WSO Testers – How two Adsense Niche site entrepreneurs were able to raise $20,000 to build their business

Episode 4

*JAN. 11, 2013- UPDATE Since doing this interview, Josh and Trevor have closed down and no longer make niche sites. The Exact Match Domain update effectively ended their niche site creation business, as it did my own. As far as I know, both of them have moved on to other pursuits.

On today’s show Josh and Trevor talk about the following:

1. How they were able to convince an investor to front $20,000 so they could build 200 niche websites.

2. Why their initial Adsense niches sites failed and how they fixed their process

3. Their experiences building Amazon niche sites and what makes them different from Adsense sites

[leadplayer_vid id=”5061D5CCE8A54″]Stuff mentioned in the show



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    1. Dwayne,

      Yeah, it’s pretty gutsy borrowing $20,000 to start a business. When I was spending on my sites it was my own money, so if I lost it all I just had to face myself. But if it’s someone else’s money it’s a whole new story.

  1. Hey Mike – After getting my personal efforts to consistently earn $150/month, I took out a personal loan for $6,500. $6000 went towards buying your sites since you use the same methods I had already found to work. Those sites have consistently performed and have given me the cash flow to build up my inventory further. Looks like I will probably clear $700 this month and am on track to $1k/mo by the end of the year.

    The website linked – – is my wife’s food blog. I manage the technical elements, she does the content, I enjoy the leftovers 😉

    1. Nathan,

      I’m thrilled that the sites you bought off of me are still performing consistently. Congrats on hitting the $700/month mark…it just gets easier after that.

      Tell your wife to send me some of the leftovers, too 😉

  2. This is one of the best interviews I have seen for months.
    My 2 favorites Niche sites builders together.
    Like what Mike said, I’m surprise to see Trevor too!

    Great job Mike and look forward to more quality interviews.

  3. Hey Mike, great interview. Good information and tips. It would be interesting to do a follow-up interview with them after the holidays about their niche amazon sites….

  4. YES! Best Interview yet. I have been a big fan of Josh/Trevor as well as you and Justin/Joe at adsense flippers. So much information and great stuff going it’s almost impossible to take your guy’s steps and not make money.

    I have been recently taking the plunge the last few months into micro-niche sites and have been seeing success so far, all because of you guys. Thanks!

    -Aliendrummer (handle on WF)

    Cheers, and I look forward to more videos! You rock Mike!

    1. Yea, I’ve been chatting with you a little here and there on the warrior forum and it’s great to know that you’ve been seeing success on your sites as well. Keep up the great work and you’ll see that income skyrocket.

  5. Hi guys

    You should share feedback on the theme in the forum 🙂 Not seen you popping up there. And the existence of the theme and that its in beta testing is no secret!

    Interesting details in the chat such as the one niche youve found that’s highly profitable. That explains some of your number very cool.

    Getting 20K upfront investment sure changes the landscape of a startup in this field.

    Matt retracted his extreme comment a little.

    you should read this

    its pretty good coverage.

    Theres no need to be scared we have business to run. But to ignore the future is not such a good idea.

    Niches sites still work maybe more than ever.

    1. Steve,

      I plan on getting the beta theme up on some sites this week for testing. I’ll start popping into the forum once I’ve got some data.

      I’ll check out the penguin warning link. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I admit, I kind of previously ignored the WSOTesters because of the name of their site. I have no interest in WSO’s and don’t have time to spend in forums like the Warrior forum (although I’ve heard nothing but good about it). I watched, errr, listened to this interview via my phone while driving around in my semi yesterday – and now I am a huge fan of the WSOTesters! I didn’t realize they were niche siters. I am now diving into their site and picking up some pointers from their tutorials that I didn’t know. Great stuff and great interview here Mike! Looking forward to more interviews like this.

    I’m also dabbling with Amazon in a few of my sites and have a good idea for a site I hope to rank for by Black Friday. I am curious as well to see how WSOTesters fare in this endeavor.

