$25,000 might not seem much for some people, but for most others, it’s a fortune.
And this case study is for those most others.
In this case study, I’ve laid down the exact strategies implemented to build a $25,000 Amazon Affiliate Niche Site in under 10 months.
The ticker here is that:
All of this was done with an investment of just $500.
Now that your puppy ears are up:
Let’s get started!
Primary Focus of this Amazon Affiliate Case Study
In this case study, I’ll focus majorly on 4 aspects:
- Extensive Keyword Research
- Fast Web Hosting & Great Site Design
- Powerful Content Writing & Management
- Effective Link Building
Obviously, you might have read about these aspects in other articles and case studies too.
But here, I’ve described how I approached these 4 major aspects.
But before we start…
Let’s Take a Look at the Site’s Stats
How I made $25,000 from the site?
Here’s the income breakdown:
Site Sale Price: I sold the site via Escrow.com (safest way to sell websites) for $19,300 (excluding escrow fees)
Amazon Earnings (2019): $5,116.54
Amazon Earnings (2018): $472.28
Total: $19,300 + $5116.54 + 472.28 = $24,888.82 (~$25,000)
I also published a few sponsored posts and ads on the website that I haven’t listed here.
This covered the investment of ~$500 on the site. Hence, the ~$25,000 I made were pure profit.
Here’s the Google Analytics Traffic stats of the website. These were the last 3 months stats before selling the website:
- Users: 7051
- Sessions: 8713
- Pageviews: 10258
- Users: 9073
- Sessions: 11074
- Pageviews: 12852
- Users: 8137
- Sessions: 9821
- Pageviews: 11277
Current Ahrefs Stats of the Website
These are the current Ahrefs stats.
As you can see, it hasn’t changed much since I sold the website in July 2019.
Definitely, it doesn’t look convincing, right?
On another note, there’s a big disconnect between the traffic stats in Google Analytics and Ahrefs.
Almost 5-6 times the difference. Hence, if you stumble on sites for which Ahrefs shows very low traffic.
You can be rest assured, the site might have at least 5x more traffic.
But again, my site too had very low traffic. Mostly under 10K users per month.
But that’s the magic of Amazon:
You don’t need bulk of traffic to make money.
However, with the current change in commission structure, one might need to put in additional efforts.
Brief Overview of the Website’s (Humble) Beginning
The site was started in September 2018.
Domain was registered through Namecheap.com in the same month, after a few days of niche and keyword research.
The site was hosted on Cloudways. Since I already had Cloudways hosting, I didn’t have to pay anything extra for hosting.
WordPress was installed straight away, along with necessary plugins like:
- iThemes Security
- WP Rocket
- Table of Contents Plus
- Antispam Bee (Akismet alternative)
- …and a few others when needed
Note: RankMath is currently the best and FREE SEO plugin that offers excellent set of features and a great UI to go with it.
Since I work on multiple affiliate sites, I already had a subscription to premium plugins like AAWP and WP Rocket.
Note: If you install WordPress via your hosting’s One-Click Installer. Make sure to delete any pre-installed plugins that you aren’t going to use.
The theme I used was WunderMag, which is available on Themeforest.
However, during that time, I noticed the theme was also available on Envato Elements. Thus, I got it for FREE from a friend who already owns Envato Elements premium subscription.
Within a couple of days, the entire site was set up.
This site setup task can be daunting. You might forget a few necessary steps before you start publishing. Heck, I had forgotten to add an ‘About Us’ page for the entire duration of the website.
To solve this issue, I’ve created a FREE WordPress Site Setup Checklist that you can download by clicking the below button.
Download FREE Wordpress Site-Setup Checklist
The initial site setup task can be daunting. That’s why I’ve created this super-simple and free Wordpress Site-Setup Checklist!
In a few days, the basic setup was done, and I was onto publishing the articles.
Now that we’ve gone over the stats and start-up; let’s take a detailed look at what made this site worth $25,000.
Keyword Research: A Detailed Introspection
Over the past few years, the one skill that I’ve honed extensively is Keyword Research.
With the help of widespread knowledge available on the internet, plus my experience with affiliate sites and developing my own strategies, Keyword Research has become a natural game for me.
If your Keyword Research game is top-notch, you’ll need very few backlinks or almost none to rank fast.
I’ll come with a detailed Keyword Research guide later, hence don’t forget to subscribe to Nichezy if you want to know about it first-hand.
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For this case study, I’ll only stick to the Keyword Research I did for this specific website.
Since I’ll be working on this niche again, I won’t be sharing the niche or keywords. However, I am going to use another niche i.e., ‘Chairs’ as an example. I’ve built plenty of chair niche sites in the past few years.
Talking about the niche I targeted, it falls under a highly competitive category. The main money keywords are tough to rank for.
But the niche is also huge and has plenty of gaps for one to enter and make money from it.
There’s a funny story on how I picked this niche
Almost a year ago, before I started this niche site. One of my online friends asked for my advice about starting an Amazon Affiliate Site in the same niche.
