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Journey to make a profitable Affiliate Website

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Ninya, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Ninya

    Ninya Regular Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I've been going through the Journey discussions page for a few days now and have read some really interesting stories and cool stuff by other Blackhatters and I'm really enjoying the help that everyone's putting out there in their journey threads to support others that may choose to follow the site. I've also noticed that these Journey threads are a great way to keep motivated, receive advice and also help others where merited.

    So I've decided to start my own "Journey" thread. I plan to create a profitable affiliate website selling X product in X niche. I won't say much but the niche that I'm working is selling health products. I'll try to be as informative as I can without giving my niche away. I won't be updating this on a daily basis unless I feel the need to do so particularly because of the fact that there won't be much happening as you may know with affiliate websites it's not instant such as all the other YouTube journeys, etc. I'll probably update between every 3-7 days.

    Week #1, Day #1

    Affiliate Product #1 Earnings: $0.00
    Affiliate Product #2 Earnings: $0.00
    Affiliate Product #3 Earnings: $0.00
    ========================
    Total Earnings: $0.00

    1. Domain name purchased.


    I've registered my domain name through GoDaddy. I've figured I would use them as I've got all my other domains with GoDaddy and it would make things easier.

    2. Website Setup


    I've setup hosting on my dedicated server and have also given this website a dedicated I.P address (They're pretty cheap with Hivelocity who is my dedicated provider). I know many people think that the I.P address of a website has nothing to do with its ranking in search engines but I believe it may play a small factor and if not now, most likely later. Even Google is not the only search giant on the internet, the other search engines algorithms may be using methodologies that affect this in search.

    One of my strongest arguments here is, you can easily track which domains are present under same nameservers, which is usually the I.P associated to many websites on that same server. Just do a search on a hostgator nameserver and you'll find a bunch of other sites hosted under the same ones and they're usually very shocking websites which can be easily deemed as spam (adult related, etc). I want to keep this website clean and fresh under it's own specific dedicated I.P address.

    I've installed WordPress as my platform to run the website on with the following add-ons:

    Akismet, Black Studio TinyMCE Widget, Breadcrumb NavXT, Contact Form 7, Easy Privacy Policy, Google XML Sitemaps, List category posts, More Fields, PG Big Ed, SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2, SEO Smart Links, SEO Ultimate, Smart Affiliate Links, Social Media Feather, WordPress Database Backup, WP-Table Reloaded, WP No Category Base, Yet Another Related Posts Plugin, YouTube.

    The ones really worth mentioning here are:

    PG Big Ed: Allows you to add nifty johnson boxes, and other colored boxes, envelope styled themes where you can enter content within the website and whatnot. Great for having sections on the page where you want to grab the customers attention with something special. I'll go in more detail about that as I get into the content of the website.

    SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 & SEO Smart Links: This nifty plugin will gather users search results to reach your page in question and put them on the bottom of the page with a statement showing the queries users used to view this page. This is beneficial to allow other users to see what people have searched to get there which shows the websites credibility and also because I use it in conjunction with SEO Smart Links to link internal pages of the website together where relevant content is present. By using SEO Smart Links you can choose which keyword phrases need to be mentioned before an internal link is automatically placed with that word. It works great on your normal blog posts as well to internal link content automatically without you lifting fingers.

    Smart Affiliate Links: This is used to cloak your affiliate link and make it look like the link itself where the user is going is a part of your website, eg yourdomain.com/AffiliateProduct

    SEO Ultimate: I find SEO ultimate the easiest to use, because I can easily edit my title tags without many dramas and I've grown comfortable with the plugin.

    The other plugins are pretty self explanatory but there's a good use for all of them and I will get into that as I build the website further and post more information here.

    So far I've got all the plugins installed, the website setup and the domain propagated. The next thing I'm going to do is get the products I'm planning to promote for this niche before I go any further.

    3. Affiliate Setup

    I've signed up to two different affiliate companies as I'm going to be promoting three products of the same niche so users have a choice and a comparison. The most I'll say is that one is from the Twist Affiliate Network whilst the other is from the Market Health affiliate website.

    I've got my three products that I wish to promote, together with pictures, prices and everything I need to know from my point of view.

    4. Content Setup

    Before I begin on my design and the website layout I've contacted a writer who writes specifically for the medical niche. I've hired him at $18 per 700 words which is quite a big price but the actual writer is a doctor which I've acquired proof so it will fit perfectly with my niche.

    I've asked him to write me the following:

    - Review of product #1
    - Review of product #2
    - Review of product #3
    - Content for homepage describing the benefits, cons etc of the product.

    I've asked him to list cons and pros of each product and to list the ingredients of all the products too (So later I can external link to WikiPedia for on-page authority)

    I've also hired non-pro writers, but still English writers from iWriter to write me 500-700 word posts for my blog. I've requested 10 of these articles.

    So in total, I have 14 pieces of content being written for me as we speak.

    I've also gone to Fiverr and I've paid $5 for a video testimonial. In this testimonial I speak about the product in a broad banner (Not advertising a specific product), I go on to say that finding the product in question is a difficult task, and that we've reviewed the top products for them to make a decision, etc. This is going to be used for social signals and also part of the website to give it a look of authority. I'll be mixing this with authorship but I'll get into that as I actually start building more of the websites design.

