Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites: The Definitive Guide
Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites: The Definitive Guide
Amazon affiliate marketing is a huge market. This is my try at writing the definitive guide to Amazon affiliate niche sites. It's over 12,000 words long (so make sure you bookmark it for reading in parts). It's undoubtedly the longest piece of content on this topic. I've also revealed the exact strategies that you can use to create, build, grow and sell these sites.
Amazon is the world's #1 e-retailer of all kinds of products (both physical and digital) and they run one of the most popular affiliate programs online. Successful Amazon affiliate marketers make a lot of money every month, and that earning is mostly passive once your site is up, running and ranking. In this guide, I'll talk about Amazon affiliate niche sites, and various practical strategies for building, scaling and flipping them.
What is an Amazon Affiliate Niche Site?
In simple terms, this is any site that earns from the Amazon Associates Program via affiliate links/banners placed throughout their site. The term 'niche site' itself can be pretty broad, as what you consider as a niche site may differ from person to person. In general, I'd like to think of it this way: if a website earns most of its revenues from Amazon's affiliate program, then it can be thought of as an Amazon niche site.
For example, TechTage is NOT a niche site, because Amazon isn't its primary source of income. On the other hand, sites like BestReviews and TheWireCutter can be considered as Amazon niche sites because they mostly make their money from Amazon's affiliate program. Even though they both are huge authority product review sites, they still rely on Amazon to earn most of their revenue, so their earning model is pretty similar to that of the smaller niche site's.
Now, those are two in a million sites, and not everyone has the time, money or energy to build such large sites. So, what most people do is to build smaller niche sites that focus on a particular type or category of products. For example, someone might have a site about toasters, or ceramic cookware, or baseball accessories, you get the drill.
Of course, you can create a broader site. Say, you create a site about all sorts of sports equipment, be it water polo, golf, billiards, or paintball. Can such a site work well for earning through Amazon? The answer is, yes, but it'll require you to invest a lot more time, money, and effort up front than creating a simple single-topic site.
If you have a topic in mind, it usually takes less than 2 weeks to set up a complete niche site with all of its contents. But obviously, that's half of the total work. The other half comprises of promoting the site, ranking the site on search engines like Google, optimizing target pages for better conversions, nurturing it properly, and scaling it even further once you start getting some positive returns. So, in this in-depth guide, I'll guide you through each major step below:
1. Finding a Suitable Niche for Your Site
I can't stress how important this step is, because 90% of the times, this is the what single-handedly decides whether you'll fail in your pursuit of ranking your niche site or not. There are 3 broad types of niches:
- High Competition Niches: These are your typical saturated niches that everyone and their mom is aware of. An example of this would be the laptops niche, as it's filled with reviews and round-ups from top technology sites on the internet.
If you don't have a huge budget, you can't and shouldn't compete with them. So, if you've started a niche site in a very high competition niche already, I'd advise you to sell it and start afresh.
- Medium Competition Niches: These are usually niches that you CAN rank in, but they will require a fair amount of effort and up-front investment. They are usually dominated by medium-high level experienced affiliate marketers, who can invest in premium site design, content and promotion without any issue.
So, I wouldn't recommend beginners to try and rank a site in a medium competition niche especially if you notice a lot of strong sites ranking on the first page of Google. An example of such a niche would be the home appliances niche, especially vacuum cleaners and the likes.
- Low Competition Niches: Everyone likes low competition niches (some even get stuck in the endless pursuit of finding a zero competition niche) because even beginners can create a site in a low competition niche and rank it with relatively less difficulty. But one thing people tend to forget is that there is a fixed number of product categories on Amazon and no "absolutely zero competition" niche exist as such.
There are two primary reasons why low competition niches still exist - Firstly, they haven't been discovered by the big players yet. Secondly, they discovered them but found their earning potential to be too less to invest their efforts. You need to keep in mind that, even though $1K a month might be negligible for the big guns, it's an awesome amount for a beginner.
So, with proper planning and execution, you can rank in low competition niches and perhaps scale the site to other relevant product categories to increase the earnings.
Now that you know about the 3 standard levels of competition when it comes to niche sites, you need to learn how to find a suitable niche for you that has the following properties:
- It's easy enough for you to rank your site in.
- It can yield you a decent amount of earnings when you rank your site.
- It has enough products and sub-categories for you to make a whole site out of them.
- You yourself have at least SOME interest in the niche. This is important, because if you start a site in a niche that you're clueless about, no matter how many tasks you outsource, you'll still fail to make a fair dent because of the lack of your own understanding of that market. For example, if you get bored when it comes to women's cosmetics and you still choose to create a site in that niche, you have a higher chance of failure than usual.
- It's not hugely hype-based and temporary in nature. (For example, the self-balancing scooters niche collapsed recently due to the a ton of faults in the products, and Amazon has taken all such products off their site)
- It's not very seasonal in nature. For example, if you target something like high-speed ceiling fans, the site would work well mainly in the mid-summer months, and not fetch you any decent earnings in the rest of the year. Even worse is a site based on a specific event, like "best valentine's day gifts".
Finding Product Ideas
Now that you know about the competition level's of a niche and the positive traits of a suitable niche, how do you gather enough product ideas so that you can analyse the competition (more on this later) and research about it to make sure you really want to create a site in that niche? Here are a few ways of doing that:
Browse Amazon Product Categories
There's no better way than manually browsing through product categories and sub-categories on Amazon using their site directory. To avoid wasting time on uninteresting niches, you can only browse the sub-categories that you seem to have an interest in.
These are the criteria that I stick to while brainstorming for product ideas:
- Average product price of at least $50
- Average Amazon customer rating of at least 3.5
- At least 2 products within the top 1,000 best-seller list of its broadest category. You can check this via the sales ranks that are available below the product description.
- At least 500 monthly searches (local US) for either "best [product category]" or "[product category] reviews". For example, "best camping hammock".
Browse Sitemaps of Popular Sites to Gather Ideas
You can browse the XML sitemaps or on-site browsable sitemaps of large sites that specialize on product reviews. You'll get a ton of niche ideas that way. Even though you can't compete with them for what they've exactly covered in most cases, you can still get ideas about a broad category of products (for example, I can see some key product names like "modem", "printer", "router", "fitness tracker", etc. in the image above) which you can use to narrow down to smaller sub-niches under those broad niches and perhaps rank for those instead.
Use SEMRush to Get Niche Ideas from Top Sites
You can plug any big site that publishes product reviews into SEMRush and apply a couple of simple filters to get a lot of keyword ideas, and also see which keywords are bringing them the most traffic.
In the above screenshot, I've used BestReviews as an example, and applied the simple filter, "include keywords that begin with 'best' ". Similarly, you can apply the filter, "include keywords that end with 'reviews' ". In most cases, this will return only the pages of their site that are actively targeting a product review term, so that you don't waste your time scrolling through tons of other unimportant pages.
