Niche Website Project Wrap-up: How I Made $12,000+ in 6 Months

website-ideasTime went by so fast!

It’s been over 6 months since I first announced the public niche website project on Cloud Living Journey (February 17th).

I was initially inspired by Spencer Haws and Pat Flynn as they all have very successful case studies which helped many people, encouraged them to start a business and take control of their lives.

Founded in January 2013, Cloud Living Journey is the place for me to document my journey, share my experience and help other people build their own online businesses.

With that being said, I thought it would be helpful to create my own case study as that was also the time I got started again with building niche websites.

And it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made this year. The case study got people’s attention and also got me featured on,, and many other blogs.

I also made a lot of new connections and friends who are also interested in online business and niche website building.

Okay, it’s time to wrap up this case study and introduce a new one.

Here are all the articles I’ve written for the Niche Website Project:

The Stats

  • I started 2 niche websites: 1 failure and 1 massive success.
  • I invested $160 in the 1st site that failed.
  • I invested around $800 in the 2nd site which eventually brought in $12,000+ profit.
  • The 2nd site made $3,053.85 in 6 months (average $500/month)
  • I sold that site for $10,000 on Flippa (check out the listing)

10 Lessons I Learned From The Project

1. Taking the first step is very important

I couldn’t remember how many times I stressed this out on CLJ. A lot of people emailed me with tons of questions, but when I asked them if they have started any site, the answers are always “NO”.

I appreciate your questions and I’d love to help everyone but you have to take action. Don’t just ask and do nothing. I already shared a lot on CLJ and you can find a lot more on here, here and here, but all the resources will be wasted if you don’t take the first step.

So stop reading and take action now!

2. Start small & scale up

Don’t expect your very first niche site will make thousands of dollars per month. Set a small goal of just $100 per site per month and scale up from there.

Don’t pick keywords with 5k, 10k, 20k searches at first. They are often too difficult for a beginner with little to no resource.

Just try to do your keyword research right, pick a very easy keyword with 1000-2000 searches, build a site and get it rank. The goal is to GET IT RANK and MAKE YOUR FIRST DOLLAR.

You’ll gain more experience along the way, after that, do whatever you want.

3. Choose the right keyword is the key to success

If you’re still chasing the “big money” keywords, read this article.

4. Make your site structure right and you’ll get it rank a lot easier

Site structure & Onpage SEO largely affect your ranking. Get it right first, then try to acquire links later.

5. Have at least 20 articles on each site

Google doesn’t prefer 5-page sites any longer. They can still rank well but the ranking won’t keep long. I tested that 🙂

6. Always keep your site fresh

Google also prefer constantly updated sites. You don’t have to add tons of new articles; Just 3-4 per month is fine.

The goal is to keep your site always fresh.

7. Be patient

Build links slowly and be patient. We all want fast ranking but it’s not a long-term strategy.

When it comes to SEO, slow and steady wins the race!

8. Invest in your own blog network as soon as possible (or find a good & reliable provider for high quality backlinks)

Link building is still important to get high ranking. However, if you choose the right keyword, you’ll only need a few high quality backlinks.

You’d be better of building your own blog network or find a good & reliable SEO service that produces result!

9. Think long-term

An online business is a business 🙂

You want to make money from it for years not months, right?

Taking the portfolio approach is a great strategy!

10. Never give up!

This is the element that differentiate winners from losers.

Winners never quit and quitters never win. – Vince Lombardi

Never quit and try your ass off to make shit happen!

Every successful person starts as a beginner, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

New Case Study Coming Up!

Now that my 1st niche website project is officially ended, hope you’ll find it useful! Leave a comment below if you have any question.

Cloud Living Journey is all about proven and tested online business ideas so there will be more case studies coming soon.

I’m still testing different ways to build niche websites, are you interested in one more public case study about niche website?

Or do you have any online business idea you want me to test?

If so, let me know by leaving a comment. I’ll try my best to read through and response to every comment as soon as possible.

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of

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  • Congrats Tung Tra, I did see your website on flippa and I am happy to see people succeeding with niche websites. I am building a few on my own and have been successful in ranking them. I believe that keyword research plays a huge role these days and once that is done properly, the rest is providing something useful for the people. Hoping to see you next case study 🙂

  • Phan Luân says:

    Great job! I think if i want sucess on niche site, keyword research is very important! Can you recommend me best keyword research service for amazon niche! Good luck on your next case study! 🙂

  • Great to hear good news, mate. I’m really excited in new niche site project with Affiliate from other network 😀

  • HI Tung,

    Wow, 10k for your dumbbell site. Congrats on that!

    I’ll see you at Cebu on March 2014 for the Tropical Think Tank:-)

    I am developing my PBN now and scale up my niche sites.

