There are certainly people out there that make a good living off nothing but Amazon affiliate sales, and considering how easy it is to get setup – it’s an excellent starting point for new affiliate sites.
But for your first site, I don’t recommend going solely the Amazon affiliate route. Amazon starts you out at 4% and as you sell more bumps you up to around 7-8% commissions.
There’s a lot that’s attractive about it. If someone clicks a link and then buys anything you get paid.
So why not go that route? You need a lot of traffic to be successful. I’ve used Amazon links a fair amount across all my sites, and for the first couple years the most I made was around $200 in a month
These days I can regularly get up to over $1,000 on my golf site, which has me feeling a little bit more bullish on Amazon – but this is really dependent on making sure you’re optimizing and ranking for the right key terms.
If I had a whole site devoted to nothing but one type of item it might be different, but usually there’s going to be a more specific affiliate program for your product that will probably have higher commissions.
For instance I could sell the photography software I promote through Amazon and usually earn around 6% – but if I do it through their own affiliate program I make 30%. Hmmmm… Use Amazon as a supplement, not a primary focus.
What to Focus on When You’re Starting Out Building a Niche Blog
Ok, so you’ve done some research and selected a niche. From there you’ve found some specific products you’re feeling really good about. Now what? Well you need to actually get the site up.
Don’t worry about spending tons of money on a custom design or anything like that.
Get a premium WordPress theme, hire someone on Fiverr to do a logo for you, and you’ll be good to go. Design is completely secondary at this point to content.
Action Item: Install these extra things you’ll want to make sure you have:
·Yoast SEO Plugin. Search engine traffic is going to play a big role in the success of your site. This is the best SEO plugin out there, and makes it extremely easy to see if your pages are optimized – even if you have no experience with SEO.
·Sumo – I’m increasingly convinced in the importance of an email list for all websites and blogs. When it comes to growing your list, there is NO better product for the price than Sumo marketing tools. Oh, and they have a free version too.
·Google XML Sitemap – You want to make it as easy as possible for the search engine spiders to find and categorize your site.
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How to Create a Content Plan that Works
When you’re trying to drive traffic to a niche blog you can do so in two ways:
We’re going to be doing it the legit way, which in turn makes the content on your site a thousand times more important. We’re not just writing any content either, we’re being very deliberate as it has a couple specific goals we want to accomplish:
·Extremely Sharable – Because we’re not going to be doing a lot of spammy link building, we’re going to need to get links by you know, actually creating something people want to share. Brush up on your headline and copywriting skills, as this forms the basis for everything we create.
·Content that Sells – The end result of all of this is you need to get someone to buy something, so your content should help sell them on why they should do that.
·Ranks in Search Engines – You don’t want to write specifically for the computers, but like we mentioned above, you want to make it as easy on them as possible.
So, how do we accomplish this?
Well there are a few specific types of content that I’ve found works extremely well. Let’s go over Text Deliver Review in detail.
One of the best ways to sell any product is to include an entire post that details how the product has had a personal effect on you. How did it improve your life? What can you do now that you couldn’t before? What were the legitimate downsides of the product?
All of these things help make a buyer’s decision much easier – this is especially true if you create a brand built around quality and trust.
On Breaking Eighty, I personally review every product. I give my honest opinions, I compare them to one another, and I do my best to allow the user to have a solid choice about what’s best for them by the time they’re all done.
Detailed Tutorials Showcasing a Product
Just as important as review posts, are posts where people can learn a thing or to – after all your readers won’t always be in a buying mode, so you want to get them to come back on a fairly regular basis and build loyalty to your brand.
The best tutorial posts feature a product in one way or another.
For instance this post about Black and White HDR Photography showcased a few different products that I use in order to create black and white HDR. It’s not only educating, but it’s playing up the abilities of the software – hopefully making people realize it could be a good asset to their photo arsenal.
If you get detailed enough, these are also the kinds of posts that could get picked up and syndicated by larger blogs in your industry.
List Posts About Your Niche
Bottom line, list posts are easy to read and easy to share. People love them, even if they often don’t provide as much in depth value as the previous two kinds of posts.
If there are a lot of products in your niche, you can potentially make these posts profitable by writing articles with titles like:
·5 Best Point and Shoot Cameras for Low Light
·3 Best Golf Shoes for Playing in the Rain
·7 A/V Receivers That Will Make Your Neighbors Hate You
Posts like that are enticing, and if you do little mini reviews in them, you can generate some sales.
It’s also worth noting, not every single post has to be trying to sell something. Yes that’s the goal of the site, but you’re only going to make money by providing value, so make that the priority above all else.
Coupon Code Pages
This is less of a content post and totally an SEO play.
When you’re on a checkout page getting ready to buy, what’s the first thing you do when you see that little box that says “discount code”?
You Google “product name discount code” – or something similar.
With many affilaite programs instead of getting an affilaite link, you get an affilaite code.
When the user enters in the code at check out, they get a discount and you get paid.
In addition to using your code in tutorials and review posts, you can create a page that walks people through exactly how to use the code.
Title the page “Product Name Discount Code” or some variation, and use some of your SEO resources to build a few links for that page. Often people will see it come up and see the coupon code in the title, and without even coming to your site you’ll get paid – because you gave them what they wanted, a discount.
