A little over one year ago, I launched a brand new Amazon affiliate website on a brand new domain name. It's not a blog, but more of a commercially geared reviews site like others I've created in the past.
Last month that site made over $3,000.
Today, I'm going to walk you through exactly what I did to make that happen. Then I'll show you how to start an Amazon Affiliate site of your own. To be honest, I did nothing more or less than what has already been covered in depth in the Niche Site Project 3 series of posts.
However, I think that sharing a review of the strategy and tactical steps I've taken to grow the site, all in one article, will teach you how to build an Amazon Associates website. Even if you are not willing to read all of the posts in the last project.
Oh, and as an added surprise for you…this site is sending traffic to my Amazon FBA listings.
So, the amount of revenue generated by this website is actually much more than $3,000. I'll explain more below.
So, let's jump right into it and then go through the steps of how to start your own affiliate site.
- Amazon Affiliate Site Making $3000 Per Month In Less Than A Year
- How To Build An Amazon Affiliate Website
- Successful Amazon Affiliate Websites
- Your Amazon Affiliate Site
Amazon Affiliate Site Making $3000 Per Month In Less Than A Year
Building an Amazon site can be a great way to create some serious long-term passive income. The Amazon Associates program is popular because it Amazon is the most trusted brand name in the world.
Joining this affiliate network is easy, the conversion rates are among the best for beginners and its easy. When in doubt, starting another Amazon niche site to add to your portfolio is rarely a bad idea.
But can a website based around the Amazon affiliate program still work?
First, The Results
I know that people like to see the “money shot,” so rather than make you wait in suspense, I'll share the earnings screenshots first. Then I'll dive into exactly how I achieved these results below, and how you can do the same as an Amazon affiliate.
In July, the website made just over $3,000. In August, the earnings have continued to grow. Here's the August 2016 earnings.
So, $2,411.86 from the main tracking id on this site. However, I have a couple of tracking ids set up in my Amazon Affiliate account.
The earnings from the second tracking id was $371.15.
We have also been using a really cool service called Genius Links. Genius localizes my Amazon associates links to the country of the person visiting my website. So, if someone from Canada clicks on my Amazon affiliate link, they go to Amazon.ca product listings, if someone from the UK clicks on my link, they go to Amazon.co.uk, and so on.
As a result, I earn more commissions from a few different Amazon locations.
Amazon Associates UK
(Approximately, $29.49 in USD)
Amazon Associates Canada
(Approximately, $60.01 in USD)
So, Total Amazon Associates in August = $2,872.51
The site also made a decent amount of money via Google AdSense. Here's how much the Amazon niche site made from Google AdSense in August:
The site made $43.20 via Commission Junction affiliate sales in August.
In total the site made:
- $2,872.51 from Amazon Associates
- $515.13 from Google AdSense
- $43.20 from Commission Junction
- $3,430.84 in Total Earnings for August
How These Results Were Achieved – A Timeline
Here's a quick timeline of how I started and grew the site to where it is today. After the timeline, I'll share some more in-depth points about some of the things that I did.
I'm also including a Google Analytics screenshot that shows the traffic by month since May 2015.
Affiliate Marketing Website Timeline
- February 2015 – Purchased domain name, but did nothing with it for a couple months.
- May 2015 – Published the first article on May 8th, 2015. I decide to find 10 or so keywords to target and publish articles on. 2 articles live in May.
- August 1st, 2015 – By August 1st I have a total of 12 articles published on the site. This site starts getting around 5 or 6 visitors a day from Google.
- August 2015 – 25 articles published. I decide that I see potential in this niche based on sales from my own FBA product, and I find 100 keywords that I want to target and publish articles on right away. I figure that more content targeting low competition keywords = more traffic. A year later, I am proven correct.
- Sept 2015 – 11 articles published. We primarily focus on getting content written and up on the site. By the end of September we have a total of 48 articles on the site.
- Oct. 2015 – 16 articles published.
- Nov. 2015 – 37 articles published.
- Dec. 2015 – 19 articles published.
