How Kevin Makes Money From Amazon Affiliate SEO

For episode 10, I’ve brought on Kevin Graham to talk about PBN hosting and Amazon affiliate SEO.

You’ll learn:

09:36 – How to build out Amazon affiliate sites

19:48 – How to make $2,000+/m from a single Amazon affiliate site

33:08 Where to host your PBN

28:07 – How to rank affiliate sites

11:36 – How to build a team to work on your affiliate sites

21:16 – Tips and tricks for keyword research process

22:53 – Deciding on what niche to go into

Watch episode 10 here:

Learn more about BulkBuyHosting (Kevin’s PBN Hosting service)

Any questions for Kevin or about his hosting service? Feel free to leave them below.

Transcription:

Daryl Rosser: Hi guys, welcome back to the Lion Zeal show. This is now episode number 10 and who we have on this week is Kevin Graham who you may not know, but he runs Bulk Buy Hosting and he also does some really interesting stuff with Amazon Affiliates, so he’s a bit up-sides with that.

He’s got a decent income come from this if you can spare a few hours a day, and he’s also flipped those and made some pretty good money from flipping them.

So let’s cut straight to the interviews. I’ll be really interesting, and if you’re an affiliate SEO you definitely need to listen to this, you’re probably going to learn some good nuggets of stuff to grow your Amazon business or affiliate. Even if you don’t do Amazon, I’m sure you’re gonna get some good takeaways from this in terms of the SEO and ranked process.

Alright, let’s cut straight to it. Hope you guys enjoy.

Hey man. Thank you for coming on the show, it’s really cool to have you here.

Kevin Graham: No worries. Good to be here.

Daryl Rosser: So do you want to start … You don’t have a big blog or a big reputation online or anything. Do you want to start with a quick introduction as to who you are?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, certainly. My name’s Kevin Graham. I’ve been an affiliate SEO full time now for about two and a half years. Mostly just doing Amazon affiliate SEO, which is backed by PBNs, which you and everyone else knows is one of the easiest and simplest ways to rank a site.

Daryl Rosser: Nice. When you got started, you said two and a half years?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, so I guess if I track it way back I had like rubbish little websites when I was 14 that would make $5 per click from advertising. Slowly, going to university and everything sort of took over and having a full-time job. Eventually I hit a point when I’m like, actually lets re-look into this online stuff. That’s when I started following Spencer over at NichePursuits and the guys at NoHat and everyone else, and really started deep-diving into it. Made a decision mid-way through 2013 to basically sell up everything I owned and move to Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is like the ch-chung mad hub of the world. So that’s where I wanted to land.

So in, January 2014 my business partner and I moved across and we started working full-time on building these sites and so across that span of time we built up a portfolio of about 35 sites. Sold a couple through Empire Flippers and of course run into plenty of problems with PBS hosting along the way, which eventually backed me into my new business.

But we’ll talk more about that later.

Daryl Rosser: Graham, you gave me the whole OBS, awesome!

When you got to Chiang Mai you were pretty much living on savings for a while- I guess. You had sold everything, purely just living on savings at that point. That’s awesome, ballsy.

Kevin Graham: We sort of had enough for a year and a half to two years of base-lining in Chiang Mai and within about four months we were earning enough from the Amazon affiliate income to cover our expenses in Chiang Mai. Then another couple of months and then that was really starting to cover all the business expenses that we started to incur with outsourcing and writing and all the back-end work.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. So around six months you were making a profit?

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Okay, so let’s go a little bit into the Amazon stuff that you’re doing.

Do you want to give maybe a little insight into the type of sites you’re building for Amazon?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, certainly. So it’s very much built on what is the model that Spencer introduced in the Niche Site Project to where he worked with Perrin to build that site, so it’s like a whole heap of keywords on every site ranked from like the smaller ones with 5 to 6 target keywords in that best reviews style of keyword, all the way through to the larger authority sites that we’re building where there’s 30 – 35 of these money articles on there, as well as some value ads sort of link baby-type content as well that isn’t so much targeting a money keyword, but could potentially rank on its own as an informational article and helps make the site look more legitimate than a little niche site.

Daryl Rosser: Makes sense.

How many pages would you say on average for a site that you have? Something I think people are curious about.

Kevin Graham: The average is probably 10 – 15 money articles and then another five to 10 informational pieces on top. Yeah, it really varies from site to site and niche to niche as to how much within a niche to target.

Daryl Rosser: And you got started with that using PBNs from the start.

Kevin Graham: Yeah, when we first started we were using Rank Hero, which was the partnership network that Hayden and Spencer had set up.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, I was waiting on their comments on that.

Kevin Graham: At $297 and you got five new posts a month, and then they fell off the homepage and you could see in Google Analytics the day that it would fall off the homepage, because your traffic would dip and your rankings would dip a bit. So I was like, well that’s good but I need to own the network to really control the links properly, keep on the homepage, get the most value out of the sites, and so that’s when I started really working on building a PBN.

