Investigating My 275% Increase in Adsense Revenue

passive incomeMy security guard training niche site from the Niche Site Duel has been sitting at number one in Google for a little over 2 months now. As January comes to an end, I’ve already passed the $400 mark in revenue for the month (from Google Adsense) – a 275% increase from December, and there are still 5 days left to go.

This drastic increase in earnings actually caught me by surprise – so I decided to do a little investigating to see where this extra income was coming from.

What I found out surprised me even more.

The Power of Long-Tail Non-Target Keyword

My first hunch told me to check my stats from Google Adsense.

Were there more clicks than last month?

Yes, of course.

Was there a higher click-through rate?

Nope! It was virtually the same as last month. So, this means that I had more traffic coming to the site (and obviously more impressions of my ad as a result, which was reflected in Adsense).

Google Analytics

Now that I knew I had more traffic, I wanted to figure out where it was all coming from. So that’s when I checked my Google Analytics account and noticed something very interesting.

Here is a snapshot of my traffic and keyword analysis for December (about 60 days to 30 days ago):

60 Days to 30 Days - Keyword TrafficNote that my target keyword, security guard training, accounted for about 62.88% of the search engine traffic coming to my site (total: 2,228 hits).

Now, let’s check out my results for the month of January, or about 30 days ago until present:

30 Days to Present Keyword TrafficThere was an increase in search engine hits, however my target keyword this month only accounted for 52.35% of search engine traffic, even though there were basically the same amount of hits (total: 2,263 – only a 1.5% difference). This means that 47.65% of my total search engine traffic, which amounts to 2,060 hits, came from keywords that are not my target keyword, and to be honest most of them are not even keywords I would have even thought of as secondary or tertiary keywords for this niche.

Here are some examples of some of the long-tail keywords that people are finding me with:

Long Tail Keywords in SearchesNotice that each one of these long-tail terms accounts for only one visit. That’s not anything spectacular unless you understand that there are thousands of these long-tail terms that drive traffic to my site. Like I said, these accounted for about 47%, or 2000 hits from search engines during the last 30 days, which is pretty amazing to think about. This is why, I believe I saw such a large increase in Adsense revenue over the past month. I’m guessing Google just happened to find my content relevant to these searches fairly recently.

For the Smart Passive Income Blog, I’m getting search engine traffic from about 5,000 different keywords each month, and only 28% of that traffic comes from my top 2 keywords:

SPI Passive Income KeywordsSome notable keywords that people have found my blog from are:

  • what makes you stand out from the crowd (22 hits)
  • don’t give up (15 hits)
  • 5 million dollars (8 hits)
  • my 2011 goals (6 hits)
  • true p90x results (2 hits)
  • names of ninja techniques (1 hit)
  • is pat flynn for real (1 hit)


How to Get Long-Tail Non-Target Keyword Search Engine Traffic

It’s easy: write.

And, write for people, not just the search engines.

The more content you produce, the more chances there are that people will find you – not only from the primary keywords that you place into your posts and articles, but from almost every other phrase that you write as well. It’s not really something that can be strategically planned, you just have to write, and write more.

When it comes to niche sites, a lot of courses recommend simply writing 3 to 5 posts, strategically crafted for particular keywords, and then that’s it as far as content is concerned. Work on your backlinking strategy and then eventually you’ll have an automated income stream.

Sure, that can work, but only 3 to 5 articles? That’s where you should start, however I believe you should keep adding content – as much as you can and feel comfortable producing, because like I said you’ll give yourself and your site more chances to reach more people through long-tail keywords like in the above examples. And, as a result, your traffic will go up, you’ll have a bigger audience, and more potential to earn more too.

Just for fun, what are some crazy or cool keywords that people have found your site with?

Thanks for your support, as always, and I wish you all the best. Cheers!

Other Posts in The Niche Site Duel Series

  • Azzam Sheikh

    Excellent timing on this post.

    I had been working on the in mind for a Google News inclusion.
    Consequently the writers have been churning out articles on a daily basis but not with search engine or long-tail keywords in mind. This strategy has caused the site to suffer in getting decent revenue from Adsense.

    However I think I will take this back to the drawing board and research some long-tail keywords and created some targeted content with a balance of reader expectation but with some SEO twist to it.

    What tool is out there that identifies long-tail keywords and Adwords payout? Is there a feature in Market Samurai, huh; did not even check it.


    • Pat

      Well, in Market Samurai you can set the specific number of words for relevant keywords that you generate for a specific topic or keyword from 1 to 10, so you could potentially generate up to 800 keywords with over 5 words, for example to get some really nice looking long-tail keywords to see what else people are searching for. It’ll tell you the CPC for each of those as well, which are usually low since they aren’t as competitive.

  • Hector Cuevas

    Congrats Pat. SE traffic is probably the best type of traffic.. it’s essentially effortless (after the months and years of hard work) :)

    I actually wrote a post a few weeks back about 20 keywords that were sending me traffic that I didn’t care about; mainly because they were non-targeted. I mean, these bad boys were WEIRD!

    giving up on everyone
    steve harlow blogger
    1000 words looks like
    4 super cans
    make my own world wide web

    See what I mean? ..I was happy to know that I wasn’t the only one getting found for weird stuff – some of my readers were, too.

    • Pat

      LOL – those are hilarious (except for the first one) 😛

      I’ll go back and check out that article. Thanks Hector. Cheers!

