If you found this blog post chances are you are trying to find out how to make a profitable Amazon Affiliate website. Well I’m going to try to help you learn from my own experiences. My name is Dave, I run this personal finance blog where we discuss being profitable. I started this experiment because I’m always on a quest to generate different sources of passive income. My primary source of passive income is from the rental properties I own. You can read about them here, here and here. This is part 2 of what is probably going to end up being several posts long.

Just as a heads up at this point so far I don’t think I’ll be disclosing the specific niche of my website because while I’m sure most of you are nice people, it’s not uncommon for people to study these case studies and try to make a carbon copy of my website which can be bad for a number of reasons. Think I’m being paranoid? Just ask Spencer Haws of NichePursuits. He had an array of issues from being completely transparent with his readers. Spencer is a great teacher for this type of stuff and is highly recommended, but hes clearly nicer than I am haha.

This is part 2 of what is probably going to end up being several posts long. You can read part 1 of the amazon affiliate experiment here. I am creating blog updates once a month to show progress in real time.

So let just jump right into what’s been going on!

How much did I make so far?

I know this is probably what you really want to know so lets start with the numbers so far. Drum roll please……… So far my niche website has generated $30.80. But don’t take my word for it heres some proof.

how to make a profitable amazon affiliate website

Amazon Affiliate Payment Proof

I’m not sure if I was lucky or not but I got my first sale about 11 days in on this project. The item purchased was cheap and had nothing to do with my niche, but the feeling of logging in and seeing your first sale is indescribable.

Some things to note. I actually got 11 sales but only 4 of them have shipped out, so technically I earned over $30.80 but I won’t know the amount until they finished processing. If I had to guest based on the items, I’d say I’d be somewhere in the $50 range.

While $50 is very short of our $500 monthly goal, considering this is only the 1st month I feel confident enough to continue to work hard on this project.

What have I done since last month?

keyword research

I have done more keyword research for my niche. I have found around 5 long tail keywords that I am going to rank for.



Blog comments

I manually scoured the internet for relevant blog post that I could comment on to get backlinks to my site. An important thing to remember when trying to get backlinks this way is that 90% of the time when you leave a comment it will have to be manually approved by the website owner. This is obvious to me because I run this blog. You wouldn’t believe how many comments I get every day that are just spam. They say something to the effect of  “thanks this post was what I was looking for” with a link back to their crappy website. I ignore the hell out of these comments, I don’t want them on my blog so they never get approved. Website owners will usually only approve comments that are obvious that you read the post. I recommend picking something from the post that stood out to you and giving a real opinion. These comments are more likley to get approved thus leaving a link back to your site.

I was able to get about 15 of these approved out of 25 since last month.

Bought some social signals

I bought some social signals.

If you didn’t know, social signals are things like likes and shares, and yes you can buy them. To my understanding, the logic behind this is that google has become significantly more focused on finding “what the people want”, since google can see these signals, buying them makes it look like your website is being talked about and shared. This in turn, helps your ranking improve. I bought 300 social signals from PBNButler. While they were more expensive than Fiverr, where you can get social signals for $5, I find most gigs associated with SEO are absolute trash. What I like about PBNButlers service is that they have a deal  through a mobile app, which requires its users to share random post to continue the app. This means your shares are being distributed by real people, which also means that aside from the SEO aspect of it, you could legitimately attract real interested people.

Created some web 2.0’s

I’m going to be honest. If you are really trying to create a site with a long-term vision in mind, then the best way to get backlinks to your site is through outreach. This is essentially reaching out to other bloggers in your niche and doing guest post and building real relationships. That being said…it can be hard to find people willing to allow you to guest post for a niche site. It can work but it takes some work. For this website however, to help diversify my backlink profile, I created several web 2.0 websites to backlink to my own website. Web 2.0’s are free blogs you can start on websites like WordPress.com or Weebly. The idea here is to sign up to these free blogs and create post that link back to your site. But before you go starting a whole bunch of web 2.0’s and pointing them to your site, we want to make them look like legitimate blogs. create several

