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Affiliate Site Making $1,000 a Day In the Extremely Competitive Insurance Industry

By Sa El |

Hey Everyone, my name is Sa El, after over ten years of selling life insurance over the phone I became tired of chasing down one customer at a time to sell a $25.00 life insurance policy. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, helping someone to protect their family’s financial future is very important to me; however, I was working 16 hours per day and spending very little time with my family. 

On top of that, more and more customers started asking if they could just sign up online and not have to speak with me on the phone. 

I realized that it was now or never to take my entire business from offline to online, my only problem was that I had absolutely no idea that websites could make money, or how to make money online. 

Getting Started

I started doing my research in January of 2017 and took a few online courses about making money online.

I started with Niel Patel and Brian Dean and went 100% into their courses.  I learned everything that I could and did as much research as possible.

My husband came up with a fantastic name of Simply Insurance, and we were good to go. 

Now, the funny thing is that when I went to purchase the domain, it was $10,000, and of course, I gasped at the price. 

We decided to go with the “.co” version of the domain name until we could prove that this concept would work. 

Long-Form Content

My goal was to follow the process I learned from the courses, which was to build long-form insurance content based on detailed keyword research

The first post that I created was a long tail, long-form, money page titled “How To Get Life Insurance Quotes With No Phone Calls From Agents.” 

The post was well over 3,000 words, and the primary focus was to create a piece of content that would not only rank in google but also convert traffic into sales. 

I thought my next step was going to be challenging, and that was building backlinks, but it turned out that being a sales agent made outreach more easy for me than the average person.

Building Links

My plan for Links was a three-step process:

  1. Respond to as many HARO requests as possible.
  2. Guest Post Outreach
  3. Outreach To People Who Already Linked To Similar Content

Overall I was able to start building links and generating traffic.  I remember getting 30 visits in 1 day felt soo amazing, and I couldn’t believe people were visiting my site. 

Making My First Sale

It took me a total of 9 months from starting to make my first commission sale.  I made a whopping $120.00; however, once I made my first sale, I knew everything worked. 

simply first commission

 

For the rest of the year, the site started to make money from a few products, and I continued to add more content.

Figuring It All Out

Once I knew that I could make money from the site I needed to figure out how to keep growing my organic traffic and my revenue; below are the steps I took:

Multiple Products / Silohs

My initial plan was to focus entirely on Life Insurance, but my husband stepped in and reminded me that the site was Simply Insurance, and to not just focus on life insurance but other insurance products.

This still would keep me in the insurance niche, but change the focus to now over 10 products.   This is probably one of the best moves I made for the site, but at the same time, probably the worst move to make. 

I say this because, at the time, I didn’t really understand how adding all of the additional content and products would affect the site.

In hindsight, it probably would have been much better if I would have dominated in one space first and slowly added more products, but it didn’t play out like that. 

At the beginning of 2018, I added about 9 products to the site.  I created their main money pages like “home insurance quotes” and then did a review of the main affiliate product or products “hippo home insurance review” and then I created one power page around the content “what does home insurance cover” 

Now, this gave me a place to start and while I did start seeing revenue from these different products, overall I had a site with heavy life insurance content but super thin content for the other products.

Joining A Group

As I started to see a bit of real growth in 2018 I kept hearing about this personal finance conference in my industry that was full of people like me (a money nerd). 

I decided to buy tickets to the conference, which gave me access to their Facebook Group.

Guys, this was the best decision I have made so far because this group had everything I needed in one place to grow my site. 

It was full of journalists, bloggers, CPA’s, pretty much anyone in the personal finance space.  I think my first week in the group, I probably landed 10 to 15 Guest posts. 

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Inspiration Before The Conference

Right before the personal finance conference in 2018, I found Niche Pursuits, and I learned that even though I was building links, I probably needed way more than my 30 or so pages on the site and that my goal should be 200 pages of content.

At Fincon, I wrote around 50 new pages of content and published them to the site in one week which was amazing and super tiring.  This really helped increase my traffic at the start of 2019.

Buying My “.Com” & Transferring My Site

So, remember earlier when I stated I wanted to buy my .com but it was $10,000; well, I was able to purchase the domain name at the beginning of 2019, it was on Jan 18th when I purchased the domain and by that time the price was $25,000.

In only 2 years the value of the .com increased by over $15,000 and I knew then that we couldn’t lose the ability to get the .com so we bit the bullet and purchased it.