Around that time I met up with Josh Kelly who runs Hammerhead Domains and we started playing around a little bit with scraping domains, and then he wrote the beta version of what is now his commercial offering of Hammerhead Domains, but back then it was very much a beta version that the two of us were working on features on.

So I got most of my network out of there, got some domains from auction and built up a network of about 80 to 100 sites that I then used to link to about my first collection of 20 sites. Then building the second network for about the same to link to my second set of 20 odd money sites.

Daryl Rosser: You said you have around 35 money sites today?

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Are all of those making money, or are some of them test sites and stuff like that? How does that work?

Kevin Graham: Most of them are making money. The last few are only ones that have gone live in the last two months, so they’re sort of in the process of gaining their rankings and slowly starting to move up and get some page one possessions and start to earn some money now.

I’m generally finding that there’s that lead time of sort of two to three months to get the really long tail, you know, 200 search per months to rank highly enough to start earning some money. Then if you’ve got larger terms on those pages and sites as well, then it can be more like up to six months to really hit the solid ranking.

Daryl Rosser: You’re the second person I’ve heard say that for Amazon affiliate sites now.

Kevin Graham: That’s what it’s like. There’s that lead time where you do the work and then three to six months later you’re like, yeah, I’m actually really making proper dollars from it now. But within those first couple of months if you’re making $100, $200 a month from a site, you’re doing well. Especially on these type of sites. Then you hope with the larger sites that you can grow them to make five to 10 grand  a month.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, awesome. That’s the sort of level you’re … Is that a high level for an Amazon affiliate site?

Kevin Graham: From what I’m seeing, that seems to be more the upper level. I’m sure there are some good sites around that do good things at $20K a month, but with the entry target of being $500 to $1000 a month. For the smaller sites, you try and obviously build them bigger if you can.

Daryl Rosser: Okay, that makes sense.

You said when you first started out within six months you were profitable in the business and not massively profitable, but profitable like you turned a profit covering living expenses and stuff like that. How did you go about doing that? Was it just building that one site and working on it for the whole six months, or where you working on multiple and hoping that one of them sticks?

Kevin Graham: Basically at the start we were building one site per month. So every month you’d be, yeah, here’s a new batch of keywords we can start working on. For the very first site my business partner and I, we wrote the content ourselves. On the second site, that was then outsourced to a writer who then wrote all the content for that second site. Then it just grew from there.

We experimenting briefly with using hire writers for money content, and I was pretty frustrated with that, so we went back to just using the writer that I knew previously who delivered us great content at affordable price, but he’s a little bit slow because he’s got a few other clients that he writes for. So, he’s very …

Daryl Rosser: Fair enough.

Cool. So you started off doing one site a month. Are you still at that sort of range, or are you doing more now?

Kevin Graham: Normally trying to target two sites a month now, which is still … You can do it with enough effort but without working 40 to 60 hour weeks, especially with having outsourced the writing and a lot of the site build work to other contractors. Then it’s really on the keyword and then developing the contact plan with the keyword, sending it to the writer, getting it back, sending it off to the site build people. They build the site and then it comes back. Review it. Put some finishing touches on it and schedule some PBN links to hit it.

Daryl Rosser: It sounds as if you’ve got some pretty good processes talent to manage it.

How big is your team there, even if it’s just people who aren’t full time, or anything, they’re just doing one task? What is your team working out to manage all that stuff?

How to build a team to work on your affiliate sites

Kevin Graham: Yeah. So in the team we’ve got one writer who does the money sites, two writers who work on the PBN who also work on the contract piece-work basis. We’ve got a proof reader who then proof reads and edits the content for the money sites, and then the VA made by a guy in India who does it by PBN and money-site builds. He’s taken so much of my work off my plate, it’s crazy.

Daryl Rosser: Nice. I’m curious. How much do you pay the guy in India? You don’t have to share that, it’s up to you.

Kevin Graham: It’s like $3.50 an hour.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Yeah, I have people in the Philippines. It’s super-cheap. It makes sense to have VAs.

So how much do you work then these days?

Kevin Graham: I work Monday to Friday, but not a heavy 9 to 5 or anything like that. I’ll wake up whenever I wake up naturally, but sometimes set an alarm. Wake up, check my emails, go to the gym, work out, come back, and then work mostly for the afternoon. So a little bit over half days, probably five or six hours a day.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome man. That is just chilling and taking it easy.

Kevin Graham: This is a chill lifestyle, but still plenty gets done.

Daryl Rosser: Was that your goal when you started out; to be able to wake up whenever you want, no alarm, and take it easy?

Kevin Graham: I think it was more the drive and desire to work for myself and control the income and everything else that comes with that. And having played around with AdSense sites for a number of years I was like, yeah, I’ll move to Thailand, hang out with these guys that are making money online and really just drive into that full-time gig.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. What was it like moving to Thailand? Getting the guts to sell off all your stuff and just packing up and literally just going there. How was that like?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. It was really exciting. The first month or two when you’re still trying to figure everything out and everything else. So, we’d landed and within a day or two found an apartment. I’d already ordered SIM cards online and so had them shipped across to Australia and had my Thai number, and then we just hit the ground running. Discovering new foods, working out where to eat, all the rest, and then you’re making friends with all the people we were hanging out with in town.

