You may know my last success story that I published almost 3 years ago. If you don’t read yet then check this(How I made $50,000 within 9 Months). This time I made around $40,000 within 15 months. But, that is not a big deal at all. Right now, I have 15 sites, and 11 sites are making money. I have a $2500 site, a couple of $1000 sites and a few $500 per month sites. (Are you getting any smell of selling course 🙂 ?
Don’t worry! I am making enough money to living my life. So, I am not going to create any course, but I will share lots of useful tips for free. 🙂
I didn’t scale up much instead of that I diversify my income a little bit. Because I have tested lots of things from the last 2 years and build a strong strategy that is perfectly working for me! Now, I have a plan to scale up in a big manner from next year.
Let’s Begin with 2016!(I failed again!)
I said my 2016 post that, I don’t have any experience with affiliate marketing. Even I don’t know how to start a site that ranks in quick time and earn money. That was a miracle, and luck favors a lot to me. I have no shame in sharing this truth.
In the year 2017, I started to work heavily on one of my big sites.(Actually, I started this site on May 2016). I thought I had learned everything about SEO, and I will make huge money now. This site was ranking strongly and start to make good money. I have planned lots of things about this site, but everything went against me.
Amazon Commission Structure change!
Amazon revises its commission structure, and I lost 40% commission overnight. Now, My site category commission only 4.5%. I reviewed lots of lower price products because of the previous commission structure. I felt down. Even, my niche selection was not good this time. People were not buying that much or if they are buying getting a very poor commission.
Google Algorithm Penalty
Bad timing and my frustration had increased a lot. March 2017 was one of the biggest algorithm updates, and my website hit hard and ranking fall insanely.
Now, I am starting to read everything about google algorithm, SEO, and tried everything to recover. Some people start to telling that your domain has a “keyword” and that is the main reason for the algorithm penalty. So, I changed the domain name and redirected it to a new brandable domain. It makes things worse than before. I was getting quite good visitors from bing and yahoo. After changing the domain, I lost those visitors as well. I have spent 5 months to recover that site and later abandoned that project.
I created a brand new site in July 2017. It was more organized than the previous one. I started to follow the GURU’s advice. Some guru started to tell that you need more than 50% information content. I rush to my writer and publish lots of information content. Again, I have done everything but never got traction or visitors that I was looking for. I failed again, miserably.
Although, both sites making money to live comfortably here in Bangladesh. But, I have invested a lot of time & money on those sites and got the poorest return. This business has lots of monthly costs (content writing, link building, hosting, domain, etc.), and that income isn’t enough to survive online. And this realizes that I am doing something wrong. My SEO skill was not top-notch, and this lack was killing me.
I Hate General SEO Advice!
January 2018: Now, I start to feel that Most of the “SEO articles” are providing general advice. It looks like I have read 100’s of SEO articles, but I learn nothing. Most of the time, they are giving vogue advice. Their target is only selling the course to make money.
I didn’t read any SEO related articles from the last 1 year. I just read google news type article and follow only seroundtable and searchenginejournal.
I have to find a way that will help me to learn SEO by testing. I wanted to get rid of wrong/vogue information.
My SEO Test, Result and Impact for sites
February 2018: I did lots of experiments with my existing sites. The purpose was to find out what works and whatnot. I have learned important tactics about on-page SEO(general keyword ratio, Where to use a keyword, keyword variation), Off-page SEO(How important links, Is relevant links have more weight, Nofollow links), content relevancy, keyword rich-domain importance, etc. related information.
Not only my site. I tracked hundreds of keyword rankings and analysis hundreds of sites.
You may be thinking it is not possible to find a conclusive answer. I agree with that. But, it helps me to find out a way that works for my all websites. Do you want to see a proof? Right now, I have 11 websites that are making money. I am sharing here my 5 websites Ahrefs screenshot. And keeping a few sites secret as those could be interesting case studies.
(1st site hit $2445 this month and I have achieved this within 10 months. Although I am not happy with the result, but I will take it. And I will publish this site case study next week).
Even, I was able to recover two small sites following my strategy and findings.
However, I will share all the findings and strategy within 2-3 months. Stay tuned…
Now let’s talk about the Niche Site that I sold at $36,000
At the year of 2016, I sold the site without a broker, and that saved my brokerage fee. This time I used FEInternational as my broker and they took $5400 as the brokerage fee. Excluding the escrow fee, I got $30415. Here is the escrow.com screenshot of the site.
FEInternational listed this site $38,500 and the buyer offered me $36,000. It is 30X of monthly average income, and I accepted that. Actually, I got a buyer within 5 days after listing. They were very keen to buy this site because of the huge growth opportunity.
As far as I remember, I didn’t work much on this site. And last 4 months I didn’t publish any article, didn’t created any links too. But, Its growth didn’t stop at all. Actually, after deciding that I will sale this site, I never worked on it. In the month of May 2019, I reached $1600. Now, visitors have increased a lot more compared to that month. If the buyer able to maintains this site properly, then he will able to reach 2-3K within 3-4 months.
