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28.08.2015, admin  
Category: Body Supplement

This is a really cool success story from someone that I’ve featured before, Josh Shogren. The site I will be talking about today is different than the one that I talked about in my original success story. Even though they aren’t the same site, they have a lot of similarities in terms of how I was able to grow the site and the overall strategy I used. Both websites are also in relatively similar niches, which just happens to be a coincidence. Just like in my original success story, I will not be sharing the exact URL of the site out of respect for the new owner who purchased the site from me.
I recently ended up selling the site for $35,000 through Empire Flippers and the site was routinely pulling in $1,000+ per month near the end. That is an extremely good month for my website but, you have to understand that kind of success does not happen overnight.
I started this website from scratch over 19 months ago and it took around 14 months before the site was able to start making a decent amount of money. The site was earning around $300-$400 per month for a very long time but, I was patient and gave the site time to grow.
I want to briefly explain my thoughts behind my decision to sell the site, how my site was valued by Empire Flippers, and some of the details behind selling my site.
First off, you are probably wondering why in the heck I would sell a site that was seeing this type of growth month over month and making $2,600 per month? One of the biggest reasons for my deciding to sell the site was due to a new sales nexus law that was put in place for Washington State residents. I am not going to go into why this happened but, just know that I had to end up “partnering” with my grandma who lives in Ohio so that I was able to keep making money from the site and get paid my earnings.
There were a couple other reasons for the sale such as wanting to cash out one of my assets so I could invest into other business ventures, wanting to start a new site and the timing was perfect for myself. As for how Empire Flippers valued my website, they took the last 3 months average for the website and used a 25x multiple.
Since I listed the site at the very beginning of February they used the months of November, December and January in the valuation.
The 3 month average in profit during those months was $1,578 and at a multiple of 25x the value of the site came out to be $39,461.
Luckily, they knew what they were doing and valued the site much higher, which was a good choice because I had a buyer within 2 weeks. As you can probably tell, the site was listed for close to $40,000 but I ended up accepting an offer of $35,000 for the site.
Even though I would have enjoyed to get $40,000 for the site I was still very happy with the $35,000 that it sold for! Like I mentioned before, this is a different site from last time but I used a lot of the same strategies and tactics to grow this site as I did on my last one.
When I am talking about keyword research I am NOT talking about finding keywords that get 1,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 monthly searches, nope, I am talking about the keywords that get 50 monthly searches.
I LOVE to write content that targets these keywords that get 50, 70, or 90 monthly searches but are extremely easy to rank for.
One of my favorite things to do is find 3-5 related and similar keywords that get anywhere from 30 – 150 monthly searches (more is fine) and target all of these keywords with one highly optimized piece of content.
Doing this will allow you to rank very easily for those keywords without much help needed from any sort of backlinks. I recently created a little “how to” guide with a video that explains my most effective tactic for finding these long tail keywords for you to target. Just to give you some proof of how effective this strategy has been for my myself, check out the screenshots below of my site’s stats from Semrush.
According to Semrush, these keywords you see above are the ones that are driving the most traffic to my site. Most people would skip right over these keywords when doing keyword research because they would think that it isn’t worth their time to target. And they may be right, targeting one keyword that gets 70 monthly searches very well may be a waste of time but, targeting 5 of these keywords with one article is not a waste of time at all. Another really awesome thing about targeting these type of keywords is that it will be relatively easy for you to take the top spot in Google. Finding and targeting these types of longtail keywords is the number one reason for the success of this niche site as well as all of my other sites. People begin to get into trouble with PBN’s when they buy links from other people who have no idea what they are doing and just want to take your money. Using PBN links to rank sites is still one of the best and most effective ways to rank a website. OR just not build any links at all and just write very good content and let your site rank naturally, which I think is a very underrated strategy when it comes to niche sites. I have recently gotten into website investing where I manage websites for outside investors and use the websites themselves as investment vehicles. As I get more into website investing, I will slowly start to move away from PBN links and opt for more natural and safe strategies. However, for my own websites I will continue to use PBN links because they work very well and I am willing to take the risk. I have actually done a very, very small amount of link building outside of PBN links in the past. I am looking at testing some other link building strategies that are more “white hat” (I hate that term) that I can use on future sites.
But to answer the question, I am using PBN links for my sites right now and I have found them to be the best use of my time as well. When you decide on the niche that you will create a website around you are choosing the path that you will take for the site’s entire lifetime.