The Magic Words: “Best” and “Year”
There are two key terms that have absolutely drive more traffic to my niche and authority sites more than anything else.
The first is “best”.
I alluded to this above in the part about list posts.
Think about how you search. When you’re looking for recommendations or are considering buying something, I’d be willing to guess you have used the word best in dozens of searches.
You get the idea. They are generally high traffic terms, that indicate buying intention, and are generally pretty easy to write.
You can modify this even more by adding the current year.
·best travel gifts for 2017
·best business books 2017
People want what’s current and with billions of outdated webpages in the world, you can score some major wins by optimizing for the current year (and updating old posts each year).
Action Item: Start writing content based on these types of posts. Here’s a good plan to get started:
·Write 5 articles reviewing 5 of the most popular items in your niche
·Write 3 in depth tutorials on your niche (How to _______)
·Write 3 list posts using “best” and the current year
The Most Important Factor for Any Blog or Website
Bottom line, if no one comes to your site, you’re not gonna make any money (with the exception of the little tip above about coupon codes).
With the content strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll position yourself well, but in the beginning simply writing good content isn’t going to cut it.
Use the following strategies to help spread the word quickly and help you gain traction.
With a Little Help from Your Friends
Have any friends that do stuff on the internet? Great, give them a call or send them an email to let them know about your new project. You don’t want to be the dude (or dudette) that’s constantly inundating all your friends with pitches and favors, but don’t be afraid to let them know what you’re up to.
Often they’ll be able to do something small like give you a link on their site, or mention it via Facebook or Twitter. When you’re getting going anything helps, and it’s usually the people you’re already close to that will have the biggest impact towards getting on the right track.
If they have a blog, see if you can write them a guest post. With almost every guest post I write I find a way to work a link back to my golf site. It’s always relevant, but by doing this I’m not only building my blog, but my niche website as well.
List Out the Big Sites that Might Be Interested
Major blogs and news outlets are constantly looking for story ideas. When they are posting dozens of articles a day at times, editors love it when people come to them with good ideas and make their lives easier.
Make a list of all of the big web sites or blogs directly related to your niche and send the editors an email telling them about your latest post or story ideas.
Landing just one publication like this can be a total game changer for a small site.
Help a Reporter Out makes it even easier to find opportunities for press. You sign up for the topics you’re interested in and receive an email or two a day from reporters looking for stories.
If you want to really dig deeply into exactly how to use it for media mentions, check out this post. Simple as that. This can help you position yourself as an expert on your topic, and potentially drive a lot of traffic to your new site.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – all of these can be huge drivers of traffic to a site. Provide unique content via each of these mediums, and develop a little mini-community around each of them.
The better you are at this, the more interested they will become when you’re sending them back to your site to see your latest post.
I’ve personally found Facebook to be the best for traffic. It’s easier to be seen and the ability to add a photo and longer caption to a post can be just enough to get people to click through more than say Twitter.
Although I will say, Instagram has been climbing the ranks lately.
Once you’ve done all the basics, you can hop into “niche site 201”, and come up with an email gift for people. Maybe it’s a 4 part email series educating users on your niche, or perhaps it’s a full on pdf ebook that teaches them something useful.
Either way, giving people something of value for signing up to your email list is helping you to build a huge asset.
We want to do our SEO in the least spammy way possible – however with these sites, the vast majority of your traffic and income is going to come from the search engines. So in order to help facilitate that process, you might need a little kickstart.
My friend Travis is the guy behind Supremacy SEO, and is one of the smartest people I know.
He walks you through what to do in very easy to understand terms, that won’t be daunting for a newbie.
This will help get you a good base, but it’s through high quality content, sharing, and larger media outlets that you’re really going to get the good links, traffic, and in turn money.
Action Item: Read both “How to Become an SEO Freelancer in 48 Hours” and “The Bootstrappers Guide to SEO Link Building” posts and begin implementing.
Does This Process Really Work?
Well there you have it, this is exactly how to build a niche website in a non spammy way that will make you at least $500 a month.
Really? You might be asking “Is that all I have to do?”
That’s pretty much it. Don’t get me wrong though, you can sum up the process in 14 steps but it takes a lot of work and a lot of trial and error.
The main way you’re going to make consistent income is ranking highly in Google for buying key terms. Spend extra time doing the research to make sure you’re link building efforts aren’t wasted on terms that won’t have much monetary benefit.
If it takes a few months to start seeing rankings or even your first dollar – don’t get discouraged.
With every piece of content you create you’re opening up the door for someone to find you. This is not an overnight project – you’re in this for the long haul.
That said, if you’re willing to devote some time up front, in the end you’ll be rewarded with a business and an asset that will make you relatively “passive income” for years to come.
Want to Go Even More In Depth?
This article tells you all you need to know in order to get started. But I’ve built an entire blueprint on affiliate marketing and niche sites inside Location Rebel Academy that will totally hold your hand if you want more help.
Want to know about the HUGE benefit of rich snippets? How about how to create an email campaign that sells? Google Authorship? The most up to date things I (and hundreds of others) have learned? 16 other detailed blueprints helping you build an online business?