[Journey] Making $100 a month with Affiliate Marketing

ThisSwordfish

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Hello BlackHatWorld!

I've been reading a lot on here and been wanting to do a journey post for a while. My goal is to make $100 a month through Affiliate Marketing. I'm new to BHW and I feel it may be beneficial to all the new members here who have no idea what steps to take to make some money online.

About me:
I am completely new to making money online. I don't have any advanced computer knowledge at all. The most complicated things I've done with my computer is hosting a Minecraft server a few years ago and selling perks in-game to make money which shortly got shut down due to new updates to terms and agreements. I never coded or even attempted to make a website before I started Affiliate marketing. I'm also a college student who is about to start back in school so I won't be able to do this full time anymore but I feel I'm in a comfortable position now to afford to do this.

The start of getting into affiliate marketing:
I started making my website at the beginning of August using WordPress. I watched a ton of YouTube videos learning how to build a modern looking website such as popular affiliate sites you see today. It took me 3 weeks to complete the design of my site (including learning how to do everything in WordPress from custom CSS to optimizing my site). I started with Amazon Affiliate and within a week, I sold my three items and was approved as an Amazon Affiliate.

Marketing Experience and results:
I had some marketing experience as I started some businesses a few years ago to hustle for some money but nothing professional. I used basic marketing techniques to promote my website from Facebook groups, Instagram, Reddit, Craigslist, and Twitter. I was able to get my three sales fast from posting my site on Facebook groups. I offered the promos that Associates have access too which gave people a motive to go to my site to get the discount. I had no knowledge at all of SEO when I started so learning about BHW was a new thing for me.

What's going on currently:
As of now, I'm still learning all about SEO. I'm not completely clueless but I'm nowhere near saying I know the basics of SEO. Since this is my second month (first month since I started marketing my site), I have made $52.48 from doing a mix of SEO techniques I learned here and my previous marketing experience. Majority of my sales are from social media with about 10% coming from organic traffic to my site. Keeping up with my technique, I plan to hit $100/month by November; however, I want to leave my old marketing techniques and strictly get money from organic traffic.

Right now, I'm spending 8+ hours a day on my computer posting and messaging on social media to get sales. I want to reduce this to 1-hour max a day and still get sales. This is a huge challenge since there are only a handful of websites that can do this (well they make a lot more) since they invested $100,000s in their marketing.

SEO Techniques I have done:
So far I have done the basics which resulted in getting more organic traffic

1. Purchased some links from the marketplace here from a reputable seller (still waiting on the links, should be coming soon)
2. Manually built backlinks through Reddit, blog comments, and social media (google indexed some social media)
3. Switched my host (went from having a $2/yr host to a $5/month) which sped up my site and their support actually helped me with some on-page SEO
4. My own on-page SEO
-image optimization
-HTML tags
-Optimized articles
-Cache plugins
-minify jss and css

What else have I done:
I didn't do a lot so far but what I've done so far:

1. Purchased 20k ig followers and 2.5k likes to each picture
2. Purchased Captivate app which follows, unfollows, and likes pictures
-This actually got me a lot of real followers as my 20k went down but I started getting real followers now
3. Made my own Facebook Group in which only I can post promos
-So far after marketing it, I have 468 members
4. Giveaways
-Help attracts people to my site and sign up on our email list. I'm doing items that Amazon sellers have given to me for free in exchange of a review. Winner pays shipping which they have been more than happy to do.

What I will be doing
Currently, the plans are to build a PBN or purchase one. Then I'll also be building or purchasing some Web 2.0s which will be pointing to my PBN which will be pointing to my site. I'm also debating about investing money into scrapebox and build links to my tier 2 sites as well as use it for scraping. In addition, once my links arrive, I'll be waiting for them to get indexed then if the results are good, I'll purchase from the same seller or another reputable seller. If the results are good and I'm making some money or getting more traffic, I'll be buying links once a month to keep the steady flow and make it seem natural.

In addition, I'll still be promoting my facebook groups and post promos until my site has a steady flow of traffic.

My Goal
Now I know $100 a month isn't a lot at all but it's my starting goal. $100 a month for an hour max a day of updating my site is a good income for me at the moment. I wouldn't be doing much except literally posting a few niche items to my site, posting 1 blog post, and posting a few promos to my facebook group.

I talked to the owner of a similar site, thisiswhyimbroke, and he makes a minimum $25,000 a month during the nonbusy season with 5 hours of work a week. He is an affiliate site as well and all his income comes from his site and no facebook groups or social media.

Hopefully, if things go out right, I'll reach this goal by November.

To everyone in a similar situation:
I can tell you that this is not impossible. Making money online requires patience. Learning SEO takes a lot, people do this for their careers. If you're in a similar situation then I highly recommend you do this:

1. Use the search bar for all your questions!
-Some threads you see may be outdated but there is a setting that you can adjust for more recent threads.

2. Use Google
-BlackHatWorld has many resources but don't forget, Google can answer many of your questions

3. Be honest with everyone here
-If you truly cannot find an answer or you need opinions, let everyone know you're new, you're still learning, you tried searching but coudln't find a direct answer.
-Don't be the type of people who post questions acting like they know everything

4. Answer questions
-Share your knowledge with people who don't know. If you're right, people will say you're right, follow your advice. If you're wrong, people will tell you you're wrong and you shouldn't do that.
-Be honest if you're unsure as well. No one likes the person who gives wrong advice and doesn't own up to it.

5. Don't limit yourself to SEO only
-My old marketing techniques have made me money so far. People focus only on SEO but SEO takes time. Although SEO is very important, remember to do other marketing techniques instead of waiting for Google to index your backlinks and bring you to the first page.
-Thisiswhyimbroke actually gets 56% of their traffic from social media shares. They have tons of backlinks and excellent SEO but majority of their traffic still comes from social media.

