Introduction: My personal experience in affiliate marketing

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Hello, builders!

I've been reading this forum daily for a few months now, so I feel like the time has come to introduce myself.

Up to this point, I've been active only on reddit/r/juststart. Someone linked to BuSo a few months back, and I've been hooked since. I've read most of the lab case studies and both crash courses, and I must say that I'm really glad that I found this forum. I've gained so much these last few months.

Anyway, I'm new to affiliate marketing, and I started my first affiliate site in June 2018.

Before that, I had a small woodworking business, where we made wooden sunglasses. It was my first experience in business, but I didn't see too much value in continuing, as our product wasn't too different from hundreds of other manufacturers. I finally closed the business in May 2018 and through Reddit somehow stumbled on to AM, which I decided could be much more profitable. Not AM particularly, but it's a good starting point.

Fast forward today, the site is making around 200$/mo with 4000 uniques/mo, 27 articles, and 63000 words. I've been treating this as a side project up to 2019, but now I'm ready to push it to the next level.

I dedicated most of the December on taking a step back and doing all the stuff that I should have done at the start, which included:

Keyword research. I researched ideas for around 150 articles that could be viable and came up with 63 main keywords that I could rank fairly easy, and another 50 which will need some backlinks. I plan to publish around 80 of these articles until May 2019. These articles will cover only two silos and around 60% of the content will be informational.

Competitor research. In these main two silos, I have 15 main competitors, that I researched thoroughly (Article count, avg post length, Info/money post ratio, backlinking strategies, social presence, target audience, e.t.c.)

A quick overview of my competitors:
  • 5x Large competitors, that I will likely never outrank. (1m-10m monthly traffic)
  • 6x Medium competitors that I could eventually outrank, but only with several writers. (400k-1m monthly traffic)
  • 4x Affiliate sites that I could outrank fairly easy in two years (100k-400k traffic) All of them have the generic bad quality affiliate content, and I'm confident that three of them I will outrank fairly easy. The fourth one will not be that easy, but It can be done.
Target audience research and unique selling proposition. This came after doing extensive competitor research. Now I know who I am writing for and the site will be focused only on a small topic. Both of my silos are kind of related, but not really. By the way, my site is in a really popular and competitive niche.

Strategy for 2019. Pretty simple, really. Up to May-June 2019, I will be solely publishing content. (Goal is 60-100 articles). After that, I'll spend two or three months doing just outreach (Traffic leaking with controversial topics, Pinterest & Twitter, Quora, medium.com, niche forums, Reverse engineering links, infographics & tools ). And the last months of 2019 I will be splitting 60% of my time on writing and 40% on outreach. I believe that I can get to 50 000 monthly uniques by the end of 2019.

My goal with AM is to make enough money to buy a house in Spain in three years time. I need around 300 000 - 500 000$ to achieve this goal, so I need to push this site to 10k-20k/month revenue and sell it for 30x. Based on my experience and research, I'd say that it's possible.

I'll stop here because I plan on making a case study in the lab.

Regards, Online_wizz.
 

Ryuzaki

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@online_wizz, congrats on your success already. It sounds like your willingness to be meticulous is paying off. I'd venture to say you're already beating 80-90% of "SEO's" in terms of earnings. Most never make any money, just lose it.

Your plan sounds reasonable. You'll get a base of content up that you can then promote later. During that period of time where you just do outreach, save a handful of articles back so you can schedule them during that period so you don't have a huge dry spell where you don't publish at all.

You seem like you have a solid plan, and even plan to venture past just pure SEO in terms of promotion. There's not much to say other than good luck and I look forward to reading your case study thread. Just get 3 posts in and 3 likes and you'll be free to start that.
 
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@online_wizz, congrats on your success already. It sounds like your willingness to be meticulous is paying off. I'd venture to say you're already beating 80-90% of "SEO's" in terms of earnings. Most never make any money, just lose it.

Your plan sounds reasonable. You'll get a base of content up that you can then promote later. During that period of time where you just do outreach, save a handful of articles back so you can schedule them during that period so you don't have a huge dry spell where you don't publish at all.

You seem like you have a solid plan, and even plan to venture past just pure SEO in terms of promotion. There's not much to say other than good luck and I look forward to reading your case study thread. Just get 3 posts in and 3 likes and you'll be free to start that.
Up to this point, I still haven't done any outreach. Only some quora answers, Pinterest, and Twitter, which has resulted in additional 20-50 views each day. I guess I could do some outreach now, as I have some base content, but I figure that a site with 100 articles is much easier to promote than a site with 30 articles.