Those first few months were just full of excitement.

Daryl Rosser: Cool, man. I guess you’ve met some cool people in Chiang Mai. Has that helped a lot with growing … You said when you first started out you were just starting out literally.

Kevin Graham: It’s definitely helped. In February, I’d met up with some DCers over in Porta Galleria in about February 2014, so like just after starting. Met up with some DCers, people from the Dynamite Circle, who were having a meet up in Porta Galleria in the Philippines, which is where they had the original TMBA meet-ups and stuff, and where they based the Tropical MBA intern to work on the internet marketing for a resort there.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: At that meet up I met a few interesting DCers, including Josh and Jill from Screw the Nine to Five and a few other guys who were a little more under the radar in terms of internet market stuff, and we got the push, ‘Hey, you guys really need to build your own network,’ and so that was a big turning point in the business.

You’re hanging out in the city with guys like Matt Diggity and Kurt Phillip, his business partner and a handful of other people doing online stuff. You go out, you have some drinks with these people or meet them for coffee or whatever, meet them for lunch, meet them for dinner, and you’d always end up having these huge discussions and driving your business forward.

It was the same with Josh from Hammerhead. In 2014 when he was living in Chiang Mai as well we’d hang out two or three times a week, drink a ton of the local Sangsom, which is Thai rum, and talk business and strategy, because he also was building Amazon affiliate sites as well as eventually building and running Hammerhead.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Pretty much sold it. Buying some tickets – you want to stick in the affiliate link for me.

So you said you sold two sites on Empire Flippers before, is that right?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. So just before I moved out here in December 2013, I sold an AdSense site, which was doing $150 – $200 a month, so that was a nice little injection of cash. Then last year we sold the first site that we built, which was a little bit of a … I shed a tear that night when I sold that site. It was like my baby. It was the first one that we built. But at the same time, it was great to see it go to my investor who was keen to hold the site and manage it and build it for the long term.

Just sold another site recently in the last month or so to someone else, a different buyer from Empire Flippers, who is very keen to actually take what we’ve built there and then build it out further. So yeah, it’s very good.

Daryl Rosser: I was just asking and curious because would you say that’s kind of your strategy, where you’re building up these two affiliate sites a month, you’re getting them ranked, you’re getting them generating income and then you’re flipping them? Or is it just something that you decided to do because it makes sense?

Kevin Graham: With both those sites the income had sort of started to plateau, so the rankings were stable, the income was pretty stable, and then it got to the point of, yeah, it’s doing very well, let’s just sell this one off to someone else who can manage it and really spend all their time looking after the one site, rather than it being one in our portfolio where it might not get quite as much attention as that sole broker’s.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, makes a lot of sense. Someone can actually focus on it properly than you trying to manage 35 I think you said.

You said the site you sold was the first ever one you built, was it literally the first one you built when you got to Chiang Mai, like the first affiliate site you built?

Kevin Graham: Yes, the first one we built when we got to Chiang Mai that we’d done ourselves and everything, so yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Do you have a lot of failed sites, or do most of your sites tend to make money?

Kevin Graham: Got about one or two that have failed where we’ve gone into a niche that maybe was a little bit more difficult that we thought it was going in.

A failed site might still make $50 – $100 a month, but it’s not really hitting that $500 to $1000 or $2000 plus target. So for those ones you eventually wipe your face of the cost that you spent into it. You’re like, yeah, whatever, or if you just blow it up and reuse that PBN.

Daryl Rosser: That makes sense.

So most of your sites you are saying you’re building are somewhat successful and make $500 plus a month. Most of them?

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

How to make $2,000+/m from a single Amazon affiliate site

Daryl Rosser: How do you do that? If you were asked … They’re just starting out, they’re looking at Amazon affiliate, how can they make it so that every site they build is going to be making $500 plus a month? Is that down to research plus just being able to rank? What would you say separates you from someone that’s not able to do that?

Kevin Graham: The key is really the keyword research. If you get everything right at the keyword research stage … If you imagine it being the start of the funnel, if you start it correctly with the keyword research correct for a niche that you can target, where you can actually rank, then all of your effort after that in building the site is down that correct thing. So you’ve lined up for the bullseye and you shoot, you’re gonna hit that.

Whereas if your keyword research is completely off, you go, yeah, maybe this payday loans term I can actually rank for. And then you’ve spent 1000 hours building a site and linking for it and everything for a keyword term that you just aren’t going to actually rank for.

So yeah, really getting that keyword research right is the key and then obviously backing it up with some solid PBN links.

Daryl Rosser: Makes sense. So, do you have tricks or thought processes you go through when doing the keyword research.