    5. Other

    Other than this, for day one I've setup all my keywords for tracking in Traffic Travis and have my meta descriptions and title tags written up for when my content is ready. I'm using this time to find a theme which will suit the website. As it's getting late where I live this will probably all that is done for day number one.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  2. Rokebono

    Rokebono Senior Member

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    Very nice plan. Wish you luck with your journey and dont forget to keep us updated!
     
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  3. T2tkid

    T2tkid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    This looks like a nice plan and thanks, i have picked some plugins i will be making use of in my website. wishing you the very best.
     
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  4. Pirate Monk

    Pirate Monk Registered Member

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    Nice Journey, I would be following. Best of Luck. Keep it updated.
     
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  5. innozemec

    innozemec Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  6. Dr Acula

    Dr Acula Junior Member

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    Great plan and some plugins that are new to me. Best of luck!
     
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  7. Vanrithy

    Vanrithy Power Member

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    I like this journey so much. Please, keep updating. Best of luck! Subbed!

    Anyways, I saw you have dedicated server with dedicated IP. If I bought additional Dedicated IP from my Shared Hosting Account, does it is similar to you? I mean that does Google see my site is not with other sites within my Shared Server if I bought a dedicated IP with my Shared Hosting Account?

    Thanks!
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  8. TheMoneyWizard

    TheMoneyWizard Elite Member

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    Look's like a solid plan, I wish you luck with this Journey! Keep us updated! :)
     
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  9. Ninya

    Ninya Regular Member

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    First of all, thanks to everyone for your kind words! I really appreciate it.

    Week #1, Day #3


    Affiliate Product #1 Earnings: $0.00
    Affiliate Product #2 Earnings: $0.00
    Affiliate Product #3 Earnings: $0.00
    ========================
    Total Earnings: $0.00

    Work done:

    Hey guys, so I've got the content from my writer for the three main product reviews and for the homepage content. I've also received the 10 other articles from iWriter to use for the blog posts.

    What I've done is that I've created my homepage and completely taken out the sidebar (For the homepage only)

    I've created a small logo, with text and used a medical doctor in the picture to go with the niche.

    I've created the following pages:

    1. Homepage

    The homepage contains a short introduction to the website, advertising how finding X product is a difficult task and that we've carefully reviewed this product and posted the information on our website.

    Below this information, there's a table which I've created using the WP-Table-Reloaded plugin which I mentioned in the first post. This table has the data of the three products I've reviewed in a comparison table. It basically shows a thumbnail image of the product (Which takes it to the review page) along with the ingredients in separate rows, price, side effects, benefits.

    Now I've got images in this table as well, to make it look neat. These images are stars for the "Customer rating" section and I've got a "Trustworthiness" section where I've put the protection they have when buying online. What I've put here is basically the Affiliate sites checkout page security features. Eg, if they have SSL enabled then I put an image of that badge, 256-bit encryption etc. Cheesy I know but it shows that the website is backed by reputable companies for when they make their purchases online. Instead of saying Buy Now I wrote to visit the manufacturers website, which pretty much takes them to the page to buy anyway.

    As you scroll down the page, I've listed the top three products and also given dot points / larger thumbnails about them. This is for aesthetic please and also to keep the customer interested.

    And finally, after this I've put the information about the actual niche, what it does, etc. For content based purposes. There's about 700 words there.

    And then right at the bottom, I've listed the 10 recent blog posts with excerpts of course just to show that the website is being updated.

    2. Review Pages


    I've created all my review pages, on the review pages it has all the information about the product including the pro's and the con's. It contains images of the product as well as the ingredient information which I put nicely in a johnson box (See my first post for plugin information).

    The review pages also have a sidebar, the sidebar shows the top 3 products on the side with access to their review pages or official website.

    If you've ever seen a WordPress template on the ReviewEngine plugin, it looks pretty similar to this but instead I did it myself by editing the sidebar etc.

    3. Comparison / Top product pages

    I've got a comparison page and a top three products page which pretty much just shows the table of the homepage, however one of the pages also contains a video and information about the author as well. This is to just provide more content overall on the website and enhance user expectation and feel. These two pages are not utilizing the sidebar either.

    What else?

    Other than spending most of my time creating these pages and making them aesthetic I've also set up Google authorship on the website. Why? Because it greatly increases CTR when you have a face behind the name. I bought a stock image of Fiverr to use for my Google authorship. Not only does it increase CTR but it seems as though Authorship through Google+ Now also benefits SEO when the circles you join are relevant to your niche and you obviously stay active in those circles (I'm spending about 15 minutes per day on this Google+ account to be active and add new friends etc.)

    If you don't know what Authorship is I suggest reading this page: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/google-authorship/

    Also my Google+ is listed on the site, so it shows to users there's a real author working on all the information that is provided. On my page I've also got a video of the same authored person on one of my pages so it really looks as though this person is communicating with the visitors and the site, whilst engaging in Social media and providing those extra social media signals for SEO (YouTube, Google+, etc)

    Next?