The selling website Last 6 months Amazon US average income was $1100, and Amazon UK-CA average income was $100. So, website average earnings were $1200 per month. Here is the Amazon US earning screenshot. My site conversion only 3.05%. I am selling quite big items like $300-$2000. So, that conversion isn’t bad either.
Unfortunately, I was not able to take a screenshot of my Google analytics because the buyer suddenly removes me from Google analytics. Although, I was able to take a screenshot of the Google search console. GA is more accurate than GSC. Because GSC shows only google visitors, but GA shows all sources of visitor data. The website is getting 450-500 unique per visitors per day now. And the daily view is 650-800.
Site Start Date
Most probably, I have started this site on 1 June 2018.
Website Age: 1 Year and 3 months.
Domain: Partial Match
Let say, You are going to target “best tactical backpack” keyword. I found the tacticalbackpack.com domain, and I took that. According to my test, domain keyword has a big impact on ranking. If you are starting a site about the backpack, then you should keep “backpack” word in your domain to get a quick result. It does not mean you will not get a result if you use a brandable domain. It means you will get “Quick Result” & need “Fewer Links” to rank a site if you use keyword-rich domain.
Keyword Rich Domain Importance
Lots of people will say, You are limiting your opportunity by using a keyword-rich domain. No, you are not doing that. Keyword-rich domain indicates that you are an expert in that specific industry. You will able to target lots of 50-200 search volume keywords and able to reach $1000 mark very quickly.
The affiliate industry has changed a lot. All big brand has entered in this industry. They have top-notch writers, huge money to invest. Can you compete with them? Never!
So, It is not a good idea to target a big search volume keyword instead of that target more laser focus keyword in which monthly search volume is less than 250. The big brand will not target those keywords, and your competition will reduce a lot.
These types of laser targeted sites easily can reach 1-2K per month and can maximize their earning 3-5K easily.
I have done a few tests already. It shows that if I target a very broad niche, then those keywords took more time to ranks. Of course, I needed more links too.
But, when I targeted the laser focus niche, it took lesser time to rank and ranked lots of keywords without a link!
How do I know this?
I have 5 sites targeting the same topic, and I played a lot with them. And If I compare earning and works involve with an authority site, then you will laugh to see the result. Although, If you have a team and budget, then it could be a lucrative business. However, I will publish an article about this very soon.
My targeted keyword(HomePage) search volume is 6600. The First 2 websites are Authority Sites. So, I was not trying to rank the main/homepage keyword. If you see a big brand ranking for a keyword, then you should research more about that keyword(now!).
Because Big brand never targets the sub-keyword/small search volume keyword. You may find low-hanging fruit that no one targeting. Most people avoid that topic seeing those kinds of big brands.
Just think a simple way. Let’s say you have found 10 best type keyword and 50 single product review type keyword. Those keyword search volume 50-250 per month only. Did you ever calculated that you will able to make $1000-$3000 per month easily!
Some review articles will not perform well, but some review articles will bring lots of money per month. Think differently, smartly!
But, these types of keywords perform well when you able to rank them between 1 or 2. These are low-competitive keywords, and you will able to rank them easily.
I don’t use post option anymore. I use the page option to publish those articles. This helps me to get rid of category, tag, etc. issue, and I can create a strong silo structure too.
It is not complex. Very simple to follow.
Example of link structure: example.com/brand/brand-single-product-review
Let say your domain is backpackguide.com. And “511 tactical” is a big brand for backpacks. I will write “best 511 tactical backpack” article and include all products which “single product review” search volume available. Later, I will interlink them.
*Interlinking very very important for ranking. If you can do it properly, then you will able to see huge ranking improvement!*
My URL structure will be like this for “best 511 tactical backpack” keyword: backpackguide.com/511-tactical/
And “rush 12 backpack” is a single product for the 511 tactical brand.
My URL structure will be like this: backpackguide.com/511-tactical/rush-12-review
You have to use and customize(a little bit) breadcrumb to maximize silo’s result.
I hope you got an idea of how this silo will work. I may publish a new post with more details if need.
Niche & Content
I am a mechanical Engineer. I know about vehicles. So, I targeted Tools-related products.
Article: 45 (Yes, only 45! Excluding disclosure, about us, contact us page).
5-6 article content length is 3000+ and 4-5 article(VS type content) length is 800 word. Rest of the article was a single product review, and content length is 1000-1500. According to this calculation, the total word count will be only 50K!
Most of the content cost was $1 per 100 words. But, I gave a personal touch to all those articles.
Info Content: 000000
Total Cost to build this site
- Content Cost: 50K word content cost $500
- Domain cost: $12
- Hosting Cost: $60
- 10 Guest Post Cost: $500; Average $50 per post, including article writing cost.
Total cost: $1072 + My Time
Don’t think I have spent lots of time on this project. I have more than 15 domains, and it is not possible for me to spend lots of time on a single project. First 3 months, I spend a lot of time on a new project. I gather all keywords, create URL structure, on-page SEO, basic off-page, etc. do within this time. After that, I don’t spend much time on this type of project.