- Sept to Dec 2015 – Around early September, we decide that we should get a few links to the site. So, during Sept to Dec we focus on a few strategies. We get a few links from quality directories. Then write a few guest post links. We use the Tailwind App to get some Pinterest traffic and links going. We also did a contest which resulted in a few links. And finally, we used Tomoson to give away some of our FBA products and some bloggers mentioned and linked to our site.
- Jan and Feb 2016 – 0 articles published.
- March 2016 – 3 articles published.
- April 2016 – 1 article published.
- May – July 2016: 0 articles published. To be honest, I hadn't really been paying attention to how much this site was making. I knew it was doing well, but I was shocked in July to see exactly how well it was doing on its way to a $3k month. So, in July I decided its time to refocus on the site (only 4 articles had been published in all of 2016 and yet the site continued to grow really well). We decide to find another 100 low competition keywords and start publishing more content. My hypothesis is that more low competition content = more traffic! I was right before, and I suspect I'll be right again. The plan is to have these additional 100 articles published between August and December 2016.
- August 2016 – 10 articles published. Site earns over $3,000 in affiliate income.
As of the end of August 2016, the site has a total of 134 articles published.
My Keyword Research Strategies
I've laid out my keyword research strategy a number of times on this blog including here and here. I did not really do anything differently than I normally do. I'm going to lay out 5 keyword research principles that I follow when building my sites.
In general, I am more concerned with low competition than traffic volume. In fact, I set no minimum limit for monthly search volume for the keywords that I found. So, if the keyword only had a KC score of 25 and was searched for 1,000 times a month…great!
Or if a keyword had a KC of 20 and was only searched for 50 times a month…that's great too!
In other words, I targeted some keywords that had over 1,000 monthly searches and other keywords that had less than 100. However, ALL keywords had a KC of 30 or less.
I always use Long Tail Pro to do my keyword research and of course get the keyword competitiveness score.
The less competition you have to cut through, the sooner you can create a profitable niche website that starts paying off your efforts.
I also tend to do better with longer phrases (4 or more words) than I do with shorter phrases. Yes, I do target some 3 word phrases, but I rarely target 2 word phrases.
I like to look for keywords that include certain words in them that I know affiliate sites can rank well for. I usually call these “modifiers.”
For example, here's a short list of modifiers I've used in the past:
- under $100 (or other price points)
- in [current year]
- and of course many others
So, if your root keyword is “folding chairs.” You might consider phrases like, “best folding chairs,” “folding chair reviews,” “best folding chair under $50.” These are a just a few ideas, and many other modifiers exist that you can add to your root keywords to come up with lots of low competition keywords.
I like to see other weak sites ranking with lower Trust Flow and Citation flow (or domain authority and page authority). So, first I just look at the overall KC score and try to find keywords under the 30 mark.
Then I double check to see if there are some weak affiliate sites, forum posts, article directories, or other weak sites that have poor metrics.
If I see a couple of weak sites ranking in the top 10 results in Google, then it's a green light for me to go after that keyword.
In addition, to using Long Tail Pro, I sometimes use SEMRush and Ubersuggest to come up with additional keyword ideas. SEMrush is great if you find a new or weak affiliate site ranking for lots of keywords, then you can cherry pick some of their best keywords to try and outrank them.
Ubersuggest is great to come up with lots of variations of keywords. This essentially adds modifiers to the root keyword for you, then you can take the ones you want. I then run them through Long Tail Pro to check the search volume and competition level.
Overall, that's 5 quick principles that I follow when I do my keyword research. Yes, I could go into more depth, but these strategies should give you a good insight into how I did my keyword research for the Amazon affiliate site.
My Link Building Strategies
As listed in the timeline above, we went through a link building “phase” on this site from about Sept to Dec of 2015. Since that time, we have not done ANY link building on the site. The site still attracts a few new links here and there without our involvement when we publish new content.
For good or bad, this is always how I've approached my niche sites. I put a little bit of effort into building links after the site is a few months old, and then I just focus on the content for the site. Now, its possible that I may go back and do another link building push at some point.
However, the site continues to grow in terms of Google rankings and traffic, so I see no reason to go out do more active link building.
