Case Study Lis Recommmends

Passive Income Online’s Keyword Academy Case Study

OK you horrible lot. This is it I am going to prove that this works.  You can build websites – rank them in the search engines and retire to the beach to live off the earnings.

I’ve been reading for ages that people love case studies – I know I love reading about case studies to – it sure beats working –  but I have resisted doing them because basically I saw them as a lot of work – they are in the discipine that I have any qualifications in – science. In science a case study is an experiment and you learn with experiments whether they prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Internet marketing case studies are different.

If an Internet Marketing case study fails – I make no money But there is really no downside in this experiment – I seriously doubt that I am going to fail to make money. I know that I can rank a site from ziltch to a page 1 in Google within 6 months if I chose the right keywords. If I do that I know I will make money from it (also sadly lacking in many science experiments). So what’s to lose? I will need to be slightly more organised than usual – but that wouldn’t be bad anyways!

So this is what I am goingto do:

  • start a  niche site  on a new domain using the Keyword Academy method.
  • rank it by ONLY using the keyword academy’s guest posting system. Now this is NOT the currently recommended approach in their core videos – but I have a hunch and I know that Mark, one of the guys behind TKA is trying the same thing. I am going to acquire around 25 links/month for the site from GPS.

Report back here every month or so on progress.

So how we are going to measure progress –  scientist hiding in my back brain somewhere! Lets try this

  • number of pages in Google
  • number of backlinks showing in Yahoo
  • ranking for main keyword in Google
  • ranking of  related keywords in Google
  • passive income earned
  • expenses incurred

It may vary depending what I forget to record from month to month!

The site will start off as a bog standard WordPress site set up as a niche site with arount 5-10 pages of content – I’ll probably launch it on the last day of the month just to keep the figures neat. Well my last day – I’m normally a day ahead on account of the time different and given that I will be away over  Easter that will have to be close enough.

In my next post in the Keyword Academy case study series I’ll talk about chosing the right keywords and domain.

Here’s my challenge to you. You can read my every world, hang out on this blog waiting for the next episode – or you could build your own site. No matter how many mistakes you make chosing your keywords and setting up your site  and promoting it – you will probably still make more money than if you just read my posts…

The difficulty with these types of case studies is that the biggest variable is niche – its just plain harder to rank in some niches than others. I am only covering one niche in this study. You could cover a different niche. Why not start your own new site (or indeed kickstart an old one you have been ignoring). If you want to report your progress regularly on your blog – drop a comment here and  I will link to your posts. Or if you don’t have an appropriate blog – just drop a regular comment here with your  progress. What’s the worst that can happen – you make money?

Update: Check out my competition!

Loreecee from Postrunner Review

Tiffany from Passive Income Goals

Alana from Beginner Blogger

Hospitalera from Making Money Online

47 replies on “Passive Income Online’s Keyword Academy Case Study”

Hi Lis,

I will be watching with interest. 😉

Never used that keyword academy so have no idea about it myself but that may change! 🙂

Go for it, best of luck too.

Ahah that’s the idea Rob -its a subtle advertising ploy in disguise you know!

Well Lis, even before the first update you already have a believer on the Keyword Academy GPS in me. I’ll personally attest that the major link building I’ve done the past couple months has been using this system, and my AdSense income has gone up about 60-70%. Granted, I’m a long way from being remotely close to the full time income level, but there’s no doubt in my mind that getting the really solid links from the Keyword Academy guest posting system has had virtually everything to do with those increases. Looking forward to those updates…you know, when I’m looking to put off starting another niche site 🙂

Yeah I haven’t been using it enough so part of the reason for the case study is to change that!

I have good results with GPS oops Post Runner. What I did on one of my sites is simply throw 20 GPS links at each article I was targetting and see what sticks. Immediate results as thus, I have adjusted my excel sheet for my niche sites
I will be watch your experiment and be doing my own >;)

Good luck Lis, I am sure you’ll do great with it! I’ve got about a million websites in the works right now so I won’t be starting another one to follow along with your case study, but I will be watching closely.