My reaction to this was very blunt. I told him that this niche is very competitive, and you’d need to put in a lot of effort even before you can make any money from it.
The conversation ended after half-hour. Still, I was adamant about not working on this niche because he was just starting out.
Luckily, it turns out I was wrong!
After few months, he messaged me again and showed me his own Amazon Affiliate website and how he was making $$$$/month in the same niche I had advised against.
Basically, he just targeted the same low-volume and ultra-low competitive keywords strategy that I have been suggesting all these years.
Later, with his permission, I started this website in the same niche, and we struck a deal that I wouldn’t target the keywords he’s working on.
Let me know your thoughts about this in the comments section?
Collecting Initial Seed Keywords
Once the niche was decided!
It was now time to jump into my favorite part. Keyword Research!
Using multiple keyword modifiers like:
- how to
- …and so on
I was able to come up with numerous ‘seed keywords’ that I could (or could not) use for my Amazon Affiliate Niche Site.
Considering our example niche, you can come up with seed keywords like:
- Best Office Chair under $100
- Best Living Room Chair for Back Pain
- Herman Miller Aeron vs. Steelcase Leap
- Herman Miller Embody Review
- How to fix a sinking office chair?
- What chair does Pewdiepie use?
Similarly, I came up with a few keyword ideas on my own and started plugging each of these keywords into Google.
On the other hand, Surfer SEO also displays the website’s estimated traffic and page word count under each SERP Result.
Finding Direct Competitors
Once the seed keywords were plugged, I could find multiple other websites targeting the same keywords. If your keyword is long-tail enough, you’ll mostly find your direct competitors.
The SERP page is filled with a mix of authority sites along with few Amazon Affiliate Sites (see highlighted section).
I’d go through the page, and open links that I feel are Amazon Affiliate sites. However, I’d also take a careful look at the results that Surfer SEO shows have low traffic.
Because these might either be new sites or not very authoritative in the eyes of Google.
Moreover, it gives you the idea that if new sites are ranking for certain keywords, you can rank them quickly too.
You can save each of the site’s URL in a spreadsheet like Google Sheets or MS Excel and also mention the estimated traffic in another column.
Do the same with other ‘seed keywords,’ make a list of around 20-25 sites, (remove duplicates) and sort them according to their traffic in ascending order.
What Should You Do with your Competitors?
The idea here is to take on the weak competitors first, and then move onto more prominent players gradually.
I personally created a list of 15-20 sites; ranging from fairly new, to some of them raking around 100K monthly traffic.
Later, I took the first 5 sites in my niche, and plugged them into Ahrefs Site Explorer and looked at their ‘Top Pages’
Note: For Ahrefs, you can use their $7 for 7-days trail, or you can also use Semrush, which offers similar functionalities. You can get the 30-day FREE Semrush trial from my friend Akshay’s site at Blogging X.
The ‘Top Pages’ section in Ahrefs displays the best-performing pages for that particular site sorted by traffic.
It shows plenty of useful information like:
- Page URL
- No. of Referring Domains
- No. of Keywords the page ranks for
- Keyword Volume
- ‘Keyword’ that brings the most traffic to that page
You can also check other keywords its ranking for by using the keyword dropdown.
Check the page thoroughly and one-by-one note down the keywords its ranking for along with its volume, keyword difficulty, and page URL.
Ignore any keyword that you feel is competitive and move on to the next one.
Rinse and repeat this process for the other remaining sites.
Even if you go through at least 10 sites, you’ll have around 100s of keywords and a solid 25-30 keywords that you can target straightaway.
Make sure your keywords have a mix of commercial, informational, questions, review, and versus type of keywords.
Finding Forum Sites for Keyword Research
Forums, at its core, are user-generated content websites. This user-generated information cannot be relied-upon most times, and hence Google sees them as weak sites.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Since forums are considered weak sites, hence finding keywords whose SERP is filled with forums is a blessing.
This means you can easily target those keywords and rank quickly. Because Google cannot find relevant and reliable articles for those keywords, and thus, ranks forums.
The niche I worked on had plenty of forums; hence finding one wasn’t an issue.
Simple Trick to Find Multiple Forum Sites
You can use a very simple Google search operator to find a bunch of forum sites in your niche.
Keyword inurl:forum inurl:forums
In the case of our example:
Office Chairs inurl:forum inurl:forums
The above ‘search operator’ searches for Office Chairs but only displays result that contains ‘forum’ or ‘forums’ in their URL. Basically, forum sites.
Peruse at least the 5-6 Google search pages and note down forums that are within your niche.
I was lucky enough to find a forum that targeted my niche in its entirety.
Here’s what I did next:
Sucking out Keywords from Forum Sites
Once again, I hopped onto Ahrefs and plugged the forum site URL into Ahrefs Site Explorer.
Next, I went to the ‘Organic Keywords’ section.
Here, I applied a couple of filters:
- Position: 1-3
- Word Count: 5
These 2 filters made sure that I find keywords that rank between 1st to 3rd position and has a word count of 5 and more than that.
If a forum site is taking up the first 3 spots, the keyword surely isn’t competitive enough.