Tips and tricks for keyword research process

Kevin Graham: So the main thing we follow is the keyword competitiveness from Long Tail Pro, combined with one of the rules that the NoHat guys talk about, where you’re looking for five beatable pages on your first page of results. So weaker sites like your forums or pages like that where you’ve got a DA of less than 75 and PAs of less than 50 and ideally much lower.

Daryl Rosser: Okay, so five search engine results that are … You look at and you think I can easily beat these?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, as long as there’s slots in there, or if you’re looking it’s like, hey, it’s mostly Amazon and everyone else ranking but there’s one or two niche sites in there. Then you dig through that site and you’re like, I can probably do better on page than this guy or, yeah, their links are just spammy rubbish that’s not really going to stand the test of time.

Once you get all that analyzing research and all the keyword research done right for a site then you just go after it.

Daryl Rosser: Makes sense. So how do you pick the products that you’re going to … I guess before you get to the keyword research you need to decide which products you want to promote. Which order do you do it? I don’t do Amazon.

Deciding on what niche to go into

Kevin Graham: Yeah. The toughest thing is finding that new niche to go into, and whether you spend some time just browsing through Amazon and trying some various keywords in Long Tail Pro until you find one that works, or whether you just encounter something in your day to day life and think like, yeah, I could actually potentially go after that. Hobbies or whatever. Then start throwing it through Long Tail Pro, go through the keyword research, get that right and then move on from there.

Daryl Rosser: That makes sense. So basically find something from research journal, look around in your day to day life, check it up online and do the keyword research based on that and rank it if it’s good.

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Pretty simple. Cool.

So let’s talk a little bit about the sites that you’re setting up. You mentioned the amount of pages and stuff, so if someone going to search something is it buyer-related keywords?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, so keywords with that level of buyer intent. People are actually looking and in that mode of getting close to or ready to buy. So the cool ones are the keyword modifiers that Spencer talks about in his case studies, where it’s ‘best shaving razor’ or ‘shaving razor reviews’. And so then you’re using them as your keyword modifiers in long tail pros to find those best end reviews keywords, so that it’s only showing you those keywords, and then looking for is there’s enough search volume? So you’re looking ideally for those 4000 – 5000 per month, the two major best whatever reviews, and then is there some long tail in there as well, so 2000, 1000, 500, 200 whatever searches a month that’s a really long one. So ‘best safety razor for traveling’, or ‘best safety razor with built in mirror’, for example. I don’t think there is, but how cool if there was. So those guys who do it in the car on their way to work can actually see what they’re doing.

So you’re looking for a few of those really long tail ones. Maybe it’s, ‘the best blue colored safety razor’ or whatever.

Daryl Rosser: Are they easy to compete for; those sort of keywords?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, because typically those ones where it’s less than a thousand, nobody’s really building target pages for them, and so it’s just a case of adding a little section for that into your big 2000 word, 2500 word piece. Like, ‘yeah, if you’re looking for the blue ones, here’s …’, So number one pick, and then from that away you go. Those are the ones that typically, those sub 1000 ones, that you’ll rank from a couple of months and then the bigger ones can take up to six.

Daryl Rosser: So you said that the content on the pages you tend to rank are around 2500 words, is that an average or is it usually more, or is it made up on the spot to make a point?

Kevin Graham: No, that’s generally what we go to our writer with. It’s like, hey we want 2000 or 2500 depending on how many smaller keywords we’re rolling up in the page, but this many words and here’s the keywords that we’re targeting for the page.

All that goes to our writer who then makes sure he sprinkles them nicely throughout the article without keyword stuffing. So, you know, it’s very much about trying to include them naturally.

Daryl Rosser: A lot of people are horrible on page SEOs these days and I see it so much.

So how many keywords would you say you’re targeting on a 2500 word piece. There’s so many combinations, obviously, but how many deliberately are you going after?

Kevin Graham: Obviously there’s the two main ones ideally, so the best and the reviews keyword, and then probably like somewhere in the five to 10 depending on the page of additional small or longer tails. It really depends on the niches as to how focused people are with their search clues and are they just looking for that product in general, or are they looking … You know the modifier ones; for home, for travel, whatever.

Daryl Rosser: Sure, and are you ranking … Is it multiple money pages like that; big 2500 article pages on a single site, or is it just one initially?

How to rank affiliate sites

Kevin Graham: So each site we try and include five to 10 of them and then we’ve got some sites where we’ve built them out to as many as 25 – 30 of those big money articles.

On top of that obviously the informational pieces, which may or may not being our search but you know, ‘how to shave in the car’ for example, if we’re talking about the shaving one. It could be like an informational piece, which it isn’t specifically a money piece, in that someone searching for how to shave in the car they might already have a razor and not really be thinking about a new one, but it’s a solid piece of link that people might say then, this is a really good useful article and then give you the links that will eventually flow through your site and help your site overall.