Just because you found one keyword that you think you can rank for, you should not create a whole site around it.
Awesome, this is a good start and I could create a piece of content that would target this keyword and any other related keywords revolving around hiking boot reviews.
However, instead of creating a whole website dedicated to hiking boots, I should think a lot bigger. I would start trying to find keywords related to the hiking niche and see if I would be able to rank for other keywords within the same niche. If I am able to find other good keywords such as “best hiking water bottle”, “What are the best hiking sticks?” and “Hiking backpack reviews” then I would know that I could target these keywords along with my first keyword I found. Now, instead of creating a whole website around hiking boots I would now be creating a whole website around hiking in general and doing gear reviews.
This allows me to target a much wider array of content which in turn will result in more traffic, earnings and potential the site has. There are endless amounts of keywords and topics that I could now write about that would fall into the hiking niche. You will use keyword research to find the niche you will create a website in, what keywords you will target and the type of content you will produce.
Learn and master how to do this and it will give you the best return on your investment possible. I have already shared my favorite way to find long tail keywords and there are a million other guides out there that will help you learn.
If people are on your site for only 30 seconds and then leave, Google will take notice of this and not rank your site. Think of the website you are building as an asset that will provide you a passive income for the next 5 years.
This means producing ACTUAL useful content that people will want to read and not just another article that is trying to rank in Google.
The best way to create this type of high quality content, even in the niches you know nothing about, is to hire an expert within the niche to write the content for you. You can go about finding this writer a ton of different ways but, the easiest route is to head over to Upwork and post a job looking for an expert within your niche and who is willing to write for your blog. The site average for time on page is 3 minutes and 35 seconds, which is extremely good for ANY website, let alone a niche website. This is a result of hiring an expert within my niche who knows what they are talking about and having them write high quality content. Is there anything that people seem to think is critical that you don’t think is very important? You will find more success by going after the easy to rank keywords that get 50 monthly searches, not to mention that you will also be able to have success a lot quicker because you will rank quicker. If there is one thing that you take away from me, let it be that you don’t need to target keywords with thousands of monthly searches to have success with niche sites. Don’t get me wrong, ranking for these keywords is fantastic and can provide ton of traffic to your site but, it will be a long and hard road getting to that point. Take the quicker and easier route first by targeting long tail keywords and then you can worry about the larger keywords later on.
Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like to replicate your success with their own websites?
So if you are interested in seeing how I was able to build this site and the steps that I took along the way then you can check out that case study here. Aside from that, I don’t have any other tips or advice other than start doing something today! My own website, Passion into Paychecks, is a place where I document all of my different business ventures from niche sites to website investing to Amazon FBA. I have also recently taken over the blogging duties at Niche Site Azon, which is a website fully dedicated to building and growing niche websites. Once again, I want to thank Doug for the opportunity to share my story and I truly appreciate you all reading. As for other links, 90% of the links were PBN links and the other 10% were comments on niche relevant blogs and sites.
The fact is that PBN’s still work and as you said in the article; will always work as long as Google loves links! I also use them to great effect, but with a caveat…you have to diversify and use a nice a nice mix of links for diversity. My tip for finding a good writer on Upwork is to try and find someone that is passionate about the subject of your site. Congratulation for selling the site for $35,000, this is really an inspiration for many people. What you suggest if we don’t have money and time to invest in PBN, Did blog comments work to generate backlinks? Wow, Its great to hear that you sold your health and fitness niche site with a huge amount! My Journey to Create the Most Usable Keyword Research Tool, Long Tail Pro, and a special discount on it for you!
Learn the Best Subreddits that allowed us to get 10,000 pageviews in less than 2 weeks from Reddit!
Actually, I know how much I appreciate it when someone has written a detailed blog post for a process that I am hoping to learn, so I hope to accomplish that today about comparison tables! Before I jump into the nuts and bolts of how to create a comparison table, I want to review WHY you would want a comparison table. When people are searching to buy something, they want information and they want to be able to compare different options.  The easiest way to compare the pros and cons of different products for many people is to have a list of all the top products along with prices, reviews, features, and more right in front of them on one page.