      • Hector Cuevas

        Yea.. the thought of anyone typing that first one into Google scares me a little.. I hope that person is OK

  • Akil

    Greate tip Pat, I am looking into same thing for my own blog at the moment as most of my traffic has been direct traffic and not search engine. You hit the nail on the head when you meantioned that we should write for people and not the search engine. As my blog is fairly new I am in the early stages and should welcome any traffic.

    I started to create my own niche site following the same strategy and tactis you mentioned in the niche site dual posting, so hopefully I can rank on page one for my keyword also. I will keep you posted.

    Thanks for the insite and wish you more success with your niche sites.

    • Pat

      Thanks Akil, and I wish you success as well. Keep at it and over time you’ll see some nice search engine traffic come your way.

      • Akil

        for my main site here are some of the keywords

        blue business background
        characteristics of something powerful
        draft land option legal agreement
        how can i read books by akil brown online

        I am into property which is why the legal agreement came up but never entered that as a keyword. The books by akil brown online is funny as I only suggested top 15 books to read this year as a post.

        Once I keep doing what I am doing and building small traffic channels I will get a big stream of traffic like you one day. We all had to start somehere and I am learning from those before what works and what doesnt and testing testing testing.

        Keep up the good work

  • Yolanda @ Paid in

    Hey there Pat, it’s good to see you getting a great share of long-tail traffic, but I think your stats also show that you aren’t just getting ‘looky loo’ traffic, but evidenced by your bounce rate, your long-tail traffic is actually sticking around to read your content.


    • Pat

      Very true Yolanda, not only are they finding me but they’re sticking around too!

  • Juuso Palander

    Hey Pat!

    Great insights once again. I’ve noticed the same trend in my blog, which is about achieving goals. I’ve got some funny examples about keywords leading to my blog:

    1. carpenter jobs
    2. boredom
    3. six pack
    4. building a pyramid
    5. developing country

    These are all in Finnish though, and I think it has something to do with the fact that there are very little competition in most keywords compared to sites written in English.

    By the way thanks for your great eBook about eBooks which helps me getting my first eBook done :) I’m currently writing a workbook for wannabe-bloggers who don’t have a clear picture about the subjects, look and feel of their first blog.

    • Pat

      Nice Jusso – some of those keywords could potentially be huge for future traffic generation, for example – six pack, and carpenter jobs. Good luck on your eBook and I’m glad I could help out! Cheers!

  • Wilson

    man, it is possible to grow a niche site really fast you’ve proved it man. Thanks for sharing the whole process it really helped me with my sites.

    here are my words:

    guy kawasaki mantra
    hating your job in a bad economy
    asshole kirby crew leader

    yea that last one I thought was crazy, must have been one of those poor salesman after quitting their kirby job. I know how it is when you quit that kinda gig.

    • Pat

      Yeah dude, that last one is hilarious – I don’t even know what that means, except that Kirby is a video game character, but it sounds like it’s not related to that 😛

  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    Awesome post Pat,

    I have also noticed that long tail keywords convert compared to short tail keywords because those people who discovered my site from generic/short tail keywords spend around 1-2 minutes on it while the ones from the long tail keywords stay for around 7-15 minutes.

    Thanks so much for the awesome post,

    • Pat

      Nice! Do you mind sharing maybe 1 or two of those longer tail keywords people are spending lots of time on your site with?

      • Onibalusi Bamidele

        Sure Pat,

        Some are:

        what challenges do you think someone might encounter when working from home? – 5 searches this month and an average of 8mins on site.

        how to know when to spend a lot of money selling your own product – 3 searches every month and an average of 10min on site.

        Thanks so much and keep up the great work,

  • Robert Dempsey

    Hi Pat great post. I especially love that last keyword, “is Pat Flynn for real.” Pure comedy.

    On my freelancer site I have very similar results. I posted every day for months and have a ton of interviews with freelancers, and optimized for their names and other items. Yay me!

    Anyhow, some of the words I get hits on that I never expected (over the past 30 days) are: lessons for future,exercise your options (a title of one of my posts), do everything in love.

    • Pat

      Haha – yeah, I thought it would be funny to put that in there 😛

      Great stuff Robert, it seems like you and I are on the same path when it comes to our blogs. I love “do everything in love” – that’s pretty cool. I thought it was awesome I got some traffic for “don’t give up”. Makes me feel good inside :)

  • Keith

    You should add to your site, it helps figure out which Long-Tail keywords to write for! It is worth the $100 bucks I think!

    • Pat

      Interesting, I’ll have to check this out. Thanks for the link Keith!

  • Paul Wright

    Hi Pat great article, I really think websites are like trees, We plant our seeds in the ground and it takes a while to start to grow but one they emerge from the ground there is no telling how big they will become.

    • Pat

      Great analogy Paul, I love it. There really is no limit except for time.

  • Peter

    Hey Pat,
    I can’t remember if you ever mentioned using google webmaster tools or not but one of the beauties of it is you can see what search phrases your site is being returned as a result (it’s under Webmaster Tools -> Your Site on the Web -> Search queries — if you have a new niche site, be sure to click on filters and select <10 impressions).

    I find this to be a pretty cool tool to see where you are ranking for keywords you wouldn't think of and to start targeting them.

