Authority Site Project – Month 9

by Will Blears

Authority Site Project – Month 9

by Will Blears

by Will Blears

amazon authority site case study

Welcome back to the ninth month of the authority site project.

If this is the first time you are reading my authority site project then check out the first post which explains the strategy and the long-term goals, you can read it right here.

If you have been following then you should by now know that I ‘ve changed the authority site project updates to quarterly, rather than monthly. There are a few reasons for this, one of the main reasons is that there are not enough new actions being taken on a monthly basis as a lot of actions are dependent on the second phase of the website development being finished which has been an absolute nightmare and is still on-going.

Let’s begin by looking at the monthly revenue comparison, I’ve scrapped the bullet point finances for a nice looking graph instead, I think we can all agree it’s far more visually appealing and easier to follow.

ASPNovember2016Commission

As you can see from the above, November was a huge month, I finally hit four figures for the authority site with $1,279.79 in Amazon commissions. Interestingly, October wasn’t half bad either hitting $875.99 in Amazon commissions which is a huge increase from September, so why did this happen?

Launching a PPC campaign

In September I launched a PPC campaign on Google Adwords to help drive targeted visitors to my site. The reason I did this was to both generate revenue but also to collect data and lastly to analyze the user engagement on the website as I was working on the design for the beta launch.

For September there was no real goal in terms of how much revenue I wanted to generate, I had a budget of £500 to spend on PPC advertising and in September I only spent $188.46. Throughout September I made a variety of changes, optimizing the campaigns based on bounce rates and average time on site (since I can’t optimize based on conversions) and then in October decided to crank it up.

Below you can see the total number of sessions that were generated from PPC activity alone.

google adwords affiliate ppc marketing

That’s quite a decent amount of visitors hitting my site on a monthly basis from PPC alone which costs me just a few cents per visitor, well worth it I think!

In October & November, I successfully made a profit, you can see the spend for Google Adwords activity plotted below.

ASPNovember2016PPCCost

Whilst this graph shows that I am making a profit, what it does not account for is organic sales which are combined in that commission bar above. Unfortunately, due to Amazon Associates restrictions, I can’t split the commissions from each traffic source. Therefore I will just continue to look at it cumulatively, as long as my commissions are higher than my spend then I am happy for now.

Also, the added benefits of spending $800 per month on Adwords activity is that I have access to more than 5,000 queries which I can use for content writing and SEO. Secondly, I can see which pages convert best, what products sell well and analyse how visitors interact with my website. In the future I plan on creating multiple landing pages to compare alternative landing page designs, the end goal being to drive more people to Amazon and generate more orders.

SEO Activity

As we’ve just discussed PPC activity we may as well move straight on to what is happening from an organic perspective.

authority site project amazon search engine traffic

As you can see from the graph above which is a snapshot of the last 90 days organic activity, the site is growing quite nicely, it’s now hitting about 150 organic visitors per day. We’ve also begun to hit the first page for a few ‘best xxxx’ type keywords, however, these are quite low traffic volumes and generally low average order value products.

The below snapshot shows you organic sessions for the past 3 months:

amazon affiliate marketing organic traffic

A slight uplift in November, most of which was around the time of Black Friday & Cyber Monday, even though I didn’t have a Black Friday page setup for this website the demand was higher due to it being a peak retail event.

Content Plan

Part of the SEO strategy is to invest a significant chunk of the £25,000 loan I took out for content. In the past 3 months, I’ve published approximately 300,000 words of content on the website and each month I continue to publish at least an additional 100,000 words.

One of the most difficult parts of this process is finding the best products to create consumer guides for, products which deserve a buyers guide and secondly products which are highly searched and have low competition keywords. I’ve been utilising AHREFs top pages tool for this which allows me to look at my competitors highest traffic driving pages and then I can use this to begin keyword research and decide whether or not the topic makes my list.

Link Building

I am ashamed to say this but very little link building has been done over the past 90 days.

Guest Posts

I did have a fantastic writer who created some guest posts which I then submitted to various sites but most of them have just been stuck in review for the past 45-60 days, which is incredibly annoying. Going forward from January 2017 onwards I am going to be focusing more time on networking, creating business cards and building a proper brand out of this website which I hope will help me generate more natural links and also present a better opportunity when it comes to pitching guest post ideas to websites such as entrepreneur.com and forbes.com.

Scholarships

Apart from this, I have my VA making a large list of universities for me to approach with the scholarship strategy, meanwhile I have created a scholarship page on my website and also created a PDF leaflet to make things look more professional. I will be delaying this, as I will be getting a more professional scholarship page created, as a sort of template which I can use across several of my sites which I hope will increase the conversion rate of the scholarship campaign.

