Niche Site Duel 2.0: Criteria and Thoughts for Keyword and Niche Selection

Niche Selection Criteria ChecklistWhen starting a brand new website, choosing the right topic for your site is the most important part of the process. Everything about our website – the name of it, what it looks like, what we publish – is determined by the topic or niche that we choose, so it’s mandatory that we spend some time discussing this before we actually begin.

When building a niche site, specifically, the target keyword that you choose to build a website around can mean the difference between success and failure.

I personally believe that anyone can compete with any keyword. Yep – any keyword. Even 1-word keywords. The question is, how much time and money do you want to spend to outrank the existing competition?

High volume search terms combined with high levels of competition means that you’re typically going to spend a lot more time and money on your campaign before you see any results. That, or you’re going to have to be incredibly creative, which can work, but you also have to assume that the existing sites in those competitive markets are already heavily competing with each other as well.

This is why, at least for most of us with a limited budget, and perhaps a limited amount of time as well, it is better and makes more sense to try to dominate a niche where domination seems feasible and reasonable.

Have you ever heard of the phrase:

“The riches are in the niches.”

Well, it’s true. It’s not because there is more money flowing in smaller markets – markets within existing markets – that’s obviously not true. Get to the top of Google for a keyword like “laptop computers” and you’re golden, but the fact is that getting there is going to be difficult. Very difficult.

Niche down, and you’re more likely to land higher in the search engines. Yes, you’ll be higher for keywords with less search volume…but also for keywords with less competition.

I’d rather be on the 1st page of Google for a keyword that gets 3,000 exact searches per month, than on the 5th page for a keyword that gets 300,000 searches per month. Nobody visits the 5th page. Heck, nobody visits the 2nd page either!

If you’re doing a search and you don’t find what you’re looking for on the first page, what do you do?

You refine your search.

You “niche down” and get more specific with the words that you write in the search field. This is the advantage building a niche site has over building a more general website – you and the site you build are there to serve specific queries from people looking for specific answers. If you can become the ultimate resource for that topic, to serve those answers, naturally your website is going to (eventually) rank higher, but beyond what happens in the search engines, you’re actually helping people.

And THAT is my first criteria for keyword selection as we approach the official launch of Niche Site Duel 2.0 – that whatever topic I decide to choose to build a website around, whatever keywords I find during the keyword research phase, that it’s a topic that I believe I can do something to help people, one way or another.

Whether that’s through my skill or knowledge within that topic (i.e., or my ability to research and curate information that I find better than what’s out there already (i.e. from NSD1.0), as long as I feel like I can help, then that’s a potential topic or keyword. Then, I can investigate further.

For the rest of this post, I’m going to further define a specific set of criteria that I’m going to use when I conduct keyword research and select a topic for my website.

If you’re following along, you can use this criteria for yourself if you’d like, but feel free to change things around if you wish based on where you feel you’re at with the process.

1. Search Volume [Exact]: min. 3,000 Local Searches Per Month

Search volume is the number of times a particular keyword is searched for in Google, and it’s typically reported on a per monthly basis, although daily is also common. It’s a decent indicator of how much potential traffic you could get to your website (from that one keyword) if you sat in the #1 position in Google for that keyword.

There are three types of searches: broad match, phrase match, and exact match.

Without getting too detailed about what means what, just know that most keyword research tools, such as Long Tail Pro and Market Samurai, and even the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool default on broad match, which is dangerous because the data can be terribly skewed. Make sure you conduct your keyword research using exact match at all times.

One more time: Make sure you conduct your keyword research using exact match.

This will give you true data for how many times a keyword (and that keyword only), in that particular order has been searched for in Google. 

Why a minimum of 3,000 searches?

In SPI Podcast Session #66, Spencer Haws from and creator of Long Tail Pro shared that for his multiple niche site business, his search volume criteria was a minimum of 2,000. That’s less than 67 searches per day, and you have to understand that even if your site is sitting at the top position in Google, not all 100% of the people who search for a specific term are going to click the #1 result. Yes, there are long tail keywords which come into play, but I’d rather start at something much higher, so a minimum of 3,000, or about 100 searches per day, seems reasonable. Again, this is a minimum, and I’m hoping for something much larger. This will simply be a part of the filtering process.

Just to give you some perspective, my primary keyword from NSD1.0, security guard training, has 5,400 exact local searches per month.

2. SEO Competition – Is there room in the Top 10 of Google?

After finding keywords that meet the search criteria above, the next most important thing to look at is what the existing competition for that keyword looks like in Google. Specifically, how difficult would it be to get on the first page? How about the very top?

As much as we can see the exact information related to specific websites that we’re competing against, determining whether or not it might be possible to get on the first page or to the top of Google is a skill that doesn’t come easy, and it doesn’t come right away. Some may even call it an art.

Only through experience and learning from the example of others can we make wiser decisions about where to focus our time and effort when building niche websites.

