How Mike Bradford Made $32K in 12 Months With Amazon Affiliate Sites

A week ago, a Cloud Living's reader reached out to me via email and showed his success with amazon affiliate websites.

His name is Mike Bradford. And over the past year, he has made about $32K with his portfolio of sites.

As I always love success story, I then immediately asked him for a short interview so we all can learn from his experience.​

Ok, Take it away Mike…

More...

1. What is your name, where are you from and what is your current job/profession?

Hi guys. My name is Mike Bradford, I live in New York, and I have your typical, standard, 9a-5p office job.

2. How did you get started on building amazon affiliate websites? How long have you been building websites?

I found Pat Flynn's site sometime around 2010, which led me over to Spencer at Niche Pursuits, where I became an avid reader of his Niche Site Projects. That's what got me interested in building niche sites. Then, in early 2014, I started my very first niche site, and a few months after that, I launched a couple more.

3. Tell us about one (preferred) or more about your successful websites. What is the URL and what niche are you targeting? If you are not willing to publicly share your domain or niche, that’s just fine.

While I'll have to pass on sharing the URL of my sites, I can say that the 4 sites that I'm currently working on are all in unrelated niches, I have no real interest/passion in any of them, but the involve products that lots of people like to buy.

4. How much money do you make from this successful website(s) each month? Feel free to share your traffic stats as well.

My April income numbers just came in, and for the month I did $3,168.88 in revenue, and $2,415.12 of that came from a single site. And in the past 12 months, I've done nearly $33,000 in revenue overall, which I wrote about here. As for traffic, my main site did just over 13,000 visitors in April, according to Clicky.

5. What is the main reason for this website’s success?

I think this site has been successful for a few reasons. 1) It's in a niche that really has a lot of demand from buyers; 2) it's has dozens of strong PBN links pointed at it, which gives it authority; and 3) the review content is written well and is designed to convert the readers to click over to Amazon.

6. How Did You Find The Niche? What’s Your Criteria To Determine Winning Keywords?

For this site, it was my very first site, and I kind of just randomly started thinking of products that people buy.

Now, my strategy is a little more focused: I like to have keywords with at least 1,500 LMS, preferably 3,000+ LMS for the main term. I also like to target higher-priced products, definitely at least $50 but more ideal is $100+ products.

And of course, you must study your competitors on the first page of Google: I'm not afraid of taking on more authoritative sites like Consumer Reports, because they can definitely be beaten, but it's also nice to see some other niche sites up there ranking too.

7. What’s Your Content Strategy For The SIte? Did you Write the Content Yourself or did you Outsource?

I work full-time and absolutely hate to write product reviews, so I outsource all of my content, including my PBN content.

I have one writer for my money page product reviews, and one writer to throw up articles on my PBN sites.

I'm a big believer in having a lot of words for each money page: mine usually are 4,000 words or more. Google loves longer content.

8. Do You Use WordPress To Setup Your Website? If Yes, What hosting, theme and plugins did you use? How Did You Structure The Site?

I use your typical WordPress set up, Bluehost hosting, and standard plug-ins, nothing out of the ordinary there.

In terms of structure, lately I've been leaning to setting my sites up more like "blogs", and less like "review sites", because Google really does not like thin, doorway content, and if your site is set up to only exist for affiliate reviews, it may get penalized.

So now I prefer to pay someone to write articles/blog posts, and I feature those on the front of the blog. Maybe two articles per month, nothing crazy.

These are NOT monetized posts. The actual money pages, they are kind of "hidden" under a "Reviews" tab on the page; the idea is to make the site look natural, and to have your reviews only make up a tiny part of the site.

9. What’s Your Strategy To Drive Traffic To Your Website? What Link Building Tips Can You Offer?

100% of my traffic is from Google, which is of course very risky, but that's the game we are playing when we build these sites.

Despite all the hysteria, PBN links are still working incredibly well, and those are really the only links I use, outside of maybe a HOTH package at the beginning.

Go ahead, do a Google search for nearly any buyer's keyword, and you will still see sites at the top of the SERPs that are using PBN links to rank.

I try to aim for at least 20 PBN links per money page, but it varies.

10. How Well Does Your Website Convert? Did you do anything to increase the conversion rate?

I was just working on my April income report, and for my main site, I got 42.6% of my visitors to click over to Amazon, which for me I think is quite good.

And then each of those visitors that goes over to Amazon, for this one particular site, is worth 43 cents each. For another site of mine, each visitor that goes to Amazon is worth a dollar.

Sounds small at first, but it adds up quickly. I've found that in-context links work well, as pricing tables still do as well. Those get clicked on a lot.

