Author: Will Blears

by Will Blears Will Blears 2 Comments

Niche Site Journal – Week 3

niche site journal week 3

This is the third week of the Niche Site Journal case study.

Over the past week I spent a lot of time catching up on work I missed during my ventures in Singapore, also due to me spilling Whisky all over my laptop I was forced to use my old Macbook Pro which just doesn’t quite cut it. If you recall from last weeks action list, I had the following to complete:

  • Start looking for guest posting opportunities, get the content writers creating guest posts ready to submit.
  • Do a bit of blog commenting
  • Do some on page SEO, make sure everything is awesome.
  • Amazon FBA – order my product, research like crazy the next stages to make sure I don’t make any big mistakes.
  • Research additional affiliate networks (a few of the pages on my site are more related to B2B products which Amazon can’t supply so I need to find another affiliate network or establish partnerships directly with certain brands)
  • Implement Google Adsense advertisements within the website (yes it’s an Amazon affiliate website but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t test Adsense)

As you can see from the above, those which have been crossed out I was able to complete. You will notice that the Amazon FBA action point has not been completed. Well, I’ve been discussing with the manufacturer and we’re getting closer to finalising the order, we’re just finalising the total costs (including shipping).

Guest Posting Opportunities

I’ve begun this process, as I have a contributor account at a DA74 magazine I am also going to be putting together a guest post for that website which should most certainly help. To be frank, I am quite the noob when it comes to guest posting…this is the strategy I am currently working on:

To research and highlight websites which offer contributor accounts, then work with the editor/owner to get a contributor account which I can then use over and over again with multiple websites.

The reason I am focusing on this rather than looking for individual guest posting opportunities is simply down to the time it takes. If I can spend equal amount of time getting a contributor account which I can then post multiple times to, it will be more beneficial for me.

However, having said that…

I am also testing Virtual Assistants who are assisting in creating lists of relevant guest posting opportunities (actual guest posts, not contributor accounts) so the strategy is more two-fold.

I am hoping by next week to have the guest post published on the DA74 site and to have at least a 3-5 more in the pipeline.

Blog Commenting

Now, this isn’t a strategy I am overly fond on…in my opinion it’s a really old school technique which has seen it’s day and it’s very often misused as a strategy for building links. The way I do this is quite simple, I only comment on blogs/websites which are high quality, publish fantastic content and have already an established community discussing the article. I don’t comment for the sake of commenting and I always try and get a dialogue going, whether it be with the administrator/writer/author or fellow readers. I also only link to my home page and usually use my authors name as the anchor text, none of that keyword crap…

On Page SEO

I love on-page SEO, I’ve found it to be so effective but only when you have an excellent link building strategy in place. The amount of times I’ve analysed my SERPs and noticed one of my sites pages hanging on page 2 or 3 for a keyword, then I’ve gone in and done a little on-page SEO (adding header tags, changing header tags, alt tags, analysing the competition and bolstering my content) and a week or so later I’ve shift 5 or more positions, it happens very frequently. Interestingly, I thought I was alone in doing this approach, but I noticed Josh over at NicheSiteAzon does exactly the same (he obviously copied me…).

This is a quick check list of what I do for my on-page SEO & when initially setting up my site:

  • About, Privacy, Contact, Terms & Disclosure Pages
  • HTML Sitemap (usually placed in the footer)
  • XML Sitemap (usually use Yoast SEO and submit this to Google Search Console)
  • Meta Tags (title, description tags)
  • Alt Text Images (always ensuring I add alt text to my images, usually the main keyword then variants of this)
  • Header Tags (one and only one H1 tag, multiple H2 & H3 e.t.c tags)
  • Keyword Highlight (I always highlight my keyword or a variant of it within the first paragraph of text with either bold, italic or underline…it’s a really old technique which I doubt does anything any more but I still do it)
  • Table of contents (I always add a table of contents linking to each of the main sections of the page)

Most importantly, I make the pages look sexy…

Yes, sexy…as in they look aesthetically pleasing and they make the reader feel happy and it does not have the opposite effect of making the reader want to vomit.

OK, now we have all that out of the way, let’s take a look at week on week traffic statistics.

Below is a snapshot of last weeks Search Console activity:

So, for a 2 week old site it’s not too bad, unfortunately no sales as of yet though. Now let’s look at week 3:

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 11.25.27

We can see a steady increase week on week, as long as the graph shows an incline I am a happy boy…now I am talking specifically about impressions and not clicks.

You might be thinking, but why Will…why do you care about impressions when you need clicks?

Good thinking – the reason is it’s a brand new website, so I highly doubt I will get many clicks considering my average position within the SERPs is 63.5 (across the board). Therefore, what we do want to focus on initially is:

  • Impressions – monitor impressions and ensure there is a week on week incline.
  • Search Queries – monitor how many queries the website is appearing for and ensure that continues to increase.

What’s the plan for next week?

As I have now finished the on-page SEO (for now at least) I will focus all of my efforts on off-page SEO, as mentioned before the contributor accounts, guest posts, training/hiring virtual assistants to assist and finally, I will hopefully make my initial Amazon FBA order.

  • Continue outreach – looking for contributor accounts, guest posting opportunities.
  • Submit my first article to my DA74 contributor account.
  • Amazon FBA – order my product, research like crazy the next stages to make sure I don’t make any big mistakes.
by Will Blears Will Blears 1 Comment

Niche Site Journal – Week 2

niche site journal week 2

This is the second week of the Niche Site Journal case study.

The past week has been crazy busy and quite stressful (at times). I had a business trip to Singapore which was great once I’d arrived, however leading up to the trip I realised my passport had less than 6 months validity (you need more than 6 months to enter the country). Therefore I had to run around and contact Singapore ICA (immigration office) and explain the situation and beg for entry in to the country. Fortunately, all went well and I was soon sipping on old fashioned cocktails, soaking in the sun and devouring steak. This leads me on to my second issue…

Because I went to Singapore, after the business meeting I went in to full on holiday mode which meant I got very little (none) affiliate work completed. Fortunately for my business, it was only a short trip, after 3 nights I flew back to South Korea which leads me on to the third issue.