And also don’t think I spend a lot of time to earn money. I spend lots of time on research(How they are ranking well, why they are ranking, why they got a boost in ranking, etc.). Yes, I monitor lots of affiliate sites and their rankings.
I need to publish a new post to explain this. I never followed any competitor keyword ratio or their on-page SEO. But, I have created my on-page SEO and keyword placement strategy for this.
Keyword Ratio isn’t important! Right?
Wrong advice! Keyword ratio still an important factor for ranking. Google is a spider/crawler and not a human. You need to help him to recognize your topic.
You may hear a lot of time “if a keyword comes naturally use them otherwise not”. If you follow this vogue advice, then you are delaying your ranking. If you under-optimize your keyword, then you need more links(and should use a few keyword-rich anchors) to rank that keyword.
If you have an over-optimize article, then Google will keep you second page or lower part of the first page. Even link cannot help you to solve this problem.
I have found 0.3% is the standard keyword ratio. Don’t go to your website and increase/reduce your keyword ratio now! It has a few important cautions. I need a different post to explain that. Don’t worry, I will publish this post very soon.
Off-page Seo (Backlinks)
- Links: Around 100(Relevant Comment link 25-30, Forum links 30-35, Guest Post 10-15).
- Dofollow Link: 50-60
- Spamming Link: 40-50 (Auto-generated, scraping images, etc. links)
Actually, this domain was doing great without links. Single reviews article is ranking 1st page after publishing the article.
No-Follow links Impact!
No. It doesn’t have a direct impact on ranking. But, it has a huge impact on the different aspects! Ahh, again, I need a new post to explain this. Right now, just do this:
Find your niche related authority sites. Go there and make a legit comment to get those Nofollow links. Take links only from high-authority, non-spammy, relevant posts. As an anchor use your name(name variation), brand name and naked URL only.
Twitter and Reddit.
Is link Velocity Important?
If you are a small player, then you will create 5-10 links per month. Initially, you will create a lot more than that It’s normal. You will not create any link for 1 or 2 months that also normal.
But, if you create suddenly 30 links within 3-4 days and stop for two months, then that is not normal. Google does not work the same way that they did before. 5 years ago, they crawled gradually and index link slowly. Right now, they crawl faster than before. They will take a lot of time to show that link impact. Even It will take more time to show Google search console. But, Google now smart enough to catch this kind of link scam. Although, you will not find any evidence that Google indexes that link or not. But, they crawl the web a lot more than before and catch this kind of sudden link growth.
How do I know this?
My two websites got an algorithm penalty for this kind of activity.
What is the solution for this?
If you are a slow link creator, then take 30 days to create 30 links. If you keep things natural, you will not face any problem with the Google algorithm.(As an example. Do it according to your link velocity).
And Never change anchor text of a backlink even if you have full control of it. If you do that, then Google will devalue that link or that specific keyword rank will fail.(It will only happen if Google consider that as a good link).
2019’s Number One Ranking Factor!
[sociallocker]”User Experience/User Satisfaction” Number ONE Ranking Factor! If users experience is bad, then thousands of links cannot help to retain the number one position! Links still important to rank a site. But, if you can provide better user experience to your visitors from the beginning, then you will get more traction from Google with fewer links.[/sociallocker]
If I could show you the Google analytics data! It is an affiliate site, only 45 posts, all reviews type or best type articles and it’s bounce rate only 80%! Is it possible?
People were asking lots of questions via the comment section. I was also giving a legit answer via little research. I have no access to take a screenshot of those comment count. Otherwise, I would add that screenshot. Ok..I cannot resist myself to add comment count screenshot. I am adding my another site comment count screenshot here.
It is 7 months old site and got more than 100 comments! Remember, Comment is not a ranking factor but a sign of user engagement. Less bounce rate, visit more than 1 page, etc. also sign of user engagement. Do everything that will improve the user experience.
User Engagement very very important to survive from Google Algorithm Update.
And User Experience/Satisfaction is the NUMBER ONE ranking factor for Google!
You may find a few exceptions. But, if you want to create a sustainable business/website, then focus on user experience, not earning.
At first, my strategy was like this:
Get visitors from Google->My site-> Send them as quickly as possible to amazon. Yes, this could increase income as well.
But, now my strategy like this.
Get visitors from Google->My site-> User Satisfaction-> They will not go back to search or will not search that keyword again. If they want, then they will go to Amazon, or they stop browsing.
Also, Did I mention anything about article quality? I guess I didn’t. Because Article quality isn’t a ranking factor. If you publish a garbage content, but users get a satisfactory answer from that content, then you will never lose rank for that keyword. Most of the time garbage content cannot satisfy users, and you will lose rank. Write an article considering about reader, and for a search engine.(Not for a search engine is vogue advice).
Note: You may have seen a few exceptions. We always try to trick Google and few sites un-touch of Google algorithm. But, those are my personal advice. I am using those strategies to rank my site, and it’s working perfectly.
Ohh I want to mention an important thing here. My younger brother does most of the sites on-page(and few other) works. I just give him instructions on how to do it, and he follows my instructions. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to run 15 sites!
Should I create an opt-in form for my next post update? I am not sure about that.
And If you have any questions, then comment below.