Daryl Rosser: Cool. So are all your sites Amazon?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, I’ve had a couple of AdSense sites, but yeah sorta went off of that because it’s a hell of a lot more work for a lot less money when you’re building AdSense. I mean, the key thing with AdSense is that you can do your best in optimizing your placements and put the ads where people will see them, like that annoying block that’s left aligned when all of your text is around it. But even still the best site I had I probably had about a three and a half, four per cent click through rate on those ads. Whereas with Amazon you can make those big call to actions and say, click here to buy the product that you’re looking at, and that’s really what Amazon want you to do, is to use CPAs to drive the traffic to their site.

Whereas with AdSense if you put an arrow above and below your ad unit for example, then that’s against their terms of service. You can’t really request people to click on the things. You can try and be a little bit crafty with your content and say like, hey you can find a local place that can do this service for you, but you can’t really say, click one of the ads below to visit your local …

Daryl Rosser: Makes sense.

I want to talk some PBN stuff, but before we get into that I’m curious a little bit about con optimization and sending the traffic that comes in to your sites over to Amazon. So do you want to start with how many links do you include in the money pages to go to Amazon.

Kevin Graham: For that it’s sort of the product table at the top, which will have a little picture of the products, the products’ name, some information to help people compare those products. Then further down the page they’ll be the mini reviews of the products and so that would also have links out to Amazon.

So the average page could have 20 links in your table and then another up to 30 links further down the page that will drive people to Amazon as well.

Daryl Rosser: Okay, cool. That’s a lot. I’m just curious because a lot of people are terrified of including affiliate links in their sites but you’re doing quite lot.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. Again I look at how is it natural for me to include those links. So if I’m talking about a product it makes sense even if you’ve seen it, to be like, hey here’s the link of where to buy it, so that’s the method process I’m following, is does it look natural to include the link? If so, yes let’s include the link. Does it look unnatural? No. You don’t want it to be too obvious that it’s spamming and pushing every single object to click you though to Amazon, for example.

Daryl Rosser: Actually that’s a good transition into PBN stuff.

Have you ever had a site penalized for something before? Since you got into Amazon stuff.

Kevin Graham: Since Amazon there’s been one site just recently that was hit that I’m pretty sure has been reported by one of the competitors in that niche, which is something that … I’ve just recently been traveling so I haven’t had a chance to really sit down and go through that one yet and work out what’s happened and who’s potentially behind that. Other than that I haven’t had any problems.

Daryl Rosser: Okay, cool. So you haven’t screwed anything up yourself, or at least what it seems like.

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: So your ranking strategy is what, on page, PBN links, do you do any other types of links?

Where to host your PBN

Kevin Graham: So the things for the main strategy is obviously get that on page correct and then from our network we’d shoot like 25 – 35 PBN links at each money site, with the links obviously targeting the homepage, targeting the inner pages, some branded anchors in there, some URL anchors just to the page URL. All of that diversity comes from the PBN. So I’m not using the PBN just for the target money keywords and then doing my buffer anchors elsewhere. It’s all the buffer anchors, everything, is coming from PBNs.

Daryl Rosser: Okay so you’re doing all the diversification, all the anchors and everything, all from the PBNs also?

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: So do you do any other types of links or is it 100% PBNs?

Kevin Graham: 100% PBN when we build and then obviously once you start ranking then people will start linking naturally to your site, so you’d start picking up some natural links once you’re ranking on that first page. Until then it’s always interesting to see where these natural links come in from. And you know it’s people that start referencing your site in forums, people that start referencing your site in Q&A pieces. There was a niche-specific site where they basically did a how to guide on how to do something and one of their links was click here to buy the thing, or to read reviews.

You start picking up those links and even had some government-based organizations share us on social media. So once the site looks legit and you start getting those natural links it’s pretty good.

Daryl Rosser: So are you doing anything special with your PBNs or is it literally just a standard set-up PBN you just throw some links at? Are there any special tricks or anything to it?

Kevin Graham: Obviously you don’t want your PBNs to look like rubbish sites, so we try and make them look at least reasonable, and then we would limit to max 10 about links from the homepage. All the links are set up to show full post on the homepage and send the link from that homepage, because typically that’s the page with the most juice. If there’s other pages within the site that have got heavy or strong or valuable links, like so some of them have got links from Wikipedia to internal pages, we will tend to rebuild those internal pages. Either rewrite them or pull them from archive, or whatever, and then make sure that we’re linking them as well back to the homepage, so that then we have that juice flowing back to the homepage where you’ve got those outbound links.

Daryl Rosser: Pretty standard stuff in our industry. I like the rebuilding the pages, that’s good. Rather than 301 redirecting and rebuilding and add a link to the homepage, that makes sense.

Cool. So lets just talk about hosting. You have a hosting solution and I’m sure a lot of people watching know it already and have seen it in the marketplace and stuff like that. Before you say what it is, do you want to say about the problems you had with building your PBN and hosting it?

Kevin Graham: Yeah certainly. So I guess I was following the same methodology that a few people were pushing around the time that I was building, which is, go find yourself some cheap one dollar, two dollar a month hosts and then away you go. It started with a list that somebody posted like 30 or 50 of them that are easy to get and so signed I up for them.

