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How to Build a Successful Amazon Affiliate Site – $150 to $2000/mo in 6 Months

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Buildasitelike.com will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

One of our many goals with BuildaSiteLike is for us to practice what we preach.

In other words, not only do we want to teach you guys how to get started online and build successful websites, we want to continue to improve our skills by doing the same.

For this, my team and I have come up with a challenge for ourselves in the form of a case study.

The answer is in the title.

We have decided to take one of the old Amazon product review sites that I created (and neglected) a few years back to see if we can turn it around and make a success out of it.

So here’s the deal…

I am going to take one of my small, under-performing niche sites and turn it into a solid $2,000 a month income in just 6 months, (working only 8hrs a week).

It’s not going to be easy. But then that’s the point.

The rules of the game

Referee - rules of the game

Outside the 9 – 5 (no more than 8hrs a week)

One of the main rules is that all the work I do on the site will be conducted as if I have a full time job elsewhere, (which by all accounts I do – I run many sites outside of BuildaSiteLike.com and these all take up most of my day; well that and being a dad).

In other words, just as the majority of you guys have to get home and spark up the energy to work on building your online business, I will do the same. This Amazon Affiliate Niche site challenge will be outside the hours of my normal working day.

Document every step I take

I will write detailed updates on this blog throughout the challenge as well as transparent income reports at the end of every month.

My aim is for you all to be able to follow along and have a crack at doing something similar yourself.

If I fail, it will be up there for everyone to see. Together we can dissect what went wrong.

If I succeed, we can do the same analysis and have a blue print to replicate that success.

Completely White Hat SEO

white hat seo

White hat SEO, this basically means I will be doing nothing but clean Search Engine Optimization that a real Google employee could look at and like.

There’s no point in trying to the game the Google search algorithm with Black Hat strategies anymore – sooner or later you will be penalised and you can end up losing everything.

If you are newbie to the term, black hat techniques are basically strategies used to gain higher rankings in the search engines that the likes of Google frown upon.

Sure they may work in the short term, but we are trying to build sustainable income streams here. You want assets that give you the confidence to quit your day job and do this full time.

Only a fool would bet their livelihood on a website with a dodgy foundation.

No Backlinks

backlinks

That’s right, you heard me. I will not spend any time building backlinks. I know this one is going to be controversial. None of my 8 hours per week working on the site will be used to chase links.

There’s a few reasons for this:

  • Number one – I can’t stand doing it.
  • Leaving blog comments, forum posts, building web 2.0 pyramids and other ways of gaining the odd backlink are just not worth the effort. They amount to nothing in 2016.
  • Guest posting for a backlink is very time consuming. Granted a link from a worthwhile site will pay dividends, but I haven’t the time or the energy to do the out-reach or create content for someone else.
  • Actually, while on the subject, nearly all the worthwhile back-linking methods take a lot of time. I believe that given what little time I have each week, (just 8 hours) my efforts are more efficiently spent elsewhere.

To be honest, I am tired of the amount of industry folk harking on about the importance of backlinks.

Google’s ranking algorithm is far more sophisticated now. Yes they have their role, but backlinks are just one part of an ever increasing cocktail of variables.

I have personally succeeded in several types of online ventures without spending time or paying good money for backlinks.

My viral content site successes used social media and by passed organic search altogether.

My main affiliate review site relies on good keyword research and excellent content. (Both methods have attracted their own links over time).

No more than $100 a month expenditure

With only 8 hours a week I am going to have to outsource some of the work. However I will not spend more than $100 a month. Most of that will be on content. I will give you the full insight into my outsourcing strategies in a later niche site challenge post.

The Site Status Today (Day one of the niche site challenge)

website health

The site I have chosen to revamp is a tired Amazon review website that I first started in April 2014. It is in the home and garden niche.

There are currently 54 posts on the site. 36 of these are individual product reviews, the rest are simple how tos and information articles, (none of the content is particularly in depth. Most of the reviews are between 500 – 750 words).

I haven’t added any content to the site for over a year.

Below are the current stats of the chosen website, (I have decided not to reveal the URL at this stage).

Niche Site Status Today
  • Average monthly income: $150 (Amazon affiliate, the only form of monetization at present)
  • Average daily traffic: 75 – 120 uniques
  • No social media accounts
  • 40 backlinks from 3 urls (these come from useless forum and blog postings etc that I conducted early on in the site’s life).
  • There is very little in the way of internal linking between pages
  • The site is WordPress based, using the 2015 theme
  • From a plugins perspective all the major suspects are there, (see the tools I use).

A Word About The Domain

domain name extensions

I have waxed lyrical about the importance of brandable domain names and how I dislike EMDs (Exact Match Domains) here.

Luckily for me, even though I registered the domain back in 2014, I did choose a brandable name.

To give you an example of what I mean by this:

Say my review website was originally about dishwashers. I could have gone out and purchased www.bestdishwasherreviews.com.

That would be an exact match domain. I would be aiming to rank for the keywords contained within it.

Putting aside the fact that the name reeks of spam; what happens if you want to expand out and review other products? You’re going to be rather limited.

However, if the domain I had chosen was something like: www.sparkleking.com

Straight away you can see the scope you have if you want to branch out from dishwashers. Any cleaning products, from those used in the home, car, industrial or scientific could legitimately come under this umbrella.

It immediately sounds more trust worthy too.

So, back to the niche site challenge.

My chosen website has a name like the second domain above. I can branch out from the main product I have reviewed so far when attempting to reach my $2000 a month goal within 6 months.

My Plan in a Nut Shell

written plan

I will elaborate further on each of the points below with full in depth articles.

However, this is the plan in brief:

  • A new design using a responsive magazine style WordPress theme (I want to avoid the obvious review site design that visitors are currently subjected to).
  • Cull old content I think not good enough. Interlink current content where applicable, (continue to interlink all future content)
  • Conduct keyword research to find low Google competition products to review (priced no less than $50)
  • Create a content system. I aim to create 3 to 4 articles / reviews a week on the site. This will be a mixture of my own writing plus outsourcing using just $25 a week.
  • Create a Facebook page and a Pinterest account to help build trust and audience numbers

You can join the challenge too!

the start

I would absolutely love it if some of you out there could join me in this challenge. To recap, this is all you would need to do just that:

  • An old website (without spammy backlinks) that is under-performing
  • Alternatively, a newer website that is fully indexed, has passed the 6 months Google Sandbox and has at least 20 articles.
  • A non EMD domain if possible
  • 8 hours a week spare to work on the project
  • $100 a month to spend on outsourcing
  • A disdain for building backlinks.

That about wraps it all up for now. I will be back very soon with an update on my progress on getting this Amazon Affiliate site from $150 to $2000 a month in just 6 months.

If you have any comments or questions, please do in get in touch. It would be fantastic to hear from you.