Once you have done your research to find what PRODUCTS to compare, you should already have a good idea of what FEATURES to compare. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and think about what features are most important to consider. So, now that you know what information you want in your chart, you need to actually start creating it! I am going to review 2 different plugins that I’m aware of that will allow you to create these comparison charts for free. However, for my survival knife site, you can see that I used EasyAzon for the links in my chart. You are an affiliate of theirs, trying to promote their products.  But if you want to do your own research, I highly encourage you to do so.
Then finally just add whatever Text you want, and you have built your link.  Now just do that for every product in your table!
Yep, its time consuming, but the few hours you will spend building your table, will make your site more useful than most niche sites out there. In other words, if I want to have a pop-up when users hover over the images in my table, or make my links no-follow, or cloak my links, or other options; I can do that directly in the EasyAzon management panel, without ever touching my links. Once you have the image URL you want, just combine it with the affiliate link you created, and insert the code into your table.  Rinse and repeat for all products! Again, the only real downside of getting your links directly from Amazon, is that if you decide to change how your links act, you would need to go back and edit each individually.  This is not the case with EasyAzon. Chris Guthrie, the owner of EasyAzon, has agreed to give my readers a special $20 discount on EasyAzon that you can get anywhere else right now. I know of at least one other table plugin for WordPress, and there are likely many others.  Go Responsive is not a free plugin, but it does offer a lot of interesting options that can help create a professional looking and responsive table.


Overall, I hope that the great detail provided here on how to create your very own comparison table for your niche site is helpful!  When creating a niche site, I think it is important to create as much value as possible to the end user, and one way to to do that is to create a well-researched table of the top products in your chosen niche.
I would love to hear your thoughts!  If you have any input that you would like to add to the process, please let us know.  I look forward to the discussion below. And I’m excited to share that my niche site I launched in late July is going to make about $1500 in December! Also, thanks to Spencer for answering my email (within probably 10 minutes) asking about which plugin he used to create the table. I don’t use TablePress but I heard that there is a plugin that will make the tables responsive too. As for those other columns, it’s important to note this is AT LEAST as important from a content side of things. Also, Tablepress is a shortcode-friendly plugin – in other words, you can reuse the same table in other posts or pages if you deem it helpful. So to everyone that suggested it would be nice to make it easier, we’ve heard you + still have a lot of things planned for EasyAzon. I guess it would be nice to have an all inclusive amazon plugin suite with easyazon including all these features.
It would be great if we could set up one main product table to start, then be able to list sub tables on some pages based on one feature or aspect without having to create new tables and enter the info from scratch each time.
Definitely, that’s a great point about why you should use EasyAzon links rather than straight Amazon links. I created tables like this before but the image link would be sliced in half somehow because of the column widths…and now, months later, I can finally fix it! Been a lurker on your website for best part of a year now, and have been deep in experimentation trying to get my brain around the detail. Question I have is, I’ve been sending traffic to Amazon from PPC and organic via niche sites, and found that I could generate quite a lot of hits by listing out individual products. But is there a reliable way to hack up the URL from Amazon for any ASIN, so you can shortcut the product search step? With the built-in features, you can point and click your way to better blog posts, pages, configure the settings, install plugins, optimize your site for google rankings and so many more. With just a few clicks, you can also PROTECT your website from BOTS and SCRAPPERS which are eating your bandwidth and slowing down your websites. Delivering your download is as easy as clicking the icon in your post editor and choosing your options. There simply is no better way to quickly and easily create expiring links to your Amazon S3 content to help protect your valuable downloads from unauthorized sharing. Unlimited ads – create an ad for each of your products, important affiliate links, or any other content you want to use over and over again. Powerful formatting – this plugin uses the familiar WordPress post editor so you have complete control over images, text, links and more within each and every ad block. Built-in hand-drawn arrows to direct the reader’s attention exactly where you want it to go.
Place your ad anywhere on the page you like – at the top, in the content itself, or at the end of your post. The truth is, if you can use WordPress, you can use this plugin to create impressive looking ads and calls to action and place them absolutely anywhere within your posts or pages. Commission Swipe is the complete underground profit system for launching “set and forget” affiliate review sites and making money on autopilot step by step! An internet marketer’s must-read guide that covers all the relevant steps to creating WordPress blogs with special emphasis on the necessary steps to become successful through traffic generation. Now you have a handy set of videos which you can refer to in case you run into a problem or if you don’t know how to do something in WordPress. You can also pass these videos to your outsourcers or your staff so that they can help you out with WordPress-related tasks.