    Hope this helps, keep up the good work!

    ps. when I glanced at the title of your post in my rss feed, I first thought it said "Investing my 275% Increase in Adsense Revenue" — thought you were going for something entirely new on the site…

  • John

    I definitely see a lot of traffic from long tail as well. Here’s a strange one I found.

    “Why do guitars make dogs nervous”

    I got a kick out of that one!

  • Ian – TheAffiliateJourney

    Solid post and a perfect example that 90% of all search phrases are unique (don’t know if that’s the exact # but I remember reading a few posts about it in the past that the majority of searches are unique).

    If you’re not doing it yet, check out your search queries for that site in Google’s WMT. I use that almost exclusively for established sites to determine what words I should focus on next to grab a #1 spot for. Some of those words you have only got 1 visit for could add even more to the adsense account IF you were #1 since there’s such a HUGE difference in CTR from the SERPS between spots 1-5.



  • Steve-Personal Success Factors

    Hi, Pat. I’ve been wondering for quite a while how to add longtail keywords to my site, and you answered it. Once we have built up the main keyword traffic, it’s then time to write for the readers. This is one of my main inspirations to keep going: blogging is something that pays off after years, not days, of work. (Even though there are some big short term gains, as evidenced by your Niche Site Duel :)

  • Mark Wiard

    Most unusual long tail keyword for us “madam nhu”. A controversial figure in South Vietnam before the war. We sell Life magazines, so live by the long tail. Somewhere there are several hundred people who want to learn more about the Madam (not a nice lady), we are of course sold out of her issues.

    Oh, and we definitely benefit from our extensive descriptions of each issue. Not quite informative blog posts, but good unique info just the same.

  • Paul

    About 86% of new visitors to my site find it through google, using the search term “angry baby.”

    Considering this is my personal blog about entrepreneurship and internet marketing, it’s pretty weird. But this traffic is all due to inadvertently including a well optimized image tag. woohoo for free traffic!

    • Robert Dempsey

      That’s awesome Paul. One of my images showed up for “bitchy boss” as that was the name of the file.

  • Cara Stein

    I get “Chris Guillebeau scam” a lot, even though I never wrote anything about that, but my favorite is “pumpkin in a santa hat”!

  • David

    I get a lot of saddening keywords. I write trying to help college students get on the road to investing, and one of my popular posts is “It’s never too late, but it’s never too early”. From that i get a lot of long-tail keywords like “Is 40 too late to start investing” or “47 year old investing for retirement” Yes, it’s never too late, but you can start now and make a killing in the stock market if you start when you’re young.

  • Matt Timlin

    Hey Pat this is a really interesting post! I love the moral of the story, write for people. It’s such a simple concept that I feel like people can lose sight of when they set out to monetize their site.
    From personal experience I can tell you I’ve been tempted to write more for SEO than for readers, especially because my site is still fairly new and just getting very small traffic (maybe 100 hits a month). In the end though I just need to remind myself why I have my site in the first place, so I can write about topics I’m interested in and teach PEOPLE what I know, not search engines.
    At the end of the day I’d rather be poor but proud of my content instead of having clunky but optimized articles.

    Also like I said, my site is fairly new but I’m using adsense to hopefully make a little money, any posts you have that involve google analytics or adsense and how you use them are really interesting to me. Just a thought for future articles, for those of us who are new to this type of work.

    Keep up the good work!

    -Matt Timlin

  • Samuel

    Awesome post Pat. writing for people is what matters most. By doing that, Google will surely favour you :) I’ve never thought of long tail keyword before, But I do get more traffic from it :) I just write the way I feel. Thanks for sharing. Have fun.

    • Chris Alta

      That’s insane right? I’ve yet to get found for some long term keywords but hey in due time right?!



  • Jeff

    It’s amazing how many long tails you start to rank for when you have a lot of content.

    I also like to use Google Webmaster Tools for researching what keywords you are close to ranking for.

    If you go to search queries and adjust the filter to see all, you will see your SERP ranking for a bunch of keywords. It’s relatively easy to take the keywords where you’re on page 3 or 4, build some backlinks and get to page 1.

  • Melinda

    This an an awesome post. I love how you broke down the results and then shared the wonky keywords that people typed in.

    I have a women’s fitness blog and here are some of mine:

    1. mike the situation is losing his six pack
    2. i lost my belly fat hula hoopin
    3. adrian peterson
    4. recent pictures of singer pink
    5. arugula
    6. big butt melinda

    Lol! This was too fun.

  • Melinda

    Thanks for the tip Jeff – I wasn’t aware you could view that kind of information there. 😀

  • Manspaugh

    That’s the same thing I found out too Pat. It’s amazing that the keyword that you choose isn’t necessarily what brings 100% of the traffic. There’s so much more! It’s so cool!

  • Wes

    Thanks for sharing your revenue with us. Nice for people to get a real understanding of the potential of AdSense. Here are some interesting key phrases that people have found my site with just from today:
    how i won $
    i lost my tag and my title
    which links

  • Beelissa

    This made me smile. Thanks!

  • Bojan

    Long tail keywords come with consistency in pushing out content. So when we say Google loves blogs, that’s exactly it!

    Adsense + blogging if done correctly can take someone a long way. Thanks for confirming this Pat from practical side, I knew that one mostly in theory only.

