Affiliate marketing journey to $25 per day [first time doing affiliate IM]

spitfire19

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Hey BHW,

It's my first time posting here, after lurking for years, but I figured I'd post my first affiliate journey to inspire people and keep me inspired as well.

[My Personal Background]

I started doing IM after graduating college with a degree in Business - Marketing. Those of you who have gone to a 4-year college for Marketing probably know you don't learn applicable IM techniques. So I had to learn all of this on my own, through internships and studying online.

I'd say my strongest skill right out of college was writing; it's something I've always been decent at, even at an early age.

Using my writing and creativity, I learned WordPress, put up an IM website, and did some outreach via email to get clients.

I ended up getting some contract work that I found online, and through friends.

Let's just say I was a script-kiddy and basically just rebuilt WordPress sites, set up basic PPC campaigns; however, I was able to help contractors with small businesses get leads and generate more sales than they could handle. It felt good to help small business owners out and it was nice not having to invest in any assets.

This helped me land a FT Marketing Manager job in 2013, because I wanted something more stable than contract work, but that didn't make me complacent.

I was constantly learning new IM techniques for work, and then began studying outside of my work to better myself and try to make side money for rent and other bills. Plus, I really enjoy all aspects of IM and am officially addicted to it now!

In 2018, between my FT MM job and lurking on BHW, Reddit, and FB groups, I am probably spending 11 hours doing some kind of marketing every work day. Then I'm doing 2-3 hours per day on weekends.

After collecting enough information and hyper-targeting my goals, I decided to take a stab at affiliate marketing so that I can eventually make money on "auto-pilot."

[The Strategy]

In short, my affiliate marketing strategy is to build a site in a niche that is fun for me to invest my time into but is still profitable.

Since I have decent writing skills, I'm going to leverage them to build a huge silo of informational articles for pet owners. I am doing silos because the pet industry is dominated by some big players, and long tail KWs are going to be the only way to compete.

I'll also employ the skyscraper method to aggregate a bunch of information into one article, make it simple to read with short sentences, build authority with the audience so that it looks like I know the entire pet niche, and then ultimately monetize the articles using affiliate links and CPA.

Since content is king, I am going to create awesome silo pages and lead magnets that will get contact info so I can remarket.

tl;dr: monetize silo pages using persuasive writing, on an aged, expired domain


[The First Roadblock]

Finding a niche that wasn't over-saturated was hard enough. But finding an aged, expired domain in an unsaturated market was even MORE challenging.

After a few weeks of solid searching, I found a niche that I can easily write about and (hopefully) monetize once I start to rank my long tails.


[The Niche]

As I said above, the pet industry is dominated by some big players. But, I think I found a niche that is wide enough to silo and rank long tail KWs for while deep enough to sell tons of different affiliate products.

[Day 1]

  • Committed to the affiliate marketing niche
  • Bought an expired domain from 2010 with the broad kw in it
    • Broad kw in the domain will be good for Bing & Yahoo, and my target demo is using those search engines
    • Ahrefs ranking of ~68million
    • 24 UR
    • 0 DR
    • 3k backlinks
    • Solid anchor text of domain name and kws
  • Set up hosting and installed WordPress
  • Researched some affiliate opportunities and found one that pays 12%
[Plan for Tomorrow]
Tomorrow, I plan on rebuilding the site's structure so that I can re-rank the pages that had ******** and nofollow backlinks. The previous site had A TON of pages, none of which were siloed, so I have a lot of work ahead of me in coming up with a structure that will rank well.

Looking at a few pages on waybackmachine, the average word count seems to be ~400 words, which isn't terrible, and the writing style is actually similar to mine.

If I have time, I'll start rewriting some of the pages that have good ******** backlinks so that I can start ranking ASAP.

[Future Plans]

Day 2-29

  • Get the site set up so there are zero 404s from previously ranked pages - especially ones that had backlinks point to them
  • Scrape all of the old content and rewrite it
    • Increase word count and write better content than competitors
  • Silo the pages
  • Create skyscraper articles from top-ranking sites and tailor them to my niche
    • I'll be using semantic KW tools to help me come up synonyms and expand my creativity
Day 30 and beyond
  • Create lead magnets to start an email list, and eventually remarket using FB/IG ads
  • Redirect the pages that were already ranked, and have them 301 to the corresponding silo page
    • I'll probably use a WP plugin for this to make it quick
  • Acquire niche-related backlinks to the pages that I think will make the most money
  • Get some citations through web 2.0s for authority
  • Create affiliate product links and CPAs to start monetizing
  • Vary anchor text to match top-ranking competitors

I think that's it for day 1! Feel free to give constructive criticism or strategies that you think will work.