So, unless the site stops growing, I likely won't do any more manual link building. Writing more content will be a better use of my time for increasing the Amazon affiliate earnings.
Here's a quick look at the number of links that this site has achieved over time:
As you can see the site has just over 100 linking domains pointing to it. Or put a different way, about 100 sites are linking to my niche site.
In case you didn't know, 100 linking domains is really not that much. I would guess that almost half of those links came naturally to the site without my involvement. The other half were acquired using the strategies below.
We submitted out site to a few directories, including places like JoeAnt.com and others. I don't know the exact number of directories we tried to get links from, but it was probably less than 5 total.
The idea here is to focus on quality (high authority) versus quantity of directories.
Only bother with a few good ones. A bunch of links from spammy directories won't move your website up the rankings of a good search engine like Google. You're better off writing more product reviews!
Yes, this is old school. However, we were able to reach out to a few people we knew to write a guest post on their blogs. Again, this was a small number, probably only around 5 guest posts or so.
Tailwind is simply a way to make it easier to post and schedule posts on Pinterest (and Instagram). We only used Tailwind for its Pinterest capabilities. The main idea here (and it does take some work) is to start a group, join some groups, and post relevant images.
With a little bit of effort, people will start re-pinning your images and this leads to links from Pinterest.com, but can lead to secondary links if people repost of their own sites.
We now have tons of links from Pinterest (counts as 1 linking domain). It's hard to tell how many links came from people using our images from Pinterest on their own sites (with a link to ours). This is sort of the hidden SEO benefit from major Pinterest attention.
See my full Tailwind review.
As mentioned, we sell a physical product on Amazon that is related to this niche site. We held a contest using Contest Domination, in an attempt to get email subscribers. We didn't run the contest in an attempt to get links. However, it did indeed lead to few links.
One of the contestants posted the contest on a couple of sweepstakes type sites, and this gave us a few links to our site.
This didn't lead to a lot of links, however, as it was shared on social media and other places, it did indeed generate a few links.
In order to get some Amazon reviews, we used Tomoson. In the process, we found out that lots of the reviewers have blogs and are willing to write a blog post review of your products. So, we gave it a shot and asked for maybe 10 people or so to write a blog post reviewing our Amazon product.
Because our niche site is one place where we sell our product, we got a link back to our niche site with each of those product reviews.
Overall, we did some things for link building that seem to have worked. Again, we only have 100 linking root domains, so its not some huge amount. Like I said, if I were to venture a guess, about half of these came through our own effort with the strategies listed above.
The other half just came naturally without our involvement.
Early in 2016, I could see that this site had good potential and so we wanted to optimize the average earnings per visitor. We did this in 2 ways:
The earnings per click for Google AdSense was pretty solid, so we made some of the ad units more prominent near the top of articles and added units in other locations.
We also saw a big increase in Amazon Associates earnings when we went back to some of our older articles are started adding more shopping comparison charts.
The theme we used has comparison chart functionality built in.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, I wrote a pretty comprehensive guide on how to create a Amazon shopping comparison chart here.
Adding these charts led to more clicks through our affiliate links to Amazon and more sales. These types of charts provide a ton of value to users because it makes it easy for them to compare product side by side.
If you make it easier for people to buy products, they buy more products.
So, these couple of steps that we took starting in March of this year really started to increase our earnings per visitor by quite a bit.
The Added Bonus…Amazon FBA
As I've mentioned a couple of times, this niche site actually links to and sells my own physical products through Amazon FBA. So, the $3,430.84 income that I listed above is ALL from affiliate revenue…it does NOT include income from my Amazon FBA products.
In other words, if I send someone from my site to Amazon and they buy one of my products, I am not counting that revenue in the screenshots above.
So, in addition to the $3,400 that this site made in affiliate revenue, it also generated roughly an additional $4,000 in revenue from my own Amazon products being sold.
This additional revenue is tough to calculate and track. My best estimate is that my niche site sent about $4,000 worth of business to Amazon FBA business in August.
However, starting your own private label brand and launching a product on Amazon is an entirely different animal to tackle. Luckily, I've written a little bit about how I started my Amazon FBA business right here if you are interested in that.