And with guarantee, I can say that Google’s SERP page will be filled with other forums for that keyword.
For the word count part, the filter will display only long-tail keywords.
Once I collect some useful keywords, I’d change the Position filter from 4-7 and later 8-10.
Definitely, you can set the Position filter from 1-10 at the start. However, I personally found that it displays a lot of keywords. The process also gets boring once I go through 3-4 pages and find that there’s 10 pages more to go by.
Hence, I’d break it into smaller chunks for easy consumption.
This process will help you find plenty of keywords from one forum. Rinse and repeat for other forums, and you’ll have keywords that you can work with for 6+ months.
I usually apply plenty of Keyword Research techniques for a niche site, which I’ll mention in detail in another article.
However, for this site, I used only these 2 Keyword Research techniques mentioned above.
I really enjoy doing Keyword Research; however, sometimes I might feel lazy or busy with other work.
In such conditions, I try to outsource this work to someone on Fiverr for $10-$15.
Since the technique is there, all you need is someone to follow it, and you can get the job done without actively working on it.
Now that we’ve gone through the Keyword Research aspect of this Amazon Affiliate Niche Site, let’s move on to the next section.
But before that, if you have any lingering questions about keyword research, don’t forget to leave it in the comment section below.
Fast Web Hosting & Great Site Design
After Keyword Research, the next aspect that I find essential is a Fast Web Hosting service and Great Site Design.
Have you ever wondered why cars from Mercedes and BMW are more desirable than those from Suzuki or Chevrolet?
Mostly, Mercedes’s and BMW’s cars are fast and gorgeous compared to other low-cost car manufacturers like Nissan or Chevrolet.
Similarly, your website needs to load fast and look good at the same time.
If not, it reeks unprofessionalism, and the information you put out won’t feel trustworthy.
Choosing a Fast Web Host
Over the years, I’ve dabbled with multiple web hosting services; because you can’t really trust what these ‘SEO Gurus’ preach about which hosting is ‘the best’.
Heck! There are entire websites dedicated only to promote Web Hosting services, and what do they suggest as #1 Web Hosting?
Many people fall for this trap and then complain about their misadventures.
Don’t believe me?
Just search, ‘Bluehost sucks’ on Google and look at the number of complaints that pop up.
Do it for any other hosting that you’re thinking about, ‘<Hosting Name> sucks,’ and find what answers you get.
Hence, over the years, I’ve decided to do my own testing.
Which hosting do I use?
I have dabbled with multiple shared hosting and VPS hosting services over-the-years.
Some were fairly good; others were a total dud.
But the one hosting service that I’m totally satisfied with is, Cloudways.
Hence, with a 100% guarantee, I can say that Cloudways is the best; if you need a great balance between speed and pricing.
Therefore, I always choose Cloudways for my niche sites, and it was also the host of choice for this niche site.
You might ask, why Cloudways?
The brief answer is that Cloudways offers managed VPS hosting service, which is much superior to Shared Hosting.
It combines the reliability of Digital Ocean VPS, adds its own easy-to-use interface without charging anything extra.
Despite that, it also eliminates the trouble of setting up a VPS server manually and offers you a platform to create multiple WordPress websites on a single server with ease.
Earlier, I have used Digital Ocean for few of my sites. But you’d either need to configure the VPS yourself or use a server management software like Server Pilot.
Both are great, but the real problem arises when you start getting these absurd 5XX errors and other issues related to a VPS server.
Hence, I was always on the mercy of a friend who would solve this issue.
Plus, neither Digital Ocean or ServerPilot offered any type of active support related to your WordPress issues.
This is where Cloudways bridges the gap…
…and offers you a managed VPS solution with the reliability of a Digital Ocean server. You also have access to active support.
There’s also no terms and conditions involved when it comes to pricing. It also offers built-in CDN service ($1/25GB bandwidth) that you can enable with a click of a button.
Hence for $11/month ($10 for hosting + $1/25GB for CDN), you ultimately get a high-quality managed WordPress hosting for a steal. And you can pay for it on a monthly basis. Therefore, no commitment to paying multiple years at once.
The above reasons are enough for me to choose Cloudways for most of my niche sites.
Obviously, a brief description won’t do justice to Cloudways because it offers much more than that. It will definitely take another article to go through everything that Cloudways offers.
But, if you want a no non-sense web hosting, Cloudways is the way to go (eyes closed). By the way, this website is hosted on Cloudways too.
No matter which hosting you choose, just don’t go with any shared hosting at all. At first, the site may seem fast; but once your site’s traffic increases, the performance, and speed of your site decrease.
Undoubtedly, there are many other reliable web hosting services out there. No matter which you choose, just don’t go with Bluehost or HostGator, or anything that falls under the EIG umbrella and try to avoid Shared Hosting altogether.
Choosing a Domain Name
For the domain name, I kept it very simple.
I simply post-fixed the niche name by adding ‘ex,’ and that was my domain name.
For example, Chair niche turned into Chairex.com, checked if its available, and went with it.