I was, okay cool, I’ve got 30 to 50 of these now, whatever the number was, where do I go next? That’s when I discovered the web-hosting tool for the shared hosting offers and then you go through that and you pick up these hosts that might be five to six dollars a year, they might be $12 a year, or $1 a month, whatever, or $18 – $24 dollars a year, whatever, they’re cheap hosts. You’re, yeah, this is great, I’m hosting it really cheaply, and then these hosts just start to disappear.

So you’re sitting there and it’s, oh this site’s offline, is it just offline for a little bit for server up-time or is it completely disappeared? Then you’d have to then restore from a back-up which … That’s a huge thing as well, if you’re running a network make sure you actually take it back and ideally to somewhere offsite.

Daryl Rosser: How do you do that by the way? If you have a big PBN it’s a hassle, how do you take your back-ups.

Kevin Graham: I know some people use Updraft as a backup plugin. WordPress, which will then upload to Dropbox or Amazon S3. I use MainWP, which is one of the two main WordPress management plugins and that basically pings all of your sites in your WordPress network at least, and will then allow you to keep all the plugins up to date, keep the themes up to date, the WordPress versions up to date, which is a key part of trying to avoid having your WordPress sites hacked. From there it’ll then automatically do backups and can push them off to S3 or Dropbox or wherever else you want them, as well.

So when these hosts started disappearing on me, sometimes after two or three months or whatever, I then had to basically go and find another one, restore it from the backup, deploy it again, update the main servers, and so you got 30 minutes of work there to get it back up. And so I was like, ah this sucks.

Around that time a lot of people started talking like, get a Host9 reseller account, you can deploy 100 sites at a time, it’ll be great. Then I looked at that solution a bit and realized that, hang on, all your IPs will then be owned by Host9, which …

Daryl Rosser: No idea why no-one realized that when this became popular, it was crazy.

Kevin Graham: And so I was like, no that doesn’t really suit me, and so at that point I continued down the dollar hosts for a while. Eventually I hit upon, no this sucks, there’s got to be a better way, and it was around the time that Matt released his article on hosting, about these cheap dollar hosts absolutely suck and he actually did all the reverse IP look-up on his sites and said, a large per cent in science when you’re on these shared host the dollar host they’re just rubbish sites, they’re not natural sites. Use your proper premium hosting, and so that’s when … It was an idea that I’d been talking about with Josh from Hammerhead for quite some time, and just said, right that’s it, I’m going to go full pelt at building this out as a commercial solution, not just obviously for my usage but also for …

Daryl Rosser: And you did at the same time.

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Was that to lower your costs initially or just a fun idea?

Kevin Graham: Well it was really just to me solving that real pain point of the hosting. Where if you try and get the cheap ones they disappear ,and so I thought it’s a hassle for me to try and keep chasing these so I want somewhere easy to host my sites, and then obviously the flow-on effect of its then easy for me to retail it out for other people to use as well.

Daryl Rosser: Yes, so you said the premium shared host, you’re talking about HostGator, Bluehost, companies like that?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, the people that you generally see marketed to for beginners is like, hey here’s a great spot to go host your website. PS. There may be like a $60 – $100 dollar commission. So, A Small Orange, Bluehost or through their resell brand, which is ResellerClub, HostGator, all those sort of ones that if you’ve ever searched for hosting you end up with them on Facebook newsfeed and retargeting you throughout the web. The guys who have got money.

Daryl Rosser: Thanks. Yeah, definitely.

So your website is built by Hosting.com.

Kevin Graham: Yeah, that’s right.

Daryl Rosser: You probably just explained how it works already, but do you want to give a little explanation of how it works properly if someone wants to go over there and check it out.

Kevin Graham: Yeah certainly. So basically what we offer there is the chance to buy shared hosting in packs of five from our reseller account that we’ve got with those popular providers like A Small Orange, Bluehost, all those sort of guys.

So basically if someone signs up for a pack, they start at five accounts. You can go all the way at the moment to 35 but we are continuing to expand that, and then you can then set up an account where you give us your domains, we add them onto the reseller accounts. We’ve got a dashboard there that shows you the nameservers, your username, the password, the IP, gives you a login link for cPanel, the idea there being to try to keep all those hosting accounts out of your email inbox. Hopefully you’re not using Gmail if you’re doing a ton of this sort of SEO stuff. There were some posts where people were having Google read basically read through their Gmails and sending out penalties. I think Charles Floate shared that a while back.

Daryl Rosser: I don’t think the small guys have to worry about that, but maybe the bigger people that have more public stuff out there, definitely.

Kevin Graham: All that account details there in the once managed dashboard and then it’s one payment to us and we actually look after it, making sure that all these shared hosting reseller accounts stay up and because they’re on solid providers, you’re sharing the IPs with other genuine sites.

Daryl Rosser: So, the IPs are the same ones for the shared servers? They’re not like dedicated IPs for your account?

Kevin Graham: Correct.

Daryl Rosser: So I really like hosting, so I can ask a few questions. And the nameservers are also shared it’s not just like private ones?

