15k might not be a lot for a lot of people & it can be huge for some! For me it is good but I want to grow it to 100k per month if possible.
I don’t believe that you can make more than $5k without building links (using google’s organic traffic)
Sorry income school, I can’t wait for 1.5 years to make $1k, that’s just not my thing.
I don’t believe in white hat SEO. You can’t just publish the content and forget, you have to make links to get some organic reach(Links can be a by-product of marketing but I don’t believe that you can rank without links for a good keyword).
I chose a niche that was one of the most difficult niches in 2019. It’s one of the niches listed on this list by Matt Diggity.
I do a lot of websites every year & document a lot about them on BHW threads.
Some of my threads:
- $1000 per day Journey (did an AMA after it was successful)
- Youtube Journey
- Authority website Journey (AMA again after reaching 100/day)
- Blogger Outreach Services (Will tell you how to judge guest posts)
This isn’t my first site & have learned a lot in 4 years.
So if you’re a beginner you will have to invest some money on your site to see what works for you and what doesn’t. After reading a few journey threads& blogs(which are mostly free) if you can’t make 1k if you’re a fucking noob! Go learn & try something…
Prerequisites I had for this Affiliate Site:
- 3 Content writers ($40 per 1000 words avg)
- Money (You need money to do difficult niches)
- 2 Uploaders (graphic + web designer)
- Content & Outreach manager
- Outreach guy
People were asking what services I use, so here it is:
Guest Posts (use code “Medium” to get 20% off)
Link inserts (use code “Medium” to get 20% off)
Diversity Links (Team does it and I don’t recommend buying them from an agency, not even from biggies like hoth, hire some VAs to do it for you and tell them not to cut corners)
Affiliate Marketing Case Study (Starts here)
Excuse me, but Google wants headings with keywords, so you might find an “affiliate marketing case study” inserted here and there. Blame the game, not the player.
No, I don’t have 3k links. Difficult niche, jealous competitors make cheap PBNs & Spammy links in hopes that we will do bad. So you have to mitigate that damage too! I will explain how I am doing it later in the article.
So get yourself a cup of coffee coz it will be a long case study & you don’t want to miss out on some golden nuggets.
First of all, I bought this domain from a friend in January & Started posting the content.
I am going to explain what I did month-wise which will make things easy to understand.
To make money from your affiliate site, You must have these skills:
- Niche research skills (If you find a niche which is about to trend up, you will make good money)
- Keyword research (You should know which keyword to go for and which keyword is still out of bounds for you)
- Content writing/Content Managing? (You should be able to manage your writers & write a good article which is researched af)
- You should be able to find ways to build good links (Mostly begging other bloggers, PBNs, Web2.0s & Forum links) (Will explain what I do & did for this site later in the article)
For this, I will recommend you guys to go to BHW or Reddit for whitehat journies. You will learn how other people are doing it & you can try whatever you learn as you read. If you don’t take action, then you won’t do shit!
#1 Site Planning in January:
Here’s what I did:
- Keyword research: Found worst sites on the SERPs using Ahrefs & noted the keywords they were ranking for. They were ranking for a lot of long tails and low competition keywords. I found 110 topics to target & gave 10 articles per month to each of my writers (40% money keywords)
- Researched the niche properly to look for monetization tactics(Most people were doing amazon but I found a few sites with Shareasale & impact radius’s offers.
- Researched a few authority sites in the niche & found a few so bought Ahrefs for a month & checked for their link building, anchor tactics, On-page/structure & Volume with which they add their content & If they were hit by the medic update or not & many other things which will be explained later in the post.
- So I made a normal silo for the site. Divided the site into 4 sections & then a few sub-sections. Eg: Site.com/pets/Dogs/How-to-train-dogs (i could have gone deeper but I didn't)
These things took a month to do. Managed writers & uploaders using Trello & Zapier. You need to automate everything you can and fast! I don’t recommend niche, competition & keyword research to be automated!
#2 Content Planning/Onpage Seo in February:
If you google “fuck on-page SEO”, You will find an article that was written by me in 2018(Webminati) on BHW. That guide is still followed by my upload guys & usually when keywords start to rank we can always tweak the articles to rank them better.
I personally give structures for the articles coz most people get that wrong(Well different) from what I want & my interlinking tactics are pretty simple…
Link whatever’s relevant when you upload the article & with an anchor which explains where the people are going to land if they click the link. Eg: Check out Our best ironing board (Link best ironing board) and whatever looks good to you. Btw, Keep your anchors natural too. (You can check top sites in your niche on Ahrefs to see what’s natural for them, compare your site with the sites in your DR range)
Did the basic SEO plugin setup, here’s what I like:
- No index your dates, tags, categories & Tags. I no index my attachments as well or redirect them to the page where they are.
- I make simple HTML & XML sitemap pages and link those on the footer
- Decide what my title will look like (Meta Title|Brand Name)
- Check if my theme throws H1 titles on its own or not, make it H1 if it doesn’t.
#3 Offpage audits of 15 Competitors in March:
So checking what other websites are doing is important as it will help you skip a lot of stuff that’s not really important and focus on things that work. I wanted to get what budget I should have to get backlinks.
So I noticed these things were working for them:
- Guest posts
- Link Inserts on old articles
- Forum Links
- News/Authority Links(Some $1500+ links, maybe Forbes?)
- PBN Links (yup I could see a lot of PBNs on Ahrefs & Majestic)
So I estimated that I have to invest around $3k on links & $3k on content(maybe more) every month.
#4 The Work Started in April:
Boring month, We(my team) just uploaded as many articles we could, made a few forum links & guest posts to the articles that were being posted.