11. How has the success from this website impacted your life?

So I live in a very expensive city and certainly couldn't quit my job or anything, but the success of the site has been nice to have some extra cash in my pocket in terms of traveling and saving.

13. Do you have a blog or other place that people can following along with what you are doing?

Funny you should ask! I did just start a blog where I'm planning on sharing my tips and tricks, but it really comes down to identifying the right market/keywords, building out a nice looking site, having terrific, long content, and building up a good amount of PBN links to rank.

The name of the site is Niche Site Azon, and I recently wrote my very first post. I plan on documenting all my successes and failures over there.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions for Mike.

Want your success story to be featured on Cloud Living? Shoot me an email.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 32 comments
Mike Bradford - May 4, 2015

Thanks for sharing this, Tung!

I should be around most of the day to pop in and out of here to respond to any questions/comments!

Reply
Guido - May 4, 2015

Hello Mike,

Congratulations on your success so far! 🙂

When writing for conversion, do you have any tips on how a review page should be structured for maximum results?

I’m currently using:

1 – Title
2 – Short, bold intro summarizing the review including an affiliate link
3 – Video
4 – Advantages of the product with subheadings
5 – Disadvantages of the product with subheadings
6 – What users think of the product with subheadings
7 – Two alternatives for the product with subheadings
8 – Where to buy the product

Videos and images/galleries are sprinkled throughout the review to make the content engaging and avoid a wall of text. Sentences are short and use simple language. Paragraphs are no longer than 3 – 5 lines in a normal WordPress page layout.

This is based on a video/file Alex Becker released about how to write review posts and a tidbit from another copywriting blog post. Any thoughts or tips on how to improve?

Also, when using a KC score from tools like Longtail Pro, how high do you set your sights? I feel I’ve been wasting a bit of time targeting terms that are very easy to rank for but don’t offer a lot of returns.

Thanks for any feedback you’re willing to give!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 4, 2015

    Hi Guido!

    So for my review pages, I like to do a couple of things, most of which you are already doing.

    At the top of my pages, I have my pricing tables, which as I mentioned, still convert incredibly well. If you’re going to get someone to click your link over to Amazon, it’s likely going to be from the table. My tables include more than just the product/price/rating, etc — I include at least a couple of sentences of why I’m recommending the product specifically.

    Then, under the pricing table are the product reviews. I structure mine like you do yours — the features, pros, cons, customer reviews, etc. Nothing fancy here. But I do like to have very long reviews; as I mention, I aim for 4,000+ words plus (not for each product, but for each review page, which may include 3-5 reviews). I link to it in my post, but check out The Wirecutter for examples.

    As for keywords, I’m not afraid of a little competition. That’s where the profitable keywords are anyway! Do a Google search for any good buyer’s keyword — you will see niche sites ranking on the first page! It just takes a lot of PBN links, but the payoff is worth it. So I target moderate difficult keywords, because that’s where the traffic is. That said, I’m not going after anything crazy like “best headphones”, but you get the idea.

    Reply
      Guido - May 4, 2015

      Thanks for your feedback!

      After reading this blog post and the one on your site again, it seems like I need to spend a lot more time on creating a stronger backlink profile and aiming for more difficult keywords.

      Reply
Joe Lam - May 4, 2015

Hi Mike, Congrats on your success. 🙂

May I ask if the PBN is own by you or is it a paid PBN service?

Thanks and regards,
Joe

Reply
    Daniele Besana - May 4, 2015

    Got the same question!

    Congrats Mike for your biz!

    Reply
      Mike Bradford - May 4, 2015

      Thanks, guys. I go into more detail in my post, but the short answer: at first I started using “public” PBNs like LightningRank, but once Google starting de-indexing the public networks, I’ve started building out my own network. So my older links are from a paid service, but in the last six months or so it’s my own network.

      I am thinking of creating a semi-private PBN service (only 5 people allowed for each network, to avoid a footprint), so stay tuned for updates.

      Reply
Hung Pham - May 4, 2015

Thank Tung for you sharing, this post activates me to do more, work hard. I will follow this style to build an affiliate site.

Reply
Derek Smith - May 4, 2015

Nice success Michael, how much value do you find in making the large 4,000 word articles compared to say the traditional 500-700 word articles that we mostly see? I feel that bigger is better, but I wonder if it is overkill with that many words?

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 4, 2015

    Thanks, Derek.

    The way I look at is is this: most likely, the reader on your website is not going to read 4,000 words. But the Google bot will.

    So I try to design my pages where the reader can easily click on an affiliate link in the top 1/3rd of my page. The rest of the content is for Google.

    Go ahead and take a look at some of the reviews over at The Wirecutter.