Kevin Graham: Correct. So if you end up on one of our aso servers like A Small Orange servers, it’ll be the same ns1.asoshared.com, which is the same name as if you went as a retail customer to A Small Orange.

Daryl Rosser: So basically to anyone else it looks like you went into asmallorange.com and purchased from them?

Kevin Graham: Correct. So then you’re on their nameservers so the nameservers look legit. You’re on their servers so their shared IPs and again that looks legit. So, that’s basically what we’re looking for when I built it and so that’s how I’ve built it out.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Is there anything else you want to share on that and just let us know where to find it and I’ll stick a link below the video for that?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, so basically you head over to bulkbuyhosting.com, you’ll see on my homepage a nice big long-form description of what it is we do, why you should sign up with us, a look at some of the dashboards and then you can click through to our plans page sign up. And yeah, send us your domains and you’ll be set up and running within 24 hours.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. So it’s manually set up?

Kevin Graham: That’s right, yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Basically, I think we’re about 45 minutes in so we should probably wrap it up. I’m sure you have more work and stuff to do.

Do you have any words of wisdom to wrap this up? Especially for either the PBNs or the affiliate stuff as you’re pretty big on the Amazon affiliate stuff. If someone’s just starting out with Amazon affiliate, what do you recommend?

Kevin Graham: The key thing is obviously not getting discouraged because of the three to six months’ time it can take to rank a site and start a proper income from it.

Secondly, not being afraid of the work. Yeah there’s a lot of work involved in building one of these sites out, especially if you’re not outsourcing, but if you do the work, build the site, give it the time and it will happen. And obviously getting some quality links is the secret source to ranking.

Daryl Rosser: It’s cool though that you’re just using PBNs and not using any sort of diversification. A lot of people think you need like 50,000 blog comments and all these crazy things Like you’re literally just using PBNs in your ranking, which is awesome.

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: One final question for the Amazon guys before we wrap up. What sort of range are you aiming for when you set up a site income-wise?

Kevin Graham: Ideally the lowest stuff target like a small really tiny five page sort of five money articles and a handful of information articles, is like $500 a month. That’s the entry level target. If it’s below that it’s not really worth my time in terms of, 1. Building out the site, and then, 2. Obviously the space that takes up within my PBN.

Daryl Rosser: Makes sense.

Kevin Graham: I could add a much higher value site into that and use that same slot for a much higher value site.

Daryl Rosser: Sure, and you’ve got a team in place now so it’s not you doing all the writing and everything.

Kevin Graham: Exactly, and there’s a good site at amaprofits.com, which was a little side project that Josh from Hammerhead built, where you can basically throw in your search volume, your estimated click through rate to Amazon, which for most of these sites can be 30 to 35 per cent but can be as high as 40 cents, throw in the Amazon rate you’re getting, depending on the volume, whether you’re on half a percent or on a lower tier, and then it’ll give you an estimate of how much your site could be making a month.

It’s a very quick handy calculator to go, yeah, actually this is what I could be making from the site, based on the average value of the products and the amount of search volume and it’s a good sort of quick 30 second test to say yeah should I go after this site or not.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome it sounds like a really awesome tool. I should actually link that in the description. What was it again?

Kevin Graham: amaprofits.com

Daryl Rosser: Well let’s wrap this up. We’ve gone later than we were supposed to, but hopefully that’s okay with you.

Thanks for coming on the show man, this was really cool.

Kevin Graham: No worries. I’ll give you the links as well for my Twitter so if anyone wants to go follow me on Twitter, that’s @_kevingraham. Or go check out the site at bulkbuyhosting.com.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. I’ll put the link below us if they can go check you out and follow you and whatnot.

Kevin Graham: Cool. Thanks for having me on the show.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome, it was great having you.

Okay guys, I hope you enjoyed this episode and I’ll see you in next week’s episode.

Daryl

About Daryl Rosser

Daryl runs a six figure SEO business primarily focusing on local clients. He's extremely analytical, and his favourite ranking strategy is using PBN's.

22 Responses to “How Kevin Makes Money From Amazon Affiliate SEO”

  • Kevin Graham  July 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Hey Daryl!
    Really enjoyed this interview and hope your audience enjoys it as well.
    I’ll be checking the comments regularly and answering as many questions as I can!
    Cheers
    Kevin

    • Daryl Rosser  July 16, 2016 at 3:42 am

      Thanks for coming on the show Kevin!

  • Colin Stone  July 14, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Great video. Very informative. I am pleased to say some of it I already knew but it is good to get to hear someone confirming what you think. I am even more keen to keep building after watching this video.

    CMS

  • Christian Colon  July 14, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Can a whole year be paid upfront?

    • Christian Colon  July 15, 2016 at 2:16 am

      Sorry just realized what a vague question that was. I meant to ask about your hosting packages for PBN’s. I noticed that you have monthly prices but there aren’t any yearly rates. Are any available?