During NSD2.0, you can be 100% sure that I’ll give you an over-the-shoulder look share my exact competition research process with you and everything that’s going through my head. Specifically, I’ll be looking at things like:

  • Is the keyword used in the URL of the pages listed in the top 10 of Google for that keyword?
  • Is the keyword used in the Title of the page, and the description?
  • The number of incoming links to those pages, and the quality of those links.
  • Page Authority
  • mozRank
  • Page Rank
  • Anchor Text distribution.
  • Content on the competing page.

With so many things to look at when it comes to competition, it can sometimes be difficult to put exact numbers on everything. A set of competing pages, for example, may look great for us except for 1 or 2 of the above. Does that mean we have to move on to another keyword?

Not necessarily.

Again, there’s sort of an “art” that comes when it comes to SEO competition, so I’ll hopefully give you some things to think about when I’m going through the process with you soon.

As I previously mentioned, I’ll be using Spencer’s software, Long Tail Pro (affiliate link), to more quickly assess the competition for specific keywords. The truth is, you don’t need to spend any money on keyword research software because you can manually find the above information on your own and put them into a spreadsheet before you choose your niche, but software like Long Tail Pro and Market Samurai, among a few others can save you a ton of time.

Spencer has been kind enough to offer a $30 discount to all Smart Passive Income readers for Long Tail Pro! Thanks Spencer!

Click here to get Long Tail Pro for $30 OFF the original price!

(The above link is an affiliate link and I do earn a commission when you make a purchase through this link, at no extra cost to you. If you have any questions about the software, please shoot me a quick message on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Thank you!)

3. The Grandma Test

This is an easy, but important test – at least to me.

Once I find a keyword with decent search volume and relatively low competition, I’ll ask myself the following question:

If I created a website in this niche and it became incredibly successful, would I be comfortable sharing my success with my grandma?

If the answer is no, then I may have to think twice about getting into this particular niche.

4. Can I EARN Money in this Niche?

So you’ve found a niche with decent search volume and low competition, and your grandma approves too – the next most important question is, can you earn money from it?

As much as people build niche websites in order to generate an income, relatively little care and research goes into the possibility of monetization. Isn’t that absurd? That’s why sometimes you hear about people who have websites ranking high in Google, maybe even in the top position, who are making little to no money at all.

Researching monetization is just as important as doing keyword research for search volume and competition. You don’t want to put in all that work and get to the top of Google only to then realize that you’re in a niche with little or no earning potential.

Note the specific use of the term earn. It’s not make money in or generate profit from, but earn – meaning: you’re able to contribute something to the niche and get paid back in return.

When it comes to earning potential, the idea here is to understand if there is money flowing within that market, and if there are specific ways for people to pay you back for something that you provide. Here are some specific tests and metrics you can use to see if there’s earning potential within the niche that you’ve selected:

  • The Average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) in Google Adwords. The average CPC is a metric that can be found in the free Google Adwords Keyword tool, and in most paid keyword research software as well. The average CPC is the average amount that advertisers who are using Google Adwords are paying every time someone clicks on an ad relevant to that specific keyword. This is not how much money we’ll earn on our website for each click if we were to use Google Adsense. If you publish ads using Google Adsense, you will earn a percentage of the overall CPC per click. A higher CPC means that advertisers are competing and bidding against each other, which is often a good sign that there’s money flowing within that specific market. More advertisers also means that there are potentially more products, tools and services that you could promote on your website. 
  • What Advertisements Show Up in a Google Search? This one is easy. Type in your target keyword in Google and see what ads, if any, show up at the top and/or side of the resulting page. If there are a lot of advertisers, this is another good sign that there is some earning potential here. Advertisers are willing to pay for premium spots in Google search, which means they might be willing to pay you, or work with you as a partner. If there are few or no results, than that’s something to take note of and the niche requires further investigation. Don’t completely scratch the keyword off the list just yet – not all markets have companies that advertise using Google Adwords.
  • Are There Books or Products that Show Up in an Search? is a search engine. It’s not just any search engine though, it’s a search engine where we know the people doing the searching are buyers. They aren’t looking for free information like many people do on Google – they are there to buy stuff. If there’s a decent quantity and quality of products and/or books that show up relevant to your target keyword, then that’s a good sign that there are people willing to pay for information or products within that specific niche. Plus, you’ll be able to see if there’s anything worth promoting as an affiliate too.
  • Are Other Sites Promoting Stuff, and if so, What? Do a quick search for websites related to your potential target keyword and see what comes up. Click around and see if any of the resulting websites or blogs are selling anything – either stuff that they’ve created on their own, or products or services that belong to someone else. Be sure to note the difference between an automatically generated advertisement (like a Google Adsense ad, which usually has a little tag on the ad itself that says “Ad Choices” or “Ads by Google”) and a real partnership or promotion. The ads are still useful, but the partnerships and affiliate promotions tell us an even better story of what’s available for us. Make note of the promotions and websites that you find. If you wanted to find blogs, specifically, type “blogs:target keyword (without quotations) in Google, and you’ll get a list of blogs in your search result. These are good sites to include in a database for potential outreach later.
  • Search for ‘Money’ Keywords. Here another fun trick. To discover if there are potentially things that you could promote and sell on your website, run the following Google search queries (with quotations):
    • “target keyword” “on sale”
    • “target keyword” “for sale”
    • “target keyword” “price”
    • “target keyword” “affiliate”
    • “target keyword” “partners”
    • “target keyword” “media kit”
    • “target keyword” “product description”
    • “target keyword” “equipment”
    • “target keyword” “services”
    • “target keyword” “products”
    • “target keyword” “customer review”
    • “target keyword” “testimonial”
    • “target keyword” “now available”
    • There are a lot of other potential keywords to use here, but you get the idea. Not all of the above will produce resulting products or items that prove this is a market with money in it, but a lot of them will, and you should obviously keep track of the ones that seem legit. If you get nothing from the above searches – then you may need to think again about the specific niche that you’re targeting.