Only a million Trent? I had to buy a white board to keep track of mine – but now I need a bigger white board!

Haha yeah only a million! Maybe I should buy a whiteboard. I don’t have a good way to keep track of mine and I find myself forgetting about many of them for long periods of time.

Tell me about it – I have decided to focus on a small subset each month or so to actually get them ranked and then start on the next lot- I had myself spread too thin otherwise.

OK, Lis… I found your site about a month ago. I read an article you posted and followed a link to TKA. Something didn’t still with me, and as quickly as I accidentally found your and TKA, I lost/forgot about you/TKA. Then I accidentally found Court’s website last week. Some of the articles seemed really, really old, but the info still seemed really, really relevant. I even sent Court an email inquiring about 1-on-1 consulting. I recognized you as the person that turned me on to his site, but because I “lost” you, all I could recall was that you were an Ausie female named “Lissy.” I think I was pretty close. 😉 I found TKA again through Court’s site. I’ve been contemplating signing up for the past week. Only thing that concerns me is my personal discipline, especially over time. I get that it’s going to take a few months — 6, 12, 24 — and I get that the longer I wait the longer before my goals are realized. Still, everyday I’ve just been reading, learning, yet waiting to pull the trigger. I think I’ve been going about this all wrong. I think I should be doing it in reverse, that is, I need to pull the trigger and learn while reading and doing. I was just scrubbing my RSS feeds. I didn’t realize I had subscribed to your blog (I found you again!), and your “case study” article caught my eye. It’s like coming full circle, and now I’m inspired (more like desperate ) to do this case study along with you.

I just joined TKA. Let’s do this!!


Jeff – its called analysis paralysis – and lots of us get it! Its this very strange thing the human brain love to accumulate data – but accumulating data won’t make you any cash -and this really is all about the money! You will learn much, much more by having your own sites and seeing where you get visitors from and how how they behave on your site. The more sites you have the more data you have. One of the best sources of keywords is in fact your own stats data from your sites!
LMAO re the convulated way you found the Aussie “lissy” BTW I moved – I’m a Kiwi Lissie now!

Hi Liz
I look forward to seeing how you do. I’m also on the program and have just got some new niches going so it will be great to benchmark against someone who has been doing this for a while and who knows her stuff. I guess what still puzzles me is the “random factor” in all of this because it seems that there are so many variables at play (not just in the google algo but also in human behaviour influencing CTRs for particular keywords) that it is hard to know when one is being smart or just lucky (in my case, dumb and unlucky) in getting a particular result for a given amount of work on a niche site. I’ll be happy to share results back here if you wish.
Anyhow, here’s wishing you good luck to go along with your smarts and I look forward to seeing your results.

Yeah its the humans involved they always add randomness! The biggest variation I see is click thru rate – I can get 2% or 10% on the same layout and the same writing quality – so its either the niche and/or the quality/number/relevance of advertisers – both hard for me to control!

Hey Lis

Been a while since I checked in here and nice idea for an experiment, sorry, case study! Ill be doing similar with postrunner but hadnt thought about reporting on it, I may now just to keep myself motivated.

Ill be following your progress, just curious will you be using an aged domain or a brand new one?

Good luck with it, looking forward to your reports!

This time I’m using a brand new domain -although I generally buy aged domains. Mark and Court are adament it doesn’t make that much diffference so I thought I’d try their theory

I’m really excited to see how this is going to work. I’m actually working on doing the same thing. When you say 25 links / month. Do you mean 25 articles with 2 links each or 12 articles with 2 links each? Just curious as I’ve gone 25 article route.

Good luck!


Although each article is allowed 2 links I generally only add one – so 25 articles

Looking forward to your case study. I have been using Keyword Academy for awhile now but I seem to be lacking inthe time department as I have not set up as many sites as I would have liked to.

