I thought it would be impossible to ever get a google check. Now the checks come every month. Now I know better! Thanks again Pat, you are the one that got me started.

  • Trent Dyrsmid

    Hey Pat,

    Terrific post. I’m sure you’re readers will learn a lot from it.


  • Jamie Northrup

    I think I would spread the articles across 10 mini sites, I love mini sites, not sure why, but I just do. If one takes off then I can focus more on that one if I want to.

    I love all those questions you have at the end of the post, maybe you can attempt to answer them using your Security Guard Training website and do some testing.

  • Ben@boredseo

    Have to love the power of longtail keywords. Anyway I would rather have 100 posts on one site then spread out on 10. Authority sites are just funner to run. Now am off to go rank for security guard training. (Just kidding) great post.

    • Pat

      Haha, you wouldn’t be the first person to do it 😛

      Thanks, and I totally agree – but to each their own!

  • Mary Jaksch | A-List Blog Marketing

    I don’t agree with having 100 posts on a niche site.

    I thought the benefit of a niche site idea was to get some residual income? If you put 100 post up – then the niche site just turns into another blog that demands to be fed.

    Pat – what do you think? Does this idea of the enlarged niche site kill the idea of passive income?

    • Pat

      Hi Mary, great question! Thank you!

      To answer, I don’t think so – I think it just means there’s a bit more work upfront to make things happen and see bigger returns. I can still walk away from my site for weeks and do nothing but still see $100+ a day from Adsense, which is cool.

      Even small niches – you can’t walk 100% away from, there has to be some sort of maintenance (especially now with Google’s recent Panda updates).

  • patrick

    Great post Pat.

    I would have to say that I prefer having 100 posts on a single niche site as apposed to 10 niche sites with 10 posts.

    My reason for that is that you build a lot more authority from having so many high quality posts on a single site and the additional traffic that would be generated from that site can increase the opportunities I would have for making money on that site, such as creating an mini store using sites such as Amazon and Ebay, selling advertising space or selling an e book.

    I also feel it’s easier to manage and will do a better job of weathering Google’s updates and algorithm changes, as well as the fact that I would rank better for long tail keywords.

  • Brad Gerlach

    I am not sure how reliable Market Samurai and Google Keyword Tool are. I used Google when I did my research for my domain name and did it again after purchasing Market Samurai.

    While I did pick a good keyword and both had similar numbers, I am now ranking #1 for my keyword and barely see anyone coming to my site from that search.

    I even looked up the impressions for that keyword in Webmaster Tools, and it is in the single digits. I am not sure where Google is getting their numbers, but they are highly inflated in my case.

    Luckily, my SEO and content is bringing in some decent traffic. Since the Panda tweak on October 14th, my site has been seeing even more traffic! I just wish I was seeing the 1,000+ from my keyword that MS and Google predict.

    • dave

      how do you know you’re ranking #1?

      • Brad Gerlach

        Well, Market Samurai has a ranking tool, plus one of my other traffic trackers also have it. Finally, if I sign out of my Google account, I can find my site in the top spot. I also confirmed it by having someone else search on another computer who has no interest in the niche.

        I was sitting at #3 for six months or so, but finally leaped over 2 Wikipedia entries. I believe it was due to Google’s recent update but I have been doing a lot of backlinking work.

        I actually sit in the Top 2 spots. One of my posts is also ranked for the same keyword.

        • dave

          Fair enough sounds like you have your bases covered :) Interested to know what happens, sounds like you’re right it must be an over-estimation?

    • Pat

      Are you sure you set it to “EXACT” match when doing your research? Having it on broad (which is the default) can make a HUGE difference. What was the PBR ratio in Market Samurai as well?

      • Brad Gerlach

        Ahh, that’s probably it.

        Damn! All that work for nothing? We will see.

        What exactly is the broad mat h showing then? Sounds like a useless figure.

        Regardless, I have been seeing an increase in traffic and think I can get more with more content and work.

        • Brad

          Just consider it a relatively cheap lesson.

          I think it happens to a lot of people to start with. I think I caught the mistake before I put up my first site. I did however not pay any attention to the CPC.

          Either way, go back and check the numbers on exact. You don’t want to waste the time to build up a site that isn’t worth it.