Don’t create several web 2.0’s and point to your site right away. You need to treat them as a real blog. Make sure you fill out the profile info, make an about page you don’t need to make it about you, create a persona, the details don’t have to be some intricate story line but the section needs to be there. It is also recommended you make several posts over the course of a week before linking to your site. Make sure that your other post include pictures or a video, proper use of title tags, and most importantly that they link out to other authority sites in the niche. DO NOT link to your competitors, this will boosts their rankings. A good example would be lets say your niche is soccer balls. I would try to find something about soccer on nike.com and link to that. I try to make sure all my post have 2-3 links to high authority pages so that when I link to mine, it will appear that my blog only links to reputable sources. I’m essentially creating and maintaining my own link neighborhood.

Try to make your post on the web 2.0’s decent quality, a lot of people outsource this but I’m cheap so I do this myself. I am still in the process of writing content to these web 2.0’s and its really time consuming. I have a few that are ready for links back to my site but I am waiting over a week before I do so.

Here is a list of web 2.0’s you can use

  • Tumblr
  • Weebly
  • WordPress.com
  • Blogger.com
  • Jimdo.com
  • Bravesites.com
  • Beep.com
  • Puzl.com
  • Webstarts.com
  • Yolasite.com
  • Snackwebsites.com
  • Site.Google.com
  • Joomla.com
  • Jigsy.com

Bought some expired Tumblrs

Pretty much the same info as above. Tumblr is a web 2.0 site, you can buy expired domains with an established backlink profile. This means you can get a domain with a high PA which will help send link juice and improve your sites ranking. This is where the MozBar comes in handy. I always check the stats on these before I confirm purchase. You dont want to buy any that are flagged as spam. Once I confirm these are acceptable, I repeat the process from above making sure that make a few post before linking to my site. I bought some of these from SEOClerks and Fiverr(not the cheap $5 ones). If you don’t want to pay for expired tumblrs you can always get your own by doing a little work. Here is a detailed guide to scraping Tumblrs.



How much have I spent?

When we left off last month, I spent $88 total creating a blog. That included the domain name and hosting. Since then I also purchased a logo for my website. Logos help to make sites look more legitimate, rather than just having a plain text title.

I sourced this out on Fiverr, the quality is ok, its no NBC logo, but it’s good enough. This only cost me $5.

I bought 6 expired Tumblrs. This cost me $36

I bought 300 Social signals. This cost me $14

This brings my total spent to $143 

I have made $30.80 up to this point so as of now I am $143  in the hole.

The plan for next month

Over the next month until our next update I plan to do the following:

  • Add more content to my site. I plan on trying to add one post every 2 weeks.
  • Complete the building of my web 2.0’s and link them to my website
  • Add 5 more blog comments.
  • Try to stop checking my earnings every day(BAD BAD NERVE WRECKING HABIT)

If this post assisted in teaching you how to make a profitable Amazon Affiliate website please share this on social media 🙂

amazon affiliate experiment

The Amazon Affiliate Experiment: Building A Niche Site From Scratch

 

amazon affiliate experiment(Brief background for new readers: My fiancee and I own several rental properties. You can read about them herehere, and here.)

We are about all things passive income, and we are always looking at new side hustles to make it.

So I was browsing Flippa a few weeks back entertaining the idea of buying a website as an investment that would generate passive income.

I want to clarify that I am no expert on buying and selling websites, but the idea is intriguing to me.  

And if there is money to be made, I want to know about it. The truth is a lot of websites turn a profit, and much like rental properties, they can provide consistent passive income with a little bit of maintenance. 

After about an hour of searching the established website section, I began to look at the sold section. The sold section of Flippa shows what sold, and gave me a better idea of what kinds of sites were the most valuable. 

After examining a few of the sites with the most bids, I noticed 2 things.  

  • The first was although there are a few different ways to monetize a website, the ones that used affiliate programs were consistently the most profitable.
  • The second thing I noticed is that the websites that performed best with a substantial return sold for about 7 to 10 times what they earn per month. For example, a website that was generating $1000 a month could easily sell for $10,000.

