For this guide, I’ve teamed up with my friend Rob Atkinson, to walk you through a simple approach to build a $500+ per month Amazon affiliate website, with a budget of less than $1,000.
This is the full step-by-step process, taught by Rob and written by me.
Using principles and strategies you can potentially scale to $5,000+ per month from the exact same website.
Building an Amazon affiliate site? Download our 2019 setup checklist
- 1 What is Amazon Affiliate?
- 2 The $0-$500/m Strategy
- 3 What We’re Building
- 4 Essential Tools and Resources
- 5 Niche Selection
- 6 Keyword Research
- 7 Site Structure
- 8 Content Structure
- 9 Launching the site
- 10 OnPage SEO
- 11 Link Building
- 12 Post-Launch Plan
- 12.1 Begin posting on Reddit or industry related sites and continue doing so regularly
- 12.2 Register your brands social profiles
- 12.3 Begin dripping out your 2,000+ word articles (a few per week)
- 12.4 In month 2, purchase a small social signal package
- 12.5 Start outreach in the middle of month 2
- 12.6 Aim to get to 30-50 links by the 5 month mark
- 13 Common Beginner Mistakes
- 14 Conclusion
What is Amazon Affiliate?
Let’s start with the absolute basics:
Officially known as Amazon’s Associates program, it’s essentially an affiliate program for Amazon.com.
(Affiliate meaning you get paid a commission on all sales generated through your referral link)
This can be promoted by YouTuber’s recommending products, review websites, or any type of website recommending purchasing products on Amazon.
Doing so, can earn you anywhere from 1% – 10% of the purchase price.
This table explains the full commission structure:
(This would mean if you generated a sale for a massage chair, for example, you would be paid 8% of that purchase)
The upside of doing this through Amazon is that you’ll get paid a commission on everything they order at the same time.
So if they add a couple books, maybe some extra accessories for their purchase, then you’ll be paid a commission on those also – dependent on what the commission is for that category of product.
This tied in with the brand strength and trust of Amazon, makes them a popular choice for affiliates.
The $0-$500/m Strategy
So how do you make money on Amazon without being a huge YouTuber with a million fans?
You find people almost ready to buy, push them over the edge, and send them over to Amazon to collect your commissions.
That can be achieved with SEO and “review pages”.
SEO, meaning search engine optimisation, where you rank in Google for phrases people are likely to search when they’re ready to, or almost ready to, make a purchase.
And a review page meaning a page reviewing a product or type of products, for example, the best cold press juicer.
That’s the core strategy.
For this guide though, we’re going to avoid competitive keywords like “best cold press juicer”. Too many SEOs are going after this, so you’ll need to invest a few thousand dollars to take it over.
Instead we’re going to focus on “long tails”.
(A long tail keyword is a longer, more specific search phrase)
So rather than ranking for “best massage chair”, you focus on “best massage chair under $200”. That’s more specific, so less competitive.
Do this right, and the goal we’re focusing on today is 0 to $500 per month in 6 months or less. Which if we estimate around $0.1 per visitor to your website, will be around 5,000 visitors per month. 167 a day. Not too crazy.
What We’re Building
Here’s a few real sites you can look up for examples of what we’re doing:
The basic idea is there are three types of pages:
These all form together to create an “authority website”, meaning a large, trusted website – that makes money via recommending products on Amazon.
Essential Tools and Resources
Budget: < $1,000
It’s ideal if you can allocate $1,000 to get started. There are a few things that you can do to decrease this slightly (which will be discussed throughout this article), but this is the ideal starting point.
When you start to realize that 6-9 months down the line you could be making $500 per month from this, you’ll realise it’s a phenomenal return on your investment.
Required Tools: Ahrefs (SERP & Backlink analysis tool)
To pick a product type, there are two tools I recommend for using for “keyword research”. Choose one or the other, either SEMrush or Ahrefs.
(I personally use and recommend Ahrefs, so all examples going forward will be specific to this)
This is a paid tool. But it’s required to follow the strategy. Pay for one month then cancel if you must.
Cost: ~$100 per month
Now you’ve got the tools and understanding out of the way, you need to choose a “niche” to enter.
Niche, correctly pronounced “Neesh” (not “Nitch”), is a fancy way of referring to the category of products you’ll be recommending.