Analysing the Competition/Difficulty of a Niche
Now that you have a few product ideas on your head, it's time to move on to analysing Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) to find keyword competitiveness. Manually checking the first page of the major keywords of any product is always best to get an accurate overview, but it's very time consuming to check the SERPs of hundreds of keywords manually.
Keyword Research and SERP Analysis with LongTailPro
This is where LongTailPro comes into play. It not only pulls all the needed data, be it the monthly search volume, average CPC, the first page of the SERP for that keyword with Moz metrics, site age and other data, but it also utilizes its own clever algorithm to come up with a keyword competitiveness score (KC) for each of the individual ranking pages for that keyword, and displays the average of that as average KC.
Is KC a definitive metric? No. Is it a fair indication of how competitive a keyword is? In most cases, yes.
What I personally love doing with LongTailPro, is importing a bunch of different keywords and bulk checking their KC scores. That way, I can filter the high-KC stuff beforehand before moving on to checking the SERP analysis of the low-medium KC (I recommend sticking to keywords with a KC of 30 and less) keywords. It really saves me a lot of time, and speeds up the whole keyword/niche research process.
Also, LTP gives you the option to generate thousands of keywords from just a few seed keywords. You can even pre-filter the generated keywords by specifying how many monthly searches you're looking for, which words the keywords should contain, etc. For example, I can specify LTP to only return keywords that include the word "best" and have between 1,000 to 3,000 monthly searches. This way, it's a lot easier to avoid junk keywords before even having to go through them.
As far as SERP analysis is concerned, I tend to pick keywords that has the following first page SERP characteristics:
- Has at least 2 sites under DA 25 ranking on the first page.
- Has at least 1 site less than a year old on page 1.
- Has at least 1 site that utilizes Amazon affiliate links.
- Most of the sites should have less than 10 Juice Links (Dofollow links).
I've noticed that most other guides on Amazon affiliate marketing advise people to avoid keywords where there already are niche sites on page 1. I'm completely against this reasoning. When I see a fellow niche site ranking inside the top 3, that means I can do the same, if not better than them.
A Few Other Points about Keyword Competition Analysis
From time to time, you'll come across niche sites that rank really well and sit comfortably in the top 3 above authority sites in that niche. They might not have much domain authority, dofollow links, and yet rank that well.
The reason behind this might be the fact that they're using Private Blog Network (PBN) links that are hidden from common link crawlers. So, popular tools like Moz and Ahrefs can't really crawl those backlinks, but they're there nonetheless.
Before you finally decide on a niche, you can check the link profiles of each individual ranking page in detail using Ahrefs, because it has a bigger and fresher dataset than Moz. If I find strong, contextual links pointing at a page on an authority site, that's a negative signal for me and I really think hard before I can tell whether I can outrank that particular search result or not. The screenshot (taken from Ahrefs) below shows the top referring domains of a high-authority Amazon niche site. These sites are generally very hard to overtake.
If there are a lot of high DA sites on page 1, I still look at how aggressively they've targeted my target keyword. Most of the times, big authority sites miss out on including the exact keyword in both page title, URL, and meta description as they opt for fancy titles instead, which include variations of the main keyword.
From time to time, you'll see multi-million dollar review sites like TopTenReviews and ConsumerReports ranking well for the keyword you're looking at. While they are really a bit hard for a beginner to beat, I can assure that they're not unbeatable. In fact, one of my niche sites rank above both of them for a fairly competitive keyword. Was outranking them easy? No, but it was possible nonetheless.
However, big sites like those will trouble you less when they themselves haven't got many page-level links, because at the end of the day, page-level links are still the #1 ranking factor on Google, keeping all other things equal.
Calculating the Earning Potential of a Niche
I use a simple, free, web tool called AmaProfits to determine how much money a niche site can potentially make in a particular niche. It's not amazingly accurate, but it generally gives you a good indication of how much earning potential your niche site has once you put in the data.
Here's what successful Amazon affiliate marketer Al-Amin Kabir, of Marketever fame, has to say about the earning potential of Amazon affiliate sites:
Most of the newbies don’t understand the potential of niche sites. In 2016, I would say, stop thinking small, think of bigger niche sites that will generate at least 5 figure per month within two years.
Amazon niche site income isn’t limited to $500 or $1000 a month. I have recently noticed an Amazon niche site (along with an AdSense site combo) is valued at $1.2 Million on EmpireFlippers! I repeat, $1.2 Million!! It clearly indicates that some marketers are making millions of dollars using Amazon niche site model.
How to start such a big site?
Well, start with a narrow topic and expand your vertical as your site grows. Publish a lot of fresh content on a regular basis. Target more keywords, and solve more problems of your audiences.
2. Choosing a Domain Name
Now that you have chosen a niche, it's time to pick up a great domain name which helps your site to identify with the target audience.
Brandable or Exact Match?
When choosing a domain name, the trade-off is between two things:
Keyword-stuffed domains like BestProductReviews.com aren't really brandable. They don't sound professional and might attract penalties from both Google and Amazon themselves, easier than a brandable domain, like ProductAuthority.com or ProductGuide.com
Besides, from my personal experience in the last couple of years, I've seen that the impact of having the target keyword in your domain name has kind of reduced. So, it doesn't really make sense any more to stuff the whole keyword in the domain name.
Which Domain Name Extension to Pick?
There are a few major top-level TLDs - .com, .net and .org are the most popular. Though there are a lot of new TLDs available and they rank just as well, I wouldn't recommend going with a new TLD because most people would have a hard time trusting a site on a brand new TLD.
Among the 3 tried and tested ones, .com is the most popular and it's what people are able to most easily connect with. So, in short, if .com is available, go for it without a doubt. If you are very pleased about a particular domain name but the .com extension is unavailable, only then choose .net, but I won't recommend going for .org at all as it's generally geared towards non-profit organisations, which your site isn't.
How to Generate Domain Name Ideas
NameMesh sometimes generates cool-sounding domain names that are perfect for growing as a brand. It often adds unconventional suffixes like "ly" or "ista" to make the overall domain name sound cool. Afterall, "Kitchenista.com" or "ToothBrushly.com" does sound better than "BestToothBrush.com" or "KitchenReviews.com" - right?
Apart from that, you should always try to come up with unique, brandable domain names yourself because your brain is still the best name generator on the planet.
Which Domain Name Registrar to Go With
I usually go with NameCheap for all my domains because they are a very reputable company and they also offer Free WHOISGuard for the first year which renews at only 99 cents with a coupon.
WHOISGuard is very important here because if you are dealing with multiple niche sites, you don't want to keep your personal domain registrant details as a footprint between them (which will allow advanced SEOers to find all of your niche sites if they manage to find one).