You do not need to fuss over domain names because it can get – very complicated, very fast.
And to be honest, most domain name generators suck.
Thereby, I’ve developed my own strategy to come up with brandable domain names.
You’ll find plenty of brandable domain name inspiration by browsing through their catalog for your niche site.
Once you’ve found the domain name you like and its available on Namecheap.com. Follow the below step!
Before registering, for once, check the domain name on https://whoisrequest.com/history/ and verify if it’s actually a fresh domain and not expired one.
It’s because many unsold expired domains become available as fresh domains, hence the due diligence.
Moreover, such expired domains may be penalized by Google.
Likewise, if you build a site on such a domain, your site won’t rank.
I personally made this mistake once and didn’t verify the domain history.
Two months after building the site, it wasn’t ranking even for the most obscure terms.
Checked Google Search Console; and found that the domain had ‘Manual Action,’ which got carried over when I used the same domain.
Later, I redirected the site to a new domain and voila within a few weeks the website started ranking.
Choosing a WordPress Theme & Plugins
As mentioned earlier, the theme I chose was WunderMag. Later, I deleted all unnecessary plugins that came with the theme and disabled many features that I wasn’t going to use.
I kept the theme to a bare minimum, likewise its black-and-white color-scheme and minimalist design helped.
Most Themeforest themes choose eye candy over functionality.
Therefore, I recommend choosing a theme like GeneratePress, which offers only the most important functionality, while keeping a clean code and design.
Nichezy.com. also uses GeneratePress, and it works great for affiliate sites too.
No matter which theme you choose, make sure to disable/delete unwanted features and unnecessary plugins that might come bundled with the theme.
However, here are the plugins I recommend installing on your Amazon Affiliate Niche Site. These were the same ones I had installed on my niche site.
- RankMath – A powerful SEO plugin that offers excellent functionalities and is FREE
- Antispam Bee – Automatically removes spam comments from your comment moderation list. Basically, an Akismet alternative!
- iThemes Security – Offers extensive features to secure your WordPress website and save it from prying eyes. The free plugin is more than enough for the basic security features it offers. You can also Sucuri
- BackWPup – A simple & FREE WordPress Backup & Restore plugin that can automatically backup your entire site and saves it to Dropbox. Mishaps can happen anytime, and a backup saves the day
- WP Review – If you’re going to post review articles on your website. This plugin is a must and totally FREE
- ShortPixel – Industry-standard image optimization plugin to improve your site’s loading speed
- WP Rocket – A premium website speed-optimization plugin and the very best in the business
- TOC+ – A very useful plugin that automatically adds Table of Contents to your articles. It also helps your website get sitelinks within SERPs
I always make sure to not install any unnecessary plugins or experiment with new plugins.
It’s because a new plugin adds additional code to your website, which can affect your site’s loading speed.
Blog Post Design – Very Important Factor
The theme I choose had a very simple yet elegant blog post design. Hence, I didn’t have to put much efforts into tweaking every nook and cranny.
However, I also followed a straightforward structure for designing the blog post.
- Blog Post Title (H1 Tag)
- Featured Image (Max 400px height)
- Introduction (Max 100 Words)
- Main Keyword (H2 Title)
- Table of Contents
- AAWP Table
- Product Description (5-11 Products)
- Divider/Separator after each Product Description (offers breathing space within content)
- Relevant Internal Linking to other content on the site (2-4 links per post)
- Things to Consider Section (Includes Main Keyword and 4-5 brief points, mostly around 400-500 words)
- Frequently Asked Questions section (Again 4-5 questions answered in brief with relevant outbound links, video embeds, images, etc.)
- Conclusion (~100 Words)
The Product Description was also very simple:
- Product Title (Linked to Amazon)
- 250-300 words description
- 1st product image after 2 paragraphs
- 2nd product image before 3rd last paragraph
- Pros & Cons Table (50 Words)
- ‘Buy Now’ button (linking to Amazon)
I have explained this in detail in the Content Writing & Management section. But as you can see above, the post design structure was straightforward, yet actionable too.
It provided the most relevant data to the user, yet enough content breakdown to help skimmers.
However, adding the AAWP table after the introduction did increase bounce rate, but that’s the cost of doing business.
Moreover, keeping a fixed post design saved a lot of time. Hence, I didn’t have to experiment with each new post.
I also had a fixed post design for review, versus, and info content. If you’d like to know about it too, then please let me know in the comment section below.
If there are plenty of requests, I’ll surely update this case study with it.
Adding, Cropping and Resizing Images
Product images are an important part of any Amazon Affiliate Niche Site, isn’t it?
It is also a controversial topic, nonetheless. My understanding of using product images is:
Most product images on Amazon are sourced by the manufacturer itself.
Hence, Amazon doesn’t own those images. Using manufacturer sourced images won’t be an issue at all.
To be in safe waters, you can go to the manufacturer’s website and get images from there. To be 100% bullet-proof, you can email respective manufacturers and ask for permission to use their product images to promote their products.