Passing the above tests for earning potential won’t necessarily mean that you’re 100% going to earn an income if you build a website in that niche. Of course, there are a lot of other factors involved, many based on you and your website’s performance, but at least you’ll know there’s potential here and you’re not blindly throwing darts at the wall.

5. The 50-Post Test

The 50-post test is a particular criterion that addresses something else that a lot of people, including myself, tend to forget sometimes because we’re so enthralled with search volume and SEO competition.

Once we select a niche and put up an optimized website, we’re going to need to put some content on it. The 50-post test ensures that we have the ability to write a decent amount of content for our website, or at least hire someone to write for if it we wanted to.

Sure, you can choose to have a 5-page website about a particular topic if you want, and if that content is great then you can make something happen with it, but personally I’m shooting for a bigger niche site, one where there’s enough content to get even more traffic from the long tail keyword searches that people type in related to the topic.

With my security guard training site from NSD1.0, I had mentioned that security guard training gets 5,400 exact match searches per month. What you may not realize is that less than 10% of my traffic comes from that one keyword. The rest (over 25,000 hits per month) comes from the sum of long tail keywords that people are using to find me in Google, which comes as a result of the amount of content I’ve published on the site, which at this point is about 200 posts.

(I climbed to #1 in Google in with less than 50 total posts, I’ve just continued to add content and grow over time)

Here’s how the 50-post test is going to go down:

After finding a potential keyword, I’m going to create a spreadsheet for that particular keyword and begin to write down blog post ideas. I’ll start with as many as I can think of off the top of my head, approaching the topic as a complete beginner or someone trying to understand that topic. If I run out of ideas before 50, which is always the case, I’ll use the following strategies to fill in the holes:

  • I’ll use the primary keyword as a seed keyword in Long Tail Pro to find related keywords that I could (and should) write about.
  • I’ll do a Google search to see what other sites are talking about related to the niche. I’ll use that as inspiration for new blog post ideas. I may discover other topics that relate to the primary keyword that I can branch off of too.
  • I’ll go onto and type in my keyword to find books on the topic. If there are any, I’ll “look inside the cover” to view the table of contents to make sure I hit all of the important points related to the niche. I’ll also make note of the book as well because that’s something I could promote as as affiliate down the road. If anything, it at least it shows me who else I might need to connect with.
  • I’ll search for problems or issues people are having related to the topic in discussion forums or social media.

The nice thing about this strategy is that once you have this list of 50 potential posts, you already know exactly what to publish. If you’re hiring somebody to write for you, then you can just hand them this list, or a part of it when you begin working together. These topics can also turn into videos and other forms of media as well.

If I struggle getting to 50 posts, then I have to reassess whether or not it’s a topic that I really want to get into.

6. The Ability to Create a ‘Beastly Resource’

In SPI Podcast Session #67, Neil Patel from shared some SEO strategies that really impressed me, and also made a lot of sense.

One of those strategies was the use of a massive guide or resource – an extensive, noteworthy and epic publication or tool that solves a specific problem or educates people in such great detail, that it can’t go unnoticed. To give you some perspective about what these guides look like, check out Neil’s Advanced Guide to SEO, and his Advanced Guide to Content Marketing.

Now, 45,000 words like what Neil publishes is probably a bit overkill for what we’re trying to do,  but an “all you need to know” guide published on a website, as opposed to that same content put in an eBook or something, which is less likely to be shared or found in the search engines, or promoted on other people’s websites is smart, and it’s going to be the core strategy during the launch of whatever website I choose to create.

Trevor Page from SPI Podcast Session #55 used a similar strategy to jumpstart the launch of his website, which teaches people how to program with Java. In less than a year, he’s been able to get thousands of visitors to his website each month, sell an eBook and start a membership site, and it all started with a very detailed Programming 101 guide, which eventually got picked up on and other websites.

For whatever keywords fit the criteria so far, I’m going to determine if there is a way to create a ‘beastly resource’ that can’t go unnoticed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a written guide either, but it could be something different and unique that is extremely useful for people who are looking for information within a specific niche. For example, on Spencer’s survival knife niche website, he built a matrix or table of all of the available survival knives that potential customers can sort and filter based on their specific needs.