My biggest challenge was trying to figure out if I should just redirect the .com into the .co or if I should redirect the .co  into the .com and update all of the URLs.

Well, I decided that I wanted the site to be a “.com” and basically redirected the entire “.co” into the “.com” and for a few months, this move tanked my traffic. 

Referring domains to the “.co” before the 301 redirect

As you can see, everything was transferred in February and that’s when we started to see the referring domains decrease.

Traffic for the “.co” up to the 301 redirect

We also started hitting over 300 visitors per day right before we made the switch; which was awesome for our industry but as you can see below, it was like starting all over again. 

Traffic starting over with the “.com” and then the rest of 2019

Once we made the change our traffic was cut to less than half and we were back to the 100 to 125 visitors per day.  Of course, this completely crushed my soul; but I knew I needed to make the change and that it would all work out.

referring domains com
2019 referring domain increase

We pushed everything into overdrive for 2019 and our goal was to have over 500 referring domain; which we hit before the end of 2019. 

The Numbers 

I know you all want to know the numbers and see how it all turned out so below I want to give you more insight. 

Traffic

We are seeing double-digit year over year growth in our traffic and this is caused by getting backlinks, internal linking, and creating new content.

Going into 2019 a bit more you can see that the traffic grew slowly and of course we had some ups and downs from all of the Google updates but in general, the traffic started to really shoot up in September. 

But it gets even better:

For 2020 we are already crushing it and in January already have a 763.30% increase in traffic compared to January of 2019. 

simply ins 19 vs 20

 

Rankings

I also want to give you an idea of where I left off before the change from the “.co” and where we are today with the “.com.”

This was a snapshot taken a few months after the transfer had been completed for simplyinsurance.co

The above screenshot was taken on January 24th 2020.

Revenue

You can see that we had a drastic change in revenue from 2017 to 2019. 

simply revenue

We started to hit our $1,000 to $1,200 per day in November of 2019 and are still in the growing process.  My goal for 2020 is to hit $600,000 in revenue. 

Final Thoughts

Building a blog in the insurance space is very complicated because it is super competitive; my average KD is around 70, and I am going up against companies that have been around for decades. 

It’s a challenge going up against their link profile; however, the good news is that my competition doesn’t seem to be scrappy, and I am building my links at a faster pace.

If you want to have multiple products it’s probably best to get 1 product to be killing it and then add the other products slowly.

The most important thing to remember is that it all takes time, don’t give up and never stop… If you stop, you 100% won’t be successful.

 




Stories & Projects | 54 comments

By Sa El

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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54 Comments

Conversation

Jon

Hi, Sa El you are really doing a great job.I’m really impressed to read your case study. This case study brings great success to marketer special who are starting a new affiliate site. Hopefully, this is the most exciting success story

Tyree

How are you able to get over 300+ visitors a day and 1,000 + per day as well. I really want to learn more.

Jared

Follow Spencer’s nichepursuits.com site and you’ll learn a TON so you too can get results like this. You just have to put in the work.

Sa El

Hey Tyree,

You have to find a niche that is going to pay much higher for leads than normal that way your don’t need as much traffic.

Sa EL

Hey Jon,

Thanks for such kind words, I am glad I was able to inspire you; the most important things is to not stop working at it. Never quit and do at least 1 thing to your site every day.

Wayne Wicky

Fantastic post indeed. Very inspiring. I have also been blogging since 2017, but my traffic is still at 150 visits per day. I guess I should be working on my backlink profile to improve this. Once again, thanks for the post.

Sa El

Hey Wayne,

Yes, after doing a ton of research I started making Referring Domains my primary goal, last year my goal was to hit over 500 Referring domains and we did it; this year is to get to over 1,000. If your competition has more links and referring domains then you need to get to work.

Wayne Wicky

Thanks a lot for this. I really appreciate. I have just a handful of referring domains, and am sure I got to work hard to get more.

Sa El

Hey Wayne,

Yes, try your hand at becoming a HARO master, that can get you a solid amount of links.

Joshua

Wow, it took 9 MONTHS before seeing any sort of result from his website. That takes a lot of patience, this is probably why a lot of people give up early.

Sa El

Hey Joshua, that’s absolutely why people give up, you have to give it 100% of your attention for at least 1 year before you see anything and then you really need to hit the ground running once you have proof of concept. So 2 strong years to really start seeing it pay off.