If they say yes, you have written proof from the manufacturer itself. You can show it to Amazon, just in case they ever block your account due to image copyright issues.
However, Amazon doesn’t like its affiliates using images or promotional material developed by Amazon itself, and that can land you in deep waters.
To be on the safe side, you can check this post from NichePursuits.com.
But… Here’s What I did!
For my site, I downloaded the product images from Amazon’s product page itself. I made sure that they are product manufacturer sourced images.
Once downloaded, I cropped all the whitespace in the product images and resized it.
The maximum height I kept for product image was 400px, this made sure that the product is easy-to-see without the need for a larger picture. Incidentally, it also helped to keep the file size to a minimum.
Once resized, I added an image title that incorporates sub-keyword too.
For example, if I want to add ‘best living room chair for bad back’ sub-keyword in the product image. I would rename the image as:
- ‘Is Baxton Sorrento the best living room chair for bad back?’
- ‘Should you consider Baxton Sorrento as the best living room chair for bad back?’
- ‘Baxton Sorrento – best living room chair for bad back’
Once uploaded to the site, I would keep the alt tag same as the image title.
This way, you can add additional sub-keywords or LSI keywords within your content via the image’s alt tag.
Fun Fact: Alt attribute is primarily meant for screen readers that helps blind people know the content of an image file
Moreover, it also helps in Google Image search results and in featured snippets too for image packs.
This is the system that I have developed and refined over the years. Hence, for most of my Amazon Affiliate sites, this is the system that I follow.
It also helps me to outsource most of my work because I can clearly communicate with the freelancer for what I want the post design to look like.
Depending on different sites, there might be slight variation; but the primary design aspect stays the same.
Once again, if you have any questions regarding this concept, please let me know in the comments section before you forget.
Content Writing & Management
For most of my niche sites, I outsource content from Upwork.
For this site too, I got 5 articles written from 3 different writers. Unfortunately, didn’t like any of them.
It’s because this niche requires good quality writing, with technical know-how about the products.
I discarded all the 5 articles and started writing content myself.
This saved a tremendous amount of investment in content.
Moreover, the site benefitted from my content writing, coupled with simplifying of technical terms for the average buyer.
Likewise, I have personally used the products in this niche; hence I enjoyed writing the articles without any issue.
If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend to write content by yourself.
Firstly, it will save a lot of your money. Secondly, you can invest it later on link building and promotion.
Just like my site design, I kept things very simple with content writing too.
Without fussing much, I was able to write 2000 words listicles within 3 hours and get it published within the same day.
Listicle Blog Post Outline
Since it was an Amazon Affiliate website, most of the content was commercial.
Additionally, most of the commercial content consisted of listicles like:
- Best Office Chair under $300
- Best Living Room Chair for Back Pain
- Best Gaming Chair under $100
- …and so on
As mentioned earlier, I mostly stuck with an outline; that I’ve shared below:
Main Article Headline – Basically the H1 title tag that includes your keyword. Make sure to write a compelling headline that stands out in the SERP. I usually spend 30 minutes just to finalize the headline by working on different variations.
SEO Hack: To Improve CTR, use brackets in your Headline
Introduction (100 Words) – Quite frankly, nobody is interested in your introduction, not even your mom. Thus, keep it simple; without any fuss.
Make sure to creatively include your main keyword within the first 50 words. If you reach a point where you have to think, “What should I add more in the introduction?” Don’t add anything at all.
Table of Contents – Just install the FREE Table of Contents Plus plugin. It will automatically create a Table of Contents for your article. The best position for Table of Contents is just after the introduction.
Sub-Head with Main Keyword – Let’s say your keyword is ‘best office chair under 100’, and you’re writing about 7 products. Then the Sub-Head would be, 7 Best Office Chair under $100. This should be in the H2 tag.
Products Table – Get AAWP plugin and use the shortcode mentioned below. It will automatically create a table without much effort from your end.
[amazon box="B07B43VRGL, B072K5KHMZ, B07Y7ZGSNL" template="table"]
This shortcode creates a table like the one you see in the picture below.
Product Description – For my niche site, I usually kept the product description between 250-300 words. In brief, I wrote about the product design, features and functionalities, important specifications, and the product’s performance.
Pros & Cons – I tried to include at least 5 points in Pros and around 2 points in Cons.
Buy Now Button – A very simple ‘Buy from Amazon’ button (like the one below) with a link to the product’s Amazon page.
(How to) Transform your Content into a Golden Nugget
Writing content is one part, but turning into a golden nugget falls in an entirely different universe.
When I talk about turning your content into a Golden Nugget, what I really mean is:
Proofreading and editing your content!
Proofreading is not merely going through your content several times after you’ve written it.
It also means deliberately finding mistakes in your content once you’ve written it.
If I published this case study without proofreading. I’d bet you wouldn’t want to read it.
Just like content writing, proofreading is also something you get better at with time and experience. This kind of lines up with the Law of Large Numbers!
How to Proofread your Content Effectively?
This single sub-head above can turn into a full-fledged monster post on its own.
But to keep things simple, I’d advise you to read this excellent article from Smartblogger about editing and proofreading your content.