Furthermore, if you have an online support desk, you can provide these video tutorials to your customers or clients, therefore helping them out in a more efficient manner! In this specific 16-video training course, you will get to watch over the shoulder – step-by-step, click by click – and learn how to implement measures intended to prevent your WordPress sites from getting hacked and greatly improving your site’s security overall! He’s a 20 year old college student and he’s doing really well with niche sites! Around 5 months ago, in October, the site started to really gain traction and make more than the usual couple hundred dollars per month. This new law actually made it illegal for the affiliate site I was using to monetize my site to pay me out the money I had earned. This happened around the middle of October and I didn’t want to deal with this problem anymore.
Mainly because I was expecting them to use a 6 month average and a 20x multiple, which would have valued my site much lower. So I would be happy to share some of the things that I have found to be successful for building and growing websites.
These are the long tail keywords that will drive targeted traffic to your site and won’t take years to rank in Google. Also, take note of the keywords that have 70 and 90 monthly searches, they are driving a very good chunk of traffic.
There is a good chance that you will be able to create the most optimized and highest quality of article for those keywords. The main reason for that is because I own and build out my own Private Blog Network which I have full control over. If you are going to buy PBN links from someone make sure that they are knowledgeable and will keep your site safe.
With that being said, I understand that they will not be effective forever and that it is smart to diversify my link building strategies. I will NOT be using any sort of PBN links on these type of websites mainly because I want to limit the risk of the site as much as possible since I am using other people’s money for the website. This will limit the potential your site has to earn as well as limit the scope of content you can produce.
For example, let’s say I was doing keyword research and I came across a really nice keyword such as “best hiking boots” that I wanted to target with a new website. So what I would do after finding this first good keyword is try to find other keywords within the same niche that I could target as well. Google knows when content is actually useful for people and will reward the websites that have this type of content.
I have done this for every single one of my websites and I think it is a major reason for my success.
I touched on this before but, I really want to stress that it is not important to rank for these type of keywords. However, the site that was discussed in this article which I sold for $35,000 was a site that I actually documented on my own website and I have 9 part series that covers everything from the creation of the site to the selling of the site. Stop waiting around for the perfect time to start your own website and online business, do it now. I am especially amazed about the time visitors spend on your site , 3 minutes and 35 seconds for a niche site ? I Love to LearnWant to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income? Two options that you should almost always have in your chart are price and ratings.  People always want to know how much something costs and how well its been rated by others. If I ever want to change how users interact with my affiliate links, I can do it without actually changing any of the links.  This is not true when you create links directly in Amazon Associates.
It will really be helpful for me when I will start working with my niche site, I’m still in learning curve!
I think that research phase is definitely VERY important if you want users to actually get value from your chart and use it how you want them to. I’m not sure how far you are with it or how set you are on how it will work but can I make a suggestion?
I do like the TablePress, which is what I use but the paid(Go – Responsive) looks very impressive. I think that I might start using a Virtual Assistant for these kinds of tasks and use your post to show them how to do it. A little tip for some of the people reading this is if you do use the tablepress plugin that Spencer used for his site and you don’t like the color, you can change it. Because once you install and activate this plugin, your users will be automatically prompted to update their passwords on the schedule that YOU control. Full of useful information that you will find easy-to-follow and understand, it includes quality resources that you’ll find valuable for future reference, and instructions that you can follow step-by-step at your own pace. I realised that this month marks 10 years of me using Amazons Associates Program.My Start with Using Amazons Affiliate ProgramI first heard about Amazon’s Affiliate program in April 2003. It peaked during January at over $2,600 and saw a bit of a decline in February but still ended up making around $1,000 during that time. The number one thing that I hate to see are people creating a WHOLE website around one keyword. The sooner that you start taking action and making things happen the sooner you will see success. I also figured out how to use it in conjunction with EasyAzon, which saves a ton of time, compared to doing the links manually with Amazon. Chris Guthrie has so many great Amazon tools and plugins, perhaps he (or somebody else) should create a plugin that makes this whole process simpler and faster. I did not like the light blue when I used it for my site, and now I have a nice match with the color of my logo and it looks much much better. I had been blogging for 6 months and was beginning to realise that this new hobby of mine was going to cost me a little money (for hosting, design etc).I was newly married at the time and on a very tight budget. Say if you wanted a multi-column, multi-row table of just images that linked to Amazon products, could you do that?