    1. Matthew,

      These guys are really rocking it when it comes to making niche sites. They only have 200 sites and are making over $4,000 per month in Adsense…that’s incredible. Like they said in the interview, they’ve found a really profitable niche and are focusing most of their effort in exploiting it (in a good way).

      Definitely check out their site as there are lots of gems to be found there for free.

  7. Hi Mike

    Thanks for sharing this info with us. A few observations

    1/ Your definition of success seems to be that you get you domain hosting back as a minimum. so in the 70% “failures” none of those are projected to make $7-10 in their 1st year is that correct?

    I really hate the way people suck up to other than have had minor success. This doesn’t refer to you mike but to commentators. WSO testers adsense success is ok, fundded by somebody else (how many folks do you know with $20k to throw at the wall (I know nobody, invest in a proven business model Yes) sounds like family and friends money.

    To think you can ignore Matt Cutts team and googles desires by using Per penquin strategies and PAD links (OMG how much spam is that) is fool hardy. Folks dont listen to them on link building until the next big update. Lets see then. I predict failure.

    I like confidence I like people smashing it, but this is neither. To think that niche sites as we understand them today will be via in 5 years is plain stupid.

    The web wont look like this in the next months let alone 5 years. Google will evolve towards single answers to questions. For products or comparative items they will use reviews more and more. especially for established goods. (why go and read a samsung site when amazon for example has better reviews and content itself. As my ex said “DUH, why would i listen to what your dum little site has to say? I”d just go to Amazon, curry’s etc”

    I do wish there was a lot more critics on site like this and a lot less of the “wooow you guys are so cool your like making $36K a year” really pause really thats a business for two guys.. COme on newbies think about it You get $20K from your investor and you get to make $3K before costs and TAX its going to take a year or so just to pay the man back.

    The real trick is to get newbies to buy sites at 20x (OMG 20x go look at flipa and buy sites at 10x save money) and to make more money through affiliates than from doing what you do.

    This doesnot apply to Mikes model which is much cleaner and a real achievement from self financing through to a significant income from adsense and site sales. Qudos Mike.

    I dont expect to much f a reply as im sure the testers will be off partying somewhere as they usually are 🙂

    1. Jamie,

      Yes, that’s correct, but some of the successes will make $3,000. If I spend $3,000 on 100 sites, and I make back $3,000 then all the rest is profit.

      As far as “throwing $20,000 against the wall” it’s not like that at all. It’s a well-researched investment that they had taken a lot of time to discover.

      Yes, we do make money from people buying sites, but it’s not about “getting newbies to buy them”. I have investors that have been doing this for a while and are nowhere near the “newbie” status.

      Anyway, I hear a lot of negativity in your comment. I don’t mind some criticism, but people like to see other people’s successes because it gives them hope. No, neither myself nor the WSO Testers are making $100,000/yr at this point, but at least we’re making something and moving forward.

      As for them partying somewhere…I highly doubt it because with the amount of success they’ve had requires a lot of hard work….and if they are partying they deserve it 🙂

    2. Thanks for your support Mike.
      The reason for our starting capital is that we were and still are able to do more split testing than someone who can’t afford it not to mention we had absolutely no money to do anything and we have big goals. We have been able to take more risks and make more mistakes. Then it allowed us to give all that information away for free so that everyone could start their own business with what we have made work for us. Many people are really looking to do exactly what we have done and we show you how to do it without needing an investment to get started. We aren’t making $100,000 a year yet but a lot of what comes in every month is a residual income and it continues to come in whether we keep working right now or not. In my opinion a $36,000 residual income is 100 times better than the corporate $36,000. Now, the things that we are doing today aren’t going to work in the future, that’s a fact. We are constantly working on other strategies and really trying to find better and better ways to do what we are doing, especially with updates coming out. I’m sorry I don’t have more time to respond but I’m late for a party! Good luck and God Bless.