This means No Clubbing, No Tv Shows, No Videogames, No Family Time, Just you and the Blog!

Martijn van Hoof

Wow, that is hardcore dedication! How many hours a week do you spend working on this project? Does that also include full weekend days? Because I find it hard to combine work, healthy eating and working out WITHOUT going insane.. I really wonder how your day looks like.

Wish you the best!

Sa El

Hey Martjin,

In the beginning, my days were:

Wake up at 6am, work on site until around 8pm from creating content – link building- outreach- being active in facebook groups writing guest posts. I did it all and still felt like I didn’t do enough. I worked 7 days per week. As of today, I am able to work 8 hours per day and don’t do any work on the weekends. In the beginning you have to sacrifice almost everything, I can now go to the gym but in the past I wasn’t able to hit the gym so I gained a ton of weight. I have lost it but it isn’t easy; you have to pick a struggle though.

Troy

Great info. I remember you from Facebook in the beginning. Good to see your growth. I was curious, how much a day do you make from only insurance sales? Thanks

Sa El

Hey Troy,

It’s all through Insurance, I make my money on the front end.

Manoj

When I see this type of income reports and the growth of the sites it motivatates me to keep going forward. I m not making lots of money but such types of article motivate me to keep in blogging industry. Thanks for sharing this work with us.

Sa El

Manoj,

If you want to make “lots” of money then you have to find the money in your industry and don’t let words like “DA” or “KD” dissuade you from just taking action on those words.

Join some groups and also become an expert in your space.

fintan duggan

Hi Sa El,
I love to hear success stories, in your case I know there is a lot more to come.
Your post resonated with me, I can remember selling insurance doof to door, it was one of my first sales jobs.
Was it tough? Yes but building a website that makes decent money is even more challenging.
I take my hat off to you, well done.
Fintan

Sa El

Hey Fintan,

Thanks for the Kind words; going from offline to online was the best choice I have ever made. No more chasing the sale.

Sa El

Hey Fintan,

I appreciate the Kind words; going from offline to online was the best choice I have ever made. No more chasing the sale.

David

So all in all, was the move from the .co to the .com worth it, or do you think it was a setback?

Sa El

Hey David,

In the beginning, it felt like a setback; however, I now know that it was the best move for us to make because I had people give me backlinks that stated they originally thought the .co was for another country or that Google would hurt them for linking to a .co… of course it’s not true but people think weird.

Also, it was better to switch because people would send me emails to the .com when I didn’t own it.

Overall I also think the name is much better and saying it over the phone is super easy.

Max

Inspiring post, well done on the great success. Getting no traffic four months since starting the site but will keep going.

Sa El

Hey Max,

4 months is nothing man, you haven’t really started, you should be pumping out content and then building backlinks to it.

I remember my first Month of 30 visitors I was super happy; We actually broke 20,000 visitors in January so trust me when I tell you that all it takes is time.

Lou

Do you have to be licensed to sell insurance and get good payouts from insurance product companies or your commissions are from affiliate programs from insurance companies? I’ve seem insurance affiliate programs but they all pay based on leads, from what I understand you get paid for selling insurance products. Thanks for sharing.

Sa El

Hey Lou,

I am licensed and I get paid both ways; it will really come down to what you want from your site.

If you want to be on the back end of the transaction “The Sale” then you will need to get licensed.

If you want to skip licensing then the affiliate route is your only option. Then just remember that if you go into the insurance space it’s probably better to be Licensed to deal with the E.A.T. from Google.

Odot Abraham

Interesting..

Sa El

What’s Interesting Odot?

Darren

Thanks for sharing your study Sa El and congrats on your success.

I was intrigued by what you said about redirecting the original domain into the new .com

Do you think you could have preserved your traffic if you had redirected all of your URLs individually instead of a global redirect?

Some more clarification on this would be much appreciated as I too am mulling a domain name change to broaden the scope of my site…but am reluctant to take the hit on my current traffic and earnings if it will drag on too long.

A short fluctuation would be ok, but months of lost rankings wouldn’t.

Thanks for your help.

Sa El

Hey Darren,

So, I 301 Redirected Every Article Individually and I also did a global 301 redirect; I also did a site move inside of GSC.

I did everything that was required but Google just took it’s good ole time catching up to everything.