Most of the affiliate websites were just simple review sites, on WordPress blogs. 

Then I heard it….my brain said to me

Man I can do that….”

Whenever I say that to myself, it’s usually the start of something profitable.

So I’ve decided to create my own niche site using the Amazon Associates affiliate program, and document my procedures on the way.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a program offered by websites that tracks the purchases of customers that are referred from your website and then issues you a commission for it. For example, let’s say I have a website about Pool table reviews. And let’ say we have a guy…let’s call him Joe, stumbles on to my site and sees a pool table he likes.

Joe clicks on the picture and is taken to Amazon where he completes the purchase. Upon his checkout, I  receive a percentage of that sale.




How much can you make with Amazon Associates affiliate program?

Darren Rowse averages 60K per year with the Amazon affiliate program. I’ve heard of larger entities that are doing $90,000 a month……and that’s not a typo I mean MONTH! 

Here’s the thing though, a lot of people talk crap about the Amazon’s affiliate program because of the low commission. Amazon starts you off at a 4% commission. I know there are literally hundreds of affiliate programs there that pay higher like Commission Junkie or ClickBank, but Amazon has a history of turning window shoppers into conversions.

My goal: To create a niche site from scratch that generates $500 per month within the next 6 months!

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

I already set up an account with Amazon’s Associate program. I did some keyword research and chose a niche.

As of 10/16/16 I have also purchased weeb hosting and a domain based on the niche I chose(I keeping this a secret for now:). I spent $100.

10/17/16 I started a blog. If you want to learn how to start a blog click here!

I decided my site will be a review site for products in my niche. I chose a review site because people who are looking for reviews on the internet are in “buy mode”.

I created a front page and loaded it a comparison table with 15 products from my niche. The front page also gives a little history on the product and narrows down the top 3 products that I will be recommending as the best options

What I plan to do over the course of the next month:

Do keyword research and generate a list of 10 keywords that I can rank for that will attract buyers. Keywords with things like “Best + your niche”, “your niche + review”, or “your niche + buyers guide” tend to be popular for people looking to buy. The more specific you can be the better.

You can rank your website for keywords by creating a blog for your website and creating articles on those topics. For example, if you had a niche site about survival backpacks, some things you might want to rank for and subsequently create articles about are:

“Best Survival Backpacks”

“Survival Backpack Buyer Guide”

“Best Survival Backpacks for 2016”

etc.

For each keyword you want to rank for, you need to write a unique article. This takes time. You can outsource this on Fiverr, but sometimes the quality of articles can be either poor or contain broken language. You can get higher quality articles from sites like Odesk and Freelancer, but these sites will likely charge you more.




SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is super important for this project. SEO is what determines how well your site ranks within google. Sites that make it to the first page of google are rewarded with tons of targeted, organic traffic. Targeted organic traffic = Buyers

Targeted organic traffic = Buyers!

Before I get into the gritty details of SEO, I checked to see which sites from my niche were ranking on the first page of google. My browser has the Mozbar installed so I am able to tell from a google search which sites are weak, and that I could potentially outrank.

Sites with low DA and PA or domain authority and page authority and few backlinks can usually be outranked.

The result was that there are a few competitors with low DA and PA, so I’m hoping I can outrank them soon. 

With the Mozbar you can also see how many backlinks your competition has as well as where they come from, so if they are something like blog comments or article submissions, you can copy their strategy.

I’m not going to lie, I’m probably going to buy some backlinks. A lot of SEO experts advise against buying links, but I’m not talking about the crappy 99,999 backlinks for $5 package on Fiverr. I plan to create a diverse backlink profile consisting of the following:

  • Add my site to the google console. What better way to get google to notice us, than to register within their program.
  • Buy a logo for my website from Fiverr. I’m no photoshop expert, and it’s only $5
  • Submit my site URL to google and bing. Make sure they know about me.
  • Create social media branding. I am going to open a twitter account and create a facebook page for my review site.
  • Make 15-25 blog comments. I plan to do this myself, making genuine comments on blogs that are relevant to my niche. I am not going to spam my link, I will just link my website through my name. I don’t want to outsource this because I want my comments to get approved and I don’t want comments on irrelevant blogs.
  • I am going to write 10 articles, likely individual reviews for the products from my home page.
  • I am going to buy  5-10 guest post on relevant blogs
  • Buy some article directory submissions. I plan to outsource this.