  8. Mike,
    You did real good on this one, very engaging and informative. May I suggest you use the split screen format and interview yourself for one of your upcoming videos. It may take a little more production work, but you could have fun with it and your viewers will smile and learn stuff at the same time. Josh and Trevor started me thinking of this after they began asking you questions.

    1. Jeff,

      Haha, perhaps in the future. I’m open to being interviewed by anyone who wants to pick my brain. Josh and Trevor mentioned having me on their podcast when they get it up and running.

  9. Awesome post guys. Just like all three of you I am a follower of the AdSense Flipper senseis. I took most of AdSense Flippers KW research style, WSOTesters content creation, and a blend of Mike and WSOT backlinking. I’m loving how it’s working even though it’s been a slow start due to some crappy KW research on my part.

    It definitely is hard to describe what we do to people but it seems to me more and more people online and offline are beginning to understand. We gotta ramp up our efforts before the floodgates open!! haha Josh and Trevor vs. Justin an Joe!

    Great note Justin on why i personally haven’t checked out Amazon because of the lack of possible income.

    I wonder how outsourcing sites for backlinks, followers and likes would work in another language. What are your thoughts guys?

    Awesome work guys!

    1. Sebastian,

      It’s cool to see that you’re using everyone’s different techniques and turning them into your own. It goes to show you that you don’t have to follow our methods exactly to be successful.

      As for building sites in other languages, I’ve thought of it, but the CPC is so much less than in English. Perhaps some of the big finance terms could be high. It’s definitely something worth checking out.

    2. Hey Sebastian
      The problem wasn’t selling those kinds of sites, it was just getting to a point where flippa costs were too high and we would be spending all day transferring sites and dealing with customers. If you can get your site to make a few sales prior to selling it on flippa I think that is actually a pretty profitable business. At least the last time I checked it out; but that would have been about 3-4 months ago. Couldn’t really say much about other languages though.

  10. Question – at 47:26 you talk about hiding keywords; but if you post on Flippa are you not exposing your keywords especially if you are using something like SEOPRESSOR or doing SEOPRESSOR work manually? You also take a 20% down payment – but what if they walk? Do you keep the fee?

    1. Mohamed,

      If they walk then I keep the fee. It’s to prevent people who aren’t really interested in buying from getting free keyword research.

  11. Hi Mike,

    I funded my niche website business with savings that I had initially put aside to go travelling round the world. Plus, I put an extra bumper load into the business after the Olympics. I own a flat in Stratford, East London, about 10mins walk from the Olympic stadium. I managed to rent the flat out to short term Olympics tenants who were willing to pay approx. $3K per week. The Olympics were about 3 weeks long, so on top of the last two year’s worth of savings I had a nice wedge to fund my move to Malaysia and the start of my online business 🙂


      1. Yep, I’ve now been in Malaysia since August. I’m half Malaysian and I have family out here, plus the living’s mega cheap out here. Perfect conditions for setting up an online business!

  12. I would love to hear a follow up interview from these guys pertaining to the EMD update.
    Jason Ansley
    Online Business Manager and Business Development Coach

  13. So did you ever find out what happened to these chumps? Bit of an ass thing to do – get a bunch of followers, get people to buy through your affiliate links and then disappear when things start going wrong. Perhaps the people who gave them the initial loan are after them? lol

    1. Alexander,

      Let’s not call them “chumps”. They were doing well with Adsense sites until the EMD update when their business was crushed.

      I spoke with Josh a little while back and he said that they’ve stopped building niche sites for now. Trevor has also returned to DJing. I would be less angry at them and more sorry for them.

      That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or both of them resurface in the next few years with something else up their sleeves.

      1. I still think that they should come back and officially close the site down – I think they have a responsibility to the people that trusted and followed their advice. I am sure people that bought sites or used affiliate links are wondering whether there is anything they can do. I think once you’ve done that you have set yourself some obligation. Disappearing from your website and all the forums (where people are still replying and following their advice that now doesn’t work) is wrong, in my opinion.

        At least after you moved on from niche sites you kept the site alive through the show and still stayed active on forums and site chat.

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