2017 onwards

For December I will continue to publish the 100,000+ words of content and hopefully, the website developer will have finished with the beta version of the website. Apart from this, a lot of December will be used for reflecting on 2016, looking at the goals I set up at the beginning of the year and what I’ve accomplished so far. It will also be time to create goals for 2017 and an action plan on how I can start the year off smashing them and a big focus will be on this authority site!

In 2017 the targets I have for this site so far are:

  • Launch UK, Canada & Australian websites by May 2017
  • Hit 50,000 organic visitors per month by May 2017
  • Have at least 1,000 pages of content published by May 2017

These are some bold targets, however this is whats needed to really take this site to the level I want to take it. To hit those targets I need to stop thinking of this site as another affiliate site and begin treating it as an individual brand, which is why I will be completely overhauling my priorities for 2017 however, I will talk more about that in a future post 🙂

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Entrepreneur and Online Advertising Expert. I have 11 years experience in Online Advertising and currently I am the founder of a boutique Paid advertising agency and Affiliate Marketeer.

14 Comments

  1. Hey Will,

    as allways I love the report. Your monthly content plan is quite crazy, 100 000 words, that means 20 – 5000 words articles. You have to had a whole team of writers for this kind of amount 🙂 Please keep us updated all the time.

    Have a nice day

  2. Hey Will,

    Nice test you got there. I did the same but using Facebook instead. It worked quite well for me.
    I already started a new website last month and it’s already making around $40. Not bad at all for a brand new website:-) Looking forward to make it $5000 by the end of 2017 🙂
    Cheers

    Azedine

  3. Hi Will, That is a whole lot of content! Do you outsource this completely?

    I am currently outsourcing the content aswel but when I get it back it takes a lot of time to publish these articles. Around 2-3 hours for 2k words getting up the images, creating the aff links tablets etc etc. Lets say you are in beastmode doing these content placements 1 hour for 1k words that is still 100 hours a month !

    Or am I just being extremely slow?

  4. Will,

    As always, I really appreciate the details from your post. I am intrigued by the use of PPC this early in the site. If is possible to do an A/B test by turning on PPC 1 day and setting the balance to 0 the next. This way you could look at the delta between the two days to get a sense of how the incremental traffic is converting.

    Do you have an email list or another way to get long-term value from the PPC traffic?

    Can you give us an idea of your PPC strategy? Are you bidding on exact terms or allowing broadmatches? Do you have any negative words (IE don’t show my ad if this word appears in the search box) Also, can you give us an idea about how much you’re willing to pay per click? Is this self-managed with limits per word or are you allowing google to manage?

    Thanks for sharing. I used Adwords for one of my sites a couple years ago, and I totally 100% failed at it wasting more than a thousand dollars with absolutely nothing to show for it.

    Thanks,

    -Leo

  5. Good job Will. Can you recommend any scholarships page templates? And what kind of backlinks strategies are you going to implement: commenting, infographics, guest posts, PBNs? Thanks

  6. I see best reviews and other comparison affiliate sites running tons of adwords but how do you (they) track which keywords are converting/optimize campaign. Unless you only bid on 1keyword at a time?

    That is a ton of content.

  7. Hey will its a nice case study, By the way I would love more if you list some more link building working strategy . I am also running fb ads for my niche sites but the problem is we cant track it (conversion basis) so what you suggest ?

    Is there any way we can track all the things ?

    Thanks

  8. Content doesn’t directly result in more traffic, well hardly, backlinks do so I think you should put more focus on that.

    On the other hand, the more content you have, the more PPC traffic you can drive so it’s never a matter of throwing money away, but still I would up your outreach game and try to develop pieces of content that people want to link to.

    OR

    Start some give-a-ways, contests, that kind of things will always result in natural links!

    Can you also detail a little more about how your guestpost attempt wents? I see you said some have been pending for months, not sure what you mean with that, just being idle on your laptop or still waiting for a response from bloggers where you want to have it posted? Some stats would be awesome, like 100 bloggers emailed, 10% replied back, bla bla.

    I also want to start doing more with outreach and such, but there are so many ways, and just attracting links to one page that’s hardly monetizable is not enough, sure the overall juice helps your site but it would be better if we could attract links to a page that is actually well optimized to convert.

    I often see authority sites with very low earnings per visitor, simply cause they rank for a lot of stuff that entirely depends on Adsense or similar clicks and not so much for physical products / Amazon stuff.

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