This can be extremely broad, health, as an example.
Or highly specific, such as cold press juicers.
The process of finding a niche is manual, it requires looking through Amazon to find products worth promoting, checking if there are enough people searching for them every month, and ensuring it’s competitively viable for you to rank in Google.
Choosing a product type
Let’s start with finding products, we’ll qualify them later.
At a minimum, the products should be selling for around $40. The ideal price range for is between $100 and $200.
If the products you’re recommending are too low priced, you’ll need a significantly larger volume to make $500+ per month.
Even with an 8% commission of a $10 sale, you’d need 625 sales per month. Not an easy number to hit.
One thing to note though is that conversions tend to drop over the $200 price mark, I believe that’s down to people taking longer to make a purchase decision.
Also consider the commission percentage for that type of product.
Most Amazon affiliates stick to products in the “home” or “home furnishings” category so they get an 8% commission.
This is important, even if a product is $100, if you’re only getting paid 1% per sale, that’s only a dollar. You’d need 500 sales a month to hit $500/month, which is unlikely to happen soon.
For theoretical purposes, I’m going to use the “pocket knives” niche.
As you’re new, you’ll want to pick out a few product types that catch your interest.
Estimating revenue potential
There’s no perfect calculation for knowing how much money you’ll make. The only real way of finding out is by ranking for the keyword, or of course, asking someone that is. Though your competitors are unlikely to share.
We can however estimate based on standardised numbers I’ve experienced in the past.
So here’s what to do:
1. Take the type of product you’ve found, and add the word “best” in front of it
For pocket knives, that’d be “best pocket knives”.
(We’ll expand on WHY this is important later in the article)
2. Search this in Google and take note of the top ranking website
Take the top ranking sites for that keyword. It’s better if it’s an affiliate site as that’s more relevant to what we’re doing. Chuck that into Ahrefs or SEMRush, (not the domain), just the specific URL that’s ranking for that keyword.
3. Enter this website into Ahrefs (as shown below)
You will need Ahrefs or a similar tool going forward, use this link to sign up if you haven’t already.
4. Look at the traffic from phrases relevant to your product
Do that using the “Organic Keywords” tool, and the “Traffic” column:
Add up this total, in this case it’d be around 23,408.
This is the estimated volume of monthly traffic.
So based on Rob’s data on Amazon affiliate over the past years, the average value of a visitor is worth around $0.10.
Usually ranging from $0.05 on the low end to $0.30 on the high end.
(Again, this is an estimate. If you sell a $100 product and get an 8% commission, that’s $8 per sale. If you get 2 out of 100 visitors to buy, that’s $0.16 per visitor. That’s how you reverse engineer this, but it’ll vary on your commission % and conversion.)
Anywhere from 1% – 3% of your visitors purchasing is considered a good conversion rate.
So if we say 23,408 visitors multiplied by $0.10, you would be inline to make roughly $2,340.80 per month from ranking for these phrases.
This will be a great indicator as to whether you’ll be able to hit the $500 per month goal. Ideally you can hit multiple times this for the more competitive phrases, when you have the budget later.
These “phrases” we were looking at in Ahrefs are known as keywords.
Which are essentially the phrases that you’ll be focusing on ranking for.
Types of Keywords
There are several “types” of keywords that are important to understand for implementing this process.
They all fall under a scale of buyer intent.
(Buyer intent is a scale of how likely someone is to purchase)
“Buy pocket knives online” = Mega high buyer intent, they’re likely to buy now
“Spyderco Endura review” or “best pocket knife 2018” = Fairly high buyer intent, they’re thinking of purchasing
“types of pocket knives” = Low buyer intent, unclear whether they’ll purchase or not
For affiliate, we’re going to focus on “best” and “review” type categories. The second in the list above.
The first type are overrun by ecommerce stores, which we can’t do as an affiliate. And the last type don’t show enough buyer intent, so they’re aren’t likely convert into a lot of purchases.
Finding Low Competition, Yet Highly Profitable Keywords
You should already have at least one niche in mind, so go back to Google and search “best” followed by the keyword again.
Example: “Best pocket knife”
(We call this a best modifier keyword)
Look through the sites ranking on the first page.