After I arrived home I had a few drinks with some friends which led to me spilling a small glass of Japanese whisky all over my Macbook Pro, which then led to the keys being unusable and me having to run around the next day trying to get it fixed. This brings me to the present, I am using my old Macbook Pro which is slow, and waiting for my new MBP to be fixed.

So, with that all out of the way, what did go on last week then…

Yes, if you read the above I just said I got no work completed on my affiliate sites, well this is true but I still have the SEO agency beginning the link building and the content writers publishing content.

The checklist from last week included:

  • Liaise with SEO agency to ensure outreach is being completed
  • Research additional affiliate networks (a few of the pages on my site are more related to B2B products which Amazon can’t supply so I need to find another affiliate network or establish partnerships directly with certain brands)
  • Implement Google Adsense advertisements within the website (yes it’s an Amazon affiliate website but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t test Adsense)

From the very small checklist above, I was able to complete one action point – the other two are not high on my priority list so I will bring them over to this week.

As of right now the site has:

  • Content – 31 pages of content out of the planned 35 pages – overall the amount of words that I initially planned to launch the site with stands at approximately 35,000 words with some pages hitting 2,500 words, others 1,500 and the minimum being 750 words.
  • Site design & layout – this has all been completed and the site actually looks pretty darn nice, I am using a new WP theme I hadn’t used before but a friend showed me and it’s extremely easy to use so the chances are I will use it for future sites as well.
  • SEO – I’ve spoken to the SEO agency and the outreach has begun, however Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) is not yet showing any links to my website (find out how to check right here).
  • Amazon FBA – as my initial product will be in the same market as the website and the long term plan is to leverage the site for the FBA brand, it’s worth mentioning that progress is being made. I am finalising the initial costs for 500 MOQ (minimum order quantity) and then we’re going to proceed, hopefully this week. Next steps, package design, manufacturing and adding the logo to the product via laser, package and then ship.

You may be wondering if the website has made any sales or had any traffic yet, well I am beginning to see the first trickle of traffic coming in from Google organic search, check out this exciting image below:

google search console traffic statistics

Not a huge amount of traffic, but considering the site hasn’t even launched properly yet it’s a good start. I am also looking at what search terms I am beginning to appear for, which pages are generating the most impressions and in Google Analytics I am looking at the actual visitor engagement (bounce rates, time on page/site) to ensure the user experience is positive. You will also notice that the graph shows growth, this is exactly what you want for any website at any time period. If it starts to flat line then perhaps you need to add more content, improve your on page SEO or do more off page SEO or look in to promoting the site via other channels (social e.t.c). If the traffic starts to decline then you really need to start taking action (that is unless the website is seasonal).

For example, check out the next screenshot from another website I own, the date range is the past 90 days and this is not a seasonal market.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.51.09 PM

You can see an obvious incline in both impressions and clicks and this will hopefully continue as I add additional pages of content, improve content and on page SEO of existing pages and continue to do more outreach.

However, you don’t always have to worry if your website looks like it’s tanking, especially just after Christmas and especially if the market is seasonal, such as the following:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.52.50 PM

That huge spike is Christmas day and well everyone goes mental on Christmas day…all that food and drink I think. You can see very little growth after Christmas and it actually looks like the website is flat lining which could be a cause for concern. However, this is a very seasonal market and is highly dependent on the companies within the industry launching products, so it is not a concern for me at all.

With websites that are seasonal, the best thing to do when you are concerned about the growth is extend the period of time you are analysing and to ensure there is growth YOY. Now, unfortunately Google Search Console limits you to just 90 day views (very annoying) so you have to do this in Google Analytics instead, such as:

The following graph is taken from Google Analytics over a 12 month period (December 2014 to December 2015) and is filtered by organic traffic only.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.56.50 PM

Right, that’s all for snapshots today ha…if anyone wants to know other ways of analysing a sites performance, growth e.t.c just leave a comment below.

What’s the plan for next week?

The content will be finished in the next few days, only 5 pages left to publish. After this, I will focus all my efforts on SEO, I will start getting guest post opportunities and also do a bit of blog commenting. Apart from this I will continue my Amazon FBA efforts and hopefully get my product ordered and continue to do a whole load of reading to ensure I don’t miss a trick!

So for next week we have:

  • Start looking for guest posting opportunities, get the content writers creating guest posts ready to submit.
  • Do a bit of blog commenting
  • Do some on page SEO, make sure everything is awesome.
  • Amazon FBA – order my product, research like crazy the next stages to make sure I don’t make any big mistakes.
  • Research additional affiliate networks (a few of the pages on my site are more related to B2B products which Amazon can’t supply so I need to find another affiliate network or establish partnerships directly with certain brands)
  • Implement Google Adsense advertisements within the website (yes it’s an Amazon affiliate website but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t test Adsense)

How to check if Google Search Console has indexed the backlinks to your website?

Login to Google’ Search Console, click on the relevant property (website) then go to Search Traffic > Links to your site. Here you can find what links Google have indexed and appropriately shown as links back to your website.

google search console finding links

by Will Blears Will Blears 3 Comments

Authority Site Project – Month 1

authority site project - month 1

Welcome to the first month of my authority site project.

Now I must confess that this project actually started in October 2015 and was a seedling which flourished in to something tangible after many, many, many months if not years of it being a thought in my mind.

However this will act as month 1 where I recap over the past 5 months of planning, design and development as well as taking a look at the goals for this project and the plans going forward.

What I will share with you

  • Statistics – I will share the sites monthly growth in impressions, clicks, queries and revenue.
  • Costs – I will openly discuss the costs of both the setup and ongoing costs.
  • Time – I will discuss the time I’ve spent each week on the website.
  • Strategy & Goals – I will share the strategy I am implementing and the short-term, mid-term and long-term goals.

What I will not share with you (yet…)

  • The website URL or the specific market I am in.

This will be announced at some point in the future, probably 6-12 months in to the project.

What is the concept of this authority website?

