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Sbn's not-so-interesting affiliate site journey

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by sbndnb, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I've been planning on starting a journey for a while now, but it always seemed kind of silly keeping some kind of public diary of my IM progress. As some of you know I spend most of my time tending to the sites of my clients as a web dev/designer and my other IM ventures are more of a hobby so I tend to experiment with a lot of different techniques / traffic methods often abandoning stuff that isn't easily maintained and scaled or if it isn't profitable.

    In this journey I will be keeping track of my progress in building a non-english affiliate site promoting physical goods. I will try to explain the choices I make along the way, which will hopefully help some people out (including myself). The main reason for this project is that I want to improve my non-english writing skills and earn some cash along the way.

    The site - started on 20th of june

    After finding a good affiliate partner I decided on a broad enough niche and registered myself a domain name which is short, clear and catchy. I've noticed that having a short domain name that looks authoritive seems to increase the CTR from search engines a bit so whenever I find a name that sounds good I usually go for it. I would've gone for an aged domain but since I'm not in a hurry and finding good niche related domains with my country's TLD would be a serious pain in the a*s this will be just fine.

    I've set up a wordpress installation on a reseller hosting account (I'm a provider myself). The theme is slightly optimized and might change a couple of times in the next couple of months depending on my bounce rate / visitor flow throughout the site. Resources are loaded through the amazon cloudfront CDN, and I use varnish for caching. I believe site speed is crucial for a good browsing experience and since it is also a ranking factor I spent a while optimising every aspect of the site. This is something a lot of people would consider a boring task but if you do it at the beginning it'll save you a lot of frustration later on. My current google pagespeed is rated at 91/100 for mobile, 94/100 for desktop.

    Social network profiles have been created, but they are still empty for now.

    The content

    The site is structured in a semi-silo, I might post a diagram of this at some point. It will change as more content is added but for now I try to keep things as natural as possible to increase the UX. So far I have written content for the 'category' pages and 8 product reviews have been posted. I plan on writing a product review at least once every 2 days. (but hopefully more) All content will be written by myself for now.

    Stats

    I will occasionally share stats, however since the domain is fresh and there's still little content and no backlinks it might take a couple of weeks/months before this site achieves a decent amount of traffic.

    Costs
    ? 51.99 (Wordpress theme + domain)

    Profits
    ? 0

    ----

    If you have any questions, suggestions or just want to say hi feel free to post a reply in this thread so it can help others!
     
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  2. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    looks good. What's your plan for off site SEO/ Traffic generation?
     
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  3. hekke

    hekke Senior Member

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    Looks interesting! What non-english language will the site be in?

    Best of luck! I'll be following!
     
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  4. eXampL

    eXampL Power Member

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    Good luck with your journey mate! Wish you all the best and hope you'll succeed!
     
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  5. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Thanks for starting this... the benefit in a journey thread is, in my opinion, rarely for the thread starter, but rather for those that read along as EVERYONE can learn something from what is being shared.

    By EVERYONE, I mean anyone that is not close minded as, in this industry, there is such a vast amount of business and ways to acquire it that you have to be nuts to not at least listen to most that are willing to share.

    I look forward to seeing the progression and hope to pick up on a few things as you move forward.
     
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  6. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    Thanks man. I plan on building out my social media accounts ASAP with general posts + references to blog articles on my site (forgot to mention this part in the OP). Once my site is filled with some more content (+- 40 review articles) I will also start linking out from these social media accounts to single product reviews.

    As for SEO, afaik my on-page is ok for now; although I will have to constantly improve it as more content is added and the interlinking within my site changes.
    Regarding off-site, I usually wait with any linkbuilding till I have a decent amount of reviews posted. In the last year or so I have compiled a list of authority sites within my country that allow blog/minisite creation on the same domain. I will use these as high quality buffers and update them regularly. I've used these in the past some of them give great results. Apart from this I will do some outreach to other blogs/sites/non-penalised directories within my niche. This will be time consuming, but for now I'm going for quality over quantity. Once the site gets some authority I will slowly introduce some other linkbuilding techniques.

    Thanks for the kind words, the site will be in Dutch.

    Glad to see you'll be following this one as well, thanks for the kind words!
     
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  7. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    I really appreciate your reply BTB, you've been and continue to be a big inspiration to me and my business.

    This might be a slow journey since I'm aiming to create a long-term authority site but I will try to be as transparent as possible in my updates and I apprecciate any advice from people reading this thread!
     
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  8. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    Re-reading my original post it looks like I still left out a lot of information about my site's structure, and since it's not really a typical SILO structure I thought I'd do a quick writeup and hopefully I can get some constructive feedback:

    The niche I've chosen is very broad, this allows me to cover a lot of different subjects with one site; and it helps me keep my creative juices flowing. In the past I've built some micro affiliate sites (10-30 pages), but after a short while I would run out of idea's, the sites would have little appeal and the projects would be abandoned. However, due to the broad nature of the niche I'm covering, I'll quickly be ending up with a bunch of parent categories containing child categories and so on; so building and maintaining a good site structure will be absolutely vital for SEO and conversion purposes.