  • Arthur

    275% Increase in Adsense? That is awesome! Talk about generating another passive income stream … add in a few dozen (or hundreds with some help from VA’s) and you’ll soon replace your SPI income =P

    The most interesting keywords I’ve been found with are other languages, I’ve seen some Russian and Greek words show in my keywords with words that don’t show up in my website. It must be all contextual in that case, right?

  • Kevin Doherty

    Thanks for these insights, Pat.. very helpful as always. Goes to show that the best results come from not rushing to just throw up content, but to be methodical, detail-oriented, and value-based. This takes more time than most marketers are willing to put in, but the residual payoff is far greater that way. Kevin

  • Shae Bynes

    Thanks for sharing this, Pat….I’m often surprised when I look at the keyword list for my real estate investing blog. Some of the stranger ones are:

    be quick to appreciate and bite your tongue to criticize og mandino
    billionaire`s pathway
    im going to need your help in a minute
    so close i can just taste it

    Every couple months or so I take a look at the keyword list just for kicks.

  • Mark Bell

    I’ve a disney site for couples aimed at a UK market that I’ve left to age a little whilst I (slowly) add content. I’ve kept a loose eye on my analytics and found that I’m getting low traffic (expected). But when I checked it, it’s all coming from long tail keywords. Much like yourself, it’s a single visit. I’ve a few that account for a few more than a single visit.

    I went one step further to try and analyse the key words to see if they’re worth building additional content around. I’d around 39 keywords, so I threw them into Market Samurai (best purchase ever!), and found that about 30 of the results ranked in the top 10, with over 50% in the top 3 results. Of that, I’ve found 1 which has a small daily search volume – which I’ll try and build upon.

    I’ve found that whilst my traffic is low, once in a while I’ll get the odd click through on AdSense, usually earning me up to $2.

    I also looked up some of the keywords in google to understand where I ranked (MS did this I know), but I did it with the purpose of looking at the words Google made bold.

    These long tail keywords are an untapped gold mine that you don’t have to consciously work for. Like you say, just write content for your readers. In particular, I focus on trying to pose questions in the body of my work that are likely to be questions people will ask in Google searches.

    That all aside, it’s great to see your niche site earning so well! I look forward to hearing about your new sites, if you’re going to divulge any information?

  • Andy Hough

    Looking at your keywords for this site it is strange that you have nearly a 100% bounce rate for people searching for “passive income amazon affiliate” because you have a pretty good bounce rate for everything else. Maybe you need to write something to interest these people or maybe there is some other explanation for the high bounce rate.

  • Chris Alta

    Big P!

    That’s soo sick man, props to you on that. I’ve always wanted to build a quick niche site to help others out. I actually found some really great markets to get into except cash wise I’m soo broke that I can’t even afford to buy a $12 godaddy domain! Hah! I’ve been sticking with HubPages but hey you gotta make due with what you have right?

    Anyways keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll see you at the top brotha.

    P.S. How do I subscribe and get an email when you put out your latest posts?



  • Mike

    Glad to see your site is generating a good revenue. $400 is a good amount for a site and given the time you’ve had it up.

    I think keywords need to be monitored. Sometimes, some of the less obvious ones become more popular and end up being great traffic generators.

    Anyway, congrats on the success of the site.


  • Hendrik

    Well, I guess I’m quite the boring one, the traffic on my site “” seems way too targeted:

    tablet pc ebook reader
    ebook tablet pc
    ebook reader tablet
    tablet pc ebook

    Not quite the “long tailer” 😉

  • Brett

    Pretty cool stuff. I like how some of the keywords were just related to you–“is pat flynn for real” was my favorite. This post was helpful for me to get back to work on some of my main adsense niche site. I have neglected it for the past couple of months besides building a few backlinks, but I looked today and I was #4 for my keyword! Pretty awesome stuff. I’ve already made a tiny bit of revenue but I’m definitely looking to beef it up.

    Take care!

  • Jameson

    I have been following your niche site duel updates closely and wanted to say congratulations on the nice results.

    One thing I am curious about is how your list building effort is going on the security guard niche site? I haven’t focused on email marketing in my niche sites yet, and would like some insight into how it has gone for you with this site.


  • Bobby Hagstrom

    In my Analytics, they list “Awesome Woodshop”, “Build a woodshop in an apartment”, “examples of the final table list for fernando’s skate shop” (?), and “how to organize an architect”.

    This weekend I’ll be using your Niche Duel posts to improve the number of page views, and also I’d like to increase the average time on the site. Have you noticed anything you’ve been doing to increase this time? I feel like I want my site to be useful and if people are spending more time on it then they’re getting more out of it (right now it’s just over 3 min.).

  • Lena Gott

    Recently, I saw “Lena Gott November Suite101 earnings” in my keywords. Perhaps I should start publishing my revenue info like you have! I thought that would be too much, but I see it works for you. Very interesting blog! Looking forward to reading more.

  • Stuart

    Interesting to hear about this, as some of my keywords havent been quite long-tail; let’s say they were medium-tail. Some of them include:

    post info
    self confident
    i don’t wanna fail another day
    the word failure

    There’s a lot of potential out there to gain traffic through long-tail, and you’re only gonna get that by writing the words in the first place!

    Great read Pat, as always :-)

  • Patrick

    I was wondering, there are no dates in your blog articles on your niche site. How frequently do you update your blog? Once a week, once per 2 weeks etc.

    I’ll be following your niche duel closely, I’m on the verge of starting my own niche site to see how that fares. Looking forward to your next financiel review!