The concept of the authority site comes from a personal desire to help improve the way in which consumers can find the best products in any given market. A staggering 60% of consumers use search engines for initial product research, now I am not really shocked about this statistic as I already leverage organic traffic from the same consumers who type queries such as ‘best microphone to buy online’ or ‘whats the best wireless headphones to buy’.

However, what I am shocked with is the quality of service that the websites ranking at the top of the search engines provide these 60% of consumers and I am stumped as to why the user experience of these websites changes so little and why very few are really going the extra mile to provide consumers exactly the answers they desire.

This is where my authority site comes in to play, we leverage big data to help answer consumers questions and provide them with the best recommendations for any given market.

The strategy

During the months of October – January I hired a web development team to help design and develop a phase 1 site on an extremely tight budget. They were able to do this but of course with a tight budget comes compromises and corners cut so I am not entirely happy with the end product but it gives me enough to actually launch the website and begin to prove the concept which will be used to provide potential investors with a more tangible business opportunity.

For the next 6-12 months I plan on using an initial business loan of £25,000 to fund the growth of the website with the majority of this loan being invested in content and SEO and 20% being invested in additional web development to help us reach phase 2.

At the end of the first 12 months I am aiming to hit £15,000 in revenue, now that is by no means an easy goal or even at this point a realistic goal. However, to get serious investors onboard these sort of goals need to be set and whilst it’s not going to be easy, I’ve crunched the numbers and it’s definitely doable.

Where is the project right now?

As of right now phase 1 of the website has been completed meaning the site has launched and is fully functional. I am currently investing a very small sum in to SEO and I am slowly link building myself through a new strategy I am working on which includes using contributor accounts that I create to help link build. However, until I successfully acquire the initial business loan of £25,000 the site will not officially launch.

The website is growing month on month but the numbers are tiny since very little is being done to grow the site from a marketing point of view.

The numbers right now:

  • February organic visitors: 351
  • February revenue: $24.04

For the month of March I’ve forecast that organic visitors should hit approximately 500 and revenue of $50.

Month of March priorities & action points

  • Continue the loan application which includes quite a bit of administration and legwork
  • Continue building contributor accounts & guest posting
  • Get the developer to tweak the category pages so we can add a few paragraphs of unique content for SEO purposes
  • Fine tune the entire marketing strategy which includes press releases so once the loan is approved we can launch

That’s all for the first month update, I do hope this is interesting and if you have any questions or have any requests please send them through.

by Will Blears Will Blears 4 Comments

Niche Site Journal – Week 1

niche site journal week 1

Welcome to the first week of the niche site journal.

The purpose of this journal is two fold – on the one hand it’s a weekly update of recapping what I’ve done during the previous week as well as the plans for the week ahead which keeps me accountable. On the other hand I hope it is a source of inspiration and motivation for those who are just starting out and also a booster for those who have already started but are finding the road to making money online a little tough.

What I will share with you

  • Statistics – I will share the sites monthly growth in impressions, clicks, queries and revenue.
  • Costs – I will openly discuss the costs of both the setup and ongoing costs.
  • Time – I will discuss the time I’ve spent each week on the website.
  • Strategy & Goals – I will share the strategy I am implementing and the short-term, mid-term and long-term goals.

What I will not share with you

  • The website URL or the specific market I am in.

You may find this unfair but it’s a choice I’ve made based on what I’ve seen happen to other people’s businesses once they publicly announced their website and market.

OK so with that all out the way let’s get in to it.

First of lets talk about my goals for this niche site.

Goals

I’ve previously discussed how important it is to have goals when building a niche website and that’s why we shall start with my goals for this niche site.

  • 6 month goal – to hit $1,000 monthly in affiliate net revenue
  • 12 month goal – to hit $5,000 in accumulated net revenue from Amazon FBA and affiliate revenue

Notice: I said ‘net revenue’ yes well I am referring to revenue after I deduct costs which would include monthly SEO and content costs as well as any other ad hoc costs.

Also in the 12 month goal I mentioned Amazon FBA, yes well I am launching my first Amazon FBA product next week and this website will be in the same market so I plan on leveraging this affiliate site to help generate additional sales for my FBA product in the future.

To be honest it’s a little backwards the concept of doing Amazon FBA and Amazon Affiliate marketing combined should really be done in the opposite way – build an affiliate site first, wait until it has traffic and generates an income and then source a product similar to what you are selling on the affiliate site and begin promoting your own product. This is exactly what I was going to do with one of my largest authority sites however after doing some pretty heavy research I realised the margins on the products I was selling were just too small for me to enter the market, therefore I have just continued doing affiliate marketing for that website.

However, I’ve already done the calculations for this niche website and everything looks good, so the long term plan is to leverage the site for my own Amazon FBA products.

What’s been going on in week 1!

Whilst we are calling this week 1, realistically it’s actually week 3 for me as the initial market research, keyword researchcompetitive research, content plan and site setup have now been completed.

Content Plan

Generally speaking when I launch new niche websites I usually outsource approximately 10-15 pages of content which usually consists of several ‘best xxx’ related pages of 1,500 – 2,500 words and then 5-10 product review pages which are usually ‘xxx review’ and are usually about 750 words. However, for this niche site whilst I was doing the keyword research and content plan I just realised there was so much to write and because I am very confident it will generate a revenue quite soon I decided to outsource 30 pages of content which is about 28,000 words in total.

If you are wondering how much I pay for content I pay $2.50 per 100 words and have a team of writers I’ve been using for many years, unfortunately I can’t refer anyone because they are really busy with my projects ha.

Also, what I do when setting up new niche sites is give the writer editor access to the backend of WordPress where they will find drafts of the content I want them to create. I will add the headline such as ‘best xxxx’ and then I will append ‘- 1500’ to the end which refers to the minimum word count.

Note: I say minimum because I never add a maximum as I want the content to be as in-depth as possible.

Then the writer goes in to the backend of WP writes the content and I go in afterwards and add images, format headlines e.t.c which usually takes me between 15-20 minutes.