So I'll just focus on content for now and while the new articles are aging, I'll do the outreach to boost up the rankings. I'm sure that I can rank on the first page with just long-form content and developed categories, however, these links from outreach will help me rank for medium competition articles, that I will start to target only at the end of 2019.

Thank you for the suggestion. During the outreach period, I actually plan on publishing new content. But this content will be made solely for outreach purposes. Up to May-June, I'm publishing money articles and supporting content related to these money articles.

I'm planning on doing several kinds of articles:
  • Controversial articles, that touch the emotions of my target audience. I'll leak them on Reddit, Fb groups, and Forums.
  • List posts, like "100 best blogs in xxx", and reach out to everyone mentioned in the list.
  • Some kind of post that gives awards to some brands. Like "XXX brand awards 2019: Best made xxx products in 2019", also with the intention to reach out to brands and notify that they're in the top spots. Maybe I could make fake accounts and leak to some forums on how "I totally disagree with how this brand is rated #1, it's garbage and broke on the first day!", e.t.c. Also, one of my larger competitors is doing awards each year, which has resulted in insane amounts of links from Wikipedia and other media outlets. Basically, 60% of their link profile is from these awards.
  • Informational articles with unique facts and infographics that have the potential to go viral or score links from larger media outlets. Of course, I'll reach out to those media outlets and offer them to use my article with infographics, charts, and data as a source.
  • I have an idea for a free tool related to my niche that I could make and share on my website. Not exactly an article, but it's new content nevertheless. I saw one of my competitors has a tool on their site, that's completely unrelated to our niche. Yet, he has gained tons of backlinks from it and it looks like it's working for him.
You know, the usual sneaky stuff to get attention.

Thank you for your support. Good luck to you as well on breaking out of the stagnation period of your site! (I follow your case studies)
 
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What has your link building looked like up to this point?

Great story and start. You have a plan, you take action, and you have a worthy goal of buying a home to drive towards. You will win. Just remember us little guys when you make it.
 
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What has your link building looked like up to this point?

Great story and start. You have a plan, you take action, and you have a worthy goal of buying a home to drive towards. You will win. Just remember us little guys when you make it.
Up to this point I haven't actively built any links. I've been active on Pinterest and Twitter, which has resulted in around 2000 followers and 100k monthly viewers on Pinterest (impressions on my pins). Also, I've made a few blog comments and a few Quora answers. I'll do the groundwork when my site has around 100 pieces of content, which will start in June - May.

Thank you. Now it's just a matter of sticking to the plan and actually going through with it.
 

mj22

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U welcome here bro
 
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Just wanted to drop in and check up on how you're doing, but also to say "respect" to you! I jumped out of affiliate life for a good few years and am now at the point of jumping back in full time. In part because it's always been my first love, but also out of a real necessity. Illness in my family is making balancing a busy client roster next to impossible and so I need something with the flexibility affiliate marketing has always given me. The motivation is there, but the reason why I need to get this to work again is a heavy weight on the shoulders. This thread really got me full of beans and so I just want to say a big thanks!
 
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Just wanted to drop in and check up on how you're doing, but also to say "respect" to you! I jumped out of affiliate life for a good few years and am now at the point of jumping back in full time. In part because it's always been my first love, but also out of a real necessity. Illness in my family is making balancing a busy client roster next to impossible and so I need something with the flexibility affiliate marketing has always given me. The motivation is there, but the reason why I need to get this to work again is a heavy weight on the shoulders. This thread really got me full of beans and so I just want to say a big thanks!
Hey, thanks.
I've created a lab thread, where I will post updates about my journey. Make sure to check it out. :wink:
Were you successfull in AM before? If you start now, you can still catch me up and compete.
 
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Hey, thanks.
I've created a lab thread, where I will post updates about my journey. Make sure to check it out. :wink:
Were you successfull in AM before? If you start now, you can still catch me up and compete.
Yeah, I made a good old living out of it for 5+ years! A lot has changed, but the basics don't change so I'm fired up and I LOVE a good bit of healthy competition so you're on!
 
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Yeah, I made a good old living out of it for 5+ years! A lot has changed, but the basics don't change so I'm fired up and I LOVE a good bit of healthy competition so you're on!
I'll hold you to that. Good luck and may the race begin!