  • sloth

    Great post!

    Nevertheless I have some problems with the maths of this article…your total traffic increased from around 5500 visitors to 6800 visitors per month, an increase about
    25 %. You claim that the click through rate was more or less constant…so how do you explain the increase in AdSense of 175 % ???

    Thanks in advance for explaining this issue to me!

  • Stefan

    Hey Pat – just wanted to say that, at the beginning of this year, I did an email & subscription cleanup, and your blog is one of a tiny handful that I still subscribe to. And it is posts like this one which justify my decision. You help bring perspective on those days when I wonder whether it’s all worth it!

    So just wanted to say thanks, and keep ’em coming.

  • Nicole Johnson

    I love the analysis you do. I am a stats junkie, too. The long tail is the only reason my site even exists. I started out by finding topics in my niche that had ~1,000 searches according to Google’s keyword tool. After this post, I looked and have 48K keywords in the last 30 days. SO many are long tail and nothing I ever tried to get like “some days baby sleeps and some days he doesn’t.” The competition is a lot lower for long tail and I figured that for the ones I targeted there are many variations. I couldn’t find any funny ones, but I’m sure they are there (I clicked through a few pages). I have other work to do, though. 😉

  • Lyndsy Simon

    You should really tag this post for the Niche Site Challenge, too. Even though I’ve read all your posts on the topic as they come out, I constantly find myself asking “did Pat’s site do xxxxxx?”, and going back over them. I’ve probably read every post five times at this point!

  • Gamelicker

    Great post Pat. It is true that the power of longtail is frequently underestimated. I have a free game website, which I created in November 2010. My site is named the same as me and it is in four languages. And everyday I keep getting about 10 to 20 hits from Google search for “Gamelicker” keyword. The site was created in November and already some people are searching for it. I think It is also due to the fact that I post comments to blogs using my name, etc. but before November nobody searched for Gamelicker, while now some people do. That is amazing.

  • Lonnie – My Income Lab

    Hey Pat

    On my amazon niche site, that has been live for about three weeks now, my only bit of traffic comes from long-tail keywords that I am not even attempting to rank for. Once I am ranked for my main keyword, I am going to figure out a way to cash in on the long-tails as well.

  • Hendrik

    This seems to always become a chicken-egg situation, where initially, you have a clear idea what to market and what type of affiliate products exist etc. You start writing for it and get “natural” content with long tail words sprinkled all over it.
    After some time though, you start noticing the long tail impact. Now what? Change the strategy in order to fit your long tail key words? As you start writing specifically for that, doesn’t that again create another pool of long tail, now even further removed from your initial keyword strategy?

  • Mike Moyer

    I guess this kind of goes along with your “The harder I work, the luckier I become” mantra. Its nice to see you succeeding so quickly at this.

    P.S. I sent you an email about a week and a half ago with a cool idea I had, did you get it?

  • http://noneyet Jack B

    Great post as always….I luv how you pay close attention and measure things. Then you explain it really well for us to see clearly too.

    My question is:
    Now that you have exposed that the other longtail keywords are valuable, other than just writing a lot more blog posts, is there any other way to capitalize on this new knowledge directly? …with PPC or some kind of advertising action?

    I’m guessing you may write other blog posts around them and try to make them relate to your normal content, but seems weird to do if they are odd ones…..but maybe it is the right thing to do on ones that are not too odd…idunno.

    PS–my question may expose my overall ignorance in this matter….so I admit that I’m a newbie/beginner that only grasps about 60% of what I’m learning now….hope that ability to get this stuff improves over time….LOL

  • Jon

    Hey Pat,

    Which ad unit on your niche site has done the best for you? I noticed you have 468×15 link ads, 250×250 square links, etc.

    The 250×250’s have always worked the best for me in my experiments.

  • Mike Reeves-McMillan | Living Skillfully

    Serendipitous keywords are great. I used to get searches for “tiger eating someone” because of a picture I used.

    I also get traffic from about 40 or 50 different long-tail keywords around healthy fruit, nut and seed bars because of one post I wrote with a recipe ages ago. The most searches I got in the past month from any one of those keywords was 4, but it’s still my eighth most popular page.

    At the moment I have “one thing at a time finish task resist jumping mov next before distraction overwhelmed” (yes, someone typed all of that as a search, and they obviously need the help). I also have “living is the hard thing” (true), “free to fly abuse program” (I have no idea), “how to be a rebel teenager”, “list three things in your life that are compulsory?”, “lyrics of commitment by japanese soldiers”, “ways to feed lipex to dog”, and “what thought sequence completely shuts out any possibility of reversing a negative mindset in self improvement” (que?).

  • Marcus Taylor

    Great advice, I think long tail keyword targeting is one of them really difficult things where you know it’s great to have, it’s easy (individually) to achieve, but it’s a time commitment.. which I guess is what makes it so valuable!

  • Brian

    Hi Pat! Those of the hook keywords are funny. I got some myself, I am in the cat niche and write about them, and people search for the most weird stuff about them. Havent got your results yet, but I am at the first page for my main phrase and building up on my long tail keywords, its fun to see =) But I wish I had the time and passive money floating in so I could use all my time on this, because I really enjoy see the site move forward in google!

  • Ryan

    Thanks for the tips Pat!

    I’ve really enjoyed this whole niche site duel thing you’ve been doing.