Wish me luck!
If I achieve this goal, my next goal would be to make $2500/month. That will take serious time but I believe I can do it. If people actually care about this journey post, I'll update everyone with what works and what doesn't work and try to explain everything as simple as I can so you don't have to go around reading other threads what I meant when I said DA, TF, backlinks, etc.

Wish me luck! Feel free to ask me any questions or leave comments if you have any!

Thank You BHW!
 

ThisSwordfish

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Update 9/26

So I've been analyzing my analytics and saw this weird spike in my traffic. I don't get a whole lot of traffic as you can see but on the 21st, I got this weird jump to 91 users. After analyzing it more and trying to figure out what I did to get spike this amount of users, I found out one single post to reddit gave me this. Now I post to reddit all the time and try to link my site to appropriate subreddits. I made a new blog post on the 20th and posted about it on reddit the 21st around midnight. I got mixed comments on it (majority good) because of people's belief in buying things in my niche.

Anyone just wanted to add this quick update. I made $98 on the 21st as well because one of my affiliate links were to a $700 item that 1 person purchased. Going to keep running this and see how things turn out.
Traffic.PNG


Plan as of now
Still waiting on my ordered links I purchased from Marketplace. Going to purchase a few more packages then work on building a PBN and see which results will help me increase my organic traffic,
 

achrafhacker

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I wish you the good luck in your journey.

Can you please mention how much did you spend and made ? Like this, You and we, can see the ROI.

Thanks.
 

Wooten

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Best of luck for you! Following.

Question though. You mentioned thisiswhyimbroke which doesn't have a particular niche per se. Are you aiming for the same type of site in terms of your niche selection? Or is your website actually niche based?

And second question is, would you care to share your expenses during your journey? It seems that you are not on a tight budget, but clarifying would be beneficial I guess.

Thanks !
 

Mr. Umair

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Nice journy! Is your site really similar to thisiswhyiambroke, i mean is your site niche targeted or general? Do you write articles unlike, thisiswhyiambroke? If you don't write articles then do you just share links to your site homepage in reddit and facebook?
 

ThisSwordfish

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I wish you the good luck in your journey.

Can you please mention how much did you spend and made ? Like this, You and we, can see the ROI.

Thanks.
Thank You!

So far, my website has been running for almost 2 months already. I paid for the domain ($7) and I paid for my hosting (my old hosting was $2/yr and my current is $5/month which I am still very happy with my current hosting). I purchased an SEO link building package from here which cost me $80. I purchased some instagram services for $10 overall (20k followers 50k likes). That's about it. Overall, in total sales, I made
$153.73.

What's your keyword monthly search volume?
What's your keyword difficulty?
For my overall domain: ~14,000 KD= 51
For that page that caused the spike: 246,000 KD=48

Best of luck for you! Following.

Question though. You mentioned thisiswhyimbroke which doesn't have a particular niche per se. Are you aiming for the same type of site in terms of your niche selection? Or is your website actually niche based?

And second question is, would you care to share your expenses during your journey? It seems that you are not on a tight budget, but clarifying would be beneficial I guess.

Thanks !

I am aiming for a similar type of site in which I don't actually have a niche based. The reason I say similar is that thisiswhyimbroke is focused on items and expensive places to go (such as that bubble hotel which was $6k/night I believe?), while I focus on items and places to go that are affordable and realistic as in you can go there right now.

Overall my expenses came out to $102 (calculated above). My last job allowed me to build up my savings and I don't have many monthly expenses (thank goodness) but I am still on a tight budget. Since I started my site at the beginning of August. it's a little challenging to estimate how much I make in a month but using my old marketing techniques, I can stack up about $50 a month using Amazon Affiliate and my Facebook group. My budget per month is $100 which includes monthly SEO link building, hosting, and anything else I need for my site. Estimating it, if I just buy links and hosting, it's going to come out to about $85 a month which means I would have to make the extra $35 from my website (since I'm making $50 from facebook group) or just pay it.

I personally don't think $100 a month is expensive at all for SEO considering how much everyone else puts into their SEO expenses. But I will say that I have set aside money for when I will need to make a big investment (such as building my PBN or guest blogging or even trying to get my article on a reputable site)

Random question where did you buy the instagram followers and how much did they cost?

I used dripfeedpanel. I always get the guranteed service and I think it's $0.44 for a 1000 followers?

Nice journy! Is your site really similar to thisiswhyiambroke, i mean is your site niche targeted or general? Do you write articles unlike, thisiswhyiambroke? If you don't write articles then do you just share links to your site homepage in reddit and facebook?
It's somewhat similar. I don't have a niche target; however, I don't post everything I see, just things that will get people to click on my links. I do write articles and thisiswhyimbroke actually writes artciels as well. If you scroll to the very bottom to see their footer, there is a link to their blog.
 
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Good luck fellow newbie! Following this - as I'm also about to start my journey but I can't choose between Instagram account growing vs Affilitate Marketing. Although, I think I'll start with IG cause that can also be a platform for Affiliate. Anyway, good luck to you again and looking forward for your updates!
 
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Solid read. Most people post these goals and let people know plans, then never return. I hope to see you back with updates.
 

ThisSwordfish

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Solid read. Most people post these goals and let people know plans, then never return. I hope to see you back with updates.
Haha I have read those! The thing is people make a fast track plan like “I’m a buy links and rank 1 on my medium competition kw” then find out the links they bought only got them in 54 and gave up. SEO takes time and making a business takes time :) I’ll be updating especially since this also helps me log in important things such as the results of purchasing 5 link building packages or the results of using a PBN
 
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