The longer you wait the harder it is going to be; that’s why I bit the bullet at 300 visitors per day because it would be even harder now if I had to make the change.

Darren

Thanks for your advice Sa El

Sa El

Aboslutely!

Ronald

Amazing, Thanks for sharing your story. I myself have been trying to get a stable income in the affiliate marketing business.

I starting promoting products in the country i live but after 2 years of working on websites, i am only earning around 500 euro.

I am now trying to get my new website to rank to be able to earn a bit of extra income. Getting a higher DA is a bit hard in my opinion i have been creating non-stop articles but still have 1.

You got any tips for that?

Thanks for the content again.

Sa El

Hey Ronald,

Your issue seems to be a Backlink Issue; Your DA doesn’t increase from creating content; It comes from building backlinks.

You should probably research a few courses if you haven’t. I know Spencer closed his but maybe he has a great one he can recommend you to. I think Authority Hacker has a great one.

सेहतमंद स्वास्थ्य के फिटनेस टिप्स

I don’t agree that affiliate marketing can really work in 2020 as most of people are preferring major e-commerce portals for making their purchases.

Sa El

Hello Nameless One,

You have 100% no clue what you are talking about; Go tell that to Nerd Wallet that made over $500,000,000 (Yes $500 Million) last year alone and it’s 100% pretty much affiliate marketing.

Value Penguin, My Site, You name it; there are tons of examples; don’t bring that negative energy here :).

Nutanpaik

Very nice post, thanks sir

Sa El

You are very welcome and thanks

Mike Michelini

Great job and thanks for inspiring me and others here.

I do think link others in the comments you could have prevented traffic drop with domain change if you had done htaccess redirects from each plc url to new url

But it all worked out, amazing content is key and the hustle for backlinks

Sa El

Hey Mike,

Thanks – like I stated above; I did do the 301 redirect through my .htaccess file for each old url to the new url.

I also did a site wide redirect via .htaccess

I still got punished.

And you are right; it’s about Content and Backlinks.

Olusola David

Nice one, this got me really motivated. The 9 month part got me smiling, because i actually waited 8 months before i made my first income from my own blog.

With this, i think i should focus more on increasing my blog traffic and also take HARO seriously. Great piece.

Sa El

Hey Olusola,

Yes, get on that HARO – Morning ; Afternoon; Evening – You should be responding to each one. Get some guest posts out there as well and Join a Group!

Reginald Chan

This is an excellent post!

You nailed this post (I was searching for affiliate sales and motivation and came across this post).

Well done. It certainly takes time but worth it!

Thank you for sharing.

Sa El

Hey Reginald,

Your words are too kind; Thanks – Yes it takes time but if you put the time in; it will change your life 100%

SEO Melbourne FL

Hey I wanted to say great blog. I am an SEO for almost two decades now and I can tell you this blog is accurate. I love the charts you include to show the traffic changes. This should be very informative as well as encouraging to any start-ups.

Sa El

Thanks SEO Melbourne FL;

I am glad you can see the honesty; I think sometimes people expect you to go from 0 to 1000 but it’s really like 0 to 10 then 10 back to 2 and then 2 to 25 and then 25 back to 11 and so on.

It’s never really 0 to 1000 😉 . I am glad you enjoyed the post.

Xung

Very inspiring. I should be working on my backlink profile to improve this. Once again, thanks for the post.

Sa El

Hey Xung, I am glad the story inspired you. Yes, your backlink profile is essential.

Concerned Reader

This “guest post” provides no value whatsoever. It’s just a nice story, but there were no useful insights. Spencer, please don’t publish this type of content anymore. Unless someone has something practical to share, it’s effectively a free link for them and a waste of your readership’s time.

Sa El

Hey Matt,

Just because you didn’t get any value from my post doesn’t mean that others will. The name of this segment is Titled “Motivation Monday” – The point of the post is to motivate and share stories so I am not sure what you were supposed to learn other than to be motivated.

Manoj Chakraborty

Daily visitor 2-25k, installed Adsense But not try Affiliate yet.

Can I implement affiliate links with Adsense?

Sa El

Hey Manoj, what do you mean by implement affiliate links with Adsense?

Moon

Good work but…..
How did you get 100% of your visitors being mobile only?

Sa El

Hey Moon,

Not sure what you mean by 100% of my visitors being mobile only? A majority of my traffic is from Desktop not Mobile, it’s a mix of both of them.

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