Make sure that they are not all mega-authoritative sites such as the Huffington post or Business Insider (if that’s the case, pick a new niche). You can see that by clicking on the website, if these are large brands with 500+ pages, they’re likely too competitive for you to go against.
(Some mega authority sites is acceptable, but if they’re all like this, you won’t stand a chance)
As you can see in this example, most of these aren’t mega-authority sites:
Notice how many affiliate sites are ranking, that’s a great sign.
Next we’re going to make a list of the top ten affiliate sites ranking for this keyword.
(Affiliate sites will be clear, they’ll be recommending products and linking to other websites to purchase them)
Enter each of these domains into Ahrefs like before, then look at the Organic Keywords data. Here’s how it looked if you remember:
This will give you the list of keywords they’re ranking for, the estimated number of searches per month, an estimated total of traffic they have from each keyword, their position, and the URL that’s ranking.
You can use this to help you build a list of keywords that you want to go after.
As you can see, there are a several pages of data:
To get to the first $500 per month, our plan is to target the less competitive keywords (aka “long tails”). You may need to search through a few pages to find these.
As for getting to $500 a month, I recommend search range between 100 to 2,000 searches per month.
You can filter that with the “Volume” column:
Here’s some examples of long tail keywords KnifeUp are ranking for:
Write down the long tail keywords that fall into the wider category of this niche.
Meaning, you aren’t limited exclusively to “pocket knives” any longer. We’ll be building a much larger site, say in the “knives” niche, so look for other keywords these sites are ranking for that could be interesting to model after.
Building an Amazon affiliate site? Download our 2019 setup checklist
Some examples could be:
- Best pocket knife under $100
- best tactical folding knife 2018
- best edc pocket knife 2018
- best assisted opening knives
- best switchblade knife
- best fixed blade camping knife
- best carry knife for self defense
(Note: These aren’t exclusively about pocket knives, we’ve gone wider for the site plan. And these are long tails, rather than “best pocket knife” which would be too competitive for our budget)
Keep repeating the keyword research process until you have found 20 unique “best modifier” keywords for your niche.
By unique, I’m referring to content you’ll create on a separate page. “Best pocket knife under $100” and “best edc pocket knife 2018” for example, are not unique, these could both be targeted on a single page.
To figure this out, simply Google search each of the keywords and see if the same pages are ranking for multiple, if they are, you can do the same – therefore they’re not unique.
Keep going until you’ve got 20.
Next we need to analyse the competitors to know if you have a chance competing against them.
To keep this guide simple, I’m going to focus on the 3 simplest ways of doing this.
1. Look For Other Affiliate Or Niche Sites
As mentioned previously in the article. You want to make sure that the keywords aren’t completely taken over by mega authority sites. Since we checked the main keyword for this earlier though, you should be fine.
2. Check The Site Size
GamingScan, for example, has 261,441 words of content. And 227 indexed pages, though not all high quality.
MassageChairLand has 62,581 words of content. And 93 indexed pages, though again, not all high quality.
Now obviously there are a lot more factors than this, but in general, you’ll want to match or beat your competitors. So this gives you an indicator of what you’re up against, and how much content you’ll need to create.
You can also check the review pages themselves and see how detailed they are.
3. Look At Their Referring Domains & Backlink Quality
This step is the final big one, look at the referring domain count in Ahrefs:
You can check this on a root domain level (the domain) and a page level (meaning: checking the page that’s ranking).
This root domain has 776 referring domains, which is a lot, if they’re good quality.
Next, look at the actual backlinks so we can see the quality:
Here’s what it’ll look like:
Now here’s the short and sweet way of understanding the quality of backlinks:
The harder it is to replicate, the better the link.
Blog comments, for example, are easy to replicate, therefore weak links. Whereas a contextual link from a mega authority site is extremely difficult to replicate, therefore a great link. Simple.
Note: Any website ranking with PBNs are likely to be hiding their links.
Analyse multiple niches
You want to repeat this process for a few different niches. That’ll give you options to compare, and educate you further about the process.
Deciding a niche is a tough decision, rightfully, it’ll directly relate to how easy your work will be going forward, and how much money you’ll make at the end.