Again, this is my first affiliate project so I'm sure there's lots of learning to do. Let's see where this takes me!
 

Zatoichi

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Good luck on your journey! What is the price range of the products you intend to promote? Are aiming for Amazon associate program or some other affiliate program?
 

spitfire19

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Thanks, @Zatoichi!

I haven't completely decided on the affiliate route, and don't want to limit myself to one thing. I plan on making a decision once I start embellishing the content and figure out what makes the most sense.

There is one product that I have my eye on that is over $100, and I would get ~$12 in commission. Since I'm going for the higher-end market, this might make the most sense.

Amazon would probably be the easiest route for product diversity, but I'm not sure what their rules are as far as having sources for multiple affiliate links per article or per site. I guess that's something I should figure out, eh?! =)
 

Zatoichi

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Amazon doesn't mind if you have other affiliate programs also. I do Amazon affiliate so I know that.
 

yesofcourse

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Hey, man good luck on your journey! Following you.

I got the impression that the products you are promoting are a little cheap if the expensive ones are 100$. What is the search volume for the focus keywords?
 

spitfire19

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@Zatoichi good to know, thanks!

@yesofcourse
I got the impression that the products you are promoting are a little cheap if the expensive ones are 100$. What is the search volume for the focus keywords?

The initial products that I thought of promoting are on the cheaper end, but now I'm realizing there are an unlimited amount of things that I could be promoting for the entire product category. I could even develop my own ebook or guide to sell as a PDF for cheap, and set up an autoresponder to spit it out to the customer. - that way it's 100% hands off and I don't have physical assets.

[Update for Today]

I worked on the site for a couple of hours, installing some back-end essentials like GA code, a sitemap generator, fast caching plugin, Yoast, and a 301 plugin.

The original site was extremely chaotic and didn't have any child pages, so it's taking some brain power to organize everything into silos that make sense from a UX standpoint.

I can already tell that I'm going to be able to outrank the original site pretty quickly, and I'm excited to see ahrefs updates!
 

spitfire19

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[Day 2]
  • Exciting news! The ahrefs ranking moved up 40k overnight and I got a little DR action going
    • This has to be due to repurchasing the domain and installing WP yesterday, because the domain's ahrefs ranking history was on a complete downtrend since the site was expired
  • Exported an ahrefs CSV of the expired website's pages to rebuild the site structure
    • I sorted them by highest number of backlinks per page so that I can build the higher authority pages first
  • Built 10 pages with scraped content from the old site, and added a little extra content to hit 500 words for each one
    • The scraped content is pretty well-written but I’m going to need to revamp it when I start putting affiliate links in it
  • Interlinked the 10 pages a bit to pass link juice but don’t want to get too carried away since I’m still toying with the site’s structure
  • 301d old links to my SEO-friendly URLs
 

spyguy

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Looks nice to follow.All the best for your goal.
 

spitfire19

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@spyguy and @SpawneR thanks for the encouragement!

[Update Day 3]
  • Woke up to good news this morning - my ahrefs ranking jumped another 31,000 overnight :)
  • Created 500 words of unique content for web 2.0s with relevant images and 2 backlinks with my site as the anchor text
    • I'll be building out the web 2.0s for link diversity, with free sites like wordpress, reddit, soundcloud, etc., and using the same content and images for each one
      • I posted to wp and will probably do more web 2.0s later today when I have time
  • Added more scraped content to my homepage and embellished it to flow well
    • My homepage now has ~1,500 words
      • I still need to drill down which keywords I'm including on the homepage, but that will come later when I figure out the most lucrative long tails
  • Found another expired domain in my niche and started interlacing my original scraped content with this, not only to make it more unique but to make it longer
    • Some of my pages are reaching 800 to 1,000 words and have better content now, which is awesome
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how this site is going so far!
 
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