Marketing and launching the website with this resource is a topic for another discussion, which we’ll get into in the near future once I start building that resource.

Any niche, I believe, could have it’s ultimate resource or tool, but if for some reason I can’t imagine or think of creating this resource, then it will probably reflect on my ability to serve those in that niche and may be a niche to stay away from.

Where We Are At Now with NSD2.0?

The purpose of this post was to share my thinking process when it comes to the niche that I’ll be selecting for NSD2.0. I know a lot of you are anxious to get started, and I am as well, but it’s important that we first understand the path and direction we are taking before we start the journey together.

Look out for an upcoming post about the private learning group I’m creating for NSD2.0, where you’ll have a chance to work directly with me and a handful of other people so that we can work through our niche sites together. That said, anyone can participate in NSD2.0, and I encourage you to.

I’ll be setting up a system to help us all hold each other accountable, keep track of everyone’s progress and keep each other motivated.

This is going to be awesome!

To remind you one more time, you can get $30 off the original price of Long Tail Pro by clicking the link below:

Click here to get Long Tail Pro for $30 OFF the original price!

If you’re going to participate in NSD2.0, let me know in the comment section of this post. I’m going to randomly reach out to 5 commenters and hook you up with a free copy of Long Tail Pro (not including the platinum upgrade). If you’ve already purchased it, I’ll refund your upfront cost. I’ll reach out to the winners via email by the end of the week (Saturday May 18th, 11:59:59pm PST).

Cheers, and good luck!

  • Barrington Lewis

    I’m game

  • Mary Catherine


    I am definitely in on this – I am a novice – new to everything – but have been soaking up the info like a sponge. Totally down with this 2.0 Niche site development
    Cannot wait and ready to dig in!!!

    Thanks for the inspiration always!

    PS – Pat – for me saying the word “Niche” like an American instead of a French person sounds more authentic.. :) Unless you want to show off your ability to kill it with French pronunciation :) all good..

  • Keith Caldwell is a niche site dedicated to providing useful resources to the parents of special needs children. It was for developed to answer the haunting question of “who will take care of my special child when I am no longer here to do so”.

    I am still trying to figure out how to monetize it but am committed to helping families such as mine that need to plan not only for ourselves but for the lives of our children unable to do so for themselves.

    Hopefully, there is still room for a niche site such as to work alongside the team of pros you are putting together here?

    • Mr. Caldwell


  • Evan Stenger

    Count me in for NSD2.0,

    I discovered you this summer after my roommate introduced me to your site! This whole online stuff seems awesome!!! I’m going into my senior year of Mechanical Engineering here at U of M, so I’m not shy of hard work. I’ve been following a lot of your content and trying to learn as much as I can really quick so I can try to make a profitable site online by the end of the summer. Right now my only priorities are my internship for Bosch, going to the gym and doing research for Niche sites! I really, really, really want this niche site thing to work out for me this summer because I know that I will not have nearly as much time in the fall when classes start back up! Lets get to work!

    Thanks for all the motivation and information!


  • Bettina Cornell

    I am a total NUBE at this but I have followed your suggestions so far and have decided on a great keyword phrase and it definitely passes both the Granma test and the 50 post test. I am sure to enjoy this endeavor and at the very least I will help some busy folks just like me.

  • paul

    will you be giving us a detailed list on the site structure regarding posts/pages

  • Allan Reid

    I had this website done for me by a friend,
    I like the sound of using a Long Tail Pro it does save a lot of time
    and having the right Keywords are important as well as knowing your
    Well done Pat I’m in.

  • Joshua Young


    Already have a list of ideas for a keyword. Excited to partner along side everyone.


  • EricD

    An obvious niche is to register and host all the domains for the contestants. Oh, OK I volunteer. 😉 😉

  • Nate

    I’m planning on being in!

  • Jeff Pennypacker

    Pat, I am definitely in for the accountability and private learning group. Please contact me on this.

  • Matt

    Pat, I sat on the sidelines and watched Duel 1.0. Now several years have passed and nothing has happened. This time I’m doing this and am excited to learn as I go.

  • Jen

    I’m in! Have my domains purchased and working on the layouts :)

  • Zubz Kadir

    Hi Pat, Greetings from Singapore.
    Super excited to get involved in this project. Just a question about global vs local searches though, why is local searches more useful than global searches? Singapore is a tiny nation and by default, I’m at a disadvantage if i look at local searches as a starting point. At least thats what I understand about local vs global searches. Please correct me if im wrong! :)


    • Karol

      In my case, I will be looking for global searches but in Spanish because it makes more sense I guess (correct me if I am making a big mistake please!) . If your site is in English and the keyword can be search for USA people, maybe you should point in that direction or maybe point to a super search keyword for Singapore people but with a poor competition. That’s my opinion for now.