The good thing is we’ve run through the numbers. We can predict how profitable it’ll be at the end, if you’ll be able to beat the competitors, now it’s just a matter of following the process.
So now it’s time to choose a niche and products to promote, then we can move onto setting up your site and ranking it.
For this example, we’ll continue with the pocket knife niche.
That’ll be our main focus for ranking, but our websites overall focus will be much “wider”.
Rather than limiting our future growth to “pocket knives”, we want to build an authority site that can be expanded. This could be knives, as an example, then the whole website is about knives. Allowing us to sell other types of knives in the future.
Another example could be an outdoor living website, which discusses pocket knives among other things.
We’ll use a “knives” for our example.
Here’s how your website will be setup:
You can pick 3-4 categories like pocket knives, though you’ll only be focusing on one initially. I just made them up based on the limited examples shown in this guide.
At the bottom, these will be relevant to the category. So under the pocket knife category, there will be at least 5 extra posts relevant to pocket knives.
Note: Of course you’ll have a lot more pages than this, including information content (which we’ll get into)
Now it’s time to start creating content for all these review pages we planned out.
You should have already chosen 20 “best” modifier keywords for your broad niche, which are fairly low competition. You’re going to need an article for each, of around 2,000 words each. Overall, 20 posts of around 40,000 words total.
This is almost a “testing strategy”.
Setting up so many different articles will allow you to quickly see which ones start out-performing our projections from the “Estimating revenue potential” section, and possibly even start ranking fairly well without any backlinking.
From here, the goal will be to then take the site up to 60,000 words of content. The last 20,000 should be made up of helpful, non-affiliate content. That’s just going to help keep your site more natural in the eyes of Google.
Tip: The first 5+ posts that you make on your new site should be 100% information or how to articles to keep everything looking natural. You don’t want to stick out as an obvious affiliate site, Google hates them.
(We’ll discuss creating information content in the “Creating Info Page Content” section further down)
In terms of content creation, you can hire writers to write your content. However, the budget for your site will greatly impact this. If you are creating 60,000 words of content and you hire a writer at 2 cents a word, that’s already $1,200.
So consider creating this content yourself if you’re on an extremely tight budget, or at least a portion of it is.
(Myself and Rob have both written content for our own sites in the past)
Creating Review Page Content
The first content to start planning is the “review content”. This is the pages that will make you money, and it’s the content you’ll be using to target those “best modifier” keywords we previously chose.
There will be 20 of these articles, one for each unique best modifier keyword.
Here’s how to structure the article:
- Introduction – A 100-200 word introduction about the product type and what your guide is about
- Comparison table – Pick up to 10 products to review on the page and include them in the table. (See the “plugins” part below for creating comparison tables)
- Mini reviews on each product – 150-200 words for each individual product
- Buyers guide – A series of smaller sub-sections for what you need to know when buying this type of product e.g. sharpness, durability, etc. This will depend on your niche.
- Additional information – 500-600 words of additional content (see below)
- Conclusion – Another 100-200 words wrapping up the article
This structure will easily get you to 2,000+ words per article.
Then to increase the value and word count of the article you will want to add additional paragraphs of useful information.
You can use tools such as LSIGraph or Answerthepublic to find additional ideas for content.
Go to www.answerthepublic.com and type in “best” + niche related keyword.
Then download the results as a CSV file:
Then you can open this as a spreadsheet to see the data:
You can incorporate these ideas into an FAQ section, or other small snippets of information that you can include in the review article.
This should start driving some traffic to the page through long tail rankings, which is essential for the ranking process.
Creating Info Page Content
Aside from the review pages, you need information content so it doesn’t look like a website setup purely for making money as an affiliate.
Google hates affiliates.
Your goal is to look like a big authority in your niche.
Go back to Ahrefs again, and look for 4+ word information keywords that your competitors are ranking for:
Information meaning there’s no buyer intent, they’re only searching for help. “How to sharpen your pocket knife”, for example.
Once you have a topic to cover, hire a writer to write the article, or write it yourself (if you’re on a budget).
That’s all there is to it really. It’s only there as a supporting piece of content, to establish your website as a trusted authority website.
They’re also supporting for content, as you’ll link them “up” to your review pages, like this:
This helps with establishing “topical relevance”, or in simpler terms, makes your review page seem more legit and therefore easier to rank.