    I have done quite a bit of reading on SILO'ing and decided to apply some of the concepts in a not-so-strict manner. I'm quite sure that visitors will be interested in more than just one silo on my site, and for this reason I've made some compromises. However, while trying to maintain a proper user experience I still want my internal linking to reflect the relevancy of each product review with it's category and vice versa.

    Let's get to it

    As I noted in the original post, I am using wordpress. For my main (parent) category pages I use 'pages', they contain a text about the subject itself followed by a summing of each subcategory with a link to it's posts list (each +- 300 words). The post lists only show posts from the chosen subcategory.

    The posts themselves don't link back to the posts lists or to any pages/posts outside of the subcategory, however they are interlinked with posts within the silo and the main category page. After I have a decent amount of articles up for a category an anchor page will be created (I'm pretty sure that's a term made up by BTB) which will contain a product comparison of the products within the silo/category with the appropriate CTA's.

    silosbnf.png

    Example:

    Let's say my website is about kitchen electronics (it isn't), one of my parent categories would be juicers.
    I would have a link in my main menu linking to the page about juicers.
    On this page there would be a text about juicers in general, what they are used for etc. followed by a listing of different kinds of juicers aka it's subcategories For example: Masticating juicers, centrifugal juicers, .... Every subcategory listed on this page would consist of an image, a brief description and a button linking to it's posts list.

    The posts list would contain nothing but a listing of posts within this subcategory (a standard posts page), and it's only linked to from the main category page described above as I'm not trying to rank this page. The posts (reviews) would not link back to this posts list, but instead they would link to each other, the main category page and eventually the anchor page (when the site contains more content).

    ---

    I would love to get some feedback on this structure from people more experienced in SEO as the site is still young and I wouldn't mind making some changes if they would improve my user experience / on-site SEO.
     
  9. Neon

    Neon BANNED BANNED Jr. VIP

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    Wow nice plan ! Good luck with your journey
     
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  10. Red Giant

    Red Giant Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Looks nice.Good Luck with your journey mate..!!
     
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  11. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    Thanks Neonskull, I'll try to post more details about my site like my keyword research etc in the next couple of days.

    Thanks for the kind words!
     
  12. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    Another quick update:

    Yesterday I wrote and posted another product review setting the current total of products reviewed at 9. I will try to write at least one more today so there's a constant flow of new content. I thought I'd also do a quick rank check and to my surprise some keywords are already starting to show up, without any form of backlinks in place yet.

    Screenshot - rankings 040715.png

    Some explanation:
    The first 7 keywords are the current categories, with the ones marked with 'P' being the plural of the term above it. (for ex. juicer 800 MS - juicers 700 MS)
    The other keywords are the exact product names of the products reviewed. These are not always the keywords the posts are targetting but since I'm not ready to spend a monthly fee to track the +- 50 keywords I'm already targetting with this ridiculously low amount of articles it'll at least give me an idea of how I'm doing and which terms / brands to focus on when building links and adding/rewriting content.
     
  13. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    Today I had a good talk with SplishSplash about my current site structure and I've decided I will drop the post lists from the original design and create a proper SILO structure as follows:

    silo-new-f.png

    The existing articles will be recycled into the main silo pages as recommended products and all supporting content that doesn't fit within the silo's will be moved to a blog. This way I won't lose any link juice to the post lists and hopefully I can make sure that the visitors of my site enjoy a better user experience. I realise this is quite a drastic change, but if there are ways I can improve my sites chances of ranking and converting then I'll go for it.

    As always, I welcome all feedback & suggestions.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  14. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    Day 16 - Update:

    After planning out the structural changes I discussed in my previous post I started rewriting one of my categories in one long post which will form the pillar of one of my silos.
    I was aiming for around 3k words but it ended up becoming a 2k words post as I wasn't feeling very focused. I might add more content to it later on though.

    It's currently structured like this:

    Code:
    <<Title>>
    {info about topic}
    {what to know about x before buying}
    
    <<product 1 review>>
    {info}
    {what can you do with it}
    {specs}
    {pro's & cons}
    {why buy product}
    {CTA}
    
    
    <<product 2 review>>
    {info}
    {what can you do with it}
    {specs}
    {pro's & cons}
    {why buy product}
    {CTA}
    
    
    <<product 3 review>>
    {info}
    {what can you do with it}
    {specs}
    {pro's & cons}
    {why buy product}
    {CTA}
    
    I might add a summary + some tips at the bottom later which should add another 800-1k words.
    My goal for tomorrow is to rewrite the other 3 categories I already wrote into pillar pages since they will all form a silo on their own.

    Time to put in the work and keep focused on this project!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2016
  15. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    DAY 17 - Update:

    Today I wrote another main article for a second silo. This one is currently at 2.2k words, but after I'm finished restructuring my site I will add another piece of content so I send up at around 3k. The keywords targeted by the article I rewrote yesterday have already started moving around a bit, seems like google is acting fast. No sandbox / dancing effect so far. All of the easiest / long tail keywords show up where they should and rise steadily.

    Tomorrow I'll try to get the rest of my content rewritten so I can start adding content again. At this pace I should be at 15-20k words of content by the end of the month which is a decent starting point for social promotion and a link here and there. Ofcourse I will keep adding content at least once every two days.
     
  16. whiteblackseo

    whiteblackseo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  17. sbndnb

    sbndnb Regular Member

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    Thanks for the support