  • Hey well done! You’ve come far come to think of it. And it seems your in your zone so keep going and dont stop man! It would be nice to see another niche for a slightly more competitive keyword since you have the funds now? or a eCommerce/ drop shipping site?

    Your posts inspired me to start a site of my own. Its 30 days old and ranking 25 for a 3600 local exact match keyword and 30 for a 2400 exact match keyword. I have 3, 600 words articles and a 800 word homepage. its an UK affiliate site for a popular UK niche eCommerce. I have only placed one pr3 keyword with exact match anchor tex for one of my keywords and it went straight to page 3 for both keywords. Im still adding 1, 500 word articles a day. What do you think i should do now. The site is only a month old? and have only on pr3 link i bought.

    I trust you tung! so i can show you the site and keywords and targeting and you could give me some feedback?

    • I think making some blog comment on relevant sites is great. Build link slowly at first 😛

      Just send me an email if you want to reveal your keyword with me 😛

      • Will do, Ill email you the keywords and my website!

  • Wow!
    I have been following your blog for 3-4 months now, perfect ending to this project.
    I will be waiting for your next project.

    Good Luck!!

  • Congratulations! Big profit for a niche site. Will you build another niche site in the future?

  • Tung, I can see you’re getting attention when it comes to niche sites building. The niche blogging universe now talks about you; that is good.

    I’ll like you to start another case study but this time around, like Spencer did, you should carry someone along but I will like if you can offer to sell 10 domains to 10 serious people who are ready to follow suit the journey as you go on the niche site.

    That means you have 10 people doing what you’re doing along the way and at the end of it, some fails while some succeeds….

    Wish you the best always and c’grats for getting such amount from flippa. You sure tried. You should think about selling through adsenseflipper guys. They strictly get x20 of monthly earnings.

  • Tung, building niche sites and learning exact things seriously takes too much time.

    Hats off for your efforts and achievement. I am learning through CLJ and implementing them to get success in building niche sites.

    Your case studies and lessons are amazing and anyone who is interested can learn from them very easily. Keep helping people and revealing your secrets. 😉

  • Congrats for successful sale on Flippa!! Is the buyer a reader of your blog?

  • hey Tung

    Not sure why it took so long to publish another awesome article! 

    That was a nice sale on Flippa, congrats!

    Cannot wait to hear what you’ve learned about selling sites on the marketplace. Maybe you’re willing to share your insights and key lessons from your experiment in an upcoming post?

    This year I’ve sold quite a few sites myself (some major) as I needed to support my son’s heart operation, and I learned a few insights along the way. Flipping sites is no joke.

    If any of you guys want to hear my approach to keyword research/SEO/niche site building, feel free to read the PDF report I give to subscribers on my site…

    • Hi John,

      Yes, I’ll be publishing an article about selling a website on Flippa next week 😀

  • Oh, I forgot to suggest:

    *** a case study promoting a high end health product or Amazon item, something where you get paid at least $50 per sale/transaction

    What do you think about this, or do you have other ideas in mind to wow us with the case study?

    If you are coming out with something, at least it should be “never done” before 🙂

    • That’s great idea 😛 I’m going to promote a health product as well hehe

  • Hey Tung, I remember speaking with you on my blog in 2012 before you built this site and you’ve definitely had an amazing journey over the past year. I’m still catching up on many of your posts, but I love how you’ve documented everything here – and I’m digging the “Think Traffic” style.

    Congrats on all the success that you’ve had with your niche site so far. I think this time around I’m the one that could use a few pointers 😀

    Also, a agree with you 100% on the lessons. Those are key to establishing a great authority site. I have an idea for a project for you on the top of my head, but I’m going to think about it a little more and I’ll let you know about it later 🙂

      • Hey Tung, I sent you an email earlier today. Let me know your thoughts on the idea and whether or not you like or don’t like it. Thanks, man!

  • Congrats Tung!

    Just wondeirng, is there a reason you sold a site? I feel like if you’ve waited you could’ve regained your 1000+ monthly income and sell it at a higher price?

    • Here’s what I wrote on the listing 😛

      Why Am I Selling?

      Honestly, I’ve just dropped out of college to pursue this online business as an online entrepreneur. As of now, my net income from all other websites is around $2000 per month.

      However, I’m having a problem with cash flow because most of the affiliate programs I’m partnering with are net-60 or net-90 which means that I have to wait 60 – 90 days before receiving the payment. So it’s really hard for me to scale up my business fast.

      In addition, I’m wanting to attend an event called “Tropical Think Tank ” on March, 2014 in Cebu, Philippines. I’ll need over $3000 to cover the cost of the trip, so those are the 2 main reasons why I’m selling this site.