I realised that if I wanted to keep blogging, I needed to find a way for my blogs to pay for themselves. Thanksgiving to Christmas can be a particularly profitable time to promote.Amazon has a wide array of products – Amazon is so much more than books these days. Traffic Traffic TrafficLet’s start with the most obvious point – one of the biggest factors in the upward swing in my Amazon Affiliate earnings (in the chart above) has been the corresponding upward swing in traffic.As with most methods of making money from blogging, the more eyeballs that see your affiliate promotions – the better chance you have of them converting.
Sure, it wasn’t much but I often wonder what would have happened if I’d let that minuscule amount discourage me and stop my from trying!?So yes, experiment early but if you’re just starting out your main focus needs to be on creating great content and building traffic to your blog. In the long run, that is what will help you earn more from Amazon (and other income streams).2. Loyalty and Trust ConvertAnother major factor in the increase in earnings has been the type of readership I’ve gathered on my blogs.While I do get a fair bit of search engine traffic, I’ve found that in most cases (and there is an exception below) search visitors don’t sign up to the affiliate programs on my blogs. Loyal and repeat readers do.The main reason for this is that readers who connect with you on a daily basis, over the long haul, begin to trust you (and your blog). When you make a recommendation, or do a review, they’re more likely to take that advice that someone who has give arrived from a search engine link.3. The Intent of Readers MattersAnother big factor in the equation of Amazon Affiliate conversions is the intent your readers have when they visit your blog.Why are they there and where are they in the ‘buying cycle’?I began to understand this in the early days of Digital Photography School.
I looked at the growing traffic to the site but realised that my Amazon affiliate earnings weren’t keeping up with the traffic growth I was experiencing.I realised that DPS was a blog that largely shared ‘tips on how to use a camera’. In fact, I ran a survey and found that many of my readers had recently purchased a camera and were on my site because they wanted to learn how to use it.So I began to add to the mix of content on the site with more articles relevant to people buying a digital camera. The more relevant your products are to your audience, the better chance you’ll have of converting.Promoting iPods on a blog that largely talks about spirituality and you’re unlikely to make a lot of sales (believe me, I tried). Try different products related to your topic and track which products convert best for your audience.5.
Get People in the Door then Let Amazon Do What They’re Good AtOne of the great things about Amazon is that it is a site people are familiar with and trust and they’re very good at converting visitors into buyers. Amazon has honed their site to present people with products relevant to them (based upon previous surfing and buying habits) and over many years they have tweaked their site so converts really well.As a result, I find that if you can people to visit the Amazon site (pretty much for any reason) a percentage of them will naturally end up buying something. The cool thing is that whether they buy the thing you linked to or not – you still earn a commission!I have found that one size doesn’t fit all. For example I’ve experimented a couple of times on dPS with running a posts that gave readers a hypothetical $1000 to spend on photography gear and asked them to surf around Amazon and choose what they wanted to buy.
I’m sure there is an insightful psychological reason for this but from where I sit, buying seems to have become a communal activity.One of the most powerful social proof marketing strategies I’ve used, when promoting Amazon affiliate links, is creating ‘Best Seller’ type lists for readers. These lists show readers what is currently popular, in terms of purchases in our community.A good example of this technique in action is my Popular Digital Cameras and Gear page on DPS.
I then categorise those results by product and ‘Waahlaaa’ – we have a best seller list that shows what readers of my site are buying in the last few months.Bestseller lists convert well because readers know that others in their community are buying these products too. I guess it’s Wisdom of the Crowd mentality but it works!Another quick example of this was a post, 23 Photography Book Reviews [Ranked], where I ranked the top selling photography books in order of sales. Two ways to do this is to prominently link to these pages from within your blog plus linking to them from within other posts.
Social Proof Marketing 2 – Reader ReviewsI used to review all the photography books featured on DPS. It was mainly because I couldn’t find anyone else to do it and partly because I’m a control freak.However, one day I had a reader offer to write a book review for me.


I was wrong.The review not only converted as well as my normal reviews – it did even better than normal!This could have been for many reasons but one reason I suspect came into play was the way I introduced the reviewer. I introduced them as a ‘DPS reader’, a regular reader who wanted to share some thoughts on a book that had helped them.I suspect the social proof concept came into play a little here. Genuine Recommendations and ReviewsApart from my ‘best seller lists’ mentioned above, there are two main ways that I promote Amazon affiliate links.The first is in ‘Reviews’ for products (the second I’ll cover below in the next point). These links are where I, or one of my writers, will genuinely test a product and give it the once over.I insist my writers actually read the books, test the cameras and use the software products they are reviewing. I encourage them to be as genuine and unbiased as possible, to point out both the pros and cons of the product.