I’ve used this article as a bible to proofread all my content. Even for my Amazon Niche Site too.
While manually, I can weed out plenty of mistakes in my articles. Often times, it’s far from publish-ready.
Hence, every time, before publishing, I would run the article through Grammarly.
I’ve been using Grammarly since its inception, and in the past few years, it works like a charm.
Admittedly, it can’t replace a professional proofreader and editor. Still, frequently, it can point out mistakes and give suggestions where a real person might miss.
If you take content writing seriously, Grammarly is a must.
As you can see in the image above, Grammarly has given plenty of suggestions and found mistakes in my content, even though I’ve proofread it twice.
Moreover, Grammarly itself corrects your mistakes by click of a button.
Thus, its a very important tool even for the best content writers and proofreaders.
Drip Feeding and Publishing Content
Over time, I’ve realized that it is feasible to write and publish content on the same or next day.
It can also hamper your schedule if you miss a few days due to sickness, outing with friends, or a week-long vacation.
Hence, for this site, I wrote content beforehand and published it throughout the month via drip-feed method.
This meant, the content would be published automatically, even if I wasn’t available for a few days.
Because an irregular content publishing schedule can damage your site’s reputation in the eyes of Google.
Hence, always make sure to not publish content immediately. Rather schedule the content over a specific period; throughout the month.
Note: WordPress offers an inbuilt feature to schedule your content and publish it on a date and time of your choice.
Managing a Content-Heavy Website
For this website, I wrote a total of 33 articles before selling it for ~$20K. Hence, I didn’t have to dabble with too much content.
However, the site still had close to 100,000 words content, which, if isn’t updated frequently; can get stale.
This way, I made sure to update each article every 3 months along with regular drip-feeding of content.
This improved the content freshness factor and also helped me keep the article up-to-date for the users.
If working on Amazon Affiliate Niche Site, you know that certain products that you’ve mentioned; go out-of-stock or become unavailable over time.
Or, in some cases, better products are available for a lower price.
In such a scenario, if your webpage breeds older or unavailable products, it doesn’t benefit your users and affects UX signals for Google.
However, updating content after every 3 months ensures that you could remove any out-of-stock or unavailable products and add new products.
My Strategy to Update Old Content Effectively
For any buying guide, I would make sure to update it at least 3 times.
I personally call it as Content Updating Rounds and made sure that all buying guides went through at least 3 Content Updating Rounds.
Since I knew beforehand that updating old content was part of the content management plan, I wouldn’t add few sections when an article was published.
This allowed me to add more sections in later rounds.
Here’s how I followed Content Updating Rounds:
Content Publish: This is the first time the content will go live on the website. Here I used to add around 5-7 product description, along with ‘Things to Consider’ section
First Round: In the first round, I added additional sections like ‘Product Specifications’ after every product description and a FAQ section.
Additionally, I would also remove out-of-stock or unavailable products and replace them with new products. I would also change the post date to the current date.
Second Round: Here, I would increase the product count by +2. So, a 5-product listicle would turn into a 7-product listicle, or a 7-product listicle would turn into a 9-product listicle and so on.
Again, I would also remove unavailable products and replace them with new products.
Third Round: By this round, the article would be around 9-months and has collected a good amount of Page Authority and Page Age.
This would help it rank for more long-tail keywords. In this round too, I would increase product count by +2 and remove unavailable products and add new ones. Here I would rearrange the product ranking entirely.
Also, add more points in the Things to Consider section and FAQ section. I would also add an infobox within each product description to make the content skim-friendly. This by-far happened to be the biggest update the article would receive.
The above procedure helped me keep a tab on all my site content. In hindsight, it also helped boost ranking for articles that weren’t on the first page for their respective keywords.
Additionally, it also helped increase the article’s ‘Word Count’ in an iterative manner.
This brings us to the next section:
Word Count – A Loathful Concept?
I really don’t believe in the concept of writing articles by keeping a Word Count in mind.
Sure, it helps when giving content topics to a writer. In this situation, every word demands a penny, isn’t it?
According to the Keyword Query, I would consider how much information the content required and wrote accordingly.
While researching, I would find plenty of additional information. This went straight into the article.
Yet, by using Content Updating Rounds, I would easily turn a 2000-words blog post into a 4000-words monster without burning the midnight oil.
These days, I see many new bloggers pumping their articles with 5000-words or 6000-words content for a keyword with only 40-100 monthly searches.
Definitely, you might rank for a bit more long-tails, but this isn’t a long-term strategy.
You might rank at #1 position with your content, no doubt.
But if you keep writing 5-6K words per article (unless necessary), you wouldn’t get time to update old articles.
This would cause content decay, and your article will start slipping down the SERP drainage.
To know in-depth about content decay and its factors, do check this wonderful article from Animalz.co. It will solve most of your queries related to this topic.
Moreover, no reader wants to be bombarded with 15 Best PRODUCTS or 21 Best PRODUCTS.
The meaning of the word ‘Best’ is that you present a singular suggestion for a person’s specific requirements.
