This will be the most important part of this whole project! Out of all of the income sources I am planning – this is the one that I have the highest hopes for and I am investing a lot.
If you don’t know what I am talking about, check this out.
I’ll admit straight away – I am not yet ready to reveal the niche or the website I am currently building.
I know that is a bummer, but that’s not to say that I may talk about it more openly once it has some traction. Here are the reasons I am afraid to reveal it too soon:
- I do believe the niche has a lot of potential and quite weak competitors, thus I don’t want other people swarming into this.
- The site has barely launched, so it’s very vulnerable to any spammers, black hat links or anything else that can harm it.
- I have heard too many stories of people abusing other affiliate sites or niche when they are revealed, so I am just being careful.
I suppose, after 6-12 months, I may be ready to share the exact website, but for now, I will be sharing everything that I do with the site.
Before the Launch
The way I found this category was by accident, so, unfortunately, I cannot tell you about any specific method or “hack” that I used here.
Just one day, I thought about research a particular niche and was blown away by the opportunity.
Now once I found the niche, I started digging:
- Keywords and their monthly volumes
- Link building opportunities
- Potential for growth beyond Amazon
This was not a linear process and was done on and off for almost a year.
The tool of my choice – Ahrefs (the best SEO tool out there).
You see, I discovered this particular niche back in 2018, but due to external circumstances, I never tried doing anything with it.
Only when I sold my other affiliate site and pondered what direction my life needs to go, I remembered this niche. And it checks all of the boxes.
- The keywords are very high volume, but with relatively low competition.
- Competitors are sleeping on their asses – the sites look terrible but there are bringing a shit ton of traffic! Heck, just by structuring the site and content should be enough to overtake them.
- Lot’s of opportunities for non-standard link building.
- I do see how this niche can grow beyond just Amazon’s affiliates. There are other affiliate opportunities out there.
- Even things like Youtube and Pinterest can help this niche grow.
So, the conclusion is – a very lucrative niche!
However, this got me thinking. Why isn’t there already people doing all of these things? Why is the competition so weak?
Maybe there is something “wrong” with these particular product categories?
I think there is at least one reason, but unfortunately, I cannot share it as it may reveal the niche.
Needless to say, I chose this one and I am sticking with it!
But enough about chit-chat – let’s talk about actual processes!
Building the Website
I want to fast-track my site growth a little and over the last few years, a new strategy is emerging – expired domains.
If you don’t know, here is a quick rundown: you find domains that were previously used by others, but have been dropped due to various factors (business closed down, the website was dropped, forgot to renew the domain, etc.)
The power here are the links that were built previously, which are usually still attached to this domain.
Find the domain that operated in the same industry or niche as the site you are building and voila – you have a domain with hundreds or even thousands of links!
I used this site to scout for potential domains: https://www.expireddomains.net/
Seems too easy? Well, it does, but I am not sure how well it works.
I have read some crazy stories where people built their sites in a matter of months using this strategy, but I am a bit skeptical if they tell the “full truth.”
Either way, I decided to go with this as I was really keen to get this thing going faster than it takes for an average site to build credibility.
However, right now I am doubting this decision… I’ll be honest – I am a little scared.
Although the site has officially launched around a month ago, some content there has been on the site for over one month, but there is little traction yet.
I suppose it’s still early to tell and I need to wait a little longer.
Besides, I forgot to mention that I bought 2 domains! One I am using as the main domain and the other (with all the relevant backlinks) I am redirecting to the main domain to get some extra juices flowing.
In a couple of months, I will provide you with an update and we will see if this strategy works.
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I wanted to go with a very simplistic, lightweight theme that would focus on content and won’t have any other distractions.
I went with Carbonate theme for WordPress.
Technically, it’s not a “theme” as you download a piece of code, that will never get updated (according to the themes author) and you build from there.
For me, this was perfect and exactly what I needed, but I have to warn you – you need at least basic HTML and CSS knowledge to do anything with this theme.
As I said, it’s a piece of code, so no fancy plugins pre-installed that will allow you to customize the theme without going into the code editor.
Now, this is the most important part!
It took me a while before I found a writer that would fit my budget and my quality standards.
First, I tried looking on Upwork, but to my surprise, very little writers answered the add and either was crazy expensive or the quality was poor.
I did manage to find one decent writer, but after the initial 3-5 articles, she decided to drop from the project. That was very frustrating as I have stated in the job proposal and during the conversation that I am looking for LONG-TERM writers, so to put so much effort and then have it to do again… It was painful.
After this terrible experience, I tried looking elsewhere.
Reddit seemed like an option I could explore as I feel all freelancing platforms are too crowded with very average people these days. It takes more time to sort them out than the actual job!! (well, okay, I may be exaggerating a little).
Made questioner with Google Forms and found a few subreddits for hiring.
To my surprise, I got quite a lot of responses and a lot of good ones!
If anyone is looking for some writers, I highly suggest these subreddits. You will get a ton of responses, so be prepared!
The writer that I found is amazing!! We clicked and he was even better than the previous writer. No issues, great communication, awesome articles!!
The content production ramped up from here and now the site contains 11 fully-fledged reviews, each of around 2,000 words.
Side note: during this pandemic, I have stopped the production of the articles before this whole thing slows down a little.
Site Structure & Internal Linking
This is an aspect I am paying a lot of attention to and this has been on my mind since I was choosing a WordPress theme.
My website has 2 main categories, that each has 2 categories of their own, which then each category has its reviews.
Confusing? Yeah, it can be.
Let me illustrate.
Essentially, I am creating a content hub. According to Content Harmony, the type of content hub I am building is called “Content Library.” You can check the link above to see some examples and other types of hubs.
This will allow me to link everything in a very natural way and have everything, from beginning to end.
These days, a lot of affiliates focus on that last part – reviews and the supporting content is put on the backbench.
I want to take this to the next level – I want to become an authority site where people not only looking for products but go to my site to find useful information and share that with others.
Besides, this way, my “link juices” will have a much stronger effect on my “money pages” and the user flow will deal more natural, thus increasing the average time spent on-site with all the relevant links.
You can read more on Ahrefs guide about content hubs and why they are so powerful.
Last few affiliate sites I have done, I paid little to no attention to images, graphics, illustrations, thumbnails, or anything related to the design.
This time, I have hired a graphics designer.
I found him the same way as the content writer – through subreddits. I have used these to post my ad:
The task for the designer included:
- Logo & favicon
- Color pallet
- Other various design elements
The result? From a simple Carbonate theme, emerged a new and unique website.
The choice of colors matter s a lot! Before the graphics designer, I have set some colors myself and used the basics ones, and once the designer added his touches, the site completely transformed into something new and awesome!
Really happy with the work he did.
I covered the most important parts already but thought it would be great to mention a few of the basic things I did.
- Installed SSL
- Connected to Google Analytics
- Connected to Search Console and submitted the sitemap
- Wrote an “about” page
- Made a “disclosure” page
- Created an “author’s box”
- Optimized article using Yoast SEO suggestions
- Created a custom domain Gmail account
And that pretty much covers and closes the whole chapter on building a website.
All the set-up is done and now we play the waiting game. Before doing anything else, I will monitor the keywords and impressions that the site will be ranking for.
Once I start getting a little traffic, I will sign-up for the Amazon affiliate program to change all of the links and make my first sale!
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