  • Terrence Kommal

    I couldn’t wait for his to start and have already applied. I am note sure if Pat will accept a niche that not o let has CPC earning potential but also the opportunity to sell leads to relevant service providers in a small niche, but potentially lucrative lead niche.

  • Patrick Brian ONeill

    Long time listener, reader, first time commentor (Geez, I sound like I am calling a radio talk show).
    I own a few niche sites, and am definitely in!

    This ought to be good, firing up Micro Niche Finder right now!


  • Kris Wenzel


    I’m ready to rock and roll on this. I’m psyched!

    I’ve done several courses and so far you are the best resource I’ve seen.

    Take care,


  • Kutluay

    I missed the 1.0; but now I have this opportunity… This is awesome, and I will participate… Good luck to all :-)

  • Shaun Ebert

    Pat, all I need to say is THANK YOU SO MUCH!


    Your valor in pushing forward despite the fear has inspired me to
    to do likewise. I have followed you the past couple of years and
    and your podcast has been a staple in my iPhone.

  • David Harrison

    This is shaping up to be an absolutely awesome project and I’ve dig myself in nicely to enjoy the show!

  • David Chappell

    I wish I had the time to dedicate to following this all the way through! My freelance is picking up along with my full time job, but I will be watching from the sidelines. Good luck to you and everyone else!

  • Lori

    Hi Pat,
    I apologize in advance if this is a silly question, but I’ve listed to the podcast and read your blog post and can’t seem to find the exact answer.

    Niche site key word search: I typed in my key word phrase–exact match–3000 searches. There were 6 results, but none were the KEY WORD phase in my parameters.

    Example using long tail
    Keyword: Dog named Max
    Match type: exact
    Avg Local search: 3000

    Example Results:
    Black dog san diego
    guide dog
    council on dogs

    Does this mean Dog named Max is a winner or a loser?


    • Anjali Joshi

      Pat I’m really excited to get going on this along with you and your very
      large community, and have my intern (and me) doing diligent keyword
      research, but i wanted your thoughts on creating a niche affiliate site
      this way, from scratch and sort of re-inventing the wheel as compared to
      setting up a site and using an affiliate product that’s on an affiliate
      product site like Clickbank. do you or anyone else have thoughts on
      this? Recruitment leads

      • Mr. Joshi


    • thanghn92

      Newbie question here: the SEO Competition module of Market Samurai seems to only be returning websites specific to my location gia vang giay nam thoi trang FiFa Online 3 thoi trang nu tu vi xem boi mon ngon am thuc Thanks again for taking the time to guide us through the process.

    • Anamika Roy

      SSC MTS 2015-2016 recruitment india

  • Victor Björklund

    Hi Pat,

    Started doing niche sites a while ago but looking forward to join this duel to learn more! Hope to talk to you!

    Victor Björklund

  • Adam

    I am participating for sure, i’m looking forward to this so much.

  • serge

    Heya Pat, I just re-emailed you my application for MLG; I decided to switch up the Keyword and go with something that’s a bit more competitive, but something that I’ll enjoy SO MUCH MORE :)

    Hope to hear from you soon!


  • Troia

    Hi Pat,

    I am new at niche sites, but will following your update on this matter for sure.
    Look forward to hear more about the new duel.

    Rui from Troia

  • Derrick Barber

    It’s really difficult not to choose something that is competitive. I’m debating going with a keyphrase that seems to have somewhat competitive/high authority results, but targeting only, because I found & registered a great .ca domain name. Will do some more research because I don’t want to make a mistake this early in the game, but boy is it tempting!

  • Nate

    Great update…For the first time niche builder…Long Tail Pro vs. Market Samurai? If Long Tail Pro will there be a how to session for Long Tail like there is with Market Samurai?? Thanks again for the inspirational site!!

  • Robert

    I have a question.
    Let’s say a long tail keyword has nearly 20,000 exact searches per month, and low competition. Also, the first 2 pages of google are ALL for the EXACT same product or book.
    My question is, how difficult would it be to rank high in google for that LTKW, without having an affiliation with that product?

  • Stephanie

    I’m starting from nothing….I’m in because I find the whole keyword search thing fascinating. Rookie, would love to get Long Tail Pro

  • Richard

    Is there by any chance an unofficial facebook page or website for those that don’t make it into the SUPER MEGA 5 mastermind group?

    I gots som idears for niches and many questions as this is my first time doing a niche site.

    I’m hoping the answer is “Yes, yes there is”.

    Maybe my niche should be unofficial NSD2.0 forums…

    • Andrea Olson

      You are too funny.

  • Jeff

    Can’t wait to get started, never done this before, so I’m looking forward to following along.

  • Teresa

    Joining the duel! excited about it!

  • Charlie


    I would love to participate! This will be my first attempt at a niche site. I spent about 11 years in the military and knew a few people that were running niche sites, but I thought that it would be too difficult to start one, but after reading your blog and listening to your podcast, I am excited to get started. I have used Market Samurai (very briefly), but I would like to compare it with Long Tail Pro.