The finished content usually looks pretty average in regards to the design/layout and there is definitely room for improvement but the purpose is to spend as little time as possible but to ensure it’s good enough to convert and not to scare people away. This is my initial strategy as time for me is pretty darn sacred so I can’t afford to spend more time than that curating content and making it look all pretty. That comes later once the traffic starts coming in…

Website Structure & Layout

I have a few go to wordpress themes I use for my niche sites and I use the same themes across a few websites simply down to the fact that it cuts down the learning curve and time investment when setting up new websites. Oh and the fact that some of my authority sites use the same themes and they are doing very well, so they can’t be that bad, eh!

I do not use Thrive themes or any other type of backend addons as I just don’t think I have the time right now to try and learn how to use Thrive themes and when my sites get established enough I always get a completely custom design built.

In regards to plugins this is what I usually use:

  • Yoast SEO – for on-page SEO, title tags, XML sitemaps (for use with Google Webmaster tools)
  • HTML Sitemap – it’s a plugin which uses a shortcode to automatically create a HTML sitemap (for user experience, add it to my footer)
  • Sucuri Security – it’s a free plugin with a paid option which helps keep little hacker kids hands off my websites
  • Table Press – the best (only the best because 99% of the others are pure garbage) plugin for creating tables within WordPress

And that’s it really, I try to keep plugins to a minimum since they slow down websites massively, or at least some plugins do.

What’s the plan for next week!

Since the website is practically finished the next step is off-page promotional activity which is primarily focused on link building. I have sent the website information to my SEO agency who helps take care of my off-page link building and they will begin outreach next week.

Apart from this I am testing several virtual assistants at the moment to help me create an outreach system for use with guest posting. Basically, I am trying to get a team to help find guest post opportunities, create a list of leads with contact information which I can then contact and build relationships with. This is on-going and will likely take a few weeks if not a month or so and this isn’t just for this website but for my entire business.

Specific plans include:

  • Liaise with SEO agency to ensure outreach is being completed
  • Research additional affiliate networks (a few of the pages on my site are more related to B2B products which Amazon can’t supply so I need to find another affiliate network or establish partnerships directly with certain brands)
  • Implement Google Adsense advertisements within the website (yes it’s an Amazon affiliate website but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t test Adsense)

That’s all for week 1 if anyone has any questions just drop a comment below or if you have any requests for this journal then let me know!

by Will Blears Will Blears No Comments

What’s happening with One Mans Brand?

onemanbrands plans

You may be wondering what is happening with One Mans Brand, after what started as a pretty successful launch in February the content and activity declined to a big fat zero and I apologise for that. Please allow me to explain my plans for OMB.

30 days to make a sale case study

The 30 days to make a sale case study has unfortunately been pushed to the bottom of my to do list due to clients & sites that I am working on and simply down to the fact that the 30 day case study was actually more time consuming than I initially expected. Planning and writing the content and also creating and publishing the videos daily was an unrealistic expectation for me to succeed with over a 30 day period.

Therefore, the 30 day case study will be completed but more as a ‘go to guide’ for setting up a new niche site rather than an actual real-time case study, I will of course update with the progress of the site that was going to be a part of that case study as it’s just about to be launched and it will still be a 30 day case study, as the site has only just gone live this week. So, watch this space!

What else am I working on?

The idea of OMB is to be a sort of go to for beginners and intermediate affiliate marketeers and general online advertisers, a source of inspiration, motivation and education. However, I made a big mistake with the first case, putting me under so much pressure to publish daily updates which were both interesting and educational was quite a lot of pressure especially with my other businesses.

I have learnt to not ever again start a case study where I have to publish daily, instead I will be only doing weekly and monthly case studies where I can have time to actually create the content for the updates.

With this being said I actually have a few interesting projects running right now which I think would be great examples for new case studies, therefore I have decided to launch two new ‘follow along’ type case studies one which will be updated weekly and the other monthly. These are:

Niche Site Journal (weekly updates)

onemansbrand niche site journal

Similarly to the 30 day case study this will be focused around a new niche Amazon affiliate website I have been setting up over the past two to three weeks. Each week I will discuss what I’ve been working on that week, the plans for the next week, forecasts and how far I am to achieving goals as well as highlighting any learnings, mistakes and so on.

You can follow this case study right here.

Authority Site Project (monthly updates)

onemansbrand authority project

Personally this is my most exciting project I’ve ever worked on and by far the biggest. This case study will follow my journey to developing a website which will not only help to revolutionise the way in which people shop online but also it is my seven figure project.

What I mean by that is, that I fully expect this website to be worth seven figures within the next two years and I have big plans including an initial £25,000 loan to help launch the website as well as pay for phase 2 of the website build (phase 1 is already completed and the site has had a soft launch).

After I’ve proven the concept I will then seek outside investment of £150,000 through a UK government scheme called SEIS and then if all goes well a second level of investment under the EIS scheme.

This project will be updated monthly as there are a lot of moving pieces in this project and right now I am in the process of getting the initial business loan so the website is currently just floating around in the web, finding it’s place within Google’s SERPs.

You can follow this case study right here.

by Will Blears Will Blears No Comments

30 Days to make a sale – Competitor Analysis – Day 4

It’s day 4 of the 30 days to make a sale case study and we’re at the point where we wrap up everything we learnt and completed during the first 3 days and finish it off with some good old fashioned competitor analysis.

Really, today is about taking the techniques that you learnt in day 2 and day 3 and putting them in to action using a slightly different approach, digging slightly deeper in to other metrics which we previously didn’t discuss.

So, in todays post we will be looking at how to analyse the competition, we want to learn how to rip them apart, piece by piece and then take all of those pieces and put them in to our own website but with an additional layer of awesomeness.

Before we start, lets recap what you should have so far:

  • a handful of goals – personal, business, financial…
  • a chosen market to enter.
  • a variety of keywords to dominate.

These three ingredients are vital to launching an affiliate website, if you are not completely sure about the market you have chosen, the keywords you have chosen or if you have yet to make a decision, don’t worry. Honestly, the last thing you want to do is rush this part of the process. Take your time, research carefully and make sure you do the due diligence necessary to make the right choice.

