The Amazon Affiliate Experiment: Building A Niche Site From Scratch
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”
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 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.
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.
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.