There’s a couple plugins that will help with the content creation:
For creating the comparison tables
2. SEO Quake
For checking the keyword density of your article.
(Keyword density is the percentage of content that is your keyword. So if you have 100 words of content, and 3 words are your keyword, then it has a 3% density)
Launching the site
Now you’ve planned out all the content and got that underway, it’s time to launch your website.
I recommend using a PMD (partial match domain), i.e. “brand name” + “partial keyword”, or vice versa.
For example, we could name it KnifeZeal.com.
This gives us relevance to the overall topic of knives, but also gives us a real brand name we can expand later. Rather something overly specific limiting us to pocket knives.
As mentioned before, our goal is around 60,000 words of content on our website. However, we don’t want to suddenly launch that out of nowhere. Instead, we’ll slowly build up to it.
I recommend posting around 10,000-20,000 words at the start or over the first couple of days. Once this is complete, you can start releasing the rest of the content over time, giving you a constant drip of new content.
(Google loves freshness)
How quickly you should release the content depends on how often you plan on updating your website in the future. Launching two or three 2,000 word articles a week should be ok.
It doesn’t matter if you buy a theme or start off with a free one. This is not an important decision.
Pick one based on your budget, then move on. You can make money either way, it doesn’t matter, don’t waste time on this.
You should have a logo and other brand basics, as this makes it look more legitimate.
Just pay someone on Fiverr (or any freelancing site).
Again, none of this is too important. You can improve it later. For now, set it all up so we can get to the good stuff.
Linking to Amazon
You can use TablePress with the links to Amazon pages for our comparison tables.
And for the links within your content, a simple text line that is bolded and underlined with a sharp colour will be fine.
This is all you need to start making money in the beginning. Do not overcomplicate this part and waste time.
With regards to the actual word that you use on the anchor text that sends people to Amazon, you need to be careful.
According to the terms of the Amazon affiliate program, you can’t say the price. You can use a combination of the following: “Click here to see the current discount on the thing”, “Click to view this product”, “Check the price on Amazon,”, or “Check pricing and availability on amazon.”
You can also look at your competitors and see how they are doing it in your niche as this is obviously working for them. Then you can use similar variations of what they are doing.
Make sure to stay up to date on Amazon’s terms, you don’t want to risk your site being banned.
Internal Linking Your Content
Internal linking is an important part of the SEO. It tells Google which pages are relevant to each other, and helps “power up” pages by spreading the power or authority between pages.
(Here’s an example internal link to hire me as a consultant, so you can see how this works)
In general, you want to create as many internal links as possible, presuming it doesn’t look like an absolute mess – remember to focus on what’s easier for the visitor.
Now there is a thought-process to this, you only want to link to the absolutely most relevant or important pages.
Linking to a random knife article every time you use the word “knife” on the page isn’t a good strategy. That’s only going to confuse search engines.
Example: If you have a best pocket knife article, if you have a section in there that’s roughly 100 words in length that discusses pocket knives costing under $100, that’s an obvious place to link to your best pocket knife under $100 article.
This is a blog post on it’s own, for simplicities sake, I asked Rob to share his onpage checklist with you:
This part is the real difference maker once your content and onpage is setup correctly. It’s also where you’ll have to start investing a lot of your budget, if you haven’t already used it for content.
Private Blog Networks are a great way of building backlinks in the beginning. Don’t build your own, it’s too much time and management, using a service will allow you to focus 100% on your affiliate site.
This will start eating your budget as these services charge per link, many times monthly, but they’re the most effective links in terms of power and niche relevancy.
There’s many providers out there, including our own private link service.
The benefit of PBNs is the control, you can control:
- The exact date the link goes live
- What pages the link points to
- Which anchor text the link uses
- Which page the link is on (usually the homepage, where most of the power is)
- And every other factor
The downside is that you need more than PBNs to rank today, and if you plan on flipping your site in the future, websites with outreach links are worth more money.
Manual outreach can be used instead of PBN links, or to supplement the PBN links. This is where you manually reach out to sites in your niche, or related to your niche, and request that they link back to your site.
(Although in a way that’s much more appealing for them to do it)
For example, offering to write a guest post, which you can then insert a link into.