If you are willing to learn the ropes, this can be an incredible way to increase the revenue of your niche website. Especially in a very profitable niche.
How To Build An Amazon Affiliate Website
Now let's get into how you can make your own affiliate website through Amazon's affiliate program. The first step is to decide what niche you want your site to be in. This isn't a decision to be made lightly.
In fact your chances of success or failure is heavily tied to this step!
We're going to have to do some keyword research. (Read this guide on MotionInvest.com if you are more interested in buying and selling websites.)
Finding Your Amazon Affiliate Niche
Finding the right niche for your website prior to getting started is crucial. You want something you're passionate enough to work on, but using a good keyword tool to make sure there are plenty of longtails to rank for in the search engine.
If you're starting as an Amazon associate then you also want to make sure there are good products that pay out a solid affiliate commission.
Pennies a sale are going to take a very long time to add up, after all.
Don't worry – here's my step by step process to getting starting with Amazon affiliate marketing.
Brainstorming Niche Ideas
I've already done some work with Long Tail Pro above, so let's try another keyword research tool. I'll be using KWFinder (and you can read our KWFinder review here).
The first thing you'll need to do is make a list of potential niche ideas. There's no problem at all if you want to draw these from your passions.
- Love rock climbing? That's a niche.
- Cliff jumping? Crazy, but also a niche.
- Always wanted to be a prepper? There's another niche.
- Crocheting? Grandma would be proud of that niche!
You can do this with anything you're passionate about: you love playing ping pong, or you love swimming, or you want to help people sleep better. Any of these niches work just fine.
You can also go to website brokerages, see what's selling, and pick a niche from there. I like this approach since you know 100% that this can be a successful niche.
There we go. That's what we're looking for. Let's brainstorm a few potential sub-niches we could dive in to.
- Dad gear
- Mom gear
- Survival skills
- Primitive survival
Now that we have some brainstormed ideas, it's worth taking a glance at Amazon. They offer different payouts for different products and this can have a huge impact on your affiliate earnings. Here is the current list of Amazon's rates:
Note: The affiliate percentages in the Amazon Associates program can change from year to year. Check here if you want to confirm that these numbers are up to date.
You'd have to sell 8x as many video game consoles as you would power tools just to make the same amount of money. I don't recommend choosing your niches only from Amazon's rates, but it's worth considering.
I wouldn't go into any niche earning less than 3%. Below that number and it's pretty hard to make ends meet.
Researching Your Niches
If you go into a niche without doing research, you're setting yourself up for failure. You might get lucky and stumble across a niche that works, but the odds are pretty good that you won't. Tons of niches are crowded and are tough for new sites. I prefer to find low hanging fruit.
To scout out our niches, I want to find at least 10 keywords with the following characteristics:
- At least 2 sites ranking on page 1 of Google with Domain Authority/Domain Rating/Keyword Challenge under 30 (but under 20 is even better!)
- Less than 5 referring domains to the pages of the websites with the lowest domain authority
No worries, pictures are incoming 😉
One of the toughest parts here is finding an initial keyword. It's hard to know what keywords you should scout out. What I recommend is a simple search in Google: “best [niche] gear”.
I'm going to search “best dad gear”. I clicked on the first result in Google, and got tons of seed keywords! Here's one of them.
Baby carrier is perfect. Now let's find some keywords using KWFinder (Long Tail Pro also works for this, but I want to be fair to other tools too!).
Type your seed keyword (in this case, “baby carrier”) in to KWFinder. You want to make sure that it's set to “Related Keywords” so that you get a pretty wide range of keywords to look at.
I searched through related keywords and found one that looked promising: “toddler carrier.” I clicked on it to get an overview of everyone who was ranking in Google. The results look great.
I see 2 pages with less than 30 DA on page 1 of Google. One of these has a DA less than 20! And neither domain has more than 5 referring domains. This keyword is ripe for the taking.
If you can find 10 keywords like this within your niche, you're ready to go. That's a great niche!
