At the beginning of August 2020, I started building an affiliate marketing website. In this post, I cover how I grew the site from 1,600 in 8 months and then flipped it.
The website was built off an old domain with existing backlink authority from odys.global for 14.7k in the form of content and off-site SEO. After 11 months I sold it for $45k.
Revenue vs Costs:
Costs by Source:
Building the site off an existing domain with backlinks was a huge help. Instead of waiting for months to get pages to rank it took weeks.
When buying an aged domain there are a number of checklists you must follow:
- Make sure the site was never flagged by Google overlords
- Check if the domain name is trademarked
- Check if the backlinks are high qualith
Besides building the site off an existing domain, there were two backlinking strategies I used - guest posting and shotgun skyscraper.
Affiliate websites are difficult to build backlinks to. The best approach to do this naturally I found was to build free mini tools.
Strong keyword research and structuring tight SEO outlines were key to the success of the site.
After creating an outline, I had an agency write the content. Then if/when a page started to rank I would hire a more authoritative writer and sometimes YouTubers to expand on add to it.
Private Ecommerce Affiliate Deals
In February, I started to work with private eCommerce brands instead of just Amazon. These eCommerce companies paid 15 - 20% commission rates compared to Amazon’s 3 (ish) %.
This made a huge difference. Here’s the MMR month to month during that time:
January 2021: $386.91
February 2021: $1,130.31
March 2021: $1,974.98
April 2021: $2,114.84
Affiliate websites are a lot of fun. And anyone can build them. If you have a quirky hobby or sport you love, you can make content and become the go-to person for fly fishing, photography, mountain biking...
The first few months can be slow - you have to wait a little for Google to trust you and rank your website but after that scaling is easy.
Two resources/people that helped me were Mushfiq Sarker and Richard Patey. Mushfiq has a great newsletter you can subscribe to and Richard Patey was the host of the website investing podcast. Patey no longer is the host of the show but you can still listen to older episodes with him.