  • Chris R. Keller

    Hi Pat,

    People actually thought you were making the $1,500 off only the volume from the main keyword phrase…..who are these people?

    They should know that any website will have traffic coming from multiple keywords and multiple sources other then just organic search…..

  • Andy

    They are crazy you’ll be able to earn 10k with this 9000 exact maches.You have to test and test and test .

  • Matt

    I would write 10 articles for one niche site.

    As you already mentioned, the more you write, the more long tail keywords you’re going to inevitably use. Which Google likes.

    Also, when readers find your site, you want to make them come back for more. The only way to do that is to keep offering them content.

  • Lyman

    You know Pat every time I read about your security job site it makes me think of a part time security job I had when I got out of the marines. Thank God I don’t have to do it anymore :) Full Time Internet Marketer/Web Developer for about 2 years now! Keep up the great work Pat Hope to see you rolling out some more niche sites soon.

  • Glenn


    Another quality post, thanks for sharing :)

    I guess it all comes down to how much research you do prior to setting up your niche site.

    All the best for the future,

  • Dee’s house

    Hey Pat..

    FYI, At the end of your video, you mention to just click on the ‘Start Here’ button at the top.. but I didn’t see that button. Maybe it got moved in the redesign?


  • Brian Foreman

    Just wanted to say that you have helped me come a long way in my blogging journey. I am a Halloween/Haunted House Blogger and have steadily climbed my way to the top of Google and earned many subscribers thanks to your methods! I’m in a very targeted niche and one that I am also passionate about. I wrote a History Of Halloween E-Book using your template and will continue my success by following your lead. Have a Happy Halloween.

  • Kim

    I think I would initially put them all on one website just for the ease of only having to manage one website. But then as I saw what I was getting traffic for, and the long tail keywords related to the traffic, I might separate out a specific topic into a new website if it had many subtopics and long tail keywords to support it. Sometimes just looking at the traffic stats can give you new ideas and insights into a sub-niche that you wouldn’t have thought about otherwise.

  • Samuel

    Great work Pat. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now… Looking forward to see you hit 60K per month soon!


  • Isabella

    The power of the long-tail! An oldie but a goodie! It’s kind of surprising your detractors hadn’t worked out that you don’t get traffic from just one keyword – goes to show that the old basics need to be re-told again and again

  • Kathleen Robertson

    I love how this “controversy” had such an easy answer. Thank you for your explanation Pat! I did check out your security guard training site, and the Google Ads do lend themselves nicely to newbies who ‘don’t know where to start’. Your site is great resource and the surrounding Google Ads seemingly are as well. Traffic Traffic! :o)

  • Michael

    Hey Pat –

    I love your questions you pose at the bottom of this post. Those are all questions I have. I am working on building out a whole bunch of 5 to 10 article niche sites right now and am pondering if this is the right move. However I’ve been following along with Spencer from NichePursuit and think it could possibly work. And for my other niche site that is ranking I’ve been adding content constantly to it to make it more of an authority website.

    Anyways thanks for sharing your stats. This gives me hope to one day develop a site that could possibly create only a fraction of that per month. I’d be happy with even $300 a month from one particular site.

  • Lucas


    Niche sites are awesome! I have network with over 30 niche sites. The Key to success is good SEO Service. I am paying $200 per PAGE ONE GUARANTEE service on every keyword.

    fhusartex [.at.]

  • Joe Magnotti |

    Pat thanks for opening things up for us and giving a peek at why this site is so successful. It’s makes sense — we see a lot of unexpected long tail traffic leading to increased earnings as well.

    Now how to plan for this? I don’t know, but you could look at associated keywords and build page around the highest search volume ones. You might not rank, but your content would be so closely tied to the main keyword that you would logically rank for targeted long tail keywords. Still tough to predict and you have to wait a LONG time for the model to be proven.

    Question — how many sites did you go through that did NOT perform as expected before getting it right with this one?

    • Pat

      Hey Joe, to be honest, this was my first niche site that I really put 100% of my effort into. The accountability I had by publicly revealing everything as it was happening really helped me, but I had no idea it would perform like it has. Now that I’m here, however, I know why it was so successful and I’ve since had similar success on some more recent sites, although in less competitive niches with a lower CPC, so the return isn’t quite as high as the security site in my first attempt.