Eg: If I posted a “best coffee machine” article, this is what will happen:
- We will find forums where people are talking about coffee machines, and reply properly with our link (we do the same for subreddits)
- Find quora questions to answer on the topic
- Check the competitors who are ranking for “best coffee machine” and outreach their links for link inserts (This works awesome!) (You can use this link building service as well)
That’s how the day looks like when we post an article to the site. It takes 1–2 hours per day to do all this! But, it would be worth it in the end.
#5 Internal Link Audits in May:
So the site was going upwards after Feb, March and most informative articles were ranking coz they are easier to rank than the money articles.
So we made a list of all the money articles we want to rank and the info articles that had links and traffic.
Here’s something I believe:
- If a page has traffic and is ranked for a few keywords, it transfers its trust when internally linked to the money article.
- If a page has a lot of links, it will bring the power that you need to rank the money keyword.
That’s all! Now we can move to the Offpage part
These are the things we did to start off this site and we started the link building in March!
Here’s How I Planned the Links for this Affiliate Case Study:
Here’s when the link building started for me;
- I instructed my VAs to get me good profile links that my high ranking competitors had.
- Rented 20 Pbn Links, told the supplier to schedule the posts (2 links per week randomly), Only used branded & generic anchors. Making homepage links work for me and you can get out of the “sandbox period” fast.
- I love posting links on subreddits & other forums coz these are the most natural links for the websites and most forum links are still do-follow. So we find all the forums that are dr30+ and post our links with a lot of relevancy around the anchors.
- Web2.0s: These are awesome links to rank your money pages. I instructed my guys to make 2 links for every new article that is posted on the site.
So profile & forum links are evergreen tactics and you should keep making the new links all the time.
#2 April: We went on to do 15 link inserts for Inner pages and 5 Guest posts (2 links per site, 1 to the homepage & another to info articles)
#3 May: Rented 20 PBNs (10 to the homepage & 10 to inner pages, 4 links per week) and got a press release for the homepage.
#4 June: Here I started doing more Guest posts, did 20 new guest posts (1–2 links to my website from each article), did 15 to my most difficult buying guide & 5 to the homepage.
#5 July: Rented 30 PBN links (5 each to 6 buying guides, 6 links per week) and got 15 link inserts to the review pages.
#6 August: Rented 20 PBN links to the homepage with Branded + Partial anchors to make the website more relevant in my niche (these were niche-based links) and 20 web2.0 posts (to the buying guides), and 10 guest posts.
#7 September: Rented 10 links for 3 inner pages, and got 10 link inserts & 15 Guest posts to inner pages.
#8 October: October was great, I made my first $100/day with this site. So I started to use my own PBN. Total 30 links to 8 review articles and 1 press release to the homepage.
#9 November: I asked my PBN renters to remove the links (schedule delete the links so that I don't lose the rankings fast), Removed 20 PBN links in November & added 35 link inserts for the replacement. Bought 2 press releases(PRNewswire), 1 during black Friday & 1 for the holiday sale.
#10 December: Removed 20 more PBN links, and made 30 link inserts & 12 Guest posts in replacement and kept the anchor ratio as safe as possible, and also bought 1 Forbes & Lifehack.org link.
Till January 2020, we had:
- 45 forum links to the homepage & 30 to the internal pages.
- 120 Profile links to the homepage
- Got over 100 Web2.0s (indexed and rocking).
- 30 Rented PBN links to the homepage and 20 rented to the money pages
- I own 30 sites in my PBN and used them to rank review pages on the site, there are 21 product reviews and most of them are on page 1
- Got a total of 105 Link inserts and 62 Guest posts.
So I followed somewhat aggressive link building tactics at the beginning, some people don’t use PBN links till the site is somewhat stable?
But that’s a huge waste of time according to me. If the site is a dud, you know if by spending 1000–2000 dollars only. Most of the time, after building Pbn links we get out of the imaginary sandbox period fast.
Total Income: 54k
Total Expenses: 28k
Total Profit: 26k
The profit will increase every month if everything goes well, you have to spend a lot of money on the site to make great money these days. I mostly invested in content & links.
So the current revenue will increase by 15k per month or more if everything goes well. I will sell the site once it reaches its potential and stops growing.
Follow my journey threads to know the ups and downs, this stuff looks easy when you do a case study but this should be treated as your awesome business, and invest your time and money to see it grow.
Update for this case study:
This is what happened after January. It’s boring but that’s how businesses are.
From January to May, the site made over 30k a month for me but due to the weird May update. The rankings dropped.
So from January to May 2020:
- Posted 100 new articles in 5 months. 80% informational articles, and 20% money keywords. Mostly “Vs” and “review” keywords. The website grew in traffic till May but after may it was a shit show. Which sucks.
2. The traffic started to grow on google analytics and reduce in Ahrefs till May.
3.So recently sold this website for $200k through a private broker who gets me new sites and helps me sell sites too.
4. Site is making $8k to $10k per month. L3M was 10k, L6M was 11k. So as i didn’t fix the site, had to sell it for 20X. If the site was growing with time, it could have gone for 30–40X too. So that’s how the game is. We got new sites that were making better than this, so we had to stop working on this exclusively.
So you should know for sure that you have to exit when you are putting more money than you’re making per month.
So Total profit with this project: $320k. Overall an awesome project but the sad truth is that sites can die sometimes when you use expired domains, PBNs, etc. But hey, 320k is life-changing for a lot of people and you can push new projects with that money!
So don’t get scared of trying new things on your website, just learn how bigger sites operate and how they are made. My next aim is 1M+ sale :D Let's get it, people!
A new project is in the works and making over 1000 dollars a day! Case study coming soon!