3. Choosing a Fast Web Host
One of the most crucial aspects of building a niche site is choosing a decent web host. Choosing a cheap, low-quality host is one of the most common mistakes people make. Not only does a cheap host offer terrible page load times and overall uptime, they also suck in terms of support and flexibility, leaving you stranded with a broken website, with no one to complain to.
Anyway, I'm actually an enthusiast when it comes to web hosting, and that is pretty evident from the web hosting reviews that I publish here on TechTage. If you are a regular reader, you pretty much already know some of my recommended web hosts, but here are three web hosts that I regularly use to host my sites:
- InMotion Hosting (my review) - excellent performance, great support, free domain.
- A2 Hosting (my review) - one of the fastest shared hosts, if not the fastest. Excellent support and uptime.
- MDDHosting (my review) - fast performance and support, transparent service.
Honestly, it doesn't make sense to use a cheap web host when it's literally the backbone of your site. And also especially when you also aren't spending less in other areas like content and promotional strategies.
I've heard of pretty horrible stories about cheap web hosts ruining the process of niche site building for beginners. One of them even told me that his web host had demanded over $100 just to restore an earlier backup, after his site was compromised. That's pretty much as bad as it gets.
Fast hosts not only make the overall experience better for your visitors, and help reduce bounce rate drastically, they also help you achieve slightly better rankings due to Google giving preference to fast websites on its SERPs.
4. Setting Up Your Niche Site
Now, you're finally ready to put your niche research data, domain name, and web hosting service to some good use. You'll finally be able to set up the actual site that'll hopefully be a big earner in future. So, let's get started with the site creation process!
Which CMS is Best? (WordPress all the Way)
The heading really makes it clear. There isn't really any other option that's as functional, flexible and useful as WordPress, especially for niche sites. Because, you want the site set up process to be as easy, fast and seamless as possible, and WordPress makes exactly that a reality.
WordPress has grown a lot since its humble beginning. It now powers even some of the most popular websites on the internet, and even constantly-updating ones like newspaper sites. Not only that, according to a survey, it powers more than a quarter of ALL websites on the internet.
Setting up a WordPress site is pretty straightforward, as well. In fact, you can set up the basics of a WordPress-based niche site in just 10 minutes, as my friend, who is popularly known as hekke, shows in the video below:
Optimizing Your WordPress Site for Speed
After you're done setting up the basic structure of your WordPress-powered niche site, you need to apply some basic optimizations that'll create a fast framework upon which you can build the rest of your site (theme, plugins etc.).
Since I've already written a pretty comprehensive guide about optimizing WordPress sites for speed, I won't rewrite any of those tips here, as you can refer to that post directly for speeding up your site.
Which Theme to Use?
Design is a very subjective matter, and design choices vary from person to person. But, in general, I try to follow the guidelines below while choosing a theme for a niche site:
- It needs to be optimized and fast by default. I hate heavy themes because they don't load that fast even on the fastest server on Earth.
- It needs to be compatible with the plugins I use frequently (listed below).
- It needs to be flexible enough to offer different content formats and enough customization options.
- The theme needs to be conversion focused. As my end goal is making the visitor feel like my site (brand) is trustworthy and get him/her to click on an affiliate link, I don't like themes that waste that space by placing useless design elements above-the-fold. I'd rather have a functional comparison table above-the-fold than a nice looking batch of icons with limited functionality.
- Mobile-friendly (responsive) by default. As a majority of my amazon niche site visitors use their smartphones to browse, I need to ensure that the content and pages scale properly down to their native screen resolution.
These days, I prefer using Thrive Themes on all my new niche sites, along with their proprietary Thrive Content Builder plugin. Not only does this combo allow me to create absolutely SLICK looking sites that look no worse than a proper authority site, but it also has a very positive impact on conversions.
I don't really recommend using a generic free theme for your niche site, because instead of helping, they really have a negative effect overall on your site's brand.
Basic Plugins that I Use on Almost Every Niche Site
Here are a few fundamental plugins that I use on almost every niche site:
- Yoast SEO - for a SEO foundation, as well as easy customization of various on-page elements like meta description, title tag and various robots meta settings.
- Akismet - to fight comment spam.
- EasyAzon Pro - for easily adding Amazon affiliate links to my content, and its awesome automatic link-localization feature based on the user's location.
- Thrive Content Builder - for designing the landing pages to boost conversion rate.
- WP Super Cache / W3 Total Cache - caching plugin to make the site load faster.
- Content Aware Sidebars - to be able to serve different sidebars alongside different landing pages, to boost the conversion rate even further.
- Q2W3 Fixed Widget - for creating fixed sidebar widgets/banners that boost the click-through-rate to Amazon.
- EWWW Image Optimizer - for bulk optimizing uploaded images and making the pages on my site lighter in size.
- P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) - to determine which plugins are the most resource intensive and making the site slower.
- Shortcodes Ultimate - as a backup plugin to Thrive Content Builder for shortcode-based design elements like buttons and content areas.
- Contact Form 7 - to display contact forms on the site.
- TablePress - to create simple, but effective product comparison tables.
- Auto Featured Image - for generating featured images automatically for all posts.
- WordFence Security - to secure the site from hackers and brute force attacks.
- Table of Contents Plus - to create expandable 'table of contents' boxes.
- Ultimate Nofollow - for easily making links nofollow when not using the Thrive Content Builder.
Setting Up the Template Pages
Next, you need to set up the basic pages that are pretty much mandatory for all niche sites. They include:
- Amazon Affiliate & FTC Disclosure (set to noindex)
- Terms of Service (Optional)
Scaling Up the Site Building Process
Now, we're done with setting up the actual site, and I'll admit, it isn't usually a cakewalk. If you're the type of person who values your time more than being able to save a certain amount of money, you can outsource it to freelancers. But, I'd personally recommend outsourcing the entire site creation bit to a professional agency that specializes in it and offers a 'done-for-you' service, especially if you have the budget for it.
Among the few services of this kind that I've tested, I can recommend only one with confidence. It's an extremely value for money service geared towards both beginners and intermediate-level marketers who don't have their own team to scale the process of building a site from top to bottom.
P.S. If you mention in the subject line of the inquiry form of this service that you're coming from TechTage, you'll get a $25 discount on the starter plan, and a full $50 discount on the premium plan.
5. Content Strategy for Your Niche Site
Now that you have your site up and running, it's time to move on to perhaps the most important section of all, the content. This is so important, because your niche site's content is what will directly communicate with the visitor. So, if your content is boring, dull and useless, no visitor is going to keep reading it and make purchases on Amazon based on your recommendations.
Types of Content I Publish
When they start out, most people usually publish only product reviews and best product round-ups (these target the high-MS keywords). Over time, I've realized that a few other types of posts also help to connect with the visitor and build trust.