 

The Budget: $500

What I’ve spent so far!

Ok so remember my goal is to make $500 a month, and websites generally go for 10 x more than its monthly income. I say all that to say I am looking to create a site that I would have spent $5000 on. So far I have spent $88 on hosting and my domain name.

 

Final thoughts:

I know creating niche amazon affiliate website can be difficult and ranking takes time. I plan to update this once a month but since ranking can take time, it may be boring for the next few months….hang in there with me 🙂

I am going to have to spend some more money on SEO and a logo to make my site look good.

 

Have you experimented with affiliate marketing? Do you have some good strategies? Are you a newbie looking to learn?

Let me know in the comments section below.

 

Why your First Investment Property Should Be A Duplex

Why your First Investment Property Should Be A Duplex

When I accidentally started investing in rental properties, I was 26 years old. I’ve owned my own business since I was 23, and as a business owner, as you progress it’s natural to start considering Investment ideas. When you work for yourself you don’t get the luxury of a pension or retirement plan, at the end of the day you will only have what you were able to save up.

Even though I eventually stumbled onto long term real estate investing, had I know what I know today, I would have done things differently. Right after high school, if I had invested in a duplex, I could have easily been retired by now.

What is a duplex?what is a duplex

A duplex is a home comprised of two separate living quarters. In general, they have separate kitchens, bathrooms, and no common living areas with the other unit. Think of them as tiny apartment complexes with only two units. In most cases, each unit has separate utility meters so that each side only pays for what the amount of utilities they use.  This type of property is ideal for investors because you can earn twice the rent with one property.




Duplexes are great investments for young, first-time investors for a lot of reasons. Some of the pros are being that you can pay off your first property by renting out one of the units, and the other benefit is that you can potentially live rent free, to save money by owning a multi-family home. As long as you make sure that you purchase at a price in which one unit’s rent will cover the mortgage, and you know how to find a good tenant, your biggest living expense, shelter, is covered.

Duplexes are better for young investors from a living standpoint because. The units are usually smaller and can make a good home before you start a family. Once you start getting married and having kids, you will likely want to get a bigger house, with more privacy.

It’s important for young investors, to remember that even though your tenant is your neighbor, you shouldn’t build a friendship with them. If you find this difficult or awkward, i suggest at the very least, acting as if you are just a tenant as well. One of the top landlord commandments is not renting to or making friends with tenants. If tenants are your friends, in times when they may encounter financial issues, they will play the friend card” and things can get awkward quickly.

You guys know I’m an advocate of paying off houses as soon as possible. And because your mortgage will be covered, your ability to save should be drastically increAsed. I recommend setting aside what you would normally pay for rent, until you have enough to pay off the property. Once your pay off your mortgage, your other units rent goes straight to your pocket.

Sometimes, I find that duplexes can be over priced. Everyone has their own methods but for me to be even consider purchasing a duplex, it would have to be cheaper than I could find, two single family homes in the same area. For example, if I know 2 bedroom rentals average around $60k a piece, I wouldn’t want to spend over $110K for a duplex In that same area. This way it’s like getting a discount on 2 rental properties at the same time, while generating a higher ROI.

Eventually, you will want to move. The good thing about having a duplex, is that you can move out, rent your old unit out and start earning two rent payments at once. Now when you buy your next home, you have the luxury of being 2 rentals In the game.

Even though your expenses will be covered, I recommend to continue working  full time, to cover unforeseen repairs, and speed up paying off your investment.

In addition to duplexes, which are two unit structures, you can also find other multi-unit properties as well. Triplexes are 3 unit buildings, and quadplexes are buildings with 4 units. Anything over 5 units is officially considered an apartment complex, and different tax laws apply.