Maybe I will play along and get a website up and running at the same time to compare how mine fairs to yours. Hmmm.. I think you just gave me the motivation to get this thing going considering how competitive I am! LOL

Cool – competitive works, accountable works – whatever really! Remember Tiffany and all of you who are playing along with this – drop me a line thru the contact form if you start this on your own blog and I will link to your specific post(s)

I’m up for the challenge, Lissie! A year ago I was a clueless noob, but these days I’m no slouch at this stuff if I do say so myself. I’m doing two sites for the challenge. Both are year-old PR0 domains that I bought, indexed, and slapped up one post for each. I’ll build the first one out to 5-10 posts as a niche site and then backlink it only with GPS links. The second site will be set up to receive GPS articles and will be backlinked with everything I normally use except GPS.

PM’d you just now with a link to my post about the challenge on my MMO blog and to make sure Akismet doesn’t hate me anymore. May the best site win!

Hi Lorecee – added your link to the post above – nice idea doing both the post recieving and getting side of things! You’re back in Askimets good books BTW

Testing both sides of the GPS will also give me some idea of how well a niche site does against a supersite during the first six months. GPS/Postrunner is a great way to build a supersite without doing superhuman amounts of work. I already have one site in the system and it gets 3-5 submissions a day.

I hope some boys join the challenge soon, or we’ll just have to call it the IM Girls Club. You don’t suppose they’re chicken, do you?

Nah – they wouldn’t be chicken – would they? Hey we’re just a couple of blondes here – if we can do it … Like the idea about the supersite Lorecee – I so don’t need another project…

Hi Lis
I’m in the process of setting up a site for this. As I’ve been going it alone and have only just joined KA I’ll be interested to see how the GPS system works out. I usually use a mixture of Hubs, Ezines, article distribution etc but I’d like to see the effect of GPS so I’m going to use that alone (at least for the first few months) and see how it goes. My keyword is not as difficult as yours at 132 but the cpc is lower. However there are a ton of related green keywords with quite good traffic which I hope will make up for that. I tend to focus on product type sites but this is a bit different so it’s an experiment for me.

Cool Janet – it will be interesting to see what you think of the power of GPS v. the other methods you’ve been using.

Hi Lissie,

As chatted via a messenger, here my offer to join your challenge. We could call it the “The challenge of the SEO Amazons” 😉

We compete about who has, at the end of the challenge, the best scores in the following points:

Number of pages indexed in Google (the higher, the better)
Number of back links showing in Yahoo (the higher, the better)
Ranking for main keyword in Google (the higher in the SERPentines, the better)
Ranking of related keywords in Google (the higher in the SERPentines, the better)
Passive income earned (the higher, the better; that rule is a no-brainer 😉 )
Expenses incurred (the lower the better).


A newly registered domain has to be used, no pre-owned domains, nor sub-domains on existing sites allowed. First domain registration has to be at around end of March 2010. Both of us “amazons” will exchange, privately, the respective URLs and swear to not to reveal the competing URL to anybody else.
Alternatively, we could reveal the URLs in question to an independent third person, that doesn’t take part in the challenge and that has to keep the secret until the end of the challenge. Your choice, Lis! If you opt for a third party judge, what about Grizz? This is simply to have a clear record that the site we entered this “Amazon Challenge” with, is the one we claim our victory on 😉

The keyword value has to be at least $50/month (following the secret formula KA uses, known to both of us 😉 ).

The competition must have the top 4 results with PR 3 or less OR, if one or more of the top 4 results include a PR 4, this site can’t have the keywords in the title. I would be also happy to agree that each of us can choose a more competitive niche, if you/I dare to 😉

Free choice of domain extension. Only top level domains like .com, .org, .net, .info etc allowed, no Blogspot, no sites, no sub-domains on existing sites.

First deadline / evaluation is after 6 months, second one is after 12 months in total (Basically that makes the checkpoints 1st September 2010 and 1st April 2011).

Reports have to be posted, without revealing the exact niche or url.

Monthly reports will be posted on our respective blogs and

Winning urls / sites will be revealed after the full year has passed.

Both “Internet Amazons” promise to post an extensive end-of-challenge post by 15th April 2011 on how they achieved their results for the benefits of their respective readers.

No public link exchanges or “cries for help from readers” allowed.