  • Karo

    Wow Pat, $400 in Adsense in just 4 months? That’s so cool. You’re really tempting me to look into smaller niche sites. Anyway, I have plans for that say in 2 – 3 months time and when I am ready, I will send you a link to add to the Niche Site Duel because I’ll want to be held accountable.

    It was funny to me sometimes ago when some claimed SEOers where suggesting that people optimize their pages for long tail keywords.

    Long tail keywords comes naturally. My website is just some months old and now ranking on page 2, sometimes page 3 for my primary keyword “Blogging for beginners”. So 90 percent of my search traffic comes from long tail keywords. But in my case they all make sense to my content, except maybe this:
    “วิธีเซ็ต meta seo pack”

    We will be cheating ourselves greatly from search traffic if we decide to write for readers only because of long tail keywords.

    Two persons we must endeavor to please in order to be successful online is our readers then the search engine. So pick your keywords for each page right then when writing keep them in mind and write in your own voice. That way you please both parties. Get ranked high for your targeted keywords and get found for long tail keywords. No one should suffer for the other.

    It’s always a pleasure to read your practical step by step articles Pat.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Rory Mullen

    Nicely put pat. I have noticed that local searches are big for the security niche you are doing. A thought would be is pushing your keyword search criteria so that it markets more metropolitan areas..Los Angeles and New York City. Try find bigger city’s that use security officers more often.
    One a different note Pat I have made over $2000 of passive income a month from using your info. Thanks so much and I will be launching my website real soon. I want to be a able to offer services that will help retirees and senior make money.

  • Paul Wolfe

    Hey Pat

    Do you have plans to ‘upscale’ the income from the Security Guard site by replacing the AdSense ads with higher paying Ads or links to your own products?


  • Rahul

    I am earning less than $100 per month from adsense. I have more than 30k+ visitors from different sources. mostly search engines. I am trying to grow my income some how. Sooner or later i will be able increase my income 3k per month.

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  • Steve@Internet Lifestyle


    That is awesome. It really shows the true power of the longtail keyword. It is quite effective and obviously brings a lot more butts to the seat in a way that you could never target. thanks for the great update and inspiring post.


  • Lee@Home Based Freelancer

    This is a really great example of the power of long-tail marketing. Also, it’s a great example of the time factor. You have to create the content for the search engines to rank.

  • Mary Bernard @ Look In Your House

    I once posted a recipe for a havarti cheese appetizer for a personal family blog. Inevitably, “havarti cheese” or some variation is a top keyword referrer each month!

    I giggle, but I keep toying with the idea of starting a cheese recipe blog or something … hmmm … 😉

  • Brian Lima

    Pat, this is a great look at how Key Words help get you where you want to be. Also cool to see as the site is aging and getting crawled by google that the web or net it is casting is pulling in more Rev. for the site. Congrats. very inspiring and insightful. brian

  • The Last Honest Guy – Relationship Advice

    I’m glad you brought up this topic Pat. I always laugh at the kind of keywords that get people to my site. Here’s some funny ones:

    “were in an open relationship and i cant stop crying ”

    “man didn’t offer his number although i gave him mine ”

    “if a man is always tired and just wants oral is that a bad thing”

    “why did he say he was coming over and he never showed up or called”

    I can go on and on… LOL.

  • Peter – Software Marketing Secrets

    “Is pat flynn for real”, lol funny search :)

    You made my morning :-)

  • Sarah

    Wow, hey Pat…this post has inspired me to look for a niche! When looking for keywords to select for the niche is it best to have a lot of global searches, let’s say 500,000 monthly searches with low-med competition, or less global searches like 8,000 per month with low-med competition? I’m a little confused about that. Appreciate your advice! Thanks

  • wasim ismail

    “write for people, not just the search engines”
    This is something we are told constantly but you still see many writing for search engines, and the complaining about the stats, this is the most powerful lesson from this post. Thanks

  • semmy @ Make Money Online

    Hi Pat this is nice advice!! you always provide a good content!

  • Ugo

    Hi Pat, I’ve been running my own keyword research on the sides, in preparation to building my own niche site, and hopefully, be as successful as you are with your security guard training site. I’m very interested an dogs and hence my research has been based on dog training.

    I’ve completed my keyword research and have come up with 2 potentially lucrative niches that i’m pretty confident I’d be able to rank at #1 for. The problem I’m now facing is which one to go with amongst the 2. Here are the specs of the keywords:

    Keyword one – SEOT = 75 and Adsense CPC = $3.78

    Keyword two – SEOT = 100 and Adsense CPC = $1.78

    My problem of choice lies in the fact that the first keyword has a pretty lucrative CPC than the second one. On the other hand, the second has a better SEOT. I don’t know which would be better to choose as my niche and rank for. From your discretion, which do you think is better? If you were the one faced with this riddle, which amongst the keyword would you choose as your golden keyword?

    Thanks in anticipation of your reply. It’s my hope that you’d help out. Thanks.

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  • montsa007

    So whats in your mind?
    A new upsell?

  • Austin

    What do you use to position your adsense ads in your security guard training HQ site? Is it a widgit or plug in that you’re using to get the adsense on the top of the right hand column on each page? What about the ads that show up in the text portion of the posts? Are you just adding those manually in the html section of each page/post?


    • Hendrik

      There is a plugin called “advertising manager”, Pat is probably using something similar to that.

    • Pat

      Thanks Hendrik – you’re right!

