I have had great success with Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites and they proved to be insanely profitable for me, so I decided to make this thread as an ultimate guide to building a profitable Amazon Affiliate niche sites as well as answer any questions that may arise. There has been some talking about Amazon Affiliate niche sites before on bhw, but most of the information is scattered throughout Q&A threads and it?s hard to get a complete picture unless you read tens of pages and sort through some not so informative posts. This thread is based on my personal experience and personal approach but I also invite any experienced Amazon Affiliates to contribute to this thread and make it a great resource. I?ll try to avoid common sense advice that has been repeated here and give practical tips based on my experience that can be the difference between success and failure.
Table of Contents:
1.Why you should build Amazon Affiliate Niche Websites 2. Start with the end in mind. Build a website specifically for Amazon. 3. What type of niche sites works best for Amazon Affiliates 4. How to choose a winning Amazon niche 5. How to build a website that converts and achieve $100+ cpm. 6. Strategy for Website content. Pillar Articles and Secondary Articles. 7. My simple 1-minute trick to get insane extra seo traffic without any link building and without any effort. 8. Link Building. Pick your poison. 9. Track everything. 10. Example of Amazon Affiliate Niche Site sold for $60,000 on Flippa
1. Why you should build Amazon Affiliate Niche Websites
–They are highly profitable. $100+ cpm are not uncommon with Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites, usually cpm is even higher. Affiliate marketing in general is a step up from advertising based sites, since you leave behind the cents gained from clicks and impressions of Adsense and graduate to what really matters, conversions and sales. A savvy internet marketer needs to learn to sell online and you will see that despite what you may have read, traffic is not everything. I have Amazon Affiliate niche sites that with 2,000 unique visitors per month earn 3 times as much as Adsense websites with 60,000 unique visitors per month.
–Amazon Affiliate Program is fairly simple and straightforward. You are paid a % of the sales you generate, and as long as you respect the TOS, you do not have to worry about getting banned, click fraud, shaving leads or other shady things other companies do. Amazon has a great reputation, they pay on time and I worked with them for years and received large paychecks without any hiccups. Compared with Adsense and other not so well known advertising companies, they are a pleasure to work with.
–Amazon Affiliate niche sites are usually evergreen niches. When you sell physical products from Amazon, you sell things that people have needed and will need for years. Unlike CPAs where the offer can be pulled at any time, or Clickbank where the products are trendy and tend to be discontinued, Amazon niche sites usually focus on categories that have a long term potential. If you have an Amazon niche site selling sports shoes, it does not matter what brands come and go, people will always need sport shoes and your website will remain relevant for years to come.
–You sell something of value. I know ethical concerns are not a requirement for some people making money here, but when you sell a physical product from Amazon, you can sleep easily at night knowing that your customer got good value for their money backed by an excellent refund policy from Amazon. When you sell Clickbank ebooks or CPA offers which are usually shady, the refund rate is much higher.
2. Start with the end in mind. Build a website specifically for Amazon.
One of the first mistakes that people make when failing to earn money with Amazon is that they try to adapt their website which was not created for Amazon and place Amazon links or banners hoping they would make sales. This rarely works, and when they do, the cpm is not insanely profitable.
If you want to make great money with Amazon Sites, you need to build them for the ground up to be monetized with Amazon, and everything should be planned in that direction. Starting with choosing a winning niche for Amazon products, followed by keyword research made specifically for buying phrases, content written specifically to sell your Amazon products, website design and format created specifically to convert people into buyers, ranking for specific phrases that convert, if you want to make insanely profitable niche Amazon websites, you need to plan for them from the beginning and make sure every part synchronizes perfectly to create a high converting Amazon websites.
This means NO ADSENSE on your website. Beginners usually try to place both type of ads on their websites, hoping they have a greater chance of making money this way, but if you built a website specifically for an Amazon Niche, you are losing money by placing Adsense of them. Placing Adsense on your Amazon websites will give you pennies on dollars in terms of revenue, but they come with a lot of drawbacks, your websites loses credibility, you lose serp positions if your ads are above the fold, you make it harder for yourself to gain links when people see the big ugly Adsense ads, visitors are more reluctant to trust your recommendation and some of them will click an ad and leave your website when they could have bought something of value and make you a commission.
If you make an Amazon niche site, but you earn more by placing Adsense on it than by placing Amazon links, something somewhere went wrong. You should try to optimize your website for a higher conversion rate on Amazon because you are leaving money on the table. 3. What type of niche sites works best for Amazon Affiliates
In my experience, high quality content websites that thoroughly and completely cover a niche with plenty of information, reviews, comparison tables, images, and purchasing guides are the best converting Amazon Niche Sites both in terms of getting visitors by ranking high in serps as well as converting visitors once they are on your site.