However, since most products cater to a different audience, you can add a few more suggestions in your article, depending on the reader’s specific needs.
In another article, we’ll discuss a great alternative to ‘Word Count’ and what you should rather focus on. For now, we’ll stick to this Amazon Affiliate Case Study itself.
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Now let’s move onto the next big section of this Case Study, Backlinks!
Effective Link Building
As I mentioned before:
My Keyword Research game is very strong; hence, I didn’t have to rely much on active Link Building to rank this website.
Having said that, Link Building is also very important to give your site a ranking boost.
Can you rank a website without ‘active’ link building?
But, if you want to rank your website fast, Link Building is an important factor.
Now, let’s go through the link building strategies that I utilized to rank my Amazon Affiliate Niche Site.
But before that…
First, create a new E-mail ID
For link building, you’ll need an E-mail ID for multiple purposes. You can use this new E-Mail ID anytime you’re asked to provide one.
Many e-mail providers are available like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc. However, I personally prefer ProtonMail.com, mostly because it doesn’t require phone verification and offers end-to-end encryption.
Before jumping on the link building bandwagon, get a new E-Mail ID from ProtonMail.com or any other E-Mail provider of your choice.
Note: Do not use your website’s E-Mail for non-personal link building purposes (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) because it could hamper e-mail deliverability during outreach purposes.
Strategy #1: Social Media Accounts
It might seem silly, but the initial links to your site should always come from Social Media Accounts.
For my niche site, I created Page/Account on 5 different Social Media sites:
You don’t need to update these social media accounts frequently. Rather, create a new Page/Account, add relevant branding images, and a link back to your niche site.
Strategy #2: Profile Link Building
This strategy is not different from the above one.
Here, you can aim for do-follow links by creating profiles on your niche relevant websites, which gives a link back to your niche site.
This provides relevant do-follow links to your site without much effort.
Let’s say you have an Amazon Affiliate Niche Site in the photography niche, and you want to create profile links.
You can create profile links on sites like:
- … and many more other sites
But there’s a catch!
You need to create profile pages on sites that allow profile pages to get indexed by Google.
If the profile pages aren’t indexed; then the links you create won’t have any SEO value, whatsoever.
Hence make sure that the profile pages are indexed.
For my site, I made around 20-25 profile links with a mix of do-follow and no-follow. Mostly I took the inspiration from my competitors who already had created profile links.
Strategy #3: Forum Link Building
Forum Link Building has received a lot of negative publicity over the years.
It’s mostly true because Black Hats & Grey Hats have milked it to their advantage.
However, I am a big believer in Forum Link Building, and I actively build forum links to my niche sites.
However, the process has changed a little bit.
Making a forum link is as simple as creating an account on a forum, adding your link in your first post, and voila, you’ve made a backlink.
While it does works, it also increases your chances of a Google penalty.
Hence, if it’s easy to create a backlink on a particular forum, stay away.
How to go about Forum Link Building?
Forums owners and sites that have a forum attached to it; know that forums are a convenient breeding ground for spammers.
Hence, forum softwares like PHPBB, vBulletin, XenForo, and so on have spam-protection capabilities built into them.
One such capability is that new members are not allowed to add links to their posts or threads unless they have a certain number of posts under their buckle.
Let’s say you want to create a backlink on Archlinux.org forum. Then you need at least 35-40 posts before you can even create a post or thread that contains a link.
Moreover, you can’t just create these 35-40 posts within a day. Otherwise, you’ll get banned from the forum.
And if you get banned, your IP address is backlisted across multiple forum softwares.
If that happens, you’ll be banned as soon as you create a new account on other forum sites.
What should you do instead?
The above spam-protection is surely a big hurdle for spammers to bypass. But you can easily overcome it by being an active member of relevant forums in your niche.
Every night, I keep aside 15-minutes (before sleeping) and take part in multiple forum discussions. I make around 3-4+ posts on a forum, and that’s it.
This way, within a 9-10 days’ period, I make around 30-40 posts on a particular forum. I can later move onto adding link(s) in forum posts/threads.
The initial links I make; go to authority websites like Wikipedia, Cnet, etc., to test the waters.
Just in case I get banned, I can message the administrators and tell them that I wasn’t spamming.
Later, once I have around 50-60 posts, I can easily point links to my site.
But in a 10-month time, I was able to build around 20-25 links from high-quality forums, which boosted my rankings and traffic.
Though safe, this method can still trigger forum’s spam protection algorithm. It’s because you’re suddenly creating new forum accounts within a span of few weeks.
Thus, I made use of a VPN service and multiple E-mail IDs for this method.
Why I love Forum Link Building?
There are multiple reasons
Firstly, because spammers don’t allot this much time just to get a single link from a ‘forum’.
Secondly, if a link is hard to get (albeit a forum), it surely is valuable.
Thirdly, I’ve tried to outsource this link building strategy several times and have failed all times. Hence, I know this is something that cannot be outsourced easily, not for cheap, at least.