While there’s some temptation to hype up a product and only talk about its positive points, a real review will help your reader relationship over the long haul and I find actually helps promote sales.Review links work well because it’s usually people who are considering buying a product who really read reviews.
For example, when Nikon announced the Nikon D300s we immediately posted about the news because it was a notable and anticipated camera announcement. The camera was not yet available in stores and we were not able to get a review sample yet – but it was available for Pre-Order on Amazon so we linked to it.There was no recommendation or review attached to the link but it was a relevant link for readers who wanted to know more (price, specs, pictures etc). Some readers even pre-ordered the cameras from that link.Similarly, if we’re writing about Photoshop or another photography post-production software we’ll usually include a link to the software. Contextual Promoting is KingOne of the biggest reasons my initial attempts with Amazon simply didn’t convert was that I thought it’d be enough to slap a button on my sidebar, featuring a product or Amazon.Amazon gives publishers a lot of these type banners or widgets but despite trying almost all of them, I had little or no success with using them. Instead – 99% of my conversions have come from links to Amazon from within blog posts about the products themselves.By all means experiment with the widgets and buttons Amazon gives you.
If they do convert, then more power to you but every blogger I’ve talked to that has had success with Amazon tells me that contextual links, from within blog posts, work best.11. Promote Specials, Promotions and DiscountsAmazon has hardly any products that don’t have a listed discount.
Most books are as much as 30% off the recommended retail price and at different times during the year, Amazon runs other special discounts and promotions on different products or product categories.Keep an eye out for these kinds of promotions because they can be well worth promoting (if relevant to your readership). In fact, last time Amazon had cameras on special, I promoted the sale to my newsletter readers and had readers emailing me to thank me for letting them know about it.Another related tip is that when you’re writing a product review and Amazon has a listed discount – include a note about the discount. For example, in this recent photography book review I link at the bottom to Amazon and note that it is currently 36% off.11. Multiple Links Per PostWhen I used to write product reviews, I used to include just one affiliate link. For some reason, I thought that a single link would be enough and I didn’t want to run the risk of annoying readers with more links. However, one day it struck me that the reviews I was writing were quite long and by the time people got to the end of them, the link to Amazon was no longer visible.At this point I started to experiment with a link at the top and tail of the review.
As a result, if they did click a link after reading the review they were more likely to buy the product. They clicked on the link less because they wanted to buy it but more out of interest to learn more.
I began to experiment with linking images to Amazon with my affiliate links, setting up a tracking code to test whether they converted. While they didn’t convert as well as text links, they did convert in some instances and to this day I still use this technique most of the time.13. Buy Now ButtonsThis is a technique I’ve heard others having real success with but one I need to experiment with more.It basically involves using a ‘buy now’ button in your post.
I’ve written more about the technique here but the first time I heard this being applied, the blogger actually used the yellow Amazon Buy Now button in his posts.
The familiarity of the button seemed to help increase conversions.Again – it’s not something I’ve done much of but it could be worth a try!14. Multiple Promotions Per CampaignI’ve talked about using multiple links in a post but another way to increase conversions on a particularly hot product is to promote it more than once, over time.
I only do this on very popular or highly anticipated products but it certainly works well.The key is to find a number of different ways to talk about the product over a few weeks (or longer). I wouldn’t do all of the following for a single product but here’s a few ways I’ve done it on occasion in the past.If a highly anticipated camera is announced by one of the manufacturers, I immediately publish a post announcing it. Amazon often has advance notice of these announcements and will usually have a page up for it where it can be pre-ordered on the same day it’s announced.
I link to it immediately in my announcement post.A few days later I might post a post asking readers what they think about the camera or one of its features. You don’t want to over do it but if it’s a product your readers are discussing and are interested in there’s plenty of ways to bring it up (and promote it on Amazon) more than once.15.
Focus Upon the HolidaysIf you check out this I shared here on ProBlogger back in 2009 you’ll notice that the yearly 4th quarters were usually bigger than those proceeding them.