      Austin, it’s a wordpress plugin called “Advertising Manager” although I don’t have it do EVERYTHING that you see. The ads in the sidebar, for example, is just a text widget with the adsense script placed inside.


      • Austin

        Hey Pat (or another follower),

        I’m hoping I can bother you with one more question about your SGT HQ site… How did you get the image and the same text to show up on every single page at full width? Do you have to edit the the .php file(s)? If so, which .php file do you have to update? I’d really appreciate the help.


        P.s. I picked up the Subscriber’s Magnet Plugin through your affiliate link today. I had been looking for a way to get more sign ups and when readers are leaving comments sounds like a great way! Thanks for the heads up on another great product!

  • Austin

    Thanks for the quick replies! I have built website every way imaginable (including using Excel) but I am new to WordPress. I appreciate your willingness to help, it is very much appreciated.

    Currently, my other questions about WordPress are:

    -Best way to incorporate Google Analytics
    -How to get a standard image and standard text to show up at the top of each page the full width of the site. I can only get the image and text to show up in the left column of the pages.

    Keep up the good work Pat!

  • Ziad Chatila

    Interesting results. I know from personal experience that usually, my adsense income goes up a fair amount at the end of the year (mirroring the Christmas sales rush) but then goes down dramatically in January. In other words, December represents my best adsense month with January my worst; budgeting is key around this period of time!

    I still don’t understand why Google just happened to pick up your content and index it. I know some have talked about how Google has a sandbox for newer websites, but I don’t think that would explain your case.

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  • Charlotte

    Interesting. I’ve been running my site for over three years basically voluntarily, with increasing traffic – around 5000 visits. In terms of content, it’s a high integrity site – a good news site wtih a focus on green news. Also the ‘nice’ factor prevails. The time has come to get this site bringing in money using your tips! though right now I’m finding markets for my 1st ebook which is a steep learning curve in itself :-)

  • Chad Nicely

    Hey Pat,
    Man you put so much work into this series of posts. I just love to see challenges like this. I’m actually watching one in the warrior forum as we speak. It really hits you the power of the long tail keywords, sometimes you just need to see the proof. Your success and advice is awesome. I’m new to your blog but will definitely be back and I’ll bookmark this post for you also. Nice work
    Cheers – Chad

  • Dwight Anthony

    pat, some really good numbers from just organic traffic going on there. It never ceases to amaze me how readers are finding my own sites on google. Good advice to write for people and not the search engines.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  • David Awasthi

    Its great post I was not aware of this phenomenon, but I have noticed lot of traffic is coming to my blog from those long tail keywords. Thanks for the complete info on it.

  • Brandon

    Some hilarious keywords my site ranks for are:
    “hat” lol
    “free stuff on facebook by liking”
    “phone calls”
    “die email”
    “begging people”

    I love looking at these keywords. It is hilarious and fun!

  • Tom


    I was reading through the blog and I think it helps new sites like mine. I have a question, though. I have been tracking adsense clicks on my site. However, they are not reflected in my adsense account. Any idea why?

    Thanks :)

  • Sopas

    I have a blog about Filipino recipe that generates more than 6,000 absolute unique visitor annd 10,000 page visit. It only earns .50 daily by average, can you help me please whats wrong fdor having so low CTR. Thanks a lot and I wish that you could help me…

  • Gizmos Online

    Very interesting and clear to follow article. I hope I can increase my traffic even from those non-targeted keywords that I have.

  • Rina As

    I also often get visitors from non-target keyword. but I have not checked how the percentage of traffic that I got from google.
    Usually non-target keyword is a word that exists in our posts, when people type it in google then some words in our posts that came out as the description on the SERP

  • John

    This is interesting article, I have now attempted to do this I am having mixed results I find some of the targeted keywords do not get me enough traffic. I will let you know how it goes after a little bit more time. By the way I have just read this really good article on increase adsense revenue it has some great bits in it. Its quite long but would really recommend giving it a look.

  • Batuhan ?ASI

    Hi Pat and Thank you for this post.
    Before this post I feared SEOC but after this post warming up to SEOC (:
    And thank you for show your blog stats ( This stats big example for me , When I saw post like this , I’m happy (: )

    finally ” is pat flynn for real (1 hit) ” :)

  • Shaad Hamid

    Hi Pat,

    Great post; I completely agree with you on long tail keyword targeting. It’s much more easier to target and the traffic you receive is highly qualified leads too. I tried using longer tail keywords for PPC campaigns but it seems the more long tail the keywords are, the less likely they would appear on Google’s auctions. So I guess it makes quite a lot of sense to stick to long tail keywords and target organic results while not needing to pay for it at all. Thanks again for sharing.

  • jonathan mcshane

    Love this post. Thanks for sharing – you are on to something here!

  • Justin Husted


    I just started blogging and was lucky enough to be referred to your blog within my first few months. I’m absolutely astounded by what I’m seeing here and I absolutely appreciate you providing us with theses excellent How-to guides.

    Question, I seen that you can now leave for a few days and generate 1000’s of dollars in passive income. Have you considered having your sites managed by someone else and just taking a portion of the revenue so you can move onto bigger and better projects? – Not offering, just genuinely interested.

  • Doctor Stock


    I’ve been silently reading this series and loving it. I’m very new to website development and I think I did a lot of things wrong the first time. Nevertheless, I’m surviving and enjoying the experience.