  • Cameron Robinson

    Hey Pat,
    I just wanted to let you know that I was referred to your site by my cousin. He attended one of your free workshops here in Birmingham, AL. I was fired up about what he learned from you. He shared you website with me and I can’t stop reading the posts and listening to the podcasts. Man, you are incredible. I am going to join you in your niche site duel 2.0. I am short on funds at the moment and would love if you hook me up with a free copy on the longtail keywork software to get me off to a good start. If not, I will have to use what is available to me , google keyword tool. Again, thanks for you awesome information and I look forward to a long partnership with you.

    See you at the top,

    Cameron Robinson

  • Larissa Galenes

    Hi Pat!

    My partner and I are so excited to be participating in NSD 2.0! We’re working on our keyword selection and hope to have one very soon. You have been such an inspiration to us as we’ve worked on starting our website and podcast, and we can’t wait to take this niche site journey with you. Thanks so much for all you offer, and we’re looking forward to the next phase!

    Larissa and Vickie

  • Financial Freedom

    Awesome, can’t wait to follow the niche duel part 2! Making money has never been so transparent as when Pat documents his results.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog . com

  • Andrea Olson

    I just submitted my application for the MLG – Pick me! Pick me! :o) xx Andrea

  • Paul

    Hi Pat,

    I’ve spent many, many hours driving the green countrysides of the UK listening to your Podcasts. I’ve build some websites but nothing like this so super excited and have some great idea’s.

    I’m coming over to the US next week to get married in Vegas Baby! Honeymoon in San Francisco so need to get my home work done before I go :-) Hope to catch up with you when I’m a married man.

    Paul (UK)

  • Carl

    First Off – Paul! Congratulations on the wedding – I am a fellow brit who got married in Vegas in February and we LOVED it! I am sure you will have fun!

    Now, back to the topic in hand! Pat, I have read Spencers website now for a while and love the mutual respect you both have for each other and the outstanding resources you both provide. I have now got 2 niche websites and one (live for 3 months) is making around $13 a month. I know it isnt life changing but it has proved that the blueprint works and I am confident as my experience and knowledge grows, so will the adsense payouts!

    I will be creating a new niche site to follow along to your dual and cant wait for the next post!

    Thanks again!


  • Chadrack

    Hi Pat,
    I know this is late but as they do say, it’s better late than never! :) I’m glad to know of this duel. When you did Niche duel 1.0 was when I got to know about your blog. Though for sometime now I’ve not visited this site, I was glad when a friend told me you are about doing 2.0. Yes, I’m a little busy with some other projects right now but knowing your results from 1.0 I’ll not allow myself to let go of this one. And so, I’m in!

    I’ve been going through some of your posts on this right now but I’ll appreciate if you will let me know what next I’m to do to be a part of the duel.

    Thanks for giving to the community.

  • Steve P

    Great info Pat. Really insightful content here. Can’t wait to get started.

  • Adrian

    I am excited to join in on this. I believe this will be an awesome learning experience for me.

    Thank you for sharing this great idea.

    I look forward to helping where ever I can.

  • Michelle L

    Newbie question here: the SEO Competition module of Market Samurai seems to only be returning websites specific to my location. For instance, the local newspaper, the better business bureau, and a few local vendors. Is there a setting where I can tell MS to look globally not locally? Doesn’t seem to make much sense to analyze top 10 websites’ strength if they only apply to people living in my metro.

  • Clive Donaldson

    Kia Ora Pat,

    I have a pretty pressed scheduled wife two kids a brick and mortar business. I have had little experience in the world of the web let alone computers two years ago was the first time i made a folder. But your work has inspired me so im going to try and give this a crack.

    Cheers Clive from New Zealand. (home of the all blacks) :)

  • Phuong Le

    I have started a niche site with Ebay Affiliate Program and the keyword is back workout equipment, hope this works as I am really pay much attention and interest in this products, i owned some workout tools for leg and back and the keyword is at low competitive, it takes about 4 months to rank 1 to see any results.

  • Jigar

    Since few days I see a link on Google Keyword research tool “Keyword Planner”

    I think this is quite similar to Market Samurai and Long tail pro.

    It provides everything we needs to know for more accurate niche selection.

    Any thoughts?

  • jeffrey

    Hi Pat,
    This will be the first time I will be creating a niche site or a blog. I will be joining this duel. This will be a great learning experience for me.

  • Dana

    Hi Pat,
    You inspired me to initially brainstorm my niche idea and take action. As I am moving through the process, I feel there are a few important steps I should have completed and missed. I do have a site and started with some traffic, but now that has trickled down to not much. Seeing your Duel 2.0 posts, I’ve deciding to join in to see if I can pick up some of the knowledge that I am lacking. Thanks so much for all your information!

  • James

    Hi Pat, I have a niche/authority site thats about 2 months old and is making decent progress. I will be following this case study closely and am looking forward to future updates

  • Brian

    I’m in!

  • Kisma

    thanks..awesome information!