      • Justin


        Really love what you’ve done with the site and the traffic via longtails totally makes sense. I REALLY like the geo-direction you took with the site…it makes total sense with the niche.

        I’ve followed this strategy somewhat on two sites I was planning to build out to true “authority” status. One of my problems, though, is that it’s tough to be passionate about the subject. It’s becoming apparent to me that if you’re going to go the authority site model you have to have some real interest in the subject or it’s really hard to follow through. It’s easy to build out small niche sites on subjects that aren’t particularly interesting to you…harder to do with larger sites.

        I know that if we put the same love/attention into our “authority” site that we do into ASF it would be a homerun…but I’m wondering if we can pass that same success off and have it done through our outsourcing agents…that’s the real question…would take up less of our time and we could scale. Chris Ducker has a pretty good test going on that’s extremely interesting to us…

        • steve wyman

          Hi Guys

          When looking at creating more authority sites (unlike the 5 page niche sites) its fairly easy to create spreadsheets of related longtail keywords.

          By expanding the words per article up to over 1000 per page which is now standard on my main site you can get huge long tail traffic.

          My experience supports the 25% from main keywords and 75% from longtail.

          Even on smaller sites such as the keyword I got from your guy the longtial is where the traffic is :-)


  • Mike

    These tips are absolutely great. I search security guard training and see that now there are 49500 global searches! I wonder if this is mostly due to this site… That is crazy if the traffic was increased that much because it was indirectly promoted.

    • Jessica

      You’re looking at broad match instead of exact match. It’s still 9,900 exact match. I used to screw that one up all of the time :)

  • steve wyman


    Thanks for sharing. Usefull info and shadow my experiences with mid to large sites. The traffic is nearly always in the long tail. I do track upto 100 keywords in ranktracker for these sites.

    If i had 100 free paes I would with out doubt add them to ONE Site that I alredy had up and running or where i already understoof the niche :-) 100 pages would give me 100’s of oppurtunities to specifciallytarget lohg tial keywords and dominate the serps for them.

    The spreading 10 ove r10 site would only be a good idea if i had a load of new keywords ready to buy and wanted to find a new winner.


  • Jamie Hudson

    Well first, I would spread the 100 posts over 10 different sites and build links to them all until they’re ranking top 5, all 100 of them.

    Much better since you have sites to add content to. If you were to buy a niche site and start adding content, as long as you build links you’ll start getting a ton of traffic.

    I have over 100 niche sites now, I am now adding content to them all, yet 70% of them get 80% of their traffic from the EMD keyword meaning the home page.

    I have seen a 90% decrease in traffic since the panda 2.5.2 update, so I think it’s safe to say the days of building low quality micro niche adsense sites are over.

    Right now it looks like yours strategy is best. A few core keywords for the home and 100+ for internal article pages.

    • sss3d

      email me: admin at – wanna chat with you more

  • Sparkle

    I also was skeptic about your results as a newbie but I knew I only understood some of the things about keywords and niche sites. So, I did not write you off. But over the past few months, I have gained more information about keywords and niche sites and I understand you can do what you have done. Great information. Thanks for the post.

  • Ben Long

    great article – very hard to anticipate what long-tails will appear when going after one main keyword

    • steve

      Hi Ben

      Not really. Dont want to sound off. but you can anticipate fairly easily although it does take work.

      When working on a new niche I target EMD’s so sometimes the Main keyword for the site may not be the highest exatch match search for that niche (but it will still be 1500_ exact match).

      I then process that keyword through a number of keyword tools to get as many exact match serahc keywords i can related to it. Then when writing (or rather getting written) a 1000+ word article I endevour to get as manyof them as possible on page whilst maintaining the integrity of the article.

      I track them in rank tracker and with link building to the main keywords the related keyword rank fairly easily.


  • Rahul

    Patt flynn this was your luck. You got right niche on which people do click a lot. I agree some niche makes good money with good CTR and some are not. Can you produce same success 50 more times with 100% guarantee that you can produce such sites again and again which makes $1500 per month with exact 9900. I guess no. Many niches sites will make $15 with adsense many of them will produce 150-300 with 9900 searches per month. 1000s of niches out there. Now i am targeting 50,000-3,00,000-6,00,000 exact searches from some of sites. And if they make me $1500 per month. I will be happy. I want real big sites.