If you are looking in the dad or baby niche, I guess you only have to find 9 more 🙂
Here's what a keyword looks like if it's not very good:
You can see here that those domain authorities are huge! There are several results from Amazon and Target, and I don't like to mess with a niche when those authorities are around.
If you can find 10 keywords that have less than 2 sites on page 1 with DA under 30 and less than 5 referring domains, you've found a viable niche.
I recommend doing this test for as many niches as possible.
Some niches might have 10 low competition keywords, other niches might have 50 or 100!
The difference that this low competition makes is super powerful.
It's the difference between 4 figures a month and 5 or 6 figures a month.
I recommend making a Google Sheet with all of your niches. When you can find a viable niche, mark it down in your spreadsheet. Make a list of your keywords in KWFinder and keep track of how many low competition keywords you have. You can put the number in a spreadsheet too if you'd like.
Here's what your spreadsheet will look like. I just made these results up, so don't follow them.
The spreadsheet is super simple, but feel free to use mine if you want. Remember to make a copy and start fresh with your own ideas.
Don't be afraid to take a lot of time at this step.
Selecting a niche will determine everything else you do. It will influence your content, your link building, your income, and how much time you spend on the site before it's successful. This is the most important step.
Once you have your niche selected, you'll need to set up your website. This might not be as glamorous a step as building the site, but a good affiliate marketer knows it's the most important step.
Making Your Website
You have done your research using a reliable keyword tool. You've brainstormed affiliate product ideas, decided you making this affiliate marketing website work, and now is time for one of the most exciting parts: building that website!
Picking A Domain Name
The first step in making your website is choosing a domain name. I like to keep domain names as short as possible and leave room for myself to grow. Here are the principles I follow when selecting a domain name:
- As short as possible
- Never any hyphens
- Maximum of 3 words if possible
- Can include future products and expansions
- .com – this isn't super important now but I like it in all of my domains
Here are some examples of great domain names and explanations of why they're great:
- WebMD.com: This domain name makes it clear what the website is about. It also allows the website to talk about anything medical related. It is short and just 2 words.
- GearPatrol.com: This domain name doesn't leave any doubts either. It's a website about gear. But it's broad enough that it can cover almost any gear. It's short, catchy, and easy to remember.
- PickABow.com: PickABow leaves enough room to talk about any bow (long bow, recurve bow, crossbow, etc.) while still being broad. It's easy to remember and gets the point across.
And here are examples of bad domain names (I'm making these up)
- saghajgnwi.com: No clear niche or brand, can't be remembered easily.
- BestLongBow.com: This domain never has room to grow. They can review all of the long bows in the world, but they can't even expand to items like crossbows that their readers want.
- Great-Domain-Name.com: Hyphens just make a site look bad. I don't like them at all.
- IncomeOutsideTheBox.com: Too long and not memorable. When it's not typed in caps, it looks like a jumbled mess of vowels. incomeoutsidethebox.com. No one can read that, and I promise that your readers aren't capitalizing every word.
You can get a domain name from Namecheap, but I recommend doing it with your hosting company. It will cost $3-$5 more to get your domain with your hosting company, but it's much less hassle.
You can use the same support, you won't have to set up nameservers, and everything will be in one place.
For your hosting, I recommend using Bluehost for new websites. I've used them for almost all of my niche sites. Their service is great, they aren't expensive, and the customer support is out of this world.
WordPress site installation is super easy and I've always been very pleased with their service.
Amazon affiliate websites are among the most common out there because the Amazon Associates program is one of the most beginner-friendly programs out there.
Add in the sheer number of very successful sites making four, five, or even occasionally six figures a month with Amazon affiliate earnings alone, and it's not hard to see why this is such a popular option.
But before you build your own Amazon niche site, you need to get accepted into the program!
Applying to Amazon Associates
There aren't any specific requirements for joining Amazon Associates. But there are plenty of special requirements to stay in Amazon Associates. I'll cover these in a minute.
You don't even have to have traffic when you apply. Just answer some questions about your website, explain how you'll promote Amazon's products, and that's that. You will need to have 3 different sales within 180 days of joining Amazon.
This isn't a huge deal since even if you don't make your sales, you can just reapply.