  • Kisma

    awesome information. thank you!

  • Tyler Austin

    I will be following along and I hope to work with you and learn along side you in MLG.

  • Suzen Pettit

    Pat I’m so excited and motivated to go through NSD 2.0 with you. I’m doing it along with my intern, a marketing major at Western CT State U and between the 2 of us we plan on learning more through this process than anything he learned in school. Thanks for the guidance and support. You’re great,

  • John


    This is great. I have listened to and read things on this subject for years. Now is the time to step out and do it. Thanks again for taking the time to guide us through the process.


  • Shamim

    Hi Pat,

    My Niche Keywords are on the way of researching. Hope within few hours I will be able to come up with some really good keywords to go with.

    I just have installed the Demo version of Longtailpro. Would love to get one from you if possible. :)

    See you on NSD 2.0 soon. :)

  • Omar Lodhi

    Great points for selecting niche. Cannot wait for the part 2 to get started.

  • blessy

    Thanks for you information..Looking for more details and your course.All the best

  • Suzen Pettit

    Pat I’m really excited to get going on this along with you and your very large community, and have my intern (and me) doing diligent keyword research, but i wanted your thoughts on creating a niche affiliate site this way, from scratch and sort of re-inventing the wheel as compared to setting up a site and using an affiliate product that’s on an affiliate product site like Clickbank. do you or anyone else have thoughts on this?

  • Om Thoke

    You bet – I’m on. As a matter of fact, I was planning to start a new blog and do just about the same thing. It’s quite funny that I didn’t know about your association with Spencer, while I’d been reading his Niche Pursuits all the way. And, only after reading Neil’s interview, you’re the same Pat lol – I’m sorry if that sounds funny or rude, but great to find you after all!

  • Al Polacek

    Hi Pat

    This is really exciting. This is a great opportunity to start doing something instead just dream. No more excuses needed

    I am on

    • Sadiq Vali

      This is really amazing. This is a great opportunity to start doing something instead of just dream. No excuses needed

      • Mr. Vali

        Stop spamming your site here.

  • Morgan

    Hi Pat,
    Great food for thought and this whole NSD 2.0 project has come along just at the right time. Just a quick question, will “the back linking strategy that works” still be a key part of your SEO process or are there flaws in it now (due to latest Google updates) that will mean it’s not so useful?

  • rahul247rocks

    I am all set to start my first niche website project. I hope it goes well. Thanks a ton for this article and other relevant articles on niche website businesses. I am so nervous and excited at the same time. Wish me luck :)

  • Francisco

    Great article. I’m very excited to participate in NSD2.0. It is going to be a great experience for everybody. Thanks a lot Pat.

  • rosesngardenias

    This has been so helpful and interesting! I’m starting a bit late on NSD2.0 but am looking forward learning. Thanks, Pat.

  • Lynie Copywriter

    Opt for a niche where you’ve got experience or skills. Yet another good approach, except that most people today are already burned out on their chosen field or still doing it as day work, and can’t get thrilled about spending their nights at it at the same time. Advertising Russia

  • Miguel Kouam

    Hi Pat,
    I went on to purchase Long Tail Pro, but there is a Platinum option with recurring $17/month for the KW competitiveness. Do you think it’s necessary to add the Platinum option ?
    Thanks a bunch !

  • mody

    Hi Pat, I follow your blog since a few months and this is my first comment :-) i want to thank you for all posts i really enjoy read them, just i want to say thank you ^^

  • Misra

    Hi Pat:

    I just discovered your website. It is awesome! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Would be very interested to participate in NSD 2.0.


  • Olivia

    Hi Pat, I am a college student trying my very best to get into this niche website setup. I don’t have money to pay for the keyword sites, so will you please explain to me how I can go about setting up the excel sheet to manual choose the keywords? I am really anxious to get started and join you in this endeavor!!!

  • Hosein Ghorbanian

    hi Pat
    3 month i follow your site and since last month I’v try to do your structure step by step in my blog. and now i want to create a new Niche blog.
    all aspect of your blog and podcast help me to trust you as teacher

  • Roberta Hardee

    Hi Pat,
    I have been watching your podcasts and following your e-mails and would really like to be included in the NSD2.0 project with the team you are putting together.
    I was just laid off from my job yesterday and can dedicate myself 100% for this project.
    If you need any more information about me, please let me know.
    I do hope that you will consider including me in this great opportunity.
    Yours Truly, Roberta

  • steve korzy;niowski

    Hi Pat, I just joined NSD2.0 with my new web site BESTRCPLANES.COM which I am still building. Love your site and the advice you share! I am slowly adding keywords and trying to monetize. Not sure of exactly what to do but am following your step by step process. Any advice?

    • Epong

      i looked up your website, did you stop by any chance?

  • Jill Powers

    Hi Pat…I am loving the podcast and your site! The Tim Ferris interview was great – overwhelming but great – and your interview with 100daysofrealfood was really good and helpful too. Heck, they are all good! I love hearing the kids talk on your show…so sweet – you’re a class act! I can’t wait to learn more about the Dueling Sites, too…thank you and keep it coming!