Fourthly, you interact with real people and get to know their problems or solutions to certain issues by being a part of it. This can give you additional keyword ideas to work upon.
No matter, what anyone says, Forum Link Building always has a special place in my heart.
Strategy #4: Social Bookmarking
Social Bookmarking is a simpleton link building strategy.
Basically, you just share your posts on sites that show a preview of your article and a link back to your site to check the whole article.
Sites like Flipboard, Reddit, Scoop It, Digg, Pinterest, etc. fall into the category of social bookmarking sites.
I always make sure to create a mix of do-follow and no-follow social bookmarking links.
Other than link building, social bookmarking can turn out to be great source of traffic for your site.
Do check this detailed guide from Lauren of Createandgo.com on how you can leverage Pinterest to bring tons of traffic to your site, and how it brings them 300,000+ monthly visits.
You can check this page to find a bunch of Social Bookmarking and Profile Link Building sites.
Strategy #5: Buying Guest Posts
I know this goes against conventional wisdom, and you are free to hop onto the next strategy.
But again, for a short-term Amazon Affiliate Website, this seems a feasible option compared to outreaching.
There’s a big and unmonitored market for buying guest posts or contextual links.
Mostly, even the so-called ‘Outreach Link Building’ services basically offer you paid guest posts from multiple sites within their kitty.
Do take a look at this field-test done by AuthorityHacker for popular agencies offering link building services.
Certain services like The Hoth and Fat Joe make multiple Millions of Dollars per year in revenue. [Source]
Though, I’m not justifying ‘buying guest posts’ but whatever sails your boat, works, doesn’t it?
Buying guest posts isn’t something that I want to promote, but I’ve mentioned it because I used it for my site. Moreover, I want to be transparent about every link building technique I used for this niche site.
I’ll explain in brief about how I went about it:
I chose Fiverr.com and a few ‘Buy and Sell’ Facebook groups to search for buying guest posts.
I would go through multiple guest post listings on Fiverr and Facebook groups. Then I would contact the seller asking for the Site URL and sample of the article already published.
Once, the seller sent me these details, I would later check the site credentials.
I would only buy links from sites that matched below criteria:
- Traffic Stats – Over 1000 visitors/month consistently. Though, I’d avoid sites; that matched this criteria, but also had a massive traffic drop in the past few months.
- Other Articles on the Websites – I’d check if it’s a real website or only meant for raking in guest posts. If the recent articles on the website is filled with guest post links. It’s a big no-no!
- Good Site Design – I can’t stand bad website design, and getting a link from one isn’t my cup of tea.
- MOZ Spam Score – MOZ Spam Score is a great metric to quickly test if a site is good to get a link from or straightaway a bad apple. I would avoid any site that had Spam Score greater than 1.
- Domain Metrics – Just because a site has unwavering metrics doesn’t mean it isn’t a good site to link from and vice-a-versa. If any site matched the above criteria, Domain Metric was the last thing I looked at.
To be honest, I did have to go through a lot of sellers to find good link building opportunities. However, in hindsight, I was also able to pick up some good quality links too.
Personally, avoid websites that have great metrics but low traffic and very less content. The site was probably built using a valuable expired domain and is only used to gag in guest post links.
Having said that, Google employees also work undercover and actively monitor sites that provide guest posts and paid links. Later, it can use this data to penalize certain sites on a manual basis.
Strategy #6: Highly Informative ‘How-to’ Guides
This isn’t an active link building strategy, although a one that helped me acquire plenty of high-quality links passively.
The trick here is to write multiple in-depth info posts on ultra-low competitive keywords and watch them rank straight on the first page as you publish.
If you look at the image above, you can see that only one site is actively targeting for the searched keyword.
Whereas none of the other sites are directly talking about it.
If you were to add an external link in your article about the same topic, which result would you prefer?
Surely, the first one, right?
Since the niche I chose was broad, galore of topics were available that were either uncovered or poorly covered.
Hence, I worked on a bunch of such keywords and wrote in-depth articles. Later, it would get links from many other websites, mostly because I ranked on the #1 position for those keywords.
Forums, as I mentioned earlier, are a great way to find such uncovered informational keywords. Writing articles on them isn’t very complicated too.
Most of the time, I found solution(s) in the forum posts itself. All then was left to do is create an article in a presentable manner and list all those solutions.
SEO Hack: Use ‘[SOLVED]’ without quotes in your title when working on informational articles.
These days, I keep a strict 1:2 ratio when it comes to commercial and informational articles on my niche sites.
Thus, for every commercial article, there will be 2x more informational articles.
In another article, I’ll talk about in-detail on how you can implement this method effectively and also make money from informational posts. To know when it’s live, do subscribe to Nichezy.
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Should you expect to build a $25,000 Amazon Affiliate Site within a year’s time?
Definitely, you can!
However, instead of just focusing on writing commercial content as I did. Put in a bit more effort and focus on informational content too.
In future articles, I will write about, on how you can write informational content to land quality backlinks, and also make money from it.
However, if you’ve reached till here, then you’re totally awesome! You’ve survived almost 8700+ words of article.
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