So now lets look at who is keeping your seat warm in the SERPs.

Check out the video below which covers all aspects of competitor analysis (at least what I do).

What tools did I mention in this video?

Write up coming soon!

 

by Will Blears Will Blears 1 Comment

How to choose the right product at the right price?

If you are in the process of finding a lucrative, low competition market for your first (or your next) Amazon Associates website then please consider the following statement.

There is no difference between selling a product at $50 and selling a product at $500 other than the commission you receive.

The reason I want you to think about this is because the commission you will generate from a $50 product vs a $500 product is significantly different, yet the market research, competition and overall process of getting the user from Google to your website and then through to Amazon is exactly the same.

I’ve made a quick 8 minute video below which discusses this in more detail and provides an example of what I am talking about. You can watch it right here:

Amazon Affiliate Marketing – Product Selection

I do hope you found the video useful, please subscribe and share as I will be making plenty more in the following days, weeks and months to come.

If you disagree or you have experience that says otherwise then please share it. As an affiliate marketeer I can only base things on my own experiences and of those that share their experiences with me.

by Will Blears Will Blears 26 Comments

7 Six Figure Amazon Affiliate Websites for inspiration

Last Updated: 4th October 2016

To compliment my 30 days to make a sale case study that I am currently publishing, I thought it’d be useful to highlight a variety of Amazon Associate websites which are making a six figure yearly income. Now, to be clear I don’t know how much revenue these websites are making however, I will be using my experience in the industry to speculate that each website is earning at least $100,000 per year in commission from affiliate revenue.

Take a look at the examples below, bookmark them and use them in your market research, take inspiration from them and perhaps model some of your own affiliate websites of the back of their success.

#1 Consumer Search – www.ConsumerSearch.com

amazon affiliate website examples

Domain Registration year: 1997

Website launched in: 2000

Domain Authority: 69/100

Indexed Pages: 4,320

Acquisition History: Acquired by About.com in May 2007 for $33 million and then sold to iAC in 2013 as part of a larger deal for $300 million.

Monthly Visitors: 1.2 million (Similar Web data)

Organic Keywords: 478,000 keywords

This website is an absolute mammoth and I love it. I first found this website many years ago and ever since I’ve been drawn to it by it’s simplicity. All they do is what the majority of us affiliates do when we setup niche websites, targeting best + review type keywords, they just did it on a mass scale.

Their website design isn’t modern, but it is obviously performing well – take inspiration from this website the next time you are looking to setup a new affiliate website.

#2 The Sweet Home – www.TheSweetHome.com

amazon associates affiliate website

Domain Registration year: 2000

Website launched in: 2013

Domain Authority: 51/100

Indexed Pages: 412

Acquisition History: none

Monthly Visitors: 1.8 million (Similar Web data)

Organic Keywords: 240,000 keywords

The sister site to successful affiliate marketing website thewirecutter, this website has done incredibly well for itself considering how little time it has been. In traffic volume it has surpassed that of our first website, consumersearch.com by 600,000 visitors per month which is incredible.

#3 Gear Patrol – www.GearPatrol.com

amazon affiliate website

Domain Registration year: 2007

Website launched in: 2007

Domain Authority: 60/100

Indexed Pages: 24,800

Acquisition History: none

Monthly Visitors: 2.3 million (Similar Web data)

Organic Keywords: 346,000 keywords

Another favourite of mine is Gear Patrol, on a first glance it might not come across as an affiliate site and instead a magazine style website, however underneath the innocent appearance is a cunning and simplistic way of affiliate marketing. Very little time is spent writing in-depth articles, instead the focus is shifted towards the layout, aesthetics and the high quality imagery to support each affiliate link. Amazed at how far this website has travelled in so little time.

For giggles check out what Gear Patrol looked like back in 2007.

#4 Dog Food Advisor – www.DogFoodAdvisor.com

amazon affiliate site

Domain Registration year: 2008

Website launched in: 2009

Domain Authority: 56/100

Indexed Pages: 8,440

Acquisition History: none

Monthly Visitors: 610,000 (Similar Web data)

Organic Keywords: 132,000 keywords

Probably the most ugly site to enter our top 7 is DogFoodAdvisor, as it looks like it was born out of the 90s I am very surprised it is even continuing to succeed in the SERPs with all the better looking, better executed websites out there. However, some how it still is surviving. This is a prime example of ‘design isn’t everything’ and how an established site can cement it’s place within the SERPs. Also, a pretty interesting market…

#5 Baby Gear Lab – www.BabyGearLab.com

amazon affiliate website example

Domain Registration year: 2010

Website launched in: 2011

Domain Authority: 37/100

Indexed Pages: 1,790

Acquisition History: none

Monthly Visitors: 170,000 (Similar Web data)

Organic Keywords: 132,000 keywords

Sister site to OutdoorGearLab.com, this is a prime example of ‘rinse and repeat’, if you have never heard that phrase in the IM industry then to explain, it basically means finding something that works then doing the exact same again. Every time I look at this site or it’s big brother I can’t help but think they took inspiration from our first example, ConsumerSearch.com either way it seems to be working out for them!

#6 Popular Mechanics – www.PopularMechanics.com

amazon affiliate site example tools

Domain Registration year: 1995

Website launched in: 2011

Domain Authority: 86/100

Indexed Pages: 23,600

Acquisition History: none

Monthly Visitors: 8.4 million (Similar Web data)

Organic Keywords: 132,000 keywords

This is an absolute mammoth website. However, I’d like to point out as you will probably realise once entering the website, it’s not primarily focused around affiliate marketing and Amazon associates. Yet, they have a huge section of reviews and ‘best product’ related pages all of which do incredibly well in the SERPs for some heavy hitting keywords.

Check out how PM looked back in 1999, wow!