  • Victor Manolo Antunez

    The 50 post test is brilliant because it does so much with so little.

    To begin with it forces you to become an expert in your niche. It easily puts you at the top of the search results for your niche. And finally it tells you if there is any traffic in that niche before you spend your time or money on producing a product.


  • Laura
  • Laura
  • sandy

    very useful article………..

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  • Neha Bajaj

    Very well written article.

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  • Caroline Sealy

    HI Pat
    Found you site today. It’s a life saver. I’m trying to get into affiliate marketing but i’m a complete novice. Will be exploring all your posts. Thanks for keeping it simple.

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  • Hashi Mashi

    Hi Pat,

    I have signed up to NSD and wonder if I can retrofit a niche site on to a pre existing site for which I have been challenged in finding it’s niche. Mainly it started as the blog I was using to try to figure out for myself how to lose weight. I initially used the keyword of benefits of deadlifts for the site and I did rank position 1 in google for a while, but after reading your criteria here, it is no wonder that I have made little to nothing from adsense, as there is no cpc at all that I see listed and the volume is about 480 a month. I have chosen a new keyword which is above 3k and has a cpc above $3.00 as well. For example I will have to rewrite the about page to reflect the new keyword. Just wondered if you thought rewriting with new keywords based on the seed keyword makes sense. I have over 300 posts on the site currently.

    I listen to your podcasts almost every day, I especially like askpat, short and to the point!

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  • Kannan B

    Dear Pat,
    Very well written article on niche website. I will surely link to this article from my website.
    Kannan Balakrishnan

  • Ony T

    Thanks a lot mate, great help Regards. WordPress blog themes

  • James

    Hey Pat,
    This article was loads of help, especially the 50 post strategy and some of Neil’s advice. I have a couple ideas for a niche site, this was the info I needed to test them out in research! Thanks again man!

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  • Natalie C

    concept -NSD2.0. Definitely interested in participating and going all the way
    and learning along the way! Thanks for putting it together.

  • Vandana Singh

    Hello Pat,

    Excellent article, I am going to follow steps mentioned by you on

  • Shiva Reddy

    Wow! that was one quick and very helpful tools that i might use and i use one or two actually.
    Pat very impressed by all your methods and strategies.
    One quick question for all others, I am willing to start a niche website project i am looking forward for a team that can work on it and make sure it reaches to new high level.You might think why would i join,it’s because you know how strong is the competition.So we have to work together for making something out of it.My personal mail i.d is [email protected].
    Please dont spam it.And i will be selecting five of those who requests me and we will work right away.And remember you should be having some work experience about niche websites.

  • vuminhkyanh

    I am all set to start my first niche website project. I hope it goes
    well. Thanks a ton for this article and other relevant articles on niche
    website businesses. I am so nervous and excited at the same time

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    Thanks again for taking the time to guide us through the process.

  • Sơn Tùng

    Seeing your Duel 2.0 posts, I’ve deciding to join in to see if I can
    pick up some of the knowledge that I am lacking. Thanks so much for all
    your information!
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    This is why, at least for most of us with a limited budget, and perhaps a
    limited amount of time as well, it is better and makes more sense to
    try to dominate a niche where domination seems feasible and reasonable

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    This post is awesome, how to choose keywords in SEO is effective.نمای کامپوزیتکرکره برقی

  • juansdf2

    Hey try and , all together and register , a free way for extra money by the internetuiy

  • pramod baviskar

    thanks for nice article. i am using your strategy for my blog

  • ae kiến trúc

    I believe thiet ke noi that chung cu, could have it’s ultimate resource or tool, but if for some reason I can’t imagine or think of creating this resource

  • Lữ Linh Kỳ

    I personally believe that anyone can compete with any keyword. Yep – anykeyword. Even 1-word keywords. The question is, how much time and money do you want to spend to outrank the existing competition?

    High volume search terms combined with high levels of competition means that you’re typically going to spend a lot more time and money on your campaign before you see any results. That, or you’re going to have to beincredibly creative, which can work, but you also have to assume that the existing sites in those competitive markets are already heavily competing with each other as well, sao han,truyen ma

  • Anwer Ashif

    Hey Pat, Thanks for sharing this stuff, though, this is a backdated
    strategy. We have made a series of tutorial recently. So that, students
    and unemployed can earn at least $2500 per month. Here is the link to
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  • Bill Buchanan

    given that google does not allow exact match research any longer — what do you do now?

  • Alexsong

    I believe tu vi hang ngay,12 cung hoang dao could have it’s ultimate resource or tool, but if for some reason I can’t imagine or think of creating this resource

  • Chiến

    Very well written article on niche website. I will surely link to this article from my website

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    nice idea. i will try it on my blog

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    Thanks for your articles

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    Hi Pat. thanks for your content. It’s helpful for me much :)

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    yes that great and I’m happy.

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    page autority and domain age matters very much.
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