The reason is simple – Christmas and Thanksgiving.The only December that I saw a downswing was when Google temporarily de-indexed my first site for a few weeks.
Every other year there has been healthy rises for the later half of November and all of December (the last few Decembers have been massive).The upswing in sales around Christmas is partly natural as people are more in a ‘buying mood’ at that time of year. Promote Related ProductsOne of the challenges I came up against when writing about cameras regularly was that while a certain percentage of my readers were actively shopping for a new camera, many readers already owned one. In fact, writing a ‘photography tips’ blog means you attract more people wanting to learn how to use a camera that they already own, rather than buying a new one.As a result, I often do more promotions on ‘related products’ than cameras themselves. After a while you’ll start to notice that they’re not only buying the products you directly promote but other products as well.
Some will be completely irrelevant to your niche – but many times trends will emerge that could signal other products that it might be worth promoting.Let’s look at an example of this. Following is a screen capture of a small part of the orders on my Amazon account a while back.
I have arranged them in order of how many were sold.What you can see in this screen grab is that the #1 electronic item sold in the period was a Canon 50mm lens. You can see that in the ‘product Link Clicks column’ that people came to Amazon directly through a link from my site to this item – it’s something I promoted on DPS.However look at the next most popular item (the Tiffen 52mm UV filter).
I never promoted this product directly on DPS – yet 44 people bought it.The next two items were things I promoted but the next 8 were things that people bought in number by themselves without me promoting them at all.
If they have, I make sure to mention that the product is already available for pre-ordering on Amazon.For example a couple of years ago when Canon Released the Canon EOS 50D DSLR I used this technique. While two of them cancelled their orders later 8 sales of a $1000+ product certainly add up!18.
Track Your CampaignsUntil a bit over a year ago, I just promoted every single Amazon affiliate link with the one tracking code. I was lazy and while I saw which products were selling, I never really knew what links on my blog were converting and what ones were not.Eventually I decided that I needed to know more about what was working for me so I started tracking campaigns.
Amazon allows you to create 100 tracking ids (once logged into Amazon Associates you manage them at this link).I didn’t realize there was a limit until a few years back when I hit the maximum.
To be honest, I find their tracking system pretty messy and think it needs an overhaul however, it is great for testing what works and what doesn’t. Most of what I’ve written about in other tips in these articles was learned through tracking.Because there’s a 100 tracking code limit, I suggest creating a few general tracking codes, one for each blog and perhaps one for each category on your blog. Small Ticket Items Add UpOne of the most common criticisms I hear about the Amazon’s Affiliate program is that there are just too many small commissions. Getting a commission of a small percentage on a $15 book just doesn’t cut it for many people. One might think the higher than normal figure came from selling some big ticket items but that wasn’t the case. The vast majority of the sales were books sold from my list of photography books, which we promoted on social media recently.The other beauty of getting lots of smaller ticket sales is that they go towards increasing the commission tier you’re on.
The more items you sell (not the more $’s you refer – but item numbers) the higher % commission you make from Amazon.In the screen capture above you can see that when you go past 6 items referred, you move from a 4% commission to a 6% commission. Big Ticket Items are the Cream on TopWhile I strongly advise promoting small ticket items to help boost your sale numbers and commission figures, it’s also worth targeting some bigger ticket promotions too.In my experience, they don’t convert anywhere near as well as cheaper items but when they do, they can give your revenue a real boost.
I don’t promote Amazon in every post but in an average week I’d say I link to Amazon in at least 4-5 posts. That adds up to 200-250 posts per year and around over 2000 posts in the last 10 years.These posts act as a doorway to the Amazon site. As the number of posts has increased, my blogs have begun to rank higher in Google and my loyal reader numbers have grown, the number of people going through these ‘doorways’ has increase– hence the escalation in earnings.2. In doing so, you’ll be populating your blog with links into the store that may not convert brilliantly early on but which can potentially convert for years to come as your blog grows in popularity.The other good thing about starting early is that you’ll learn a lot about affiliate marketing. Experiment with Widgets and aStoreI’ve already mentioned that I largely rely upon contextual links to promote Amazon products.
If you’ve used some of these widgets I’d love to see examples of where you’ve had them work for you – please share links in comments below so we can all learn!4. Transparency with ReadersThere is always debate about the topic of transparency when affiliate marketing comes up. Should you disclose that your links are affiliate links or should you not? The answer to this will partly depend upon your location. When I’m doing a ‘best seller list’ always include a disclaimer on those posts as the whole page is filled with affiliate links.
