Update #1: PMDs, EMDs are less effective these days than they used to be. Focus more on building a memorable and relevant brand name. Be careful with PBNs, they can still work but require even greater effort than before. Google is cracking down on them hard.
Here’s the deal, earning money online isn’t easy work. It requires dedication, research and a whole lot of persistence, but if you’re able to do this then without a doubt you’ll be able to start earning money online.
I don’t profess to being an expert in this area and I’m not going to try sell you anything unlike so many of the other websites out there that claim to share lists of the most profitable niches that will earn you tons of cash. Don’t you wonder, if they’re so profitable, why would they be sharing them in the first place? Websites will also try to sell you on their incredible SEO tools and software. Really, all you need is to do is be ready to learn, research on you own and apply what you’ve discovered.
What I will tell you is that I’ve spent the last few years researching this every moment I get, looking at other niche affiliate blogs, signing up to their email marketing programs and listening what they have to say. It’s tough to sift through all the crap, because they make a whole lot more money trying to sell to you, than they do building more affiliate sites. So many people fall for the get rich quick schemes.
What I can show you are the ropes, save you years of time that I’ve spent researching and reading, but the rest is up to you. All you need are a few browser extensions, a fundamental knowledge of WordPress and Google Keyword Planner. All of which are free.
Before I get started, I have to warn you, I’m not going to sugar coat this. It can be brutally hard word, requiring a lot of time, but if you want to make it happen get ready to dig those heels in and let’s go.
1. Finding A Niche
Before I get started I want to share with you a quote I once read from a very successful eCommerce businessman.
You’re either going viral or your buying traffic which costs less per customer than you profit from each customer.
Let that sink in for a bit.
That’s why it’s so difficult to find a profitable niche, because there’s so many people out there trying to do the same thing. IT costs nothing and the barrier to entry is low. Going viral is incredibly difficult and you have to have a proven business before starting to buy traffic.
Don’t listen to anyone else, finding a niche is difficult, but it is possible if you do your research. They say pick something that your passionate about and work on that.
I think that’s bullsh*t. Some areas are so heavily saturated that you stand no chance. The will to be successful alone must be enough to keep getting you up early in the mornings, making you want this to succeed.
This strategy requires plenty of your own time and effort and it starts with SEO. You can build a profitable affiliate business with SEO, but you must be smart. Just publishing any random content you like the sound of won’t work for the vast majority.
Two things work here:
- Find a successful affiliate business model and apply it to a different niche (it must have a unique business model)
- Research SEO and find an area that is lacking information and build upon it in terms of quality and content
People say get started by looking at the Amazon bestseller lists. This may have worked a few years ago, but now I don’t think it works so well. There’s too many people doing the same thing and you’re already in competition against people who have been doing it for years. They have established authority domains and will trump your attempt at SEO optimization to outrank them in Google.
People are using PBNs to improve their rankings in Google and while this does work, it’s also very expensive so if you don’t have the money (it can cost $1000 plus) and if not done properly you can end up with penalties from Google.
So where to start finding a niche?
Start by downloading these two browser extensions:
These are going to be your bible for analysing competition on keywords and the authority of preexisting sites.
I’m going to use levitating speakers as a niche to analyse and show you how they’ve done it.
The key metrics you want to look at here are Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) from the Mozbar on the top, while the SEO Quake bar gives you some insight into the age of the domains, the number of articles that have been indexed by each of the search engineers and the number of links directed to the website.
The first three places in the Google results go to Amazon and YouTube and now we see something interesting in position 4. A website with low PA and DA has beaten ThinkGeek – a very authoritative website that has used the exact same keyword.
How Have They Beaten An Authority Website?
- They’ve used an Exact Match Domain (EMD)
- They’ve also probably built a Private Blog Network (PBN) though this can be hard to prove
Exact match domains get greater ranking power in the eyes of Google, so you can use these to your advantage and leapfrog more authoritative sites. PBNs are a quick way to bump your website up the Google rankings, though they can result in your website being penalized if you’re not careful – Google does not like them! I’ve covered them in this separate article here, because setting them up requires some detailed instructions.