You can find sites accepting guest posts with basic search operators, for example:
- keyword + intitle:”write for us”
- keyword + intitle:”write for me”
- keyword + intitle:”contribute to”
- keyword intitle:”submit” + inurl:blog
- keyword “guest post”
- keyword “accepting guest posts”
- keyword “guest post guidelines”
(Replace “keyword” with your keyword i.e. knife, or something similar you can bridge the gap with i.e. outdoors, survivalism, personal defence, etc)
Then you simply reach out with a personal message, offering to write a high quality article relevant to their audience.
The downside of course being more writing, or hiring writers.
Now, the general rule for outreach is, the more personal and approachable, the better.
The upside of this link type is:
- It’s safer
- Your website will be more valuable if you later flip it
- It’s easier than managing a PBN yourself
The downside is you don’t have much control, like with PBNs. That’s why many SEOs are taking the approach of starting with PBNs (for the control), transitioning to outreach links after the initial links, and then slowly deleting the PBNs so they can flip the site for a higher total.
See, it’s unlikely that a website owner will let you link to your review page articles in your guest post. That’s because it’s a bad experience for their users sending them to a page solely designed to make money out of them.
So for guest posting, you’ll mostly be linking to your information pages. Which is fine, that’s natural, but ideally you want links to your review pages too.
Another option is sponsored posts.
This is where you pay website owners money, in exchange for publishing an article on their website, with a specific link. As you’re paying, this usually gives you say in what anchor text the link uses, and where it points to.
The process is almost identical, except you’ll use different search operators, such as:
- keyword + “sponsored post”
- keyword + “advertise with us”
This again, will give you a list of websites accepting advertisers or sponsored posts, then you can manually reach out to them and offer them money in exchange for a sponsored post.
Rates for this will vary depending on the sites traffic level, but on the lower end, you’re looking at $20+ per link.
Building Outreach Links
Let’s say you gather a list of 500 or 1,000 of these sites.
You just email them and you say, “Hey, I saw that you take on advertisers. I’m looking to do something with content in the sponsored post route. Would you be open to something like this? Here’s my site,” etc.
Often, you’ll receive a response along these lines: “What did you have in mind?”.
And you can reply like, “Well, how about I pay you $40 and I’ll write a post on your site, and then you link to your site?”.
This is obviously more time consuming than ordering a PBN link, but again, there’s upsides and downsides of both.
With sponsored posts, you can get links for $20 to $100.
For this example budget, I recommending sticking to $25-$40 per link. That’s going to allow you to get 17-28 links, if you’ve got a $700 budget remaining.
The great thing about sponsored (vs guest posts) is that 95% of the time you’ll be able to control where the links point to.
Make sure that you get a contextual link, not only a link in the “author’s bio” section. It will look like an SEO strategy if they’re all bio links, and contextual links have a stronger impact.
(Contextual link meaning a link within the article)
Tip: Try to build at least a third of your PBN/outreach links to your homepage, even if you’re not trying to rank it. This appears more natural, and will help rank all those inner pages.
The anchor text is the text used for the link, this is an important factor towards ranking.
There are several “types” of anchor text you can use:
- Target – Including your keyword or variation i.e. “best knife under $100”
- URL – Your website or page URL i.e. “example.com”
- Topic – Words relevant to the topic of the site i.e. “cool outdoor stuff”
- Misc – Irrelevant words i.e. “click here”
Use a combination of these, matching the ratios that your top ranking competitors are using.
Tip: Make sure when you use generic keywords, that it’s placed next to a relevant keyword.
For example, you could use “These are great knives under $100 (see our full guide)”, with “see our full guide” as a generic link.
Here’s what the timeline will look like to hit $500 per month in around 6-9 months:
- Day one you launch the site with 10,000 – 20,000 words
- Begin posting on Reddit or industry related sites and continue doing so regularly
- Register your brands social profiles
- Begin dripping out your 2,000+ word articles (a few per week)
- In month 2, purchase a small social signal package
- Start outreach in the middle of month 2
- Aim to get to 30 – 50 links by the 5 month mark. At this point, if you haven’t picked a terrible niche, you should start hitting at least $100 per month.
Let’s break it down…
After your site is live, start getting active on sites like Quora, Reddit or other forums in your niche. Just add value here and be genuine.