#7 Bestcovery – www.Bestcovery.com

amazon affiliate authority website

Domain Registration year: 2007

Website launched in: 2009

Domain Authority: 50/100

Indexed Pages: 7,490

Acquisition History: none

Monthly Visitors: 250,000 (Similar Web data)

Organic Keywords: 166,000 keywords

To finish our 7 examples of six-figure Amazon affiliate websites we have a classic example of an affiliate marketing website. Bestcovery has taken a similar approach to ConsumerSearch.com, focusing on consumer reviews and best product related pages to target the same type of queries. A slightly different web design but a very similar approach.

Bonus Amazon Affiliate Site Examples

The following websites were taken from my weekly Amazon inspiration post on our Facebook Group: One Mans Brand

#1 Amazon Site Inspiration: The Wirecutter (http://www.thewirecutter.com)

Note: Interview with Brian Lam –http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2341588695

Brian Lam, owner of The Wirecutter & The Sweethome (mentioned above) launched his website back in 2011 with the goal of producing the best quality content with in-depth buyer guides based on real product recommendations.

In 2015 the site drove $150 million in E-commerce sales (mostly from Amazon) and averaged 800,000 – 900,000 visitors per month during 2015.

The Wirecutter now generates more than 10 million visitors per month and Brian has more than 60 staff employed in the business. There has never been any outside investment and it was bootstrapped from day 1.

It’s difficult to say how much revenue is being generated from the site right now, but I would guess based on those 2015 figures that he is now generating more than $1.5 billion in E-commerce sales for 2016.

#2 Amazon Site Inspiration: Best Reviews (http://bestreviews.com/)

The second in our Amazon site inspiration series, this week I have another beast of a website which is generating 3.5 million visitors per month, with 61% organic traffic.

The website is constantly being tweaked by their team of developers, personally, I don’t think it’s a very pretty website but I am respectful that they continue to tweak and test with multiple different content layouts.

What’s their angle?

Similar to TheWirecutter, these guys promote the fact that they buy and test the products before writing their reviews. I don’t believe this is the case in all of their reviews, but there is definitely evidence to suggest that they are reviewing at least a handful of their reviews. Their team is now at least 16 people strong, so they are going to be doing some significant growing in the next 12 months I reckon.

From an SEO perspective, they had a really, really effective post a few months ago on the evolution of the office, it was a really cool idea which quickly got around the authority sites like Forbes, Engadget, BBC e.t.c all of which contained backlinks to BestReviews.

They also seem to have some relation to a few Universities, having done multiple joint studies which also helps with their link building efforts.

All in all, a slightly different angle for an Amazon Affiliate, but something which is definitely working for them!

I do hope you found this useful, of course there are hundreds of other examples in multiple markets as well as various language based websites in various countries throughout the world all of which have their own angle for making money online and generating revenue through Amazon Associates.

Please take inspiration from the examples above, plug them into SEM Rush and analyse their data. You never know, you may just stumble across a nugget or two.

If anyone has any requests for content they’d like to see let me know. Any questions just ask below 🙂

by Will Blears Will Blears 1 Comment

30 Days to make a sale – Keyword Research – day 3

Hi again.

If you are still following along then so far you should have created clear goals for the website you are planning on launching. Secondly, after yesterdays post and video you should have a few ideas for potential markets to enter and hopefully validated those markets to ensure that they would be lucrative if you were to enter them.

Today is all about taking a deeper look in to your market research to uncover low competition, high buyer intent keywords which are absolutely perfect for Amazon Associate websites. I am sure right now you are wondering what exactly are low competition, high buyer intent keywords – so let’s get in to it!

Think you’re brave? Check out my video below! Warning: Northern Accent.

What are high buyer intent keywords?

81% of consumers conduct online research before purchasing a product.

Yes, that is correct and more importantly 60% of these consumers use search engines for their initial product research. This is exactly what we are after, these consumers who are in the active evaluation phase of the consumer decision journey. These are the consumers with the highest buyer intent.

But how do we find these consumers?

Simple. By pre-empting the queries they will use when using search engines for their research.

But wait Will, how the heck do we know what they type?

Through data, lovely, big, fat data!

We know from historical data that the type of queries these consumers use in their search for information include keywords such as ‘best’ & ‘review’ as well as ‘comparison’, ‘compare’ and a handful of others. This should also correlate with the market research you’ve been completing using SEM Rush. Those competitors in the markets you have been investigating are probably ranking for multiple queries which include the keyword ‘best’ & ‘review’.amazon keyword research

Just think back to the video, I mentioned ConsumerSearch.com as being a great place to start, they have structured their entire website based off knowing that these consumers type this type of query and they have spent years optimising and tailoring their content towards this consumer.

Just check out this snapshot to the right, this is just a handful of keywords that this website targets and ranks for.

  • Best Water Filter Pitcher
  • Best Mattress
  • Coffee Grinder Reviews
  • My Pillow Reviews
  • Hot Tub Reviews
  • Best Canned Cat Food
  • Best Pressure Cooker

And there are over 450,000 other queries just like this.

If you are serious about making money from your new Amazon affiliate website you will want to target these keywords.

These are the types of keywords which will convert, guaranteed.

What are low competition keywords?

OK so now you know what type of keywords you want to be looking out for, next you need to understand what low competition keywords are.

First, allow me to explain what I mean by low competition.

A low competition keyword is a keyword which is relatively easy for you to rank in Google for. Now, at this point I am slightly concerned that ‘ranking’ and ‘competition’ in this context is going to go completely over some peoples heads, so if you don’t know what SEO is (which is quite OK, I wasn’t born knowing what it was, it was is a huge learning curve) then head over here and read Moz’s beginners guide.

To find out what a keywords ‘competitive score’ is we can use various tools however my preference has always been to use Moz Pro’s keyword difficulty tool and Long Tail Pro. Both of these tools calculate a keywords competitive score by collecting data behind which websites are ranking for the keyword, including data such as the domains authority, page authority, links to the website and much more. By collecting all of this data and using a formula which has been tried and tested for years, the end result is that we are able to use these scores as an estimate of how competitive a keyword might be which is a great indication as to whether or not we should attempt to rank for that keyword.