Now we’ll go to Google Keyword Planner
Google will tell us how much specific terms are being searched per month under Avg. monthly searches. Another great metric is the Suggested Bid, this gives us an indication of commercial intent of the traffic. The higher the suggested big, the more likely you are to make money from the traffic generated via the search term.
You need to spend some time researching different products and looking at their average monthly searches and suggested bid, as a suggestion try to find something that has minimum 5,000 average monthly searches and a suggested bid above $0.30.
Now That You’ve Found Your Niche, You Need To Buy A Domain And Get Hosting
You’ll need to register your domain name with a domain registrar and get hosting. These are two separate processes, if you buy from the one place you won’t have to worry about pointing domain name servers (DNS). I’ve used a few different providers. SiteGround are currently my favourite.
Find a free WordPress theme you like the look of. You can search under most popular and usually find some good ones. If you feel that you want to hit the ground running and commit 100% to this, I’d recommend getting the premium theme …. This is the same as what I use and offers more flexibility in terms of layout and design.
Intall These Plugins
You’ll need to install a suite of plugins to get your site running as fast as possible, I recommend all the following free plugins:
- W3 Total Cache
- Yoast SEO
- Google Analytics
Think About This Premium Plugin
There is also a premium plugin I would recommend and that is the EasyAzon. This help you accrue more commissions from Amazon using geo-targeting. With the Amazon Affiliate program, you are only able to get affiliate links for a single country, say the USA (if you don’t get the EasyAzon you should always go USA because their shopping market is huge), if someone from Canada finds your site, clicks on your Amazon Affiliate link and buys the product you won’t get a commission because they will be taken the the Canada Amazon site. In this instance the EasyAzon site helps by immediately switching to the correct Amazon site depending on the customers location so that you will never miss out on those commissions (you will need to create separate Amazon Affiliate accounts for each country).
Get A Cheap Logo Made Up
Fiverr is the cheapest way to get a good enough logo made up. Search for graphic designers or just logos and filter out the accounts so that you’re getting the highest rated accounts. Use this for your favicon as well.
Perform Keyword Research And Create Content
How to find the best keywords for creating good content? There’s a couple different ways here:
- Google Alphabet Soup
- Google Suggestions
- And list the other sites like them
- I’d recommend against paying for any SEO tools that claim to help you find the most valuable keywords in your niche. You’ve got all the free tools you need in order to make an informed deicion.
Content length affects both conversions and rankings. So to optimize both your conversions and rankings, you want to optimize your content length.
What is the optimum content length?
You’ll want to be generating articles that are minimum 1500 words each, but aiming more for around the 2000 word mark.
I know what you’re thinking…
That’s a hell of a lot of writing.
Yeah it is. That’s why we outsource it. We can get quality 1000+ articles for $10 from
That’s why we outsource it. We can get quality 1000+ articles for $10 from iWriter (this is where I get some of mine done). You’ll need to leave good instructions for your writer including the keywords you wish to use, the purpose of the article and the format.
There’s no hard and fast rule about how frequently to post content on your site. I would suggest starting with posting articles every day for at least the first two weeks, then every week after that for another two months. This is the
I suggest starting with posting articles every day for at least the first month, then every week after that for another three months. This is the minimum. If you can afford to post more you should, because you’ll be ranking for more keywords and gaining more traffic.
You’ve Got Your Site Setup, Content Published. Now What? – Link Building
There’s a few different ways we can do this. Search for guest posts in your niche, this may or may not be possible depending on the popularity. Otherwise we can do blog commenting. We are looking to build both do-follow and no-follow links back to our site.
Do-follow links pass on ‘link juice’ to our website, helping it rank better in Google
No-follow links do not pass on ‘link juice’ but they do pass on traffic and help our website backlink profile to look more natural
As a rule, for every do-follow link you gain, you should make 5 no-follow links. This will keep our website’s backlinking profile look natural.
Use DropMyLink to find the blogs and sites where you should be commenting to get the do-follow links. Make sure you follow commenting etiquette, it’s not as simpler as just saying check out my website. Make sure you are contributing something of value to the discussion, otherwise your comment likely won’t make it past the moderator.
inurl: blog”guest house” comment query
site:.com inurl:blog + “post a comment” + keyword
site:.com inurl:blog + “post a comment” + commentluv enabled
“Add comment” Your Keywords
“Post comment” Your Keywords
“Write comment” Your Keywords
Your Keywords “leave a comment” / “leave comment”
Your Keywords “Notify me of follow-up comments?”+”Submit the word you see below:”
Your Keywords “Remember my personal information” + “Notify me of follow-up comments?”