While most duplexes are side by side units, some will have an upstairs/downstairs layout. One thing that is important to me when finding a potential duplex, is making sure that the homes have separate meters for utilities. There have been times when I’ve come across duplexes with combined utilities, and it sounds like a hassle to try to decide which tenants used, how much energy every month. In cases where only the water is combined, the landlord usually covers the water bill. For me personally, I prefer my tenants to take care of all of their own expenses.

A single duplex is probably not going to provide the income, you need to retire just yet, however by investing young, and continuing to grow your rental portfolio, once you obtain and pay off enough rental properties, you will be generating enough passive income to live comfortably.

What was your first rental property? Was your first rental property a duplex?

Let me know in the comments section below.



what is passive income

I was lucky, I don’t know why, but for some reason I picked up on the concept of passive income at an early age. At 9 years old I used to consistently beat my parents at Monopoly. At 9, I was just happy to be better at something then the grown ups, but I was subtle learning an important lesson. Id giggle as each time they landed on one of my properties I was slowly taking their money one faux hundred dollar bill at a time, and my pile of money would grow strong until the game ended. Today I know this, was a rough concept of generating passive income.

What Is Passive Income?

Passive income is payment you recieve on a consistent basis, with very little to effort required to maintain it. Contrary to active income, in which you trade your time for money, passive, or residual income is created generally by investing in assets, or putting in a lot of time up front that produce a monthly income.



Why is passive income important?

Passive income is important because, it is not directly related to the time that you spend. You make educated investments that create a steady income stream. Because you are not spending time, passive income investments are a good way to plan for retirement. By gaining more and more income producing assets, you are in direct control of growing your wealth.

Some Passive Income Examples:

I have dabbled in a few of these, but I’ve been able to create the majority of my income with rental properties, as you recall with house #1 and house #3. Rental properties have allowed me to achieve financial independence, and I am currently growing this business.  I am a big believer in diversification, I’ve always been an advocate of diversification, and no one way is better than the other. I recommend that people experiment on a small scale to see which methods interest you the most

Passive income is not FREE money. All forms of passive income require the following:

  • An initial financial investment – An examples of up front financial investments would be purchasing dividend producing stocks.
  • An initial time investment – An example of up front time investment would be. Creating a hit song and receiving residuals, or royalties on a monthly basis.

What Makes Passive income so powerful?

What makes passive income so attractive, is that once you lay a foundation, the residual income get easier build. With traditional active income there is a limit to how much time you can dedicate to working. With 24 hours in day and a general work shift being 8 hours of your day, it’s virtually impossible to find time for more then a second job, not to mention how brutal of a lifestyle that is. With passive income, you are not bound by the time restraint, and letting your money work for you. As long as you are generating enough income you can create as many passive income streams as you like.

The best thing about passive income, is when you don’t have to be at work, you get to actually live life. The majority of us are stuck in a position, where we need to work to keep things in order in our life. Jobs determine: when you go to sleep, when you wake up, what you eat, how you dress, and what you drive. Passive income allows you to spend your days doing what’s most important.



How To  Generate Passive Income In The Beginning?

  • In the beginning you need active income – Unless you come from a wealthy family, you will need capital to build your passive income empire. Theres no way to shortcut this part, you need to have a primary means of income to get started.
  • Be Frugal – Think of this as the time of sacrifice, this may seem unreasonable but, stop spending so much money. Try to find economic ways of entertaining yourself. Cut down on food budgets, try not to eat out too much and cook at home. Here are some yummy ideas of what frugal people eat! 
  • Create a plan. A big part of creating passive income is having a strategy. Have answers and procedures for every conceivable scenario.
  • Determine how much passive income you need – Figure out how much residual income you need to make to live your life comfortably.
  • Set realistic short term financial goals – It’s ALWAYS great to shoot for the stars, however creating short term goals that can be reasonably achieved. An example of a good short term goal is saving up for a down payment on a rental property,

Achieving financial freedom is not easy to achieve, but by setting goals, saving, and frugal living you can begin on your journey to residual income. After laying this foundation, by the time you are generating enough income to live off of, you will have definitely earned it.