      • Wow, didnt know you’re attending the “Tropical Think Tank” That’s awesome! Maybe share what you learn later? 🙂

        You’re absolutely right on the pay thing. If Amazon pays out affiliate sooner and increase the affiliate earning rate, I’m sure they can attract more affiliates and make more money in the long run.

        Looking forward to read about your new case study!

        • No I won’t haha. I was late so that I couldn’t buy the ticket.

  • Hey,

    Thanks for doing this great case study and sharing it. You and Spencer inspired me to Start my own 🙂

    Did you use any paid upgrades for your Flippa listing?

    I’m looking forward to your next experiment!



  • Cliff Ellis says:

    You are so right about taking action, Tung. I have read as much as I can and I begin to find that I am now seeing the same things (ideas, strategies, etc). I don’t believe there is much more for me to learn from just reading. At this point I HAVE TO TAKE ACTION. Thanks very much for the motivating words and very helpful articles.

  • Nice journey Tung, you give me a lot of info from your serial posts, thanks.

    Next, I hope you can make similar case study but monetized it using clickbank or markethealth. It will be interesting

  • Awesome, Tung! Glad to hear you are having success with building (and selling) niche websites. Keep it up…the road will only get better 🙂

  • I actually ran across your site when it was up on Flippa. Pretty cool you were able to make a nice profit. I actually just bought my first site from there the other day and hope to build it out a little more then sell it again.

  • Great! My Dream. You till debt me a promise about Build Authority Site. I’m waiting 🙂

  • Congratulations for your success Tung. As you already know, you have been a great inspiration. Keep those in depth posts coming in!

  • Nice work Tung, I definitely feel that once you have had success with a few sites its time to look on and to grow the business. Nice to see you were able to sell it for a healthy sum.

  • Great stuff Tung!!!

    So inspired by your journey man. I’m having a little success with my niche site as well (I wrote to you for advise) – KW’s are slowly climbing up the SERP’s (primary KW on 1st page) and I’m already at about $100 in Amazon for this month!

    Would love to hear you write an EPIC post on selling at Flippa 🙂

  • Your first point has made me load long tail pro up and check my keywords again with me going ahead with creating this website on my week off next week!

    I would actually like to see a case study of you setting a small setup and doing more of the Seo work yourself, as some people may not have the initial set up costs to create a niche site. Hopefully that case study would show anyone could do it!

  • Great wrap up of the niche site project.

    I think trying a lead gen niche site could be interesting to try. I haven’t seen any niche site projects about that yet, so that might be something interesting to think about.

    I think that main point that people need to take away is that you need to keep trying. Having resilience is where it’s at.

      • Yeah, I agree. You should do a lead gen site!

      • I haven’t seen anyone do it yet although I’m sure many have.

        I just haven’t read about it.

        Look forward to seeing what’s next.

  • Congrats!

    You have showed that making money online isnt easy but definitely possible.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Congrats!

    And will you explain in detail your process of selling the site ?
    If yes it’d be cool!

  • Hi, what plugin did you use for the Archive page and for the footer?

  • Hey Tung,

    Congrats on your success on the sale of your profitable niche site.
    I have been following you all the way since the start to the end of this project.
    Yea, this success is attributed to keyword research. I can’t wait to see the next project from you.

    Oloyede Jamiu

  • Yet another great case and point situation. Pay attention to SEO, build lots of content, and stay persistent. That’s very impressive that you were able to sell the site for so much and for so soon on Flippa. I will have to read back through a few of your older posts and see what other kinds of practical tips I can pick up from your case study. Thanks for the tips.

  • Sticking to it is EVERYTHING! As entrepreneurs, we can sometimes second guess ourselves and stop trusting what we’re doing even if we’ve seen some success. I’m starting another site from scratch and approaching it differently than I did the last time out. Very good and transparent post.

  • Another niche site project would be great 🙂

    Do you have any high PR network service that you recommend?

    • I’m still considering whether or not I should open that service 😀

      • Vladimir Bestic says:

        Actually, I asked about services that you order from someone else? Is there any?

  • Hello there!

    Thank you very much for sharing this post. I really agree with you here. we need to build links slowly and be patient. Yes, we all want fast ranking but it’s not a long-term strategy. When it comes to SEO, slow and steady wins the race.


  • Great job, Tung! That’s wonderful that you were able to sell the site for that much. I’m very happy for you. You’re such an inspiration! Can’t wait to see what you do next…

    • Thank you Chris 😛

      The upcoming project is very interesting with someone who was doing pretty well with micro niche website 😛

  • It’s right that we must start out with some low competitive keywords. Getting a new site ranked for competitive keywords is very difficult. Furthermore, keeping the site fresh is always a good idea, Google loves such sites. Also, backlink building needs a crucial attention too, we must be very careful while building links, as bad links can often get our site into a penalty.