Disregard automated plugins/software that build your Amazon websites automatically by scraping Amazon and generates you a 1000 pages website in minutes. You won?t get far with them. Spinning and scraping content is not the correct strategy if you want to rank high in serps and more important, if you want visitors to trust your website and buy from you.
Ignore social media as well, people are not necessarily in a buying mode there, and for niche Amazon websites it?s usually a waste of time to try to interact with them.
Building an email list, usually an excellent strategy is not a very effective one when it comes to niche Amazon sites. If a buyer wants to find what type of lawn mower he should purchase, all he wants is review and comparisons of the best models on the market followed by a recommendation and a link to Amazon to purchase it fast and cheap. He is not looking to subscribe to a newsletter, and is rarely interested in an ebook.
High quality content + ranking high in serps is the correct strategy for finding the type of visitors you are looking for: hungry buyers, with a purchasing mindset, making one final destination and reading one final review before choosing a product. These are the visitors you are looking to attract, and seo traffic is where you are going to find them the easiest.
4. How to choose a winning Amazon Niche
Plenty has been written about niche selection, and I am not going to rehash that information here. Especially since the requirements for niche selection varies according to your seo skill and experience. What I may consider an easy niche, it may be impossible to rank for some of you, and likewise, what might be easy for some of you might be hard for me. Even so, here are a couple of ideas:
–in SEO, the winner takes it all. Make sure that you can rank top 10 at least for that niche (preferablhy number 1), otherwise don?t even bother to start with it. You will make more money by being number 1 for a 320 EMS keyword than being number 10 for a 3200 EMS keyword or being number 20 for a 32000 EMS. The winner takes it all, and the number 1 advantage is real.
-The golden keywords for Amazon niche sites are Best Product Category and Product Category Reviews. Thinking about making a niche sites for electric shavers? Check how many searches ?best electric shavers? and ?electric shavers reviews? have and if you can rank for them. Use general product categories as seed keywords in your research, like electric shavers, lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, electric smokers, etc.. and try to avoid brand or exact product names which limit your website potential. You need to choose a wide enough niche that you can generate at least 30-50 pages of content to make.
–Choose high price products on Amazon. In every niche, even if there are cheap product and models available, there should be some $100+ items available for sale as well. If you can?t find a $100+ item for sale in that niche, drop it and look for other one. This is true for when you make your content as well, start reviewing the most expensive products first, after all someone who is searching for the best vacuum cleaner may not be interested in the $30 model even if it?s popular and sells well on Amazon, but in the $300 model that is top of the line.
-Lack ideas for niches? Browse through amazon product listing categories and especially through their bestseller lists found here:
5. How to build an Amazon site that converts and achieves a $100+ cpm
The price of the products you sell (I recommend high price tickets, and even when choosing a moderately price items niche, start your recommendation with the most expensive items) and the quality of your traffic ? ranking for buyers keywords- will be the determinant factors for your cpm, but this does not mean that you can?t stack your odds in your favor by making use of the following tricks to increase clicks, ctr, and conversion rates.
The most important thing you need to keep in mind when designing your website and content: SEND THE VISITOR TO AMAZON. As soon as the visitor is sent to Amazon, the cookie is placed and you will make commission on whatever he buys on there. Also, Amazon is a highly converting website that has a lot of reputation and a lot of information about the visitor (previous purchase history, wishlists, favorite products, etc..) and they do a much better job at converting a visitor into a buyer that your niche site can do. Some people are shy with the amount of links, images, and call to actions they place on their website and they try to keep their visitor as much as possible on their website, but I tend to favor the other approach. Every visitor that visits my website has to visit Amazon so the cookie can be placed and credit can be given.
-Use comparison tables.
Comparison tables between products are a most when it comes to niche Amazon affiliate websites. Not only they convert extremely well, they are also useful for the visitors as they can compare multiple products at a glance. I use comparison tables at the beginning of every pillar article I write (see below section for pillar articles) and give them above the fold positioning for maximum exposure.
2 free plugins that you can use to build comparison tables easily are
The information contained in every table differs with each niche, but you should at least have a column with the product image preview (hyperlinked with your amazon affiliate link) and a column with a direct call to action: Text / Button that says click here for more details about this product, and leading the customers to Amazon.
-Use plenty of images and hyperlink your images with your affiliate link
There have been a couple of studies on Amazon sites that show people are more prone to click images than text links and my experience says the same. All the images that are on my website, are hyperlinked to go to Amazon to the respective product, embedded with my affiliate tag. By default wordpress links an image to its own page, but you can override that setting and place your aff links.
-Use Call to Actions and Amazon Buttons
Don?t be shy to use direct call to actions to entice your visitors to check out a product. Just by simply making a visitor check out one of your Amazon links, you ensure that you drop your affiliate cookie and make commissions regardless what the final product the visitor buys from Amazon. Add to cart buttons or buy from Amazon work well to get attention, as well as simple links, if you format them well.