Not only that, having only pages that are filled with affiliate links is a bad sign for both Google & Amazon, and neither likes thin sites with affiliate link-dense pages that don't add much value to the internet. You can get penalized by Google Panda, or be banned from Amazon altogether if you run a low-quality sites that are ONLY focused on pages that are a hub of affiliate links.
So, keeping that in mind, here are a few types of content that you can publish on your niche sites:
- Informative articles - these are basically there to supply information related to the niche to the visitors who would otherwise need to search elsewhere for that information. These are generally less than 1,000 words long.
- Answer-type articles - these help people to quickly get answers from your site. For example, if you have a dedicated to Treadmills, you can post an article like, "Motorized vs. Manual - Which Treadmill is Right for You?"
- List type posts - List type posts are a great way to attract visitors and keeping them engaged. An example of this would be, "7 Ways Your Treadmill is Going to Help You Get Leaner"
- 'Best [Product]' Roundups - These will be your primary earning pages. These are also the longest (at least 2,000 words long) form of content that you should publish on my niche sites. "Best Motorized Electric Treadmills for the Money" - would be an example of this type of content.
- Individual product reviews - lastly, these are your traditional individual product reviews. I make sure they are at least 800 words long. I don't recommend reviewing a ton of individual products, because very few products in any category actually have a decent search volume. There's no use reviewing something that has almost zero search volume, because that isn't going to bring you new visitors.
Researching Content Ideas
After knowing about the different types of content that you can publish on your niche site, you need to have some topics in mind so that you can write pieces of content based on them. This is actually a crucial part of my overall content strategy. Within a particular niches, there always are some keywords that are easier to rank for than others. I try to find these out and publish content based on them, and then move on to the harder ones as I start ranking for the earlier ones.
Here are a few ways I research topic ideas for my niche sites:
- As I'm having to do this AFTER I did my primary keyword research, I already have a few main keywords that I can write contents based on.
- As I choose niches that already have at least one other niche site ranking in the first couple of pages, I can always open that competitor site to get topic ideas, and then finalise on the topics after further keyword difficulty analysis.
- If I'm covering something that's already been covered by other affiliate or authority sites, I plug their URLs in SEMRush to get long tail keyword data which I can include in my own articles to rank for those long tail keywords easily.
- I google the broad term of my niche to find out what type of content ranks in the first few SERPs, I can get a lot of ideas about different types of content that way.
- I use LongTailPro's keyword generation feature, and plug in a few keywords that I've already found, and the tool gets me different keywords within the same niche.
- I use AllTop to quickly find out the top sites in the broad niche and browse a few sites to check out what type of content worked best for them. I mainly get my resource-based, and list-type article ideas this way.
- I search for the broad term on Twitter to see if there's any new trend or buzz in the niche that I can capitalize on.
Analysing Content Competiveness
This is probably sounding a bit harder than it actually is. This is basically how you judge how long articles you need to publish on your site based on what's already ranking on Google for the same keyword(s) that you plan to rank your content for.
For example, if I spot another affiliate site in the SERP that has roughly a 2,000 words article on a particular topic, I tend to make my own content at least 3,000 words long to ensure that mine is not only better in terms of quality, it's also more in-depth.
Content length is more important than you think, because Google gives a lot of preference to long-form content pieces., according to this study by serpIQ, and content length is one of the most important on-page SEO factors, as explained by Backlinko.
Tone of Your Content
When preparing content for a niche site's visitors, you need to keep in mind your actual purpose. You're basically acting as a validator between a visitor and a product manufacturer's claims. The people that have searched Google for keywords that are full of buyer-intent, well, they are almost ready to buy a product, but are looking for further validation and recommendation from experts who've actually used the product.
This should reflect on the content that you publish on your niche site. You need to sound authoritative, yet friendly enough to convince someone to opt for a specific product. I prefer honestly explaining the genuine pros and cons of a product to make a review seem that it's coming from a real professional.
A lot of research should go into writing each individual "best [products]" round-up, and this is an area where I really don't recommend saving money, as a deeply-researched piece of content is not only great for your visitors, but it also makes the process of gaining natural links through outreach a lot easier.
Format of My Typical Round-up Post
This is a standard format I've put together that you can use for all of your round-up style posts which are the main earners of a site.
[A Catchy Title]
[An Introductory Image] / [A Quick Comparison Table]
[A Brief Introduction about What's Being Covered]
[My Top Picks among that Category of Products] - short paragraphs below each product image, explaining what I think about that particular product.
[A Lot of Attractive Images in Between]
[Informative Content Area - Why You Should Get that Type of Product, What Makes a Good Product within that Category, etc.]
[Conclusion - My Verdict and Ending Notes]
I also do the following:
- Link out to authority sites as references to back up my claims about any product, statistics, or other data.
- Never mention a product's price, Amazon rating, or any other time-sensitive data, because this is against Amazon's guidelines.
- Use Yoast SEO plugin to optimize the page title, page URL and meta description to target the key phrase in the best possible way.
- Place clear, large CTA (Call-to-Action) buttons and links to ensure proper visibility. This helps me to achieve an average of more than 60-70% click-through-rate to Amazon.
- If the content is really long and covers different types of a product, I create simple but useful TablePress tables for each type of the product. Visitors really love tables because they allow them to quickly scan over a few products' specifications without having to scan large blocks of text.
So, if I was covering two types of treadmills on the same page, I'd include two different tables for "Motorized Treadmills" & "Manual Treadmills". Check out an example TablePress table below:
Writing Yourself vs. Outsourcing Content Writing
Unless you're just starting out with a very small budget, and are also able to write articles comfortably, I would recommend outsourcing the content writing part to either freelancers or agencies.
Content is actually one of the key things for a niche site, and not being able to produce enough content for your niche site is a major roadblock for most people. When I start a new niche site, I make sure to start with at least 20,000 words of content in total. Now, writing all of this content yourself can be a tedious or boring task. You'll undoubtedly hit the writers' block sometime or the other, and as a direct result, the progress of your niche site will suffer.
So, to overcome this major obstacle, you should keep aside a large chunk of your total budget aside, solely for content creation. You can get decent content starting from $0.8/100 words if you manage to find the right writer. $2/100 words and above services are usually overkill for a niche site. In general, the $1/100 words rate seems to me as the sweet spot between affordable price and high-quality writing. There are a few options when it comes to outsourcing content writing, and that's what I'll discuss below.
How to Outsource Content Writing to Freelancers / Agencies
As far as I'm concerned, I prefer freelancers more than agencies, because agencies basically act as the middlemen between you and the writer. So, when you're just starting out, and managing one or two writers yourself isn't a big deal, I'd always recommend you to pick a qualified freelancer over a popular agency.
But, when you're scaling things big time, and need content for multiple niche sites at the same time, a single writer or two won't be enough for all your content needs. And chances are, you will be swamped while keeping track of all of those content that you placed orders for. This is where an agency can help you more, as they'll take care of the entire 'managing writers' bit so that you can just place an order and expect it to reach your inbox a few days later.