    Now, I’m ready to create my next site. And, boy, am I glad I found these lessons along the way. I do have one MAJOR question for you… I’ve been told I should have approx. 3 months of posts ready prior to launching the site. In other words, have a lot of content pre-written and then launch it with scheduled posts rather than adding as I go (which I did last time). Do you agree? Why or why not?


    • Pat

      3 months?! That seems like a long time. I got to #1 in Google for the security guard training site in less than 3 months by launching it straight away.

      I would say maybe a week of posts is optimal before “launching” and starting a backlinking campaign, if you want some beef on the site beforehand.

      Anything more than than, you’d have some article buried before anyone even comes to be able to view them.

  • Gunjan

    Yes, its true that we have to write the post at least one daily to increase the earning

  • Anuj@Rajasthan

    Writing naturally is the most basic thing to get traffic which stick on your website to read the content without getting bored and also helps to boost search engine rankings as well.

  • Michael Belk @workplace issues

    how favoritism is ethically wrong? Hi Pat this is an example of the long tail keywords I am being found for. My site discusses workplace issues so it makes sense but as I notice it more long tail KW seem to be all I am being found for. My site is only 5 months old, at this pace I will be pretty high up. I have over 80% of my keywords long tail. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ashley

    I find it amazing what Google tosses up my site for in search results. I have a cat website and my RankTracker plugin sends me instant emails when I get a movement in Google search, some are really unusual. One recent one that sent shivers downs my spine was “how do you kill a cat”. Never ceases to amaze me what people are searching on.

  • Don Wills

    Excellent post and congrats on all of the success. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing some of your secrets.

  • Kirsty

    I seem to get a whole lot of traffic from simple mis-spellings. It is like maybe Google thinks my sites are so bad that only poor spellers will like them :-)

    Great article, and I would love to know how your site is doing now after the latest little black and white bird update.
    Thank you

  • mark @ iphonesportsgamer

    I have had my niche site running for about a year. I only seem to get long tail hits currently but you are right Pat they all add up. The last 3 of note were:

    speedball 2 evolution no money for winning
    upgrade cricket phones
    what is elenas power on lets golf 2

    You site has inspired me Pat and given me food for thought on back-linking and niche site strategies in general. Keep up the good work – You have inspired me to progress my site and look into setting up more.

  • Michael Belk @workplace issues

    Great post Pat, I have always believed in this strategy. I am writing as much as i can. thanks

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  • Clare @ Help Pay Bills

    Hey Pat, this is brilliant and not something that you could plan, I totally agree with you you just have to write and then write some more. Kim Roach at Buzz Blogger suggests setting a timer and ONLY working on one thing for 33 minutes. It’s really helping me be more productive!

    By the way, do you have a list of everyone’s blogs who took part in the niche site challenge? A list of links? IM sure you DO somewhere, but I can’t see them – the niche hub URL just has a list of all of YOUR posts… be great to see some others, other than the ones you linked to in your posts.

    Thank you SO MUCH AGAIN for sharing this, its amazing, super valuable information and I’m just about to start doing niche sites myself, will follow this very closely!!

    By the way – funniest thing someone has found my blog for! I run a small independent record label here in the UK : – I released 4 EPs called Tales from the Shed Part 1-4 and did a BUNCH of updates to my blog and of course this title was in the title of each post, the keywords, etc and I liked between them, etc.

    I looked at my stats and had lots of traffic for “Shed Parts” – I went to google and sure enough, there I was, no2 in the whole of google uk, for “Shed Parts” – LOL – amazing I could rank no2 in about a day, haha, my domain IS old but it is NOTHING to do with sheds, haha – I actually wrote a blog post partly about it :

    Needless to say I was out of the top of google pretty soon after, and as one of your fellow challengers said, google’s algorithms DO seem pretty outdated and inferior, for all the work we put in to try to please them!! In fact, it actually most likely HURT my sites’ rankings for its ACTUAL keywords (deep house, nu jazz, tech house, chillout, lounge music, etc) because the bounce rate went WAYY up, LOL.

    Anyway hope that made you chuckle, haha! Thanks so much again for this! Clare :-)

  • Nils Heitmann

    Hi Pat.

    Really great stuff.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.


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  • juel rahman

    Nice post, hope to see some more soon.

  • lalogaden

    Wow!! That’s nice. Hope i can increase my incomes on the nish of weight loss or perdida de peso en español con el sistema venus with my site

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  • Joey

    Hey Pat, greatings from Germany!
    Great tips on how to boost your earnings! I will definitely try these on my website for quadrocopter:

  • Shooby

    Thanks for the quality info pat!

    my site is:

  • Sawamura

    It amuses me how people are okay with earning less than 10 bucks a day. I make from 17 to 45 dollars daily and I can’t be more disappointed. Adsense, and all other ad networks are plainly stupid and a group of scamming thieves.

  • Tayyib Ahsan

    Making money is no doubt attracting niche, I also working at long tail keywords after creating a blog and made a huge money, but want to know some best tips to increase income right now.
    Anyway, Nice tips goes here.

  • ronit

    where i found long trail keywords..for my website

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  • Sangeeth Francis James

    Really good article. I am starter and I make around a $1 a day. I recently came across a blog that mentioned about two plugins. They already warned us about using these but it does show results.

    I am not sure of using these plugins as it violates google Adsense policies. Please help me.

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