But it's a bit of a hassle to change all of your links, so I suggest that you make a few sales.
Using Your Amazon Affiliate Links
When you join Amazon Associates, getting your links is a breeze. You can use a tool like AAWP or Amalinks Pro. But if I didn't have a budget, I would use Amazon's Sitestripe.
Any time you're on Amazon while logged in to your affiliate account, you have a Sitestripe bar across the top of your screen.
You can get your Amazon affiliate link by finding a product you want to promote and clicking “Text,” “Image,” or “Text+Image.” I recommend only using the text and images, as Text+Image doesn't look great and you want your product image looking as good as possible.
This is also the easiest way to quickly get an Amazon link for your product review.
If you're getting an image, you'll almost always want the large size. Even the large is pretty small. You can use the images or texts to insert into your affiliate content.
When people click on it, you get a commission on anything they buy for the next 24 hours.
That means you can earn an affiliate commission for items you didn't even advertise as long as they reached Amazon's site through your Amazon affiliate link.
Staying Amazon Compliant – Amazon Affiliate Operating Policies And Common Violations
Amazon has a reputation for being about as clear as mud in their terms of service. They are a huge company and sometimes even the customer support doesn't know the answers or will give contradicting statements.
But don't worry, most violations come down to just a few things. And when all is said and done, Amazon wants you to promote their products. They want you to be a part of their affiliate team.
Here are some of the most common violations and things you should never do:
- Download Amazon images (instead, use Sitestripe and insert code)
- Use star ratings or star ratings that look similar to Amazon's
- Mention Amazon reviews
- Mention price
- Use affiliate links for your own purchases
- Use affiliate links in email (instead, send emails with links to your review articles, but never to Amazon)
- Shorten links outside of Amazon (using the short link in Sitestripe is fine)
- Have explicit content – nothing adult or profane is allowed
- Have thin content – content must add value to reader
Those are the most common violations, but there are quite a few. Read Amazon Associate's operating policies to be sure.
However, if you avoid that bullet point list then chances are that your Amazon associate account will be fine.
Building Your Website
Now that you have a domain name, hosting, and have access to Amazon Associates affiliate links, it's time to get your site up and running.
Your Site's Theme & Design
The theme is a sort of building block for how your site is going to look. It's important, but not the most important thing. Don't get so caught up in the design of your site that you never build out the content.
As long as your site doesn't make anyone's eyes bleed, it's fine. No need to spend too much time here.
For my themes, I like GeneratePress and Astra. Both are free. These themes are lightweight, fast, and super flexible. I like to pair both with Elementor (also free) to get the site design that I'm looking for.
If you have a couple of bucks to spend, I like to buy Elementor Pro so I can edit and create my own theme. It's super powerful, but not necessary if you're on a tight budget.
When designing your site or choosing a theme, I recommend finding a site that you love in another niche. Feel free to use this site's design to give you some ideas in how your site could look. If you're in the music niche, find a site in the dog or fitness niche that you know is doing well.
Use this site to draw some inspiration.
If you're having trouble finding a site, just search “best [niche] gear” into Google. This isn't breaking any copyrights and isn't illegal. But don't be an exact copy of that site. You always want your own flair to come out, so try to make your site unique to you.
It's almost always best to have a way for your visitors to connect to social media so they can share your content. I like the AddThis plugin. It's super easy to use and it's 100% free. It allows you to set social share buttons on any of your sites pages with ease.
There's a Reason Amazon Affiliates Love WordPress
Going with a WordPress site is often the best option because it's easy, widespread, and there's a WordPress plugin for about everything you could possibly want or need already made out there!
Now that you've got your site designed, let's get into the content.
Your Site's Content
Your website's content will be the most labor intensive part of your website. If you write it, go ahead and expect to spend a lot of time. If you outsource it, go ahead and expect to spend a lot of money.
But when you start out, your content will be the only part of your site that generates you an income. Yes, you read that right. It will be the only. So you need to have great content.
Even if you aren't a writer, I suggest writing the first few pieces of content yourself. This helps you to get a feel for your niche. Even if you just write 10 or so articles of 2000 words each, you will have far more expertise than the majority of people on the planet.