    Reply
      Derek Smith - May 5, 2015

      I love Wirecutter. I almost don’t think of them as a “review niche” as they are so professional. I think alot of that has to do with the huge blog posts that actually seem like real life reviews compared to some of the other sites I see people making. Great strategy Mike, I will try and make my future posts longer.

      Reply
      Mobolaji - January 6, 2016

      Mike,

      Whats the best way to get you to respond to your emails ?

      I am trying to reach you concerning one of your services.

      Reply
Glen Michael - May 4, 2015

Congratulations Mike!

This post is inspiring and comes at a good time. I’ve been thinking about niche sites for a long time and was just catching up on emails thinking “I will find a niche today”. I think I have one now and feel inspired to get going.

The first site may fail but if I don’t try I’ll never know!

Good work. Hope the sites keep converting well for you 🙂

Reply
Guido - May 5, 2015

Mike,

Could you give an indication of how many actual subject related content pages/posts your main site has that brought in 2415.12 in April? 10+, 25+ 50+?

And do you find that an individual product review (Philips Norelco 1150X/46 Shaver 6100) or combined review pages (The 3 best/cheapest/waterproof/etc electric shavers of 2015) bring in more revenue?

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 8, 2015

    My main site actually only has 7 pages on indexed content, 4 which are monetized. That is NOT how I build out my other sites.

    I prefer the combined review pages, as you get more words on a single page.

    Reply
      Guido - May 8, 2015

      Dang. That is equally depressing as it is inspiring. Thanks for replying!

      Reply
      John - May 15, 2015

      i read somewhere that a woman (amazon aff) create a single page then put up 5 similar products to review , she thinks that way the reader will have more choices and yes more keywords into it making it rank higher in google.

      Reply
Julian Thomas - May 8, 2015

Great article! I’m curious to see some traffic screenshots or something like that. It’s nice to read a great story, but I find these articles are even more enjoyable when you add screenshots of traffic, rankings and similar data because it really solidifies the authenticity of the content.

Reply
Nanda Rahmanius - May 12, 2015

Hi Mike and Tung,

Thank you to share this great interview, Tung.
I am very pleased with your success story, Mike. It was very insightful. 🙂

Actually, I have not entered completely into affiliates. I still have many shortcomings to do so. I want to find information in advance.

I still do not believe that you can get a $32K from Amazon. That’s incredible! 😀

I hope you can share knowledge about affiliate in detail. I really want to learn about it. 🙂

Thanks for this. I will visit your new site soon.
Have a great day!

Regards,
Nanda

Reply
John - May 14, 2015

wow 43 cents and 1 dollar … and you still manage to get $2k congrats man .. im into a niche that give $12 to 18 per 1 unit , my highest is only $1,511

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 14, 2015

    Thanks, John. That’s not a “per unit” figure, it’s a “per visitor” figure of every single person that clicks over to Amazon from my site. So, every time a person clicks over to Amazon, that alone is worth 43 cents on average for my main site.

    Reply
      John - May 14, 2015

      ohhh i got it wrong

      Reply
      John - May 17, 2015

      Mike,
      may i know if your money pages dont have any videos with it? was the content mostly text, pictures and table press, amazon links only ? no youtube videos ?

      Reply
Aakash - May 19, 2015

Congratulations, Mike. You’re really killing it, man. I did start a few Amazon niche sites in the past, but ranking them has become really hard nowadays. You just inspired me again to start a new site. BTW, do you create different PBN sites for different Amazon sites, i.e. do you link to only one money site from a particular PBN site or have multiple outgoing links to multiple no of your niche sites? Thanks in advance.

Cheers
Aakash

Reply
James Patton - June 5, 2015

Great info, Mike!

And as a newcomer to LTP, a valuable tutorial. You have added more inspirational fuel for the days to come. It’s also nice to hear from someone else that still maintains a day job. Congrats on you success!

Reply
Dave - June 5, 2015

Hi Mike,

It’s always nice to read a success story. Well done mate.

I have a simple question…….

Does your Amazon account only cover a single country like the US, OR do you get paid from all the other countries as well?

Is it possible to have a global account with Amazon where you would get paid no matter in which country your buyer came from?

TIA.

Dave

Reply
Pepe - June 10, 2015

I know EMS (Exact Search Match), but what is LMS?

Thanks in advance.

Have a great time!
Regards

Reply
Balaram Dhotre - June 15, 2015

Hi Mike

I want to build one site for my own product. Can you suggest me the theme

that I should use? Can I get my content rewritten properly? Can you suggest me

some writers for this?

Reply
Shafiuddin - June 29, 2015

Hi Mike,Very Less people make money from their first site,i’ve recently made a Health related Niche site.I need some tips regarding Link Building

Reply
Saad - January 31, 2016

Hi mike,I have website niche but anny profit,where’s problem in the niche or website?

Reply

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