    • Tommy


      As you’ve been very blunt. Let me be so. Although not my site or position to defend Pat. You have simply made a basic mistake. Thats is the failure to read and understand the article above.

      9,900 exact match serach per month is not producing $1500 worth of income in this particular case. the total search volume of all the exact match traffic for ALL the keyword that the site ranks for IS producing the income.

      i.e. th erelated longtail variants are wher ethe money lies.

      And if your really targetting a 6,000,000 million exact match keyword phrase . LOL. No really ROFL. Thats crazy. I suspect a keyword at that level is a copyrigthed brand term and therefore you’ll waste time effort and have the lawyer get you to stop even if you do rank it which is not going to happen.

      BTW to get a 9,900 exact match keyword to produce $1500 a month is quite easy actually you just need

      9,900 exact match keyword with a good collection of related keywords
      cpc @ $30
      rank number one for the term on
      and produce around 50-60 pages of good content :-)

      oh its called an authority site.

      reference apretty decent tool for guidance.

      • Rahul

        Well i know it is overall 100s of articles which includes long tails for all US searches make money for security guards site. They are long tails. Also, some niche do makes this much of money from 9k approx.

        You have added one more 0. I am targettgin 50,000 to 6,00,000 exact and these are not super competitive niches. Also, not owned by any company name. Long term project.

        • tom

          SO DUDE what your saying is you were wrong to make teh statements you made.

          Your wrong in your inability to type a number and I for one dont believe what your saying.

          I do beleive what pat is saying.

          This is what you said exactly
          “. Can you produce same success 50 more times with 100% guarantee that you can produce such sites again and again which makes $1500 per month with exact 9900. I guess no. ”

          You are wrong. this is done by people all the time. ofocurse you can take a 9,900 exact match keyword phrase and make $1500 a month so your answer should have been “YES you can” Now that youve thought and realised your mistake – omitting the long tial and not reading what pat wrote you could simply say that.

          Your plans for 300,000+ exact match keywords are fool hardly with out significant financial muscle and a team to work with you’l not penetrate the top 10 for any meaningfull market. If the comp are not there then its becsue the money is not either.


  • Rahul

    Well pats site is not touched its full potential. Still it can double its money by optimizing more. This don’t rank for tons of long tails.

    Point was all niche websites can $1500 with 9900 and all long tails. i say no.

    One of my niche makes me $5 per month even i get 3000k visitors from US and with cpc $3+. People don’t click ads. CTR is less than 0.50%. even that niche was targeted. So, do i need to develop 200 more article in same niche. I say no. Instead i will go to the niche which have more CTR. desperate niche.

    Well niche like exact 50k makes $20 per day. Than 3,00,000 to 6,00,000 will surely make $50 per day etc. So, i don’t bother about insurance, cc, banking, make money online and health niche. this is foolish thing to compete with these niches. I have done it with 50k emd. So, i don’t think i need tons of resources and money. My target is to ranked in next two years.

  • Akil

    Hi Pat,

    Firstly, there will always be people who say what you or anyone else is doing online cant be true or cant be done. There are many factors that come in to play as in your not likely to get all 9,900 hits, depending on the google ads presented at the time and cpc for that ad, the temptation for people to click on the ad to find out more.

    Many factors come in to play. Also I was not sure if your stating that they believe you could be earning more or that’s its not possible to make 1500 base on 9,900 searches. It don’t matter your making it and its coming into your bank account. Let the naysayer say what they money cash is king especially in the current climate.

    Secondly, I would rather have 10 to 20 good post then 100 because all 20 would have a great chance of being read by one read and them book marking my site then that one individual reading all 100.

    This is what I am doing at the moment building site with 10 to 20 blog post and providing content of value hopefully(lol). The journey is fun and I wouldn’t change for the world. I like learn and growing as well as helping others.

    Much success to you pat

  • Emma

    Good point Pat. I think we forget about all the other incidental keywords that people can find our site through. I am still only about page 20 on Google for my primary keyword yet every day I get found in the search engines by a host of other keywords which is terrific for short term traffic.

  • Steve

    Great post ! I’ve been a bit busy so I have not been on SPI much but I too have noticed that if you write content that is relevant and well written you will increase your long tail keywords. I have a site that is seasonal and I found that as the problem occurs the keyword count increases, and the different keywords that I rank for increases. Although I have Adsense on the site I don’t think my particular subject has a great deal of advertiser traction.