Firstly, let's get the agency bit out of the way. So, here are a few agencies I've used and found to be decent:
Now, moving on to finding qualified freelancers for your writing needs. This actually requires some trial-and-failure before you find one or two suitable writers.
There are two primary ways I use to find great writers who don't charge a bomb. First of all, I try to look for affordable yet skilled writers on freelancer sites like UpWork. Secondly, I try to recall if any local person whom I know is willing to do freelance writing. This way, the freelancer site's fees can be avoided and you usually get a better deal. But it's not always feasible, so at times, you have no other options than going for a foreign writer on a freelancer site. Here's how I do that:
- UpWork is my freelancer site of choice. There are a ton of freelance writers looking for jobs on UpWork.
- I tend to go with beginner or intermediate level writers, because the quality vs. cost proposition is usually great with them. I don't necessarily opt for advanced writers with decades of experience unless I absolutely need to.
- I ask the applicants to show samples of their previous work on Amazon affiliate sites. This helps me to weed out junk applicants who write trash articles.
- I use a straightforward job posting to attract only serious freelancers. I prefer to keep the job posting description short and simple. Check out the template below, for example. Don't use it by copy-pasting it without modification, though.
Title: Need Skilled Web Content Writers at $10/1,000 Words
I will give you one topic to write about (500 words for $5) in one niche. If I am satisfied with your work, you'll get tons of additional work. This will be a long-term writing job and a chance to get many 5* reviews. Preferably, you're required to:
Be a native english speaker.
Be able to do a throughout research of both products and topics.
Have prior experience in writing for Amazon-focused niche sites.
To ensure that you've read this description, please begin your application with "RANDOMWORD". Feel free to ask me if you have any confusion or need more details.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Test out a bunch of writers who seem like good fits for your project.
- Hire as few of them as possible. If a single writer will be able to fulfill all your content needs as fast as you want, don't bother hiring another. This is because the more writers you hire, the more difficult it'll become to manage them, assign them new topics, keeping track of their progress, and so on.
- Test out a bunch of writers who seem like good fits for your project.
- Maintain a good relationship with your writer. A writer is a creative professional, and not a factory worker. So, don't be very strict on them about deadlines etc. because they can have difficult days as well. If you maintain a good relationship, it'll benefit you both in the long run.
- If you feel you're paying your writer less compared to what you're getting in return, consider hiking the rate to ensure you compensate your writer properly for his/her efforts. This will only help your writer to keep up the good quality of writing.
- If a writer is unable to produce likeable articles even after you sent a ton of instructions, leave that writer and try another until you find someone who writes almost exactly the way you want the content to be written.
- In the long run, stick with writers who are versatile enough to write about a plethora of niches effortlessly. Those who are good at writing about only a couple of niches won't do you any good once you move on to new niche sites from the old ones.
6. On-Page Optimization for Your Niche Site
Now, you have your site set up, with content in hand. Next, you need to figure out how to properly post the content and structure your site to ensure optimal on-page optimization. Without this, your site will have difficulties in ranking, even when you build powerful links later on.
Structuring Your Site from an SEO Perspective
I won't talk too much about structuring your niche site, because, honestly, there are many ways of structuring it, and you can browse other niche sites across multiple different industries to get an idea of what other successful sites are doing. Still, I'll discuss a bit about the fundamental types of structures that niche site builders like to use.
The first type utilizes a static homepage which targets the biggest keywords. An example would be the homepage being treadmillexpert.com which would target "best treadmill" and related keywords. This means a content-heavy homepage, with contextual, menu, and sidebar links to internal pages that target secondary keywords.
The second type may or may not utilize a static homepage, but the difference is that the homepage itself doesn't target any keywords. Instead, the homepage is used as a showcase to display other internal pages which target keywords. An example would be treadmillexpert.com targeting the keyword "best treadmill" through the dedicated page treadmillexpert.com/best-treadmill/
Either of them work, but I now prefer the second type because it enables me to create broader sites that target a lot of different types of products within a common broad niche (let's say, multiple different things under "Gardening").
I've seen a lot of people worrying a lot over advanced strategies like silo-ing a site. Not a single one of my own sites is silo-ed and they rank very well, so I don't see a reason why you should at all be worrying about stuff like that when you're just starting out.
Robots Meta Optimization for Different Types of Pages
I use the Yoast SEO plugin to add a meta robots "noindex" tag to all of the unimportant pages of my niche sites, to ensure that none of them get indexed and create duplicate content issues. Here are the pages I generally apply the "noindex" tag on:
- Category Pages
- Tag Pages (if exists, I usually don't use tags at all)
- Author Pages (You can disable author pages altogether using Yoast SEO)
- Affiliate Disclaimer
Optimal On-Page Optimization for Key Pages
Now, we're talking about optimizing a specific page for it to rank well for its target keywords. This is a crucial step and Yoast SEO makes the job a lot easier.
Here are a few points to keep in mind to ensure you're neither under-optimizing nor over-optimizing your page.
- You need to include your target key phrase (let's say, best guitar for beginners) in your: SEO title, meta description, and page URL. This just gives Google a full relevance-signal that your whole page is absolutely about that specific topic.
- You need to include the target keyword a few times throughout the whole content, but including it too many times may lead to an over-optimization penalty. It's easier to avoid thanks to Yoast SEO, and I recommend keeping the keyword density of your primary keyword below 0.4% and even less for secondary keywords.
- Make sure your page title and meta description are within the limit suggested by Yoast SEO. If they are longer than the limit, they won't be fully displayed on Google.
- Try to create a catchy title that's both click-worthy and has the target keyword as close to the beginning of it as possible. Remember, if you make the title itself dull while trying to stuff keywords blatantly, your CTR from Google will be less even if you rank the page, as less people would click a bad-looking page title.
- Link out to at least 2 authority sources contextually from your long pages (over 2,000 words). I've found this to have a slight impact on increasing your site's trust in the eyes of Google. If your articles mentions any statistics or guidelines, you can link to a relevant government or educational site, or even trustworthy sites like Wikipedia to back up those data.
- Link out to more popular sites in your niche that aren't your direct competitors. This will help your site to get noticed by more popular webmasters and can perhaps attract a few links or mentions.
7. Link Building for Your Niche Site
Now you finally have a fully functional niche site that you can proudly show off! What's next? Making sure that it's visible to real people searching for topics related to your niche site. And the easiest way of doing this is to make it rank on search engines like Google.
This is where link building comes into play, as it's inevitable for making an amazon niche site rank. No matter how good your content and site structure is, your site simply won't rank that well until it has up-votes from other sites in the form of links.
Because link building is such an important part of the whole process of earning money from a niche site, newbies often resort to the relatively easier but riskier methods of building links. These links are not only unhelpful in making your site rank, but can in fact be detrimental to your niche site's success in the long run.