Moz Pro’s Keyword Difficult Tool – Keyword Competition Score

For those who use this tool, for a brand new website I would look for a score of 30 or below. For an aged site with 12-18 months worth of data and a domain authority of 25 or above you could go up to a score of 40. For scores passed 40 I’d consider them carefully as many will take quite a significant amount of time and links.

Long Tail Pro – Keyword Competition Score

For those who use this tool, for a brand new website I would look for a score of 35 or below, more preferably 25 or below. Anything under 20 is pretty easy to rank for, between 20-30 is doable and under 35 is doable but expect it to take a bit of time. For anything above 35 I’d again consider it carefully as this would potentially take a significant amount of time and links.

The next step of validating a low competition keyword is to analyse the top 10 SERP results.

How to validate the top 10 SERP results?

Again, this depends on the tools you are using, however if we take the two tools we have discussed so far, then this is how you can validate the SERPs of a keyword with Moz Pro Keyword Difficulty Tool & Long Tail Pro.

Moz Pro’s Keyword Difficult Tool – SERP Validation

Within Moz Pro, simply take the keywords you are analysing and copy and paste them in to the keyword difficult tool. Unfortunately, you can only copy and paste 20 per go, so it means having to repeat the process 50-60 times per day (don’t worry you will soon get used to it).

Once you have done this, you will begin to see the data being generated and appearing on the page such as:

moz keyword difficulty tool

The main thing to pay attention to is the keyword difficulty column which is from 1-100. A score of 1% the easiest, where as a score of 100% is basically impossible (I’ve yet to see a score of 100). The following is a range that I like to look out for, based on my experience:

  • 1% – 20% is easy (3 months maximum to rank)
  • 20% – 30% pretty good (6 months maximum to rank)
  • 30% – 35% a bit tougher (6-9 months)
  • 35% – 40% and a bit more (9-12 months)
  • 45%+ a tough little cookie (12+ months)

To be honest I’ve only tried ranking a 40%+ with one website for a handful of keywords and so far it’s taken 11 months and I am mid first page. However, I am also not the best at SEO. This is just my guide for you, it’s definitely not set in stone and there are so many variables that would affect how long this would take you, but just be wary.

My suggest is to simply start by targeting keywords with a keyword difficulty score of 1% – 25% as there are more than enough there, you don’t need to target keywords that are more competitive than that.

The next step of the SERP validation is to actually look at each individual keywords top 10 results, which you can do simply by clicking view (on the right hand side of the image above). This will load a new screen with the top 10 results and an array of useful, interesting data as you can see below.

moz keyword difficulty tool review

The image above is a graph which shows the domain authority and page authority of each website ranking in then top 10 results for the individual keyword you are analysing. The image below is beneath the image above when the screen has loaded and shows a more in depth analysis in to each page that is ranking from the first result to the tenth result.

moz keyword difficulty tool 2

The most important metrics to focus on are:

  • Domain Authority – the strength of the overall website.
  • Page Authority – the strength of the page that is ranking in the SERPs.

By focusing on these two you are expecting to see at least 2 to 3 websites which have a domain authority in the low 20s and even better in the single digits or low teens.

Long Tail Pro – SERP Validation

The process of SERP validation on Long Tail Pro is a relatively similar approach to the above, the largest difference is the interface and layout of the data.

Once you have calculated the keyword competition of the keywords within LTP, simply click on the keyword you want to investigate further (left hand side of the keyword, you should see an arrow, click to expand). This is an example of what you should see:

long tail pro keyword difficulty score

The above snapshot shows you the top 10 results in the SERPs for the chose keyword you are analysing, in our case ‘best toddler carrier’. You will notice that each domain has a separate keyword competitiveness score, this score is calculated for each website individually which is a nice added feature.

Similarly to Moz Pro, you should initially be focusing your attention towards the following columns:

  • Domain Authority
  • Page Authority

As these are the two most important stats when validating the SERPs for an opportunity. What you want to see is multiple websites with a low domain authority (below 25), even better if they are below 15! In our example above we can see one website with a domain authority of 21 which is a great start.

BIG NOTE: OK, I’ve once again realised there is so much to cover in this daily update that I am missing some absolutely crucial parts in my write up, so I strong advise you to watch the video.

BIG TIP: When focusing on high buyer intent related keywords such as ‘best’ & ‘review’ when doing the SERP validation. If E-commerce websites appear do not get scared it is OK. I’ve seen this a lot and to be honest the majority of times they are only appearing because they have really strong domain authority and there are not better choices. However, when your website comes along Google will hopefully love it and love you and place yours above the E-commerce website.

Why?

Because generally speaking, E-commerce websites have no place in the SERPs for queries such as ‘best carrier for toddlers’ as I mentioned above consumers who are using this query in the search engine are looking to absorb information and recommendations and most retailers do very little to actually educate and advise consumers of what they should purchase. However, you will do that!

I am not saying ignore E-commerce sites completely, just don’t get scared of by the site of them. Secondly, Youtube videos obviously will show a huge DA, again don’t be scared – click through to the Youtube video, see what the channel is and see if it’s actually an affiliate who is ranking their Youtube video (it often is).

When doing my research, whilst I hate competing with other affiliates it does give you a bit of motivation when you see other affiliates ranking in the top 10 because you know if they can, you can. Also, I know from experience affiliates are lazy, so you just have to be less lazy than they are, more hungry than they are and you will win!

What other statistics should you focus on?

  • Page Links – we will cover this in greater detail tomorrow, but if you think you have found a great keyword start digging through the links to the page.
  • Site Age – it’s not of massive importance, but it is awesome to see domains which are very young such as less than 1 year.

To give you an example of a great looking keyword, check this out:

long tail pro awesome keyword 2

The above is just one example of a strong buyer intent keyword with good search volume and very low competition, just look at those domain authorities!

So, that’s it to conclude todays part of the 30 days to make a sale case study.

As always if you have any questions, feedback or need any help reach out via the comment box below, I am more than happy to help.

by Will Blears Will Blears 7 Comments

30 Days to make a sale – Market Research – Day 2

Hello again!