    Next I will set up the blog most likely, go through the website a bit more (Optimize it for quick loading speed) and fix on-page SEO errors and whatnot.

    Once that's all done and setup with the website I will start looking at my link building strategy.

    I will provide that update as soon as I have it. A lot has been done today! :)
     
  10. Ninya

    Ninya Regular Member

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    Week #1, Day #5

    Affiliate Product #1 Earnings: $40.00
    Affiliate Product #2 Earnings: $0.00
    Affiliate Product #3 Earnings: $0.00
    ========================
    Total Earnings: $40.00

    Work done:

    Alright so before I go anywhere else, I made a sale on the first affiliate product. This website literally only received around 10 hits so far with no link building except for a YouTube video. I'm quite surprised and wasn't expecting it for at least a month and quite happy about it actually.

    Now for what I've done.

    Blog:

    I've set up the blog and have added 2 posts, I've internally linked these two posts together as well as to the homepage. I've scheduled another 8 posts for the next few days/weeks which have followed the same strategy of interlinking within articles and also to the product review pages and/or homepage.

    Next?

    I haven't done much but next will be working on my ALT tags, page loading speed, minifying JS & CSS to increase page load time and possibly look into CDN's (content delivery network).

    Once all my posts on the blog have been posted and indexed, I'll be working on my link building strategy.
     
  11. rrocha80

    rrocha80 Junior Member

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    Good luck in your journey Ninya
     
  12. Ninya

    Ninya Regular Member

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    Week #6, Day #42

    Affiliate Product #1 Earnings: $660.00 (14 Sales)
    Affiliate Product #2 Earnings: $38.66 (1 Sale)
    Affiliate Product #3 Earnings: $74.97 (1 Sale)
    ========================
    Total Earnings: $773.63

    Work done:


    Hey Guys,

    Sorry I haven't provided an update in a while. So things have been going better than expected, I've achieved multiple Number one rankings for basic keywords (1000~2500 exact searches) and the sales are coming in at a healthy rate.

    I will say that I've used AuraRank on this forum as a service which contributed a lot to the rankings but I've also been using website re-branding to achieve high rankings. (Buying high PR domains with Good MR/DA from Godaddy and re-branding them as a website which then has backlinks back to my site through normal posts) <- Pretty much like your own private blog network.

    I've set up another SEO service for the site which should show some results in about a month, I've targetted some heavier keywords so I'll let you know how that goes.

    Currently the website gets about 100-150 UV's a day and it's been at that point since approximately 15 days ago or so.

    Thanks guys.
     
  13. Ninya

    Ninya Regular Member

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    I suggest you review at least 3 products on your website, and try to rank for these review pages as well as your main keywords on the homepage. A lot of people find a product they're interested in (On your site for example) and then they'd go to google and search ProductName + Review. If you're not ranking, someone else is going to take your sale. Good luck.

     
  14. nakamura

    nakamura Senior Member

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    I'm wondering how it is going.
    How about your recent earnings?
     
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  15. seosky

    seosky Power Member

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    nice plan..You using any of Marketplace services for this or your Own Skills.?
     
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  16. Ninya

    Ninya Regular Member

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    Hey guys,

    Sorry for not updating this too much. But the site is doing well. It made 5k in 2013. It is now at $1,450 already for Jan'14.

    If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. I will also say that this was a hit-and-miss. I had tried to replicate it for other niches but didn't get much luck in ranking them (I'm still trying) but it's going to take a more tough strategy.

    I've found this to work the best:

    Build 2.0's with Links, I used HOTH. After about a month, I buy a Social Media / Social Bookmark package.

    I'd continue with the 2.0's for about 2-3 months. You should already see some decent rankings from here with a good on-page strategy. Afterwards I would start building private blog network posts.

    Note that I do not buy high PR blogs, as they're too expensive and finding expired domains with other good metrics are much easier. Metrics such as DA/PA and trust flow / citation flow. I look to get PA35+ DA30+ but settle for 25, and a 20/20+ of trust / citation flow.

    Please let me know if anyone has any questions, and I'm sorry that I haven't been updating this but I've been running out of time.
     
  17. Lakitu

    Lakitu Junior Member

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    Really nice thread and congrats on your success so far. I'm glad up updated your thread otherwise I would've never seen it. One question:

    What is DA/PA? I've seen the term before but never felt the need to ask until now.
     
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  18. Ninya

    Ninya Regular Member

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    Thanks mate, appreciate it. No problems at all. I'll try and keep an eye on it.

    DA = Domain Authority
    PA = Page Authority

    Both of these are Moz metrics that determine how well your website is likely to rank in Google, it is determined by links and other factors.

    You can find more info directly on Moz here; http://moz.com/learn/seo/page-authority

    Citation Flow and Trust Flow are both Majestic SEO metrics. I've found that analysing the backlink portfolio of expired domains with good DA/PA/CF/TF will yield close to the same results as PR. The PR factor is becoming less and less important. You can buy one of these types of domains for around $50-80 if you're lucky and around $100 max. One with similar stats but with higher PR would be around $300-400 on GoDaddy auctions.
     
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