This is why I do not recommend practising pure spam-based black-hat SEO on a niche site. Even though a $5 Fiverr gig offering 5,000 backlinks might seem pretty attractive, make sure you steer clear of such spam packages because they can only harm your site and not help it.
Well, don't get me wrong. Some forms of aggressive black hat link building still work. Not the pure spam type, but strategies like Private Blog Networks (PBNs) still work. If you spot 5 niche sites ranking for a random keyword, chances are, at least half of them are utilizing PBN links.
But does that mean you should do the same? I won't really recommend it unless you have prior experience with PBNs and are fully aware of the risks associated with using PBN links. If you're interesting in knowing more about ranking with the help of PBN links, check out this guide by Mike Bradford. In addition, you can read this 9,000+ words guide on building PBNs by Jon Haver over at AuthorityWebsiteIncome.
Now, let's face this. Any link building is actually against Google's guidelines. But, does that mean every single link that you've built is likely to get your site penalized? No, unless you built the link in a spammy way. This is also why authority sites who've utilized relatively safe link building practices, don't get penalized. So, as a beginner, you need to stick to relatively safer ways of building links. Let's explore a few such methods:
Genuine blog comments on relevant blogs within my niche is usually the first type of link building I do for my niche sites. I use my name (that's used in the niche site) as an "anchor" to link to both the homepage and internal pages of my site. This is not only a natural practice, but it also brings in visitors from those other blogs.
Apart from that, these links help to diversify the overall anchor-text profile of my niche sites. When "author name" anchor text dominates over keyword-rich anchor texts, it's easier to use keyword rich or exact match anchors without worrying about getting hit by the Google Penguin algorithm.
Keep in mind that more than 90% of links obtained from blog commenting will be nofollow'ed links. This means that they themselves won't pass on any link juice to your site and actively help in your ranking your site. But still, they work very well in diversifying your anchor text distribution and building up a natural-looking link profile.
Here is one of my favourite ways of searching for relevant blog posts which have a high chance of accepting new comments.
- Go to Google.com (the US-version).
- Use this advanced search operator:
intitle:[topic] "2..20 comments"
intitle:treadmill "2..20 comments"
What this basically does is, it returns blog posts having my target topic in its page title, and has somewhere between 2 to 20 existing comments. So, this ensures that these posts are both relevant to your site and are also known for accepting blog comments while not being unmoderated to host hundreds of spammy comments.
If this seems too time consuming and boring for you, you can easily outsource this to a Virtual Assistant (VA) from a freelancer site like UpWork.
Now, let's move on to the next strategy, and this one is a crucial part of my overall link building strategy for niche sites.
Community Site Links
These are one of my favourite type of links. Mainly because, they are dofollow, contextual, and are placed on high-authority sites. Thus, these high-quality links are usually very effective in ranking your site.
Basically, you post a piece of content (with your link embedded) on a community site where anyone can register and post. How do I find such sites? There are a few ways, and one of them is looking at the link profiles of some other currently ranking niche sites. A percentage of them will use community site links. You can use your link crawler of choice for this task, but my favourite is Ahrefs.
Even though I could share a list of community sites that I use for this purpose, I won't feel comfortable to share them here, because the moment I do that, some people would start spamming the hell out of them, eventually closing the doors of them all to the general public, or forcing them to make all outbound links nofollow.
Basically any community site, that allows you to register as a member and keep a "blog" under your profile qualifies as a community site link source.
If it's too much for you to do yourself, you can check out some third party services that provide links of this type.
Link Building Using Infographics
For some of my sites, I invest on infographic creation, so that I can leverage it to build some solid links. I've actually written a solid post in the past on infographic link building, but I'll discuss the process here in short.
If you have no clue about infographic creation, and don't know where to start, I'd recommend outsourcing the whole process to any reputable infographic designing agency.
Basically, after publishing an infographic on your site, you can submit them to sites that are known to share infographics (infographic aggregators). Also, you have to get in touch with sites that are known to share infographics on the same topic as yours.
As the sites that'll post and link to your infographic will link to the page that has the infographic, I recommend placing your infographic somewhere within a money-page. So that, when the infographic sharers link to that page, it'll get benefited directly and achieve better rankings.
Here's the entire process in short, if reading the entire infographic link building guide that I linked to above is too much for you to read:
- Generate an easy-to-copy, clean embed code for your infographic. You can use this WordPress plugin, or this tool by Siege Media.
- Submit your infographic, along with a link to your original page as a source, in infographic directories like these.
- Email relevant sites which have already shared infographics on similar topics in the past.
- Use Google's reverse image search to find which sites re-shared any particular infographic.
- Share your infographic on image sharing sites with a focus on visual content, like Imgur.
- Target industry-specific communities and forums to get people talking about your infographic.
- If you're really confident about your infographic doing well once it reaches enough people, you may try promoting it via social media.
Building Links Using Web 2.0 Sites
This is a fairly popular strategy and as a result, it's often used improperly (and thus ineffectively). Firstly, let me get you a basic idea of what Web 2.0 sites actually are. They are basically the ones that let you blog freely within their platform and yet allows you to freely manage your site. A few examples would be, WordPress.com, RebelMouse, Tumblr, Weebly, etc.
It's very easy to mess up web 2.0 link building by doing stuff like using spammy/copied/low-quality content, stuffing tons of links in a single web 2.0 site, etc. To make sure your web 2.0s actually help you to rank your niche site instead of getting it penalized, try to ensure the following:
- Use readable, unique content for posting on Web 2.0 sites. Low-quality content can not only get your Web 2.0 site removed from the platform, but they can also attract penalties towards your money site, easily.
- Link out to your niche site in a way that resembles a natural linking pattern. I don't recommend linking to your niche site more than twice from the same Web 2.0 site. This is to ensure that your Web 2.0 site doesn't seem like it exists only to rank to your site.
- Link out to other relevant sites (but not direct competitors).
- Set up 'About' & 'Contact' pages for your Web 2.0 sites to make them seem even more legitimate.
Also, keep in mind, not all Web 2.0 sites provide dofollow links, you need to ignore the ones that don't, because all this much effort isn't worth it when the link is nofollow'ed. In addition, here are a few relevant guides on Web 2.0's, that'll help you massively in case you decide to rely a lot on this type of link building:
- The Art of the Super Web 2.0 - GotchSEO
- How To Get Backlinks From Web 2.0 That Rank Your Site [Ultimate Guide] - Marketever
- Manual Web 2.0 Creation: Step-by-Step - GotchSEO
If you want, you can outsource Web 2.0 creation to a VA, as well. There are many VAs on platforms like UpWork who are already aware of how to create, design and post in a Web 2.0 site. You can just provide them the guideline I posted above to ensure they don't do anything risky.