Hopefully you have already taken a look at our first day’s post for the 30 days to make a sale case study. If not, check it out right here!

Today we’re going to delve in to the deep and dark abyss that is ‘market research’ we will cover a variety of things including:

  • My #1 most important tip for choosing your first market.
  • Why it’s not essential that you be interested in the market you will enter.
  • How to find a market to even consider investigating.
  • How to validate a market from both a revenue & competition point of view.
  • Using SEM Rush to own your market research.

So, let’s begin!

My #1 most important tip for choosing your first market.

First of let  me start by saying this tip is aimed at beginners. Those of you who have been struggling to make your first sale online or to make consistent sales weekly or monthly. I’d recommend you follow this advice.

My Tip: When choosing a market, always go for a market where the product’s price range is at least $100 and if possible $400-$500 per product.

Why?

Let me tell you a little secret…

When promoting products on Amazon, selling a $50 and selling a $500 product is no different – it’s not harder, it’s not more competitive, it’s not more time consuming…nada, nothing…it’s exactly the same. Except for…

…the commission of course. $2 vs $20 which would you rather take?

OK Will, you have my attention…now please explain to me how this is no different?

Good question.

Well, we’re talking about Amazon here – your not pushing fat loss ebooks or acai berries.

There are over 200 million products on Amazon and there are thousands which are over $500 and sold every single day, we’re not even talking niche here, normal consumer products, everyday goods. Such as this or this or this and of course this.

Now if you are thinking, well what about the organic competition, again it’s no different. Organic competition isn’t determined by the price of a product obviously, so you have just as much chance of stumbling across a group of keywords targeting products in the $500 price range as you do with finding a group of keywords targeting products in the $50 bracket. It doesn’t take any more time and well the time you do spend is put to better use.

You see, once you do pop your cherry and start generating consistent sales you will be seeing commissions of $20+ per unit and to hit a $500 monthly revenue goal that’s only 25 sales (not even one per day). If you use my Amazon market forecast tool thingy that I mentioned in yesterdays post, you can have some fun and predict the profit of a market right now.

To summarise this first point – don’t choose a market with a low product price range.

Note: I will be writing a post in the next few days which discusses the positives and negatives of choosing products in both price brackets, so stick around or bookmark me and come back to check it out.

Why it’s not essential that you be interested in the market you will enter.

A lot of people will tell you that you should look for markets which you are interested in, hobbies of yours, passions and so on. Whilst I don’t disagree with this, I simply don’t want people to feel restricted when doing market research thinking that they have to be interested in the market, because you really, really don’t.

Now, the reason people usually advise to choose a niche which you are interested in is for a few reasons:

  1. So you don’t get bored.
  2. So you have some actual experience and knowledge of the market which will help you with writing, structuring and growing the website.
  3. So you actually have some initial ideas in the first place.

And, I completely agree with these reasons. However, I still don’t think you should restrict yourselves.

Why?

First of, if you get bored then you will get bored no matter what – the market won’t make a difference, if your not passionate about making money online, the topic you choose to start with will make no difference. Your attention and focus will fade away eventually.

Secondly, if you are looking to grow this in to a substantial business there will come a time when you begin to outsource content creation and at this point you can stop researching about survival knives or rice cookers or pressure washers or how to train a dog to pee or whatever else we crazy affiliate marketeers create websites about and instead you will focus the time you have on more growth focused activities.

Thirdly, if we restricted ourselves to only considering a hobby or interest that we had, we’d be missing out on a huge range of opportunities – remember 200 million products on Amazon!

However, it’s a good starting point…

Yes, a starting point – for example if your hobby is boat fishing, don’t just think about boat fishing but think about various types of fishing, as well as other outdoor sports, then go to Amazon and have a look at what they sell in the outdoor sporting arena. Check out the best sellers, which you can do by going here. Take note of products with a significant amount of product reviews (100+ is a good start). But with this strategy you are barely scratching the surface and your approach will be no different from a thousand other people trying to make money from Amazon Associates.

To increase your odds of uncovering a low competition, high opportunity niche you have to differentiate your strategy and begin looking at the bigger picture, using tools such as SEM Rush to analyse thousands of datasets and tools such as Long Tail Pro or Moz Keyword Difficulty tool to help analyse individual keywords.

But where do you start…

How to find a market to even consider investigating.

Well, we just discussed market research for hobbies and interests that have, I expressed my concerns but I didn’t and won’t dismiss this as a starting point. If ineffective at uncovering a potential market, at the very least it will act as an introduction for you to the whole area of ‘market research’ when it comes to building an Amazon affiliate website.

But this won’t do, we need more ideas, more market opportunities, more data to crunch…where can we get this data you ask? From SEM Rush (my favourite tool in the whole wide world). 

At this point you might be thinking, but dammit Will, I thought you knew me and the position I am in. I don’t have $69.95 per month to spend on a piece of software. Well, I considered that, so I double and triple checked and then read SEM Rush’s refund policy and you can get a refund with 7 days of signing up (refund policy is here).

I am going to add my affiliate link to SEM Rush, if you feel like signing up and perhaps rewarding me: sign up here.

Honestly, if you are looking to build an Amazon affiliate website, SEM Rush will make everything much easier, as I explain below. I don’t want this to come across as a marketing ploy, if you stick around on the blog long enough you will come to realise there are very few tools or pieces of software that I recommend purchasing, but this is definitely one of them.

  • What tools I use
  • How I begin my market research.
  • How I format my Excel sheets, the functions I use and why.
  • Next steps.

I delve a bit deeper in to SEM Rush, Moz Pro & Long Tail Pro – all of which are paid accounts, but all of which come with either a free 30 day trial (Moz Pro & Long Tail Pro) or a refund period (7 days for SEM Rush).

Apologies for the length of the video, I tried my best to keep it short and concise but there is just so much to discuss. In the future I will be doing a step by step guide to using SEM Rush and will probably cover Moz Pro & Long Tail Pro in future videos as well.

If you have any questions about any thing I’ve discussed in todays post, just let me know!

 

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