      • Kevin Graham  July 15, 2016 at 3:04 am

        Hi Christian,
        At the moment we only have monthly subscriptions available publicly, however please log a ticket with Support and we can set you up with an annual plan and give you a 5% discount.
        Thanks
        Kevin.

  • Alex  July 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks for this awesome video!

    Do you have any links outside of PBN links to boost a site that you use?

    Cheers
    Alex

    • Alex  July 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Just got to the end of the video! Ignore the question!

  • Ryan  July 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Hey Kevin,

    Awesome interview, I really enjoyed it. Do you do anything for trust like social signals or social profiles?
    I think the whole, “just PBNs” is boggling a lot of people’s minds.

    Thanks dude, Cheers!

    • Kevin Graham  July 19, 2016 at 5:39 am

      Hey Ryan,
      Great question. For some of my sites where I have a monthly blog post go live, I have been starting to build social profiles on Facebook and Twitter, with IFTTT set up to post links to my new content.
      Otherwise, for the vast majority of sites including the ones that I’ve sold, I don’t have that set up.
      Cheers, Kevin.

  • Chris  July 20, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Great interview with solid info.
    Kevin, I think I heard you mention that you send 20 to 25 PBN links to the money site. Does that mean from 25 different PBN domains or would you count multiple links from individual PBNs?
    Thanks,
    Chris

    • Kevin Graham  July 24, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Hey Chris,
      To confirm, that’s unique PBN domains, not total number of links. Most times I’ll drop a single link in a post but occasionally I’ll drop two links to two different pages on the site.
      Kevin

  • Stephen  July 28, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Kevin,

    Great interview. I really enjoyed it. I think you mentioned that you use the keyword Best and Reviews. For example “Best shaving razor” and “Shaving Razor Reviews”. You said that each keyword needs to have at least 4000-5000 searches per month? Is that correct? Meaning the keyword Best shaving razor would have to have 4000-5000 searches per month in order for you to target that product? It seems like a ton of searches for a specific keyword. Would you be able to clarify please?
    Thanks,
    Stephen

    • Kevin Graham  July 29, 2016 at 6:39 am

      Ideally, that’s the sort of range that we’d be looking for the site to have on it’s main page – a total search volume of at least around 5000, which can be on it’s own (ideal) or rolled up from a few different keywords (ie the search volume for best and reviews added together – 2900 monthly searches and 1600 monthly searches for a total of 4500).

      However, the keyword research component is the responsibility of my business partner, Richard – so he is the one responsible for finding the keywords and crafting the overall structure of the site.

  • Stephen  July 29, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    That makes sense. Thanks for the response!
    Is there a minimum price for the product that you usually require? For example, would you toothbrushes even if their price is only $5? Or do you only go after high priced products?
    Thanks,
    Stephen

    • Kevin Graham  July 31, 2016 at 5:39 am

      We don’t have a minimum price for a particular page/item, but generally want to make a site that can do $500-$1000 per month at minimum. A $5 toothbrush might only pay you a 42.5 cent commission on its own, but it does help boost up your item sold counts on Amazon, which helps to bump you into higher tiers of their payout structure.

      It also gives you the chance to earn commissions on other stuff they might have previously added to their carts, or some other stuff that Amazon can convince them to buy after they click through.

  • jason  August 17, 2016 at 1:44 am

    great interview! I was wondering for keyword research, since google just updated the keyword planner to be pretty useless by grouping volume for a bunch of keywords together….what are you using for keyword research.

    for example, since the update red car and red cars would both show up with the same volume number because they now group those keywords, when the old way maybe red car had 200 searches, but red cars would show 2000. now its all lumped together, and hard to get an accurate idea of actual searches per keyword. Longtail pulls its numbers from googles database if I am not mistaken….

    • Kevin Graham  August 18, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      From what I’ve read on that change in the Google Keyword Planner, that only applies to accounts that haven’t spent money on AdWords.

  • L  September 24, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Really enjoyed the interview! Hopefully this isn’t too off topic but for local seo would you do PBNs only as well? I like the idea of only focusing on the biggest bang for your buck and collecting forum and blog comments seems like a waste of time. Thank you!

    • Kevin Graham  September 26, 2016 at 5:22 am

      Hi L,
      I don’t do Local SEO – however this guide from Charles Floate is where I would start if I was offering that service:
      http://charlesfloate.co.uk/free-local-seo
      My view is that I wouldn’t risk a client’s web site by pointing PBN links directly at it. If you wanted to use PBNs, I would build a “rank and rent” style lead gen site for them and point the PBN links at that instead. That way, if the site that you’re pointing the PBN links at gets hit, it’s not as big of a problem as if their main site was hit with a penalty.
      Thanks
      Kevin.

  • Kevin August  January 5, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Great video Kev, I appreciate your take on these Amazon affiliate sites. I’m building something similar right now and came across your video, thanks again!

    • Kevin Graham  January 28, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Appreciate the kind words, Kevin. I’d also suggest checking out Rob Atkinson’s interview here on Lion Zeal as well.