Your Keywords “Notify me of follow-up comments”
Your Keywords “This site uses KeywordLuv”
Your Keywords “Enable CommentLuv”
Your Keywords “You can use these tags”
Your Keywords “Powered by BlogEngine.NET”
Your Keywords “Allowed HTML tags:”
Your Keywords “top commenter”
“Keyword” “Powered By Blogger”
“Keyword” “Powered By WordPress”
“Keyword” “Powered By Typepad”
“Keyword” “Powered By Drupal”
“Keyword” “Powered By Blogengine”
“Keyword” “Powered By Movabletype
Is Social Media Worth It?
It’s hard to say. I think it pays to be smart about where you devote your resources. If you are running an eCommerce site, then optimizing Facebook ads such that the cost of acquiring a customer is less than the profit of each customer would work.
If you’re in the luxury niche or travel niche then targeting Instagram may work better. If you’re in home decor and design then Pinterest is probably your best bet.
Reddit is a good way to find a relevant niche and drop your links every now and then. You can also get social media managers quite cheap and they will run all of your accounts and get interactions that Google will love.
So here’s the instructions:
- Use Amazon best sellers to get ideas for products, look in SubReddits and just look around your office or home. Research each of the products with variations of the keywords in Google’s Keyword Planner. Once you find a keyword that meets our requirements move onto Step 2.
- Now head to Google and perform your competitive analysis. If you see a lot of Amazon domains and high PA and DA domains, it may be difficult but possible (since we can use PBN). If you see high PA and DA domains and some EMD or PMD websites, I would avoid it since these guys are already too many steps ahead of you. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but doing the hard work now will make earning money easy down the track. Ideally, we want to see a few websites with PA and DA at around 30 or lower and forums like Yahoo Answers. If you see these on the first page of Google then move on to the next step.
- Check that you can buy a EMDs or PMDs (the cheapest place to register your domain is through…. affiliate link). If it’s free then drop some coin on that baby and get yourself started. If your struggling to find a free domain name, try adding the words ‘best’, ‘reviews’, ‘forsale’ to the domain name searches. For example www.levitating-speaker-reviews.com.
- Get some hosting for your website. You can either go the free option or a paid option. There’s pros and cons to both. When I start out I usually opt for shared hosting (from…. affiliate link) that costs about $4 per month. I’ll let you make the decision. You can save some money if you close the window just before completing the purchase a pop-up will appear offering 30% off or so.
- Install WordPress (here’s our link on how to install), if you can’t manage to do it go to Fiverr and get it done for cheap. Outsource your article creation (rewrite all that shit that guy used that I book marked on a new article)
- Find a theme to use, again you’ll have to use your own discretion here. Free themes work fine and you can definitely have a successful website with them. I purchased a theme specifically for affiliate review websites it’s easy to customize and really simple. You can check it out here.
- Sign up for you Amazon Affiliates account (you’ll want to sign up for an account in all different countries)
- Get the EasyAzon plugin which will geotarget the customers coming to your website. This is important because if, say, a customer from Canada visits your site and makes a purchase and you have only opened a USA affiliate account, you’ll get no commission.
- Either build you PBN or focus on social media marketing and old school link building
- A/B test and track results. Continue to apply what works, do less of what doesn’t work and with a little bit of luck, you might now have your own source of passive income
- EMDs and PMDs help you rank better in Google
- Unless you can publish new content every day you should make a PBN
- Each article should be around 1500 words
- Each article should have no more than 10 affiliate links (this is not a hard and fast rule)
- Use at least one relevant YouTube video in each article
- Use numbered lists or bullet points
- Use your keyword at the beginning of your title, beginning of your article content, in the last paragraph of the content, in a h2 header and in the alt text of a photo (download the Yoast SEO plugin, it will make your life easier)
- Do not nofollow all outbound links, leave one or two follow that link to relevant authoritative sites