  • Sheyi

    Haters will continue to hate and doubters will continue to doubt. You leave them adn let”s continue to make the money online.

    Sheyi Shobayo

    • Jens P. Berget

      True. But I believe that by adding so much details on how much Pat is earning, and exactly how he’s earning it (the exact methods), it’s close to impossible to doubt.

  • Kylie W

    Pat ! I have tried putting more contents on micro niche but It always does stop at one point. Once you hit that point, no matter how strong your contents are, traffic will not increase. It’d rather stay same. There might be some niche that would be just opposite of what I just said. May be I haven’t come across with such niche yet.

    • Sheyi

      Kylie, to add to what Casey advised, try install seo search terms tagging 2, you can know the long tail KWs people are using to find your site, just bundle couples together and you can write an article on that.


  • Casey

    @kyle w.. That is because when your niche is laser targeted and focused on something like for example little red toasters, you cant write 100 articles on little red toasters. Instead, build something more broad like more of an authority site that carries all sorts of appliances. That way you always havw somerhing to writw about and you can build out the site. You should also look into writing themed articles with keywords that are relevent to your seed keyword or the one you are targeting. Add relevent longtailed keywords that you can put together in a group before writing. Research and once you have a nice group of themed kewords, write an article that reads well and flows.

  • stevewyman


    Some intereting advice but no the only options.

    Have you achieve position 1 for each article/keyword you have targretted? if not there is a huge difference in traffic from position3 to position one.

    You dont talk about your backlins just content so theres an are to imporve.

    Also with refernce to @casey whilst thats one options if even the domain name is “little red toasters” because that was a great EMD you can still grow the site laterally and upwards creating catgeogies and posts in Short kewyords or higher volume area. Plus you can write targetted review article for each and every “Little red toaster” sold on amazon and use their affiliate program.

    Then create a category for each manufacturer, each type etc. Also you can target “Large Silver Toasters” so you have nothing wrong with that.

    Ofocurse you can just start new and more mirco niche sites targeting each categroy of toaster.

    There seems to be an assumption being spread that thin sites are dead! no so. They may not b optimal but they still work just fine. Fine but quality is still ok.

    Not sure thats true.. Ok well visit and see spencers results on 20+, 1 Page niche sites


  • Sheyi

    Niche sites are not dead depends on the ‘niche’ itself. I have couples of niche sites
    doing just pretty fine online and no drop in ranking.


  • muddaser

    hey pat,
    the most interesting part is that I’ve spend more time in finding ads on your security guard training site then reading this post, but amazingly i didn’t find any, I hope you can explain whats going on, and i am sure you are not using any adsense hidden clicker hehe, no doubt on that.

    • Pat

      Hey Muddaser, they are there. On any page in the curved area beneath the header, and on every post at the top right of the content, and below the content as well.

      • muddaser

        ok and thankyou for reply, I am actually listening one of your pod cast. i must say pat you are one of the ideal people online telling and earning good. by the way i wanted to ask something from you,

        I’ve been visiting your blog since 5 months and read your getting started post many times, the thing i wanted to ask is that can you write a detailed post about your very initial days of blogging, like me many of us are new to blogging and facing many problems like money and traffic, i want you to write:
        your initial feelings, how you felt when you started,
        your first ever income from this blog,
        how did you do that, and what people and posts you followed when you started this blog. i hope you’ll write up this for us.

    • Jens P. Berget

      Ads that are “hidden” inside the content is the best type of ads. No wonder why you earn that much money from the site Path :)

  • Dave Starr

    muddaser, the ads are quite obvious, although they are blended with the site colors well. Do you perhaps have ads or javascript turned off in your browser?

    I’ve found it very useful, over the years, to vist any site I know to be making money and analyzie, bit by bit, from the top left of the whole page to the bottom right … just to see how different folks are monetizing.

    Years ago I had a nice little plug-in that automatically drew a red box around AdSense blocks. Wish there was on like that for Chrome.

  • Andy

    When I did a keyword search for “security guard training it came up with 49,500 global searches. A lot more than 9,900 you mentioned. How can this be so off on the numbers??


    • Stevewyman

      Hi Andy

      Your looking at the Broad match results not the Exact Match. I do so wish google would defualt to Exact match.