Over time you can slip a link to either your homepage or an info article. You should get a little bit of traffic from these sites, which will “validate” these outreach links because it’s unnatural for a site to launch, have no traffic, and then randomly just get links.
Try to stay as active as you can on those forums. Try to prove to Google that you’re working hard to be a brand, to help people, and to get traffic to your site. You’ll also be dripping out content every week as discussed above.
Alternatively, you can use paid traffic such as Facebook Ads, or AdWords, but that will exhaust a small budget fast.
This is an essential step, simply because… what real website isn’t registered on social media?
Begin dripping out your 2,000+ word articles (a few per week)
As mentioned earlier in the guide.
After the first month, you’ll want to order a social signal blast. This will help your site look more authentic and natural.
Our friends at SEOButler can take care of you here, order a blast of 200 signals.
Start outreach in the middle of month 2
In the first few weeks after the launch, focus on building links to your homepage first, as this will help build up the authority of the site. You can use PBNs or outreach links, doesn’t matter.
If you start off having a large portion of your links going to the homepage and information articles, it prevents you looking like another “thin” affiliate site. It’s crucial that Google trust your site and see it as an authority before you start focusing on your review pages. This is a slower, yet longer term strategy.
After the first few weeks, you can start building links to other pages. Though I recommend for the next 2-3 months, that 50% of your link building efforts point to the homepage.
This will directly influence all pages on your site.
After that period, you can bring it down to 1/3.
Don’t expect too much after the first couple of months, but if you picked less competitive keywords, expect your info pages to start ranking and getting traffic. And your review pages will usually start to get trickles of traffic around the 4-5 month mark.
Once you know what pages are starting to perform better than others, point more of your sponsored posts or guest posts at those particular pages. Let’s say you’re ranking number 10 for one of your keywords. If you go from number 10 to number 1, we’re talking about potentially $5 a day to $40 a day or so, and which now makes you earn $1,000 a month.
Your first few months is a waiting game. You’re just looking for some early wins with some traffic. Once you see consistently that you’re getting the rankings for one of your best keywords, best modifier keywords, you’re seeing at least a couple to a few visitors per day. Throw up the links on your comparison table, in your product review areas, and just see if you start getting sales.
If we allocate a $700 budget towards sponsored posts, at $30-$40 per post, that should give us 17-23 links to any page of our choosing (homepage, review, or info).
Then with a little work, you should be able to push for another 20-25 guest posts, which will get you up to around the 50 links mark.
By this point you should be starting to see some results. Ideally, at least $100 a month, if your niche selection wasn’t bad.
(Let’s be real though – we have absolutely no idea how much money you’ll make, which niche you’ll choose, what quality links you’ll build, or anything else)
Common Beginner Mistakes
- Terrible onpage – Use Rob’s checklist to make sure that you don’t fall into this trap.
- Bad link ratio – Make sure you don’t stick out as an affiliate site in the beginning by sending all your links to your money pages.
- Bad anchor text ratio – Make sure that you don’t over-use your keywords as anchor text because they will just stick out to Google and get sandboxed.
- Don’t add your affiliate links until your sites are continuously getting at least a couple of visitors a day. (This will also help keep your site looking natural in Google’s eyes)
- If you have not signed up for Amazon yet, associates, I recommend you build your site before signing up. You will have a specific amount of time once you have signed up, which you will need until your first sale. You don’t want to risk Amazon shutting down your affiliate account.
Remember, with this guide we’re avoiding the competitive keywords that other bigger affiliates target. Once your site’s making a few hundred bucks a month, then you can go after “best pocket knife” and more competitive terms.
With that said though, be careful not to limit yourself to $500 a month. That’s only a starting point.
This entire process is almost identical for building a $5,000 per month site. Only difference being the scale – more competitive keywords, more content, more expensive links, etc.
There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from scaling this bigger if your niche is a winner.
And if it isn’t, you start ranking, try another. You’ll definitely make money if you rank, it’s more a matter of how much.
Further reading: To add contrast to an Amazon Affiliate guide, here’s why I personally don’t follow this model, even though Rob is crushing it with it.
Building an Amazon affiliate site? Download our 2019 setup checklist