  • Congratulations on the 10k sale Tung, not to mention the income you made on it prior to the sale.

    In terms of your 10 lessons learned, I agree the most with 7 and definitely advise others to remain patient, take it slow and reap the benefits afterwards. There is nothing worse than rushing headfirst into a project or campaign, doing so makes it easy to forget the basics and lay the proper ground work for success.

    • Thank you Jye 😀 I like the design on your blog 😛 Did you made it yourself?

      • Thanks, I sure did Tung, although it follows the same basic style that many others are using now days.

  • Hey Tung,

    I loved following your journey so much, I’ve decided to create my own “Niche Site Journey”. I’d Like you to check it out if you have time. I’m not far at the moment of typing this, but I hope to be considerably further in a few weeks!

    All the best for the future

  • Hi Tung Tran,

    You can tell more about 1st site? Why failed. Thank you.

  • WOW! That is a massive success Tung. and you did absolutely well with that keyword, and yes, we are all interested in another public case study. although you have already explained a lot on what you did with this one.

    I read your flippa sales thread and would love you to explain your reply to one of the bidders,
    @websitebuyer1 I paid around $50 for a PR3, $200 for a PR4. The only monhtly cost is on SEO Hosting like $20 per month but I have just found a trick which can reduce it to only $3-4 per month 😀

    Waiting for your reply and congratulations once again!

  • Hey Tung,

    Waiting eagerly for your detailed post on the Flippa sale 🙂

    P.S – If you remember, I had mailed you once for advice on a keyword. Happy to tell you that I’ve just cracked the top 10 of Google 🙂

  • Great job Tung! Awesome sale!

    Wanted to ask you a couple of questions.

    1. You mentioned in an earlier comment that you have the VA do your SEO and you also mentioned that you added 1000 links. If you don’t mind what method did you use to put up that many links? Did you use spun articles and software to do it or did the VA do manual linking over a few months?

    2. I saw the bidding of the site and it began quite low a few hundred to low thousands. Would you have sold it if the bidding only reached $2000 or so? (not sure if you can put a minimum sale limit on flippa)

  • Awesome stuff Tung! Well done on the sale and the $12k in net income! Looking forward to seeing your next case study!

  • Tobias Kemp says:

    Hi Tung, another great read my friend! Just wondering about some backlink advice.

    I ordered my first package the Sherlock hacks Google, and seen some okay results, keywords hitting around 180 – 250 ish. I know you did some high PR expired domain redirects to your sold Dumbell site, and wondered would you still suggest this for a niche site? And if i went down the High PR expired domain root, do you think it would boost my rankings to page 1?

    I am also looking into the VitaRank service as this looks good, any experience with this service? Thanks in advance

    • Yes high PR backlinks are still working good 😀 I have never tried vitalrank but it looks good

  • I am regular reader of you blog. firstly congrats for selling website on flippa.we have learn a lot of knowledge and new things from your project .
    BTW we are waiting for your upcoming niche project.

  • Can you make a guide about creating a private blog network. (how many posts and links to your money site , should I link it from the domain …). Currently I am struggling with this. I think many of us have this problem.



  • Tung – I just wanted to drop by and say congratulations. Your talent is paying off!

    We both started a niche site in February and I know for a fact that I could not sell mine for $1000 dollars currently, let alone a massive $10,000!!!

    I am working on a new project at the moment and will be paying close attention to your posts on here for tips!!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Hi,

    Just started following your posts after seeing you on Niche Pursuits.

    Just a quick question on the site you sold on Flippa (and congrats by the way, nice profit).

    The site is on page 2 now – is this to do with the new owner? Have they done something wrong or did the site lose some links to it when they bought it from you? Just curious why it might have dropped and how to avoid that happening.


    • It was affected by the latest update but I have to wait for a few days to make any conclusion

  • Great work, I found you through spencers site and came over here. Your niche site was done very well. Hey you stole my image for this post from one of my posts lol. Well you probably just got it from google images like I “might have” 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

  • Never give up! I’m beginning to understand that the most successful amongst us aren’t necessarily signing up for self help seminars and writing down 7 points of success tips. They are simply just sticking to it with a relentless and ferocious attitude. It takes a while to get your mind there, but when that happens you start to believe that you deserve to reap the benefits of all your labor, time and dedication. This is when you realize that you are going to do “that thing” regardless of ANYTHING that this life throws at you, and it becomes a matter of “when” at that point.

  • Hi Tung,

    Do you have an article about how to sell a site on flippa? What presentation techniques and tools did you use to get the most money for your dumbbells website?

  • agreed ! i also meesed my first website. but as tine passed i gain experience….

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