      • Sheyi Shobayo

        If google should make exact match default then it’s not good. Broad results has it’s own value and one of it is that you can actually get a closer idea of the CPC from broad result


        • Tom

          Hi Sheyi

          Thats not so true.

          Exact match is the only one that makes sense when your talking about an Exact Phrase.

          Broad is usefull to understand the potential for the domain but not for the phrase and we are looking at a phrase here specifically.

          To get a better understanding of the CPC then the traffic estimater is more usefull Or better still go to to get there evaluation.

          To often the CPC fron adrowrds tool has been proven to be widely off by a factor of 100% many times as it doesnot show whats actually being bid currently. Spyfu not only shows you thebid but the history of the keyword phrase and trending.

          Ofcourse even then your only going to get part of the the CPC quaoted say 60%.

          The really best way to get valuations is to use a tool suach as the calculator on which iwll give you an avergae projection.


        • Sheyi Shobayo

          Thanks Tom for the update. I actually got that from a top affiliate but since you clarified this out and gave a good info on how best to know real cpc then i hands up.

          Thanks for the info and i found spyfu to be useful cant believe it’s free!


  • Andy

    Oh, I see now. Did not realize that till you mentioned it. So better to use exact match. Got it.
    Thank you

  • alansm

    Wonderful post, I open my mind. I agree with your say: “Write more. Get found more”. But we need put priority on the main keyword.
    Thank for sharing.

  • Marcelo

    Gday Pat,
    Love your work!

    I’m evaluating top 10 results and the Yahoo Directory listing is the only thing that worries me, meaning 9 out of 10 have a Yahoo Directory listing, PR0s and 0 links search volume 2600 , would you still maybe consider that niche? Would it be just a bit more difficult to succeed, or a LOT harder?


  • Dan Ray

    I would defo spread them over the 10 sites, something I have been doing ever since I got into IM, I was considering either just setting and leaving or selling the majority of my sites this month to concentrate on a few of the bigger earners, but the most recent google update, dropped my main money site from 1 to 25 in google.

    As you can imagine this devastated my income from that site, luckily (or well planned) I had my other sites earning me some dollah so that I could absorb the loss.

    I t has defo reaffirmed my “dont put all your eggs in one basket” philosophy.

  • Judicaël


    Thank you for this post. 1500 $ is a very good for a niche’s site only with adsense.

    Some people says affiliate products are better than adsense, but i don’t think so. It’s possible to make more money with adsense on niche’s site.



  • Jonathan

    Awesome post Pat, very inspiring. Completely changed my outlook on adsense. I’m going to add it to my site ASAP. Wish I had done so earlier.

  • Dale

    This is really good info Pat. One thing I noticed using the Google Keyword tool is that the search results for a particular keyword seem to change pretty regularly. I doubt this is something I’m doing wrong but the results seem to change almost on a daily basis.

    Having the right keyword makes a huge difference. I guess what I could do for my website is write more posts that target other keywords that I may be interested in.

    Another question that I wanted to ask. Is your $1,500 per month income strictly adsense income? This is pretty amazing.

  • Dwight Anthony

    I’ve made a blueprint of the way you’ve created the security guard hq site and it really has been paying off.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog

  • Marian

    I just chanced across your blog on a search for exact match searches and have to say there is some useful info here so i will be following you now! You make a good point on including many more longer tail keywords in my niche sites so i will get to work on that now in combination with adding more content. Thanks.

  • John

    Just want to get on the email list.

  • AC

    Hey there! I am new to the internet type of business and want to be successful but do not feel that I am successful at all at getting paid for a few of the things that I am doing. I have not advertised my little blog site I just started but would like to when I am sure how to do it. I do not have the extra income right now, so I would appreciate some help. I make beautiful jewelry, write and have a few things I want to sell online.

    I would like to make a living working from home to make ends meet for my children and me. and catch on quickly but I have no idea where to start! I am nervous about jumping in the internet sea of business. If anyone is able to help me, I would be much appreciative of it! And of course :) I would like to be rich one day. Thank you.

  • dymeksc

    great post

  • Glori Mason

    Thanks for sharing this is very helpful, checked out Security Guard Training

  • behshid

    $ 1,500 per month is very excellent. But I think it is hard work
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