Once you have your first few articles written, feel free to outsource the rest. I've used Upwork in the past and found some gems. But I've been using Content Pit on my Niche Site Project 4. They are inexpensive but write some great content.
You can use my affiliate link to get an extra 30% words on any order, up to 10,000 words 🙂
If you do outsource your content, it's important to provide very detailed briefs. Show your writers a step by step guide of what you're looking for. Examples are very helpful.
If you're training your own writer, expect that he or she will have some questions about the process. That's not a problem. But when he or she keeps getting the same things wrong after you explain how to do it right, that's a problem.
I recommend that you fire fast if your writer doesn't seem to be taking to the work very well.
Here are a few guidelines when writing your your affiliate content
- Don't sound like a used car salesperson. Be fair and honest in your critiques. This builds user trust over time.
- Review products with lots of reviews (on Amazon, I try to go for products with at least 50 reviews). Make sure that the product is rated well
- Include sections to answer common questions that a user might have
- Explain what the user should know before buying. This could be best ways to use the product, who the product is best for, etc.
With those basic guidelines down, I thought it would be helpful to show you examples of successful Amazon affiliate sites. These examples are taken from my post about successful niche websites.
Successful Amazon Affiliate Websites
There is no better way to learn how to build a successful site than by looking at other Amazon affiliate websites and seeing how they managed to go from a one post basic site up to the wildly successful niche website they are today.
Learn from these models of success and in a few years your Amazon niche site may appear on lists like these!
WEBSITE NAME: THEWIRECUTTER.COM + THESWEETHOME.COM
Organic Monthly Traffic (Ahrefs Estimate): 4.5 + Million Hits
Number of Organic Keywords (Ahrefs Estimates): 3.2 Million + Ranked Keywords
Top Ranking Page Content Topic: Wireless Routers
Top Ranking Page Content Length: 10,181 Words (Does Not Include Comments)
How They Earn Revenue: Primarily Amazon Affiliates
The Wirecutter.com and TheSweetHome.com were sold a couple years back to the New York Times. They were both Amazon Affiliate sites, and that's where most of their revenue came from then, and still comes from today. When the sites were purchased, TheSweetHome.com was redirected to TheWireCutter.com as both sites had very similar content structures.
The WireCutter dominates organic search results for a lot of buyer-intent keywords, and is also a “verified expert reviewer” by Amazon.
The site gets huge amounts of organic traffic, and has gained massively in popularity and search positioning once it was purchase by the New York Times.
Because of the budget they have, this site has the capacity to purchase products and pay independent reviewers to review each product and take pictures for their article.
Many of their articles are extensively researched, and it's not uncommon to see some of their articles with more than 7,000 words on a topic.
When they recommend a product, they have earned the trust of the reader to get that click on the Amazon link, and the affiliate purchase credit with it.
This is one of the biggest examples of a successful Amazon niche website, and based on the estimated traffic, they are more than likely earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per month, if not millions – a far cry from my recent FBA venture and business sale.
WEBSITE NAME: RUNNERCLICK.COM
Organic Monthly Traffic (Ahrefs Estimate): 548,000 + Hits
Number of Organic Keywords (Ahrefs Estimates): 394,000 + Keywords
Top Ranking Page Content Topic: Running Shoes
Top Page Content Length: 4,891 Words
How They Earn Revenue: Amazon Affiliates
RunnerClick.com is an interesting Amazon Affiliate website. It's interesting in the fact that it hasn't been around forever, but it's gained rapid momentum due to their consistent outreach efforts. You can see that their link building efforts have been a success when you look at the historical data on Ahrefs, that shows the trend in referring domains.
They rank extremely well for many buyer-oriented keywords in the running space, and have a ton of product reviews.
The thing I like the most about the site is the way it feels.
All of the Amazon affiliate links are extremely well integrated, and they've done some custom design work to make some of their images feel interactive. Another trend here is that the owners of this site, own similar sites in several other niches.