Niche-Relevant Forum Link Building
What I mean by niche relevant forum link building isn't spamming all your niche relevant forums by posting useless posts and stuffing in your link. You should just create profiles in the top 4-5 forums in your niche, and add your website URL in the "URL field" of your profile.
For most of the forums, this link will be nofollow'ed, but that's still helpful not only in anchor diversification (as these will be naked/branded links) but also in driving relevance to your niche site.
Just don't go overboard in your efforts and set up profiles on a hundred different forums within a week and link out to your site from all of them. I recommend sticking to only a handful (4-5) of them, as this works best when done in moderation.
No matter how many "SEO gurus" tell you that guest posting doesn't work any more, you can be pretty sure that they hardly know anything about the reality. Not only are links from guest posts one of the most powerful type of links, they work just as well these days.
What doesn't work, however, is low-quality guest posting. You basically need to reach out to real, high-quality blogs, and supply them interesting content. Think of it this way, you're providing a fellow blogger some high-quality content which is bringing traffic to their site, while also fetching your own site one or two links. It's practically a win-win situation for both parties.
Here are a few ways to ensure a high conversion rate for your guest posting campaigns. This guide was posted by Venchito on the TechTage blog a while ago, and it's still very relevant. In addition, Brian Dean has an awesome guide on guest blogging that you can refer to before starting out on your own campaign.
One of the most important elements of a guest posting campaign is the pitch - the email you send to the blog owners enquiring about the possibility of publishing a guest post on their site. From my experience, you shouldn't be too pushy in your first email. You can just ask them whether they are accepting guest posts at all, instead of sending them a bunch of topic ideas in the first email itself.
There's a misconception among people that guest blogging is not that effective for niche sites. This isn't fully true. Of course no one would want to link to your site if it screams "AFFILIATE!". For other site owners to link to your site without a doubt, you need a good site design, structure and lots of informative or other genuinely useful articles. But we've already covered that before.
Resource Page Link Building
These can be both powerful and relatively easier to get for an amazon affiliate niche site. In the last two months alone, I've secured more resource page links than I can count just by sending a simple email.
Basically, this is a two-step link building method. Firstly, you need to find out relevant resource pages within your niche that link to other sites related to yours. Next, you need to reach out to the webmasters of those pages asking them whether it's possible for them to link to your site too.
You can use the searches like the following on Google to find out niche-relevant resource pages:
- [topic] inurl:resources
- [topic] inurl:links
Once you've curated a list of potential link targets, you can send them an email like I did, as shown in the image above. Or you can use a template:
Hey [Their Name],
I was browsing a few pages related to [topic] and couldn't help but notice that you have this epic page on your site: [link to their resource page]. It's definitely very useful.
Now that I know you're an undisputed authority on [topic], I was wondering if you'd like to take a look at my recent article on [topic]. It’s very detailed, and that makes me think that you might be interested in including it in your resource page.
Below is the link to my content, in case you're interested:
In any case, keep up the amazing work and have a great day!
Suggested Read: Resource Page Link Building: The Definitive Guide - Snappa.io
Curated List Link Building
This is a fairly uncommon link building strategy for niche sites, and not many people actually know about this. This is mainly a sub-type of "ego-bait link building". What you basically do, is look for and curate a list of top sites or resources within your niche that are genuinely helpful for anyone who's looking for content related to that topic.
It isn't hard to come up with at least 10-20 such sites or content pieces that stand out among the rest. Once you've created the list, it's time to create a new, dedicated page on your niche site with a title like "Best Sites/Content on [Topic]".
Once you've created the page, you just need to email the site owners whose sites/content you've featured on that page. Though this doesn't guarantee a 100% conversion rate in terms of link acquisition, you still should get a few links or at least a fair number of social shares in return. Not that bad for a fairly simple and less resource-intensive link building method, isn't it?
Other Link Building Strategies for Niche Sites
Apart from the ones I've already mentioned, there are a few morelink building strategies that you can use, but they don't need any detailed explanation either because they're pretty self-explanatory or are just not that important in my opinion.
- Reach out to relevant sites directly, asking them to take a look at your content and link to them if possible. (be careful with this one, reaching out to a competitor can backfire)
- Links from question-answer type sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora.
- Links from high-quality web directories.
- Links from high-quality social bookmarking sites like Reddit & StumbleUpon.
8. Setting Up Social Media Profiles
If you have invested in high-quality, interesting content, you can leverage social media to get some targeted visitors to your niche site. Of course, not all niches are suitable for promoting in social media. But, for niches that have quite a bit of a presence on various social platforms, you can try utilizing the social mediums to bring in the first batch of visitors to your site before it even starts ranking.
I tend to focus mostly on Facebook these days, because that's the only platform that has consistently provided much higher returns than the meagre sums that I invested to get organic and paid visibility on its platform.
From my experience, Twitter is mostly used by business people and not your average consumer who goes on a shopping spree on Amazon. On platforms like Reddit, it's very hard to push a site that has a lot of affiliate-links-rich content. But Facebook is used by almost everyone. This is perhaps why I've seen the best results from Facebook.
You can, however, create a page on Google+ along with Facebook. You can use a plugin that'll auto share any new post of your site on both Google+ and Facebook.
In short, for small Amazon affiliate niche sites, social media isn't the most important thing. You should rather focus on on-site aspects and search engine marketing.
9. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Strategies for Niche Sites
A good site structure and SEO will get your site visitors. That doesn't guarantee that your site will be able to convert those visitors into actual paying customers on Amazon. CRO is the bridge that takes your visitors from your site to an Amazon product page and makes them click that "buy now!" button.
Here are a few tried-and-tested CRO techniques that I personally use for my niche sites and get great results from:
- Include at least two above-the-fold links to Amazon. They both don't necessarily need to be text links. One can be text and another can be an image link.
- If you're using nice looking horizontal comparison tables, try to place them above-the-fold, so that they catch the every single visitor who visits your niche site.
- Offer your visitors reasons to click on your affiliate links. As an example, "Click here to check out our top pick on Amazon!" is a better CTA than "This Phillips QT4562 Trimmer is our #1 pick". The former urges visitors to click on the CTA to know which product you've chosen as the #1, while the latter already tells them which product it is, killing their urge to click on that link.
- Always make sure that when users click on the product images on your site's pages, they get redirected to the Amazon product page for that particular product.
- Don't include a lot of information about each product in your comparison tables, rather, include only the bare minimum like: type of product, relative price compared to other included products, your rating, and a link to check the price on Amazon.
- After you've applied some CRO best practices, monitor your users' browsing patterns by using a heatmap tool like CrazyEgg.
- Do a lot of split testing after monitoring your users' usage patterns using heatmaps and the likes.
10. How I Scale Up My Niche Sites
Once your site starts earning decent amounts of money and you want to grow your site, you need to have a proper plan to scale up your site to increase its earnings further. When it comes to scaling up an Amazon affiliate niche site, these are the few fundamental things you can do:
- Grow the site with more content.