I have also written numerous times on DPS about how the links to Amazon earn us money and help the site to keep growing and be free.I was nervous the first time I mentioned this to readers and expected a backlash however, what I found was that most readers not only accepted it, they encouraged us.In fact, a few of our readers tell me that if they’re going to make some kind of purchase at Amazon that they always come to DPS to click on one of our links to do so! Transparency isn’t as scary as you might think (although this might depend upon your audience a little).Here on ProBlogger I disclose Amazon affiliate links. That’s mainly because there are fewer of them and because my readers here are more savvy with the idea of affiliate programs (I don’t have to explain what an affiliate link is every time I mention one).5. While you certainly can make money without a focus on quality content or building community and by hyping up the things that you promote – my approach has always been to put the reader first.I do this because I want to build a solid reputation and a loyal readership of people who trust me. I’d rather make less money and still have a reader than make lots of money and never see the reader again. For me, this comes not only from my ethics but my belief that in the long term building a good profile and reputation leads to other opportunities for profit.The problem with hype is that you set readers up with expectations that are beyond what the product you’re recommending can deliver. This might lead to a sale but it also leads to disappointment and anger – the loss of readers – damaged reputation etc.6. Pick High Quality ProductsThis follows on from the last point but is worth stating on its own. Be BoldOne of the recurring themes I hear from readers is that they worry about using Amazon links too much, asking “Won’t readers push back?”I have always shared this concern but as you’ve probably picked up by now, the reader push back has been almost non-existent.Perhaps this is because I carefully choose the products I promote or because I often promote these links in posts based upon reader feedback.
I can think of less than 10 occasions when I’ve had people on my photography site question the links. For example here on ProBlogger I get a little more negative feedback from readers on affiliate promotions. I suspect ProBlogger readers are a little more tuned into the issue and suspicious of some of the affiliate marketing that goes on around the web.8.
I previously had a blog with almost completely Australian traffic and it converted reasonably well with Amazon.
Amazon does ship some products to Australia and other countries (books, CDs etc) so if you’re promoting those products it can work.Of course I always missed out on the bigger ticket electronic items that didn’t ship outside the USA.
This was part of the reason I moved my efforts to starting Digital Photography School, which has a more global audience.Secondly – if your traffic is localized to a country with its own Amazon store, join the affiliate program for that store and promote it. I know one of the UK photography sites does very well from promoting the UK version of Amazon. Topics Convert DifferentlyOne forum I came across was discussing my previous articles and a number of people reported that Amazon didn’t work on their sites (doubting whether I was telling the truth about my earnings). When I delved a little deeper, and looked at their sites, the reason for their lack of success with Amazon became apparent – their topics.Some topics will naturally fit with Amazon better than others. In the end, it comes down to the fact that Amazon is a product related affiliate program so it only works when people buy stuff. If your blog is on a topic that doesn’t have any natural connection to people buying stuff it is going to be an uphill battle.In my experience, it’s product-related blogs that tend to do best with Amazon. Most blogs probably have at least some possibilities (for example here on ProBlogger I occasionally link to a book that relates or a computer or electronic tool that I think might be useful to bloggers) but the reality is that this blog will never convert as well on Amazon as my photography site.10. You don’t have to be an active buyer but surf the site regularly and pay particular attention to the way that THEY are promoting products on their site.Amazon has spent years perfecting the art of online selling and you’ll learn a lot about online marketing by observing how they do it. They constantly test different ways of promoting products and have evolved their site quite a lot over the years. Watch for Opportunities – earlier in this guide I mentioned that you could tap into a number of promotions Amazon on their site. For example, they send out emails to affiliates semi-regularly, promoting their latest promotions. They also have a blog where they do likewise.If you read the blog and get the emails you’ll see promotions where they are offering discounts to readers but also where they’re giving bonus commissions for some items or categories of products. Not all of them will relate to your niche but over time some will.However, there are other opportunities they don’t promote to us as affiliates but which you can still tap into. For example, today I was surfing on Amazon and came across their Camera Deals page.The page is a sales page promoting any deals that they’re running on digital cameras.
On the page are some pretty decent deals that are worth promoting on my photography blog.This is just one of many promotions that Amazon is always running on their site.



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