6. Strategy for Site content. Pillar articles and Secondary Articles.
Long tail keywords are the bread and butter for Amazon Affiliate Niche sites. I employ 2 types of articles for my niche Amazon sites:
-Pillar articles (also called money pages) are 2,000 words+ articles that target the most promising secondary keywords. Longer content works better for ranking and bring you more traffic through long tail keywords, so don?t skimp on content here. All pillar articles come accompanied by a comparison table (see the above section)
-Secondary articles are usually 500+ words individual reviews of specific products. This I refer to fluff content, in the sense that I do not try to rank them specifically, and do not target any specific keywords with them, but they are useful for bulking up your website and increase authority and relevance. These articles are not accompanied by a comparison table.
In total, between 2,000+ words pillar articles and individual reviews of 500+ words, you should have between 20-50 pages of content on your website. This is more than enough to dominate virtually any amazon niche and cover the whole spectrum of profitable keywords.
7. My simple 1-minute trick to get insane extra seo traffic without any extra link building and without any effort.
This trick works gangbuster for niche Amazon sites to get additional traffic from search engines and is dead simple to implement.
For all your articles, simply add the name of the year in the page title, 2014 in this example.
Best electric shaver for men becomes best electric shaver for men of 2014
Why? Fast and easy traffic. Look at this screenshot for one of my recent niche sites, over 80% of my initial best performing keywords have 2014 in their composition.
Explanation: Most people looking for reviews want to read the latest and more accurate reviews, so they will add 2014 at the end of their search queries. These current keywords are extremely searched for, and they do not appear in Google Adwords Search Tool as they only report the previous 12 months.
Also for search queries that contain 2014, you will bypass all the old and established authority sites that as most of them do not constantly update their content or include the recent year on their page.
Attention: Make sure to NOT ADD the 2014 in the url, just in the page title. After the year passes, go back to all your pages and modify the 2014 to 2015, and you are back in business with ?new and fresh? articles. If you add the 2014 in the url, then you have to modify the url and that?s bad for seo.
8. Link Building. Pick your poison
Despite the high quality content of the website, and despite excellent keyword research, you won?t get far without a modicum of initial link building to jump start your niche sites. Although once you rank in top of google, you can rely on the excellent quality of your articles to gain you additional links, before that you have to do the grunt work yourself. A lot has been written about link building, so I am not going to reiterate them all, you are probably familiar with the recommended link building techniques, and you know it?s more like pick your poison style. All link building is inherently risky but you have to do it someway.
My basic link building strategies are:
– Private Blog Networks. For a niche amazon site, it?s almost the cost of a seo package, but its vastly more effective.
– Guest Blogging. Stay away from guest blogging networks (some of them have been penalized like mybloggues) or fake guest blogs which are actually spam blogs and put your VA to work and manually contact relevant blogs in your niche. If you have a quality niche site and present yourself as an independent blogger trying to make a name for yourself and NOT as a SEO agency, you have a chance of scoring some pretty great links. Everyone loves the underdog.
– High quality satellites web 2.0 mini sites. For some Amazon niches, it will be pretty difficult to find relevant sites that link to you, due to them being too obscure or not so sexy. Mini web 2.0 sites are manually created with good content (not spun) and images and videos, 3-5 pages web 2.0 that are extremely relevant to your niche and link to you. 10 of such web 2.0 mini sites are worth more than 100 spam / spun web 2.0 and due to their quality they do not get banned.
– Relevant Blog Commenting. Manually on relevant niche blogs. Mainly for link diversity, use your pen name in the comments, avoid anchor texts, disregard no follow /do follow, you need a good mixture anyway.
9. Track Everything.
You need to have perfect insight into why your website is performing well / or under performing so you can adjust your strategy.
-Install Google Analytics and track your visitors, pages, etc.
-Verify your website in Google Webmaster tools and track what keywords you are inherently ranking for
-Use an online rank tracker and track progress of your target keywords
-Track your website CTR. How many visitors do you send to Amazon (I am averaging over 70% ctr due to my aggressive tables, images, and call to actions explained above)
-Track your Amazon conversion. You should have somewhere between 2% to 7% conversion rate, depending on your niche
-Track your links progress. Use Open Site explorer and their DA/PA methodology or Majestic SEO and their TF and CF. Anyway, you need to keep an eye on your links to see whether your seo strategy is effective.
10. Example of a successful Amazon Niche Affiliate site sold for $60,000 on Flippa.
I am not here to out anyone?s site, and definitively do not want to expose mine, but since this is already public knowledge as it has been publicly sold on Flippa, I think there is no harm in bringing it to your attention.