This is a friendly fight only between two internet amazons 😉 If link exchanges are privately negotiated, it has to be so that nobody knows that this challenge is involved.

Differences in approach:

Lissie will try to win this SEO contest by ONLY using the keyword academy’s guest posting system, aiming at around 25 links/month for the site from GPS plus by using onsite / on page SEO.

Hospitalera will try to win by using only old fashioned link building plus online SEO, without using any of the KA services, nor using any mass directory submissions techniques.

Only white hat SEO techniques allowed.

Both sites will be build as a wordpress blog.

Lissie, are you game? SY

PS Anything I forgot? Anything you want to add?

I’m glad you wrote all that down SY – made me quite tired just reading it! Dunno about Grizzly though the Brears is in deep hibernation – maybe a google alert on his name will wake him up?

Does it show that I am German? 😉 Shortly after posting this I went down with a really ugly tummy bug, but I am back now! Found my competition niche yesterday:

Long, long tail keyword, competition is one PR4 (without the exact keywords in the domain/url), rest is PR3 or below at the time of writing. Further down is one site with similar keywords in the domain, that will be the hard one to beat. All sites on the first page are several years old ;-( Monthly exact searches are 2500+ for singular and plural combined, $2.80+ avg.cpc for one of them (the rest is bonus), estimated monthly potential for the keyword phrase as in domain is $500+. It is something that I know a lot about and could write, nearly, endlessly about. I know it is a “slightly” more difficult niche then yours (as you described it), but as it is something I am interested in and I can write effortless about, I decided to go for it. So far I have only bought / rented the domain (try godaddy coupon emma35 for a nice discount) and installed wordpress. Will try to work today more on it, still feeling “wobbly”. May the best win, SY

PS Did you notice, so far we are only women in this challenge here, seems it will become a true challenge of the internet amazons 😉 SY

LOL SY – I nearly said something like – bloody German efficiency – but that was a bit politically incorrect – and I d0n’t like to be rude or anything on this blog!

Lol, LIssie, it is your blog, you can write what you want, ok, nearly what you want 😉 Mini Update I have the site now fully set up and I am busy writing content for it. Good luck to everybody, SY

I’m not in on the challenge, but definitely am playing along with the case study. OK, I admit I’m a total noob with an ego to protect and don’t face admitting getting my @$$ kicked by clever women. 😉 But, should be interesting to see where a noob gets with this. I’ve kinda-sorta started … am on vacay right now, so kinda-sorta hard to find time to “work,” and it’s all I can think about . But I do have a few green keywords to get going with once I get back home and can focus for five minutes. 🙂

LOL Jeff – its not really a contest against me or anyone else – its a contest against yourself !

Fine fine… .you want a boy to join? I’m in… I’ve actually been in since the beginning of the month….

Here’s some of the details so far:

Mine is “3 word keyword +” … went for a useless suffix because the long tail ones just weren’t that great, and exact match domains were gone.

#1 pr3 – 116 links – 7.5 years old
#2 pr 1 – 139 – little over 1 year (kw in title & domain)
#3 pr 2 – 1,620 – 6 years
#4 pr 2 – 498 links – 4 years (with pr 2 indent)

#5 (6 if u count indent as 1 spot) is ezine with no links. =)

kw not in title or domain of any in the top 4 except #2 as indicated

I have so far scheduled 15 of the 25 posts…one a day, skipping every 7th day… still need to write/outsource 10 more…

I already added adsense (did so from the beginning) … my first search engine visitor was today for a very very long tail keyword, but hey, they clicked! $0.54!

