Amazon Affiliate Site [The SEO Consultant vs Google]
I landed a job in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) over 3 years ago thanks to this subreddit and after reading
/u/wizzards post I felt that this was the right time to give a little something back. So let's start with a little history…
My introduction to making money online
r/juststart introduced me like many others to the possibility of making money online. I created my first affiliate site at the end of < year > which resulted in me landing an SEO internship 6 months later (I still work there today).
Life as it does got busy and the affiliate site was quickly forgotten, I did dabble in other ventures over the past few years, specifically print on demand.
Print on Demand
During < year > I grew a Merch by Amazon account to $1200 a month and ended up selling the business for a low 5 figures. Jump to June < year > I decided to give it another crack as I thought I was leaving money on the table (which I 100% was).
I spent any spare time I had over the coming months researching design ideas and briefing my graphic designer. Fast forward to November and I had over 1000 unique listings live and was set to pull in at least $3000 over the December holiday period.
This was until the Merch account was terminated overnight with no explanation from Amazon. All of my appeals have since been declined and I have not received a reason as to why.
So back to where it all started…
So to say the least I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. Ironically I thought why don't I revisit my Amazon Affiliate site that was still pulling in a few hundred visitors a month.
So during my time off during December I reviewed the site to identify what articles were ranking and if there was an opportunity to expand it further.
The first thing I did was strip out all of the articles not related to a specific sub-niche.
To give you all some context there were around 15 articles on the site targeting a broad niche, lets use computers as an example. So by niching down further I decided to remove all of the articles not related to "graphic cards" with this being the sole-focus moving forward.
Outside of this I cleaned up a number of technical SEO issues, updated URL structure (removed dates) and created a categorisation system for future content.
The last thing that I had to address was the design of the site. I built the website almost 3 years ago at this point and the design was subpar to say the least. My honest opinion on design is if it's not something you would be proud to show a friend or family member do something about it.
For anyone interested in my Web Hosting and WordPress plugins, read below. Yes, I do use a page builder and it does slow down page speed ever so slightly but having a server hosted on DigitalOcean solves any/all speed related issues.
Website Hosting / Theme
• The site is hosted on a DigitalOcean server (setup via SpinupWP).
• Extra Theme and Divi Builder
• 301 Redirects
• All-inOne WP Migration (backups)
• Easy Table of Contents
• Imagify (image compression)
• LiteSpeed Cache
• Rank math SEO
• Wordfence Security
• WP File Manager
Honestly all of the above doesn't really matter, just start already…
Jumping forward to January I completed some keyword research and came up with a list of 80 topics that could be produced over the coming months. I also hired a writer from a Facebook group who could produce two articles per week (if you haven't already realized writing isn't my strong suit).
Here is a very quick overview of my content production process
Take target keyword from keyword research document
• Run said keyword through SurferSEO
• Create brief which includes
• Word count
• All headings and sub headings
• Create new Trello card and link to brief. Trello Board Example
• Writer gets a notification
• Writer creates content and I am notified when it is complete
• I publish content to the site
If anyone has any questions about my hiring process or keyword research let me know in the comments. I may do a separate post on it if people are interested.
During January and March I published 34 articles, taking the total number on the site to 42.
Outside of the content creation I began building a number of links to the site:
• 50 Citations (ordered through SEOButler)
• 7 Guest Blogs
• 4 Niche Edits
I'm not going to go into detail regarding my link building strategy but I generally make a list of websites that fit a set criteria (see below) then reach out to them and immediately ask what they charge for a guest blog post and or niche edit.
Link Building Prospect Criteria
• Domain Authority (DA) 10+
• Niche relevant
• No 'write for us' page
• More than 500 visits per month ( Ahrefs estimation)
• No Adult, CBD links
So where do we stand at the end of March?
The changes I made to the site during December really tossed the site around whilst Google tried to understand what had happened. It took at least 10 weeks until the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) started to settle and I started to see a stabilisation in rankings.
Overall things are looking positive, many of the articles I posted during the first two months of the year are rankings for their target terms and are starting to bring in traffic.
All Metrics Case Study to Date
Traffic Stats (Sessions) The site was hit with spam traffic on January 31st. I've excluded this day from the table above.
Traffic by Day (Organic Only)
Traffic by month (Organic only)
*All revenue and earning are in USD
Earning last month
Earning project to date
|December||$424 (AUD)||$376 (AUD)||$15 (AUD)||$50 (AUD)||$224 (AUD )|
|January||$733 (AUD)||$344 (AUD)||$15 (AUD)||$50 (AUD)||$0|
|February||$653 (AUD)||$231 (AUD)||$15 (AUD)||$50 (AUD)||$33 (AUD)|
|March||$352 (AUD)||$260 (AUD)||$15 (AUD)||$50 (AUD)||$0|
|Total||$2,162 (AUD)||$1,211 (AUD)||$60 (AUD)||$200 (AUD)||$257 (AUD)|
*Tools include SurferSEO – I have access to Ahrefs through work
Plans for April
As you can see from the metrics above, traffic and earnings only started to pick up at the end of March so i'm excited to see what the next few months bring.
I have a number of articles sitting on page two for their target keywords so I plan to build links to them this month and push them up in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Outside of this, I simply add more and more content to the site.
As far as updates go I'll probably drop a case study in here at the end of each quarter. As the bulk of the work on the site is going to be limited to new content and link building.
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