You can tell which sites are owned by the owners of this site when you look at the bottom of the site and notice that they link internally to their other web properties. This is becoming a popular trend, with the folks over at DigitalMarketer.com doing the same thing with some of their projects, like SurvivalLife.com and DIYReady.com.
It's hard to estimate the total revenue for this site, but because the call-to-actions on the site are so good, it would not surprise me if this site was doing over 70K per month in Amazon Affiliate income every month.
WEBSITE NAME: BESTREVIEWS.COM
Organic Monthly Traffic (Ahrefs Estimate): 522,000 + Hits
Number of Organic Keywords (Ahrefs Estimates): 471,000 + Keywords
Top Ranking Page Content Topic: Air Fryers
Top Page Content Length: 3,000 Words
How They Earn Revenue: Amazon Affiliates
Best Reviews is a website that does exactly what the domain name claims. They offer extremely detailed and in-depth reviews of certain products, and make sure to showcase that their reviewers have their brand showcased to ensure the reader builds an established trust factor with the website.
This is a very smart move for any type of reviews based website. If you can take your own pictures, and show your readers you have actual experience with the products, there's a good chance your reader will identify with your content and be more likely to convert to a buyer.
Best Reviews is interesting for different reasons though. They are interesting because they pay for a ton of their traffic based on findings through SEMRush.com.
They average about 300k visits every month because of their Google Adwords advertising spend. This means they are bidding on keywords and paying for traffic on top of the organic traffic they already get. It's possible that buying this additional traffic has helped them gain additional links because their content is very good.
The purchased traffic is just helping them get in front of an audience that's actually looking for their product, just like SEO. If conversion rates are lower, you will end up making less money than you spend to buy traffic, but because of the authenticity of the reviews, it's likely that BestReviews.com converts researchers to buyers at a higher rate than other affiliate sites.
While it's tough to know exactly, I would guess that this site makes 6 figures per month or more in Amazon Affiliate revenue due to their traffic numbers.
WEBSITE NAME: GEARPATROL.COM
Organic Monthly Traffic (Ahrefs Estimate): 668,000 + Hits
Number of Organic Keywords (Ahrefs Estimates): 772,000 + Keywords
Top Ranking Page Content Topic: Office Chairs
Top Page Content Length: 1,600 Words
How They Earn Revenue: Amazon Affiliates, Display Ads
GearPatrol.com is an online resource that reviews just about anything you can think of. They run in the same vein as TheWireCutter.com but take an angle that's heavily focused towards men. The bourbon and whiskey reviews get tons of traffic, as well as many other products that might be considered more masculine.
They highlight a lot of men's gear in their reviews, and probably make a really good chunk of their revenue from being an Amazon Affiliate. They do run AdSense, and it also looks like they have a fair amount of content that could be considered a “sponsored post.”
A sponsored post is just an article that a larger company puts together for you to promote their product, while paying the website owner for the exposure.
This site is an example of what many sites are doing these days. They are “niched down” into brackets of certain products, and creating an online multimedia experience in the form of an online magazine style site.
There's lots of large pictures, some videos, and it looks like a true media property.
Chances are that you'd need to hire a designer to get a similar look and feel for your own website if you were to attempt it. From a revenue perspective, this site is more than likely doing more than six figures in total revenue if I had to take a guess. Just based on their organic traffic numbers.
Your Amazon Affiliate Site
Overall, I'm very happy with the income this Amazon affiliate site has generated over the past year. I've cracked the $3,000 in affiliate income in each of the past 2 months, I hope to cross the $4,000 a month mark very soon.
Hopefully, you've enjoyed reading the timeline, my keyword research strategies, and the link building strategies that I've followed as I've built this site.
If you're wanting to start your own Amazon affiliate site, use the guide above to give you an outline of all the things you have to do. For a more detailed guide, check out my post on how to build a niche website.
Honestly, there is really no other “secrets” that I am keeping when it comes to what was done to make this site a success.
As you can see from the Google Analytics screenshot above, the site took several months to really gain any traction, but then has just slow grown over the past year.
So, it's important to stick with it, and not give up on your new niche site after the first couple of months. The real growth happens after the site has been around for a while.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Do you have any additional questions for me? Let me know what you think in the comments below.