Should be a fun and interesting project… my baby is due here in a week and a half so it may get cut short, but the few seconds i do have will be to bang out an article for this specific site…

@Breakaway… mind if I can peel at your site so that I can see an example of what I should be doing? I promise I won’t tap your market, use your keyword, click AdSense links, etc. You can tell me “hell no” or whatever at jeff (at) pepperfly (dot) com. Thanks! 😉

Jeff its up to Breakaway to tell you or not but its reasonably bad form to ask! Niche sites are nothing magic Check our the site that Court revealed ages ago before The Keyword Academy days – his Coloardo Lasik Surgery site

Yeah, I knew I was treading lightly, and thought it would be taken rhetorically. But, I really appreciate the lasik example. Honestly, why I have been stuck on the last 3-4 days is that I thought putting up a niche site meant becoming a blogger. And now that I see the example you’ve provided, I realize it *is* just informational. I mean, how long can you keep up a blog on lasik, or embroidered hats, or kitten climbers (just randomly saying)? So, thank you Lissie for pointing this out to break the slump my mind was in. Other noobs probably catch on quick, and I do, too, but I have more of the “engineer” complex and think that I need to know how everything works from beginning to end before I start doing something.

Yeah you will notice that paticular site was lasted updated in 2008 and is #1 for its keywords. These days I usually just take the dates of the themes I use for niches – but no there is no real reason to keep updatin the site -well unless you have a fetish about emobroidered hats or something LOL

Hey Jeff… sorry,been burned too many times… I’ve seen your pic around the TKA forums… it’s setup exactly as they describe in the core videos… I do nothing revolutionary (except trying out PostRunner only links)

Ever said something and wish you could take it back? Yeah, I’m curled up in a corner right now . But, at least you recognized my pic! Good ego boost for my “personal brand” . You can keep my email address. 😉

If you want to see a trashed “brand” you should check out what some people think of me!

Jeff: You definitely’ don’t need to become a blogger…. WordPress, while mainly used for blogging, is a content management system… that’s the closest my niche sites get to being blogs. Really go through the core videos on TKA… they’ll walk you through setting up a niche site, and you’ll see that it’s only 5 posts on site, and many more posts for links.

Thanks for the insight, @Breakaway. Following Lis’ tip, I’m on a good roll now. Was up ’til 2:30a last night (I see you’re buring the midnight oil, too), got a few hours of sleep, and have been back at it all morn. I registered a domain and started pumping out content. I need to break down and organize the draft content I’m coming up with and will publish 5+ articles before lack of sleep takes over (acK! … I said it, so now I gotta get it done for sure ), and like you will get some scheduled to auto-go, as well.

I need a coffee and food break right now and will be back to publish my starting stats.

Thanks for the affirming nudge getting me through the door into this strange, exciting world. Of course, kudos to TKA, too! 🙂

Here’s what I’m kickin’ off with:

– Two-word keyword phrase
– $600+/mo potential
– Exact match domains were gone (they are live, but I couldn’t even find where they ranked in the SERPs by keyword search).

Google stats:
KW has 775,000 indexed pages
#1 PR3 – KW is in title, not in domain – 2,360 pages(yowza!) – domain created 5/14/2003
#2 PR2 – KW is in title, not in domain – 20,200 pages (YOWZA!) – domain created 10/26/2000
#3 PR3 – KW is in title, not in domain – 292 pages – domain created 8/6/2008
#4 PR4 – KW is not in title or domain – 4,760 pages – domain created 6/22/2000

When I discovered this niche a few days ago, #4 was only PR3. Today it shows up at PR4.

I don’t know how (yet) to find out # of back links for these sites.

There are 3-4 closely related 2-word cousins ($100+/mo potential) that I’ll be going after once I feel I have this one on schedule. I don’t know what to expect in terms of income monetization goals. Six months from now I’ll be happy to make half of what @Breakaway has already earned. 😉

Lis, is it ok if I change my contest entry? Seems the “new” domain I bought had some previous owners that left it too long in parking, Google refuses stubbornly to index it! (No, I have NOT submitted the url to Google ;-)) The new domain is a (hope you don’t mind, I have ranked info domains before) and has a potential of $500 and only PR3 or less on the first page of Google (less PR3, more less then PR3 ;-)) SY

Hmm dunno – was that in the rules? Oh yeah OK – she’s right bro – as we say around here!

passiev income…. the best kind! “You can build websites – rank them in the search engines and retire to the beach to live off the earnings.” living the dream, if only it was that simple

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