- Make the focus of your site broader by covering other, but still somewhat relevant products that you weren't focusing on earlier.
- Scale up your link building and overall outreach efforts by reinvesting a part of the profits of the site into its growth.
- Improve the design of the site even further to ensure a better likelihood of earning links and shares.
One thing that I must mention when it comes to scaling up a niche site is, as the site ages, it'll generally perform better and better on the SERPs after the first 4-6 months. A lot of people attribute this to the infamous Google sandbox. So, if your site is already earning decently in within its first 4-6 months, you can be pretty much sure that it will automatically start getting even more visitors in the coming months even with no new action from your end.
The screenshot below (taken from SEMRush) shows the rapid growth of one of my niche sites in the past few months even though I published no new content or got no new links.
I personally revisit my sites entirely once they hit the $1,000/month mark. I check analytics and SERP rankings thoroughly and determine which pages are ranking just outside of page 1 or at the bottom of page 1. Then, I try to get them to rank higher by getting more links, or updating them to add more content.
Again, tools like SEMRush (apart from your analytics software of choice) are very helpful in keeping track of your site's growth and all of your secondary keywords' rankings. So, I'll recap. Once you hit your initial target monthly earnings, you can do the following to scale your site further:
- Optimize your existing pages and build links to them to make them rank higher if they're not already #1 for primary keywords.
- Create more content based on secondary & long tail keywords.
- Make the focus of your site broader by covering more relevant topics than before.
- Assess the maximum earning & traffic potential of your site by plugging your competitor sites in tools like SEMRush.
- Reinvest some of your earnings to scale your link building process to the next level. Hire a dedicated freelance link builder or outreach manager if you need to.
- Improve the design of your site even more to make it more attractive and professional-looking.
- Focus on CRO to increase your income from your existing earner-pages.
These are the exact same points that I followed to scale a site from around $300-400 a month to over $1,000 a month before eventually flipping it.
After analysing a site, if I find that it's unlikely for me to grow it much more, or if I somehow lose interest in the niche due to a host of factors, I prefer selling (flipping) it and collecting more than 20X of the monthly revenue at once (which I can easily reinvest in growing more sites).
Here's what Thomas Smale, co-founder of FEInternational, a company that helps people sell tens, if not hundreds of Amazon affiliate sites every year, has to say about scaling an Amazon affiliate niche site:
The main difference between small Amazon affiliate sites (<$5k a month) and larger sites is the level of reinvestment. Small sites tend not to invest in content and link building, larger sites do.
In terms of content, most of the bigger Amazon affiliate sites we sell at FE International have at least 100,000 words of content and have strong link profiles that are not reliant on just one type of link (such as a PBN).
These website owners also recognise the need for high quality content that is unique, has no spelling/grammar errors and is formatted properly. Taking the time to ensure all content is high quality and continuously investing in content and link building are the keys to scaling successfully.
11. How I Flip My Niche Sites
This is the final part. The fruit of flipping a niche site doesn't reach you until you've gone through all of the 10 previous stages of creating, building and growing an Amazon affiliate site.
To flip or not to flip, that is the question!
Whether to flip or continue with a niche site is a crucial and difficult decision for most people. Both have their own share of pros and cons. In short, flipping gives you a huge sum of money (more than 20 times your average monthly earning, in most cases) at once. You can reinvest some of that money back into your Amazon affiliate business portfolio, and just save up the rest.
Flipping a site means cutting off a steady (and generally growing) stream of mostly passive recurring income. But then again, there's no guarantee that your site will keep earning the same amount or more in monthly earnings. A plethora of things can happen (such as, your site getting penalized, its niche shrinking in popularity, etc.) that might pose a great threat to your niche site.
This is why I recommend two different things for two types of people.
- If you're new to the Amazon affiliate marketing game, and this is your first niche site that you're considering to flip, I'd recommend you to go on and flip the site. This will mainly help you to generate a ton of funds without any additional effort, and you can use this newly earned money to fund multiple new niche sites which will go on to earn even more than your first site, if you work just as dedicatedly.
- If you're a veteran who has seen his fair share of successes (and of course failures), and you're pretty much confident that your site has a very low risk to growth potential ratio, you can keep nurturing the site instead of flipping it, because you obviously know what you're doing, and even in the worst case scenario, losing the site won't mean the end of the world to you.
Selling Your Niche Site - Do You Need a Broker?
If you're a beginner who doesn't have direct connections with people looking to buy web properties such as your site, you'll find it hard to sell your site without the help of a professional website broker.
My experience with general bid-to-buy type of marketplaces like Flippa wasn't really good, so I personally always use a broker to flip my sites. Not only do they usually get me really good prices for my niche sites, they also manage to sell the sites really quickly.
Website Brokers - Considering Your Options
There are mainly 2 major website brokers that are popular for being able to sell Amazon affiliate niche sites quickly and at a great price. They are:
- FE International - charges flat 15% on the final sale price.
- Empire Flippers - charges an initial $297 listing fee for first-time sellers and $99 for the following sales, plus a flat 15% of the final sale price.
Personally, I've used FE International and I'm a big fan of them. All of their staff that I've dealt with, have been extremely friendly and helpful to me, and that includes the co-owner! In fact, I'd emailed him directly somehow instead of emailing their support department while trying to sell a site with them for the first time. Still, I had got a reply from him within minutes, and he'd set me up pretty quickly with other staff of his from there onwards.
There are also some advantages of FE International that made me more inclined towards them, and one of the major ones is that they don't ask you to give them direct viewing access of your Amazon associates account. Screenshots and live screen sharing with potential buyers is enough to prove your earnings, unlike in case of Empire Flippers. What this means is that they don't get to see all your other tracking IDs (and hence websites) in the same Amazon associates account, while verifying the income of the one you're selling.
I've heard good things about both from other fellow niche site builders, so I guess you can't really go wrong with either of them.
The Concluding Chapter of the Definitive Guide to Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites
Niche sites that are monetized by the Amazon affiliate program have huge potential. You can literally take a site that is making almost nothing, and turn it into a four or even a five figure monthly earner within one half of a year. As long as you're technically sound, understand the key concepts of SEO, and have some basic website building skills, you can earn a lot from Amazon affiliate niche sites.
If you've read this far without skipping anything, you deserve a big round of applause! Really, thank you! This post took me more than 20 hours of non-stop writing, editing, and tweaking. So, if you found it useful, I'd be really glad.
I've tried to cover everything, right from choosing a niche to flipping your money making site. I tried to take as much time as possible (without getting bored) to write and expand every one of the chapters. Still, it's not impossible that I missed a few things here and there. And that's where you come in! If I have missed anything, don't hesitate to get in touch with me directly to let me know about that.
Like always, I'd love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments section below.